Nothing like phoning in for an interview and discovering that your phone card has mysteriously emptied overnight! However that was quickly s...
With filming having wrapped on the Gold Coast for action adventure feature film Nim's Island 2, The Post Lounge have launched into pos...
A couple of schools have asked me for a study guide for Peeling the Onion, so it's now up on my site: http://tinyurl.com/7lttbl4. A...
Thanks very much to wolftyrs, a home schooling mom who says: I'm preparing to read my children Nim's Island, and weave their home...
As an author, it's sometimes easy to be so caught up in a book that I forget that the other people involved also care passionately abou...
Young, and not so young new writers, often tell me that they’re determined to have a book published with their name on it. Goals are grea...
This post is for Megan from Singapore, who wrote to me last week about doing Nim's Island in her book club. My email to her has bounced ...
Return to Nim’s Island comes to the big screen in Australia five years to the day after Nim’s Island ; five and a half yea...
Much as I love puppies, they're hard work, and often destructive. (Yum, shoe! etc) So I've always admired people who are willing ...
Following last week's blog, a friend wrote to ask my advice – “I’ve been writing for years, without success. Is it time to give up?” ...
Saturday, October 16, 2010
So on Tuesday morning I finished proof reading, (including a major rewrite of one chapter, which my editor was kind enough to agree to, even though you're really supposed to have finished rewriting by the!). I dropped it into an Express envelop and sent it back to my editor at Allen & Unwin. It'll be released in February.
Now I'm taking down the maps I've drawn for the story, that have been on the back of my office door for nearly two years. I've taken the photos of bears and mountains off my screensaver, though the salt dough mountain top is still on top of my bookshelf. And I've spent some quiet time saying goodbye to Raven, the girl I've grown to know and love. Until February, she's in a bit of limbo, but then she'll fly free to meet the world, and not really belong to me any more.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
The story is that the big old dog isn't very happy about 'Grandmother' adopting a small kitten, who is of course curious and playful. Finally the dog resorts to carrying her outside and leaving her in the snow till she's nearly dead, and even dropping her out the window.
You think you know what's going to happen, don't you? The dog will cheer up and learn to love the kitten with her playful ways; the last picture will show the tiny kitten snuggled up against the huge dog...
You'd be wrong. The cranky old dog wins. The kitten learns to stay out of his way, so the final page is Grandmother commenting, "...she doesn't play much at all,..."
The message is strong, and quite horrible:"Don't be curious, don't be playful, don't try to make friends, because you'll just get it beaten out of you."
The thought of messages and morals in books makes me cringe, and I always deny that I plan "A Message" in my books. However this book made me realise that all stories have some type of message – and that means that, especially in picture books for very young children, we have a responsibility to step back from our manuscript and think objectively about what this story is saying. Not to work out a neat way of telling children to be good, obey their parents, or work hard at school, but just being aware of, and responsible for, what we're imparting.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
What a delightful tale of two young sisters. The older sister, dressed as a princess, is the leader of the expedition. The younger sister, dressed as a panther, lets her imagination run wild. Together they embark on a journey to camp in their backyard.
As night time falls, the girls huddle in their tent. It’s at this point that they hear small animal noises which take on gigantic proportions. They try to remain brave by repeating their mantra: ‘The princess was brave, and the panther tried to be.’ Can you guess what happens next?
Ah, those were the days. I remember when I was the same age as the girls, I loved to camp inside. I would throw a sheet over the clothes rack, place a blanket underneath, raid the kitchen for food and then hide hoping mum and dad couldn’t find me!
The Prep children in my class really enjoyed this story, in particular the idea of dressing up, role play and pitching a tent.
Overall, this book is great story that questions what it means to be brave. It engages the young reader through beautiful illustrations and repetitive text. It also helps stimulate imaginative play through the idea of dressing up as a princess or a panther.
I highly recommended this book for children aged between 4-8 years. (5 stars)