Meet the characters of An Aussie Year

An Aussie Year written by the talented Tania McCartney, with gorgeous illustrations by Tina Snerling, is now on a virtual blog tour.

And today Tania and Tina, as well as Ned, Lily, Zoe, Kirra and Matilda, the characters of An Aussie Year, drop by my blog. Yay! I’m so excited. I’ve even vacuumed and borrowed some extra chairs.

I think I hear them now. Yes, there’s the door bell.

Welcome Tania McCartney, Tina Snerling, Ned, Lily, Zoe, Kirra and Matilda to my blog.

Thanks Helen for inviting us. We are excited to be here. We’re having such a wonderful time on our virtual tour.

Please help yourself to some juice and bickies.

Thanks Helen. That’s kind of you.

To get started, could you tell us about An Aussie Year?

Love to Helen.

Five Aussie kids – Ned, Lily, Zoe, Kirra and Matilda – take you on a journey through a year in the life of Australian children, from cultural celebrations to traditions and events, to our everyday way of life.

An Aussie Year is a picture book bursting with national pride. It is a snapshot of who we are as a nation, covering our melting-pot culture, lifestyle and traditions. Its pages feature trailing, meandering text, dates and gorgeous illustrations showing our five Aussie children at play, at school, at home, enjoying their homeland – from the tropical north to our rugged west.

Trailing through the seasons and idiosyncrasies endemic to each month of the year, this is Our Australian Childhood.

Tania and Tina, you should both be very proud. What a wonderful book! I just love the pictures, and the cover is just gorgeous. It is also wonderful to see a picture book celebrating our Aussie childhood with a snapshot of our culture, lifestyle and traditions.

How about we meet the characters and find out how Tania and Tina came up with them. So it’s over to Tania and Tina whilst I refill the bickie plate.

Thanks Helen.

Meet the Aussie Year Characters!

An Aussie Year didn’t always have a cast of characters. While working on the book’s production with Tina, it became apparent that we needed some relatable characters — to essentially ‘show’ kids around the book and through the many wonders that make up twelve months in the life of Aussie kids.

We decided on five central characters — Ned, Lily, Zoe, Kirra and Matilda — who in some way represent as many of the varied Australian ethnicities as possible. Of course, it would be impossible to include them all in a 32pp picture book! But we hope this variety of kids will in some way resonate with many of the children who read this book.

So let’s meet the characters!


Name: Ned

age: 10

background: Australian.

born: In Australia; Ned’s family is fifth generation Australian.

nickname: Kelly

family: Two brothers — one younger, one older.

fun: Cartooning and video games.

sports: Footy, footy footy.

likes: Footy and footy cards and coins.

dislikes: Shopping.

fave colour: Blue.

fave food: Fish and chips, and mixed lollies.

wants to be: A helicopter pilot.


Name: Lily

age: 9

background: Vietnamese/Chinese.

born: In Australia; her Mum is from China and her Dad from Vietnam.

nickname: Lilli Pilli

family: Mum and Dad — she is an only child.

fun: Reading and origami.

sports: Skipping and swinging.

likes: Writing, making her own books, flowers.

dislikes: People who litter.

fave colour: Red.

fave food: Noodles and chocolate chip cookies.

wants to be: A journalist.

Name: Zoe

age: 8

background: Greek.

born: In Australia; her parents moved to Australia from Greece well before Zoe was born.

nickname: Koukla (it means ‘little doll’)

family: She has four older brothers and sisters. She is the youngest.

fun: Dancing, dancing dancing!

sports: Dancing! Also skating and skiing.

likes: Acting, making up dances and shows for the family, dolls.

dislikes: Older brothers who hide her dolls.

fave colour: Purple.

fave food: Baklava and BBQs.

wants to be: An actress.


age: 7

background: Aboriginal.

born: In Australia; his ancestors have been here many thousands of years.

nickname: K

family: Two little sisters.

fun: Playing with Warrigal the dog on the beach.

sports: Skateboarding and surfing,

likes: Playing on the iPad, exploring rockpools.

dislikes: People who litter.

fave colour: Green.

fave food: Spaghetti Bolognaise and icy poles.

wants to be: An environmental scientist.

Name: Matilda

age: 6

background: Irish parents.

born: In Ireland, came to Australia when she was a baby.

nickname: Tilly

family: A younger brother.

fun: Sewing and animals.

sports: Horse riding,

likes: Pink milkshakes, summer, the zoo.

dislikes: Beetroot (even though it’s pink).

fave colour: Pink (what else?)

fave food: Cheese toasties and watermelon.

wants to be: A vet

Thanks Tania, Tina, Ned, Lily, Zoe, Kirra and Matilda for dropping by. I know you have a busy tour schedule and need to get ready for your next blog stop. I wish you well with the success of An Aussie Year.

Thanks Helen. It was fun.

Tania, Tina, Ned, Lily, Zoe, Kirra and Matilda may have left, but readers please don’t go yet! Let’s find out more about Tania and Tina, the creators of An Aussie Year.

Tania McCartney
photo Tania McCartney
Tania is a book-obsessed author, editor, reviewer, photographer, traveller, mum of two and wife of one. She simply adores words and paper—and would ingest them if she could (though she’ll settle for a good coffee). She frequently flits around cyberspace but can also be seen visiting schools and libraries, running workshops, reading to kids or pushing tomes onto unsuspecting shoppers in bookshops. Tania lives in Canberra, but would like to live inside a book.

Tina Snerling
photo Tina Snerling
Tina Snerling is a designer, illustrator, artist, web designer, seamstress and mum. She adores Paris, fabric, design and paper. She lives a very illustrated life—one day she’s creating children’s books, the next she’s creating websites (in between the washing and school lunches!). She’s the type who has a notebook by her bed because most good ideas happen when you’re supposed to be sleeping. She lives in Brisbane with her two gorgeous poppets and one gorgeous husband.

An Aussie Year Virtual Tour Schedule

Join Ned, Zoe, Lily, Kirra and Matilda on this journey around the webosphere, from 21 October to 21 November. There will be reviews, sneak peeks, guest posts and lots of fabulous giveaways including some publishing opps! See the entire tour schedule right here –

An Aussie Year: Twelve Months in the Life of Australian Kids by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling

(Oct 2013, EK Publishing, $19.99, hard cover, 9781921966248)


About Helen Ross

Welcome to my creative world. I have many passions; some of which I write about in my blog posts. I have a quirky sense of humour, and dance to the beat of my own drum. Thanks for dropping by and hope you visit again soon. I always have tea, coffee, wine and cake.
This entry was posted in All my posts, Australian children's books, Australian children's picture books, author promotion, Helen Ross writes, kit lit, Virtual blog tours and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Meet the characters of An Aussie Year

  1. Astrojoey says:

    Enjoyed reading about the characters. Looks fun-AJ:)

  2. Pingback: Lesson Seventeen – I’m a Hypocrite…in our Paradise

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