Where the Heart Is

USD $18.99

ACT Writers Notable Awards 2022 Shortlisted Children’s Book

Inspired by an extraordinary true story, Where the Heart Is explores the friendship between Dindim the Magellanic penguin and his rescuer, Joao. With gorgeous illustrations and flowing prose, it depicts Dindim’s 8000-mile journey to his Patagonian home, and his longing to return. Young readers will delight in travelling across the ocean with Dindim, meeting whales and albatross! Heartfelt and educational, this is a celebration of the power of friendship and the beauty of the natural world.



Watch this fun reading by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, on her YouTube Channel Storytime with Fergie and Friends:


SPECIFICATIONS: 9781925820874 | Hardback | 245 x 255mm / 9.5 x 10in | 32 Pages | Full Colour

A celebration of the power of friendship and the beauty of the natural world

A word from the author..

Paragraph Description 1: “The bond between humans and animals (wild or domesticated) can be so special, and I’ve experienced this myself with elephants in Thailand (I am an Ambassador for the Save Elephant Foundation). I’m passionate about wild animals remaining in the wild, but this can only happen if humans do not destroy their habitats. In this case, this happened with the oil spill that threatened Dindim’s life.”

– Irma Gold




A cheeky Penguin

“Almost a year after he first arrived on Joao’s beach, Dindim shed his feathers and grew in a new coat. He was becoming a very handsome penguin indeed.”





An Iconic Duo

In 2011, Dindim, a Magellanic penguin, washed up on an island village beach just outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, near Joao’s home. Since his rescue, Dindim has spent eight months of every year with Joao, leaving in February for the Patagonia coasts of Argentina and Chile, and returning in June. The trip back to Joao is an extraordinary 8000 kilometres (4970 miles). Scientists say they have never seen anything like it. Where the Heart Is is inspired by this true story.





Irma Gold is an award-winning author and editor of books for adults and children. She is the author of five picture books and is Ambassador for the ACT Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge. She is also the author of a novel, The Breaking, and a short fiction collection, Two Steps Forward. As a freelance editor she works for publishers big and small, and for a decade she was Convener of Editing at the University of Canberra. Irma is Co-Host of the Secrets from the Green Room podcast.  

Susannah Crispe is a Canberra-based wildlife illustrator, inspired by a background in zoology and art history, and a love of beautifully crafted books. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Sydney (2008) and studied Zoology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of New England.

Wildlife and travel are big parts of Susannah’s life. She has worked as a volunteer research assistant with several organisations in Australia, including working with wild Tasmanian Devils, Quolls and Bettongs, and volunteered at the National Zoo and Aquarium working with native Australian animals. She has also travelled extensively, including to Chile, where she was lucky enough to visit a Magellanic Penguin colony.

In terms of illustration, Susannah is largely self-taught, and works primarily in watercolour and digital collage. She has been illustrating professionally for four years for a range of clients, producing a large selection of greeting cards, logo designs and wildlife artworks. Susannah is also a stay-at-home-mum, where reading books with the kids forms a huge part of her everyday routine. Where the Heart Is is her first book.

English 4-11
“This is a heart-warming story, beautifully and gently illustrated. Children will love it!


A delightful story that is a heartfelt celebration of the power of friendship and the beauty of nature, and what it really means to find your home
Children and adults will enjoy this heartfelt rescue story. It is even more poignant considering it is based on a true life story.

Educate. Empower 
“this book will pull at your heartstrings”


The Teacher’s Tool Kit
“an extraordinary and wonderful story”

Buzz Words Magazine
“There is little need to varnish such an extraordinary tale, and this book does a lovely job of relating the story for a young audience. The gentle watercolours perfectly illustrate the environment and emotional landscape. The penguins are rendered with character and dynamism.” 

School Days Magazine
“it’s a lovely book to read with emerging readers as they learn about love and caring for others..” 

One More Page Podcast. Ep 60
“A really sweet, delightful story … I loved the colour palette and the really cute little Penguin”

Swings and round about Magazine
This heartfelt tale is beautifully told through descriptive detailed prose and stunning illustrations that demonstrate the tender relationship between Joao and Dindim. 

The story reminds us all of the bonds that can be created between man and animal and the difference we make when we care.


National Library of Australia Newsletter
“With beautiful prose and stunning illustrations, Dindim’s story will capture the hearts of young readers and adults alike” Click here to read

The Carousel
“a heartfelt celebration of friendship, the magnificence of nature and what it feels like to find your home.” Click here to read

The Barefoot Mommy
I dare you to read this book and not close it with a smile on your face!” Click here to read

Western Suburbs Weekly
“highlights the importance of friendship and environmental conservation” 

The Canberra Times 
“There is pathos, sentiment, adventure, danger and solace in this charming book about the strength of friendship and the power of kindness and caring..” Click here to read

NZ Booklovers
Your heart will melt when you meet Dindim, a little penguin lost in the waves who ends up on the coast of Brazil.
Children will find much to love about this book. Click here to read

The Space magazine (ECC)
It is well written, with some vivid language and exciting action, and accompanied by delightful drawings you will find yourself looking at again and again. 

Bookworms for Kids

“With beautiful prose and stunning illustrations, Dindim’s story will capture the hearts of young readers and adults alike.” Click here to read the full review

NZ Booklovers
“Your heart will melt when you meet Dindim, a little penguin lost in the waves who ends up on the coast of Brazil. Children will find much to love about this book, not only in the story.”
Click here for the full review


“This touching story is inspired by a true story about a penguin. Gentle, involving illustrations.”

The Surf Coast Bookshelf
“This is fast becoming a favourite new release in our Library. The discussion that follows has been rich and insightful. This book will resonate with your entire primary school audience. It is an absolute delight.”

It’s A Librarians Life
“a heartfelt celebration of the power of friendship, the beauty of nature, and what it really means to find your home” Click here for the full review.

The Bottom Shelf
“celebrates friendship and the power of the words, ‘If you love something, set it free.’” Click here for the full review.

Love Four Learning
“This a sweet story of a bond between an animal and human that will tug on your heartstrings … this is also a good book for discussing the effects of humans on animal habitat.” Click here for the full review.

Ms S Burns
“Books like this show children that small actions make a difference and help to tell stories of friendship and the importance of the environment and conservation efforts.” Click here for the full review.

Living Arts Canberra Podcast
“This book is a perfect example of the capacity of the picture book to both enchant and inform us. Based on the true story of a remarkable relationship between a Magellanic penguin called Dindim and Joao, the man who rescued him after an oil spill, Where The Heart Is is  … a love story (and) provides the impetus for children and adults to discuss the bigger impact of destructive human activity on fragile natural places and the animal world.” Click here to listen.

Kids’ Book Review
“a powerful and joyful tale that proves friendship and love know no distance.” Click here for the full review.

The South Sydney Herald

Where the Heart Is offers insights into the comfort to be found in friendship, and the strong bonds that can form between humans and animals. A rare bird of a book: light and deep in equal measure.” Click here for full review


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