Welcome to the online, virtual book launch of ‘Ponkidoodle’

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And I’m hearing you ask…

Who is Ponkidoodle?

What is Ponkidoodle?

Where is Ponkidoodle?

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you the wonderful, the happiest and hairiest little guy to ever live in one’s roof…
The one, the only…

Ponkidoodle!
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Take a bow, little guy!

As far back as I can remember Ponkidoodle has always been a part of my life.

We lived in a rambling old house that creaked by day and groaned by night. But it was at night time when all was still and quiet I would hide underneath my blankets, eyes wide, jumping at strange noises in the dark.

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My father created Ponkidoodle to ease my, and my brother Roger’s,  night time fears (thanks Dad!).

Ponkidoodle is a tiny, magical friend who keeps watch over the family home at night. He could be anywhere, in the roof, under the house, in between the walls – this friendly little monster was ever present.

Nocturnal by nature, Ponkidoodle’s has never been seen but his protective presence and love was felt in every corner of our home.

Ponkidoodle took full responsibility for any strange and unexpected noises heard at night time. And living in the country, there were plenty – I was such a scaredy cat!

That strange knocking sound that you can hear?

Oh that’s just Ponkidoodle (it was actually the hot water system ticking over)

That banging on the roof?

Oh that’s Ponkidoodle too (it was possums playing on the roof)

And those late night clinking noises coming from the kitchen?

That’s just Ponkidoodle emptying the dishwasher (good on you Mum)

And those noises coming from the loo? (I still don’t know what they were?!)

Nothing to worry about at all… just roll over and snuggle down tight.

As the benefactor of Ponkidoodle, I was at peace with the knowledge that everything and everyone in my world was fine.

Yes, he’s noisy and clumsy but fantastically he never hurts himself because he has perfect balance, always landing on his hairy feet.

And so it was that my childhood passed in a safe cocoon of bliss.

For a few years there, I’d forgotten all about Ponkidoodle until our youngest son was born. And then Ponkidoodle returned just when I needed him most.

And that’s when I knew – Ponkidoodle had to be immortalised. He deserved to be with other children, to reassure and comfort them through their night time fears.

Allow me to introduce myself.

I’m an Australian writer of stories and poetry for children www.neridahmcmullin.com

This is me!

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Thank you to you all for coming today to celebrate the launch of Ponkidoodle. I really appreciate it.

This is my first children’s picture book, so it’s all very exciting. It’s taken two years to arrive at this point and I just have a few words I want to say. Bare with me, I’ll try not to go on for too long.

I started writing about four years ago. I’m no stranger to writing though, I’ve written scientifically for fifteen years – about cheese! Yep, that’s my day job.

As I mentioned, Ponkidoodle is my first children’s picture book. I chose to self publish because I strongly believed in Ponkidoodle as a loveable character. A character that had something to ‘give’ children, the gift of dreaming and believing in magic. I truly felt there was a place for Ponkidoodle out there.

Since Ponkidoodle’s return into my life, while he is extremely shy, I have to tell you he does go on family holidays and can do overnight stays in hospital!

A few quick thank you’s are in order here.

Thank you to Peter Whitfield and Ron Proft at Little Steps at New Frontier, you guys are such a professional team, you have made this process so easy for me www.littlesteps.com and www.newfrontier.com

Thank you also to Terri and Anne at Little Steps for answering my millions of questions and emails.

A big thank you to my talented illustrator Aaron Pocock, who has extraordinarily brought Ponkidoodle to life – thank you so much – he’s just beautiful!

Thank you to Dr. Virginia Lowe and her husband John for all their manuscript assessments and encouragement www.createakidsbook.com.au

And thank you to Jackie Hosking for her clever rhythm and rhyming advice – and to PASS-IT-ON (a weekly, on-line, interactive, networking newsletter for those involved in children’s writing) that helps keeps me sane every Monday morning with a strong cup of coffee!

www.jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com

and www.versatilityrhymeandrhythm.blogspot.com

Lastly, but not the least, thank you to my family.

