About the Author

cta2Gill (“Jill”) McBarnet was born and raised in Zimbabwe, Southern Africa. She and her Hawaii-raised husband Terry moved to Maui in 1983 where she wrote her first children’s book about whales.

With a background in both teaching and publishing in Zimbabwe, Gill has applied these skills to writing, illustrating and publishing the 14 books she has written to date. Check out some of Gill’s illustrations from various titles, including bestseller “The Goodnight Gecko” — along with “Happy as a Dolphin,” “The Gift of Aloha,” “The Shark Who Learned a Lesson.”



Gill draws inspiration for her stories from the people, animals and lifestyle that surrounds her, particularly her children (Eddie, Will and Tara) who have been giving her ideas for over 30 years – since they were “tiny tots”.  Watching Mom illustrate her stories, Gill’s children were inspired to do their own “picture stories”.



From a whale who wanted to be small,  a brave little turtle,  a contrary gecko,  a bullying shark to a group of playful  “Rainbow Mermaids”, Gill has explored a variety of Hawaiian themes. Now, she’s inspired to produce stories for the NEXT generation and her newest book is dedicated to her first grandchild, Max.


In addition to drawing inspiration from family and the community, Hawaiian Children’s Books is now a Mother / Daughter Team. With Gill writing, illustrating and publishing the books … and Tara addressing marketing, online sales and business development.

Follow our journey on Facebook and Instagram! If you have any questions, feedback, or just want to say “Aloha!” drop us a line at tara@hawaiianchildrensbooks.com.

Mahalo — Gill, Tara and Family