John Heffernan (1949 - ) lives on a farm. He’s written for children of all ages: from picture books on. His first book, Spud, was about a blue heeler cattle dog and won several literary awards. Much of his writing is inspired by his experiences living close to the land.
Finding the books: neither are particularly easy to find, and certainly outside Australia, they’re expensive.
A neglected mare has been dumped in a paddock near the Turners’ house. Matt cares for the
mare, who dies, leaving her new born foal. Matt’s family don’t have the money to look after it, but Matt and his siblings and father want to keep it. The vet helps them look after the foal, and when he’s a few weeks old, the foal comes into the house. As he jumps around, he looks like he’s jiving, and they call him Elvis. As the colt grows, he gets into plenty of trouble.
Rachael’s Forest Margaret Hamilton Books, Sydney, 1998, 160 pp.
There is a forest around the house where Rachael lives with her parents. It’s undeveloped and wild, and Rachael loves it. When Rachael’s parents are forced to sell some of their land, including the forest, it is at risk of development. Rachael is horrified and becomes a household name when she protests. For her protests, she pays a terrible price.