Dog Tales

Author Rodda, Emily

Illustrator Dawson,Janine

Item Code 8594691

Product Type Book

Format Paperback

ISBN 9781760664015

Series Dog Tales


  • Description
  • Details
  • About Author
  • About Illustrator

The Dolan Street dogs were Max 1, Max 2, Barney, Scruffy, Gina and Mavis. Mavis was actually a goat, but she did not know this, and none of the others liked to tell her...
Life for the Dolan Street dogs is not all lying around watching 'Dog Hospital'. It can be very exciting. Take 'The Haunting', for example, or 'The Night the Burglars Came'. And what about 'Barney's Magic'?

Genre: Animal Stories Subject: Pets Reading Level: Upper Primary, Middle Primary School Year: Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6 Ages: 8 to 12 Page Count: 224
Emily Rodda

Where were you born? Where do you live now?
I was born in Roseville, on Sydney's North Shore. Now I live in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, in a place that, strangely enough, is surrounded by bush and so is very like the place where I was born.

Where did you go to school?
I went to many schools in my infants and primary years. I started school at Roseville Public, NSW. Then my family moved to Melbourne, so I spent a year at East Ivanhoe School in Victoria. After that, we moved back to Sydney and I was at East Lindfield Public School for years 2–4. I spent years 5 and 6 at Artarmon Opportunity School, an amazing experience. My high school years were at Abbotsleigh School in Wahrongah, Sydney. The principal there was Ms Betty Archdale, a wonderful, independent, outspoken woman who had a great influence on my later life. 

Did you have a nickname?
As my real name is 'Jennifer', my friends at school always called me 'Jenny'.

What were you like in school?
I was a 'good', hardworking student, who usually obeyed the rules, but I hated Maths and often daydreamed during those classes.

What is the naughtiest thing you did?
When I first started school, if I got bored I'd just leave and walk home. I didn't realise that wasn't something you should do.

What was your favourite book growing up?
I loved the Faraway Tree books by Enid Blyton and The Wind and the Willows by Kenneth Graham. Later, it was Anne of Green Gables by LM Montogomery. When I was really little, my favourite book was Pookie the Rabbit with Wings.

Who is your favourite children’s author?
So hard to say. Roald Dahl? He's brilliant.

What is your favourite food/colour/movie?
My favourite colour is red. I can't decide on my favourite food or movie.

Who inspired you to write?
I think Enid Blyton inspired me to write, because I loved her books so much when I was in years 3 and 4; and I wanted to be like her.
How did you get started?
I told my first child (Kate) a bedtime story, and later wrote it down and sent it to a publisher. The story (Something Special) was accepted and then published with illustrations by Noela Young. The next year it won the CBCA Junior Children's Book of the Year award and that encouraged me to go on and write more books.

How old were you?
In my early thirties.

Why did you want to be a writer?
Because I loved to read and I thought nothing would be better than to be a writer like the ones who had brought me so much pleasure.

How do you think up ideas?
Usually I just take the things I know or have heard about and imagine a story around them.

Do you have a special place where you write?
Yes. I have a desk in a rom with a view of our garden.

What is the best thing about being a writer?
The fun of creating stories and getting to know my characters. For me, writing is very like reading. Pure pleasure. If it were possible, I'd do nothing else.

Have you had any funny or embarrassing moment as a writer?
When I was writing action scenes in Deltora Quest I would sometimes 'act out' the fights, sitting in my chair. It was very embarrassing if anyone saw me doing it!
What do you do when you are not writing?
Mainly I look after my grandson Raffy, or work in my garden, or read.

What would you have chosen to be if you were not a writer?
Before I was a full-time writer, I was a publisher and also an editor who worked on other people's books. I enjoyed that very much, but I enjoy writing more!

Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?

Charles Dickens?

Website/blog details

Janine Dawson

Where were you born? Where do you live now?

I was born in Manly, NSW, and I currently live in Fairlight, NSW, just up the hill from Manly ... so you could say I haven’t strayed very far in life :)

Where did you go to school?
I went to Primary school just down the road from where I live, Manly West Public School. My Dad, Aunt and Uncle went there, I went there and my daughter went there.

In High School I went to Wenona at North Sydney. Very posh. I was totally out of place.

Did you have a nickname?
In High School, I was called 'Whacka' and my best friend was called 'Bluey', after a comic strip I made at the time, that I called 'Whacka and Bluey'.

