Poetry Friday Round-up – Release Week

I cannot believe it is the first week in March already – and yet, here we are, with storms and floods ravaging large areas on the south-east coast of Australia and Ukraine digging deep to show incredible fortitude in the face of aggression. My heart has been heavy. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)

And in amongst this turbulence, What Snail Knows slipped quietly into Australian bookshops – followed by beautiful, detailed reviews and so much love. I hadn’t expected such a response – and I am incredibly thankful for those who have taken the time to share. Here’s a little snippet from some of them. (Click the reviewer’s name to read each review in its entirety.) 

💗 Kim Yeoman: I am in awe once again of Kathryn Apel’s skill in weaving together similes, metaphors, alliteration, imagery, rhyme and shape poetry with compassion and creativity to tell Lucy’s story.

💗 Lamont: Lucy is a character that you will fall in love with from the start. This story will be thoroughly enjoyed by junior to middle primary level readers.

💗 Sandy Bigna: This beautifully constructed verse novel for younger readers gently illuminates themes of loneliness, belonging, kindness, friendship and family. It will both break your heart and make you smile. Highly recommended for your 7+ reader.

💗 Barbara Braxton: A most poignant verse novel… a potent story of loneliness, friendship, acceptance, and building and connecting with community.

Mandy Foots light pencil artwork bring Snail and Lucy to life.

To coincide with release week, I was interviewed on the Australian Alphabet Soup blog, so if you’re intrigued about the answer to any of these questions, click the pic to read more.

Australian readers can also leave a comment on UQP’s Facebook or Instagram giveaway posts for your chance to win a copy of the book.

And don’t forget to leave your links below, for the Poetry Friday round-up.

I’m looking forward to catching you all on the rounds.

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Two Aussie Verse Novels – and Picture Book NEWS!

How lovely to be with you all again – and have you gathering at my blog for the Poetry Friday link-up.

Today I wanted to share two recent Australian verse novels with you, both published by UQP – and both written by friends.


 

‘Leave Taking’ was written by Lorraine Marwood, whose earlier verse novels, ‘Ratswhiskers and Me’ and ‘Star Jumps’ (which won the Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award for children’s fiction) were amongst the earliest verse novels I read and loved. I’ve known Lorraine online for more years than I can count – and finally met in 2014.

‘Leave Taking’ is a story about grief and farewells; letting go – of places that are a part of the fabric of our lives; of people, forever in hearts and memories. Leaving any home involves a tearing away, but a farm that has been in the family generations surely leaves a bigger hole. And a farm where your little sister once played with you … that your Mum and Dad need to leave, to make new memories … Such a bittersweet letting go.

‘Leave Taking’ is a quiet, story about a country kid called Toby – but the underlying grief constantly tugs at your heart. We never had a chance to know Leah – but through Toby’s memories, and Lorraine’s words, we do.

‘Little Wave’ was written by Pip Harry, her first verse novel – and foray into the younger market. I connected with Pip in 2014, when our UQP books released the same day, and it is always lovely to cross paths online. Even lovelier to meet in real life in Singapore last year, when we celebrated the announcement of our books on the CBCA Notables list. Pip mentioned ‘Little Wave’ during our catch-up, and I was eager to read it.

 

‘Little Wave is the story of Noah, Lottie and Jack – and a city school’s endeavours to bring a country class to the city for a beach visit. Each child has challenges they are dealing with – but as the story ebbs and flows, beautiful friendships are formed, and characters stretch and grow.

‘Leave Taking’ and ‘The Little Wave are two very different verse novels that I highly recommend.

Never give up on your dreams!

To close my week of hosting, I am so excited to share some good news!

More than 10 years ago, my rhyming picture book, ‘This is the Mud!’ released … and this week we signed the contract on my second picture book – another rural rhymer featuring … beef cattle! (And a bird in the herd.) I’m super-thrilled to be working with the talented and lovely illustrator, Renee Treml, and the beautiful team at UQP. There is a CYA connection … but that’s for another day! (Yay, CYA!)

It’s been a long hard road to a second picture book contract – with some lovely verse novel diversions along the way. This cumulative tongue-twister story was written for my toddler farm boys, way back in 2002. (They’ve grown a bit, since then.) Maybe one day they can read it to their own kids – with illustrations! (Those kids might be down the track a bit, yet.😆)

If you’re joining in the Poetry Friday Party, please leave your link below. I’m looking forward to doing the rounds and seeing where you are all at.

Have a great Friday – and into the weekend.

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One Minute Till Bedtime – Coming Soon

oneminutetillbedtimesmThere’s a new book coming, 1st November, that’s starting to make a lot of noise around the interwebs. It’s a hardcover poetry collection edited by former US poet laureate Kenn Nesbitt, illustrated by Christoph Niemann, and published by Little, Brown. With over 140 new poems from more than 130 poets around the world, I’m thrilled to have my poems, ‘My Dad’ and ‘School Bus’ included. This is my first foray into the American publishing market, so it is mildly wildly exciting!

A dreamy collection of bedtime poems and witty illustrations that’s anything but sleepy.

