Book Jacket


rank 2615
word count 22086
date submitted 14.05.2009
date updated 27.07.2010
genres: Fiction, Children's, Young Adult
classification: universal

'Princess Sheeba'

Malcolm J. Croan

Adults/Kids will enjoy this humorous tale of an orphaned dingo pup. In a recent literary competition, was placed second. Comments included ‘The next Lion King!’


Born on an abandoned cattle station in the searing heat of the Australian outback, Sheeba after surviving an opportunistic attack by a family of wild boar, is rescued from marauding buckaroos by Kaz The Wise One, a rather eccentric but well meaning kookaburra. Unable to care for the estranged dingo pup, Kaz with Sheeba dangling precariously from his beak takes her home to the more forgiving climate of the coastal bush. Here in the early hours of dawn, he places the helpless whelp in the pouch of a baron, but profusely lactating old female kangaroo, known to all the group as Aunt Gerty.

Acceptance by the entire mob of kangaroos is not a forgone conclusion, but with the help and mentorship of Big Red the leader of the group Sheeba is accepted by the adult roos but shunned by the younger joeys. Desperate to be just like all the other young kangaroos, but spurned at every attempt because of her short hind legs, puny tail, and golden color, Sheeba finally has to accept that she is a dingo, and if Kaz the wise one is to be believed, is of royal blood.

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, animal adventure, australian bush, billabong, buckaroo., fire, kangaroos, kookaburra, outback, sugar cane

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mrsdfwt wrote 1125 days ago

You capture life in the wild so marvelously well. I had never heard of a kookaburra before, and had a hard time putting him together in my mind, but by the end of chapter three, Kaz was the most beautiful bird in God's creation. I loved his interaction with the mother dingo,especially his protectiveness of her pups.
You have a gift for getting into the animal's heads and telling the story from their POV. I truly admire your work.
Six stars and a sure space on my shelf as soon as possible.
Dark of the Moon

CallumC wrote 1257 days ago

This was a refreshing read. I feel a bit done in after weeding through all of the heavy, violent or otherwise dark tales on the site. Loved Kaz. Very well-written. Thank you for uploading it here.
John B Campbell

Thank you John for the kind words. "PS" has been published by Solstice Publishing, but is shortly to be re-published with a professional edit, and some illustrations.
Yours CallumC -

Nigel Fields wrote 1258 days ago

This was a refreshing read. I feel a bit done in after weeding through all of the heavy, violent or otherwise dark tales on the site. Loved Kaz. Very well-written. Thank you for uploading it here.
John B Campbell

Raymond Crane wrote 1333 days ago

Your book is excellent for children and so I will back it - perhaps you could have a look at my books - goodluck !

CallumC wrote 1349 days ago

Thanks Terry for commenting , and for backing 'Princess Sheeba.' It had just been published as apaperback, though as yet without illustrations:


Terry Hall wrote 1349 days ago

Just a wonder of a tale

Charley Charley wrote 1353 days ago

A delightful tale and for young and old alike. You can tell a good story. Very well told.

Heidi Wolf wrote 1356 days ago

I will ensure that my grandchildren read this one. It brings back many memories of childhood stories.

Kevin O'Donnell wrote 1358 days ago

Excellent, tightly written delight. Children should enjoy this, girls especially. Backed with pleasure.

Carol Browne wrote 1364 days ago

Delightful. Backed.

Leda Joandaughter wrote 1399 days ago

Your book is wonderful. Good luck to you! LJ

CarolinaAl wrote 1407 days ago

A delightful tale. Fabulous attention to detail. Well-imagined storytlling. Vivid, believable characters. Effective dialogue. Amazing plot. A well-crafted wonder. Backed.

