Title: The Adventures of Triz: The Babysitter

Author: Haydn Crespan

Illustrator: Damien Crespan

Publisher: Boolarong Press

Themes: resilience, courage, friendship, prehistoric times

The Adventures of Triz The Babysitter written by Haydn Crespan, illustrated by Damien Crespan and published by Boolarong Press is set in prehistoric times and is about Triz, a small, resilient, caring and courageous gliding lizard (who also delights with some suave dance moves).

Triz’s friend, Marjorie, finds herself in need of someone to look after her unhatched wumpkins and asks Triz to babysit her egg in the nest, which happens to be safely nestled in the tallest tree in the entire forest. True to his word, Triz spends an exhausting hour climbing this massive tree to watch over the egg. He climbs into the nest and falls asleep. Suddenly, Triz is jolted awake, only to discover the freshly hatched wumpkins precariously at the end of a branch. This chick is curious and keen to explore the surroundings, but finds himself in all sorts of danger. Thankfully, Triz is always close by with ingenious ways to protect and save the wumpkins from all sorts of calamities befalling him. Triz is selfless in his actions, often endangering himself to ensure the wumpkins remains safe. Incident after incident, Triz’s determination shines through as he refuses to let anything happen to the chick, even if it is detrimental to him.

This positive story is accompanied by lively illustrations, full of wit and humour that add to the text. Children (and adults) will want to revisit this story to savour these features and for the astute reader there are many details to appreciate.  

At the beginning of this story is some information about the author, Haydn Crespan and illustrator, Damien Crespan. It tells the reader that they were born with Asperger’s syndrome and have faced many challenges throughout their life as they have dealt with much adversity. Damien has an additional challenge as he is colour blind. They wrote this story as they connect with Triz as many readers will, whether it be through personal experience, or because they can empathise with Triz as he never gives up. This book will certainly be a gift to children who face their days with sheer determination to overcome obstacles.

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