One of the reasons bullies have so much power is because their victims are often too scared to tell. It’s a struggle that Leroy faces in ‘Bully on the Bus’ – and it’s a huge and important step, for him to speak about it.
This Friday, 16th March, is Bullying, No Way Day – a national day of action against bullying. It’s a reminder that we need to be intentional about conversations with our kids – in homes and in classrooms – to know if they are in situations where they don’t feel safe or valued, but also to ensure that they are growing as compassionate beings, respecting others, even in their differences.
Bullying should not be kept secret!
I wrote Leroy’s story to open communication between small people and their carers, enabling young children to identify a situation where they might feel threatened, like Leroy. A flow-on effect is that it’s being used in older classes to foster empathy and awareness – in hopes of reducing bullying.
For more information on ‘Bully on the Bus’, including reviews and teacher notes; https://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/kats-books/bully-on-the-bus.
For more information about Bullying No Way Day check out; https://bullyingnoway.gov.au
It might be Bullying No Way Day on Friday – but bullying is never okay!
This post is (sneaking in early) as part of the Poetry Friday link-up around the blogosphere.
You’ll find more poetry posts on 16th March, at TeacherDance.
Please feel free to share links to other poems about bullying, in the comments.
The blog has been quiet, as I’ve had lots of time travelling, firstly to Brisbane, for school and bookshop visits, followed by an unexpected (short notice) trip to Singapore to catch up with our son (briefly!) and experience the richly diverse country that he is calling ‘home’.
One morning in Singapore I was delighted to discover a long-tailed macaque monkey in the bushes by our motel pool. Seeing animals in zoos (like the luscious Singapore Zoo, which we did enjoy later in the week – with monkeys!) is always lovely – but when they pop up, in the wild… that is super-something-special! I snapped lots of pics of our furry friend.
A little later, a comment on an Instagram post reminded me that this was Notables Day – when the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) announced the longlist of books for the 2018 Book of the Year Awards. I had been monkeying around, completely unawares… Curious, I checked Twitter to see who had made the list… My Notifications had gone a little crazy, (And so did I!) because ‘Too Many Friends’ was named as a Younger Readers Notable Book – the first time, I’ve had a book on the longlist!
I think the surprise factor will always be my favourite part of this memory – and the monkey! I love that I was hanging out with a monkey, blissfully unaware of this auspicious news!
(I hope there are many more monkeys in my future! 😉 )
It was so lovely to catch up with fellow UQP author, Pip Harry for a celebration at Sarnies the next day. Pip is an Aussie author living in Singapore, and her YA novel, ‘Because of You’ made the Older Readers Notables list, so there were smiles all round! And such fun to share the joy, so far from home!
There are so many great books on the list – from friends and writers I have long admired. I am still mighty chuffed to be sharing space with them!
This post is a part of the Poetry Friday link-up around the blogosphere.
You’ll find more poetry posts, including Tips for Teachers, at Today’s Little Ditty.
I am always getting caught out with Carol Varsalona’s Seasonal Poetry Collections – because I’m not ‘living’ in the season at the time poems are being collated. Last week I went trawling past photos taken during Winter in Australia (June/July/August). Here are a couple of poetry bites I’m happy with, for the current collection. You’ll note there is no snow in my winter poems. 🙂 (There is no snow, in my winter! 😦 )
This week, of course… The Moon.
I’ve never actually set out to photograph the moon before – and will always see it differently, now.
Last week Irene Latham shared some poems inspired by a prompt in the book, POEMCRAZY: Freeing Your Life with Words by Susan G. Wooldridge. Irene’s words, heart and wisdom were inspiring, and worthy of reading, here. The task was to 1) name an object, 2) describe it, likening it to something else, then, 3) ask it to bring you a quality it has. Whilst my poem was inspired by an evening with the super blue blood moon, it kept reverting back to the purity of the full moon, before it was cast into shadow… (And truth be told, my blood moon photos are not very good.)
I’m curious to know if you recognise my moon from your part of the world. 🙂
This week I’ve been super-productive with my picture books. I put the final polish on a picture book manuscript inspired by this little bird on our trip to Antarctica, then shared it with the lovely, talented and passionate children’s librarian, Kim Yeomans, who delighted me when she described it as, ‘a ‘quiet’ story with depth and light and shade. It ebbs and flows with tension and emotion.’
For a complete contrast, I then worked on a rhyming picture book I’ve had in my head for some time – well, I’ve had a four-lined repeating stanza, but that was all. I was thrilled when the rest of it romped out midweek, pure silliness and fun, and exactly the riot I was hoping it would be.
