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From Canberra to Cambridge

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One of my four-year-old son’s favourite books is Riley and the Jumpy Kangaroo: a journey around Canberra. Last week, I saw a post about it on Facebook and said to him, “Seb! Where’s the Riley book?” and he ran off into our bedroom and found it in 20 seconds, even though I was convinced it was buried in the book pile in the lounge room.

He was right. And he doesn’t know that one of my dear friends wrote it. He doesn’t remember that he attended the book launch at Floriade, in his pram. All he knows is he loves it!

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And now it’s being sent to Princess Charlotte as the official gift from the ACT Government.

I’m so excited! I love that Tania McCartney’s work is being honoured. I love that our city is being represented by Tania in such a beautiful and positive way. I love that the little Princess might read this in her nursery, with her parents or her nanny, even though I’m actually a republican…


Tania has ‘made it’ as her book, Riley and the Jumpy Kangaroo, makes its way to Cambridge.

Political views don’t come into the equation here, for me. I’m a Royal/Celeb-watcher from way back and this is wonderful! This is an author friend, having her book chosen to represent our city overseas. This is an extremely cool accolade…

As a fellow author, I’d love to think that the Princess might delve into my teen novel when she’s 13. I can imagine how I might feel if something I wrote was chosen to represent my city!

It’s a fantastic thing! Tania works hard, and has done for many years, to bring her writing to life. Over the years, we’ve had coffees at Michel’s Patisserie at the Jerrabomberra shops, chatting about our intense desire to write and be successful, despite how hard it is to “make it” in this career. If only we’d known that one of us would have our book selected as a royal gift on behalf of the city!

On a day when Canberra was voted for the second time as the best city in the world, I love that my little boy is yelling at me from the other room as I try to write this: “Mummy! READ THE BOOK!”

Tania, I think this qualifies as “making it”. It’s not just about the fairytale public honour. It’s about the fact that an ordinary boy from your own suburb thinks your book is brilliant.

All power to you, my friend. xx

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