About Author of the Books, 'Old T-Rex' and 'Big Woolly Mammoth'

Find out about the author of the children’s books ‘Old T-Rex’ and ‘Big Woolly Mammoth’.

He has often been asked how these quirky, factual, rhyming stories came about.

Learn why the author was in an ideal position to write engaging, educational stories that appeal to children from 3 to at least 8.

Geoff Explains.

I have always enjoyed writing, but as a teacher I had little time to devote to this interest.

Once retired, I could write more often when topics came to mind. These efforts were usually serious efforts about older family members or past incidents.

So how did the quirky, rhyming, factual stories come about?

It all started some years ago.

When my grandchildren were much younger I began to write short, quirky stories for them. I made the stories rhyme which they enjoyed.

Example of how one such story started.

Theo, can you remember when?
Nana and Poppa would come, and then
we would go for a walk near or far,
or perhaps even ride in our big red car.

As the grandchildren got older the stories became more complicated, but they remained quirky and humorous.

The next step saw the stories written also become factual. Although still for the grandchildren, others saw them and encouraged me to seek an illustrator and have them published. My wife's experience as a kindergarten teacher was helpful, as she recommended ways in which the stories could appeal to preschoolers as well.

I contacted Ned Barraud, an award-winning illustrator who agreed to do this work for me. I am very grateful for his skill and patience as we worked together for him to illustrate the stories in the quirky way I had in mind.

You can view Ned's extensive work on
his website now.

Poppa's Beanstalk

The start of a fun story written for my grandchildren.

Poppa's growing a beanstalk. Its growing very tall.
Nana wants to climb up it. I hope she doesn't fall.

She needs to wait a while, and you can see why.
It has to grow more yet to reach into the sky.
How long this will take, there is no real knowing,
but I don't think it will be long at the rate it is growing.

Nana is not one to boast and is really rather shy.
But people are sure to watch, you can understand why.
As soon as it is big enough, she wants to get going.
I wonder if she can do it without her knickers showing.

Tall Moa Dinornis.

Verses 1 and 2 of this as yet unpublished story, that was written at the same time as
Old T-Rex
and Big Woolly Mammoth.

Tall Moa Dinornis was an impressive bird.
She lived in New Zealand as you may well have heard.
This land with 2 large islands, sometimes called eN Zed,
is where for 40,000 years she grazed and she fed.

She was the tallest bird who lived, either now or then.
With her head up high she was as tall as 2 men.
The males she lived with were lighter and smaller.
She was three times as heavy and quite a bit taller.

And so what other things do I like? As you can see, cycling is a favourite pastime. Gardening is another and we are lucky to have a great region to enjoy. Our pets are much loved.

Taken when out cycling on our road bikes recently.
On 'top of the world' in the
French Alps some years ago.
A view of a portion of our
large garden area.
Returning from a walk on the Abel Tasman Park in our region.
Molly our Cavoodle with
Jenni-fur our Tonkinese cat.

The following are just for your interest or amusement.