Picture of author.

Jackie French

Author of Diary of a Wombat

260 Works 8,410 Members 219 Reviews 10 Favorited

About the Author

Jackie French was born on November 29, 1953 in Sydney, Australia. She overcame dyslexia to write over 140 books for both children and adults. Her children's books include Diary of a Wombat, Christmas Wombat, Flood, and Fire. A Waltz for Matilda, published in 2016, won the Kids Reading Oz Choice show more (KROC) Award for fiction for years 7-9. She has also written 6 gardening books. She has received numerous awards including the 2000 CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers and the UK Wow! Award for Hitler's Daughter, an Aurealis Award for Cafe on Callisto, and ACT Book of the Year for In the Blood. She was chosen to be the Australian National Children's Laureate for 2014-2015 and was named the 2015 Senior Australian of the Year. She also won a 2015 Excellence Award and the Redmond Barry Award, which honors contributions to the library and information sector. In 2016, she and illustrator Peter Bray won the ACT Writing and Publishing Award in the children's book category for their book, Horace the Baker's Horse and she was given the Pixie O'Harris Award for service to Australian children's books given by the Australian Book Industry Awards. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Includes the names: Jackie French, Jacqueline French

Also includes: French (1)


Works by Jackie French

Diary of a Wombat (2002) 1,384 copies, 38 reviews
Hitler's Daughter (1999) 611 copies, 11 reviews
Diary of a Baby Wombat (2009) 328 copies, 15 reviews
Pete the Sheep (2004) 215 copies, 2 reviews
Josephine Wants to Dance (2006) 196 copies, 1 review
Christmas Wombat (2011) 181 copies, 8 reviews
A Rose for the Anzac Boys (2008) 159 copies, 12 reviews
Too Many Pears! (2003) 158 copies, 6 reviews
Flood (2011) 118 copies, 1 review
A Waltz for Matilda (2010) 117 copies, 7 reviews
Pharaoh: The Boy Who Conquered the Nile (2007) 113 copies, 7 reviews
Tom Appleby Convict Boy (2004) 111 copies, 4 reviews
Backyard Self-Sufficiency (1992) 111 copies, 2 reviews
Pennies For Hitler (2012) 107 copies, 12 reviews
Wombat Goes to School (2013) 89 copies, 1 review
Nanberry: Black Brother White (2011) 82 copies, 1 review
They Came on Viking Ships (2005) 80 copies, 3 reviews
Somewhere Around the Corner (1994) 79 copies, 1 review
Fire (2014) 73 copies
Walking the Boundaries (1993) 70 copies
Grim Crims & Convicts (2005) 67 copies, 2 reviews
The girl from Snowy River (2012) 65 copies, 2 reviews
Jackie French's Chook Book (1993) 62 copies
Macbeth and Son (2006) 60 copies, 1 review
The donkey who carried the wounded (2009) 57 copies, 1 review
Daughter of the Regiment (1998) 56 copies
The Night They Stormed Eureka (2009) 56 copies, 2 reviews
The tomorrow book (2010) 54 copies
Rover (2007) 51 copies, 3 reviews
The Book of Unicorns (1997) 51 copies, 1 review
The road to Gundagai (2013) 51 copies, 1 review
Miss Lily's Lovely Ladies (2017) 50 copies, 1 review
A Day to Remember (2012) 47 copies
The Shaggy Gully Times (2007) 46 copies
Queen Victoria's Underpants (2010) 46 copies
Soldier on the Hill (1998) 43 copies, 1 review
Refuge (2013) 42 copies, 2 reviews
The Secret World of Wombats (2005) 41 copies, 3 reviews
To love a sunburnt country (2014) 40 copies, 3 reviews
Slave Girl (1600) 34 copies, 1 review
Oracle (2010) 33 copies, 3 reviews
Rain stones (1991) 33 copies
In the Blood (2001) 32 copies, 2 reviews
The camel who crossed Australia (2008) 32 copies, 2 reviews
I am Juliet (2014) 32 copies, 1 review
Missing You, Love Sara (2000) 30 copies, 2 reviews
The Fire Wombat (2020) 29 copies
The White Ship (2002) 29 copies
The Ghost by the Billabong (2015) 29 copies, 1 review
Goodbye, Mr Hitler (2017) 28 copies
Dancing with Ben Hall (1997) 28 copies, 1 review
My Mom The Pirate (2003) 28 copies, 1 review
The Lily and the Rose (2018) 28 copies
Birrung the Secret Friend (2015) 26 copies, 1 review
Organic control of common weeds (1989) 26 copies, 1 review
