Chook Doolan wishes he was brave enough to play soccer.

Chook Doolan doesn't want to play soccer. It's scary, especially when Ashton Findus and Marty Petrovic are on the team. Can Chook find the courage to join the game?


James Roy was born in Trundle, western NSW. When he was ten months old his parents accepted a missionary appointment to the highlands of Papua New Guinea. A placement in Fiji followed some years later and, by the age of sixteen, James had spent more than half of his life living in the islands of the South Pacific. He attributes much of his early interest in books to the absence of TV, a wonderful library full of adventure books, and the opportunity to play as those characters in wild, adventuresome places. James lives in the Blue Mountains with his family and writes both fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults. His books have won many awards and he travels throughout Australia talking about books and writing. He is an advocate for boys' literacy.

Lucinda Gifford was brought up in Scotland and originally intended to become an architect, studying Architecture at Edinburgh and Bath Universities. Lucinda’s love of drawing buildings was cancelled out at the time by an overwhelming disinterest in construction sites and the newly-introduced CAD technology, and so she went on to spend a very enjoyable fifteen years in Auckland, London and Melbourne working in advertising and design. These days, Lucinda lives with her family in Melbourne’s northern suburbs – and works as an illustrator, author-illustrator and graphic designer from her cosy, messy home studio. Lucinda uses pencil, ink, crayon, marker, and watercolour to produce her illustrations, and usually uses PhotoShop to put everything together. When not sketching, designing or developing story ideas, Lucinda enjoys plot twists, beach walks and staring out the windows of Melbourne trams.


This series is ideal for the child who is just becoming an independent reader. The warmth, contemporary themes and understated courage of Chook make the books stand out.

Read Plus

The series is beautifully illustrated by Lucinda Gifford with fun black and white sketches bringing the text to life.

Reading Time

It is ideal for the young emerging reader and would also be a good quick read aloud in the classroom or at bedtime.

Read Plus

Chook Doolan is a likeable boy and primary school age children will easily relate to his worries and challenges.

Reading Time

Roy has created a likeable and familiar character in Chook, who feels like he could easily be a friend from school. Chook’s stream of consciousness is written with endearing humour, and he will be enjoyed by young boys in particular. The simple language and short chapter style of the text is well suited for emerging readers, aged five and up. Fun illustrations by Lucinda Gifford add to the book’s quirky feel.


This book was easy to read, but lots of fun. I think it would be perfect for 5-6 year olds. I give Chook Doolan three stars. (Child reviewer Maddy W)

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