Sunday, August 25, 2013

Children's Book Week Visits

I spoke with Year 7, 8 and 9 at St Spyridon's, Maroubra early in the week about inspiration and a writer's life as well as the 'story' behind several of my stories. I mentioned my just finished ANZAC novel Eventual Poppy Day as my favourite of the moment, and encouraged students to write poetry as a creative effort leading to prose. A wonderful visit with enthusiastic staff and mature students.

Later in the week at Randwick Primary School, I spoke to a range of willing writers from Year 3 to Year 6; focusing on the ABC Book of Australian Poetry, and had actors transferring the sad Ballad of the Drover (Henry Kendall) into something of a comedy! Great actors.

Afterwards I talked to Year 1 in two groups about one of my first junior picture novels All About Anna. It goes down well as a drama and there was no shortage of willing actors there. A very happy morning!

A Luncheon with Maurie

I feel privileged as always in spending time with an old friend like Maurie Saxby, the person I consider to be the Grand Old Man of Australian Children's Literature. And I don't think he would mind the reference to age, as we were trying to track our friendship which goes back such a long way.

It's always good to exchange news of mutual friends, admire some of the newer writers as well as having a few good laughs.

Sunflowers have become one of our links over the past few weeks so here's my photographic effort, Wise Man with Sunflowers alas not a Van Gogh effort!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sangita's Singing Launch at Orange Public Library

After a wonderful morning at Orange Public School where Year 3 and Year 4 have been doing an intensive study of our latest book at Pax Press, Sangita's Singing set in Nepal and raising money for the Mitrataa Foundation, there was the launch at Orange Public Library at 4pm that afternoon.

What a welcome to walk into Orange Public School's own library to experience all the work students have done on Sangita's Singing and see the diverse and thoughtful artwork on several of my picture books: Way Home, A Boy Like Me a story about peace; and The Wishing Cupboard, set in Australia and Vietnam.

Two teachers, Lyndall Harrison and Phillipa Hughes, have done in depth teacher notes for Sangita's Singing, which resulted in some very sensitive writing and artwork from students as well as the Reader's Theatre and a spontaneous rap!

About 60 people attended the launch at Orange Public Library where we were delighted that a Nepali family was able to take part in the launch of the book. I have recently had news through the Principal Toni Macdonald, that the school will be sponsoring a Nepali girl's education through the Mitrataa Foundation. What a wonderful launch all round!

At Orange Public Library launching Sangita's Singing, 19 July 2013.

At Orange Public School with the enthusiastic Year 3 and Year 4 students.