Making “Alex’s House”

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Making “Alex’s House”

The story of Alex’s House is based on my own childhood experiences. I grew up on a bush property on the far south coast 5km from Bermagui. When my parents were building our home, I built a house too.

My big sister and I loved each other very much, but we didn’t always want to play together. One of these times inspired me to start building my own cubby house.

As I built my cubby, I imagined lots of things such as how it would all fit together from all the things I had found. I also hoped friends would think it was so AMAZING and I spent hours imagining all the games we’d play all together. I included fun things like a ‘look out’ on the roof using an old telecom public phone plastic dome shelter thing. I made a ‘trap door’ for a fast escape when playing hide and seek and a slide. Like Alex the more things I found the more ideas I got.

My cubby house like Alex’s was built from my Mum and Dad’s building site junk pile and things I’d find at the Bermagui tip.

The book is self-published through Amazon to buy the book see link: Alex’s House by Joel Tarling

drawing childhood memories
Originally the character of Alex was a boy, but my wife and daughter pointed out there were not enough stories with girls as the hero and it was fair because girls aren’t represented enough. I thought this was a fair point and changed the protagonist to be a girl who builds her own cubby house. 
The real cubby house I built in the 80’s

This drawing was a reference for my illustrations – Amber (my big sister) and Joel
– like all siblings we had our ups and downs but we had lots of fun together most of the time.