Story-telling is a big part of our family life. I love reading books. I read to the kids every day. My husband doesn’t do books. The only books I have know him to read are Jeremy Clarkson’s musings and Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. But, despite his lack of interest in books, he is a great story teller, with a very vivid imagination. He tells hilarious stories to our three year old. Often, I ear-wig, and I realise where her fondness for ‘toilet words’ and cheeky behaviour comes from.

As a result, her appetite for stories is insatiable. Not only does she want them at bed time, she wants them when we are walking in the buggy, sitting on the beach or going round the supermarket. Although I love stories, I must confess that ‘inspiration fatigue’ (generated by looking after two children everyday) does get the better of me. I often just rehash old favourites with a twist or a timely moral based on that day’s disobedience e.g Don’t run away from mummy!

So, it was very timely to hear about a new book by father of four Anton Buchner, designed to inspire both yours and your children’s imagination. Imagine what happens next… is a collection of eight story beginnings aimed to help bond and balance parents and children by unleashing the power of imagination.

“The more we become connected through technology, the  more we’re becoming physically and emotionally disconnected to children.” Says Buchner in the introduction.

The idea is that you use the story starter to set the scene and introduce the characters. The story starters are coupled with three key words to be weaved into the story at different stages. Then the story is yours and your childs to own, “to let your imagination take flight”, continues Buchner.

Each story is a different genre including adventure, fantasy, silly and mystery so the book is suited to children of all ages. What’s nice is it’s freedom, no story will ever be the same, and it will grow with your child. For example, if the evil Lord Dramhill is a bit scary for your toddler then he can be introduced at a older age.

Each story starter is beautifully illustrated by mother of two Sophie Scahill. There is a word list at the back of the book to spark more story ideas. In addition, you can jot your ideas down on the blank pages or even share the stories you and your children create at

Imagine what happens next… has given me the tools I need to start afresh with my story-telling. It has done as promised and allowed me to rediscover the fun and let imagination run wild.

Anton also conducts imagination stories at schools, homes and hospitals. For further information www.imagination

Imagine what happens next… is priced at $19.95. It’s available from Freshwater Gifts and Toys, Berkelouw Balgowlah, Humphreys Manly, Amoeba Lindfield and Northbridge, St Ives Bookshop, Beecroft Bookshop, Dymocks Warringah Mall, Elizabeth Rosa Leura (Blue Mountains), and  online at has 10 copies to give away. Please share your own story starter on the competition page, in 25 words or less. This is a game of skill and the ten we deem to be the most imaginative will win a copy of the book.

The competition closes 00.01 28 February 2014.