Release Day: The Bird in the Herd

The egret has landed!


19 years ago, I wrote a story for my two farm boys. It’s been a process steeped in memories;
* bouncing ideas around the kitchen table with my parents and sister,
* conferencing with my two small boys (my first and cutest editors),
* truth-testing countless versions and illustrations with my hubby, and
* always, the subtle arrival of my youngest whenever I read it aloud, because the rhythm of the rhyme would draw him every time.

The text was used as an illustration prompt at the 2012 CYA Competition – and Renee Treml’s simple, colourful illustrations caught my eye. They were perfect for young children, and highlighted the humour in the story. We met at the same conference, and I loved the backstory to Renée’s entry – but that’s her story to tell!🙃 Needless to say, I have loved sharing this process with Renee! And I cannot say enough how much I appreciate the team at CYA Conference. This is the third book I have had published, as a direct result of that conference! If you are serious about writing for children, you must check it out.

Renée and I worked with a wonderful team at UQP, who brought colour to the text, and offered an extended page count that gave each character their own spread, and allowed the story to fully develop its rhythm, so that it mooches along like a herd of cattle. (How appropriate!)

19 years ago, I noticed a bird in the herd that stalked as it walked past my kitchen window – and I’m so glad that white cattle egret gave wings to this story. Gratitude to everyone who has played a part in getting us to today – release day. Fly little book-bird!💕


    • Awww, Margaret.🥰 Not yet. But I’m hoping it gets there! It is easily transferable – and such a beautiful book. (I can say that, because I’m just the author.🙃) In times when international travel is locked down, this would be such a fun way to travel to Australia with your grandies!


  1. O Kat! This post is a story of glory. So sweet to know of your faith in this rhythmic tale through the years. And the serendipitous connection to artist Renee Treml is quite the top-drawer event. I predict this is a book to look at in home reading nooks for years to come. Thanks for sharing the spreads & all.

    Brava! to your two Birds!


  2. I have it ordered, Kat, looks so very cute! I love hearing its back story, too. When I traveled to Costa Rica with my students, we fell in love with cattle egrets, watched for them every time we were out in the countryside. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooh. You’ve ordered a copy? Where did you order it from, Linda? I didn’t know if you could, in America – so this is news to me! (And something I’d love to share with others.🙃) Thank-you so much for your support.


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  4. Congratulations, Kat. I am super excited for your new book. A Bird in the Herd is a wonderful title about an unexpected happening for a suburban girl like me. The rhyming is fun and the illustrations adorable. My little Sierra will love this story.


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