Wendy Orr was born in Canada and, because of her father's career in the Canadian Air Force, grew up in France, Canada and the United States. After high school, she studied occupational therapy in London. While on holiday she met and later married a holidaying Australian farmer. Orr emigrated to Australia after completing her studies.
While her husband worked on his dairy farm, Orr worked as an occupational therapist and began writing children's stories. Her first picture-book, Amanda's Dinosaur, was published in 1988. She has since written more than two dozen books for children, young adults and adults. After a serious car accident in 1991, Orr began writing full-time and consolidated her reputation with several awards and commendations during the 1990s. Her books have been translated into several languages, most notably the prize-winning young adult novel Peeling the Onion (1996) which has been translated into three European languages.
What would you do if you lost a pet? Where would you go if you found one? At the Rainbow Street Shelter a cockatoo will greet you and a little round dog will make you welcome. Meet Bear the border collie, Buster the marmalade cat, and Bessy the goat, as well as rabbits and guinea pigs and mice. There's even a pony called Pebbles, and the children who become the animals' friends. But where does a lion cub fit in?
Contents: 'Lost Dog Bear'; 'Nelly and the Dream Guinea Pig'; 'Mona and the Lion Cub'; 'Buster the Hero Cat'; 'Stolen! A Pony Called Pebbles'; 'Bella the Bored Beagle'.
'Trung's family is tragically separated during their attempt to escape to a new country. A raid by soldiers means that only Trung and his father make it onto the boat headed for freedom. Trung's mother and little sister are left behind in Vietnam. Trung's journey, in the hull of a crowded fishing boat, is fraught with danger and full of loneliness. His estranged father is too sad and desperate to offer much comfort.
Even when Trung arrives in Australia, his difficult journey continues. He has to contend with strange foods, streets, buildings and a new language. He begins school but feels alienated from the other students and staff. He is left alone with many hours to fill.
And throughout his journey he desperately misses his mother and sister in Vietnam. He writes them letters at first in his head and then on paper but a reply does not arrive.
Trung starts to develop a friendship with Andrew, who is also grieving the loss of his home. And, finally, one day a letter arrives from his mother in Vietnam. Trung's dark journey does not end, but he begins to hope again.' (National Museum)