All we need is love and books in Sunshine


    By Hazel Lekkas

    Sunshine is not synonymous with authors of books, let alone best-selling ones. And it does not have to be. I mean, geez, Sunshine does not even have a children’s bookstore to call its own. I think it should be mandatory for all suburbs to establish a charming children’s book store along with schools, places of worship, sports facilities, and other must-have amenities. There’s no feeling that matches skipping out of a book store into the sunshine, rosy-cheeked, clutching a brand-new picture book to take home. 

    As I have recently taken up children’s book publishing (The Little Hardware Shop was released in January 2023), I have discovered children’s books written by the hand of Sunshiners have in fact taken pride of place on bookshelves. I naively thought I was the first. So who are these authors who live or have lived in the suburb once called Braybrook Junction? 

    Stella Tzobanakis authored Creforce: The ANZACS and the Battle of Crete, for young readers aged 10 and above. The book contains accounts of brave soldiers and civilians who became heroes helping to defend Crete against Nazi Germany. For a read closer to home, Jess Tsigros’s We Live In A Caravan, for children 3 and up, is based on her experience travelling around Australia with her family. 

    Chrissie Davies has published Love Me Love My ADHD and Love Your Brain as well as other resources. Chrissie’s mission has been to assist children, aged 5-12 years, along with their families and educators, navigate the challenges and celebrate the strengths of attention deficit hyperactive disorder. Chrissie is a trauma informed educator, consultant, and guest speaker as a child behaviour specialist. 

    From the brain within to the natural world around us, local authors Megan Anderson, Sara Saunders and Jessica Gerger have written books to drive social change. Anderson’s series Let’s Change The World, include the books Clean Energy, Zero Waste, Slow Fashion and Community Spirit. Saunders wrote There Once Was an Orangutan with a message about the importance of looking after our feathered and furry friends. Gerger’s Mrs Ticklebottom and the Plastic Problem is based on a theatre play which she created and performed and stems from her voluntary work maintaining the health of Kororoit Creek which meanders its way through Sunshine. 

    Sadly, around the time I discovered an author who once lived in Sunshine, she left us all to tickle the ribs of those in otherworldly places late in 2023. Cal Wilson, radio and television presenter and comedian, penned George and the Great Bum Stampede followed by George and the Great Brain Swappery, both sharing the fictional Pepperton family’s chaotic adventures and mishaps. 

    There you have it. As a first-time author, I am chuffed to be in good company among the Sunshiners, former and current, whose words fill the pages of children’s books. These books shine a light on the brave, the adventurers, the neurodivergent, the odd, the environmental activists, and the wholesomeness of the everyday person. What more could you ask from a children’s book author? 

    And it is not about how many books Sunshiners have published or whether they are highly acclaimed; it comes down to the fact they have all been penned with love by Sunshine’s quiet achievers for future young readers. 

    Apologies if I have missed a Sunshiner who has laid words on the pages of a published book. If you know of an author, please contact me. 

    Instagram: hazel_lekkas_author

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