Tag Archives: Deafness

Hello, Emma Memma – Emma Memma

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Penguin Australia

  • February 2023
  • ISBN: 9781761341045
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $19.99

We no longer have anyone little enough to be a Wiggles fan in our family – in fact, just recently I was recalling taking my oldest grandson to see the colorful four at the Kingaroy Town Hall (cost $5, and we all sat on the floor – circa 1997) but the last time I saw them, The Kid was around 3, so back in 2008.

Even so, not withstanding my lack of recent experience, you would need to have hibernated for a long time if you are not aware of the vivacious Emma Wiggle and her impact – along with the salient fact that she has now left the group.

What I did not know however, was anything at all about Emma Watkins, the person. A talented performer from the age of three with a love of dance embracing ballet, Irish, hip-hop, tap and contemporary, Emma has studied performing arts, film and media and has a Master in Media Arts and Communication. She is passionate about sign language and advocating for the deaf community, has completed her Diploma of Auslan and is currently studying a Diploma in Interpreting – while also undertaking her PhD focusing on the artistic and affective integration of sign language, dance and film editing. PHEW!!!!!!

Now her first book, written with her husband Oliver Brian, in a magical new series engages a whole new audience, as she transforms into her new persona of Emma Memma. It is going to delight not only her fans from her Wiggles chapter, but most definitely enlist a legion new ones who will love this exuberant new character with her trademark curls and orange and pink butterfly hair adornments. And true to her passion, Emma’s book is acccessible via Auslan, and is vividly visualised by illustrator Kerrie Hass, who has most emphatically brought Emma Memma to life in her drawings.

I defy anyone, small or big, to read this and not feel a buzz of happiness and pure fun. I foresee a real following for this character, and from what I can ascertain, it is very well deserved. Highly recommended for your tiny peeps from around 2 to 6 or so.

Check out the Q&A with Emma here.