To my wonderful husband Ian, who supports me in everything I do.

One of the reasons I started writing was due to the fact that I just couldn’t watch every AFL football match that was on every weekend. I’m happy to watch the Pies (the mighty Collingwood Football Club) and our kids at junior footy, but not every single AFL match televised including Collingwood’s VFL reserves team (on Friday night, Saturday arvo, Saturday night, Sunday arvo, replays Sunday night, and ‘One the Couch’ Monday night – Fox Sports). Phew! That’s just too much testosterone for me.

So Ian very kindly built me a study, lined with bookshelves and built-in a broad Sydney blue gum desk to spread my work out on. Spoilt, I hear you say? Absolutely I am!

Thank you to my boys Lach, Josh and Toby. Lach is my proof reader and so insightful for such a young man. Josh rates my work for entertainment value and Toby inspires me, always making me laugh.

A big thank you to my Mum and Dad down in sunny Port Fairy, the best parents in the entire world.

A special thank you to Dad – the creator of Ponkidoodle!

Thank you to my dear friends, my brother Rog and his wife Ange and my two beautiful nephews Connor and Angus.

I’m now to going to hand you over to Ponkidoodle’s illustrator Aaron Pocock to say a few words.

Thanks Neridah.

Hi everyone, it’s great to see you all here today for the launch of Ponkidoodle.

I was born in a very large town in the south of England on May 11th 1970 and discovered at a very young age that art was just about the only means I could use effectively to convey my thoughts and feelings, since then I’ve come a very long way and added words to my vocabulary.

Storytelling to me, is a great way to let the children inside out to play and that’s why I do this for a living- I don’t want to grow up.

I groan every time someone (usually my wife) mentions that I’m forty years old next year, around half way through my life and around a tenth of the way through the projects I’d like to work on- which leads me to Neridah and Ponkidoodle…

What a great character! What a joy to illustrate! The little green fellow kept me busy there for a while but his cute little smile and his mischievous ways made illustrating the book a breeze indeed-cart wheeling and skipping and hitting his thumb with a hammer, who wouldn’t have had a good time with it? (Here’s where I say thanks to Peter Whitfield from Little Steps/New Frontier for thinking of me and to Neridah for agreeing to it.)

I read my oldest son books every night before he goes to sleep and he’s at the age where he’s become a little wary of the dark, I can’t wait for a copy of the book so I can explain to him that those noises he hears are only little Ponki up to his tricks! I’m quite sure the book’ll be a great success!

www.pocockart.com, www.aaronpocock.wordpress.com

Thanks Aaron for those kind words. I’m feeling a little teary now…

So without further ado, ladies and gentleman, thanks to you, it’s now official, ‘Ponkidoodle’ has left the building and has been launched out into the big wide world…

Farewell dear friend…

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I’m going to be online all day to answer any questions and respond to your comments, so please don’t be shy about leaving me a message.

Also, if you are an author, illustrator, online bookstore or reviewer and would like to be included on my blogroll, please leave your URL.

So, thanks for coming, I hope you have a wonderful day – and don’t forget to say ‘Hi’.

Ponkidoodle can be purchased at any good book store. Locally in Melbourne at Berkelouw Bookstore and at the Iron Bird bookstore in Port Fairy.

Ponkidoodle is also available for purchase on-line at Booktopia www.booktopia.com.au

or through my website www.neridahmcmullin.com/page/how_to_buy_my_books.html

The publication of Ponkidoodle has led me to other incredible opportunities.

I have six more children’s books coming out in 2010!

‘Kick it to Me!’ is being published by One Day Hill and is the story of a young Tom Wills when he lived near the Grampians with the Djarb Wurung tribe. This book has AFL endorsement and will be launched in May next year to co-incide with the Indigenous Round of football.

‘Knockabout Cricket’ is a snapshot in time, giving an insight into the amazing and tragic life of the cricketer Johnny Mullagh.

www.onedayhill.com.au

Please check out my website for my other forthcoming books www.neridahmcmullin.com/Picturebooks.html

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