“Triffic Tales” by Australian author Fiona Lohrbaecher is a clever collection of shorts that made me sigh when I was finished because I wanted “just one more.”  They are indeed “quirky and amusing,” and so well-crafted.  Interspersed with clever cartoons containing the quandary and musings of Collin the Commuter, these stories give good interpretations of human nature with slight quirks that are believable.

            “Emily’s Story” takes a left turn with the engaging Emily writing a story of her own that would easily fit in this anthology.  The charming and self-effacing nine-year-old Emily, it seems, likes science fiction, and when she puts a light twist to a teacher’s assignment, Ms. Lohrbaecher has us shaking our heads and pondering the crazed reactions of the adults in Emily’s world.

            “The Mirror” and “The Reunion,” both charming and poignant, leave the reader with just enough mystery to stop and ponder the next time they encounter a frame in a second hand shop or a gift from a friend.

            The standout vignette for this reader, “The Secret Admirer,” tells the short history of Harold and how he comes to win his true love.  The characters in all of Ms. Lohrbaecher’s stories all seem capable of stepping off the pages, but Harold Cruncher evokes a whole range of emotions in the few short pages we encounter him and his love, Melissa.  Also not to be overlooked is the panel illustration “A Supermodel Retires,” which is a true testament to dieting.

            “Triffic Tales” would be great at the bedside, as the stories beg to be read and re-read.  

Four stars

Book review by Sue Robb from

The Tasmanian Home Educating Newsletter,

December 2010


Well, how do I write an unbiased review of Fiona's book of delightful short stories?  I guess I can' I won't even try to!

Therefore, this is a 'totally biased' review of Fiona's first published collection of amusing short stories!

Fiona's stories are simply a great read; each containing their own subtle message or moral without being overtly 'lecturing'.  Rather like a little Jiminy Cricket sitting on your shoulder simply tweaking your conscience to remember what you already know!

They are filled with humour and honesty, and pay recognition to how perfectly amazing the human spirit really is.

A few of my especially favourite stories are:

Some Hope, which offers a positive way to look at adversity and reminds us that we could all use some hope and take the time to offer some to others also.

Emily's Story, I thought was hilarious!  I am sure that many of us with children who have vivid imaginations can relate to this one!

The Mirror had me captivated and Reunion was very touching.

But have a read for yourself; I am sure you will find your very own favourites.

Fiona was also the illustrator of both the front and back covers plus of several amusing cartoons that are peppered throughout the book.