What were you like in school?
I danced to my own tune. I guess I was the weird kid. I was plump with glasses and bands on my teeth, and I was into the Goons, Punch and New Yorker cartoons, I loved my clarinet, I’d draw cartoons and make my own comic strips. Loved Noel Coward. Watched all the British Comedy on TV, memorised Marty Feldman skits, wanted to be on the Mavis Bramston Show when I grew up ... I guess that makes me a NERD.

What is the naughtiest thing you did?
I had undiagnosed ADHD, I was always TRYING to do the right thing, but was seen as being constantly in trouble and messing up. It was very frustrating.

What was your favourite book growing up?
As a primary school kid, right from the word 'go' I LOVED One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Then in High School, it very definitely A Century of Punch, a lovely collection of Punch Cartoons up until the 1950’s when the book was published. I love these two books — even now — and look at them frequently.

Who is your favourite children’s author?
Definitely A.A. Milne. I love his gentle use of words.

What is your favourite food/colour/movie?
My favourite food is Vegetarian Chinese and Vegetarian Thai food.
My favourite colour,…is green…oh, to see the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz!!
My favourite movie is…The Wizard of Oz :)

Who inspired you to illustrate?
Initially it was Mort Drucker, Don Martin, Paul Coker Jnr, Sergio Aragones and all those clever, clever people in the MAD Magazines that my brother would bring home.

Then it was PONT (Punch magazine),  E.H. Shepard, George Herriman (Krazy Kat) and Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes).

How did you get started?
As far back as I can remember, I drew and was attracted to colour, design, character. I may well have drawn on the walls in the womb ... so I’d have to say I’ve been drawing all my life. I never really ‘got started’ as it were, rather just ‘continued’...

I got my first job as an animation cell painter for Gwyn Perkins studio, Filims. I remained in Animation for many years working here and overseas, before moving over to Children's Book Illustration when traditional hand drawn 2D animation was gasping its last breath and computer people took over from artists.

How old were you?
I started in animation when I was 17, moving to Children’s Book Illustration in my late 30s.

Why did you want to be an illustrator?

I’ve always been ‘drawn’ to it ... pun intended :)

How do you think up ideas?

Having ADHD, my brain is switched on all the time ... so ideas about LOTS of things are always coming into my head. I am very observant and I see ideas and situations and characters in all sorts of areas of my everyday life

Practically anything and everything gives me ideas. I think visually.

Do you have a special place where you illustrate?
I just have a desk in the corner of my bedroom where I draw and illustrate. I live in a very small flat. I can use my bed behind me as an extra surface. When she was little, sometimes my daughter would sleep in my bed behind me while I stayed up all night drawing at my desk.

What is the best thing about being an illustrator?
Well, it’s all I can do ... but the BEST thing I like about it, is making people laugh, especially when they are delighted to notice something in my picture that they can relate too, some little detail.

Have you had any funny or embarrassing moment as an illustrator?
I’m an introvert, so I find it very hard to do the ‘publicity’ thing. So that combined with not being very well known has given me a lot of embarrassing moments. Once at a huge book fair, I had a workshop right after Leigh Hobbs. He was terrific. Everyone loved him. As I watched though, I was becoming more and more anxious about my bit.

When the time came, only a very small handful of kids stayed for my workshop. I started talking and drawing, and one kid put up his hand and asked, 'Do we HAVE to stay here?' I stuttered that they were free to do whatever they wanted and turned back to continue drawing on the board.

When I turned around again, they were all gone ... except two young girls up the front, who said, 'Can you teach us how to draw lips?'

What do you do when you are not illustrating?
When I’m not illustrating, I’m reading, drawing comics, walking, playing with my cat and people watching ... and making things ... like lino cuts and baskets and anything that comes into my mind.

What would you have chosen to be if you were not an illustrator?
If I had the courage, I think I would have loved to have been a stand up comedian ... Perhaps in my next life...

Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?

Aw, well, there’s two people here, as I can’t decide.

I would like to talk with George Herriman, who drew the Krazy Kat comics and I’d love to talk with Will Rogers, cowboy, comedian, radio personality.

Both from the 1920s and 30s.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?
I was very good at Japanese at school, and was conversational in Mandarin and Thai. I love Asian things.

Website/blog details
Janine Dawson - Illustrations

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