Showing posts from March, 2021

Oswald Messweather: Publication Day!

Say hello to OSWALD MESSWEATHER . I'm stoked to finally share my own picture book joy with you all. Oswald is the new diminutive guy in my life who's endearing tale of enduring and taming his OCD disorder, I hope, soothes, inspires and uplifts. It's been a joy to tell his story especially as this condition is one that is often overlooked in the classroom and kids' lit. I invite you to explore it with me... and Oswald. Available now, everywhere and from Wombat Books . For personally signed copies please just slip me an email or DM via any of my socials. Strikingly illustrated by Siobhan McVey ,  Oswald Messweather is one of those books I hope finds a special spot on your bookcase for it's a story of perseverance and endurance; two concepts I hold in the highest regard. For the complete low down on all things Ozzie and an ocean of free downloadable resources for parents, teachers, librarians and kids, please visit Ozzie's page on my website.

Review: The Power of Positive Pranking

I don’t usually do a lot of second-book-in-the-series reviews because, well life being too short and book shelves being too full and all that, but this follow on story by Nat Amoore warrants a megaphone of praise all on its own. The Power of Positive Pranking is a not just the second in a series about the antics of a bunch of upper primary school scallywags, it’s a standalone rib tickler packed with tidy trays-full of heart, subterfuge and oh yeah...good old fashioned PRANKING!   We’re back at Watterson Primary School, breeding ground of some great characters like Tess and Toby from, Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire . This time the focus is on Casey Wu and her secret band of fellow pranksters, Cookie and Zeke aka the Green Peas, a name that can be interpreted in multiple ways but essentially is a club of pre-teens dedicated to the art of pranking for the greater good. So what does this oxymoron actually mean? As with its predecessor …Positive Pranking’s chapters are defined

Review: Evie Is All Ears

Easter is different things to different people: a time of rest and relaxation with family, a moment to reflect on new beginnings, a sacred religious observation symbolising rebirth and renewed hope. Here in Australia a new tradition is taking hold; the Easter Bilby has been bouncing alongside the traditional Easter Bunny as a symbol of encompassing change and compassion in addition to recognition for our very own long-eared lookalike Easter cutie for some time now. While picture book, Evie Is All Ears is devoid of Easter Eggs, it does feature bilbies in abundance and is a tender example of consideration and coping with change; two significant Easter concepts. With that tenuous connection made, let’s explore Evie’s world. Evie lives in the harsh Australian brigalow bush. She attends Miss Briar’s school with gay abandon and applies herself to every bilby task required be it learning to dig with her sharp claws or sniff out tasty morsels using her keen nose. The one thing she finds d

Review: Penguin Bloom: The True Story of an Unlikely Hero Young Readers' Edition

Five years ago an incredible book emerged about an odd little bird who saved a family ; the Bloom family, who endured a horrific tragedy and learnt to live with pain and disappointment, heartache and renewed love thanks to an angel clothed in black and white. Penguin Bloom (HarperCollins 2016) was an instant success resulting in the production of a major motion picture still showing on the big screen. This Young Readers’ Edition is the movie-tie in and every bit an emotional heart tug as its parent editions. Samantha Bloom was a young energetic vivacious mother of three committed to life and adventure when she had a harrowing near death accident whilst on holiday with her family in Thailand. Her subsequent paralysation left her broken and wheelchair bound and in terrible mental decline. This was not the life she had planned. She was no longer the woman she thought she’d be. Her sons and husband, helpless bystanders in this tragedy felt every bit of her pain and despair but were un

Introducing Oswald Messweather

Word's just in; a little fellow I've been spending a bit of time getting to know online had finally arrived in Australia. We've yet to set eyes on each other in real life but I'm told he's a stunner. I can't wait to meet him. Only a few more weeks to go. I wonder how I'll feel holding his story in my hands, knowing I had some part in its creation, accepting that it was demanding to tell but emancipating to share, feeling his exasperation and exhaustion and frustration...his fear, for real.  He's rather shy and reclusive but I know that together we can initiate ripples of greatness that might cause waves of change, acceptance, understanding and hope. We'd both like that very much. He sent me a little compilation of his story thus far and I'm allowed to share it with you. Ready? Here it is, the book trailer of Oswald Messweather , my next special little picture book - arriving 28 March 2021! We hope you like it. Let us know what you think. Ozzie an

Review: What Do You Do With An Idea?

Since last year, I have been invited to present specialised language programs for gifted and talented school students throughout Australia for the G.A.T.EWAYS Education organisation. It’s always a privilege standing in front of a group of motivated young students no matter who they are. The G.A.T.EWAYS kids are especially challenging for they love to question. Fortunately I love to find answers; to questions like: ‘Where did that idea come from?’ and ‘How to you grow an idea?’ My latest workshops cover these precise quandaries focusing on what ideas become…why marvellous stories of course! Stories themselves illustrate this point best which is why I was delighted beyond words to unearth this gem, What Do You Do With An Idea? by the quietly brilliant award winning, Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom. This book embraces the notion that everything, every single thing, you see and experience around you was once an idea; a huge concept that Yamada breaks down into an absorbing narrative starr