Book Giveaway!

What is your favourite childhood memory? Some of mine are running through sprinklers, sunnyboys and razzes, and bonfires with fireworks celebrating Guy Fawkes day. The prolific, talented Tania McCartney delves delightfully into Aussie childhoods in her latest book.


An Aussie Year: Twelve Months in the Life of Australian Kids by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling

(Oct 2013, EK Publishing, $19.99, hard cover, 9781921966248)


Meet Ned, Lily, Zoe, Kirra and Matilda––three Aussie kids keen to take you on a journey through a year in the life of Australian children, from cultural celebrations to traditions and events, to our everyday way of life.

An Aussie Year is a picture book bursting with national pride. It is a snapshot of who we are as a nation, covering our melting-pot culture, lifestyle and traditions. Its pages feature trailing, meandering text, dates and gorgeous illustrations showing our five Aussie children at play, at school, at home, enjoying their homeland––from the tropical north to our rugged west.

Trailing through the seasons and idiosyncrasies endemic to each month of the year, this is Our Australian Childhood.

Tania McCartney Sept 2013 Aphoto Tina Snerling






Tania McCartney is a book-obsessed author, editor, reviewer, photographer, traveller, mum of two and wife of one. She simply adores words and paper—and would ingest them if she could (though she’ll settle for a good coffee). She frequently flits around cyberspace but can also be seen visiting schools and libraries, running workshops, reading to kids or pushing tomes onto unsuspecting shoppers in bookshops. Tania lives in Canberra, but would like to live inside a book.

Tina Snerling is a designer, illustrator, artist, web designer, seamstress and mum. She adores Paris, fabric, design and paper. She lives a very illustrated life—one day she’s creating children’s books, the next she’s creating websites (in between the washing and school lunches!). She’s the type who has a notebook by her bed because most good ideas happen when you’re supposed to be sleeping. She lives in Brisbane with her two gorgeous poppets and one gorgeous husband.


To be in the running to win a copy of this gorgeous book, simply leave a comment telling us your favourite Aussie childhood memory… Entries close 5pm Tuesday 19 November.

Join Ned, Zoe, Lily, Kirra and Matilda on this journey around the webosphere, from 21 October to 21 November. There will be reviews, sneak peeks, guest posts and lots of fabulous giveaways including some publishing opps! See the entire tour schedule right here


Visit the An Aussie Year website ( to meet all the characters from the book, see updates and behind-the-scenes work. There are also some Fun Activities for kids.



25 thoughts on “Book Giveaway!

  1. dishonfj says:

    I loved running around with all the kids in the neighbourhood, being outside all the time, riding our bikes, making cubby houses. I also loved how we had so many mums and dads looking over us, and if we were naughty anyones mum could tell us off and we would listen, whilst if we fell and her ourselves anyones mum would come to our rescue. It was a supported and secured childhood, full of fun and carefree days.

  2. Alison Reynolds says:

    Oh Karly, no fences between neighbours would have been my dream. All that area to run with my friends. You sound as if you had a very happy childhood.


  3. Alison Reynolds says:

    Oh, Helen, I bet those mud pies were scrumptious. Those dads really are special. My dad cut two branches of the plum tree shorter so I could rest a plank of wood across there and have a stage coach/carriage/train. My friends and I specialised in fish and chips – dirt wrapped up in newspaper. If only you had lived by, then you could have provided the dessert!

  4. Alison Reynolds says:

    Sharon, that is such a lovely memory. I particularly liked hearing about your father and his insistence on a wattle tree. Smell can be so evocative. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Karly says:

    No one in the neighbourhood had fences so we’d flit between each other’s houses. Mum never knew exactly where we were but guaranteed we were safe.

  6. Helen Ross says:

    I have many wonderful childhood memories, but one that often comes to mind is playing mud pies in my cowboy and Indian tepee that dad bought my sister and I. I would make scrumptious mud pies then dad would put us in the wheelbarrow and push us around the back yard.

  7. Sharon McGuinness says:

    Waking up early on Christmas morning, excitedly digging through one of Mum’s no longer used stockings which were full of interesting yet inexpensive surprises. The unwritten rule was then to make our parents a cup of tea, while they ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ over our new treasures. Finally we were allowed to enter the lounge room, with it’s door firmly closed. Opening it revealed not only what ‘Santa’ had delivered but the scent of the wattle Christmas tree my father insisted on each year. Since those days I can’t smell a wattle tree without again remembering those lovely Christmases.

