Michelle Worthington is an international award-winning author, screenwriter and businesswoman. Shortlisted twice for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s picture book of the year, two-time
winner of the International Book Award and finalist in the USA Best Book Awards, Michelle also received a Gellett Burgess Award and a Silver Moonbeam Award for her contribution to celebrating diversity in literature. Michelle is dedicated to encouraging a strong love of reading and writing in young children and enjoys working with charities that support the vision of empowering youth through education.
In 2021, Michelle was diagnosed with Progressive Nonfluent Aphasia (PNFA) which is a form of dementia. It is a clinical syndrome associated with frontotemporal lobar degeneration and affects her short-term memory and her ability to speak, read and write. Michelle’s personal experience has given her a passion for educating the public that dementia doesn’t just affect older people.
Nicky Johnston is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator. She has several bestselling titles published in Australia and overseas, including At the End of Holyrood Lane, The Fix-It Man, Grandma Forgets, The Incredibly Busy Mind of Bowen Bartholomew Crisp, Saying Goodbye to Barkley, This is My Dad, Upside-Down Friday and Jørn’s Magnificent Imagination, all published by EK Books.
Nicky’s illustration style is often described as whimsical, playful, narrative, emotive and colourful. She loves to work in watercolour, ink, pencils and pastel.
As a primary teacher and acclaimed presenter, Nicky’s love of books sees her thoroughly enjoy taking illustrator workshops and visiting schools regularly. She is passionate about inspiring young children with a love for reading, writing and drawing, encouraging them to use their imagination and develop their own ideas. Nicky lives by the beach with her husband and four sons.
“his gentle story from EK Books, a publishing house that promotes ‘books with heart on issues that matter’ will inform readers about forms of dementia that afflict some families. In this story the chickens are a source of keeping alive memories for the woman and a bridge between her and her children, a common activity that they can share.” Click here to read
Reading For Sanity
“it may bring desperately needed peace, understanding, and comfort to the heart of a child. .” Click here to read
The Strawberry Post
“tackles the issue of early on-set dementia in a way that is easy for children to learn about and explore. The book can help adults to show children what might happen when a family member they know might be diagnosed with this condition and how despite what may happen, their love for their family member and that person’s love for them will never be forgotten.” – click to read in full
“A masterful book about an important topic..”
“This beautifully told story by Michelle Worthington, draws on her own experience of progressive nonfluent aphasia and tackles an important subject in ways that children can relate to.”
Blue Wolf Reviews
“Mama’s Chickens is a special story..” Click here to read
Just So Stories
“A story of acceptance of disability in the sure knowledge that even when a loved one can’t always respond in the way we expect or are used to, we know they still love us and we love them.” Click here to read
Radio National Breakfast
“Speaking is only one form communicating, there are so many other ways you can express love. That is the message I wanted to get across in Mama’s Chickens .”
“the one thing that permeates both the book and the reality, is that undying, unconditional love between parent and child that can never be underestimated …- and if that is the only message a young reader takes from this, then job done and done well, Michelle Worthington.” Click here to read
Kids’ Book Review
“This tale might have wept with candied sentimentality but thanks to Worthington’s considered, unadorned narrative and Johnston’s unobtrusive, gentle water-coloured renditions of this family’s home and backyard, the story chimes with honesty and hope.”Click here to read
North Shore Mums
“The book has initiated open and honest communication with my daughter (who is 7 years old), where we have spoken about dementia not only affecting the elderly and what symptoms such as memory loss, confusion and acting unlike themselves looks like.”Click here to read
What Book Next
“It’s a story full of love, compassion, and understanding.” Click here to read
The Pregnancy Centre
This beautiful picture book by award-winning Australian author, Michelle Worthington, uses the writer’s own experience of early onset dementia to explore the topic in a child friendly way.” Click here to read
Brisbane Sunday Mail
“ Ms Worthington is releasing a new book, Mama’s Chickens, which she hopes will raise awareness and help children understand what dementia can look like when their carer suffers from it”
Picture Book Parents
“The warm tones in the overall design and artwork for Mama’s Chickens keep the mood of the book joyful and that is the overall message that children can take away—Mama’s love is constant no matter what challenges the family experiences.”
Books + Publishing
“Michelle Worthington has written over a dozen books for children. With Mama’s Chickens, her writing expertise, as well as her personal experience with dementia, is evident in the spare text and storytelling format. The result is a beautiful and sensitive portrayal of a potentially heavy subject, which will allow readers from two through six articulate and understand their own feelings.” Click here to read