Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Tuesday 10 November 2020

Turbo Chooks, Boobooks and Bling!

This week Sonia Strong talks about books and art to encourage a love of wild things in this distinctly Tasmanian coverage of some unique wildlife.

Tazzie the Turbo Chook Finds her Feet
by Sonia Strong

Turbo chooks, the native hens familiar to Tasmanians, have attitude. Why bother with getting a clearance to fly when you can run at 50km an hour or swim strongly if the need arises? Like other Tasmanians, they are social and given to frank, loud conversations. 

© StoryWalk image
by Sonia Strong

In her first book, artist and storyteller Sonia Strong has captured the spirit of the turbo chook in paintings and verse. As well as introducing children to the species, she has woven into the story a conservation message. The villain is a sinister feral cat, a deadly threat to wildlife and particularly to a flightless bird. The book has a rich cast of characters: a masked owl, various farm animals and the Robinson kids. You will have to read the story to your children to find out how the hero, Tazzie the baby turbo chook, bests the wicked cat. There is an interactive StoryWalk currently installed at Dur Point, Margate (Tasmania), This is soon to be updated with a StoryWalk Featuring The Boobook Nook.

In her second book, The Boobook’s Nook, children aged 2-7 are introduced to some of Australia's nocturnal creatures (such as wombats, quolls, frogmouths, bats and bettongs) and they will see why there really is no need to be afraid of the dark.  

The Boobok's Nook by Sonia Strong

        © Sonia Strong

Sonia describes herself as beach-comber, feather-finder, bone-collector, gem-fossicker and rock-pocketer. Her home and studio are full of strange and beautiful natural objects, sustainably collected during significant time spent in Tasmania's wild and quiet places. Many of these objects inform her artwork, most significantly in the jewellery she produces (see website below). Having previously worked in marine and terrestrial conservation, almost every artwork highlights the beauty of the natural world in some way. 

         © Sonia reading her books to the kids
               at Fuller’s Bookstore, Hobart.

Due for release later this year, is fellow wildlife lover and snake handler, Veronika Ross’ inaugural book, My Dad Thinks Snakes Are Scary, illustrated by Sonia Strong, 
which is due for release later this year. Links on how to order all three titles, and/or explore Sonia’s other work, are provided below. 

Find out more about Sonia's work: 

1 comment:

  1. Sonia you obviously spend a lot of time enjoying the beauty and wildness of Tasmania. Great to share this passion with children and teach them about the uniqueness of our state. Environmental connectedness should always be nurtured.