The Angel of Waterloo (2020) 26 copies
Grandma Wombat (2016) 26 copies
My Dad the Dragon (Funny Families) (2004) 25 copies, 2 reviews
If blood should stain the wattle (2016) 24 copies, 1 review
Wombat Wins (2015) 24 copies
Hairy Charlie and the Frog (1993) 24 copies
Book of Thyme (1993) 23 copies
Blood Moon (2002) 23 copies, 1 review
Book of Mint (1993) 23 copies, 1 review
Facing the Flame (2017) 22 copies, 1 review
Tajore Arkle (1999) 22 copies, 1 review
Book of Lavender (1993) 22 copies
Valley of Gold (2003) 22 copies
To the Moon and Back (2004) 21 copies, 1 review
Dark Wind Blowing (2001) 21 copies, 1 review
The Dog Who Loved a Queen (2007) 19 copies, 1 review
Beyond the boundaries (1996) 19 copies
Good dog Hank (2014) 19 copies
Summerland (1996) 19 copies
War for Gentlemen (2003) 19 copies
Flesh and Blood (2004) 18 copies, 1 review
Cyclone (2016) 18 copies
Lady Dance (2000) 18 copies, 1 review
Koala Bare (2017) 18 copies
The Lily in the Snow (2019) 18 copies
How to Guzzle Your Garden (1999) 18 copies, 1 review
Just a Girl (2018) 18 copies, 2 reviews
Year in the Valley: Seasons of Content (2010) 17 copies, 2 reviews
Third Witch (2017) 16 copies, 2 reviews
The Earth Gardener's Companion (2009) 16 copies, 1 review
Becoming Mrs Mulberry (2023) 16 copies, 1 review
Household Self-sufficiency (1994) 16 copies
Rocket your child into reading (2004) 15 copies, 1 review
Pandemic (2020) 15 copies
Queen Victoria's Christmas (2013) 15 copies, 1 review
Dingo: The Dog Who Conquered a Continent (2012) 15 copies, 1 review
Seasons of content (1998) 15 copies, 1 review
My Name is Not Peaseblossom (2019) 15 copies, 1 review
The last dingo summer (2018) 15 copies, 1 review
No Hearts of Gold (2021) 15 copies, 1 review
Ophelia, Queen of Denmark (2015) 15 copies
How High Can a Kangaroo Hop (2008) 15 copies
Lilies, Lies and Love (2020) 14 copies
Dinosaurs Love Cheese (2013) 14 copies
The Boy Who Had Wings (1993) 14 copies
Millie Loves Ants (2017) 13 copies
Tiger tangle (2012) 12 copies
The Secret Beach (1995) 12 copies
Elephant alert (2012) 11 copies
Pirate Boy of Sydney Town (2019) 11 copies
Shark attack (2012) 11 copies
Happy Birthday Wombat (2019) 11 copies
The Schoolmaster's Daughter (2020) 11 copies
The music from the sea (1993) 10 copies
My Uncle Gus the Garden Gnome (2010) — Author — 10 copies
Dippy's big day out (2018) 10 copies
Book of Chilli (Herb Book) (1994) 10 copies, 1 review
Wonderfully Wacky Families (2009) 10 copies, 1 review
My Auntie Chook the Vampire Chicken (2010) — Author — 9 copies
Book of Rosemary (1993) 9 copies
The Sea Captain's Wife (2024) 9 copies
Gorilla grab (2012) 9 copies
A-Z of Useful Plants (1990) 9 copies, 1 review
Book of Garlic (1994) 8 copies
With Love from Miss Lily (2017) 8 copies, 1 review
Drought (2022) 8 copies
The organic garden doctor (1988) 8 copies
When the war is over (2019) 7 copies
Secret Sparrow (2023) 7 copies, 1 review
My Gran the Gorilla (2006) 7 copies, 1 review
My Pa the Polar Bear (2010) 7 copies
Growing Flowers Naturally (1997) 7 copies
Yates Guide to Herbs (1994) 7 copies
Pumpkin Book (1996) 6 copies
Alien Games (1995) 6 copies
Mind's Eye (1996) 6 copies
Horace the baker's horse (2015) 6 copies
The Black House (2003) 5 copies
Mermaids (1995) 5 copies
The Metal Men (1994) 4 copies
Earthly Delights (2001) 4 copies
Plants that never say die (1995) 3 copies
The Turtle and the Flood (2023) 3 copies
Natural Rose Growing (1988) 3 copies
Charlie's Gold (1999) 3 copies
The cafe on Callisto (2001) 3 copies
Space pirates on Callisto (2002) 3 copies
All of Us (2019) 2 copies
Salad gardening (1992) 2 copies
Night ride into danger (2021) 2 copies
Tornado (2024) 2 copies
Captain purrfect (2002) 2 copies
Vampire Slugs on Callisto (2006) 2 copies
Christmas in Paris (2019) 2 copies
Narmer, Eroberer des Nils (2008) 2 copies
Plague 1 copy
The Phredde Collection (2011) 1 copy
The space bug (2002) 1 copy
Burt and the band (2000) 1 copy
The tinytoreum (2010) 1 copy
Top koala (2019) 1 copy


