Category Archives: Children’s Story book

Another Children’s story ready for illustration:

Willy Wally Wagtail and Rainbow  Written by Barbara Pyett © 2013

 Have you ever seen a willy wagtail? 

He’s a sporty, black backed and white chested little bird that never stops long in one place. He cocks his head on one side to look at you.

 Our Willy Wally wagtail lives in a clearing with lots of other birds and animals.

‘Why does everyone look so sad?’ he wondered as he looked at his animal friends through the gloom. No longer did he see his friend Sun or Rainbow coming to visit.

 Willy Wally hopped about trying to cheer his friends up, but it

wasn’t working and he was beginning to feel sad too.

 That night Will Wally had the most beautiful dream, full of sunshine and light. When he woke-up he realized he must make a plan to bring light back into the clearing. Those trees must be trimmed back. Perhaps echidna could lend him some prickles to help pin the branches back.

 Echidna was a slow, tired ball of prickles. After explaining his plan to lighten their clearing Willy Wally asked,

‘Have you any spare spines, to pin back the trees?’

 ‘I think that would be most unwise as I don’t think I’d be able to grow any more. Also, I might catch cold!’ echidna cautiously added.

 ‘I shall just have to think of something else,’ said Willy Wally.

 ‘Here comes possum, I’ll ask her.’

‘Possum, could you help trim the trees back with your nice sharp teeth?’

‘I’m much too busy eating bush tucker! If you have any sweet fruit I’d be only too happy to help,’ said possum.

 Rabbits hopped about, but just kept disappearing into their many burrows, so he couldn’t ask them.

 Willy Wally thought some more. There must be an answer.

‘What about Rainbow, I’ll ask her for help.’

 Waiting for the rain seemed to take ages.  A raindrop fell on his head.  Willy Wally flew up to whisper his request to Rainbow, hoping he wouldn’t be refused again.

 ‘Please can you help us Rainbow? The sun isn’t getting into our clearing and we are all getting sad because it is so dark.  Could you come and help lift the branches so that we can trim the branches and leaves to let the light through?’

 Rainbow beamed, ‘I’d love to help! You can use me as a ladder so that when I hold the branches up, you can all trim away, and that should make a big difference. I’ll show you!’

 A meeting was held with all of the bush animals, birds and insects.

Everyone wanted to help, even echidna and possum, as they could see what a good idea it was. As Rainbow pushed with all her might the sun shone through the opening.

 Rainbow called, ‘You will have to work quickly as I can’t stay long!’

 The clearing was set in motion as everyone worked quickly, trimming the willing branches while Rainbow held them in position.

The bush buzzed with activity and excitement, surrounded by singing noises and gnawing and sawing.

 As they completed the task Venus shone in the evening sky.

 The next day as the sun came up the animals decided to do something to show Rainbow how grateful they were for her help.

Rainbow’s colours were faded after such a long stay in one spot.

‘We’ll make lotions and potions to paint and revive your colours,’ they all chorused.

 ‘We’ll paint purple from the wild orchids,’ said the rabbits as they scampered and hopped up Rainbow’s bow.

 ‘We’re next,’ said the birds as they splashed red raspberry juice into the red section. Possums dribbled orange into the next part.

 ‘We’ll prepare yellow,’ said the bees as they busied themselves soaking the yellow section with honey.

 ‘We’ll make green for you to paint,’ said the ants crushing grass juice for the wallabies to apply.

 The smell of eucalyptus filled the air as the koalas added their blue-green potion made from the cut off gum leaves.

 Blue melted into purple from the wild flowers and berries, crushed by the rabbits, which hopped      amongst the slow wombats and echidnas.

 ‘My colours are brighter than they were before!’ Rainbow beamed.

 All of the animals, insects and birds stood around in the now sunny

clearing, encircling Rainbow, as Willy Wally sat on top of the bow with his head cocked to one side, admiring his friend’s smiling faces. Willy Wally slid down the bow feeling warm inside.

