The idea started when Sue Pieroz was a single mum with a young son who saw her potential.
“He would say, ‘Mum, never give up’,” Sue tells myGC as she explains how Tappitidoo New Friends was born.
“It really is a legacy for my son [who is now 26],” she adds.
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Sue, a former childcare worker and primary school teacher, created the quirky characters of Tappitidoo when she was involved in musical theatre, which itself was also a motivator for the underlying theme of the book – community.
“There is a sense of community and looking out for each other,” Sue says of musical theatre.
In the theatre version of Tappitadoo, Sue would play protagonist Corey the Cockatoo who she describes as the ‘mother figure’ for all the other native Australian animals that make up the tale.
“I always wanted to fly. I think if I was an animal I would be a cockatoo,” Sue laughs.
“The book promotes social skills and being kind to one another and I found [on stage] that really connected with the kids.
“Many of them love Grumpy Rock, which is fascinating and shows that kids like diversity in people and things.”
Sue hopes to have Tappitidoo New Friends introduced into schools as part of the curriculum. While her next book, Catch a Wave in Tappitidoo, will be launched in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games with a goal of being an education tool for tourists.
You and your kids can meet Sue and the Tappitidoo gang at Helensvale Library today between 12 and 2pm. There will be live illustrations as well as children’s activities and you can get your book signed.