Showing posts from December, 2021

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas! A Gift from Me to You

Stop the Sleigh! I want to get off. Not many can say 2021 has been their most spectacular year - memorable, yes - rated on their top ten of best years ever, nah. At least it felt that way for this little black duck. In fact it's been more than a little 'puzzling'. Yet amidst the terrifying onslaught of one tsunami (or blizzard in Santa speak) of frustration and disappointment after the other, seas settled just long enough (for a split second) to make a quick inventory of that which I thought was irrevocably lost over board during the wildest assaults.  Health and family still there - just - check Roof over my head - check Rain sloughing through the gutters, greening the garden - glorious check More books and stories published - yea ha, check More book babies to look forward to in the new year - chuffed as, check. Food on my plate, and stacking on my hips, oh well - still a big fat tick. And it continues.  Despite continued inconvenience on the work front #thanksCovid, livin

Review: We Were Wolves

At a time when I was in deep exchange with fellow creatives including the adroit children’s literature author, Professor Emeritus Gary Crew about whether or not there was or should be more divergence (convergence) of creative styles and elements across Kids’ Lit genres, this book came along. We Were Wolves is not the first illustrated fiction for older readers to ever grace our children’s bookshelves; many well-known middle grade novel series feature drawings, often in subsequent editions, that increase reach and re-ignite story interest. It is however a telling example of the growing shifts to provide more heavily illustrated books for older readers, namely young adults. And I couldn’t be more pleased. This hardcover edition by accomplished illustrator, Jason Cockcroft, is his first novel and it’s a ripper. Few of the 207 odd pages are left unmarked by Cockcroft’s exquisite greyscale illustrations, some claiming entire pages, others creating intimate border details that enhance n

Book Bites: Surviving the Terrible Teens

Ah, the Terrible Twos, that period of a small human’s life where defiant behaviours and boundary pushing become their central focus and consume more energy and concentration to execute than ‘going potty’. Here are some of the defining characteristics of that delightful developmental phase, just in case you haven’t experienced the joy first hand yet. Saying “NO” (ALOT) Kicking, hitting, biting Temper Tantrums Screaming Fighting with siblings Not following/ignoring rules Tuning you out Throwing themselves on the ground in a total meltdown Incredibly, my darling girl experienced none of these signs save for the odd dummy spit that we both talked our way through calmly, quickly. Similarly the Troublesome Threes and Fearsome Fours were all a bit of a doddle. We slid effortlessly into the Fun Fives once again avoiding the Snarky Sixes. And so on. Sincerely. Our playgroup companions merely shrugged their exhausted shoulders with disbelief and congratulated us on good parenting. But it wasn’t

Discussions on Diaspora: A personal insight

I am Australia born. And bred. My accent is a batter of Queensland Aussie twang and transatlantic drawl (thanks to time spent residing in Europe and riding the high waves of superyacht crewing). I have the colouring of a Mauri and have been mistaken for a woman of Mauritian or Pacific Islander descent. I have the perverse wit of the Irish and the dark hair of a Romany Scots. Frugal as crazy rich Asian and just as superstitious, I am all of these things and none of them. I identify most strongly as a citizen of the world or perhaps, that is how I wish to be perceived. Maybe this is why I resisted so fiercely to answering the frequent question of my youth, 'But where do you come from originally?'  In truth I have no recollection of a former life prior to being born. All that backstory is filled in as ones future narrative unfolds. Why then should it have been a subject of such scrutiny when I was too young to understand the reasons behind their interrogations? I understand better

Book Bites: Sharing The Merry Picture Books

It’s that time of year to untangle the LEDs, consume enough sugar to drown Willy Wonka, and hark and herald the angels until you are hoarse. I LOVE it! But for less sensory abuse and a better excuse to take a moment off from the crazy this time of year can induce, turn to a picture book. You don’t even need someone small to share it with although if you don’t own a small person, consider reading your favourite stories at your local library, charity or children’s organisation. Sharing the merry is what it is really all about and this handful of new Chrissy titles is but a teeny selection of what is on offer. To really fill your stockings check out some of my traditional festive favourites either at DIM’S re VIEWS or over at Boomerang Books Blog.  Now, let’s start Rocking Around the Christmas Tree! Jingle Smells  – Fun Rhyming Parody Mark Sperring loves a quirky silly sounding rhyme. Turns out he is partial to a bit of stink too, which becomes the theme and Christmas’s eventual salv