Latest News

Two new releases in January 2020

9 August 2019

January 2020 will bring the release of two new titles.

We are keeping things under wraps for the time being, but without giving too much away, the first of these is another in the Next Door’s Dog series, bringing the series to three, and is again beautifully illustrated by Vivienne da Silva.

The other title is a hot topic in schools and we expect to be able to provide more detail towards the end of this school year.     New-on-the-scene illustrator Kate Bouman was chosen as illustrator for this title.

We’ll let subscribers know as soon as more detail can be released, and order forms will be available from late 2019.


So That’s What’s Happening! released in paperback

7 July 2019

The demand for 2018 release So That’s What’s Happening! has been consistently strong, so much so that the title sold out!   Publisher New Holland took the decision to reprint in a high quality paperback edition.   This was released in June.

I am thrilled with the response to So That’s What’s Happening!  with some schools purchasing multiple copies of the title so that there are plenty available for students to borrow or use in the classroom.   It’s companion book, So That’s How I Began! which is also humorously, cleverly and tastefully illustrated by Alex Mankiewicz, was released only this year and is already proving extremely popular.

Thank you to all who have purchased and for your kind words and reviews.



Trip to rural schools in June

30 June 2019

In June I decided to escape the city for a few days and breathe the country air.   An offer of student workshops in a rural region was met with an excellent response, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent speaking and working with primary and high school students in a range of schools.

I was made very welcome by teachers and students, and met some very enthusiastic and talented young writers in my travels.

I look forward to visiting other rural regions in 2020.

Two latest titles released internationally in May

7 May 2019

May is an exciting month as both So That’s How I Began! and Next Door’s Dog Goes to School are released on the international market.

Amazon, USA along with many international booksellers are stocking the titles, and based on the sales in to date we are optimistic both will do very well.

Visit to Belair Primary School

6 May 2019

On May 6th, I visited Belair Primary School to have “Meet an Author” sessions with eighty students. Many students showed a keen interest in writing and in particular the process from start to finish in creating a picture book and putting in a publisher submission.

Afterwards, interested students were invited to return for an optional question session. The highlight of the morning was that so many students wanted to participate, and each showed so much enthusiasm and had interesting and well thought through questions to ask. Had it not been for the lunch bell, the session could have gone on indefinitely!

Thank you to the wonderful teachers who organised the visit and to the students who participated. Thanks also for feedback, which makes the day so worthwhile. A few feedback slips have been included below.

I look forward to visiting other schools during the course of the year to motivate young people to write.


“You really inspired me to write more.   Layla.”


“I loved your presentation and I would love for you to come back again.  I love writing and I can never stop.  Georgia.”


“The presentation was amazing.   You seem very loving of what you do and you showed that through the presentation.   Thank you for coming to my school today.   Charlize.”


“You did well in the sense that you talked about yourself and connected it to your writing.   I learned a lot about the real publishing process.   It was good you read your book to us.  Thanks for coming, Gina.   Matilda.”


“Great job explaining everything.   Tyler.”


“I really enjoyed the part where you read the books and it was really interesting when you explained the steps of writing a book.  Joel.”


“I think your books are going to change the way people think about dogs that are service dogs.   I think your books are awesome.   Erin.

So That’s What’s Happening! proving very popular in schools

3 May 2019

Book So That’s What’s Happening! is being ordered by schools to assist in teaching the puberty component of the curriculum.   This title is due for release in paperback in June and within a month of advising schools of this I have all but sold out!   I look forward to feedback from schools when this new resource has been utilised within the classroom.

Companion book, So That’s How I Began! is newly released and selling well, and makes a good addition to the classroom library…

Please contact me for further information about these resources.

Letters and reviews for the Next Door’s Dog Books

2 May 2019

I am always thrilled to receive emails and letters from people who have purchased books. Some recent ones are below.


