Dannika is a Brisbane-based children's author and presenter with 14 published titles.
For 20 years, Dannika used her wordsmithing skills to help businesses around the world tell their stories more effectively. In 2017, she discovered that writing books for kids is WAY more fun and rewarding. Now, she's committed to creating KidLit for life.
Dannika's writing & workshops aim to uplift, educate, empower, spark wonder and drive positive change in a gentle, joyful way.
Her books can be used as resources in homes and schools to start conversations and to help foster social, emotional, environmental and self-awareness.
Dannika loves visiting schools, libraries, and festivals to share her books and her extensive range of story-driven workshops. Each workshop features interactive elements and curriculum connections, bringing books & themes to life in meaningful, highly engaging and age-appropriate ways.
Things Dannika can't get enough of include coffee, dogs, the ocean, and conversations with kids - they say the most inspiring, important and true things!
- 2018 Picture Book: Jacaranda Magic – Ford Street Publishing (Australia)
- 2019 Picture Book: My Tribe - Library For All (International)
- 2019 Poetry Collection: SeaSpray17: Ocean Photography & Haiku Poetry (Australia)
- 2019 Graphic Novel: Project Volcano (Natural Disaster Series for Pacific Island Region)
- 2019 Graphic Novel: Between the Cracks (Natural Disaster Series - International)
- 2020 Picture Book: Scribbly Gum Secrets - Ford Street Publishing (Australia)
- 2020 Picture Book: Day & Night - DMind Educational Publishing (Hong Kong)
- 2020 Picture Book: Giving - DMind Educational Publishing (Hong Kong)
- 2020 Picture Book: Beach Kindy (Australia)
- 2020 Early Reader: A Cyclone Called Celia (Natural Disaster Series for Pacific Island Region)
- 2021 Picture Book: Sera, The Shell & The Storm (A Save The Children Int'l Project)
- 2022 Early Reader: Look At That! (Library for All - Solomon Islands Series)
- 2023 Picture Book: Hedgehog the Wonder Dog (Ford Street Publishing, Australia)
- 2023 Picture Book: Heavy (Wombat Books, Australia)
Dannika is available for traditional author visits & story time sessions, as well as to present story-driven and curriculum-linked creative workshops.
Choose from a pre-developed range of workshops (see examples below), or work with Dannika to create a custom workshop to support specific learning goals or community engagement at your school, library, or event.
1 Hour Workshop
Age Range: Ideal for Prep - Year 6 (Can be adapted for high school & adult audiences)
This cross-curriculum story-driven workshop is designed to provoke thought and open age-appropriate discussions about what can be a 'Heavy' topic: intergenerational and societal patterns of load carrying for women and girls. Some handy curriculum links are woven in too, like looking at levers, pulleys, catapults, centre of gravity, loads & weight.
...After reading mentor text HEAVY, Dannika will guide a gentle group discussion of the book's central themes and facilitate a fun, hands-on craft activity and/or experiment using upcycled, recycled (and optionally edible!) materials to help students make relevant real-world connections.
Hedgehog the Wonder Dog
1 Hour Session
Age Range: Prep - Grade 6 (Can be adapted for adult learning and PD)
This highly-engaging author visit encourages children's creativity, love of story, writing and dogs!
Using working examples from the making of the picture book Hedgehog the Wonder Dog, students will learn about this book's journey to publication, the inspiration and research behind the story, as well as other details of the story-writing and book-making process.
Following a reading of Hedgehog the Wonder Dog, Dannika will lead a gentle discussion around the themes in this book, as well as facilitating participant Q&As about...anything! Kids ask the BEST questions & Dannika is an open book about books!
Curriculum links that can be woven into and around this author visit include: narrative writing, linguistic devices (alliteration, assonance), days of the week, counting. An optional book-themed art/craft component.
Working with Jacaranda Magic by Dannika Patterson & Megan Forward as a reference text, participants will learn about the making of a picture book, exercise their imaginations and celebrate nature through story and art.
This highly-engaging workshop encourages children's creativity, love of story, art-appreciation and real-world connection to nature and its seasons.
Using working examples from the making of the picture book Jacaranda Magic, participants will be invited to imagine, hypothesize, problem-solve and get creative.
They'll be shown examples of how flexible thinking and open-ended play can lead to great ideas through an engaging mix of story, science and art.
Curriculum-links built into this workshops include; narrative writing, poetry, science inquiry skills, seasons and weather, eco-systems, growth of trees, chemistry and art (colour-mixing).
This workshop is 100% waste-free, with all materials being either recycled, upcycled or compostable.
Scribbly Gum Secrets
Working with Scribbly Gum Secrets by Dannika Patterson & Megan Forward as a reference text, participants will discover how fact, fiction, science & art can come together in a picture book...and in life.
This multi-modal workshop fosters creativity, sustainability and ecological awareness for children in a gentle, joyful and highly interactive way.
