Five Times Dizzy and Dancing in the Anzac Deli

Bind-up edition published by Lothian, 2012 

These two popular and award-winning stories are now combined in one book! Hailed at the time of its original publication as Australia’s first multicultural book for children, Five Times Dizzy and its sequel, Dancing in the Anzac Deli, speak to today’s young Australians just as they did to their first generation of readers.

Five Times Dizzy tells the story of Mareka Nikakis and her beloved grandmother, Yaya. Newly-arrived from Greece, Yaya is so homesick that Mareka decides to get her a goat as a way of making her feel at home in her new country. To bring this about, Mareka needs to make friends with the other kids and neighbours of Smith Street. In the final scenes, the community celebration brings the whole neighbourhood together.

In Dancing in the Anzac Deli, the Smith Street kids and their parents find their homes and happiness threatened by outsiders. Once again it is the strength of community spirit (and a little bit of ancient Greek Magic from Yaya) that breaks the evil spell.

The combined stories were produced in 1986 as the television mini-series, Five Times Dizzy, with a script by Nadia Wheatley and Terry Larsen. When this went to air on the Special Broadcasting Service, it was the first Australian children’s television series to be set in a multicultural Australian community.



Selected Reviews

Five Times Dizzy is fresh, original; fast-paced and funny, it catches the rich mix that is many an urban suburb today...Stories with a migrant background are still rare, and tend to be didactic, dreary and lifeless. Five Times Dizzy is none of these, but an exuberant, infectious celebration of the sheer joy of living, like the Greek dance from which it is named.
— Margaret Dunkle, Australian Book Review
Nadia Wheatley is adept at sketching in a character with a few lines... In such a manner, the street comes rapidly to life, not only Mareka and her family but the professor who cuts his lawn with shears, kind Mr Mac and his greyhound family, crusty old racist, sexist, anti-everything Mr Willoughby, and the ubiquitous loved-hated Wilsons make a surprisingly complex gallery of characters for such a slim volume.
— Katherine England, The Advertiser
Having come back to life in Five Times Dizzy, Yaya’s story is continued in Dancing in the Anzac Deli... Now that she is alive again, strength flows through her to the children of the neighbourhood. If in the former book Yaya is a Lazarus-like figure... in the latter she is a Saviour... The fact that such image-hunting is possible places Nadia Wheatley’s books well beyond the category: “books for a multicultural Australia”. Like all worthwhile literature, they transcend categories of genre, theme or function.
— Maurice Saxby, The Proof of the Puddin’
Five Times Dizzy capitalised on features as rare in Australian children’s fiction as they are commonplace in Australian children’s experience — a migrant cast and theme and an inner-suburban setting...[Dancing in the Anzac Deli] is a vibrant blend of the latest Australia colloquialisms and the most ancient Cretan tradition.
— Katherine England, The Advertiser



Five Times Dizzy

Winner New South Wales Premier's Special Children's Book Award, 1983

Highly Commended, CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers, 1983

Dancing in the Anzac Deli

Commended, CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers, 1985

 IBBY Honour Book, 1985

Five Times Dizzy, script for 12-part television mini-series, written in collaboration with Terry Larsen, Samson Productions/Special Broadcasting Service, 1986.

Winner AWGIE for Best Adaptation, Children's Television Drama, 1987