About Alison Lloyd

Alison Lloyd is an Australian children's writer. She writes fiction and non-fiction. So far, all of her books have been about the past. 

Alison grew up in Canberra. She was also lucky to live in Europe and Asia when she was a kid. She studied in China for two years - she was in that country when army tanks rolled onto the city streets, to put down the student movement in 1989.


Before she wrote books, Alison worked for the Australian Government, in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. But she has sworn, under the Official Secrets Act, not to tell everything that went on then...

Alison now lives in Melbourne with two kids, her husband, and hundreds of books.

Likes:

  • reading (of course)
  • the bush, the beach, mountains
  • walking and cycling
  • church
  • making things
  • cake

Dislikes:

  • books and movies with a weak plot
  • live snakes (they taste alright cooked)
  • pig's liver (which tastes awful)

After the dinosaurs died, more fantastic beasts took over downunder. These creatures were warm-blooded, like us, but still very BIG. So we call them 'megafauna'. Read more about our gentle giants and bone-crunching carnivores here

Marsupials are animals that carry their young in a pouch - think kangaroos, wombats and Tasmanian devils. But not always that small or cute. The diprotodon was the largest marsupial that ever lived in Australia. It weighed as much as a truck. The skull you can see here is about 50 cm long - several times the size of yours. The top of the skull is missing, and you can see there is a big cavity, or empty space inside it. Scientists think the diprotodon's skull was only as big as an orange, and the rest of its head was perhaps empty space. In other words, it was an airhead, literally. The diprotodon needed big jaws and big muscles for chomping through a lot of leaves, but empty space is lighter and easier to carry than brains!

This zygomaturus skull was found by the beach in Victoria. The big, bulbous head belonged to an animal about the size of a station wagon. Australia was much wetter in zygomaturus' time, so it like to wander about in bogs and billabongs, chomping on long grass and reeds. How do scientists know that? The marks on its teeth show us what it ate. Grass actually has sharp edges of silicon, the mineral found in rocks and glass. They really are blades of grass. And they leave cut marks on the fossil teeth. 

The jaw above is from a thylacoleo, a marsupial lion. See its amazing long rear tooth, like the blade on a guillotine. As Museum Victoria scientist Dr Tim Ziegler says, 'This animal had no trouble getting a feed!' Thylacoleo died out tens of thousands of years ago. But they were possibly here when the First Australians (people, that is) arrived.

The snarly set of teeth in the very top photo belong to an animal that was still around in Tasmania when Europeans arrived. Not for long though. The thylacine is now extinct... we think.

History Bytes podcast

Munch on sound-bites of history! Listen to bits of Alison Lloyd's books and more.

 

Email Me

I really like to hear what readers think about my books. You are welcome to email me using the form on this page.

If you are interested in having me talk at your school, please contact Nexus Arts.

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Why do I write?

All of us love stories. I love telling stories. Stories have meanings and I think we all want those too.

I once read that our lives are like an embroidery, or inside out clothes. We only get to see the back side, with all the knots and joins and messy sewing. But God sees the whole picture - the good side.

I like that. When I tell a story, I think I am showing part of the whole picture - the meaning of life.

The meaning that I hope readers will see in Year of the Tiger is this: every person is precious and important, whether they are Chinese or Australian, rich or poor.

Wicked Warriors and Evil Emperors is about power: people want it; they like it; but how should they use it? The First Emperor is ancient history, but Dragons, Devils and Rebels is not. There are still governments in the world today who use brutal methods to control their countries.

Letty is a girl who tries very hard to please other people. She often feels she isn't pretty enough, or old enough, or capable enough, to be loved the way she wants. Fortunately, she is wrong about that...

The Bushranger's Boys is about crime and punishment - who's right, who's wrong, and whether fairness is everything. 

Read them for yourself and tell me what you think

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