FriYay! Good News.

It’s Friday again. The wheel spins so fast! But it’s so good to be here with poetry friends again. Because that wheels spins so fast, I’m going to jump right in with a little story and some good news.

My Dad told me recently he had a confession to make; he was a bit embarrassed by ‘Up and Down on a Rainy Day’. Half the words are either ‘up’ or ‘down’. One could maybe even question the skill required to write that. It wasn’t a judgement. And I was quite okay with my dad’s confusion. (My parents are both hugely supportive of my writing!)

After recovering from my laughter, I explained that the book was written to support reading in the first five years of a child’s life. We worked hard to match text and art to that brief. (I’d spent long hours deliberating the other half the words in the text!) But I truly could understand his confusion and embarrassment. Because it IS a very simple text! And yet, in that simplicity, and pared with the adorable illustrations by Janet Turner, so much about life on the farm on a rainy day (Oh the joy!) has been conveyed.


Click on the pic to read the full shortlist.

I’ve joked and said I’m therefore rather chuffed by this shortlisting. Because now Dad can hold his head high again!!😹 But in truth, I’m rather chuffed, fullstop. And I’m so proud of the team that got our book onto this list; the @statelibraryqld, whose wonderful initiative has landed a number of titles on the shortlist. And my lovely illustrator, Janet Turner (so exciting for your first picture book!) and editor @kristybushnell, who has played a significant part in so many of books – and same too, the talented designer, Jo Hunt.💕 

And I’m very thankful for the judges and speech pathology professionals who have poured their time and knowledge into reading and compiling this shortlist. Thank-you, Speech Pathology Australia.

My mantra in teaching – in life –  has always been; ‘Do less best.’ I kind of like that it also applies to writing, too. Be economical and deliberate with your word choice. Make every word count! And that there is poetry and picture books, in a nutshell. 🙂

Hoping your Friday is YAY! I’m sure it will be if you join us on the Poetry Friday rounds – with links being gathered by the lovely Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone. Thanks, Molly! Next week, when the wheel whirls round, you’ll find the round-up here!😺



  1. Yay, Kat! Congratulations on the Book of the Year Award! I love your story about your dad! 🙂 Hope it comes to the USA soon. I didn’t see it on Amazon. Keep having a great vacation. How’s your cat doing? Mine are both asleep dreaming of chipmunks. I always tell my cats, Claws off birds, bees, and butterflies, but you can have all the varmints (rodents) you want!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank-you, Gail! The book wasn’t published by traditional means – and was initially intended as Queensland Stories for Queensland Kids – but the series is starting to do well in different award shortlistings, so maybe it will spread further afield. (It has already extended past Qld Libraries and Indigenous Learning Centres, the original intent, and into rural kindies, too. So – maybe one day America? (For sure the story is transferrable! I’m pretty sure Linda Baie shares the rainy day celebrations.) No more holidays here! It was just a 10 day break, for things to really pile-up on my ToDoList. I am STILL trying to make my way through it, and have at times wondered if the break was worth it. But it was! And I think the ToDoList would have accumulated none-the-less. Life is just so busy! As to SavvyCat… I took some pics this week that are deserving of a poem. Hopefully you’ll see one here, soon! 🙂 (Loving your little claws off.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. YAY!! You did less best, for sure! Those are the sorts of texts that toddlers can pretend to read themselves because they remember what the words are, and that is a great stepping stone to actually reading!


    • 😊 Thank-you, Tabatha. And yes, those texts are so important! (I read a concerning article recently about an Australian principal who was throwing out all the books that kids could read based on the picture cues…”Filled with predictable and repetitive text, the books had matching pictures that the children could use to guess many of the words.” Because that’s not reading.😢 But this is supposed to be a FriYAY post – so I’d better not go any further, there… Yay for awards that recognise important development stages of reading and language!


  3. I write English Language Learning materials, so I understand the thought and craft that goes into these deceptively simple stories. Congratulations on this honor!

    Your motto “Do less best” is perfect for our busy times. I’m going to write that in my planner :-).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How WONDERFUL! Many congratulations, Kat. And, congrats to your Dad on learning a new thing or two from his brilliant daughter. Your love for kids and learning is shining star bright these days. I couldn’t be happier for you for the hands that open your books. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. YAY! Your new book looks wonderful and I can attest to the mantra, “Do Less Best”. Word choice is so important so I congratulate you, Kat, on making each word count. I have to share your page with my little grandgirls who will love your new work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats, Kat! That’s so exciting! I love this post and the anecdote you shared about your dad. Your book looks like a delight, guaranteed to enrich a young one’s reading experience. Well done!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kat, congratulations on making that short list. I’m sure you and your dad can hold your head up higher. The two pages I can read here are so sweet! “Do less best” is a great mantra. I need to learn from this too: “Make every word count!”


  8. It’s always good to be chuffed Kat! Congratulations on your shortlisting. Appropriate word choice is a critical consideration for all writers, but is particularly important when writing for our youngest readers. Sometimes the text that appears simple requires so much effort to make that simplicity work. Such a great text for concept development. …I find myself closely examining texts at present as I read to my two year old grand-daughter. Concepts and words dominate our choices.


  9. Well done, Kat! Congratulations! Your book looks adorable. After many years of working with K & 1st grade students, I know how important it is to support these concepts. What seems so straightforward to adults is new and confusing to little ones. “Do less best” is a great mantra that I’m going to strive toward. Thank you for sharing!


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