Diane60 wrote 1417 days ago

ok have read the whole book and i stand by what i said earlier. absolutely delightful
It has eliments of Tarka, Born Free, Black Beauty...
You can see this becoming a series of adventures easily.
Love the youtube film of the main characters.
Although you can picture them all from your writing.
Totally got into your world( and Sheebas')
wonderful read,
Thanks so much for letting me read it


Diane60 wrote 1418 days ago

Lovely, enchanting, delightful ...and yes i want more
The idea to have the narrator a third party and not a god like being or even a flashback by sheeba herself is super.
Enjoyed it immensely.

Barry Wenlock wrote 1427 days ago

Hi Malcolm,
This is well-written and there's no doubt about who is the star of your book. A great portrayal of Sheeba the dingo. I really hope this is appreciated by the YA crowd. 10-14yr olds for sure.
Backed with pleasure,

andrew skaife wrote 1443 days ago

What an endearing story. The obvious devices of animal writing are ignored whilst some tender and heart wrenching narrative unflods. I was rooting for the dingo from the start and as the work opened up your characterisations and personifications were perfect.


lizjrnm wrote 1451 days ago

This is awesome! If I were a publisher Id be dialing your number pronto! Backed 100%!

The Cheech Room

KW wrote 1458 days ago

I agree with homewriter. This is a lovely story. "Dingoes usually travel in packs." The poor mother to be finds a place under the old station house to have the pups, crows are going crazy, but luckily Kaz was around. The runt of the litter, the Princess of Sheeba, is helped by the wise one. I'll be back to readmore when I get a little time. Backed for now.

homewriter wrote 1460 days ago

What a lovely story. Well told and will be very popular with its target audience. Excellent. Not sure about 'pesky crows' but kids will know what you mean! Gordon

Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 1460 days ago

Dear Malcolm,
This is such a heart warming story. It reminds me of The Ugly Duckling, where he was different than the rest of the ducklings, but grew up to be the beautiful swan. So endearing, I think you have a wonderful way with children's literature!

Elizabeth Wolfe (MEMORIES OF GLORY)

Here is your chance to get a double backing. My friend, homewriter, and I have similar taste in writing and trust each other's judgment. Back my book and leave it on your bookshelf. Then do the same for his, "The Harpist of Madrid." Once the backings register, he will give you a return backing guaranteed. Just let him know in an email that you've backed my book as well as his. You might have to be a bit patient as we're 6 time zones apart. But you'll have two backings guaranteed on your excellent book. Of course, comments are always welcome too!

Owen Quinn wrote 1462 days ago

very cute, my son loved this and asked when the movie's coming out. Rest my case.

Zero-serenity wrote 1465 days ago

there are a few places where you have some typos, like having the quotation marks in the wrong places, so a good look over might be in order. i liked it though, so backed.
~Zero, No Title Needed

celticwriter wrote 1474 days ago

Hi Malcolm, nice, fascinating premise...which carries effortlessly into your story. Backed.


Luke Bramley wrote 1478 days ago

Love it. Warm and humorous. Also, a talented script; very carefully picked adjectives and nouns create vivid setting and 'character'. Only thing (for me) I would change? Sometimes an adjective too much e.g. 'hot air' or 'thermals', 'home' or 'natural habitat'. It just prunes out that all important first paragraph; the rest is note perfect. Backed by Brammers, The Kingdom Within

SusieGulick wrote 1482 days ago

You are totally fantastic, Malcolm! :) How can I ever thank you enough for backing my 2 memoir books? :)
God bless you. :) Love, Susie :)

Anthony Brady wrote 1483 days ago

PRINCESS SHEBA - by Malcolm J. Croan.

Malcolm - Your target readership will go for this in a big way. An oustanding example of its genre. Not least for its educative power and imparted knowledge of Australia's Outback but its flora and fauna. Backed.

Tony Brady - SCENES FROM AN EXAMINED LIFE - Books 1,2 & 3.

Johanna Kern wrote 1488 days ago


My heart melted... You are a great talent, and the story is not only right up my alley - it is a magnificent story, and I can't thank you enough, for sharing it here, on authonomy.

