Wombat Books Blog

Wombat Books blog is the place to keep up to date with all the goings-on in the world of Aussie kid's books.

New Release: The Tae'anaryn and the Wizard's Apprentice

New Release: The Tae'anaryn and the Wizard's Apprentice

"Choice, set free."

The Tae'anaryn and the Wizard's apprentice – an unforgettable adventure.

Kidnapped and tormented by an evil archmage who wants them to learn to harness the power of evil, Kialessa and her part dragon friend Piex must find unexpected allies in their plans for escape. It's not the wicked goblins that worry them, or the troll infested swamp, or even the towering rot dragon that keeps them there, but a simple riddle. Will they ever be able to return to their king and college again?

The Tae'anaryn and the Wizard's Apprentice is a fantasy adventure, by Dr Joe Ireland, about a little girl who is a lot different. She and her best friend find themselves prisoners of a powerful wizard, who promises them freedom if they can best his most challenging riddle: what is evil? With friends and family praying for their freedom, desperate attempts to escape, and finding friends in the most unlikely of places, what will it take to find freedom in a place that embraces evil?

The book is already receiving great feedback from its young readers. Emily, an avid reader said, "Wonderful!" Vanessa, a gifted young reader, proclaimed it, "just as good as the first book, but with dragons!"

Author Dr Joe, a touring science education specialist, designed the book series 'The Tae'anaryn' to align with the ethics and humanities curriculum in Australia. The Wizard's Apprentice is intended to be a 'thinking' book that discusses challenging issues, set at the safe distance of a fantasy setting, and at the same time to be thoroughly engaging.

"This book is not only entertaining, it is helpful," says Dr Joe. "How do you deal with the challenges of being away from friends and family? How do we confront those who have much more power than us, and intend to use it to force us to make choices we don't want? How does one confront a challenging problem such as defining what you consider to be 'evil'?"

Dr Joe has a lifelong passion for philosophy, science, and fantasy, having written several academic papers for the international journals of science education, as well as award winning fantasy for the Dungeons & Dragons Living Greyhawk fantasy campaign setting. Dr Joe lives in Brisbane with his wife and three daughters.

The Tae'anaryn and the Wizard's Apprentice is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.

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An interview with Claudia Bouma

An interview with Claudia Bouma

My name is Claudia Bouma and I grew up in the Netherlands with my twin brother and older sister. I came to Australia 15 years ago to do youth work with Youth With A Mission in Townsville, QLD, and met my husband Chris. I now live in country Victoria with my husband and four children.

Question 1: What was your first book published?

I had my first children’s book published in August 2013. Part of the Australian Girl series, Amy and the Wilpena Flood, is the second book in this exciting series aimed at girls aged 8-10. It was my dream to combine my love for travelling (I’m a travel writer) with Australian history and decent moral values. From the feedback I’ve received so far it seems I succeeded. I’ve already been asked when I’ll write the next one which is a wonderful encouragement.

Question 2: What is your favourite part about being an author?

Originally I’m a travel writer so writing a book for children was a challenge. This is one of the things I love about writing; there are always new avenues to discover and explore. Moreover, learning never stops and there’s so much to learn from others in the industry who have been around longer. 

Question 3: What is the hardest part about being an author?

The hardest part about being an author is self-doubt. Confidence is everything when you’re writing a story. To believe in yourself is crucial because if you don’t, the words simply don’t come – at least not for me.  And it’s okay to make mistakes; the most important thing is to learn from them.

Question 4: What do you consider your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement is starting and finishing my first-ever fiction novel, Free At Last, which will hopefully be published in the not so distant future. It is a very personal book, so it will be quite scary to have it read by others. 

Question 5: What book are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading Dee Henderson’s latest fiction book, Unspoken, as she is one of my favourite authors. I love the combination of suspense, romance and Christian content. Last year I started reading Australian Christian fiction and I’ve enjoyed books by Paula Vince, Rose Dee, Amanda Deed and Skye Wieland. 


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It's Not Easy Being Green

It's Not Easy Being Green

The third book in the Australian Girl series, Annabelle and the Missing Turtles has just been released and you can win a copy!

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The third novel in the Australian Girl series, Annabelle and the Missing Turtles by multi-published children’s author, Rose Inserra, is set for release on 1 November 2013. The series follows the adventures of five main characters racing against time to save the already endangered green sea turtles on Queensland’s coast.

“As a teacher, I wanted to write about stories that empower young girls to strive for real changes and ‘be’ the changes in the world. My favourite quote from Mahatma Ghandi is – ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ I was inspired to write this Australian Girl book because of my commitment to animal welfare and to raise awareness of habitat loss and endangered species in Australia. I hope to encourage young readers to be passionate about protecting our unique and precious Australian environment,” said Rose.

Following on from the second book in the series, Amy and the Wilpena Flood by Claudia Bouma, Annabelle and her four friends go on another exciting adventure with the help of the rainbow necklace. Whilst on a trip to Queensland, the five friends try to solve the mystery of the disappearing turtle population. Nobody seems to know the answer – not even the marine biologists at Marine World. Thanks to their rainbow necklace, the girls are taken back in time and given some very important information about loss of habitats and the changing environment since the last century. 

But will the girls be able to get back in time to save the hatchlings and help organise a rescue operation? The five friends face challenging circumstances, as their commitment to their cause requires teamwork and co-operation from everyone involved. They learn that compassion and bravery are two qualities that can bring about real change in the world.

The Australian Girl series is based on the Australian Girl dolls, inspired by Helen Schofield’s search for quality dolls for her granddaughters.

Selena Ewing, Senior Research Officer at Southern Cross Bioethics Institute, a Founding Director of Women's Forum Australia and the author of Faking It, says of the Australian Girl range, “Our girls are growing up in a world where young girls are pressured to pursue glamour, excessive thinness, and the attention of boys. Research shows this can have devastating consequences for girls' health and development. I find the focus on age-appropriate fun, friendship and diversity in the Australian Girl product range to be very refreshing and in fact desperately needed."

The book’s illustrator, renowned Ginger Meggs cartoonist and stand up comic, Jason Chatfield, has brought the Australian Girl characters to life with his humorous and lively cartoons that serves to enhance the reading experience.

Rose Inserra is an internationally published author of over 60 children’s books on a range of topics – from library resource books to fiction and picture books.  Her olive grove, on the edge of the Victorian High Country, is home to wombats, echidnas, kangaroos, many types of birds, amphibians and reptiles. Rose has been listed in ‘Notable Australian Children’s Books’ and the ‘Environment Award for Children’s Literature in Australia’.

When she is not writing books, Rose runs writing workshops, travels to writing conferences and inspires people to write their books as a writing coach and editor.

Available from all good bookstores or buy online now. Australian Girl Series 2 Book set also available: includes The Rainbow Necklace, Amy and the Wilpena Flood and Annabelle and the Missing Turtles.

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