The Wheelbarrow Express is a heartfelt and rollicking tale about the special love between a grandparent and a child.

It’s Tommy’s last day at Pa’s farm and it’s time to say goodbye. Tommy doesn’t want to go. Not yet. He loves the farm and its playful pigs and clucking chickens and galloping goats and the dam that is deep and blue and perfect for skimming stones. And he loves Pa.

But Pa has a plan: there’s time for one last run on the Wheelbarrow Express. Toot! Toot! All aboard!


Sue Whiting is an award-winning children’s and YA author and editor who has worked in publishing for twenty+ years. Sue was senior commissioning editor and publishing manager for Walker Books Australia for many years before leaving in 2016 to concentrate on her writing. As a storyteller and schools’ performer, Sue has informed, inspired and entertained thousands of kids across the country. She is also a freelance children’s book editor and writing coach, and the author of numerous books, including the bestselling Missing, the acclaimed The Book of Chance and a number of CBCA Notable Books. Sue’s latest books are Pearly and Pig and the Great Hairy Beast, the first in a new junior fiction series, and the narrative nonfiction picture book The Echidna Near my Place, illustrated by Cate James.

Cate James is a full-time illustrator, and when she’s not drawing for children's books, she likes to find different ways to be an artist. She volunteers with ArtEx at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick, and teaches art to primary-aged children. She also works as a printmaking technician at UNSW. Cate has illustrated over 30 books for publishers in the UK, US and Australia and was awarded the Penguin Random House Illustrators’ Showcase Award in 2019. Cate moved to Australia from Scotland, where she studied Printmaking and Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. She is now living in the Northern Beaches of Sydney with her husband and her sausage dog Sebastian.


Heartfelt in its depiction of the love between Pa and Tommy, the tale is brimming with their shared support and affection.


The young whippersnapper and zestful oldie share a wonderful relationship. Tommy adores his Pa and everything that he does for him and this is reciprocated by a Pa who has the most loveliest of ways with with his grandson. Pa’s mannerisms, the way he interacts with Tommy, the humour he brings to every situation, the comfort he provides, his energy and enthusiasm, it is all wonderfully uplifting and leaves you with that warm fuzzy feeling inside… A sweet, endearing and very appealing read.

A Word About Books

Upon opening this story, I was transported back to my childhood holidays spent with my Nan and Pop – the animals, gardens, collecting and treasure hunting, nature adventures, and the sadness of saying goodbye. This book captures the special love and bond between a child and their grandparent in a warm and heartfelt way.

Reading Time

This is a strong picture book that I’m sure young people will really love. This is a book to remember in the lead up to Father’s Day as it acknowledges the special relationship that can exist when a grandfather welcomes a child into their world and takes time to care.

Magpies Magazine

The Wheelbarrow Express is a beautifully warm story of a grandfather and grandson simply enjoying time together. It is full of fun and love and, as you read it, your heart can’t help but swell large with the same feelings.

Good Reading Magazine

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