On Verse Novels and Bullies – and Wonderful Wins…

It started with Sherryl Clark’s book, Sixth Grade Style Queen NOT! (Penguin) – and blossomed with a class of Year 7 students. (They loved it and I loved the discussion that it generated, especially amongst the boys. Rich analysis and interpretation – expressive reading.)

It grew reading the wonderful works of Lorraine Marwood, Steven Herrick, and Karen Hesse. By Sally Murphy’s exquisite Pearl Verses the World (Walker) I was in love. Continue reading

DO NOT FORGET AUSTRALIA – Blog Tour and Giveaway

This past week I’ve enjoyed reading the backstory for the wonderful new-release Walker picture book, DO NOT FORGET AUSTRALIA, by Sally Murphy and Sonia Kretschmar. Both Sally and Sonia have a swag of awards and commendations to their names, and collaboratively, they have created a rich and warm picture book that Australians can be proud of.

DO NOT FORGET AUSTRALIA tells the story of Henri and Billy, two boys who are oceans apart, but together in heart. Billy’s Australian father is fighting the war near Henri’s French hometown, Villers-Bretonneux. The year is 1918.

Inspired by a significant battle in World War I, the story doesn’t focus on the despair of war. Rather, the illustrations and text gently move the story past death and destruction, to focus on the hope – the lasting good that comes from cross-cultural compassion, empathy and aid.

When Henri’s village is destroyed in battle, Billy is one of many Australian children who work together to help rebuild Villers-Bretonneux. To this day the sign of acknowledgment remains; DO NOT FORGET AUSTRALIA.

DO NOT FORGET AUSTRALIA is a must read for all Australians.

Lest we forget.   Continue reading

Poetic Imagery

Today I am visiting Sally Murphy’s, to talk poetry.

In 2009, Sally and I co-hosted the weekly Verse Off competiton to celebrate the launch of Sally’s first verse novel, ‘Pearl Verses the World’ and my rhyming picture book, ‘This is the Mud!’. Remember that mad month of muddy MAYhem?

March has seen the release of Sally’s second verse novel, ‘Toppling’ - a story that promises to be as warmly emotive as ‘Pearl’.  For the month of March, Sally has invited poets and readers to post tips and reflections about poetry to her blog. You can check them out here.

Hugs and warm wishes to you, Sally, as you celebrate the release of ‘Toppling’. Enjoy!

Continue reading