The Dream Peddler

Inspired by a mother’s anguish over her son’s ice addiction, this powerful picture-book is told in fable form, revealing the universal struggles with which we all grapple, from childhood to grave. Falsehoods, false dreams and beguiling advertisements, toxic relationships and, of course, the lure of addiction.

Once upon a time a boy was born.
He laughed. He kicked.
He grew.
He wondered, and had many dreams.

When a boy leaves home, he meets a peddler of dreams, the like of which dreams the boy could never have imagined. But these gleaming dreams come at a terrible cost.

The cost of truth. The cost of his family. The cost of his self identity.

Only the healing power of regret, determination and unconditional love can reverse the nightmare.

$24.99 (hbk)
244 x 244 mm
ISBN 978-0-6480238-4-5
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Leaf Stone Beetle

This story was inspired by a single leaf left hanging on a twig in late autumn, and from this inspiration there evolved a subtle meditation on transience, disruption and community.

A leaf falls from a tree.
A stone is washed from a stream.
A beetle loses her way.

The storm that displaced them brings them together,

But only time will tell where they go next …

This is a simple and charming tale about three anthropomorphised characters - a solitary stone, a tiny leaf, a day-dreaming beetle - and how their lives are turned upside down by the same storm.

It is also the story of our lives. We feel secure and permanent in the bubble of our individual worlds, but we are not in control of outside forces that sometimes batter our bubble walls. All we can control is how we respond to change.

Simple as it may seem, Leaf, Stone, Beetle has elicited a range of fascinating insights from readers young and old, variously identifying the metaphors of leaf, stone and beetle to their personal experiences … (stay tuned for a stunning collection of quotes from both children and adults, and the insights they gained from thinking metaphorically).

$16.99 (hbk)
195 x 165 mm
Available through 
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Fox and Bear were true friends.
They were close-as-can-be friends, through-and-through friends … except for one thing.

Fox was quick and slick and sly, and Bear was dumber than a pile of rocks.
That’s how it was. And it didn’t matter.

But then Fox stretched the string of friendship until it snapped

and they weren’t friends any more.

The Sorry Tale of Fox and Bear tells the story of an unequal friendship between a fox and a bear. Fox is ‘quick and slick and sly’ and Bear is, by his own admission, ‘dumber than a pile of rocks’.

The narrative focuses on the events that lead to the crumbling of the relationship, which is steadily undermined by power games and practical jokes. Written in the form of a letter from Bear to Fox, the text is Bear’s chronicle of steadily worsening tricks, in which he reminds Fox of their former bond and of the destructive actions that severed it.

Between his recollections and reproaches are short accounts of how Rooster and Hare strive to be Bear’s new friend now that Fox is no longer around. But if Bear is not impressed by Fox’s insensitive deeds, he is even less impressed by the grandstanding, posturing and slanderous approaches of Rooster and Hare.

How Bear deals with the situation is beyond everyone's expectations, including his own.

$29.99 (hbk) / $19.99 (pbk)
270 x 210 mm
ISBN 978-0-6480238-0-7 (hbk) / 978-0-6480238-2-1 (pbk)
Available through https://www.peribo.com.au/
Also available by emailing us at info@dirtlanepress.com

Study Guide

To download the official study guide for The Sorry Tale of Fox and Bear click Here

The Author

Margrete Lamond

MARGRETE LAMOND is a consummate storyteller with a deep understanding of folk tales and of how to retell traditional and classic narratives with a fresh, contemporary twist. Her books include Tatterhood and Other Feisty Folktales, illustrated by Peter Sheehan; The Nutcracker, illustrated by Ritva Voutila; Frankenstein, illustrated by Drahos Zac; and the Once Upon A Timeless Tale series, a collection of retold folk and fairy tales, illustrated by a variety of leading artists.

Margrete is also the publisher of award-winning picture-book imprint Little Hare Books.She is a passionate advocate for powerful quality artwork in books for younger readers, a researcher in the overlap between neuroscience and aesthetic reception, and a curator who specialises in showcasing the best of international illustrative art.



Heather Vallance

HEATHER VALLANCE's work is informed by animal and human figures in their many forms, and their relationships to their environments. She says, ‘I believe the environments we inhabit physically, socially and emotionally manifest in who we are.’ The Sorry Tale of Fox and Bear is Heather’s first venture into narrative illustration.

Heather’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the prestigious Kedumba Drawing Award, and hangs in both private and public collections. She has taught art in remote communities, and in regional schools and galleries, and currently teaches drawing, painting and printmaking at tertiary level.