A big Hullabaloo for Fleur’s book

By Ivy Jensen

FAIRIES, silver spiders, secret agents and other kooky characters from Fleur Ferris’ latest book have been brought to life by hundreds of children.

Students from 10 primary schools across Echuca-Moama, Bunnaloo, Tongala, Shepparton, Tempy and Ouyen are getting artistic as part of an illustration competition inspired by the Moama author’s book Nullaboo Hullabaloo.

With different competitions for each grade, students can illustrate a character or scene from the book, with a shortlist of entries being displayed at Echuca’s Foundry Arts Space in time for her book launch next month.

But students only have until Friday to get their entries in.

Fleur said 100 Echuca students had taken part as of yesterday.

‘‘I’m thrilled with the level of interest and talent,’’ she said.

‘‘The entries I have received so far have been outstanding.’’

The eye-catching illustrations will be shortlisted, displayed in the Foundry Arts Space and a winner from each year level will be decided, taking home a $50 prize.

The Moama author wrote Nullaboo Hullabaloo six years ago, after her first published novel Risk.

The 35,000-word fantasy — illustrated by Briony Stewart — tells the story of Gemma Hart and her family who live on a farm in Nullaboo inhabited by fairies. Gemma befriends a fairy called Janomi whose grandfather has been captured by the silver spiders.

Gemma agrees to help Janomi and keep the fairies’ existence a secret, but when the secret comes out, a media frenzy takes over Nullaboo. A secret government agency barges in to take control and suddenly the fairy colony is under an even bigger threat.

Gemma and her kooky family, school and resourceful neighbours must take matters into their own hands in an against-all-odds bid to save the last fairy colony on Earth.

Nullaboo Hullabaloo will be launched on May 10 at 6pm at the Foundry which will include an exhibition of the shortlisted entrants.

Fairy cake and chocolate spiders will be on the menu.

For any schools interested in taking part in the competition, visit for information.