Roxie Munro
Roxie Munro talks about her new book, Rodent Rascals.

Common Core State Standards
I Like to Read Books
Holiday House eBooks

Mark Greenwood

and Frané Lessac

A Conversation with the Author and Illustrator

Q: Mark and Frané, please tell us about your new book, THE MAYFLOWER.
A: On September 6, 1620, one hundred and two passengers began their long journey on the Mayflower. Seeking a better life, they crossed thousands of miles of ocean and finally arrived at a mysterious destination—the new world we now call America.

Q: The arrival of the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor was an important part of America's history. What made you want to write about it?
A: Mark: I've been married to an American (THE MAYFLOWER illustrator Frané Lessac) for twenty-eight years, and I have never missed a Thanksgiving in all that time. It's the best holiday and no matter where we are in the world, friends and family always join us for that special celebration. In Australia it is my family's favorite day of the year!

Q: What makes this book special to you? What important message do you feel it brings to young readers?
A: Mark: In Australia there are many refugees who make treacherous journeys by boat across the vast ocean. Stories from the past like THE MAYFLOWER can help children see that times may change, but universal needs—respect, love, freedom, and security—remain unchanged.

Q: What inspired you to write/illustrate and when did you know you would become an author/illustrator?
A: Mark: Before I was a writer I was a professional musician. I spent many years touring and recording in Australia and overseas with record producers and well-known musicians. I learned the language of lyrics by listening to great songwriters, and then I developed from writing lyrics into creating stories for children. Music has had a big influence on my writing in terms of being aware of the rhythm and flow of words. I associate language and rhythm with pleasure. Initially music was a way for me to connect with people, now I find writing gives me that connection. I never knew I was going to be a writer. It just happened!

Frané: My work has led me on many adventures in numerous countries. Traveling continues to be a major source of inspiration for my work as I render my impression of a country and its way of life in oil and gouache paintings. My greatest ambition is to instill pride and self-esteem in children about their unique heritage and their own ability to capture in it pictures and words.

About the Author and Illustrator

Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac are the creators of several books for young readers. Greenwood's books have been honored by Kirkus Reviews and by the Bank Street College of Education Children's Book Committee, and he has twice received the West Australian Premier's Award. Visit him at Lessac's books have been honored as NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, and she received the Muriel Barwell Award for distinguished service to children’s literature, which is given by the Children's Book Council of Australia. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter (@franelessac). Mark and Frané live in Fremantle, West Australia.

Books by Frané Lessac


Books by Mark Greenwood

The MAYFLOWER, Reinforced