Anne Bishop - Author
Anne has a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in English Literature, a Master of Letters Degree (English Literature from 1830 to 1870) and a Diploma in Education (Infants/Primary). As a Casual Teacher for ten years she taught in several local schools. Anne has always been able to write in rhyme.
Tony Bishop - Illustrator and Cartoonist
Tony has been drawing and painting since his earliest childhood. Throughout his school years he studied art and he chose Art as one of his subjects for the Leaving Certificate. When an accident to his hand at the age of 19 obliged him to spend many months in Melbourne having it surgically repaired, he had formal tuition. This not only honed his skills as an artist and cartoonist, it also helped him transfer these skills from his damaged left hand to his hitherto unused right hand. He has drawn and painted with his right hand ever since to wonderful effect.
The Creation of Tales from a Country Garden
Tony and Anne Bishop live on a grazing property in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW where Tony has lived all his life and Anne for most of hers. Their house is surrounded by a large romantic garden, which has provided inspiration and themes for their children’s stories. Anne spends a great deal of time happily in her garden with, for many years, the constant companionship of one or more Cavalier King Charles spaniels.
While Anne and Tony cannot be absolutely certain about the fairies of the garden, the animals mentioned in the stories are either permanent residents in the garden or visitors to it. Dogs, ducks, guinea fowl, peacocks, turtles, lizards and many native birds permanently live there, while kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, foxes, possums, snakes, goannas, rabbits, rats, mice make frequent appearances and a platypus and a wombat, very infrequent ones. So, there is a measure of realism in the stories. The behaviour of small dogs and their wilful disobedience; the habits of goannas, turtles, birds, rabbits, mice and rats; the dangers from predators and from flash floods are all grounded in reality... while fantasy, humorous illustrations and rhyming narrative add joy and fun to the stories.
Each story has a theme:
- Courage: The Goannas’ Lunch
- Kindness and Helpfulness: Eric Echidna and the Turtle Family, The Adventure of Tiny Tim Turtle, The Trust of a Thrush
- Obedience: Winston A Tale of Disobedience, Where’s Henry
- Fun, Fear and Safety: The Fairy Fair, A Mouse Story
- Team Co-operation and Loyalty: The Great Rat Invasion
Tony’s illustrations are for children of all ages from 3 to 93, the text, however, being written for the most part in narrative rhyme, challenges the very young reader’s word power and so the stories are most suitable for children from about 7 to 12 years.
This series of children’s books is a work in progress. The eleventh book is currently in development.