You are an excellent writer, and I can't wait to see this published, so I could have your book in my home.
Sheeba is a true princess - and deserves the best.

Backed with utmost pleasure.

Johanna Kern
Master and the Green-Eyed Hope

DP Walker wrote 1497 days ago

Hi Malcolm
I love this genre - a kind of feel good animal tale. There's not been a big one for a while. Maybe this is it! Great stuff.
DP Walker
Five Dares

flyingdove06 wrote 1499 days ago

Dear Callum,

I wanted to congratulate your on your outstanding ability to write such a wonderful story. I was recommended by a friend to look at your work, and I am not dissapointed. I am a great lover of children's books, since I have two young ones of my own, and am always looking for new material to tantalize their senses. This is a story I truly believe, my five year old son, and three year old daughter, would love. The Australian outback is an amazing place, I should know, I live in Australia.
I love the name of your main character, Sheeba, who by all means is a survivor, and all her friends that keep the pace of the story moving nicely. Their adventurous trials and tribulations are joyous and also sad, and the little orphaned dingo sheeba melts my heart.
This is a wonderful story for adults and children alike, and I am pitching in there Callum to see it published.

Great work !!!!!!!!
flying dove

A Knight wrote 1500 days ago

Absolutely wonderful, enchanting and perfect. My little ones a bit too young for it, and I'm, in theory, a it too old, but this is brilliant.

Backed with pleasure.

Abi xxx

Beval wrote 1503 days ago

Exactly the sort of story to appeal to an animal loving child.

SusieGulick wrote 1504 days ago

Dear Malcom, I love your precious touching story - it kinda reminds me of Elsa the Lion - thanks for sharing your story. :) Hope you write more stories - I'm in Southern California, so don't get such happenings that are in another country. :) Your pitch is excellent, so set the hook for me to read your book. :) When you use short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, it makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm backing your book. :)
Could you please take a moment to back my TWO memoir books? Thanks, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"...authonomy quote.
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs.

Jim Darcy wrote 1504 days ago

Caught your thread, took a look and very happy to back this book. (A bit of poetry for you!) :)
This should do very well, I shall try it out on the grandkids.
Jim Darcy
The Firelord's Crown

CraigD wrote 1506 days ago

Great story for children, with just enough personification and exotic location (at least for me, stateside). Happy to back this for you.
Please consider taking a look at my book, The Job.

Despinas1 wrote 1525 days ago

I remember this wonderful story back at our We Book site, I remember reading it, and feeling the Australian outback, not that I did much of it in my childhood, but I certainly read much about it, and it reminded me of a time in my life when something magical happened. This wonderful book has the all the right ingredients, to a similar taste as the Lion King. For those of you on this site who have not checked it out, it certainly deserves that much.
I loved it, as I did, "Right Hand Up to God". You're a great writer Callum, and I'm your advocate.

Amylovesbooks wrote 1548 days ago

As an animal lover, I had to check out this book. I wasn't disappointed. It's delightful. Well done! Backed based on super-cuteness.

Love Match

Caroline Hartman wrote 1554 days ago

I love books about animated animals, and I'm a grandmother. Here you put out a darling story. I've raised many dog friends, and our current is a rescue dog that looks a lot like Sheeba. She's Maggie, our Dingo dog, and she's a marvelous intelligent pet. This is great writing, Callum. Best of luck. I backed this after reading just the pitch.
Caroline aka KC Hart
Summer Rose

DMR wrote 1554 days ago

Princess Sheeba is a delightful story that will certainly appeal to its target market.. I found myself wanting to read on past the first few chapters, just to find out how Sheeba and Kaz get on with their adventures.. I think one of the main appeals will be the fact that Sheeba may be a little bit different from the others in her crowd - and that difference is what makes her special.. Backed and best wishes!

