Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon


I’m really looking forward to the release of my new middle grade novel, Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon which will be published by Penguin Books Australia on May 31, 2022.

This book is very different from any of my other novels because it’s part narrative, part graphic novel, part fable. It is also a very personal story that I’ve carried with me almost all my life, well before I knew I would be an author.

Meet Zadie Ma, a girl who writes magical stories that sometimes come true. Her dearest wish is to have a dog of her own, so she starts to write the story of a poor unwanted dog called Jupiter, who’s just waiting to be rescued by a loving girl like Zadie. Can Zadie bring to life her most important story of all . . . the one where she finds Jupiter, the dog of her dreams?

From one of Australia’s most esteemed and award-winning children’s authors comes a heartwarming story set in 1950s Melbourne about courage, friendship, the magic of stories and one girl’s unwavering love for her dog.

The Rose and the Well  – a story written by Zadie Ma


The recording above is a little snippet taken from the audiobook of Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon which will be released at the same time as the print book on May 31. It is performed beautifully by Veronica Chan and brought to you by Penguin Random House Audio.

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I was blown away by this story – I couldn’t stop reading it. The characters and the way the story communicates such complex fragility in people’s behaviour drew me in.

Gabrielle’s skill in respecting this age-range readership, and unveiling ways how people can overcome some of their biases is very balanced and wise. There seems to be a philosophy behind the writer’s craft here that recognizes there’s emotional pain in life that makes adults hard to understand and contributes to the unfair treatment of people, but there are ways to soften these difficulties when young hearts and minds recognize their resourcefulness. The compositions within the main story read so well, and I’m so taken by the careful descriptions and the neighbourhood of characters. The momentum keeps me curious as a reader throughout each scene. I admire how homelessness, racism, PTSD, feminism, animal cruelty are themes that are tackled but there’s enough kindness and optimism that makes me feel uplifted about how these things can be overcome. Gabrielle’s illustrations are gorgeous and the graphic novel sections telling Jupiter’s story made my heart melt.

The plot is very accomplished; it shows a commitment to the writing and editing process – and this has added to this polished book. The interactions such as Teddy wanting to listen to Daddy’s brain – demonstrate such deep ties between people. It restores my faith in how people’s loyalty to each other carries us through life.

~ Melissa Faulkner