Interview with Jane Skarratt, Children’s Author and CCF supporter

Jane with Chres, one of the children she sponsors
Jane with Chres, one of the kids from Cambodian Children’s Fund that she sponsors.

Children’s book author and CCF supporter Jane Skarratt is generously donating half of all proceeds from her book sales to help support Cambodian Children’s Fund. The third book in her Higgledy-Piggledy Farm series was just released digitally on Apple’s iTunes. In this interview, Skarratt shared what it’s like to be a children’s book author and her connection to the cause.

How did you get your start as a children’s book author?

In 2001, I co-authored four children’s books with a friend and illustrator, Melinda Kerr. ‘Tipper the Nipper’ was the hero of this best-seller series – a border collie dog whose adventures taught children about surf safety and beach care.

How do you describe your books to someone unfamiliar with them?
This time, the books I’ve written are all about farm animals – there isn’t a beach in sight! Higgledy-Piggledy Farm is a place where everything is upside down, inside out, topsy-turvy and round about. The mixed up, messed up misadventures take children into the hotch-potch world of nonsensical fun!

Higgledy-Piggledy Farm has been co-authored with another friend and illustrator, Kerry Hodge. The series was inspired by Kerry’s real-life farm in Tasmania. The Higgledy-Piggledy Farm series is the first time either of us has created ebooks (in ePub format). The Tipper series was printed traditionally as paperbacks and hardbacks.

What made you decide to donate proceeds to the Cambodian Children’s Fund? How did you hear about the organization?Pigs-Might-Fly-But-They-Can't-Lay-Eggs-book-cover

In 2009, my boyfriend and I read a feature about Scott in The Age newspaper in Melbourne. We were so moved by his story and the phenomenal work he was doing, we became sponsors and travelled to Phnom Penh to volunteer in 2011 and visited again in 2012. Our families now jointly sponsor five CCF children.

When Kerry and I were creating the Higgledy-Piggledy Farm series, we both thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to donate half the revenue from the sales of the books to CCF. Children’s books for a children’s charity – the idea made perfect sense to us!

Keep an eye out later this year for another book I’ve created with artist, Karlee Mackie. ‘What’s all the Fuss About a Bus?’ will be the first children’s book to be written and illustrated about the Cambodian Children’s Fund.

What’s something about being an author of children’s books that people might not realize?

Being an author is a labor of love. It must be your passion. It’s not about making money or being famous – unless, of course, you’re JK Rowling! I write books because I love being creative, story telling and making people laugh.

Anything else you’d like to add?

The latest book in the Higgledy-Piggledy Farm series is called,’The Importance Of Poo!’ You can now vote for the Poo you think is the V.I.P
(Very Important Poo) at http://thetassiefarm.com.au. The Tassie Farm is the blog I write with Kerry, posting stories on farm animals, fresh produce, farming, gardening, art and design.

Find out more

The Higgledy-Piggledy Farm series is on Facebook.

The following books are available on Apple iTunes, with half of the proceeds coming to Cambodian Children’s Fund.

Pigs Might Fly But They Can’t Lay Eggs ($1.99)

The Dairy First Ice Cream Christmas ($1.99)

The Importance of Poo! ($2.99) A narrated version of the book with audio is coming out in September. See the book trailer.

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Higgledy-Piggledy Farm Book Trailer from Clever Hen on Vimeo.

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