Read the full Kirkus Review starred review.

 

Aussies can pre-order from Fishpond, Booktopia and Book Depostory.

Expect to hear more about this book in coming weeks! I can’t wait to see it!! 😀

Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 978-0-316-34121-9

Self-Doubt and Stunning Views

This morning, I’ve been feeling very relieved and thankful for the reviews that are starting to appear for ‘Bully on the Bus’.  I’ve also been thinking back on those moments of self-doubt as an author; when wondering if I was the only person who’d ‘get’ Leroy’s story, and if perhaps the heart and emotion invested, clouded my judgement.

I have often thought that the road to publication is paved with self-doubt and rejections. But after the last few days, I have an edit to that thought.

The road to publication is paved with self-doubt and rejections – but the reviews at the end make it all worthwhile!

Here is a snippet from are a couple. If you click each image, it takes you to the actual website where you can read each wonderful  review in its entirety.

Click on the image to go straight to SquiggleMum's site.

Click on the image for the full review – from SquiggleKid and SquiggleMum.

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 4.22.14 pm

Click on the image to read Janine’s full review – with questions and activities to enhance the book.

Click on the image for full publication details.

Click on the picture to read 10 year-old Joseph's full review at Alphabet Soup.

Click on the picture to read 10 year-old Joseph’s full review at Alphabet Soup.

Click on the pic to read the article & Dee's review.

Click on the pic to read about my creative journey & Dee’s review.

The reviews are stunning. I am so very thankful!

I will continue collating reviews as I find them at https://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/kats-books/reviews-of-kats-books. Feel free to pop across and check out more. The list will grow as more reviews appear.

Alphabet Soup

10 year-old Joseph wrote a thoughtful review of ‘Bully on the Bus’ for Alphabet Soup. So I thought I’d write my response… with Alphabet Soup! Or the pasta, anyway.

I don’t think I can insert a picture into a comment, so I’ll post it here and then link back to it. If you click on the picture, it will take you direct to Joseph’s review on the Alphabet Soup site.

Click on the picture to go direct to Joseph's review at alphabetsoup.net.au

Click on the picture to go direct to Joseph’s review at alphabetsoup.net.au

Review: Troggle the Troll

Troggle the Troll is a delightful story about a would-be vegetarian troll. The story has a touch of grim, with the Troll family devouring people… every single night! But the alliterative menu sounds divine, and the illustrations are so bright, colourful and cutesy-fun, that I’m sure kids will have a real giggle from the Troll family’s meals.

As for the ending… it was delicious and wholesome, and though a little deceptive, I’m sure it will delight child and adult alike.

Publisher:  Random House Australia
Author:  Nick Falk
Illustrator:  Tony Lowe
Released: December 2012
ISBN: 9781742756011
RRP:  $12.95
Review copy supplied by Random House Australia

PB 10 for 10

Recently the challenge went out; Name 10 PBs that you cannot live without. It’s known as #PB10for10, thanks to Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek.

If I was choosing my 10 favourite picture books, this would be an impossible task – so I have focused my list on the classroom, and chosen 10 books that I’ve built units of work around. Some of these are linked – and I think you can tell that we have a lot of fun with water-based units, bringing in the sea, floating and sinking – and much, much more! Others are one-offs but fantastic within their specific units.

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Kat the Neil Numberman Caricature

Introducing…

Kat the Swallowtail Butterfly © Neil Numberman

Kat the Swallowtail Butterfly

You may remember the caricature I won from Joey Fly illustrator, Neil Numberman, during #PiBoIdMo… Well it flew in recently – or rather, she did. Kat the Swallowtail Butterfly. Isn’t she great?

Want to see more?

See Aaron and Neil work as a team to create a buggy graphic novel here; https://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/bug-makes-it-big-in-graphic-novels

Read my review of ‘Joey Fly Private Eye – Big Hairy Drama’ here; https://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/joey-fly-private-eye-under-the-magnifying-glass

And now, I must fly… flutterBye!

Joey Fly Private Eye – Under the Magnifying Glass

Aaron Reynolds and Neil Numberman are a formidable duo in the buggy underworld. The creators of Joey Fly Private Eye wield the pen to create a buzzingly-good interplay of text and image in their second Joey Fly graphic novel, Joey Fly Private Eye in Big Hairy Drama.

With time beetling along until opening night, Proprietor of the Scarab Beetle Theatre, Director Harry Spyderson, is in a tangle of tarantula legs; Greta Divawing, leading lady in the much-anticipated Bugliacci, is missing! Joey Fly and his sidekick Sammy Stingtail are called in to crack the case. Continue reading

Net-A-Story

Earlier in this busy term I was involved with Net-A-Story, an online writing and mentoring program run in conjunction with the Curtis Coast Literary Carnviale (CCLC).  30 groups of students in Yrs 5 – 9 from across our region were involved in the project, involving both state and private schools. I wrote Chapter One – a story starter to get them going, then the school groups got busy writing the next chapters in the story. Each school contributed one chapter, before it was passed on to the next school. (There were five schools in each group, and we ended with six very different stories that all developed from my one chapter, below.)

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