Mythical Bunpin explores Queensland history in new children's book

02 November 2022

CQUniversity alumna Dr Deborah Cronau is celebrating the upcoming launch of her new book Einbunpin' A BunPin – A bit of Sandgate history and mystery.

The book provides insight into the Brisbane suburb of Sandgate through a local mythical character known as BunPin.

Inspired by her local surroundings' Dr Cronau hopes that the multi-faceted book will contribute to the community by encouraging an interest in history and folklore while providing a fundraising opportunity for the local historical society.

"Sandgate is a vibrant lifestyle suburb and has festivals throughout the year that bring in many tourists. One such festival is the annual Einbunpin Festival where they have the famous character – the BunPin!

"I realised the BunPin would make a great protagonist for the storybook while being able to weave in some history of the suburb'" Dr Cronau said.

"This book is quite unusual in that it is primarily an educational fiction book for primary school children but also presents something for tourists.

"In addition to the story with pictures of the BunPin character I constructed and photographed around the suburb' the book also presents a lot of archival photographs that will also be of interest to visitors as a souvenir."

She said the launch of the book will help to fill a gap in the market with many requesting a children's local history book that was both fun and educational.

"I had an interaction with the then president of the Sandgate Museum' who asked me to consider writing something about local history for children - the museum had plenty of titles for sale for adults but nothing for children'" Dr Cronau said.

"To appeal to this younger audience' I tried to use rhyme' a touch of humour' and lots of educational content – presented through the fictitious history of how the BunPin came to live in Sandgate.

"We all remember the rhymes of early childhood' the pop songs of our youth and the fiction books we asked our parents to read to us over and over.

"Dr Seuss gave us wonderful rhyming books that many of us still hold dear. I wanted to utilise this rhyming' ear-worm approach and use it to impart a little local history."

As a graduate of CQUniversity's Bachelor of Education' Dr Cronau said her studies gave her a solid foundation for a life in literature and achieving her career goal in librarianship.

"I have always harboured the secret desire to produce quality children's educative fiction.

"I chose to study at CQU because it allowed me to focus my interests and pursue the areas that I felt would benefit me on my career path'" she explained.

"CQU gave me more choices and allowed me to feel in control of the direction my studies took. I was able to focus on 'education' rather than 'teaching'.

"Additionally' it encouraged me to discern' to have a critical eye and examine the educational value of different types of literature and to dissect resources to discover what works and what doesn't – all skills I use today as an author."

To assist in the publishing and distribution of this book' Dr Cronau received an Alumni Development Grant which she will use to distribute free copies to local schools and libraries with additional books given to the Sandgate Historical Society to sell in their museum store.

"Being a librarian with a passion for education – and not a celebrity – it is impossible to find a publisher' particularly in the children's fiction genre'" she said.

"This book' as a local education initiative was never going to find a publisher because of its limited audience' so the grant contributed greatly towards publication and printing.

"The support of the CQU-family' even after we leave the nest' gives such a wonderful feeling of belonging and being nurtured.

"It is rare in this world we live in and unique among the different universities I've graduated from."

With even more fiction books in the works' Dr Cronau has developed a passion for writing and illustrating in this children's genre.

"Further titles I have commenced are a heritage trail book where an ibis bird leads children from Sandgate to Shorncliffe's historic train stations while educating about both the bird breed and a handful of heritage sites'" she said.

"I also have a book about Tasmanian Devils and Halloween in the works. Another book which will be released shortly is titled Easter Bilbies – A pouch full of facts … and fable."