Posts Tagged ‘Catriona Hoy’

Introducing Puggle

April 12, 2010

Today it’s my pleasure to introduce Catriona Hoy. Catriona is an Australian kid’s author. Her new book is a sheer delight. It is the story of one of Australia’s unusual wild animals, the babies of which have the most delightful name imaginable.

Catriona, welcome to Scribbly Gum.

Hi Kim,

Thanks for asking me over to chat about my new children’s picture book, PUGGLE.

This is my first experience with Blog Touring and I’ve got a few interesting new places to visit. Firstly, a few details, since this is my first stop.

Puggle is the story of an orphaned baby echidna, who return to the wild with the help of some volunteer animal wildlife carers. It is published by Working Title Press and details can be found on their website.

Andrew Plant has done some fantastic illustrations which bring Puggle’s story and our wonderful Australian bush to life. I’m thrilled that he was able to do the illustrations and we have just signed another contract with Working Title Press, this time to do a book on dinosaurs.

I loved your stories about animals in the wrong place at the wrong time – or is it maybe that just we humans are in the wrong spot!

For me, Puggle’s story began with a visit to the home of some wildlife carers. It was fascinating, as there were animals everywhere – in the garden, in the computer room, on the verandah and even in the bedrooms. Most of these animals had had an unfortunate close encounter with a human that ended badly.

What fascinated me was the fact that when an adult female marsupial is hit by a car, often the babies can survive. People are advised to check the pouches of animals as the babies usually can’t survive on their own. This was what had happened not only to Puggle, but a baby wallaby that he was sharing a room with. Happily for Puggle, he arrived at a place where he could be cared for, with special Puggle formula and lots of love and attention.

When I decided to start writing Puggle’s story I did a lot of research on echidnas and found out some fascinating facts. Echidnas are quite solitary and rarely meet up but when a female echidna is ready to mate, she puts out a scent. Any male echidnas in the vicinity are attracted to it and begin to follow her around, nose to tail in a long line like a conga dance. It’s called an echidna train and can go on for days. Eventually some of the males lose interest until there is one left. – It must be quite a sight to see!

I always loved finding out things when I was reading as a child, so I included some of these facts in the end papers of the books.

Puggle isn’t my first book, so if people would like to find out about some of my other books they can visit my website –

There are some cute pictures of the real Puggle there. Alternatively, they can join me at the next stop on my tour tomorrow with Dee White, author of Letters to Leonardo at

Thanks for having me!

And thanks, Catriona, for introducing us to Puggle.

You can follow the tour here –

Catriona’s Tour Dates.

April 13-

April 14 –

April 15 –

April 16 –

April 17 –

April 18 –

April 19 –

April 20 –

April 21 –

April 22 –

The Echidna Diary

April 11, 2010

Wild Animal Story – No.3

My third wild animal story concerns an echidna, another Australian oddity. The echidna is a monotreme. It lays eggs, forms a temporary pouch for them, and then when the eggs hatch it suckles its young with pink milk. The only other monotreme is the platypus.

My echidna experience came when I was driving to a school to teach a religious education class. Half way across the suburban street was an echidna. There was nowhere for it to go, and it’s a wonder it survived the traffic so far, so I picked it up.  This is no easy thing to do, even on a bitumen road surface those claws dig in.

The only things I had in the car were a guitar, a box of song books and a music stand. I steered the ehidna into the box with the folded metal music stand, and resumed the journey. The guitar breathed a sigh of relief.

The kids knew the box held song books, but the echidna was a complete surprise. We opened the box and checked him out. He was lying quite still and this bunch of ten year olds had their first ever close up look at a real live echidna. ‘No fingers, please.’

Then we took him outside to release him. The school backed onto a broad dry creek bed which took rainwater down to the lake. We all stood on the top of the creek bank and I tipped over the box. The little guy was out of there like a shot, then he suddenly saw everybody and froze.

He started to dig. Within a minute he was almost gone. He’d moved enough dirt to sink himself into the ground with only some of his spikes showing, and that is where we left him.

As soon as the class was over, luckily ending at recess, those kids were out of there like a shot. And the echidna? He’d taken the half hour of quietness to disappear into the bush.

Tomorrow I will introduce Australian children’s author Catriona Hoy. Catriona’s new picture book is Puggle.

And a puggle is ???
A baby echidna.
But you already knew that.

See you tomorrow.