Maurice Saxby pays tribute to Ivan Southall as 'one of the foremost writers of the modern era in Australian children's literature', an innovator who was 'the first to use mental monologue along with the present continuous tense in Australian children's literature' and in doing so, produced novels in which 'the reader was invited to share the sensory and emotional life of the protagonist' (2). Saxby says that it was 'not only Southall's writing skill but his personal integrity that won him numerous literary honors' (2). He won the Australian Children's Book of the Year three times and 'the coveted British award, the Carnegie Medal' (2). He also received the Australian Council Emeritus Award for his services to children's literature and was a member of the Order of Australia. Saxby also includes some biographic details of Southall's life, describing him as 'an Aussie battler made good' (2).