Writing Recognition – CYA 2012

Though I have been quieter this year online, I have still been writing as much as ever.  I first started this blog back in 2008 to work on my writing, and build an audience.  It has certainly done that – and more!  I really like writing for mums, and enjoy the interaction and conversation with others that blogging enables.  But, when it comes down to it, my first love will always be writing for kids. Continue reading

2012 National Year of Reading – Read Up Launch

Do you love to read? Love encouraging your kids to read? 2012 will be full of exciting literary events because it is the National Year of Reading!

Today the Moreton Bay Regional Libraries launched the Read Up program for under 8s.  To encourage kids to visit their local library and borrow on their own card, the Read Up program rewards children with special certificates designed by some of Queensland’s best illustrators. Continue reading

Author-Illustrator Peter Carnavas

Peter Carnavas is one New Frontier‘s most celebrated author/illustrators – and rightly so.  His quirky illustrations and touching story lines warm the hearts of children and parents alike.  Four of his much-loved picture books have been re-released as Little Treasures.  These mini books come complete with an envelope ready for posting, and you can purchase them for $9.95 each, or all four for only $29.95! What a gorgeous gift to send to a child this Christmas. Continue reading

National Simultaneous Storytime: Feathers for Phoebe

This week thousands of Aussie kids across the country heard the fabulous story Feathers For Phoebe by award winning author/illustrator Rod Clement.  National Simultaneous Storytime has become an annual event, and one that is warmly embraced by librarians, early years educators, parents and children alike.  My two year old and I enjoyed the activities and reading at our local library. Continue reading

Samuel's Kisses Book Review

What an absolute delight it was to be at Karen Collum‘s book launch today to celebrate her debut picture book, Samuel’s Kisses (New Frontier Publishing).  A truly heart warming tale, Samuel’s Kisses is an early childhood story beautifully illustrated by Serena Geddes.  Samuel blows kisses to unhappy shoppers with surprising, and entertaining results.  The uncomplicated plot makes for a feel-good story that is sure to be a hit with preschoolers, and Mums!  There are obvious opportunities for interaction between parent and child when reading, and the book also lends itself well to simple innovations on the text.  I predict Samuel’s Kisses will become a bedtime favourite.

At the launch today, we…

Caught up with Karen (author) and Serena (illustrator).

Made sure our book was autographed.

Listened to Karen read Samuel’s Kisses.

Enjoyed activities and explored the grounds of the gorgeous Marks & Gardner cafe gallery

(with the real Samuel!)

Gave kisses to Karen too!!

Oh, and one more thing I did was to ask Karen and Serena to sign a copy of Samuel’s Kisses for YOU.  Yes, one very lucky SquiggleMum reader will receive a signed, hard cover copy of this delightful picture book.  To enter, leave a comment below sharing how you let your kids know you love them. Do you blow kisses? Have a special saying? Write them notes? Sing to them? One entry per person please. Aussie residents only. Comp closes 6pm Saturday 19th Feb, Qld time.

If you’d like to hear more from Karen, you can find her on facebook or twitter.

*I received a copy of Samuel’s Kisses courtesy of my friends at New Frontier Publishing.

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Congratulations to the random winner: Trish.

Everyone else… go and buy a copy!! Karen & Serena’s book is gorgeous.

Alison Lester and Little Library Lovers

I might have been born in Victoria, but I am a Queenslander at heart.  Just for the next few weeks though I wish I was down south!  Over the coming weeks, major libraries around Melbourne will host a series of special ‘Babies Love Books’ events as part of the State Government’s $2.1 million Young Readers Program.  Now in its second year, the Young Readers Program has distributed free ‘It’s Rhyme Time’ booklets and DVDs to parents of over 200,000 babies and toddlers.  The program aims to reach 500,000 children by 2011, and to assist in fostering a love of books for life, linking the relationship between literacy and the health and wellbeing of future generations.

Alison Lester, multi-award winning, best selling and much loved children’s author and illustrator is an ambassador for the program. Her picture books mix imaginary worlds with everyday life, encouraging children to believe in themselves and celebrate the differences that make them special.  If you live in Victoria you can meet Alison Lester this month at the events listed below.  But if, like me, you are elsewhere in the country, you’ll have to be content to read my interview with Alison Lester:

Cath - When should parents begin reading aloud to their kids, and what can they do to make the most of read-aloud time?

Alison - I think you should start reading to babies from the word go, or maybe even before. Lazing around reading when you’re pregnant must be very good for babies. To make the most of reading time it’s good to take it slow and cuddly. Always get as close to horizontal as you can.

Cath - What do you recommend parents look for when selecting picture books for young children?

Alison - I shouldn’t say this, being an author, but I don’t really think it matters what you read them as long as you do it well. Children will always let you know if they think a book is a dud.

Cath - Many of your picture books are firm favourites with Australian children and adults alike.  As a mother my pick is Magic Beach.  As a teacher my favourite would be Imagine.  Do you have a favourite?

Alison - It’s a bit like having to say which one of your kids you like the best. They are all special in different ways. I love Are We There Yet? because it reminds me of the happy time we had on that trip.

Cath - As an author/illustrator, do the words come first, images first, or does the book evolve as a whole for you?

Alison – When I have an idea for a book I can generally see it then, as a whole, the style of illustration, the font, the shape and size. The next step is some rough illustrations in a dummy book and then I put the text into my computer.

Cath - You’ve spent a lot of time travelling the country visiting schools, particularly in remote areas.  Why has this been important to you?

Alison - I started visiting schools about 30 years ago, just because they asked me really. Now I can see that those school visits did a lot to get my books out into the world. I love going to remote communities and working with the kids and teachers there. I always get a huge kick out of seeing a class make a book about their own stories, told in their words and their pictures.

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If you live in Victoria you can meet Alison Lester or Jeannette Rowe this month at the Young Readers Program Babies Love Books events :

Springvale Library with Alison Lester

Monday July 12th, 2pm

411 Springvale Road, Springvale

P: 03 9238 1466

Frankston Library with Alison Lester

Tuesday July 13th, 11am

60 Playne Street, Frankston

P: 03 9784 1020

Deer Park Library with Jeannette Rowe

Thursday July 15th, 10.30am

Corner of Neale and Station Roads, Deer Park

P: 03 9249 4171

Sunbury Library, with Jeannette Rowe

Friday July 16th, 10am

44 Macedon St, Sunbury

P: 03 9356 6932

If you go, please do me a favour and tell the awesome Alison Lester that SquiggleMum says hi…?!  I’m going to head back over to her site because I’m thinking about buying this print.