Welcome to #TheQuickSixInterview with Debra Tidball!

It is with such pleasure to have the beloved award-winning author, Debra Tidball here, to share her newest, most adorable picture book for little ones, Lights Out, Little Dragon! Master of engaging readers, following the whimsical interactivity of The Scared Book, Debra’s latest adventure takes us through the bedtime routine – with a twist, and a trace, hush, stretch and scratch to gently coax Little Dragon to bed. With the guidance of the little girl, who so longingly wishes for rest, readers engage in playful strategies to help with the sleepy-time routine. Plenty of humour and antics naturally transpire, until goodnight kisses do the final trick … or do they? Paired with the cheeky and energetic, soft watercolours and pastels by talented newcomer, Rae Tan, this book shines and bounces with the ultimate magic touch.

Thanks so much, Debra, for bringing this delightfully charming tale into the world! 🙂

AND, find out more about a special GIVEAWAY PRIZE! See details below.

About the Author

Debra Tidball is an award-winning author picture books, short stories, poems and plays for children. With a background in social work and an MA in children’s literature, Debra has a particular passion for picture books and the profound way they can touch children’s lives. She is a zealous supporter of Australian book creators and is the vice president of her local CBCA NSW sub-branch. Debra’s The Scared Book, which was a CBCA Notable Book and won the peer-voted SCBWI Crystal Kite award, was published after a successful ‘elevator’ pitch to the children’s publisher at an open day at the publishing house. Her picture book, Anchored was listed as a Notable Book in the CBCA Book of the Year Awards in TWO categories and voted one of the ‘Best Children’s Books’ in The Times of London in 2023!

Please find Debra Tidball at her website: Debra Tidball – Home and on Instagram and Facebook.

About the Illustrator

Rae Tan is a writer-illustrator working mainly in pastels and watercolour. She was born in Singapore and now lives in Perth with her husband and cat. She holds a BA in international politics from King’s College London, and performance diplomas for piano and violin from Trinity College London.

Please find Rae Tan on Instagram.

Lights Out, Little Dragon! can be purchased via the HarperCollins website.

WHO wrote, illustrated and published this book?

Debra Tidball (me) wrote Lights Out, Little Dragon!, Rae Tan illustrated and HarperCollins published the book.

WHAT is it about?

It’s about a little dragon who tries every trick to stay awake and not go to bed. It’s an interactive picture book with the child character asking the reader’s help to get Little Dragon to sleep.

What is your favourite part of this book?

That’s a hard question, as there’s something adorable on every page! But I would have to say my favourite part is the ending. Without giving anything away, the reader’s action produces a hilarious unintended consequence, which may necessitate circling back to the beginning!

WHEN did you begin writing this book?

I began writing this book in 2017 just after the publication of my The Scared Book. I originally worked on it with another publishing house who didn’t end up taking it, so I was so fortunate that HarperCollins believed in the manuscript and contracted it in 2022.

When is its release / launch date?

It was released on the 5th June 2024. So just on two years from contract to publication.

Book Launch Details:

WHERE did the inspiration for this book come from?

The desperation of trying to get my children to bed when they were little, so I could finally ‘bundy off’ after a long day!

WHY is this book meaningful to you?

Bedtime can be fraught (I well remember not being the best version of myself at times!) and I hope this book can help lighten the mood and send little ones happily off to sleep.

Why would its message resonate with readers?

I think most parents will identify with tried and tested (and testing!) bedtime stalling techniques and in Lights Out, Little Dragon! the roles are humorously reversed so the child is the one desperate to go to sleep. I hope parents and children will share a cheeky wink in recognition of these night time antics, and at the same time children get to sneakily practice sleepy-time rituals that might (no promises!) help them get to sleep.

HOW do you feel about the illustrations? How do they convey the feeling or mood you envisioned?

Oh my gosh!! The illustrations!! Soft pastels showing warm emotional connection between child and dragon, just perfect for conveying a bed time mood, and both comforting and playful at the same time. Even the choice of matte paper adds to the soft, dreamy effect. I’m also delighted how Rae’s Singaporean-Australian background has influenced the characters, especially releasing a dragon book in the year of the dragon! And the child’s hair is adorable!!

Image credit: Rae Tan

How have you promoted this book and how can we find it?

My publisher has sent copies out for review and the book is collecting some lovely ones, including being Readings’ Children’s Book of the Month! I’ll be out and about doing bookshop and library signings and readings and I’ll be writing articles for guest blogs like Joy Lawn’s Paperbark Words, as well as posting on social media.

OTHER information or experiences you’d like to share?


I’m offering one book and dragon plush toy giveaway on Instagram. To enter, follow me (@debra_tidball) and Books On Tour PR & Marketing and tell us your top tip for falling asleep, or getting your little one to fall asleep.

*Closing midnight AEST June 30, 2024. Winner chosen at random. Mailing to Australian addresses only. This competition is run by Books on Tour and Debra Tidball and not affiliated with Instagram or HarperCollins. Click the image to find the giveaway.

Thanks so much, Debra, for sharing your absolutely adorable story! 🙂

#thequicksixinterview #lightsoutlittledragon #bedtime #routine #dragon #picturebooks #justkidslit

With thanks to HarperCollins for sending a complimentary copy of the book.

2 thoughts to “The Quick Six Interview with Debra Tidball on Lights Out, Little Dragon!

  • Jill Smith

    This looks great ‘lights out little dragon’

    • justwriteforkids

      It’s super cute! Thanks for your comment, Jill! x


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