Angela returns for book signing
An iconic Wimmera attraction has inspired a former resident to pen her first children’s book at the age of 75.
The Giant Koala in Dadswells Bridge was home for previous owners Angela Castell and husband Richard for 10 years, before fire destroyed their Wartook home and they moved to the Adelaide Hills.
Now, Mrs Castell will return to the region that inspired it all for a picture-book signing of ‘Mozzie’ – the story of a mosquito who bit a sleeping koala’s nose – on Friday at Horsham Plaza.
“I originally lived in Horsham and we had a home and property at Wartook Valley in the Grampians, but that burnt down in the fires about five years ago,” Mrs Castell said. “It was during the time my husband and I owned the Giant Koala that I thought about writing this story.
“It is about Mozzie the mosquito, who bites the sleeping koala’s nose so hard that he falls out of the tree. The kookaburras laugh so much Mozzie runs away, and koala’s friends try to catch him.
“The book’s characters are all of our iconic Australian animals.”
As a teacher and librarian for more than 30 years, Mrs Castell said she understood the importance of reading stories to children and always wanted to write a book.
She said her daughter encouraged her to send ‘Mozzie’ to publishers, with Austin Maccauley London taking on the book in only a few weeks, before publishing on March 29 this year.
“I just love telling stories and always enjoyed story-writing,” Mrs Castell said.
“As a teacher, I know the power of reading to little children – they learn through repetition and with all the little characters in stories they fall in love with.
“It was actually my daughter who kept telling me to get the book published, and it all happened very quickly.”
Mrs Castell’s book has since been released in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. She will be at Horsham Plaza signing books from 11am to 4pm, with a reading at 12.30pm.