Your books arrived today – I’ve just read them and they are lovely. I’m sure our students will enjoy them and try to relate them to our school dog, Coco.
Library Officer
Halidon Primary School


Hi Gina
Your awesome books have just been sent to our school, Kingsley park Primary School for purchasing. I LOVE them, we just have a Therapy dog at our school so have come in super handy. (I am also promoting them with the crew I trained the dog with!!!! I did say I LOVE them)
Can you please send me one more of each as a personal order?
Many thanks
School Principal


I have just read your 2nd book about Assistance Dogs.
Gina, I can only give you the highest praise for promoting the cause of people and assistance dogs.
I hope a third book will happen over time. You have the ability to impact on lives. Not everyone gets that opportunity. Keep up the good work.


Gina, your ‘Next Door’s Dog’ series is an absolute must in any library collection! As we strive for inclusion for all, these books provide education for our students, highlighting diversity and promoting inclusion within the school and the community.
Library Officer,
Tuart Rise Primary School


Gina, thanks to you for making it easier for our little ones to understand and pass on this knowledge.
Whisky’s Wish


A really useful, well written and well-illustrated book which gives children and their adult’s insight into the training and use of special needs dogs. This book gives readers an insight into the disabled and their assistant dogs.


“Next door’s dog has a job” by Gina Dawson is a beautifully written story that educates young children of the important role service dogs play in our community. I am a pre-school teacher and when I read it to a group of 4 year old children they were very interested in the story. It certainly helped them develop an understanding of the difference between their own pet dogs and a dog that has been specially trained for a job. A credit to both the author and illustrator. I highly recommend this book
Pre-school teacher.


A lovely Booktopia review from a person unknown to me:

Everyone, not only children, is who I’d love to read this book. I love that the assistance dog handler (note the book does use the American equivalent – service dog) has an INVISIBLE disability, and that this concept is covered gently and without being invasive. Also fantastic that many breeds of dog and different vest colours are illustrated, as the days when only Labradors were assistance dogs has long past. Excellent teaching of etiquette, and I also love that the welfare of the dog being so important to handlers is covered too. I rely on an assistance dog and know too well unfortunately the battles and difficulties we face out in public because so many are unaware of the things gently explained in this book.

Next Door’s Dog is in New York!

24 February 2019
Next Door's Dog in New York

Next Door's Dog in New York

Little girl’s Book Week Costume Has the Internet in Tears

28 December 2018


My daughter wanted to go as a princess to Book Week.

She is four so naturally I could see why that was the best option in her little head to dress up like a princess for the day, but we challenged her to think about it and empowered her to think beyond the female stereotypes.

Instead she picked a book called Next Door’s Dog Has a Job, by Gina Dawson.

It was given to her by her aunty who has an assistance dog.

Before we left the house my daughter cried her eyes out because at the last minute she decided she wanted to be a princess because all the other girls would be pretty today and not her.

After she cried for 15 minutes and I cried for 15 minutes I called my sister and asked her if she could talk to my daughter to settle her on the phone.

Without a second thought my sister jumped in the car and drove an hour to meet us at the day care with her special dog Thaddeus, which I am so grateful for as I know some days just leaving the house is hard.

My sister put Thaddeus’ service vest on and took both of them into the classroom and read all the children the book…

Read the full story here!

Two new releases in January 2019

8 November 2018

Exciting times!  Two new titles are to be released in January 2019, again with New Holland Publishers.

Next Door’s Dog Goes to School is the second in the Next Door’s Dog series, written to explain the many jobs that Roxie, a different type of Assistance Dog, performs for her young human companion, Grace.   With Roxie at her side, Grace can do just about anything that other children do, including going to school.   Beautifully illustrated by Vivienne da Silva.

So That’s How I Began! The Facts About Where Babies Come From is the second in the So That’s series, and illustrations by Alex Mankiewicz are sensitive whilst being quirky, interesting and humorous.   Written in the same comfortable and easy to read style as So That’s What’s Happening! this new release covers modern families, body parts, how babies are conceived, grow and are born, all in an age appropriate way that aims to promote discussion with curious children of any age.

Thanks to those who have already pre-ordered either title – I’ll be in touch as soon as the books are released.

Anyone wishing to pre-order, feel free to contact me directly, or order via the numerous book stores who will be stocking these titles.

There are two more titles at manuscript stage so I’m looking forward to further releases later next year.

Thanks as always for everyone’s interest in my books and for your support.