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.

Continue reading

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.)

. Continue reading

Book Review: Princess Clown

On Saturday I have a special blog with guest author Sheryl Gwyther, as a part of her Princess Clown blog tour.

But yesterday, when I went to read my copy of Princess Clown, it had disappeared! KitKat had picked it up and was curled in a comfy spot, reading. He later returned the goods, with the comment, “Here’s your funny book.”

Which made me think – he could be a good candidate for a book review. Here’s what he had to say;

I like Princess Clown because it shows that you can be two things at the same time and it is okay to be different. We all aren’t the same. This book isn’t for my age, but it was good and funny anyway!!!!

Check back on Saturday to hear how author Sheryl Gwyther got the idea for this book – and for your chance to win your very own copy of Princess Clown.