Jacqui Halpin Parmesan the Reluctant Racehorse

readilearn: Introducing Jacqui Halpin – picture book author – Readilearn

This week, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Jacqui Halpin – author, founding member of Write Links (a local group of published and unpublished authors and illustrators of children’s books), a former nurse and tuckshop convenor.

Jacqui grew up in Brisbane where she still lives with her husband, one of her three adult children, and a cat called Loki. While writing and editing, Jacqui likes to sip tea from fine china and eat copious amounts of chocolate. She says she should never be allowed in a bookshop with a credit card in her possession.

Jacqui writes picture books and short stories, some of which appear in anthologies by Stringybark Publishing and Creative Kids’ Tales. She co-wrote and independently published her elderly father’s memoir, A Long Way from Misery.

Today Jacqui is talking with us about her first picture book Parmesan The Reluctant Racehorse, humorously illustrated by John Phillips and published by Little Pink Dog Books in October 2017. Jacqui’s second picture book, Where’s Lucky?, based on an orphaned swamp wallaby joey at a wildlife shelter, will be published in mid-2019.

Parmesan is a delightful story of a thoroughbred racehorse who should be winning races and earning lots of money for his owner. However, Parmesan thinks he’s a dog. Instead of training with the other horses, he’s off with his doggy friends doing doggy things like playing fetch. His owner is not happy. If Parmesan isn’t ready to run in the Spring Carnival, he’s getting rid of him. Parmesan’s trainer is worried. He knows Parmesan won’t be ready, but as they arrive at the Spring Carnival, he thinks of a brilliant way to get Parmesan to run around the track. Parmesan’s triumph proves you can be a winner and stay true to who you are.

Welcome to readilearn, Jacqui, we are looking forward to getting to know you better.

Thanks for inviting me.

Jacqui, when did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I always liked writing stories and poems at school, but it wasn’t until I read picture books to my own children  Continue reading: readilearn: Introducing Jacqui Halpin – picture book author – Readilearn

14 thoughts on “readilearn: Introducing Jacqui Halpin – picture book author – Readilearn

    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for you comment, Patricia, and great question. What we call a “tuckshop”, you probably call a “canteen”. It’s a shop in the school that prepares lunches for the children to purchase. The convenor is a manager, the person who does the purchasing, organises the menu and volunteers, and just about everything else to do with it. It is sometimes a paid position and sometimes a voluntary position. Depending on the size of the school, it can be quite a responsibility.


  1. karenwrites19

    Congrats Norah ,
    On this educational feature of Jacqui’s book The Reluctant Racehorse.
    Congrats, Jacqui for being a Readilearn featured author,
    Learned so much more about your book . Love to get a copy from you soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Karen. I loved interviewing Jacqui about her gorgeous picture book. It is really rather lovely.
      Interviewing all these wonderful authors, such as yourself, is a privilege though, and I appreciate all so generously sharing.



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