Author Archives: belinda

Teaching for Children in Isolation: Anzac Ted Resources

In this difficult time of self-isolation, knowledge is a powerful tool.Anzac Ted Front Cover High Res

This website provides a myriad of learning resources and activities for both teachers and parents of children being homeschooled. Resources for Anzac Ted are available now for this Anzac Day, 26th April.

For Teaching Resources click here.


Belinda x

Introducing my new book – ‘Once, I was Loved’

Once I was Loved High Res

“Sometimes, the voices from the past are yearning to be heard.”

So excited to be working with EK Books once again, to launch my much-awaited second book, Once, I was Loved.

Signing books at the Children's Bookshop Beecroft.

Signing books at the Children’s Bookshop Beecroft.

An old toy rabbit finds himself in a box of toys donated to charity. “But it wasn’t always this way,” Tock reflects sadly, “Once, I was loved.”

From World War II to Rock ‘n’ Roll, from the Moon Landing to the Hippie Movement and the birth of the Internet, this is the story of the children who loved Tock across the decades.

A celebration of the timelesss nature of love set against the backdrop of iconic moments of the 20th century, this heart-warming story will resonate with anyone who has ever cherished a childhood toy.

As for the idea behind Once, I was Loved, well as usual, it came to me when I least expected it.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being fascinated by toys. They call to me.

Despite Bill's appearance, he will always be my favourite toy.

Despite Bill’s appearance, he will always be my favourite toy.

I’ve always been fascinated in Op Shops and as I wandered the cluttered aisles, I ponder the stories behind so many pre-loved treasures. An old wooden rocking horse, a retro metallic robot, and a china-faced doll were all looking for new homes. As I sorted through the toy box, questions started tugging at my sleeve: How many children had these toys loved… and lost? What iconic moments in history had they seen? Whose hands – and hearts – had they held?

And the seed for Once, I was Loved was planted.

If you ask, most adults will freely – though somewhat sheepishly – admit to still owning a cherished childhood toy. I love that. After all, toys are a gentle reminder of the child in us all.

Belinda x



ANZAC DAY CENTENARY – 100 years since the Great War

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”


Today, on the ANZAC Day Centenary, we remember the efforts of not only the men but also the women who toiled alongside the soldiers during wartime. Whether these women were nurses at the front or stayed at home to literally “keep the home fires burning”, their role was just as important as those of the men they supported.

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This war mural (in colour) on the GrainCorp Silo painted by Melbourne artist Cam Scale, illustrates two women who, although separated by a century, remain inextricably linked by their role in the protection of our country.

The silo is a poignant reminder of the female influence during all wars, as Scale stated; it “would show the changing role of nursing and of women’s role in society and the military”. (Latrobe Valley Express, C. Webb)

Lest we forget.

Belinda x

‘Anzac Ted’ part of the 2017 ‘Anzac Stories: Behind the Pages’ exhibition

AnzacStories_blogheader_2016I’m thrilled beyond measure that Anzac Ted has been honoured with inclusion in the very special children’s war book exhibition, Anzac Stories: Behind the Pages!

The exhibition kicked off in Brisbane in February and is the brain-child of renowned New Zealand author, Maria Gill and will be displayed in libraries around Australia for the duration of 2017 and 2018. One of only 25 books to be featured from renowned Australian and New Zealand children’s book authors, Anzac Ted is certainly keeping hallowed company!

The exhibition covers some fabulous “behind the scenes” material regarding the research behind and making of a children’s war book. Including everything from pictures of original story boards to interviews with original ANZACS, if you only see one exhibition this year see this one! Incredibly moving and highly educational, this is something for the whole family including grandma and grandpa, so make sure you bring them along.

Look out for Anzac Stories: Behind the Pages Exhibition – and of course Anzac Ted – coming to a library near you! And don’t forget, Anzac Ted can be found at

Belinda x

2016 recap!

Ted debuting at the 2016 Abbotsleigh Literary Festival!

Ted debuting at the 2016 Abbotsleigh Literary Festival!

As promised, here’s my recap for 2016! And wow! What an incredible year it was, too!

February kicked off the year with Anzac Ted nominated for the prestigious 2016 Western Australian Young Readers’ Book Award. By April Anzac Ted had also been released in paperback in Australia and New Zealand!

After six months of research, June saw me start a new writing adventure into YA Fiction. I’d wanted to write this story for years and finally sat down to do it! Needless to say I love, love, love writing it and am looking forward to getting it “out there” in the near future.

Gorgeous student artwork during Book Week!

Gorgeous student artwork during Book Week!

August and September morphed from Book Week into Book Month as Anzac Ted and I took to the road and visited lots of schools and met lots of wonderful children, teachers and parents who all love books!

Love this portrait of Ted!

Love this portrait of Ted!

September came with the brilliant news that Anzac Ted had hit the “best seller” list. Ted and I were also asked to appear as guest speakers for EK Books at the 2016 SCBWI Australia and New Zealand Conference at the Menzies in Sydney.

Suffice to say, while I “stole” the microphone in the room my original Anzac Ted teddy bear stole the hearts!

Again in September  (it was a BIG month!) I was asked by the fabulous NZ author, Maria Gill, if I’d like Anzac Ted to take part in the 2017 Anzac Stories: Behind the Pages exhibition. Would I? Heck yes! This incredible exhibition kicks off in Brisbane in early 2017 so look out for it coming to a library near you!

Belinda x

Anzac Ted shortlisted for WA Young Readers’ Book Award 2016

Just how much excitement can a teddy really bear?

