The Story Animals

The Story Animal books use metaphorical situations to explore ‘tough stuff’ in life that can lead children and their support networks to experience big emotions.

Peta's Yarn

The Department of Communities is excited to release Peta’s Yarn book, written and illustrated by Communities staff members Verity Roennfeldt and Kelly Thompson. 

Cover page for children's book called Peta's Yarn, by Verity Roennfeldt and Kelly Thompson.

Peta’s Yarn has been developed to support the annual 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign. Held from 25 November to 10 December, 16 Days in WA aims to raise awareness, increase positive action, and highlight organisations, agencies, communities and individuals working to end violence against women.

Peta is a ‘puggle’ – a baby echidna who is having fun playing with her puggle friends, when she hears a noise like someone is crying. Peta goes exploring and has an unexpected encounter with a falling gumnut. She meets Sam the Cockatoo along the way and learns about the importance of managing big feelings and speaking up about violence. Peta is kind and caring and wants to help…but how?

Sample page from the children's book called Peta's Yarn, by Verity Roennfeldt and Kelly Thompson.
Sample page from Peta's Yarn.

Peta is a Story Animal. Story Animals are handmade fabric Australian animals and characters especially co-designed by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff over several years. The Story Animals and Yarn Books are used by the Department of Communities child protection workers, support services and schools to strengthen cultural planning, teach protective behaviours, and support stability and connection for children in care, their families, communities and care teams.

More about The Story Animals

There are eight other Story Animal books. These books use metaphorical situations to explore ‘tough stuff’ in life that can lead children and their support networks to experience big emotions. If you would like more information about the Story Animals, please email thestoryanimals@communities.wa.gov.au.

Frongo's Yarn

Cover page for children's book called Frongo's Yarn, by Verity Roennfeldt and Kelly Thompson.

Frongo is looking forward to going on a holiday with his friend Freddie...because more than anything, Frongo the Frill-neck Lizard loves to eat big juicy bugs and beetles. But what happens when Frongo hears a noise in the grass? Is it a Fox? His heart beats fast with fear and he hisses fiercely…

Frongo’s Yarn highlights themes of safety and the body’s ‘alarm system’. This story explores ‘Fight, flight, freeze’ responses and how this protects us from danger.

Daisy's Yarn

Cover page for children's book called Daisy's Yarn, by Verity Roennfeldt and Kelly Thompson.

Daisy the dugong loves to play chasey with her friend Macey the fish…but when some other fish show up, fish she doesn’t know too well; Daisy feels pressured into giving the strange fish a hug. Daisy feels no good about what she did, but will she tell her Aunty? Daisy learns an important lesson about
her safe people and how to listen to her body’s warning signs. 

Daisy’s Yarn highlights themes of safety networks, early warning signs and safe communication; including safe and unsafe touch.

Sandy's Yarn

Cover page for children's book called Sandy's Yarn, by Verity Roennfeldt and Kelly Thompson.

Sandy the stingray loves to eat scraps of fish at the cleaning tables, by the edge of the river...but one day Sandy arrives with the stingray squadron to discover a devastating sign that says “DO NOT FEED THE STINGRAYS”. This is just the beginning of a really bad day for Sandy. Will he sink into the mud at the bottom of the river and never come out? When another stingray, Joanne, comes by every day with a fresh fish, Sandy starts to feel some of the layers of mud slide off his back... 

Sandy’s Yarn explores themes of emotion and our body’s response to challenging emotions. This story explores some of the changes that occur when dealing with sadness and depression.

Baily's Yarn

Cover page for children's book called Bailey's Yarn, by Verity Roennfeldt and Kelly Thompson.

Bailey barramundi loves the sound of rain on the water while swimming around...but one wet season, it rained and rained and rained until one day, the fish Bailey ate tasted a bit funny and made her gills sticky and her fins tremble. The next thing Bailey remembers, is waking up in a strange
place, the river is nowhere to be seen. Will Bailey remember the names of her family and find her way home?

Bailey’s Yarn explores the idea of early warning signs; understanding when your body is sending you messages that something is not quite right.

Eli's Yarn

Cover page for children's book called Bailey's Yarn, by Verity Roennfeldt and Kelly Thompson.

Eli the eagle thought he could hear thunder but it was just his rumbling belly...but still, Eli thought he was doing ‘pretty well’, scavenging for food out of the wheelie bin, like the other eagles - while he tried to remember where home was. When Ark the crow flies in and starts to dress up in Eli’s eagle feathers, it might be taking things a bit too far. Will Ark help Eli find his way home to the nest? Can Eli ‘let a few things go’?

Eli’s Yarn looks at the impact of loss, and the different ways we can cope with losses in our life. It touches on the topics of peer
pressure, including self-harm, belonging, identity and listening to advice that can help you to stay strong.

Sapphire's Yarn

Cover page for children's book called Sapphire's Yarn, by Verity Roennfeldt and Kelly Thompson.

Sapphire the snake loved her babies more than anything in the world... and with a storm coming, she knew she had to get them safely buried in the sand while she took shelter. But what happens when the storm clears and Sapphire cannot see where her eggs are buried? Who will help her find them? Can Dragonfly? Can Hopping Mouse? 

Sapphire’s Yarn is a story about loss and grief. This story gently explores the feelings and experiences of parents when they are no longer able to keep their children safe.

Gracie's Yarn

Cover page for children's book called Gracie's Yarn, by Verity Roennfeldt and Kelly Thompson.

Today is the day she leaves the nest and Gracie galah is excited...but how will Gracie overcome her nerves that she might fall instead of fly? What if she forgets what to say when she meets a new flock? Read about how her friend
Gidgee gecko helps Gracie to make a flight-path safety plan, towards the waterhole. Just keep flapping Gracie!

Gracie’s Yarn explores the feelings of ‘leaving the nest’ and takes us through a plan how to achieve our goals. This story touches on socialisation, safety planning and support networks.

Marlee's Yarn

Cover page for children's book called Marlee's Yarn, by Verity Roennfeldt and Kelly Thompson.

Marlee the mallee fowl scratches in the dirt, building a nest with strong feet...she wants to build a nest but is she building her nest in the right place? Can she find enough nest material in the bush where she lives now? What happens when she finds a book of “Old Nan Quotes”? Will her friend Bobby be able to help Marlee make some tough decisions?

Marlee’s Yarn explores the process of change and creating a future; leaving some things behind in order to start new things. This story highlights how our past, present and future belong together and are part of each other.

Page reviewed 6 January 2021