Tippy and Jellybean by Sophie Cunningham


In June 2020 I posted about a children’s book that was released only a few months after the bushfires that devastated the east coast of Australia earlier that year. I clearly remember watching the news on the television with my eldest daughter early on the morning of New Years Day seeing the communities of the far south coast of NSW and just across the Victorian border escaping the ravaging fires and congregating to the closest beaches.

Here’s a copy of my post:

“Firstly, a new children’s book: Tippy and Jellybean by Sophie Cunningham.

Based on the true story of Tippy the koala, and her baby, Jellybean, which was one of the tales that broke hearts all around Australia during our devastating bushfires last summer.

Tippy was found by rescuers in the Snowy River National Park just after the fires raged through the area with a burnt back and paws. She was crouched over her joey, Jellybean, who was unscathed.

Sadly, many of our koalas were lost when they made the mistake of scrambling for the top tree branches when fires went through, offering them absolutely no protection whatsoever.

Tippy and Jellybean have since recovered and have been released back to an area with eucalyptus trees.

Proceeds from this book will raise money for the Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund.

Meet the real Tippy and Jellybean


I was lucky enough to come across a copy of this book at a recent Warehouse Sale and my immediate reaction was that two year old Harry would love this story, with its beautiful illustrations by Anil Tortop of a selection of cute and cuddly Australian animals.

Guess what? Harry is missing out. I can’t part with it; it’s such a heart rending story and a reminder of all the good that came out of that disaster, as is so often the case.

Tippy and Jellybean were rescued along with many other creatures that survived the fires and were taken to Rescue Shelters where veterinarians and volunteers saw to their medical needs, primarily attention to burns and dehydration.

Volunteers supplied fresh Eucalypt leaves from neighbouring properties for Koala feed and Tippy and Jellybean regained their strength in the Sanctuary until well enough to fend for themselves in the wild.

I love this illustration as it is such a reminder of those days as well as all the good that there is in people. (Sometimes it seems so easy to forget, doesn’t it ?) Fruit and vegetables being left out for wombats, possums and kangaroos, and all the handcrafted nests knitted for wildlife and birds. I remember shopping for a special wool for a girlfriend who attended a Workshop on creating nests for critters. She was busy knitting for weeks as were so many others.

Lastly, a reminder that despite the bushfires, nature returns to provide both food and a home for the animals.

Sorry, Harry.


Yes, I know I said I was done for the Gaia Challenge but I just couldn’t resist.

8 thoughts on “Tippy and Jellybean by Sophie Cunningham

    1. Oh Sharon, I have just discovered that the same author and illustrator combination have released another book, Flipper And Finnegan, “the miraculous true story of how a viral knitting campaign helped save the lives of Millowl/Phillip Island’s Little Penguins” following an oil slick. Chasing this one now!

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  1. Once, back in the day, I was a children’s librarian. Many of the kids (and their mums!) I worked with would have loved this. It’s easy to relate to, even though we don’t have koalas here. If I’d been writing this 12 months ago I’d have added that we don’t have bushfires either, but sadly this summer’s unprecedented heatwave ushered in some equally unprecedented blazes. If this book alerts even a few kids to one of the horrible consequences of climate change it will have served an important purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Ripples – Brizzy Mays Books and Bruschetta

  3. Pingback: Some Gaia updates – Gum trees and Galaxies

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