The amazing true story of Jean Robertson and Kathleen Howell, who helped map Australia.

In 1928, girls don't drive cars, let alone race them, until two fearless and intrepid best friends make history, racing across Australia and beating the land speed record ... with Barney the dog in tow!


Neridah McMullin loves history and true stories. An author of eight books for children, Neridah is also an award winning short story writer and poet. Her latest picture book, published by Walker Books Australia in 2021, is called Drover, and is the true story of legendary drover, Edna Jessop. Neridah loves footy, family, birdwatching, walking her dog and meeting other people’s dogs.

Lucia Masciullo is an award-winning illustrator who loves to create whimsical characters and colouring with traditional techniques, mixing watercolour, pencil and collage. Born and bred in Livorno, Italy, she moved to Australia in 2007 and since then she has illustrated thirty books, including Come Down, Cat! by Sonya Hartnett, which was a CBCA Honour Book and shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Lucia currently lives on the Gold Coast and when not at work she likes running, watching anime and eating homemade pizza


The beautiful watercolour illustrations will encourage the readers to feel that they are there on the trip between Perth and Adelaide. The scenery is breathtaking, spectacular and fascinating, with details of flora and fauna that people see on the way. This wonderful story evokes a world that is different from the one experienced by children today, and will give them a moment to think about how they would have coped with the journey these women made.


Neridah McMullin and Lucia Masciullo have re-created Jean and Kathleen’s life in a wonderfully atmospheric way, giving us a window to a small part of it.. This is a story of perseverance and resilience, and an important yet relatively unknown part of Australian history. Read Eat My Dust! with your kids, it’s a story that deserves to be celebrated.

Kids Book Review

Eat My Dust! follows two plucky, smart, and determined women as they race across Australia in an open-topped car. In a time in history when the horse and cart is making way for the faster automobile, Jean and Kath are pioneers who embrace the future and love everything about driving and cars.

Reading Time

Told as narrative non fiction, this new book provides both an introduction to two little-known heroines who paved the way for women to drive today, and highlights those attitudes offering an insight into how difficult it was to be female in a male environment and the opportunity to investigate the transition of women’s achievements and influence over the last century.

The Bottom Shelf

Flick through the ‘dusty’ endpapers of this beguiling picture book and you’ll be treated to the story that stirs up images of Thelma and Louise, not that youngsters will care about that, but the verve of adventure and devil-may-care determination is something they will undoubtedly resonate with. Jean Robertson and Kathleen Howell were two women with a penchant for cars, racing and breaking records; all activities deemed unseemly for women in the 1920s. Regardless, they jumped into their gutsy Lancia lambda car and drove (without maps!) from Perth to Adelaide in just over two days, smashing the land speed record by five hours (and many pre-conceived stereotypes along the way). What is great about this retelling is the degree of adventure, action and ambivalence (towards derisive comment) both author and illustrator manage to imbue into just 32 pages. True grit is the flavour of the day amply magnified with personality revealing dialogue and illustrations reflecting a gentle retro aesthetic. Thrilling and affirming. What a great way to reflect on energising history-making moments.

Dimity Powell

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