Tails of Tangelby Gardens

Book Author & Illustrator Sue Heazlewood & Jane Smith
Rights Available World excl. NZ

Tails of Tangleby Gardens is visually stunning combination of bringing together a story book for young readers and a recipe book for young cooks. The story begins as Marmalade, a rabbit character, organizes a huge birthday party for her husband, Montgomery, attended by his extended family. Food is important of course. ‘There was fairy bread, fruit skewers, muffins and a big tub of homemade strawberry ice cream.’ The party is interrupted by the arrival of a large yellow digger which destroys the warren. Marmalade and Montgomery have to find a new home. A pair of skylarks, Skye and Lark lead them to Tangleby, where they set up their new home in the playhouse, bringing in their rescued belongings, ‘lots of cooking pots, tins, aprons and recipe books.’ Two mice from Southland, Vincent and Violet move into the three-story dolls’ house. Other animals join them at Tangleby, including Monica the monarch butterfly and Hemi, Fleur and Finn the frogs. Each chapter presents a new challenge to be dealt with. Two magpies bully the creatures and steal their food but an act of kindness makes them change their ways, so they become useful by dealing with the slugs damaging the garden plants. Montgomery is swept away in a flood but is rescued by Leo the next-door poodle in his helicopter. When spring arrives, so do baby rabbits and mice and skylarks. Naturally this is celebrated with a picnic on the lawn. A pair of Southland hedgehogs arrive to act as teachers (and pass on the secret of cheese rolls). There are colour illustrations on every page, the work of Jane Smith, an artist and designer, who has succeeded brilliantly in creating the various animals, dressing them appropriately and fitting them together in scale.

About the Author

When Sue Heazlewood finally bought the rural property of her dreams, she loved it so much, she had it built again in miniature. Heazlewood commissioned her landscapers to build a one-bedroom playhouse, painted in the same Resene Lemon Grass colour as her main home in Ohoka, on the northern outskirts of Christchurch. It comes complete with a skylight (“so the kids can see the stars”), single beds, couches and bookcases to make it feel like home.It has a small table for younger children and a bigger table for the older ones, and childhood essentials such as a rocking horse. Sue knows her grandchildren will enjoy it. “What I’ve always wanted – and what I wanted for the children – is what I’ve created now. “I was dying to be a nana for a long, long time. “It is just such an amazing space that I know my grandchildren will cherish.” And it was here that Sue created her first stories about her two main characters, Marmalade & Montgomery, and their adventures.


Auckram Publishers


260mm x 210mm (portrait)


Children’s Picture Book

Children’s story with recipes

Age Range: 2 -12

Publication Date
October 2022

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ

Rights Agents:


Don Auckram

Contact Auckram Publishing
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Tails of Tangleby Gardens is a unique and enchanting book. The story has a gentle, magical quality, and the recipes are graded from very easy, to easy, to some skill required, so suitable for young cooks of different abilities. There is even a QR code that can be downloaded, but I actually like the idea of the book being used in the kitchen, even if it does end up with a bit of food on it!

I predict Tails of Tangleby Gardens will be a huge hit with families and will undoubtedly encourage a love of storytelling and cooking.

Karen McMillan, NZ Booklovers

Tails of Tangleby Gardens. A delicious book of story and recipes from Sue Heazlewood, illustrated by Jane Smith. A treasure for all ages.