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Great lesson in Christmas book

COUNTRY HEART:  Author Cori Brooke has dedicated her latest book to farmers.
COUNTRY HEART: Author Cori Brooke has dedicated her latest book to farmers. Andrea Davy

SHE may work in the centre of a capital city but Cori Brooke has a big heart for the country.

The Brisbane children's book author has dedicated her latest book, All I Want for Christmas is Rain, to Australian farmers.

The book follows the journey of a bush kid on a drought affected property hoping Santa will bring her family rainfall.

"My publisher asked me to write a Christmas book, but I didn't want to write your typical, it's all about Santa, it's all about the presents type of Christmas book,” Cori said.

"I wanted it to be educational, I wanted it to be very Australian and I wanted it to not be about commercialisation.”

Her manuscript was completed in 2015 and illustrator Megan Forward came on board to create the pictures.

"There is this synthesis that happens between the text and the illustrations in the children's book, which is so amazing to me,” she said.

"It's the pictures that are telling stories.”

Determined for the book to be authentic Cori and her family completed a farm stay outside of Toowoomba, and she called in a favour from her friend, whose family owned a drought-stricken cattle property near Dalby, to send through a suite of photos.

"It was really important that it looked right, so if this didn't look right, the whole project would have been a failure,” she said.

"I think that Megan has done a really amazing job, in making sure that it does look right.”

The gorgeous illustrations have emotional details that show the hardship of drought, and also capture what makes the outback so unique.

Cori has lived in Australia for 16 years, but is originally from Vancouver in Canada.

She loves Queensland, and said she has a deep respect for those making a living off the land.

"Even though I live in Brisbane and I am not in any way from the country, I do try to keep abreast of what is happening because it is important to everybody,” she said.

Visit Cori's website www.coribrooke.com.au to find out more, or for information on where to buy the book.


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