Wednesday 15 May marks the International Day of Families 2019. Six of our Fremantle Press children’s authors share below the best thing about their families.
The best thing about our family is that we love doing stuff together. We love playing board games together, going bushwalking together, exploring together, and reading on the couch together too. One of the best things about my family is when we’re being courageous together, because that helps me feel brave enough to be courageous on my own too.
While I was growing up, the best thing about my family was that I have three younger brothers, Ian, Bruce and Colin – the perfect cast for a variety of adventures. There was always someone to have a swordfight with when we were playing D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers. Robin Hood’s Merrie Men of Sherwood Forest were instantly available, and there were always cowboys and Indians available when we wanted to have a Wild West shootout. We fired on regiments of imaginary soldiers, and tramped across imaginary deserts wearing caps with hankies on the back like the French Foreign Legion. Our days were filled with make-believe adventures among the hills and bush of Kalamunda, and in spite of many massacres and regularly trying to skewer each other, all these years later we remain the very best of friends.
H.M. Waugh, author of The Lost Stone of SkyCity
The best thing about my family is that we are awesome at camping! We’ve got the teeniest tiniest little off-road camper, and we’ve had some amazing adventures in it (including six months going around Australia washing reusable nappies ALL THE WAY. How’s that for commitment!). We’ve camped in long-abandoned townsites, on the tops of freezing plateaus, in mosquito-infested crocodile country, on the edges of beaches, and in the middle of towering gorges. Wherever we are and wherever we’re heading, we just love camping.
One of my favourite things about my family is how large it is. On my mum's side of the family, my grandma has eight children, 26 grandchildren, and 33 great-grandchildren, which means that with partners, our Christmas celebrations can easily have up to 100 people! It makes for a very busy and noisy night (with a groaning food table), but I love the chaos, excitement and support that a huge family brings and I wouldn't have it any other way. This is a picture of the family from my grandma's ninetieth last year – and it isn’t everyone.
My family are scattered all over the world – England, Italy, the USA, Australia, Myanmar and other places in between. It’s very rare for us to be in the same time zone, let alone the same city. But that doesn’t stop us from organising a group singalong! We’re all learning the same song on the ukulele and, next month, we’re going to do a big group Skype session so we can play and sing it at the same time. Did I mention none of us are anything close to professional musicians? So, perhaps the best thing about my family is our ability to laugh at ourselves. Also, collective ukuleleing. That has to count for something, right?
I haven’t got anything funny or witty to say … the best thing about my family is that it’s relatively new. My wife and I get to experience the world fresh through our son’s eyes. It means we’ve had to slow down a lot and live in the moment more. We also get an excuse to buy lots more children’s books.
Books by all of these authors are available at all good bookstores or online at www.fremantlepress.com.au, with the exception of The Lost Stone of SkyCity, which is out in October.