The Mad Cappers’ Tea Party by Marnie Stocks | Illustrated by Sally Heinrich

The Mad Cappers’ Tea Party is a beautifully illustrated and produced, hardcover book aimed at children from pre-school to middle-primary.

What are we doing?

The Mad Cappers’ Tea Party is a fun-filled story of two children who help their adult friend come to terms with the unusual and awkward problem of losing her hair. After searching unsuccessfully for Marnie’s hair, the children decide to throw a tea party to find another solutiuon.

Where did the idea come from?

When Marnie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, her family and friends threw a real Mad Cappers’ Tea Party as depicted in the story. To help Marnie feel better, everyone arrived ‘bald’ by wearing a swimming cap and brought along the most lovely, practical and wackiest head coverings they could find. It was a lot of fun and helped break down barriers to talking about cancer and the effects of chemotherapy, including hair loss.

Many fellow patients mentioned that hair loss was a hard topic to broach with their kids and loved hearing the story of the Mad Cappers’ Tea Party. So, Marnie wrote the story during her chemotherapy sessions.

Who are we?

Marnie Stocks

Marnie is a plant biologist who believes that if life gives you lemons, you should try to make lemonade. She has often used humour, art and stories to approach difficult topics with children. Marnie has loved Sally’s work throughout their long friendship and she knew that Sally would make the Mad Cappers’ Tea Party come alive on the page.

Sally Heinrich

Sally is an illustrator and writer. In 2016 she illustrated One Step at a Time, by Jane Jolly, which was an Honour book in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Awards. Papa Sky, another collaboration with Jane was a Notable Book in the same awards in 2018. She has illustrated more than forty books including the popular Diary of … and Susie K Diaries series by Shamini Flint.

Katherine Timotheou

Katherine is a Typographer and Graphic Designer working across a number of areas. She has designed many books including working with Sally on One Step at a Time and Papa Sky.

Why is this book important?

Picture books are a safe and comfortable way to raise difficult topics and open discussion. Mothers, aunties, grandmothers and friends of children experience hair loss but it can be difficult and scary for kids to talk about. The Mad Cappers’ Tea Party introduces this problem to children with compassion, humour and love. In the story, the cause of the hair loss is not mentioned, allowing people in a broad range of situations to relate to it in an individual way.

Reading a picture book creates a shared experience between a child and a carer. A child may find comfort in recognising experiences like their own echoed in a book and to realise they are not alone. It can then give them the opportunity to ask questions they may not have known how to raise. At the same time, this book can be read simply as an entertaining and engaging story.



Budget Overview

Why are they crowdfunding for this book?

Female hair loss, whether through cancer treatment or other health problems, is an under-represented niche in the children’s literature market. There is very little profit in children’s picture books and their aim is not to make a profit for themselves, but to fill a need for families. Publication will depend on a community of people who want to see this book published.  They hope that people who have been touched by cancer will see the value of this book and help them get it to market.

How will the funds be used?

Through their Pozible campaign, they hope to pre-sell enough books to pay for all the production costs.

  • Design, artwork, illustration and scanning $5,000
  • Printing, proofs and delivery $8,565
  • Pozible campaign costs and promotion $2,000

TOTAL COST for 2000 books $15,565

What will they do with any profits?

All net profits will be used to provide low cost, easy and accessible mindfulness and meditation guidance for cancer patients and oncology staff. This will be provided through Lifeflow Meditation Centre Inc. a not-for profit, secular organisation teaching mindfulness and meditation in the South Australian community since 1981. Unsold books will be donated to oncology centres.


For more information, to make a pledge and for all enquiries please visit the Pozible website.

What:  The Mad Cappers’ Tea Party Picture Book

When:   Crowdfunding June & July 2019 

Where:   via Pozible (see link above)

Who:   Everyone, especially families touched by Cancer

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Image Source: supplied


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