My gift memories – A.L. Tait

My gift memories - A.L. Tait author cover

We all have childhood memories of gifts we were given. Some gifts were coveted while others made us cringe. I love to hear stories of childhood gifts and who better to ask than my favourite bloggers?

With Book Week this month, I thought it fitting that my next My Gift Memories interview was with a bestselling Aussie author!

A.L. Tait is the author of The Mapmaker Chronicles, an epic adventure series about a race to map the world. Her next book, The Book Of Secrets, is the first in the new Ateban Cipher series, and is out on 12 September (find out more about it here).

Allison’s blog – Allison Tait Author – is a fantastic space where she shares her passion for writing and creativity. She is also a speaker, co-hosts a # 1 iTunes rated Literature/Writing podcast and has a popular Facebook group, Your Kid’s Next Read, for anyone who’s looking for the perfect next book for a child, tween or teen.

Allison’s gift memories are completely relatable. I’m sure we can all remember pestering our parents for a toy like this…

What was your favourite gift you were given as a kid or teen?

I really wanted this to be a book, because that would be fitting. But when it comes to childhood gifts, the one that immediately leapt to mind was the Barbie Sunsailer (with ‘real’ Hobie Cat features) that I got for my 10th birthday. In hindsight, I was probably too old for a Barbie Sunsailer at that point, but I saw it in the toyshop window, under full sail, and I wanted it SO, so badly.

My gift memories - A.L. Tait author - Barbie catamaran

Who gave it to you?

Mum and Dad caved in after weeks of pestering. I was overjoyed!

How old were you?


My gift memories - A.L. Tait author - Allison flashback photo

Do you still have it?

Unfortunately, no. I note that Barbie’s Sunsailer is now selling on eBay for about the same cost as an actual catamaran, so I’m a little sad that I actually took mine out of the box, played with it and subsequently destroyed it.

Is it something your kids would play with now?

I’m pretty sure that neither of my two boys would be seen within a 50km radius of a Barbie catamaran.

Any other details or special memories of this gift?

I had visions of Barbie enjoying sunset sails on endless oceans in her catamaran, hair flowing in the breeze. In reality, she got to float around our wading pool in the backyard a few times before, as Mum and Dad predicted, I grew entirely bored with the whole thing.

The difficult thing was that the catamaran, once put together, was pretty big, and not something that was easy to store (as I’m sure many a boat owner has realised). If only I’d kept the box, we could have carefully put it back inside and stored it for 30-odd years to realise our investment.


A very big thank you to Allison for sharing her gift memories. It’s a shame that Barbie’s catamaran adventures didn’t quite equal those of Tait’s Mapmaker Chronicles hero Quinn!

You can follow Allison on her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And if you have a kid aged 8 and over, be sure to check out the fantastic Mapmaker Chronicles series of books and her soon to be released new thrilling adventure The Book of Secrets.

My gift memories - A.L. Tait author   My gift memories - A.L. Tait author - The Book of Secrets



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