Sydney and the Sea Monster
In 1979 I was lucky enough to spend five months working in Antarctica.
Sydney and the Sea Monster began when, years later, I revisited notebook drawings I had made returning from McMurdo Sound by sea to New Zealand.
Somewhere out in that vast black ocean we steamed past a desolate surf-battered needle of rock and suddenly the air and sea around our ship was full of thousands of birds.
Researching later I decided that rock must have been part of the Auckland Islands and reading about the wildlife and sad human history of that region I discovered Sydney, a rockhopper penguin and on an old sea chart, a sea monster that looked suspiciously like a whale dressed up.
Sydney spies trouble
The Whaler appears
Sydney and The Sea Monster won the Honour Book Award in the Picture Book category of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards in 2000.
Sydney and the Whalebird
Sometimes, once you have given life to characters, their world and their personalities continue to accumulate around them . They go about their lives on the edge on your imagination, in a world of which you have only shown a slice.
Somewhere along the line Sydney came up with his 'super-whale-powered nest-builder' and I knew I’d have to rescue him and Bill again.
The whalebird in trouble
The Adventures of Sydney Penguin
Random House combined both Sydney stories into a single soft cover edition in 2007. This book has proved so popular that Flying Whale Books republished!
Buy in-store or here online.