Kathy Littlemore Loves
"Shaped by Global Influences"
People from all around the world have always influenced my thoughts, stretched my imagination and indulged my love of reading, writing, travel and food from a young age. Aerograms arrived regularly from England throughout my childhood, introducing me to the deliciously romantic word, “abroad”, and injected me with the travel bug. Living in the sugar cane growing region of far North Queensland meant my schoolmates were Italian, Greek and Chinese. Some entered school incredibly frightened as they did not speak English. As a young bride, our neighbours were from Finland. Amazing aromas wafted from Marie’s kitchen, but she confided that she had not one word of English when she arrived in Australia.
"Discovers Illiteracy in Outback Australia"
It was not until we were living in the Outback, that I became acutely aware that I had never given a great deal of thought to how our migrants deal with their new lives. My own grandparents had been migrants, so it was an embarrassing revelation. Shamefully, I observed social isolation, loneliness and depression, particularly of migrant women. Our harsh environment seems to have hardened us to the feelings of newcomers. My husband employed professional migrants for their outstanding skills, work ethic and their courage to leave the big cities behind. With them came highly educated wives, floundering in the unknown. My heart went out to them. Together, we explored library shelves, looking for good picture books by Australian authors, the supermarket and life in a small remote town. We became firm friends.
It was also in the Outback that I learned migrants with English as their second language, are not the only ones struggling with the English language. Our mature neighbour was illiterate. And I was asked by the local secondary school to supervise a year 12 exam and read the exam paper to the student as he could not read! Emailing the Prime Minister of the time did not solve the issue so I resolved as a children’s picture book author to write books that bring the joy of reading to reluctant readers while helping migrants understand our quintessential Aussie traits and customs. ABC Bunyip Saves the Big Black Boogie Swamp introduces our Australian monster, the bunyip and is the first in a series of children’s picture books.
They're A Weird Mob
Little has changed since the 1960s when John O’Grady captured the essence of our Aussie soul and took a humourous and irreverent poke at the plight of an Italian migrant, Nino Culotta, trying to make sense of our slang, culture and social rituals so he could fit into everyday life in his new home. They’re A Weird Mob still describes us perfectly. My Dad absolutely loved this book. Aimed at a different age group, I hope my children’s picture books make a difference so that today’s migrants find transitioning into the Australian lifestyle somewhat easier than Nino Culotta did. And that Aussie kids learn to love reading, no matter where they came from.
About Kathy Littlemore
"Good Books Change Lives"
Hello. I am Kathy Littlemore and I have had my nose in a book since my first visit to the public library aged two.
Good books always topped my preferred Christmas and birthday gift lists. And really, nothing has changed.
My love of words lead me first to writing non fiction about travel, photography and fishing. Okay it is debatable whether fishing stories are fiction or non fiction.
It was a quantum leap to writing a children’s picture book, but what amazing fun it has been. As a children’s picture book author I am fortunate to influence young and not so young minds with my own creations beginning with ABC Bunyip Saves the Big Black Boogie Swamp.
About ABC Bunyip
What is a Bunyip?
ABC Bunyip got really upset when he learned that not everyone knows what a bunyip is.
Bunyips have a reputation to uphold, especially those from the Big Black Boogie Swamp where he lives. He dried his tears and took some deep breathes and decided to explain.
A bunyip is an Australian monster that lives in the inland waterways of Australia. Bunyips are part of Aboriginal legend and are said to make really scary noises at night, and their favourite dinner is humans! According to Wikipedia, the word “bunyip” has been traced back to the Wemba Wemba Aboriginal people of Victoria.
Are Bunyips Real?
Back in 1847, a skull retrieved from the banks of the Murrumbidgee River near Balranald in south western New South Wales was exhibited at the Australian Museum in Sydney. It was credited by local Aboriginals as being the skull of a Bunyip.Later, on the other side of the world, British scientists disproved this identification. Were they right?
My friend ABC Bunyip
lives in the Big Black Boogie Swamp in Outback Australia. And just so you know … he is vegetarian! It is safe to keep reading. I think I already mentioned that he is Australia’s favourite monster!
About Read ~ Connect ~ Create
About Read ~ Connect ~ Create
Kathy registered her business name Read ~ Connect ~ Create to reflect her belief that if you read good books, they help you connect to your community and your community will inspire you to create an amazing life.
Our bookshop and blog bear the name.