Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 22, 2022

Book Giveaway: Quacks Like a Duck by Stephanie Campisi

Stephanie Campisi has written a new picture book, Quacks Like a Duck, illustrated by Maria Lebedeva and being published by Familius Press on September 27th. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Shephanie and Maria.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing that you won, please click “Notify Me of Follow-Up Comments by Email” box. I will leave a comment in reply if you win the book. Thanks!


Petunia the platypus heads to her first party since arriving from Australia. She has the present, a party hat, and a pavlova, but it’s a costume party and she doesn’t have a costume! Everyone asks what she’s supposed to be: “Are you a duck?” “Do you have webbed feet?” “Can you lay eggs?” Even without a costume, Petunia stands out, and all of the other party guests give her a full-on identity crisis! Will she, with her weird quirks, ever fit in?

For anyone who has ever felt out of place—from moving to a new country to moving to a new school—Quacks Like a Duck is a charming tale of acceptance and individuality that will have you laughing and embracing your own quirks and differences with pride.


I’ve always been fascinated by the platypus – they’re so strange and sweet, and very difficult to spot in the wild. (As a fairly introverted person, I can relate!) Perhaps that was why Petunia popped, fully formed, into my head when I went to pen something about my first experience as an Aussie attending a Thanksgiving party in the US!

Quacks was one of those rare books that actually came out almost perfectly on the first draft, and other than a few tweaks to the ending and a couple of adjustments here and there (a bonus echidna joke!) didn’t actually change much through editing. I just started typing away having fun with the idea of an uncostumed (but still very odd looking) platypus at a fancy dress party confusing everyone as they try to guess what she’s meant to “be”.


There’s an old saw that a platypus is a hodgepodge of a duck, beaver, and an otter, so I couldn’t resist a plot element that involved the three of these stumbling into the party pretending to be a platypus! I think once I had that moment, the rest of the book came together very easily.

I’ve been very privileged to work on Quacks with South African illustrator Maria Lebedeva, who has done the most charming job of bringing Petunia and her fellow partygoers to life in a bright, cheerful manner that’s perfectly aligned with the tone of the book. We had heaps of fun brainstorming the different animals and their costumes (I love the crocodile dentist and Vincent Van Goat). The cover was a bit of a challenge, because we wanted something a bit ambiguous that played off the whole “is it a duck, or is it…something else?” question that underpins the book. The whole team ended up chiming in with their ideas and feedback! I think the cover we landed on is absolutely spot-on, and it’s had a great reception!

Quacks was actually meant to launch this time last year, so Petunia is fashionably late to her own party – but it’s good to see her putting in an appearance, and with a pavlova in hand, no less! I hope that readers young and old have a chuckle at Petunia’s antics, and perhaps enjoy a good ol’ Aussie pavlova or some fairy bread as they read along!


Stephanie Campisi (cam-PEE-zee) is an Australian children’s book author based in Tennessee. She is small and quiet enough that people readily share with her their tall tales and darkest secrets, which she then makes taller, darker, and occasionally more handsome. She suspects she might have made an excellent spy. She has slept in a cemetery, has a friend who was bullied by a prince, and has lived in a haunted house in a haunted town.

Stephanie’s books include Luis and Tabitha, Very Lulu, Five Sisters, Axolotls: Day to ZZZ and the forthcoming Quacks Like a Duck.

Stephanie is the author of books including Luis and Tabitha, Very Lulu, Five Sisters and Axolotls: Day to ZZZ. Her next picture book, Quacks Like a Duck, will be released in September 2022. Stephanie is represented by Haley Casey of Creative Media Agency (

Stephanie is available for work-for-hire and IP projects. She specialises in humorous projects for very young readers through to middle grade.

You can find Stephanie on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Maria Lebedeva is a Russian-born South African illustrator (1986). She has a BA in Information Design from the University of Pretoria, an MPhil in Visual Arts (Illustration) from the University of Stellenbosch, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Johannesburg.

Storytelling is the primary driving force behind her work, inspired greatly by her irrational love of children’s picture books (which she obsessively collect), and her work as an illustrator. Illustration generally implies creating a visual story-line as an accompaniment to text, and she is greatly inspired by writing, where words she reads or hears trigger an image, or vice versa. Maria’s work almost always starts with a story or notion, a daydream or observation – something that triggers an idea which begs to be expressed visually. Folklore and fairy tales have always been her greatest inspirations, and she likes to combine these playful influences with a good dose of everyday reality, resulting in some whimsical dissonance. Ultimately, I hope to encourage an audience to engage with my illustrations, to interpret and make associations, and to create stories of their own.

Maria illustrates (mostly) picture books, living and working in Somerset West, South Africa. She is a lover of children’s books, an avid traveller, a coffee enthusiast, and a PhD candidate. She is represented internationally by SB Rights agency.

Stephanie, thank you for sharing yoru book and journey with us. I love that you wrote a book to help children embrace their differences and be proud of them. Petunia is so cute and the whole book looks like so much fun. Maria, did a great job with the illustrations and adding to the fun. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Looks so cute and funny!!
    Congrats Steph and Maria!

    Retweeted/email subscriber.


  2. What a charming and delightful tale! I love the unique wildlife of Australia and I know I will love this book. I tweeted, am subscribed to your blog, and will share this post on my own blog.


  3. I am really excited to read your newest book, and I can’t wait to attend your writer’s workshop this Saturday. “Quacks Like a Duck” looks so cute and sounds like a relatable story for all ages.


  4. This book needs my home! It looks so precious!

    I shared on IG and FB stories and on Twitter!


  5. What a fun and clever book! Wishing it the best of success! [Newsletter Subscriber]


  6. Oh, fun! This is adorable! I need to read it! Congrats!

    I follow by email and tweeted this post. 🙂


  7. This looks great! (newsletter subscriber)


  8. This is a wonderful way to share this message of self-acceptance and willingness to be different. I’m an email subscriber and shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and tumblr.


  9. Oh my gosh, I can’t wait to read this! I even just love the word ‘platypus’.


  10. Petunia is adorable! (Kathy, I subscribe to this blog.)


  11. Reblogged this on Darlene Beck-Jacobson.


  12. This book looks completely adorable. Thanks for telling me about it. I am a subscriber to your blog.


  13. Your book sounds adorable, Stephanie. Congratulations! How awesome that the story simply flowed for you when you wrote it. Sounds like one from the heart!


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