2016 WA Young Readers' Book Awards - some of the shortlisted titles

2016 WA Young Readers’ Book Awards – some of the shortlisted titles

I certainly don’t want to sound glib and I know it’s a tad clichéd but that was the question flying around in February, 2016 when Anzac Ted found himself rubbing shoulders – or should I say spines – with some of the best in Australian children’s literature. I am honoured to have my debut picture book, Anzac Ted, included in this illustrious list of exceptional children’s authors and illustrators and extend my heartiest congratulations to everyone mentioned. Of course special congratulations must go to Aaron Blabey for Pig The Fibber; winner of the Picture Book category.

For your own copy of Anzac Ted go to

Belinda x

Happy Book Week 2015!

Driving up and seeing this was a mega thrill!

Driving up and seeing this was a mega thrill!

Book Week has always been a red-letter week for me. Sadly, there was no such literary celebration when I was growing up in the 60s, but my children were luckier – books were finally being celebrated in schools – and I couldn’t be happier!

I remember the excitement building as the kids plotted and planned their costumes for the much-anticipated Book Week parade! The fabulous characters who paraded the playground while proud mums and dads clicked away on their cameras.

I remember being very impressed by a fabulous Pippi Longstocking, whose clever mum had “wired” her plaits so they stuck straight out from her head! I gasped with astonishment when The Wardrobe from C.S. Lewis’ imagination strutted her stuff (and deservedly took out First Prize) and I recall grinning like Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat when my daughter rated a Highly Commended for her Pirate Queen – swashbuckling boots, sword ‘n’ all!

Me with some of the Year 7s at The Ponds High School

Me with some of the Year 7s at The Ponds High School

Every year Book Week has been special for me – and this year even more so. This year saw my debut picture book, Anzac Ted, rubbing spines with some of the world’s most celebrated titles. I walked into five different schools this week; and every school had my book on its library shelves; it was a very special moment. Added to this was that I’d been asked to appear as guest author/illustrator, so by week’s end I’d met hundreds of children and dozens of teachers and books had connected us all.

One of the highlights for me was returning to my old primary school, Normanhurst West, which I attended from 1966 – 1972.

Reading Anzac Ted to the children at Normanhurst West

Reading Anzac Ted to the children at Normanhurst West

During my dash down memory lane I pointed out classrooms where I’d chanted times tables and trod the very same asphalt where I had learned the joys of progressive dancing under the sweltering Aussie sun.

I meandered past the old tuck shop where I’d occasionally experienced the heady heights of ordering my lunch: a hot meat pie dolloped with tomato sauce in a paper bag! I scuttled past the principal’s office which had echoed with the thwack of the cane in the 60s and 70s. And I told today’s generation about the virtues of “signing up to drink milk” which was a double-edged sword! Mostly it was cold, creamy and delicious, but since it was delivered in open crates and unrefrigerated, winter meant that your chilled fingers froze into a claw-like grip on the bottle. Added to that was the unhappy fact that summer had the tendency to morph the milk into yoghurt – but hey, we’d signed on the dotted line, so we were pledged to drink the stuff, regardless!

The kids at Brooklyn Public School brought in their own teddies - how sweet!

The kids at Brooklyn Public School brought in their own teddies – how sweet!

All in all it was a whirlwind week of words, pictures, smiles and laughter. I read my book, painted Anzac Ted “live” and ran workshops for budding young writers and illustrators. Perhaps most rewarding was when children approached me, some quite shyly, to tell me they had been inspired to write their own stories now.

So thank you to the wonderful students, teachers and parents from Normanhurst West, Riverbank, Cowan and Brooklyn Public Schools as well as The Ponds High School.

At Cowan Public School

At Cowan Public School

I hope, like me, you had the best Book Week ever!

Belinda x

100 Anzac Commemoration: 25 April, 2015

Anzac Ted bearOn the centenary of the first Anzac landing at Gallipoli, I felt I just needed to say something about this once-in-a-lifetime event and what it means to me.

As the author and illustrator of Anzac Ted, I have had both the privilege and honour to be invited to numerous schools and preschools in the lead up to 25 April and speak to hundreds of children and teachers about my book. And it has been an incredibly moving and eye-opening experience for me.

I have sat beside Australian war veterans bearing a weighty array of service medals on their breast pockets. I have had hundreds of children listen to me speak and then ask countless questions prompted by my book. I have watched in breathless silence as wreaths were laid, songs from a world long past were sung and tales of our first Anzacs were told.

But over and above all, I have been struck by the depth of respect, pride and awe – both here and overseas – which has been woven into the very fabric of our lives for those who have gone before and sacrificed so much.

And this is not restricted to our soldiers but to their families as well who – in many respects – may have suffered just as much as their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons have. After all, they were left behind, not knowing the fate of their loved ones and yet they found the courage and strength to roll up their sleeves, lift up their chins and keep the home fires burning.

As an Australian who has inherited the legacy of the sacrifice of these men and women, both past and present, I am truly grateful. I have always considered myself lucky to live in The Lucky Country, but only now am I beginning to understand what that really means.

The 100 Anzac Commemoration has inspired a deeply moving and patriotic Australian spirit which has surpassed anything I have ever witnessed. People have come together, bound by gratitude and respect for our troops and their families. And while every Anzac Day is special, perhaps this one is more so because it has kindled the knowledge that not only are we tied indelibly to each other through our own unique history – but that we are seeing history in the making.

So, long may the Anzac legacy continue to strengthen us as a united and grateful nation. Long may we acknowledge the terrible costs of war and of defending our hard fought democracy. Long may we continue to pursue peace and in so doing, acknowledge those men and women who are prepared to defend that pursuit on our behalf.

In the words of renowned WW1 journalist Charles Bean: “They gave their shining youth and raised, thereby, valour’s monument which cannot die.”

Lest we forget.

Belinda x