Paddy O’Melon is the story of Paddy, a young joey seperated from his mother and found and raised by an Irish family. A family who live in the rainforest and help orphaned or injured animals. 

But while Paddy loves his new family, he’s curious to find out who he really is. So he sets out on a journey into the rainforest, where he meets a range of other interesting animals.

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This is a really delightful story about an adopted kangaroo, seeking to find out where he belongs in the world. It’s very engaging, and quite a thorough read.

At first, just going by the cover, I assumed this was more of a picture book for preschool age. But it’s not at all. It’s more pitched at 5-8 year olds.

The writer, Julia Cooper, spends time telling the story of Paddy being rescued and raised by his ‘adopted’ family. This creates a deeper emotional connection with for Paddy’s plight.

Once Paddy does head off into the bush, he meets all manner of interesting Australian wildlife. From tree frogs, to ringtail possums, and rats to cassowary. Paddy goes on quite an adventure, before finally meeting up with his true family.


This is a neat little story and, along with the beautiful illustrations, really captures the essence of the Australian bush. You can very much tell the writer had a real affinity to the native wildlife she cared for.

Julia Cooper, unfortunately, passed away in 2011 from an auto-immune disease. All royalties from this book are being donated to Far North Queensland Wildlife Care. So Julia’s legacy of wildlife rehabilitation and education lives on.

Paddy O’melon – Written by Julia Cooper – Published by EK Books – RRP $14.99


Jarrod is a quintessential Kiwi Dad. He lives in the sunny Horowhenua, and works from a home office, overlooking his chickens and the sea. His inspiration and motivation in life come from his wife and two kids.

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