 Everyone spontaneously began to sing a thank you song to Rainbow. The trees clapped their leaves in time, feeling lighter after their trim.

 Rainbow thanked the bush creatures and melted away to rest awhile, until she was needed after another shower of rain, to brighten another grey day.

The end

Short Synopsis:

This story is written as a picture book; to not only show how things are better when we cooperate with one another, but it will also help young children learn their colours.













‘Hats’ © 2013 Barbara Pyett


Christopher Pyett, painting,  (detail) Symphonic Poem No.1 (2013)


Barbara Pyett © 2013


When I grow up what shall I be?


When I grow up I’ll be a builder,

work with my best friend Matilda.

Build houses to survive a flood,

from straw and wood and brick and mud

Solar heated, triple glazed,

warm as toast on freezing days.


Being a princess would be hard,

n’er alone on my promenade.

I’d wear jewels and crowns of gold

always doing what I was told.

My gowns too grand to stay outside

and play upon the slippery slide.


When I grow up I’ll be a baker,

sausage rolls and croissant maker.

Cream puffs, pastries, breads the lot,

the smells will waft and wake the block.

Cooking through the night till dawn,

draw joggers in the early morn.


When I grow up I want to be

a vet just like my Auntie Fi.

Helping young ones to be born,

heal animals of every form.

Wombats, possums, lizards and cats,

large or small dogs and even rats!


When I grow up I’ll go to sea,

a captain’s hat’s the one for me.

Some waves will gently rock my bed,

as I wearily rest my head.

Loading cargo and people too,

never dull, as it’s always new.


Gardening is the job for me,

planting flowers for all to see.

Adults watch whilst children play,

gardens blooming in full array.

Running children fly their kites,

dogs chasing them with great delight.


When I grow up I’d like to be,

working with children just like me.

A doctor, nurse or someone kind.

bring joy to the sick, so sublime.

Wearing a hat upon my head,

to bring some smiles to those in bed.


When I grow up I’d like to wear,

an Apiarist’s hat, oh so square!

I’d hide behind a well-sealed suit,

the smoke would make the bees quite mute.

From the hive I’d take the honey,

after eating, make some money.


Cousin Susan is a teacher,

dressing- up is quite a feature.

It sounds like fun to sing and play,

with Kindy children every day.

I could wear an outrageous hat,

keeping the sun off, slip, slop, slap!


Catching fish is a dream of mine,

waking early rainy or fine.

A beany borne to keep me warm,

trying to lure illusive prawns.

Arriving home with lots of fish,

we’d never have an empty dish.


What about a farmer’s life?

Much fresh air and free from strife.

Then I’d wear all kinds of hats,

suiting weathers, that’s a fact.

Sometimes out in frost or rain,

blistering heat I’d harvest grain.


What about a lawyer’s wig?

Do you think I’d look a prig?

Dressing up to play the part,

arguing justly to outsmart,

Convince a jury of a crime,

judge declares, ‘it’s worth a fine!’


A cricketers’ life would be fun,

play outside in the mid-day sun.

Bowling a googly with such grace,

the baggy green in pride of place.

Travelling far with the Aussie team,

would develop my self-esteem.


 Playing Hats:

Playing hats is a game to play when drying the dishes or going for a ride in the car.  This will encourage conversation and learning.

Each person takes a turn saying the name of a different hat.

  • Repetition is not allowed.
  • The game continues until you run out of names of hats.

Some hints for finding names; think of hats being worn from different:

Careers, sports, religions, safety helmets, dressing up, history, leisure activities and most importantly the myriad of hats from different cultures.

  • I envisage this poem illustrated with people wearing hats in different work settings. On the inside covers a multitude of different hats. It is written for children aged 5-8 years.
  • This book ends with an exciting game of Hats that encourages discussion; brings awareness of different cultures and career paths, at the same time expanding vocabulary.

 I would be grateful for any feedback from those of you who have children in your lives.  How did playing hats entertain your children? Poetry is another area for me to explore.  A  book recommended is, ‘The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within.’ by Stephen Fry.