Tapir All at Sea

Last week, appropriately enough on World Book Day too, Mango and Bambang’s second set of adventures; ‘Tapir All at Sea’ was published.

Red stripes and sailor hats, Flamenco dancing and a Museum of the Unusual; not to mention a noodle salad coated diamond ring on a tapir’s bottom- I am very proud of this book. Clara’s illustrations are purest JOY, especially those that introduce a small new friend for Bambang. I do hope you like it too.

Any new book celebrations, school assemblies and events were put on hold however following heartbreak for my family. My dear, funny, talented and above all kind 21 year old nephew lost his brief battle with cancer. I flew to Sydney, to be with my sister and the rest of his immediate family and friends, for the beginning of our learning-to-be-without him. We are all at sea.

In the midst of our devastation, large and small acts of kindness inspired, I like to think, by Elliott’s own, made and continue to make a difference for those left behind. Friends brought meals, provided haircuts, baked for a thousand funeral guests, sang for him, spoke and wrote moving words for him, and now organise fundraisers and think of fitting acts of remembrance.

While I was away, my friends here rallied to help look after my boys and sent daily messages of comfort and distraction (including pictures of Tapir All at Sea in bookshops- correctly assessing even grief-felled authors have egos to massage). Clara waved a stripy flag for two on Twitter and blog.

And I have felt hugged just like this. And I am grateful.



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