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About The Author

Elaine Macdonald is an accomplished children’s author, residing in Ely, Cambridgeshire. Her passion to become an author emerged whilst writing radio programme content and book reviews in South Africa. She soon became a scriptwriter and a children’s television presenter.  Elaine was one of the principal writers of children’s TV programme ‘Kideo’ (winner of the Japan International Prize) followed by ‘Fun Factory’.  In all, she has written over one thousand fun, educational television scripts!

 It came as no surprise when authors were needed by MacMillan Education SA to relaunch their reading curriculum in overseas regions that Elaine was chosen as one of the principal authors of the series ‘Readers are Leaders’. These books have now been translated into the eleven official languages and are widespread throughout schools.

 In 2018 Penguin Random House SA published Elaine’s book ‘I see an Elephant’, followed by ‘I see a Rhinoceros,’ ‘I see a Lion,’ ‘I see a Leopard,’ and ‘I see Buffalo.’ She calls them ‘The Crazy Big 5’ series. All of the stories have strong moral themes that inspire children to discuss relevant issues. Elephant wants to make a home in a tree, but the birds try to chase him away. This story illustrates how anyone can fit into a new environment with a little help. Lion is wearing woolly socks because Spider has learned how to knit. This lovely story shows how we can share our different skills to help each other. Rhinoceros only likes to eat one kind of food and has a big problem until he changes his diet to eat other things too. Leopard is invited to tea with his friend, but has to wear goggles and a snorkel to be able to visit Catfish. He adapts to meet his friend. Buffalo is large and clumsy so nobody wants her to join in their games. When disaster strikes Buffalo’s large size saves the day. Each of these stories encourage lively discussion with young readers.

The beautiful illustrations in Elaine’s ‘Crazy Big 5’ books are produced by her daughter, Vanessa Mearns, who has an exceptional talent for bringing the characters to life.  This mother and daughter team have visited SA schools, libraries, book launches and creative workshops, performing book readings and illustration demonstrations. 

Elaine has a passion for wildlife and conservation, so when she moved to Ely, eels became a huge interest. She soon saw the need for a fun, rhyming book about an eel to familiarise children with eels, their life cycle, history and endangered future. ‘Elvie the Eel’ is a about a young yellow eel, who is very lonely living amongst the reeds after having left her elver friends to grow up in the river. Her determination to find a friend takes her on a journey on which she faces many challenges until she finds someone to share her time with.

The author has recently teamed up with talented local illustrator Cindy Rowe-Dicks to create the beautiful illustrations in her new book. She often sets off to schools, libraries, bookshops, and organisations to read the wonderful story, together with a making a fun eel craft item.

Elaine has a unique style of writing based on her academic and entertainment training. She is able to reach learners of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures quite easily. Her mantra is: ‘Learning should always be fun!’