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  • Motherhood Melbourne

Kidding Around – Awesome interactive travel journals for kids

Kidding Around – Publisher of My Awesome Adventure series


Eliza and her husband Phillip were working in a café in Bali when they came up with an exciting idea. They wanted to share their love of Bali by creating a travel journal for kids. Ideas continued to flow around how to make it both informative and entertaining for kids to record their trips to Bali. As they soon discovered, it was quite a bigger task than anticipated. But that didn't stop them from moving forward with their publishing company Kidding Around and launching the My Awesome Adventure series. In this interview, Eliza McCann shares how the idea developed into a fulfilling adventure for the family.

1.Why did you create Kidding Around?

We were living in Bali and fell in love with our island home. We wanted to share that love, especially with all the families coming there on holiday. And so we created a travel journal, a book that would inform and entertain. The book did so well that we wanted to expand the range we included Sydney with more books to come!


2. How did Kidding Around begin?

My husband, writer Phillip Gwynne and I, were working in our favourite café in Bali (Bungalow Living), when my husband and I had the idea to create a travel journal for kids. We thought it would be a small undertaking, a side project but once we got the ball rolling we realised it was a big task. We searched the world looking for just the right illustrator and found the very wonderful and talented, Tinne Cornellisen (who is originally from Belgium but now lives in Melbourne). From there we went on a mission to find printers and shippers and so the book journey began. My good friend owns a beautiful store in Bali and she was the first person to stock the book. The moment she posted the book online, we started selling and best of all, we received incredibly positive feedback from our customers.


3. How does Kidding Around make mother’s lives better or brighter?

We make mum’s lives easier by keeping kids entertained and engaged. Our books get kids off screens and really looking at the world around them. The book is a wonderful tool for parents to engage with their kids and they can help them fill it out. The journals are a wonderful keepsake so that long after the holiday is gone, families can look back at that moment in time.


4. How does it make you feel when someone buys one of your books?

Nothing makes us happier than when a customer buys our book. Our happiest moments are when we’re travelling and we see kids travelling with our books or sitting in cafes happily filling out the pages of the journal. We absolutely love seeing photos of kids using the book and getting messages from parents saying how much they enjoyed it!

5. What is your most popular product?

Our books are our most popular products by far. Our Bali book is currently the most popular but we’ve just launched the Sydney book this year so fingers crossed!


6. What’s the most common frequently-asked-question about your books?

What age is the book appropriate for? And the answer is anyone from age 5 up to about 12.


7. Describe one thing mamas would be surprised about from behind-the-scenes of Kidding Around.

People are always surprised at how much work goes into creating a book. We pride ourselves on doing really thorough research but that takes time!


8. What aspect about Kidding Around do you love the most?

Without sounding too corny, I love it all! I love doing the research for the books, working with the illustrator – there’s no better feeling than seeing your words turned into images! and I adore chatting with customers who share their stories about travelling with kids.


9. When you’re not in business mode, what do you love to do?

Drink coffee, go to gym, swim in the ocean, ride my bike, hang with my kids and husband, watch back to back TV series, read books and think about my next trip!


10. Any exciting plans for the rest of 2017?

YES! I’m working on a sports journal for kids with a colleague and thinking about the next title in the My Awesome Adventure series.



Publisher of beautiful kids travel journals.


Biz owners: Eliza McCann and Phillip Gwynne


Favourite café: : The Joinery, Elwood


Coffee order: ¾ skim milk flat white. Hot but not too hot! Lucky I go to the same café every day and don’t have to repeat my order.


[email protected]


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