Author introduces Emily Emu chick 

HALLS GAP - Following the success of 'Playing Possum' and 'Mother McGinty's Goat', children's author Susie Sarah is back with a new book that will be launched in Halls Gap tomorrow night.

For her latest book, titled 'Emily Emu Chick', Susie has teamed up with illustrator and self-taught Grampians artist Helen Leach to tell the story of an orphaned emu chick taken to a bushland wildlife shelter by children, who save its life.

The story gives an insight into emu behaviour often only witnessed by those have these zany exhibitionists in their lives day by day.

'Emily Emu Chick' is based on actual events that took place at Halls Gap Primary School around 1987.

Tomorrow night's launch will take place at Halls Gap's MOCO Gallery from 6pm to 8pm and everyone is welcome.

Both Helen and Susie will be in attendance to sign books and there will be wine tasting, live music and an exhibition of illustrations of the book.

Guests also have the opportunity to purchase prints of the illustrations.

Susie said tomorrow night's event will have a 'local feel' to it.

"It's a reunion of everyone involved in the scenes of the book. Helen's husband, Don Leach, was principal at the school when it happened and a lot of children that were there are still in the district which is great," Susie said.

Susie spent last week touring around the Wimmera, visiting primary schools in Halls Gap, Pomonal and Stawell before teaming up with Kerry Wilson from Stawell Library to conduct reading sessions at Stawell and St Arnaud.

Stawell Library has been working closely with Susie as part of The National Year of Reading and Susie held a session there last Thursday where she also taught children how to create rhymes.

Susie has so far been successful in engaging with the children.

"It's been phenomenal. When we went to the primary schools, we did an emu hunt and practiced how to eat food in the bush - pecking food like emus. The kids had so much fun," Susie said.

Susie will be back in Stawell this Saturday, visiting The Gifted Wombat where she will be on hand to sign copies of 'Emily Emu Chick'.

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