  8. Alison Reynolds says:

    Oh Mary, you make me laugh. I could just see the fussy father choosing the tree and then all you children being smother home in the car! What a precious memory.

  9. Alison Reynolds says:

    LadyTiffany Of Glencoe, you sound a nature lover from an early age. I love the image of you waiting, patiently, observing the wildlife.

  10. Alison Reynolds says:

    I think you’re owed one sausage by an emu! I remember the first time I saw snow that I cut my finger on it. Such a let down when something you’ve looked forward to goes awry.

  11. Alison Reynolds says:

    Diana, what a fabulous memory. I bet the shampoo made it extra exciting, not to mention slippery.
    And how much fun was it when the adults joined in!

  12. Alison Reynolds says:

    Jodie, you sound a thrill seeker. I bet you could jump out of that billy cart quickly, when you neared the creek. I love hearing about the sense of freedom that you enjoyed.

  13. Alison Reynolds says:

    Oh Robert, these mothers that would interrupt us from our play!
    You played cricket in most illustrious company.
    My dad would have most of the street kids out playing his own version of French cricket.
    He would make up the rules a bit to get the older/better kids out, so that we could all get a hit. Under eight – you couldn’t get out on first bat.

  14. Alison Reynolds says:

    Serge, your childhood sounds idyllic. We used to play football and French cricket on the road and I always had to race off onto the nature strip when the cry went up, “Car!” A cul-de-sac would have been wonderful.

  15. Alison Reynolds says:

    Peter, your mother sounds a very smart woman! She could have hired you out to the neighbours. I love your snapshot of an English childhood. And I love how so many of the things are reoccurring albeit in slightly different forms, in your life today.

  16. Mary Preston says:

    Every Christmas we would go with our Father to “hunt” for the perfect Christmas tree. We would climb through barb wire fences & trample for ages. My Father was so fussy. With his axe he would chop down the tree HE had chosen. Going back home in the car we would be practically smothered by the tree IN the car. My Mother would have an old paint tin, covered in last years old Christmas wrapping paper, ready for the tree to stand in. It was a time honoured ritual before we even began to decorate.

  17. Diana O says:

    The home made slip and slide Dad made for us that ran the length of our enormous back yard. We had so much fun playing on it, made all the more better when my uncle came over and covered it in shampoo, then the grown ups all joined in the fun as well.

  18. Jodie McAlister says:

    Being out from lunch till dinner and empowered to roam free. I remember riding a home made go cart down the hill and having to stop or abandon cart before the creek. The only rule was be home by dinner!

  19. Robert Vescio says:

    Playing cricket! I went to primary school with Allan Border’s nephew.

    Also, I remember getting scolded by my mother for not eating my sandwiches. All I wanted to do was play!

  20. Serge Smagarinsky says:

    I grew up on a relatively quiet cul-de-sac. Even though the neighbourhood kids (my brother and I included) were from a diverse range of backgrounds and ages, I remember the days when we would all get together after school and share the common language of play. Whether it was the games of hide and seek, creating a whirlpool in someone’s pool or blocking off the street for a game of cricket, those were some seriously fun afternoons.

  21. Peter Taylor says:

    I grew up as an only child in England, but my memories may be similar to those experienced by, well, some Australians.

    As soon as I could crawl, my mother put a duster in my hand so that I could dust the stairs as I shuffled down on my back-side – and then I was allowed to explore our small garden with no apparent supervision for what felt like extensive periods of time. It was wonderful. Until it was getting dark, I was encouraged to dig holes …to get to Australia. ‘Am I nearly there, yet?’ ‘No, keep digging!’ It probably made me sleep well. When just fractionally older I was allowed to build fires between a couple of bricks to cook mud pies and ‘things’ wrapped in green leaves on a piece of tin placed over the top. I can’t remember if I lit them or my parents did, but I remember the smells.

    We didn’t own a TV until I was about 8. As soon as I could ride a bicycle I was allowed to go to the local stream for half a day by myself. I’d wade in, pull out weeds and rinse them in a pie dish of water to see what crawled out.

    I think my parents would be thought to be ‘negligent’ today, but I consider i had the perfect childhood with freedom to be creative and self-reliant.

    Today, I paint leafy page borders that include insects and my enthusiasms still include gardening, ecology and I can cook edible meals. And I feel extremely deprived that I can no longer light bonfires in my suburban Brisbane back yard.

    I look forward to reading a copy of this book, and hope it sells heaps.

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