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Kiwis and Koalas
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About the Author

SARAH MILNE lives by the sea in Christchurch with her three-year old daughter and chocolate lab. After learning to walk and talk in Melbourne, Sarah's family moved back to New Zealand, where she spent her childhood and teen years growing up as a quintessential Kiwi. Her early twenties saw her set off on her OE, spending the next decade living (and dividing her heart) between Australia, England and New Zealand, moving back to Christchurch in 2016 to start her own family. During her pregnancy, Sarah contracted a virus which she was told could have devastating effects on her unborn baby. It was on this journey that she learnt of CMV, the most common cause of non-hereditary deafness and the leading viral cause of disability in newborn babies. Sarah's baby tested negative for CMV at birth, but each year hundreds of babies are born with or develop cytomegalovirus-related disease in Australia and New Zealand, alone. A debut author, Sarah wrote Kiwis and Koalas out of a need to bring Australia and New Zealand together in a story, filling a huge gap on our shelves for the hundreds of thousands of families split between our two countries. It was also an incredible opportunity to subtly normalise differences, because every child deserves to see themselves in a picture book.

Reviews

Home is where the heart is, memories are what make us unique. Taking a peek into Lily's world reminded me of how wonderful childhood can be, with a little imagination and without the constraints of time. Zac was born in Australia and we lived happily in Melbourne for close to 14 years before venturing back to New Zealand and settling in the South Island or Te Waipounamu, which my heart prefers. Reading to children will always be one of the greatest gifts of time you can bestow upon them, thank you for the magic Sarah and to you Laura for the wonderful illustrations. - Rebecca Gibney, Kiwi/Australian Actress

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