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10 March 2010 ·

Mokie and Bik Go to Sea

Yesterday was one of the most exciting days in an author’s working life: the arrival of a new book. Mokie and Bik Go To Sea, the second Mokie & Bik story, will be out in stores in North America on the 31st of this month, but the author’s advance copies always arrive a little earlier.

This one was especially welcome after its long wait – so a special thank you to Jonathan Bean, who persevered to produce wonderful illustrations again despite his difficulties.I hadn’t seen the finished pictures before, and though I’d seen the cover in the advance reading copy a couple of years ago, the finished dustjacket is brighter, bluer, and more beautiful. I always forget just how much lovelier a finished book is than the ARC.

(That’s it over there in the sidebar, in case you hadn’t guessed.)

Actually even the story seemed new, as it’s so long since I finished the edits! Reading the excerpt for the podcast was quite a relief because I still felt the twins’ language was working. (Now I just hope other people think it has too!)

Like the first Mokie & Bik, this book is based on stories of my father and his twin sister’s childhood on a boat in Vancouver harbour, though the one in which a seal fleeing a killer whale jumps into the rowboat, was based on something in the news when I was visiting my parents (ironically, while researching the background for the book.)

(They weren’t really named Mokie and Bik, by the way: but my aunt was called Mokie Anne, because of how she said milk, and so I decided to match that with something – cookies didn’t work, so I played with Biscuit – to Bikkie – to Bik.)

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Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio