From her sun-filled home in Hughes, children's author and public servant Catherine Meatheringham likes to capture the world, simply and beautifully, for her young readers.
Her latest picture book, Knock Knock, explores the different ways people say hello and knock knock around the world.
With stunning illustrations by Deb Hudson, the book reveals the depth of each culture in just a page and a few words.
It is book number three for the mum-of-two, Knock Knock being launched on Saturday at The Book Cow in Kingston.
One of the pages features Tonga (where "knock, knock" is "tukituki") and guests from the High Commission of Tonga will be also at the book launch.
"All of my books have onomatopoeia in them, so I love books with sounds that encourage kids to join in with the stories, especially that early childhood market, so that they are part of the story and engaged," she said.
"This one, in particular, I'm really passionate about kids being exposed to different cultures and different lives, but also we have such a multicultural society in Australia and this is a way to showcase that element as well."
Her books are published by Windy Hollow Books, an independent Australian publisher based in Melbourne.
Her first, My Possum Plays the Drums, about the noises a possum makes on the roof at night was released in 2020.
That was followed the next year by All Dogs Bark, about the different barks dogs make around the world.
Both were shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year award.
"Similarly with this one, the knock knock sound, I just love that it's different in different countries. The "klopf klopf" of Germany or "tukituki" from Tonga," she said.
"The sounds are a nice way to invite children in to learn about the culture."
Catherine and her husband Nicholas have two children, George, nine, and Alexandra, six. She combines her writing with a career in the public service.
"I studied English at university so I've always had that passion about writing and literature," she said.
Catherine, 41, was thrilled to see how illustrator Deb Hudson had brought Knock Knock to life. Her own ideas for her books brew as she goes about her daily life.
"The thing about kids' books, which is lovely, is so much of it is thinking in your head. I might be walking the dog or down at the park with the kids [ideas will come]. Long drives, I'll often be thinking of words," she said.
"And then just holding it in hard copy and actually seeing it and reading it, that's a lovely moment."
Growing up in Canberra, Catherine went to school at Hughes Primary, the same school her own children now attend, and later at Canberra Girls Grammar School.
She has another book with Windy Hollow Books coming out in March, the details still under wraps, but about diversity in families.
"I'm quite passionate about kids seeing something of their life in a book," she said.
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