Showing posts from 2019

Come Fly With Me - Pippa on Holidays

Pippa, the plucky little pigeon from her self-titled picture book, PIPPA, is getting her holly jolly Christmas groove into gear.

She's about to take off on a festive adventure. Want to join her? Discover more about Pippa's story from this excellent write up by Kids' Lit advocate, Norah Colvin and stay tuned for the flight of a lifetime. #comeflywithme
Norah's teachers' resource site, ReadiLearn is a plethora of writing tips, inspirational learning ideas, reading suggestions and educational advice suitable for lower primary aged children either in the classroom or at home, encouraging youngsters (and their guardians) to Live Love Laugh Learn . . . Create the possibilities. What beautiful sentiments at this time of year!
Want to take off with more of my stories? Swoop on by my website any time.

Book Bites: Christmas All The Way

Ask any grandparent: is there any better gift than a book? I may be biased of course, but for me, the go-to-gift at Christmas time, nay any time of year, is inevitably a book. Why? Because it is simply one of those gifts that keeps on giving and giving. A treasured book is a keepsake children can develop a deep gratitude and love for over many years. It’s a vessel of shared time, affection and aspirations. In short, a book gift is a precious thing. Here are some of this season’s best but don’t take my word for it; explore your bookshops this summer for even more sublime stories to share with your loved ones.

The Lonely Christmas Tree
Based on the Yuletide poem, A Visit from St Nicholas (T’was The Night Before Christmas), this gorgeous stocking-sized picture book follows the rhyme and cheer of the original poem but with a cute twist. This rendition centres on a poor forlorn pine tree, alone in the forest who, with a little help from a certain someone, eventually finds solace and a sense…

Book Bites: Nurturing Nature

This week’s round up of inspiring Christmas ideas covers even more titles, some non-fiction that entrance and enhance both a child’s knowledge and imagination. All will make elegant and welcome additions to any Christmas stocking.

Searching for Cicadas
Part nonfiction and part narrative, Searching for Cicadas is an inviting story of a boy and his grandfather and their summertime excursion to go cicada-watching and is part of the Nature Storybooks series. It’s a lyrical tale warmly illustrated reflecting Aussie bush landscapes and close up encounters with one of the most intriguing of our bush insect characters. Prose is interspersed with detailed fact about a number of cicada species and their fascinating habits and lifecycles.

Title: Searching For Cicadas
Author: Lesley Gibbes
Illustrator: Judy Watson
Publisher: Walker Books, $26.99
Publication Date: August 2019
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781922244420
For ages: 4 - 9
Type: Non Fiction Picture Book

Buy the Book: Walker Books, Boomerang Books


Book Bites: Discovering Science

Science. It really is the essence of life, or at least that’s what my Chemistry teacher always led me to believe. And I do, believe in science that is. I think because it is so darn interesting. If you are looking for meaningful, entertaining and interesting Christmas gift ideas that educate at the same time, look no further than some of these radically wonderful, non-fiction, science-y titles.

I See, I See
This little gem is simple and playful in presentation, a lot like Herve Tullet’s, Press Here and Let’s Play series of board books. But don’t be fooled by its economic word play and solid blocks of singular colours and patterns for this artful conception not only enthrals individual readers, it is specifically designed to entertain two or more readers…at the same time. Right side up and upside down text teams with ambiguous or reversible images, which invite page turns and plenty of oohs and aahs. One reader might see up, and the other see down for instance. You don’t need to underst…

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…