‘Mr Tulloch, my students love your book and it would be great if you could come to meet them.’
It was 1988, and I’d just written my first children’s picture book, a collection of very simple stories for young children entitled, unimaginatively but honestly, Stories from our House. It had the advantage of wonderful illustrations by Julie Vivas, famous for her work in Possum Magic, Australia’s best selling picture book of all time.
I was flattered by the teacher’s invitation and arranged the visit, a little nervous about what would happen when I got there. Reading the stories would take five minutes. What could I offer after that?
‘Where is your school, exactly?’
I’d heard of Cabramatta, and what I’d heard was not good.