Interview with Tracey Hicks - Author of "Don't Guffaw at a Dinosaur"

3 December 2018

Tracey Hicks

Join local author Tracey Hicks on Friday 7 December 2018 at at Bull Creek Library and celebrate International Day of People with Disability (3 December 2018) with a reading of her story Don’t Guffaw at a Dinosaur. The story celebrates inclusion, persistence and diversity and friendship between dinosaurs of diverse shapes and sizes. The reading will be followed by a delicious dinosaur themed morning tea! The morning will commence with the regular Storytime session from 10.30am-11.00am. Free- no bookings required.

The introduction to your book states that the story is based on your own experiences of living with spina bifida. Why did you decide to share your story with small children?

I wrote the book about how we can create togetherness and understanding of children with disabilities. As a writer, I felt the best way to communicate this message to children was through a story book. The book is about dinosaurs, as they have diverse shapes, sizes, strengths and weaknesses, just like people do. The main character, Sophie the Spinosaurus, is named to sound like spina bifida.

How does the story relate to your own experiences?

A key message of the book is about not giving up. Sophie, the main character, stumbles and tumbles, but she gets back up and tries some more. The message there is to keep going no matter what life throws at you.

The theme for 2018 International Day of People with Disability is "empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality". How can our community empower people with disability and be more inclusive for all?

If people can accept others for who they are, without judgement, it will be more inclusive for all. The title of the book, Don't Guffaw at a Dinosaur, uses the word 'guffaw' (meaning 'a loud and hearty laugh'), to show the judgement and stigma that people with disability receive from others. By understanding each other better, we can work towards being less judgemental and more inclusive of others in our community.

You often work in the space at Bull Creek library and wrote part of your book there. Why do you enjoy coming to Bull Creek library?

From when I first starting coming to Bull Creek library, Kerry (the librarian) and the other library staff greeted me with a friendly hello and made me feel welcome in the space. Whilst I was writing the book, staff were always helpful if I had any questions about the library, or if I wanted to brainstorm ideas for my book!

Tracey’s book, “Don’t Guffaw at a Dinosaur”, is available to borrow at all City of Melville libraries.

Click here for more information about the event.

For more information about International Day of People with Disability and to see other events, visit