As children we all had big dreams, and yes most of us admit it, we had even bigger fears. When we are little we are often asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" John Lennon famously replied "Happy." That is the best dream of all, but most children usually answer with familiar and somewhat innocent standards like "a fireman, doctor, teacher, nurse etc." It takes us a lot of our growing years to realise the importance of simply being happy with ourselves for who and what we are. One of our biggest fears is that we may not grow up and reach the full potential of our dreams. Walt Disney was one of the biggest dreamers of us all, but he also had a very big fear. Disneyland was born from his dreams and fears. The dream of building a fantasy world where parents could take their children and escape their everyday life and his fear of never being able to make a second movie as good or better than his original Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. While his staff at the studio consistently made animated film after film, Walt Disney fixated on bringing the world his greatest creation, Disneyland. The results speak for themselves, crowds today flock to Disneyland in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Walt Disney is famously quoted as saying :-
"All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them."
My dream, for as long as I can remember, was to write books for children. Books that will make them laugh, learn and find a love of reading. My biggest fear was that I wasn't good enough and that nobody would take me seriously. After years of teaching and writing I finally tested the waters with my first short chapter book for early and reluctant readers. "Gingerbread Aliens" was received with great enthusiasm and gained many favourable reviews. I was on my way. "Alien Shenanigans" followed and book three, "Alien Milkshakes" will be released in a few months.
Children however have much simpler dreams and fears. Shadows and monsters
under the bed, or in the cupboard are rather familiar ones.
This is why I began writing my picture books using uniquely Australian animals as the characters.
"Emma the Eager Emu" dares to dream big. She dreams of being the same as all the other birds at flying school. Emma dreams of one day being able to fly, just like her friends, Rosie Rosella, Kelly Kookaburra, Patsy the Pink Galah and Cathy the Yellow Crested Cockatoo. This is a subtle tale about learning to strive to reach your goals and finding your own unique qualities to fulfill your dreams in your own individual way.
"Frazzled Freya" is my newest release which is coming soon. Freya is a frill neck lizard who with the help of her desert friends learns to face her fears. Freya is too frightened to go out in the heat of the midday sun. She is happy to sit under a rock and watch while all her friends play and have fun. I teamed up once again with my fantastic illustrator Dianna Budd, to produce this gorgeously illustrated Australian picture book to tell a second subtle tale. This time it is about learning that some of our biggest fears once faced proved to be quite small after all and that the biggest fear of all is fear itself. Freya's Cover will be released within the next week or two. She should have her own link on my wesite and be ready for pre-order then also.
What are your biggest dreams and fears? Does your child have dreams or fears? Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear what they are and if they have been faced. Perhaps my books can help.