Sharing her passion with young readers

Caroline Tuohey reading to children from one of her books at the Narrandera Library.

Narrandera children had the chance to hear the works of an internationally awarded author – straight from the author herself.

Writer, bush poet and cotton farmer Caroline Tuohey visited the Narrandera Library on Monday to read to some eager listeners from her award-winning books Climb and Forest Wonder. Children from Bright Horizons Daycare came to the library to hear Ms Tuohey’s stories, while other children were brought by parents and grandparents.

While waiting for some of the listeners to arrive, Ms Tuohey asked the children questions about themselves. As it turned out that two guests had just turned four, it was the order of the day to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice.

“I was happy to come over and do a story time session in the holidays; I have a lovely connection to Narrandera,” said Ms Tuohey. “It all started with the bush poetry, with the John O’Brien Festival. I have a great respect for all the people in Narrandera.

“I have such wonderful support for all the people here and I try to attend John O’Brien every year and be a part of that excitement.

“The children’s picture books are another passion that I have. Because I write in rhyme, it marries well with the bush poetry.”

In addition to her children’s books, Ms Tuohey has also released a book of verse, Riverina Rain and other poems, which is available for purchase on her website.

“My first book, Climb, was written in 2013, and Forest Wonder was written in 2015, but they are still going strong and kids enjoy reading them.”

Ms Tuohey’s second book, Forest Wonder, won the Children’s Picture Book Softcover Fiction section of the 2016 International Book Awards, and placed second in the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards. Both competitions are based in the US.

“I live between Darlington Point and Carrathool on the plains, and we grow cotton.

“I do story times and school visits as time permits; I hold workshops at schools. I was very fortunate to run a series here in late 2017 that was funded through one of the local arts councils on writing for children.

“I have a new book coming out in February. It’s about to go to the printers. It’s about a dad who goes to beauty school.”

The newest book, titled Boof Goes to Beauty School, will be aimed at a slightly older audience than Ms Tuohey usually writes for. Her first two books are for children aged 0-6, while her newest book will be aimed at 0-8 year olds.

“Writing is something I do as a part-time activity, but it’s an absolute passion. I just love it,” Ms Tuohey said.

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