I was born in Scotland and I spent my early years there before immigrating to Australia with my family. I now live in Sydney, Australia with my husband, John. I have a son, James, who is a Senior Solutions Architect in Networking in New York and a daughter, the TV and film actress, Tasneem Roc.
I was a primary school teacher and later a Special Needs teacher for a number of years before becoming a Teacher-Librarian which I particularly loved. I enjoyed imparting the joy and love of books and exciting the students in reading as well as developing their critical research and ITL skills and strategies. I have taught in a number of Sydney schools and in Guildford, England during my husband’s sabbatical at Surrey University.
I began writing books for children when my own children were born and I have continued writing in my spare time ever since. Now I am the author, co-author and editor of more than 50 books for children and teachers including picture books, early readers and non-fiction books.
I love teaching young children and writing books for them to enjoy and to help them to find out about themselves and the world around them. Most of my picture books are written in a light-hearted and amusing way but deal with important themes like loneliness, friendship, family and belonging. I love writing about animals and many of my non-fiction books are about animals and the environment.
Jellybean Goes to School (Tamarind Books, Random House) is my latest picture book and I wrote it after many years of teaching children in their first week of school and asking them what they felt, what they wanted to learn and what they thought school was all about. I enjoyed writing about Jellybean so much that I am hoping to write more books with Jellybean as the main character.
Over the years I have had an ongoing collaboration with my friend, author and editor, Kathleen Hawke and we have written many books together. Our books Australia's Critically Endangered Animals and Australia's Deadly and Dangerous Animals and Plants (Heinemann) are on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge, a literacy initiative designed to promote reading to children.
I am a member of The Australian Society of Authors, The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, The Children’s Book Council of Australia and The NSW Writers’ Centre.
MA(Syd); MA(UWS); BA(Syd); DipEd(Syd); GradDip Inf(UTS)