Using working examples from the making of Scribbly Gum Secrets, participants will be invited to hypothesize, problem-solve, experiment and get creative.They'll learn how our iconic scribbly gum trees get their marks through an engaging mix of story, science and art. Curriculum-links built into this workshops include; narrative writing, poetry, science inquiry skills, eco- systems, life-cycles, biology, five senses and growth of trees (engineering & design in nature).Children are invited to LOOK, TOUCH, FEEL, TASTE & SMELL this story, via a sensory discovery station. This workshop is 100% waste-free, with all materials being either recycled, upcycled or compostable!
Age Range: Kindergarten - Year 6 (Adaptable to other age ranges or adult learning)
This creative workshop encourages participants to enjoy, respect and protect our oceans. Dive into a multi-disciplinary exploration of ocean
environments, using books by Dannika Patterson, as reference texts. This workshop was developed to help foster a deeper understanding & appreciation of the sea and its creatures, through creative word & picture pairings, plus a splash of science.
Using working examples from her ocean-inspired books; SeaSpray17, Beach Kindy and Sera, The Shell and the Storm, Dannika's workshops aim to inspire ecological awareness & a love of books in a gentle, joyful, highly-engaging way. Participants will learn about the life cycle, habitat and migratory patterns of the Greenback Turtle, and will have the opportunity to create their own artistic interpretation of 'Mr Greenback' from reference text SeaSpray17.
Curriculum-links built into this workshops include; narrative writing, poetry, science inquiry skills, environmental science, habitats, life-cycles, earth systems, ethical understanding, cultural understanding & sustainability.
This workshop is 100% waste-free, with all materials being either recycled, upcycled or compostable.
Join author Dannika Patterson on an incursion adventure to the amazing place that is...Beach Kindy!
Like all the story-driven workshops she develops and presents, Dannika's first priority is to meaningfully share her love of books and wild creativity with children in a joyful way. This workshop was developed to help foster a deeper understanding & appreciation of people and place, through story, art, science and sensory elements. Using working examples from her book Beach Kindy, set on Quandamoooka land, Dannika will share this story of people and place that gently encourages early years ecological, social-emotional and cultural awareness.We'll talk Welcome to Country, respect for land, animals & people and name the feelings that often come with new experiences, like the butterfly-filled nerve-citement of first excursions! (Plus a few child-led tangent topics, no doubt!) This workshop aligns with the primary concepts of the Early Years Learning Framework: Being, Belonging and Becoming. P-2 curriculum-links built into this workshops include; narrative writing, science inquiry skills, environmental science, habitats, life-cycles, cultural understanding & sustainability.The Beach Kindy workshop can be run as an incursion style author visit in kindergartens, primary schools, libraries, education centres, community events and writers festivals. This workshop is 100% waste-free, with all materials being either recycled, upcycled or compostable.
Playing with Stories
Ideal workshop duration is 1 - 1.5 hours. Ideal for Prep-Grade 2
Inspired by one of the opening lines from Jacaranda Magic, this workshop is all about creativity & playfulness, using everyday objects as provocation.
• Workshops start and finish with stories by Dannika Patterson
• Children work in groups to 'Imagineer' new worlds, characters & stories
• Workshop focus on fun & engagement, with reflection on how thinking & playing in an open-ended way can be used to level-up creative writing.
Fabulous Fractured Fairy Tales
This highly-engaging writing workshop encourages children's creativity and love of story, particularly in the forms of fairy tales and nursery rhymes.
Students will learn all about the tradition of fairy tales, how to twist them and tips for writing their own versions.
With inspiration from the pages of the fundraising anthology 'Once Upon a WHOOPS!' by Australia's Anthology Angels, as well as other reference sources, students will leave this session inspired to have a go at writing their own fabulous fractured fairy tales and not-quite-right nursery rhymes. Curriculum links include: narrative writing, linguistic devices, story structure.
In this highly-engaging writing workshop, Dannika Patterson will share insights into what, why and how she approaches the craft of writing.
- A Writer's Journey
- Inspiration & Story-Starters
- Essential Elements of Story
- Settings & World Building
- Perfect Plots
- Characters & Characterisation
Customised Author Incursion
To suit your requirements
The Year 3s loved their writing workshop with the incredibly talented author Dannika Patterson.
St John Vianney's Primary School - March 2023
Your visit continues to inspire us at Children @ Bay Tce. Our jacaranda tree is slowly taking shape and our fairy corner is being added to everyday. We used the jacaranda pods you gave us as stepping stones and also tried them as boats.
Children at Bay Tce - Kindergarten - 2022
Incredibly engaging, personable and generous.
Brisbane City Council Libraries - 2019
Preps loved listening to a story from the ‘actual, real, live’ author!
Hearing the process of creating a book was also extremely interesting and the setting, beneath the jacaranda, so suitable! They are spotting 'Jacaranda Magic' wherever we go!
Dannika was charming, dynamic, patient and resourceful.
The children thoroughly enjoyed her reading of her story 'Jacaranda Magic' and were enthralled with her treasure box. The way she was able to keep the children so engaged was amazing.
Prep - Year Two
Moreton Bay College - 2018