Rosie Leads the Way – COMING SOON!

I am very excited to announce my latest picture book will be available soon ….

After talking with her Mum, Rosie believes she is the most beautiful girl in the whole entire world – but the day she met Penelope Pennington she wasn’t so sure.  

Penelope Pennington had the perfect hair, the perfect clothes, the perfect shoes and even the perfect cat!  

So, when Rosie and Penelope unexpectedly walk home together, they both make some meaningful discoveries along the way.   Was Penelope really that perfect? How does Rosie manage to overcome her self-doubt to lead the way?”

I don’t know about you, but for me life as a teenage girl meant putting on a sportsgirl t-shirt, throwing on a pair of jeans and blow-drying my fringe into a wave and pulling the rest into a ponytail.  This process took me all of about 15 minutes.  No make-up, no selfies, no eyelash extensions, no hair tutorials and definitely no social media. My friends and I would ride our bikes to the shopping centre, to the beach or the local pool.  The only way to make contact with each other was to call their home phone or actually visit them in person.

Now let’s fast forward to today. Today is a completely different story.  Life is busier, more intense, more invasive and society has become more critical and everyone seems to want instant gratification. 

Our girls are living in a completely different world than we did and here are a few statistics to show you what they are up against:

  • There has been a significant upward trend in depression and suicidal thoughts over the past several years for teens, especially those who spend multiple hours a day using screens, and especially girls. 
  • 8 out of 10 girls are so concerned with the way they look that they opt out of important activities
  • 7 out of 10 report putting their health at risk by not eating or not going to visit the doctor when they don’t feel good about the way they look. 
  • Over 50% of teenage girls use unhealthy weight control behaviours such as skipping meals, fasting, vomiting and taking laxatives
  • Girls today have lost 4 years of their childhood.  What we were experiencing at the age of 18, our girls are now experiencing at the tender age of 14.
  • Tweens are spending 6 hours a day on social media and teenagers are spending 9 hours per day on social media.
  • Use of social media is linked to increased levels of stress and anxiety

As a parent, these statistics are horrifying to read!!!!  A big part of the anxiety suffered by girls has been related to the media and appearance ideals. Girls are exposed to a staggering 5000 images per day on the TV, Magazines, Billboards, online sites and social media of women looking perfect, pretty and thin. 

We now live in a society that tells our girls that they need to be beautiful, perfect and socially submissive.  With the rise in social media use, online bullying and teenage mental health problems; there is a global epidemic facing our young girls!
Rosie Leads the Way challenges the reader into re-defining what it means to be beautiful by having a smart mind, strong body and a beautiful heart.  I hope to spread this message to girls in their formative years before their exposure to social media and help parents change their current definition of beautiful, the language that they choose to use and the way in which they treat themselves and others.

Rosie Leads the Way was written for the 3-6 year old age group and delivers this message in a subtle, entertaining and engaging way.  It has been targeted to girls but is a story that can be enjoyed by both genders.  Lisa Coutts, the illustrator has brought the characters to life with her unique style and love of pastel artwork.


Empowering Resources are a publisher of high-quality children’s picture books and junior novels that nurture, educate and empower children. They value and encourage meaningful conversations in homes and in classrooms. Check out their website here for more of their books!


Lisa is a Melbourne based illustrator who has illustrated many books and items mostly in the children’s market thanks to her charming character based style, and because she is a bit of a kid at heart.

Lisa enjoys working in dry pastel for it’s light, soft texture and the colourful mess she can make. She also uses pencils and acrylic paints. With these she loves to create and draw characters and their worlds, whether real or imagined. See more of her work here.

Rosie Leads the Way will be COMING SOON!!!!

Please watch this space for more information.


Click here to learn more about ‘The Strongest Boy” – redefining what it means to be STRONG

All research and statistical information in this blogpost was sourced from:

Biddulph, S. (2017). Ten things girls need most. Mona Vale: Finch Publishing.

Dove Self Esteem Project. (2016, November 1). The dove self-esteem project: Our mission In Action. Retrieved from Dove Self Esteem Project:

Gallivan, H. (2014). Teens, social media and body image. Retrieved from Park Nicollet Melrose Center:

Lenhart, A. (2015, August 6). Teens, Technology and Research. Retrieved from Pew Research Center:

Shafer, L. (2017, December 15). Social media and teen anxiety. Retrieved from Harvard Graduate School of Education: