Falcon man John Pannell releases illustrated book of poetry

Jill Fryer and John Pannell with copies of The Whimsical Menagerie. Photo: Jon Hewson
Jill Fryer and John Pannell with copies of The Whimsical Menagerie. Photo: Jon Hewson

EVER spent time awake at night with a creative idea running through your head?

It could be a painting, dress design, what to do with the leftovers in the fridge, a short story, a tune or a piece of poetry.

Falcon resident John Pannell has been doing the latter for years, mostly short humorous verses but one day he decided to write it down before it vanished, starting a chain of events.

Over time a collection of verses featuring Australian wildlife was built up, short ones that would appeal not only to young children but also their parents who would see them at a different level.

Inevitably publication was suggested.

Local artist Jill Fryer liked the idea and took up the challenge, producing gorgeous coloured illustrations to suit each verse.

The Whimsical Menagerie was originally written for Pannell’s grandchildren.

Pannell spent most of his working life as a producer of teaching and learning materials at the ABC and Edith Cowan University.

His mother was well known Perth actress, the late Nita Pannell.

Fryer is a multi-talented artist in many media and has exhibited and sold widely in WA, where she lives, in New Zealand where she was born and around the world.

The Whimsical Menagerie will be launched, along with an exhibition of Fryer’s paintings, at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre this Friday at 11.15am.

Books and the original paintings will be on sale.

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