Flabbergasting Facts: Wonky In The World

After being born in a converted stable, Wonky was officially unleashed to bookstores in New Zealand and Australia in October 2009, and despite being without one leg and one eye, Wonky seemed unstoppable, ensuring that by Christmas that year he had gone for seven reprints and become the number one best selling book of all genres in New Zealand for 2009, and was popular in Australia too.

Despite only having three legs, one eye and a bit of a flatulence issue, Wonky went on to win Hearts, initially in New Zealand and Australia, but more recently, worldwide after a lovable, giggling Scottish Granny rippled laughter around the world and set Wonky (kicked Wonky's 'ass'??!!) to new levels of fame and recognition, all very suddenly and unexpectedly.

Wonky was born into being with the help of a dear friend Clark who is a retired teacher with 40 years' experience. He not only kept me fuelled up with pies as I created, but with his wonderful understanding of children's literature he also had the brilliant suggestion that Wonky have a silent companion throughout the book who, despite never being mentioned in the text, would create a relationship that would enhance the illustrations ... and so the bird was born! Also, after much thinking and mulling over what 'naughty' thing Wonky might do on the 'Hanky Panky page' that would not encourage children to do naughty things, it was Clark's brilliant idea that Wonky would be eating underpants from a washing line! Of COURSE!!

Wonky went on to win the prestigious New Zealand Post Children's Choice book award, among others and remained in the number one best selling New Zealand children's spot for 51 weeks, only to be knocked off by his successor, 'Willbee The Bumblebee', my second Illustrated book with Craig Smith.