Common Knowledge

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Places of residence
Araluen, New South Wales, Australia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
children's book author
Awards and honors
CBCA Book of the Year (Younger Readers ∙ 2000)
Senior Australian of the Year (2015)
Short biography
Jackie French is a prolific author who writes gardening books, historical works (fiction and non-fiction), and various other works for children including books on wombats and fairies.



Another fascinating Jackie French book! This book was generally very easy to read and it kept me turning the pages. However, I dropped it down to three stars because I couldn't keep up with all the characters. I have read all the previous books in the series but not in the last year and it was impossible to remember who all the minor characters were without a bit of history. I knew I recognised their names but not enough about them to help make the story make sense and I think what was needed was a family tree in the beginning of the book. The second half of the book featured many minor characters and I was confused for most of it trying to work out who was related to whom and whether or not I was supposed to feel attached to them.
I also felt that the deaths in the book were forced. Many, many people died in the war but also many families were involved in the war and suffered no casualties. In my immediate grandmother's family many fought and no one was killed. I think the death at the end of the book was purely for dramatic effect and in a way sordid for that reason.
If not for these reasons it would have been a solid 4 stars from me.
… (more)
ChariseH | 2 other reviews | May 25, 2024 |
Don't read this book until you are familiar with Macbeth, there are many sections that would be hard to follow without having read or studied the play.
This was my second of Jackie French's Shakespeare retellings and I will certainly be reading the third book as well.
I felt conflicted about my rating because while I enjoyed all the aspects of the story in regard to women and class divide and true happiness I found it difficult to sympathise with Annie. While she claims to be loyal, I found her loyalty quite shallow and self serving. If I was going to have someone looking out for me I would much prefer it to be Rab or Agnes rather than Annie.
This would have been a solid four star read for me for the clever retelling but Annie's character brings it down to 3.5 stars.
… (more)
ChariseH | 1 other review | May 25, 2024 |
Representation: Black, Asian and First Australian characters
Trigger warnings: Near-death experience, racism, racist slur, death in a car crash and other people, military violence and war themes, colonisation, World War Two, Vietnam War, refugee experiences, displacement, PTSD
Score: Five out of ten.
I own this book. Find this review on The StoryGraph.

Well. This one was bizarre. I got this one at a library giveaway, and glanced at the blurb, making Refuge seem intriguing. However, I headed in with low expectations considering the equally low ratings. When I closed the final page, it was hard to enjoy Refuge because of all the issues, especially cultural appropriation.

It starts with the first character I see, Faris, on a boat with other people, escaping from a war-torn country (whose name remains unknown) when a wave tosses them into the sea, but surprisingly, Faris survives in the opening pages. The plot thickens when he discovers other characters from different countries, but, most notably, different times, like the time system is broken, allowing for stuff like this to happen.

Unfortunately, the pacing slows from there, and that is only the beginning of the problems Jackie French could've addressed to improve her creation. The characters also lack depth and sometimes can be hard to read with irritating dialogue, making me disconnect and find it harder to relate with them. I liked where the author was going with a story on the many peoples of Australia and showing how some refugees made it, but others didn't, but the execution could've been better. The plot is strange and challenging to wrap my head around, because Faris landed on Australia, but something is off about it based on the description, which describes a house next to the beach with some native animals. I think Refuge tried to combine fantasy and realism but it didn't work out that well. The supporting characters are only diverse to tick boxes and not do anything meaningful, and there were too many (removing some could improve the reading experience.) Could the author at least name the country Faris came from and not leave it up to interpretation?

The worst flaw of Refuge is the cultural appropriation since the author doesn't match the characters' attributes. An author more similar to the characters would've written a more enjoyable story. I'm so underwhelmed. At least the conclusion is a high note where Faris escapes the realm and arrives at the genuine Australia.
… (more)
Law_Books600 | 1 other review | May 13, 2024 |
A very well told (and well narrated, by Humphrey Bower) story about a young boy's experience of WWII. Now I have to read this author's earlier book!
TraSea | 11 other reviews | Apr 29, 2024 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Dee Huxley Illustrator
Nina Rycroft Illustrator
Bruce Whatley Illustrator
Bronwyn Bancroft Illustrator
Peter Sheehan Illustrator
Mark Wilson Illustrator
Terry Denton Illustrator



Charts & Graphs