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


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…


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.


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!


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!


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…


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.


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


40 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Angela said,

    Hi Neri,
    We love your beautiful book here n Warrnambool. Ponkidoodle is very exciting, interesting, cool and really,really funny! Question from Connor, Is there going to be a Ponkidoodle 2? Angus likes your writing!
    Have a great day!
    Love Ange.

    • 2

      ponkidoodle said,

      Thanks so much Ange. I can’t wait to come to Warrnambool to visit Merrivale Primary and St.Joseph’s. In answer to Connor’s question, there are two more Ponkidoodle stories in the pipeline. ‘Ponkidoodle goes on Holiday’ also in rhyming verse and ‘Ponkidoodle goes to Hospital’ to look after a family member who is having their tonsils removed. This is a prose story for a slightly older age group. I’m glad the boys like it!

  2. 3

    Granny & Grandpa Bade from Port Fairy said,

    After 40 years Ponkidoodle has returned to our lives bringing much joy.
    Long live Ponkidoodle!

  3. 4

    Ian husband McMullin said,

    I must start by saying how proud I am of Neridah and the work and effort she has put in to this wonderful story. I must add it works and has been a great help with our little boy when noises upset him in the night.
    Looking forward to reading the comments that come in today and to the “real” launch on Saturday.

  4. 5

    Claire said,

    Congratulations Neridah. A wonderful achievement. May it sell billions!

  5. 7

    aaronpocock said,

    Hi Neridah… Aaron here.
    Well done… He’s ‘out there’ at last. I have a feeling this is going to be a very popular book.
    I haven’t told you yet, but my oldest son makes me read him the story EVERY night, he loves it! We took a copy to his daycare who’ve bought a copy and they read it regularly to the kids who now all know and love the little green feller too!

    Very exciting stuff.
    Hope you have a great day with all this, the energy’s wonderful today.

    take care,

  6. 9

    Hi Neridah
    Congratulations on your lovely book. I wish you every success, and may Ponkidoodle embrace every child’s bedroom, and give comfort to those strange sounds that only seem to come out at night.
    Also, I love the wonderul illustrations of Aaron Pocock.
    Well done, both of you.
    Helen Ross

  7. 10

    Lachy said,

    Congratulation Neridah! Everyone who’s read Ponkidoole has loved him, and I’m sure the success will continue. Looking forward to the book launch on Saturday!
    – Lachy

  8. 11

    Angela O'Toole said,

    hi Neridah

    congratulations on your book, Ponkidoodle is a lovely character. I wish he had been around when my kids were younger. I hope it all goes really well for you, enjoy.


  9. 12

    Tracey said,

    What a wonderful character written by a brilliant writer and illustrated magically by Aaron. Neridah both you and Ponkidoodle inspire me in many ways, most importantly not to be afraid of the dark and to believe that dreams can come true, congatulations Neridah!
    Love Tracey

  10. 14

    Amy Rowell said,

    Congratualtions Neridah!

    I took the book home last night and showed it to our family friends children and they loved little Ponki!

    Am very excited for you, you’ve done a fantastic job and I can’t wait to hear about Ponki’s next adventures in the next Ponkidoodle books!


  11. 16

    bronwynjoseph said,

    Hi Neridah,

    I loved reading all about Ponkidoodle and his night-time antics and I know the Preps will become really engaged in the story and glorious illustrations.

    We look forward to your visit,

  12. 18

    Liz O'Brien said,

    Hi Neridah

    I have fallen in love with Ponkidoole – he is so adorable!!! I wish I had met him earlier in life.

    I am inspired by your story and how you decided to start writing children books to bring the joys of your childhood to others – I am interested in how long the production process took and what sort of input you had along with way?

    I can’t wait to read and see more of Ponki (and of course the books to come in 2010)!!!


    • 19

      ponkidoodle said,

      Hi Lizzie, I wrote Ponkidoodle four years ago and the production process took two years. In that two years, I think editing was a couple of months, layout a month, four months for illustrations (and Aaron was rushed a little – sorry Aaron!) and the rest was printing time and getting here!

  13. 20

    Sarah Law said,

    Hi Neridah,

    I heard the first mention of Ponkidoodle not long ago through a friend and was somewhat confused, but I can now strongly say that I wish I had a Ponkidoodle in my life when I was growing up!
    I too grew up on a farm and would have loved a Ponkidoodle to keep any unexplained noises and unwanted creatures at bay!
    All the best for a busy 2010!

