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  • Published: 20 September 2022
  • ISBN: 9781760894061
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 40
  • RRP: $24.99

Dirt by Sea

Honour CBCA Picture Book of the Year

Explore our wonderful coastline and the joy of a family road-trip with Dad and Daisy!

Along the way, they will discover all about Australia and much, much more.

Daisy lives in inland Australia with her dad and her grandparents, loving the red dirt land around her. But when her dad realises she's never seen the beach, they set off on a trip you won't want to miss.

A once-in-a-lifetime father-daughter trip along the Australian coast that was inspired by the first holiday Daisy's dad took with her mum. With a journey map in the endpapers, you or your young ones could even start planning your own Aussie adventure..

For Little Adventurers: What They Will Learn
* An appreciation for the diverse Australian landscape
* The value of quality family time
* The joy of discovering new places
* Emotional growth through a gentle exploration of loss

A Keepsake for All Seasons
Dive into a modern classic with this visually captivating picture book, featuring 40 pages of extraordinary comic-style illustrations. This visual feast perfectly complements the heartwarming, uniquely Australian narrative, engaging both kids and adults.

Ideal for young minds from early childhood to middle primary, it offers an emotionally rich story that nurtures growth. This picture book is a perfect keepsake, equally delightful under a Christmas tree or as a summer day companion, making it a treasured addition to any collection.


"Vibrant and engaging... " BOOKSELLER AND PUBLISHER
"Destined to become a classic." GLAMADELAIDE
"A most appealing graphic novel in picture book form..." PAPERBARK WORDS
"An entertaining story with thoughtfulness, depth, and lots of fun to be had." MAGPIES
"Engaging dialogues and witty illustrations..." INTERNATIONAL YOUTH LIBRARY
"A book that will bear repeated readings." READPLUS
"It’s the new Possum Magic or Wombat Stew." ONE MORE PAGE

  • Published: 20 September 2022
  • ISBN: 9781760894061
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 40
  • RRP: $24.99

About the authors

Michael Wagner

Michael Wagner is a children's author, speaker and storyteller. He writes for early childhood and for older children, and runs the publishing venture Billy Goat Books. Some of his most-loved picture books include Why I Love Footy, Why I love Summer and Dirt by Sea illustrated by Tom Jellett.
Prior to becoming a children's author, Michael played in a band that almost became famous, spent ten years working as a radio broadcaster with the ABC, wrote and produced award-winning animation for television, and wrote and performed comedy.

Tom Jellett

Tom Jellett is an Australian book and editorial illustrator based in Sydney. Some of his work includes the Sporty Kids and The Besties series written by Felice Arena, Grandpa's Big Adventure and Grandpa's Space Adventure written by Paul Newman, his picture books with Justine Clarke and Arthur Baysting, The Gobbledygook is Eating a Book and The Gobbledygook and the Scribbledynoodle, and his acclaimed picture books with Michael Wagner Why I Love Footy, Why I Love Summer and Dirt by Sea.
His work can also be seen in a number of magazines and newspapers.

Praise for Dirt by Sea

. . . vibrant and engaging . . . subtly poignant and deftly constructed . . . Both author and illustrator know exactly when to pull back and allow the other to shine and, together, they have created something rather special.

Michael Earp, Bookseller and Publisher

Carried along in the conversations between the two, it becomes a personal journey of development for Daisy . . . By the time they make it home, neither Dad nor Daisy are the same people who left, and there is a bond between them that the reader knows will endure long into their futures.

Barbara Braxton, Australian Teacher Librarian Network

cleverly illustrated in comic-book style . . . an entertaining story with thoughtfulness and depth and lots of fun to be had

Magpies magazine

This is a joyful trip with lots to see on every colourful, detailed page where the narrative, illustrations and the comics work together seamlessly . . . Destined to become a classic

Jan Kershaw, GlamAdelaide

. . . a most appealing graphic novel in picture book form . . . about a father and daughter’s trip around Australia’s coastline . . . highlighting their love for each other [and] the vast and diverse beauty of Australia

Joy Lawn, Paperbark Words

. . . engaging dialogues and witty illustrations that celebrate Australia with its diverse culture, fauna, and flora . . . and enjoyable read and will doubtlessly inspire readers to set off on their own read trip as soon as possible.

International Youth Library, The White Ravens - A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Awards & recognition

CBCA Book of the Year Awards

Honour Award  •  2023  •  Picture Book

CBCA Book of the Year Awards

Shortlisted  •  2023  •  Picture Book

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Dirt by Sea Activity

Build a Kombi with Dad and Daisy!

One author-illustrator duo talks about working together and staying creative

We chatted with author Michael Wagner and illustrator Tom Jellett to learn about their new book, Dirt by Sea.

Teachers' notes