After walking in the Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa five years ago, I sat at a table in a remote village called Natures Valley, drinking Rooibos tea with extended family. As part of the conversation, my husband’s Aunt Moiragh uttered the words, ‘Who knows what lies beyond that garden gate…’ I cannot remember the context of what we were talking about, but the phrase stuck- I wrote it down and brought it back with me to Australia. That phrase sparked an idea which grew into the picture book manuscript ‘Beyond Our Garden Gate.’ This story follows a day in the life of a young boy and his sister and their delight in exploring the natural world.
The themes are simple and gentle and I hope children will be inspired with the delights of nature play as they follow Tom and Molly’s imagination game through the Australian bush.
When I wrote the story I visualised a place close to my heart- on a farm in the sleepy town of Denmark in Western Australia. It was very exciting to see how the illustrator of this story, Irene King visualised the pages when she visited with some preliminary pictures early last year. I am looking forward to seeing this story come to life in June (Publisher: Wild Eyed Press).