In 2012 a Southern right whale gave birth to a calf in Sydney Harbour. It was the third time in recorded history that a Southern right whale had been born in the harbour. The mother and calf stayed in the sheltered waters of the city's inlets and bays for several months before heading south to the Antarctic waters. The people of Sydney were entranced by the presence of these whales so close to the city. Since then there have been numerous other sightings of whale calves in Sydney waters, including one which was found nestling next to a boat after being separated from its mother. The story of Fluke is based on these events. Lesley Gibbes' text captures the excitement, joy and awe that the presence of these magnificent mammals create among the citizens of Sydney, while Michelle Dawson's tender illustrations bring the character of Fluke and his rich underwater world to life.
Lesley Gibbes (Author) Lesley Gibbes grew up on Sydney's Northern Beaches and Wagga Wagga, in country NSW. In 1991, she graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Primary) from The University of Sydney and began teaching in Sydney's inner west at Concord Public School, where she specialised in drama and dance. Between 1999 and 2008 she taught at a number of other public schools in NSW, and is currently on leave after having her children, Austin and Georgia. She began writing in 2011 and is a member of the Children's Book Council NSW and the NSW Writers Centre. Her first book Scary Night illustrated by Stephen Michael King and published by Working Title Press was a 2015 Honour Book for CBCA Book of the Year Award - Early Childhood. Her most recent publication with Working Title Press is Quick as a Wink Fairy Pink, published in 2016. Michelle Dawson (Illustrator) Michelle Dawson was born in New Zealand, and moved to Australia in 1985. She has been working as a professional artist since 1996 and has studied both in Australia and the UK. In 2009 she illustrated her first picture book How Weird Is That? a fantastic tale (written by Gyan) which features a collection of amazing hybrid beasts woven around the theme of Australian native animals. Both an art book and a children's book, it was subsequently shortlisted for the 2009 Crichton Award for New Illustrator of the Year. Fluke is her third picture book, which follows the very successful bedtime book Let's go to Sleep written by Margaret Wild and published by Working Title Press in 2013. Michelle lives and works in a converted church near the coast in rural Australia.