Warner among authors helping kids with cancer

David Warner's "The Kaboom Kid" one of three books selected in the Koala Kids February Book Club

David Warner proves the pen is mightier than the sword – or bat – with his debut children’s book The Kaboom Kid; just one of three books included in this month’s KOALA Kids February book club.

The book club is aimed at engaging and educating children who are undergoing long-term cancer treatment in the Children’s Cancer Centres at The Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital.

Warner wrote about ‘Davey Warner’ – a schoolboy from the fictional town of Sandhill Flats who lives and breathes cricket.

“I’m proud that my book has been recognised by such a worthy cause and I hope that they can bring kids some enjoyment while they are going through a tough time,” Warner explained.

With such a heavy cricket schedule, Warner is committed to taking whatever time he has to continue to produce children's books - particularly with the recent arrival of his daughter.

“If I have a bit of time away writing is something I will definitely look at doing a little more, especially now that I have Ivy.”

Another author included in the list is Neridah McMullin who penned Knockabout Cricket about the life of legendary indigenous cricketer Johnny Mullagh.

Mrs McMullin will also read the three books to the children in the wards, hoping to take their minds off their illness and onto literature and illustration. 

“People have been amazingly supportive … reading is pure escapism which is great for these kids – it’s quite hands on too,” Mrs McMullin said.

“It’s a really informal and flexible way to engage the kids in literature while creating a diversion from the effects of chemotherapy.”

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Neridah McMullin's Knockabout Cricket about Indigenous cricketer Johnny Mullugh (above)

Knockabout Cricket’s main protagonist Johnny Mullugh was known as a unique trailblazer – credited as the first person to play the ramp shot back in the 19th century – ideals that Mrs McMullin would like to correlate with the kids.

“We need to encourage these kids to be unique, be their own person and just have a go,” she said.

Koala Kids Program Director Mandy Mandie detailed the programs successes at providing the small things that make a difference.

“These themed book clubs have been a great distraction for kids who deal with hellish treatment day in and day out,” Ms Mandie explained.

“Some mothers come up and say “you've saved my day, I actually forgot where I was for a moment” and that’s what the program is really about.”

The Koala Kids have also implemented initiatives including monthly morning teas and pizza days as well as creative art lessons to engage the children.

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