Melissa Beil and James Aitken, from Stuart River Rural Fire Brigade, were at Memorial Park on Saturday to help author Chrys McDuffie launch her children’s book “Daddy’s Little Hero”, which is a fundraiser for local rural fire brigades and the Wildlife Rescue service

October 13, 2020

A new children’s book is spearheading a campaign to help raise funds for the South Burnett’s rural firies and Wildlife Rescue South Burnett.

Local author Chrys McDuffie launched “Daddy’s Little Hero” on Saturday in Kingaroy with a sausage sizzle at Memorial Park (with thanks to The Little Butcher in Kingaroy!).

The book tells the story of a six-year-old boy who wants to be just like his father, a member of a rural fire brigade.

The boy stows away on a fire truck to help the brigade battle a bushfire.

Chrys said the story was inspired by last summer’s bushfires, which laid waste to large parts of eastern Australia and are estimated to have killed millions of native animals.

“I’m just an ordinary person but I really wanted to do something to help,” Chrys said.

Chrys teamed up with several other local residents to make the project bigger than just a book.

Musician Rob Fitz-Herbert put the poem the book is based on to music, and he and his daughter, Lily, produced a companion CD to accompany the work.

Recording and production was handled by Nanango’s Tony Cisneros and his business, Phantom Studios.

The book was illustrated by Rob’s other daughter, Amber Fitz-Herbert, a Year 12 student at Kingaroy State High School.

A website was assembled by Simon Neal, and supporting videos were produced by videographer Tina Torrens, from Torkit Business Solutions.

Tina is a member of the Malar-Booie Rural Fire Brigade, which featured in several of the videos alongside members of the Stuart River Rural Fire Brigade.

Chrys said all profits from all book and CD sales would be distributed to local rural fire brigades and the local branch of Wildlife Rescue to help the groups purchase much-needed extra equipment.

She said the more equipment local firies and animal carers had, the better equipped the region would be to deal with future bushfires and protect native wildlife.

“Like most people, I guess, I was horrified by last summer’s bushfires and full of admiration for all the brave people who fought them,” Chrys said.

“This is my way of contributing something as an ordinary person.”

The book, which is aimed at children aged 2-5, is available in traditional hard-copy format or as an e-book or audio book.

The CD is also available in traditional form or as an iTunes download.

Both the book and CD can be purchased securely online through Chrys’ website

Amber, Rod and Lily Fitz-Herbert were part of the large creative team that helped turn the book from an idea into reality


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