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About the Author

Shirley Todd was born in Sydney, Australia and moved to Auckland, New Zealand in her early teens. Here she eventually married and raised her family of four children. She discovered, at a very early age, that she had an ability to draw cartoon-type characters and loved to spend hours doing so. She also enjoys writing poetry.

The characters in her book were inspired by her children and developed over a twenty-year period. Clarry the Pony, who was originally a "cowboy" donkey, was one of the first characters Shirley drew for her children — as a game at parties. Next came Albert the Magpie, born from a mishap of her eldest son, Albert, who in his teens decided to dye his very dark hair blonde, resulting in his hair actually turning orange.

In time, Shirley finished drawing the other characters which appear in her book. With encouragement from family and friends, she decided to write a story around her characters as a way of introducing them to other children.

What is unique about Shirley's first book is that she not only wrote and illustrated the book, she also designed her book from cover to cover including page layout and typing of the text.

Click here to read an excerpt from her book.

Her Struggles

Shirley has struggled for the past 15 years with M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and has found that writing and illustrating has been a way of distracting her mind from her illness.

She likes to help new authors, hence the information contained on this Web site. She was also the secretary for the Self-Publishers' Association of NZ in which she enjoyed the correspondence and self-publishing experiences of new and existing members.

Click here to read further information about Shirley's journey into publishing her book.


Click here to read a book review, written by children at Laingholm Primary School, at LeafSalon's Web site. Also visit the Kidz Review page on this Web site.


Would you like to see Shirley's book in your local library? Make a suggestion of purchase to your library, listing the book's title and Web address. We support libraries and schools by offering them a ten percent discount off the recommended retail price.

To acquire copies of the book for review, contact Shirley at

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