In my hammock: reading Barbara Else’s Go Girl: A Story of Epic NZ Women




Go Girl: A Story of Epic NZ Women, Barbara Else, (multiple illustrators) Penguin Random House, 2018


This is my new feature where I share children’s books from any time or place and of any genre. I am only sharing books I love so you can track down a book that is really good!

Yes, I love Barbara Else’s new book so very much.

It has a bright cover designed by the very cool author and illustrator, Vasanti Unka.

Barbara’s writing sings in my ear ever so sweetly. Ah, what divine sentences. Check them out! Each entry is a fascinating read because I discover something new.

The illustrations are so full of life and are by 9 different women: Sarah Laing, Phoebe Morris, Sophie Watson, Sarah Wilkins, Rebecca ter Borg, Vasanti Unka, Fifi Colston, Helen Taylor and Ali Teo.



I am writing a big book about NZ women poets because I love reading them but also because for a big chunk of the twentieth century people just did not GET them! So their poems were often not published in anthologies or books.

Barbara’s book celebrates epic women that might be famous and that might be unknown to us.

History is a place full of dark corners where extraordinary women were doing extraordinary things.

Now we want to know about these women.

Barbara’s book shows us women both dead and alive who are epic.

She covers all kinds of women – from scientists to athletes to writers to political activists to astronomers.


A book like this shows that girls can do anything. We can speak out and we can invent and we can be daring and we can be strong. In the past girls and women were often thought to be weak and encouraged to be silent.

And of course boys can do anything too!

This book fills me with hope for a better world. I am so inspired by this book my May challenge is going to be a festival of poems about epic women (and that might be our aunt or grandmother or best friend!!). I have posted it here!


Here are some of the women Barbara picked (how hard it must have been choosing!!)





This book is a sumptuous, eye catching, heart warming, brain boosting, muscle strengthening, feet leaping   T R E A T  !

I dare you to race out and find a copy to share.

Let me know what you think!

The Penguin Random House page

2 thoughts on “In my hammock: reading Barbara Else’s Go Girl: A Story of Epic NZ Women

  1. Pingback: Poetry Box May challenge: a festival of epic NZ GO GIRL poems | Poetry Box

  2. Pingback: Poetry Box audio spot: Barbara Else reads ‘Selina Tusitala Marsh’ from Go Girls | Poetry Box

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