At the urging of family and friends, Greg belatedly entered Can
I Take My Panda Daddy?
in the 2005 Wild & Woolley Independently Published Books competition.
literary competition is conducted annually by the NSW Writers
Centre and is sponsored
by the Australian book publishing company Wild & Woolley.
To Greg's surprise and pleasure, Can I Take My Panda Daddy? was awarded
first prize in
the Autobiography/Memoir section from 26 entrants. The Judges called
'a sparkling, superior publication.' They added that '...the publisher
has designed and
printed a well-written book about one of the most confronting stories.'
The post-competition Evaluation requested by Greg was glowing in its
praise of Can I
Take My Panda Daddy? 'The choice of a diary gives the story the immediacy
of events unfolding in the present as we too experience the twists and
turns of little Sean's
developing cancers,' the evaluator commented.
'We look at the medical and nursing professions through the eyes of
the father and feel the
natural sympathy of the nurses and the awkwardness of the doctors in
dealing with the
emotionally charged situation.
'The writing is fresh, natural and direct and draws the reader into
the very heart of this
very personal family tragedy. It may be that Greg Crooks wrote the book
as a tribute and
memorial to his son, and has no interest in embarking on another work.
encourage him to continue writing as he has a natural voice on page
which engages the