Magda Szubanski’s new children’s book is semi-autobiographical


magda szubanski childrens book
Photo: Eva Rinaldi/Creative Commons

Magda Szubanski has shared one of the ways she’s passing the time in isolation – writing her new series of children’s books.

The Aussie comedian recently released the first in the series called Timmy the Ticked-Off Pony.

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“It’s called Timmy the Ticked-Off Pony and the Poo of Excitement – who hasn’t done one of those?” Szubanski said.

“He’s a show pony, and the book is semi-autobiographical,” Magda told Channel 7’s The Morning Show.

“He’s Instagram famous and living in his mansion and he doesn’t have to go to school. School comes to him.

“He’s just about to reach peak fame, he’s on the red carpet. His little hoof reaches out into the spotlight, and at that moment, he is so overwhelmed with excitement that poo happens, basically.

“He very quickly becomes unpopular, and he doesn’t like it one little bit. He’s quite a self-absorbed brat.

“It’s about the perils of Insta fame. To those kids out there who say they want to be famous – it won’t solve your problems.”

Magda explained the character of the spoiled, cranky pony is inspired by Magda’s own real-life nickname by friends.

“One of the symptoms of anxiety is irritability, and I do suffer from anxiety,” she explained.

“I’m pretty good-natured a lot of the time, but every now and then I do get irritable.

“One of my friends said to me, ‘You’re cute, but when you’re in certain moods you’re like an effed-off Shetland pony.’

“It’s me letting out that side I think, and venting it. So in certain moods, my friends will say, ‘watch out, Timmy’s here.’”

She explained working in a women’s refuge when she was younger and reading to children had helped her learn what entertains them.

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“I very quickly realised that nothing made them happier and scream with laughter like poop and fart jokes. You can’t fight that, really,” she said.

Magda Szubanski in self-isolation during COVID-19 pandemic

Magda Szubanski told the show the COVID-19 pandemic is the “weirdest” thing she’s experienced in her life.

But she said she’s having an easier time adapting to self-isolation than most.

“It’s not that hard for me, I’m much more introverted than people think. I work from home a lot more anyway, so it’s sort of not that different,” Szubanski said.

“That said, everything has changed. I can feel it with the neighbours. There’s tension but everyone is really trying to reach out to one another and act more tolerant and forgiving and understanding.”

Magda said she’d volunteered with her local church to help homeless people. But that work is complicated because of the risk of coronavirus contagion.

“It’s causing everyone to be extremely resourceful, but also I think we have to check in with our feelings,” she said.

“That’s why in some ways it’s actually been really fun to write a silly book that’s just about poo jokes.”

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