Alas, this then happened …
Which still makes me giggle … and blush! Whatever does the courier guy think???!? (The hazards of living in a rural location, where you can be loud and proud and not worry about the neighbours, when you ROAR! 😳)
On that cheerful note, as promised last week, I leave you with two more lai poems, these written over the New Year weekend. What is a lai? You can read more here. (I conformed with syllables but broke some rules with line breaks, in ‘Go Fly’.) They are definitely a form I will delight in revisiting in future.
Today is Australia Day, so I’m off with friends climbing Mount Larcom — hoping for clear skies and a cool breeze, so we can enjoy a view over Gladstone Harbour and scattered islands; a little portion of this beautiful country that we are fortunate enough to call home. Who knows what poetry that will inspire?
Afternote: I am now exhausted but triumphant after a 3am start to conquer the mountain. Alas, the peak was shrouded in mist for the duration, so perhaps we were the losers after all … although it was cool! #win (More pics on my Insta-story, if you’re quick; @Kat.Apel)
I will be in Brisbane during February – doing the author thing; school and bookshop visits, catching up with writing peeps and publishers, writing … and all sorts of good things!
If you’re a principal/teacher/librarian interested in a school visit, I still have spaces available. More information here; Bookings Open 2018.
I will be conducting a workshop and Q&A session for teachers and teacher-librarians at Riverbend Books on Friday evening, 16th February, with specific activities to engage students across ages and curriculum areas. For more information, phone: 07 3899 8555, or email: email@example.com.
If you’re a budding young poet, you can join me for a poetry workshop at Where The Wild Things Are Bookshop on Saturday, 17th February. Make a plane that is powered by words. Use scissors and glue to create poetry, then hunt for treasure in the Avid Reader’s garden. Tickets are $15, which includes your own copy of Too Many Friends, and all workshop materials. For more information, or to make a Booking, click the link; Kids’ Poetry Workshop Event, or phone: (07) 3255 3987.
Looking forward to finding myself in yet another instalment of the Country Girl Meets City adventure series. Mayhaps you’ll join me. 😉
2017 was a huge year for our family. So many milestones and achievements for our two lads. We never could have imagined what an exciting year it would be! These last few months I have put writing on hold to immerse myself in the mum-moments. To relive and create new memories. 2018 will bring time in abundance to write … 2018 is our year of Change.
To be honest, I struggle with change. I miss special things that will never be the same – even when it’s change for the best of reasons. Though I have been soooo excited for both our lads and the opportunities that await them this year, eight days before the eldest’s departure, it hit me. Things were never going to be the same again. Life was entering an exciting and different stage. There would be … change!
I may have cried … for days … (And that was before he left.) There may have been times I thought I would choke on my sadness. Squeezing tight then letting go may have been one of the hardest things I’ve done. He may have flown over the oceans; so far away – for so long. And I may have survived! I may even be smiling again. Change may not have been as bad as I had imagined … (I should have learnt this by now.)
Which is just as well, because that is only the first of the changes in store for our family this year!
This post is a part of the Poetry Friday link-up. The poetry form I’ve played with is the lai – a French style following an AAB rhyme scheme over three 3-lined stanzas. The first two lines have 5 syllables, and the third has 2 – and there are only the two rhymes used throughout. You can read my first lai, about willie wagtails, here. I’ve enjoyed writing lais for different photos taken over the new year period – so expect to see more, in coming weeks. 🙂
Last week Laura intrigued me with her gorgeous Jellyfish Dance. I’d not heard of a lai, and was keen to try it. Then I snapped this pic of two willie wagtail chicks, so thought I’d pair them. It’s not altogether successful – but it’s all I have for you this week! 🙂
Thanks to Diane at Random Noodling for hosting this week’s Poetry Friday round-up!
Ever since the first Poetry Swap gifts posted on the Poetry Friday rounds, I have been delighted by the joy they bring, not just to the sender and receiver, but to the poetry community at large. So – this season, when Tabatha Yeatts asked who was in, I was keen to join in the giving. And what pleasure it has been! Thank-you Tabatha, for coming up with such a wonderful idea – and keeping the ball rolling time and again. When I received Irene Latham’s name, to send a parcel of goodies to, I was thrilled, and had so much fun putting her package together, with a little dob of mud and a splash of ice and penguins. I didn’t even give a thought to who/what might be coming my way… until one day, hubby arrived with a box from the letterbox… for me! How exciting!!
Lovely Linda Baie was my very generous giver – and I so appreciate the thought she put into co-ordinating her purrfect parcel of poetry.
Thank-you so much, Linda. Your gift was the katswhiskers. Pure cream and catnip – and joy! xx
For more poetry cream,visit Lisa at Steps and Staircases for the PoetryFriday round-up. Thanks, Lisa!