Brought to you by Newscorp Australia

Ash Barty speaks exclusively to Kids News about her Little Ash Books

Kamahl Cogdon, July 5, 2022 7:00PM Kids News

Print Article

Kids News cub reporter Leonel Molina interviewed retired tennis champ Ash Barty about her Little Ash children’s book series. Picture: HarperCollins media_cameraKids News cub reporter Leonel Molina interviewed retired tennis champ Ash Barty about her Little Ash children’s book series. Picture: HarperCollins


Reading level: green

Retired tennis champ Ash Barty has swapped her racquet for a pen to write a series of books that she hopes will help kids discover a lifelong love of reading.

Barty sat down exclusively* with Kids News cub reporter Leonel Molina, 7, for a video interview about her Little Ash children’s books, which hit the bookshop shelves on Wednesday, July 6.


Ash Barty talks to Kids News about her Little Ash books

The former tennis star told Leonel she was inspired to write the four books by her six-year-old niece, Lucy.

“Seeing her grow up kind of made me remember what I was doing as a kid,” Barty said.

She said she used real-life stories from her own childhood, with a bit of a twist.

“These books are all inspired by stories and experiences that I had when I was a kid. They’re not all 100 per cent factual but they’re a little bit of fun and I hope that everyone reading them gets a little bit of a laugh and can enjoy some of my experiences that I got to do with my sisters, (and) my best friend James,” she said.

media_cameraAsh Barty says she decided to write her Little Ash books after being reminded of the good times she had as a child by her six-year-old niece, Lucy, pictured above. Picture: Nic Morley

Barty said the best part about writing the books with author Jasmin McGaughey and illustrator Jade Goodwin was recalling* the fun times of her childhood.

“I’ve loved being able to have fun with the story telling and to be able to remember some really funny jokes and some really funny things we used to do when I was a kid,” she said.

“It brought so many people together. It made me laugh with my best friend again, made me laugh with my sisters, with my parents.

“And to be able to work with some really cool people to bring them (the stories) to life was a lot of fun, a lot of fun.”

Ash Barty is interviewed by Kids News junior reporter Leonel Molina about her Little Ash children's book series. Picture: HarperCollins media_cameraLeonel Molina, 7, interviews Ash Barty about her Little Ash books. Picture: Nic Morley

Barty said she loved reading as a kid and still loved picking up a book today.

“I still read a lot and when I travelled (for tennis) my books were sometimes my best friends,” she revealed.

“I could get really engrossed* and really enjoy a story … I just loved getting involved in a story.”

And the book and author that had the biggest impact on her as a kid?

“Morris Gleitzman for me, yeah. He wrote a bunch of different books, some funny ones, some a little bit more serious ones, but there was the Once series that I loved the most,” she said.

“It was brilliant and it definitely got me into reading a lot. And now I get to write my own series, that’s pretty cool.”

media_cameraAsh Barty with the four books she’s written for the Little Ash series, which hits the bookshop shelves on July 6. Picture: Nic Morley

The Little Ash books by Ash Barty, with Jasmin McGaughey and Jade Goodwin, are published by HarperCollins and are on sale from July 6.


  • exclusively: in a way that is limited to just one person or group
  • recalling: remembering
  • engrossed: absorbed, completely involved or interested in


Barty: I want to inspire kids to chase their dreams

Ash Barty retires from tennis

The party’s over but it sure was memorable

Celebrating our female sporting champs

Barty’s the queen of Australian Open

Barty repeats her idol’s Wimbledon feat


  1. What is the name of Ash Barty’s children’s book series?
  2. How many books are in the series?
  3. Who made Ash want to write the books?
  4. Who was Ash’s favourite author as a kid?
  5. What series written by this author was her favourite?


1. A page in your own book
Ash Barty used some of her own childhood stories to go in her new book series.

Think of a funny story from your childhood that involved yourself and maybe your family or friends, and retell the story as part of a page in your own book series.

Give the story a title, a beginning, a middle, and an end, and draw an illustration.

Ash also said that some stories were based on real-life but she added a bit of a twist to some.

Does this inspire you to write some more stories about your childhood?

Time: allow 45 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and social, Critical and creative thinking

2. Extension
Ash Barty won millions of dollars in her tennis career and wouldn’t need the money to create a book series. What do you think her motivation and reasons are for creating her Little Ash reading series?

Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and social, Critical and Creative thinking

We are all authors
Have you ever had an experience or adventure? Maybe it was with friends or family, maybe it was by yourself. Maybe you just wished something happened. Did you tell anyone about it? What if you could share it with the world? Well you can!

Write it down. Tell us all about it.

See if you can add some pictures. You could draw them yourself, ask a friend to help you, or make a collage of pictures from a magazine.

See if you can use your VCOP skills to enhance your writing.

Extra Reading in news