Frank Mills with an illustration of some of the characters from ‘Kids Rhymes of Bygone Times’, painted by his granddaughter, Renee Gordos.
Frank Mills with an illustration of some of the characters from ‘Kids Rhymes of Bygone Times’, painted by his granddaughter, Renee Gordos.

Frank’s kids book full of bushland creatures

Eric Echidna, Lizzie Lizard, Jackie Kookaburra and a host of other bushland creatures make their debut in glorious colour as the stars of Frank Mills’ newest venture, which will be launched at the sixth annual Ocean Shores Arts Expo this weekend.

Frank is well known for his meticulous documentation of the shire’s early history, but ‘Kids Rhymes of Bygone Times’ is his first foray into children’s literature, and the combination of its rollicking rhymes and the wonderful artwork of granddaughter, Renee Gordos, will make it a winner with Aussie kids and their parents.

The inspiration for the book came from Frank’s childhood, when, as one of 13 children on a farm at Main Arm, he loved the winter evenings when “we would stand around the kitchen with our backs to the fire, the orange flame of the kerosene lamp flickering as we told our stories.

“Mum was the main storyteller,” recalled Frank, and some of mum’s lines dimly remembered have made their way into his poems.

Frank’s rhymes are tailor made for reading aloud, for parents to spend that special time with their children, curled up reading together.

“I wanted to bring back the old tradition,” said Frank, “to revive the stories of times that were free of outside influences, when it was your family that influenced you.

“And it’s a way for parents to talk to their kids, and for kids to learn about the environment through stories.”

The Ocean Shores Arts Expo will open tomorrow night (Friday) at 7pm, and there are talks, art demonstrations, musical offerings and a café to enjoy along with the art works on both Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

Frank’s book will be launched on Saturday at 12.15pm, with readings from the book on Sunday at 10.30am and 12.30pm.

Your chance to win Simple Pleasures photo competition

Your chance to win Simple Pleasures photo competition

Love is all you need for Bruns photo comp

EDITORIAL: An idea even bigger than this headline

EDITORIAL: An idea even bigger than this headline

Strap yourself in fellow dreamers

Local Partners