    • 21

      ponkidoodle said,

      Thanks Sarah, there’s no doubt that Ponkidoodle made me brave. He gave me time to grow up and when I was older I was much more practical about scary noises, working out that the noise was harmless and to go back to sleep. Thanks for visitng!

  14. 22

    Hi Neridah, Mum & Dad introduced me to Ponkidoodle last night, congratulations. I can’t wait to introduce him to Henry and Georgina at Christmas. Hope to catch up in Port on the 12th. All the best

  15. 24

    Fiona Kavanagh said,

    Congratulations Neridah on your book launch. Ponkidoodle looks like a very cute fellow. Your Mum & Dad are very proud of you and spreading the word down here in Port Fairy. Can’t wait to buy a copy for my new neice at your Port Fairy launch on the 12th of December. Goodluck!!

  16. 26

    Svett said,

    HooRah Neridah!

    Uber cyber congrats on the launch of Ponkidoodle.

    Many hugs

  17. 28

    Jill Delany said,

    Hi Neri – Congratulations!
    There’s definitely a need for this dear little fella in our house!!! He’s lovely!
    How long did it take you to write the story? Looking forward to the next instalment!
    Jill x.

    • 29

      ponkidoodle said,

      Thanks Jilly. I wrote Ponkidoodle in a couple of days, then scraped it and re-wrote it in prose, then I went back to rhyming verse. I let it sit for a while (a couple of months) and then I went back and re-wrote it with fresh eyes. It went in and out of manuscript assessment a few times as well. So probably about a year I think…

  18. 30

    Bec said,

    Hey N, looking forward to getting to know Ponkidoodle better.
    Do I get first option on the film rights?!
    (Rupert’s Mum)

  19. 32

    Kate Hanley said,

    Dear Neridah,
    How wonderful and exciting! I love the idea of a book that will ease those night time fears and actually make the noises a positive too – yeehoo, Ponki’s up! The illustrations are beautiful and we are looking forward to buying our very own copy. Your dad must be thrilled to bits too! Can i ask a question about the illustration process. Did you liaise with Aaron closely on what Ponki would look like? Or did you leave it completely up to him? Did you have some say in who would illustrate the book? Was this a nerve racking process for you waiting for Aaron’s unveiling ie. whether or not he would look like the Ponki in your head?
    Well done again. You are an inspiration to us all!

    • 33

      ponkidoodle said,

      Hi Kate, thanks so much. Yes I gave Aaron a brief about what Ponkidoodle should look like based on my childhood character, but I didn’t want to hold him to closely to that. I didn’t want to cramp creative license. I loved seeing Aaron’s interpretation of text, and it was a fascinating process. A long process, but good fun and yes a little nerve racking. I pretty much saw every proof that came through. And I laughed at them because they were funny, especially the scene on the toilet. The Ponkidoodle in the book isn’t exactly the Ponkidoodle of my childhood, but I don’t think this matters. His functioning character is the same, he’s a loveable, funny magical friend who keeps watch over the family home at night time. I think Ponkidoodle can be whatever any child wants him to be. I know my brother Roger had a different image and my Dad did too. I would describe him as organically unique; he’s not human or animal. He’s just Ponkidoodle…thanks for dropping by beautiful Kate.

  20. 34

    Jann said,

    Great story and character. I just can’t wait to hear more about Ponkidoodle and how he travels going forward.

  21. 35

    Kylie McDonough said,

    Hi Neri,
    I love the idea of Ponkidoodle 🙂 Especially with my children being right at that age of being scared of the many spooky noises at night – especially here in Tennant!!!
    Congratulations to yourself and Aaron on a wonderful concept and book for children.
    The hard work is paying off! Can’t wait for the 2010 releases. I’ll be next on the Booktopia website and ordering a book – great Christmas pressies!!
    Congratulations, Love Ky xx

  22. 37

    Jude said,

    Hello Neri How exciting that Ponki has hit the stores Cannot wait to give signed editions to children for Christmas I know our grandson William (gifted child aged 6mths !!!) will understand every word ! We are lucky enough to own one of your first writings – a book called Lucy Ladybird – which was unpublished but will be worth a fortune as you become more famous Much love and encouragement to you

  23. 39

    kerrin O'Sullivan said,

    Great effort Neridah and all the best with your forthcoming publications, write on!

    Kerrin O’S

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