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Nov 13, 2019 11:10 AM ET

Larry Leadbeater A picture book about an adorable but rather fussy fairy possum who seriously needs a new home

Larry Leadbeater A picture book about an adorable but rather fussy fairy possum who seriously needs a new home

iCrowd Newswire - Nov 13, 2019


Larry Leadbeater is a fussy fairy possum who seriously needs a new home. Inspired by the real-life travails of the Australian Leadbeater’s possum – affectionately known as the “fairy possum” – this children’s story has a cheeky sense of humour and a big sustainability heart.

Brimming with friendship and optimism, Larry’s adventure invites us into a world where even the most challenging circumstances can be overcome.

The story taps into young people’s connection to the natural world and celebrates children as independent thinkers, problem solvers and change makers.

With poignant illustrations and a playful tone this 32-page, hardcover picture book promises to entertain, inspire and delight in equal measures.   

Today was a special day. A birthday, in fact…

The tree was Larry’s best friend. His home. He didn’t want to live in the forest without it…

So he decided to move on.

As is often the way, just when he needed it most, Larry made a friend. 

The book is packed with richly layered, full-colour illustrations, that were created by blending traditional and digital media. Each drawing represents around 50 hours of love, patience and care.

Young people around the world who’re stepping up to safeguard our planet inspired Jo  to incorporate positive change into her work.

She wrote Larry Leadbeater after watching her children  come home from preschool with a burning desire to do what they could, in their own way, to improve the planet. They really led by example and got Jo thinking about how she could use her skills as a writer and an artist to make things better. 

Around that time, Jo learned the fairy possum, her state’s animal emblem, faces extinction. She decided to turn what is a terrible situation into a book with purpose.  This story is her way of saying you’re never too young, or too small or too old to make a difference.

Research tells us that action and community are the antidotes to despair. That’s certainly been Jo’s experience in making this book. She’s met so many kind, knowledgeable, enthusiastic champions of our environment. From the friendly museum clerk who watched bemused as she sketched a taxidermied Leadbeater’s Possum to the citizen scientist who gave Jo a rare opportunity to glimpse this critically endangered animal in the wild.

Concern about sustainability and deforestation are at the heart of this project. Campaign backers will be joining a community of champions for change. Money from each book sold will be donated to conservation groups who’re working to save the Leadbeater’s Possum and the old-growth forest they depend on.

By connecting with these groups and by visiting schools and libraries, Jo looks forward to amplifying Larry Leadbeater’s impact long after the book’s publication.

Rewards will be delivered using 100% carbon offset shipping. All papers used are sustainably sourced, FSC certified or, wherever possible, 100% post-consumer recycled. 

The manuscript, illustrations and book design are complete. We’re ready to print and distribute.

The project’s already partially funded thanks to generous support from The City of Port Phillip and The City of Melbourne. Jo’s crowdfunding on Kickstarter to raise the final third of the budget needed for the print run.

The Little Steps Publishing Company is overseeing production and design.  


Like Larry’s tree, the book is tall and solid. It measures 29 cm x 22 cm, with 130 gsm internal pages, hardcover binding and an elegant matte finish.

Want your signed copy made out to a particular person? No problem! Message Jo the name and inscription you want for that extra personal touch.


Mini Prints, notecards and envelopes come on 100% recycled paper. They are 15 x 10 cm. The Leadbeater necklace is made from sustainably sourced, laser-cut wood.


Fine art prints will be produced by Hound & Bone Studio. They are museum-grade prints on Hahnemühle, 300 gsm, 100% cotton paper, using archival pigment ink. Your artwork will arrive with a custom-cut ivory matt board that will slot perfectly into an A4 size frame (frame not included).

If you’re choosing the art lovers reward, message Jo with your choice of image from the options below. 1. “Larry had made a cake”  2. “tree house”  3. “a special day”  4. “tree camping”.


Ideal for schools, kindergartens and creative writing students. Over half a day, Jo will visit as many classrooms as time permits. She’s learned a lot in her 20 years as a professional writer and loves condensing that experience into bite-sized, useful nuggets that students can immediately apply to their own work. After a consultation prior to the day, workshops will be tailored to suit each cohort’s specific learning goals. 

Risks and challenges

With Little Steps Publishing on board, Jo has great book-publishing experience backing her up. She’s built in plenty of lead time so the risk of delay in shipping rewards is low. Jo will be in contact with the publisher and printers throughout production. If any unforeseen delays arise, backers will be told well in advance so there are no surprises.

Contact Information:

Jo Watson

Tags:    Reward-Donation, Wire, United States, English