Bookster wrote 1559 days ago

I read your book with great pleasure. It progresses nicely with just enough action and description. The characters are extremely well drawn and I bonded with them immediately. This is a very good book and would make a very good movie. You should think about adapting it into a screenplay.
Eric (Bookster) Wilder - Prairie Sunset

Burgio wrote 1560 days ago

This is a wonderful children's story. Sheeba is a great main character and children will love the way she's taken in by kangaroos. They also should appreciate the inner message that each person is valuable in their own way and we have more things that are alike than are different. I’m adding this to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

mariecapri wrote 1560 days ago

Hello Malcolm. What a great story. The description is as good as the charaters. I loved the way you built up to the rescue, and the way Kaz refers to himself as the wise one. A great connection between the Queen of Sheba and Kaz. Just a couple of little things, In chapter 1, paragraphs 13/14 you mention in close succession (she was heavy with pup) Also, in chapter 3, paragraph 11 (10 pups) Apart from that, this is a brilliant read and I wish you the very best of luck with it! mariecapri (Cosmic Linx)

carlashmore wrote 1567 days ago

This is the reason I came to Authonomy: to see how other children's writers handle their material for the same target audience as I have in mind. You do it beautifully. There is a sincerity and charm to 'Princess Sheeba' that leaps from every page. Your prose is fluid and your characters rich with detail and love. I can certainly see a wonderful animated film being made from your lovely story.
Thank you for sharing this I enjoyed it
The Time Hunters

Michael Croucher wrote 1588 days ago

A vivid and captivating start, this is richly written, and the story quickly engages. I thoroughly enjoyed the way you paint pictures with your words, and agree with an earlier comment, that although written for children, the prose would appeal to many adults. Shelved.
Michael Croucher (Bravo's Veil)

yasmin esack wrote 1593 days ago

This is suberb! Written with depth and wondeful description that so few can do.

Backed with pleasure

Famlavan wrote 1606 days ago

Your ability to create scene and atmosphere is fantastic. Just wondering if the opening might be to long for some children (saying that, that could easily be my own preference). I like this book, feels like it’s written for adults, with kids in mind – Great story – good luck

Famlavan – Museum of Old Beliefs

gillyflower wrote 1616 days ago

This is a lovely book, well suited to its target audience, and it's no surprise that it has done so well in competition. You write skillfully, showing us the birth of the dingo puppies through the sympathetic eyes of Kaz. You have taken time to allow us to get to know Kaz himself, and to feel that we understand and like him, so we are not surprised when his attitude to the mother dingo is one of support and friendship. You give us some great description, setting your scene beautifully, with the contrast of the fertile coast in its rainy season and the huge, dry, barren desert. As we watch the nine puppies emerging into the world, we already feel attached to them, and are ready to enjoy reading about the one, Sheeba, you focus on. An excellent story. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls.

Melcom wrote 1620 days ago

A charming read.

Taken from a different POV.

Entertaining read.

Impeding Justice

SRFire wrote 1620 days ago

An enjoyable read. Just one small thing - you might want to consider replacing "Kaz" with "he" as it pulls the reader out of his POV. On the whole excellent stuff. Backed with pleasure, Sana

Jared wrote 1705 days ago

This is a delightful story, easy to see why other members whose opinions I respect have recommended it to me.
Sheeba's story takes the reader into a completely different world and the quality of the writing is so strong that this world becomes fresh and vital, holding our attention at all times.

Kaz, who we meet in chapter 1, "sitting up in his tree watchings the goings on below," is a wonderful character. You use the same expression, "what a handful," twice in that opening chapter; it might be better to change the word in one of the sentences. I loved his musings and innermost thoughts.

I've read five chapters so far and am enjoying this very much. You write very well, tailoring your prose to the needs of your target audience while still allowing an adult reader to enjoy the story.

On my shelf for a spell.

KidTherapist wrote 1764 days ago

How lovely! I was so enjoying the crow's eye view of this unique character and setting.