BOOK COMPETITION: Clever rhymes with messages for kids

MORE than 40 years recording events in the Queensland bush has inspired Jim Bowden's latest publishing venture - as author of the children's book Bush Rhymes for Younger Minds.

In 1958, during his early years at Queensland Country Life, he started writing a children's column for a growing band of young readers all over the state. His Kiddies Korner by Cousin Jim included a poem each week about bush animals - Katie Kangaroo, Percy Platypus, Elmer Emu and Bertie Bandicoot among them.

They carried a special message in verse to children about the values of good health, good behaviour, a good education, respect for family and elders and the under-privileged and those who may not have the same advantages as themselves.

"This was just such a wonderful time," Jim said.

"I made friends with scores of outback kids who wrote regularly and I'm still in touch with some of them."

Jim went on to become chief of staff, production manager and associate editor at Country Life and in the 1980s established his own publishing and PR business.

Still writing, Jim contributes regularly to Seniors Newspaper.

Now his verses have been enlivened by the antics of a colourful collection of bush animals, wonderfully illustrated by Brisbane artist John Flitcroft.

The book of rhymes is also unique in another respect - it includes an educational illustrated glossary of facts about the Australian bush creatures featured - their origins, habits and habitats.

The book will support the Royal Queensland Bush Children's Health Scheme (BUSHkids), a non-government, non-profit community organisation.

Brisbane Seniors Newspaper is giving away a copy of the book to readers - an ideal gift for children of any age.

Read the headline of Jim Bowden's story and email the first two words of the headline with your name, address, phone number to

Entries close February 24. The winner will be published in Seniors Newspapers March edition.

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