Julia Carroll is the author of two storybooks: “The Patchwork Pig and Other Stories” and “Jeremy and the Disappearing Pond and Marley and the Greedy Horse.”
As an author of children’s books, you would never think that Carroll grew up in a depressing era of war in England where places looked like ghost towns and children were evacuated for their safety.
“Growing up in a country at war; England was fighting to survive and everyone was constantly aware of the struggle,” Carroll narrated. Her generation was taught to conserve due to the scarcity of commodities. There was rationing of food and clothes, and streets were empty, houses had air raid shelters while the curtain windows were replaced with blackout material. Air raid sirens became normal, and there was the presence of uniformed men everywhere. It was not a splendid remembrance of her childhood.
Carroll described her schooling as messy because she moved from one place to another to study. She was also stricken with mumps, gastroenteritis, and cough while in primary school. She spent her first two years of high school in her mother’s native land in Northern Ireland, but it was a hostile environment because people were vindictive.
Her unpleasing past didn’t hamper her love for writing because her works were focused on good memories. Carroll owed her talent to her mother because she grew up in a family of letter writers. Her mother, who was a teacher and a disciplinarian, educated her young.
The stories she wrote were “based loosely on the events in the lives of her children and grandchildren,” Carroll revealed. She used her loved ones’ names as the characters. “Thomas’ Nice Day” was about her son Thomas who cried on the first day of school because his best friend wouldn’t be there, “Clutbog” is a fantasy story based on his son Phillip and his imaginary fox friend in England, “The Bedroom Frogs” was about the green tree frogs that lived in their bedroom and her husband’s gumboots or wellies, “The Patchwork Pig” was about her elder granddaughter who was very fond of pigs, “Jeremy and the disappearing fish pond” was about the leaking fishpond they made with her husband for their grandson Jeremy, while “Marley and the greedy horse” was also about her grandson Marley who pampered their family horse Gretel with carrots. Their family dog Bloodknock was not even exempted from starring in her book, but her favorite story was “Ben’s No Jeans Party,” which is a reminiscence of how old-fashioned parties looked like during World War 2.
At the age of 85, Julia Caroll is now a widow living in a retirement village in Australia where she made many friends. Apart from her interest in Science which made her a Pharmacist by profession, she is also a photography and theatre arts enthusiast. Her written plays and skits were entertainment to her colleagues.
Carroll’s books are also an excellent gift for grandparents who loves to spend time with their grandchildren. Reading stories is a unique bond and beneficial for a child’s upbringing. These kinds of stories were a great reminder to value your family above anything else and prioritize them as much as you can. Create some memorabilia so that you will have a reason to smile when you have a trip down memory lane.