Showing posts from 2019

Can Eco Rangers Save the World? Wildlife Under the Microscope with Candice Lemon-Scott

Ever since humans began devising ways to kill cockroaches, odds have not always favoured Earth’s wildlife. Not that many of us regularly regard the indestructible attributes of cockroaches as worth conserving, but our unremitting need to dominate does make it hard for other species to coexist with us on this planet. Couple human habitation with a zillion other influences such as adverse weather conditions, and you have a world of animals struggling to survive.

The humble fruit bat or flying fox is one such mammal I’ve noticed on the brink lately. In as many months, for the first time in nearly 17 years, I’ve noticed dead or dying fruit bats on my regular morning walks. Small, perfectly healthy looking creatures lying still and shrunken, dehydrated and emaciated. They seem to be literally falling out of sky, starving because our native flora on which they depend for food is also in crisis mode, tricked into random flowering times or else unable to flower and fruit at all because of the…

Winners: Nop

Delighted to announce our winners are:

Finley Byrd, QLD
Kirsten Ealand, NSW
Jenny Stubbs, QLD
Cecilia Adams, QLD
Norah Colvin, QLD
Each of you have won a copy of the stunning new picture book, Nopby Caroline Magerl. Your prize is on its way to you soon.
Thank you to everyone who entered. It's been wonderful 'travelling' with you all. I've been to England, Uluru, Hong Kong and even inside a video game and back thanks to your wonderful wandering dreams!
You are all invited to read my review of Nopand maybe even launching into a search for your very own, NopEnjoy!

When The Road Gets Rocky, Look For The Sparkles - Winning the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award

I've tootled on about winning the 2019 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award before so won't bore you with details of emotion gone wild. Sufficed to say, it's truly humbling to the point of mortification - I really don't know how to articulate my gratitude eloquently enough anymore. THANK YOU is just two little words that must shoulder so much meaning.

As part of the spectacularly successful inaugural SCBWI QLD Story Craft State Conference held last weekend, members of my dear SCWBI family presented me with the sparkly trophy that comes with an accolade like this, an actual crystal kite no less!

It is a thing of glittery beauty. Rainbows of light dance from its many faces reminding me of the little girl who dances with rainbows at the end of Holyrood Lane, the namesake and reason this book was chosen above all brilliant others to win this award for the Australia NZ region. Without Flick and her story, a story that sadly mirrors so many other young people and their families, there …

SCBWI QLD 2019 State Conference - What It Means to Craft Stories

For the first time ever, I walked into a writing conference bereft of note book and pen. I'm a fastidious note-taker by nature so this oversight was more a result of a clogged up brain in need of defragging rather then act of intent.

The distraction of having to emcee a few conference sessions for the inaugural SCBWI QLD State Conference was probably also to blame but I still managed to drag home a few significant take away points from what was a hugely successful day of sharing, caring and entertainment. You'll find some of my favourite revelations below. Visit the Story Craft page for a full outline of this year's Program and Presenters.

What sparks publishers' interest? Fresh ideasSolid ideas told in dramatically exciting new waysManuscripts that possess a hook from the get goSynopsises that hook from the get goQuietly beautiful literary works may be beautiful but make your work SHOUT its point of difference as loudly as possible
What strengthens submissions?Winning b…

Review: Nop

Nop is a scrappy little bear that lives atop of pile of crumbling tumbling forgotten things in a place soft with dust. He has ample time to ponder his past and speculate his future but he’s unable to identify his true presence for he is not sure where he belongs. Could it really be here in Oddmint’s dust encrusted Dumporeum?

It’s a strange place, the Dumporeum, where the forgotten things refuse to remain buried. Every night they tinker and mend, experimenting with buttons and bows to make themselves more alluring to prospective buyers. Nop tries too, but none of the scarves or spangles suit this bedraggled little brown being. So he watches, alone as every morning individuals from the pile of raggedy toys find someplace wonderful to go.

Left with nothing but his new red bow and his own thoughts, Nop rescues an idea, a dream to escape the ordinariness of his world and set sail into the unknown. With a little ingenuity and a lot of cross-stitching, Nop’s plan is soon afloat but where does…

Giveaway: Nop

Nop is a scruffy kind of bear. He sits on a dusty armchair in Oddmint's Dumporeum surrounded by the beaders, knitters, patchers and stitchers who are much too busy to talk to him. So he watches the litter tumble until, armed with a new bow tie, he has an idea that will change his life forever.

