Category: Children

A Good Story – Sand Island

My first “published” writing was an Enid Blyton, Famous Five-style adventure story, Sand Island, in 1972. I wrote the story and illustrated it with textas. My aunt, the only one in our family who owned a typewriter, typed up the manuscript. And my father helped bind and cover the book. I was ten-years-old.

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Love Being a Dad

Life began at forty for me. Obviously, I’d had a life before my fortieth. I’d travelled and lived overseas, changed careers (several times), got married (once), bought cars and property, and owned a dog. But the birth of my son in 2002 changed everything for me. And I learned the joy of being a dad.

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The Gift of 1000 Pencils

It was my birthday recently. My brother and sister-in-law gave me a charity gift of 1000 pencils to be sent by Unicef to children in need to help further their education. The gift reminded me of my backpacking days, travelling in East Africa, and being beset by kids begging for pens and pencils.

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Sixteen Xmas Memories

Unlike my son, born in the era of digital cameras and phones, there are few photos of me from my childhood years and fewer of me as a teenager. I have one with my mother and two brothers, taken on Xmas Day 1978 when I was a surly long-haired sixteen-year-old. *Gulp*, my son is sixteen this Xmas!

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Can I Pat That Dog?

When my son was a five-year-old, I gave a talk at his child care centre called, Can I Pat That Dog? I based it on a book of the same title written by Susan McLaine. And though it’s over ten years since that visit and my “little boy” now towers over me, I still highly recommend the book.

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My First Book

To celebrate International Literacy Day 2017, Penguin Books Australia asked on Facebook: What is the first book you remember reading? I don’t remember my first book, but it must have been a Sooty or Joe 90 Annual — I still have the former, but sadly the latter has long since gone missing.

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Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl

A pleasant memory from 2013 popped up in my Facebook timeline the other day. It was a comment I’d made in response to a post by the Sydney Writers’ Festival on a “fantastic find” in Sappho Books, Glebe, a treasured secondhand copy of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox. 

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Published March 2020

This slim book is hard to put down. And the only regret we may feel after reading it is that we reached the end too quickly! ~ Denise O'Hagan

Both Sides of the Story by Robert Fairhead
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There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~ Maya Angelou

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