This touching story began with a memory of Caroline's school holidays in Sydney. Her father was welding a steel yacht in a boat yard and she wandered off . . . only to discover the local dump, a home for the things people throw out! Many years later, her daughter Jen made a teddy bear out of scraps for her father. It's a very sorry-looking, but endearing creature. Named Roadkill, ten years later it still sits on top of his desk. Read DIM'S re VIEWS review of Nop to see just how gorgeous this little bear really is.

Thanks to the endearing people of Walker Books Australia and to celebrate the November release of NopDim's Write Stuff has not one but FIVE copies of this gorgeo…

Book Bites: Endearing and Emboldening Biographies

There’s been more than a smattering of children’s books released in the last few years embracing unsung heroes past and present. Life stories, particularly those of notable women, are especially popular not only with younger female audiences but also inquisitive young boys with a thirst for historical fact and interesting role models. Why are books that celebrate the past lives of extraordinary people so popular with our new generations? The answer is not easy to pinpoint however what is certain is that the right combination of art, fact, history and narrative verve can breathe spectacular new life into past achievements, revitalise history, and ensure tomorrow’s youngsters are more motivated than ever to pursue their own potential and dreams.

This collection of nonfiction, biographical titles that endear and embolden young readers adheres to the adage that…


Stand Up for the Future: A Celebration of Inspirational Young Australians
This is an…

Book Bites: Stories, Stories Everywhere - How Do I Choose?

They say the cure for anything is salt: be it sweat, tears, or the sea. I say, the same applies with stories, for within a cleverly crafted collection of words great knowledge and opinion may be stockpiled and revisited as you would a favourite secret haunt. What’s more, like salt, salt, everywhere, it’s sometimes difficult to discern the most satisfying, nourishing story – the one that’s just right for you – from the vast ocean of tales out there.

With Christmas gift lists in mind, I’ve put together a wee list of a huge selection of stories, some of which may well end up as one of your life essentials. Be warned, there’ll be more to follow in the weeks leading up to Christmas so make sure your listing-making essentials are in good supply.

If you obsess over lists and book recommendations as much as I do, then check out Megan Daley’s awesome, Children’s Books Daily site for a great collection of Book Lists broken down into age groups. Boomerang Books online have a great assortment of

Book Bites: Spooktacular Halloween Tales

Halloween is just around the corner and although observations celebrating this time of remembering the dead vary from country to country, the traditions associated with it have made it one of the most notable celebrations of the year. This wee collection of children's picture books embrace the essence of spook but also fun and friendship.

1, 2, Boo! A Spooky Counting Book
I love a bright colourful board book, able to withstand years of love and wear. 1, 2, Boo! is a counting book that clusters all of your favourite Halloween images and themes into a chillingly colourful countdown from 1 – 10.Crammed with ghosts, goblins, bats, dangling skeletons and even warty toads, this fun rhyming romp harnesses the fun of the trick-or-treating tradition, neatly entertaining even the wee non-verbal youngsters in your life, never mind the bigger ones whose sole aim is to fill their lolly bags.

Title: 1, 2, Boo! A Spooky Counting Book
Author: Paul Howard
Illustrator: Paul Howard
Publisher: Bloomsbury…

Review: The Thing About Oliver

Deborah Kelly has a way of cramming gallons of heart into very small spaces. Her picture books and junior novels entertain, yet never fail to unleash unexpected emotions, all perfectly on the mark for her intended reading audience.

The Thing About Oliver is a brief but brilliant novel that will appeal to confident young primary aged readers yet also strike a distinct chord with those of the middle grade age group. Fast paced, funny, and deeply satisfying, this story touches on the subject of Autism and its impact on family life and sibling mental well being.

Tilly's heart is set on becoming a marine scientist. She lives, breathes and draws marine creatures and has turned herself into a veritable walking Google page of sea creatures and their habitats. The only glitch in her plans is her distance from anything remotely resembling the ocean - they live in the drought-stricken outback - and the fact she can't even swim, let alone owns a swimsuit.

As crazy as that premise sounds, t…