Review: A Fun Look at the Adventures of a Raccoon Who Thought She Was a Dog

Pumpkin: The Raccoon Who Thought She Was a Dog, Laura Young (author), Pan Macmillan 2016  Synopsis: When Laura Young found an injured baby raccoon in her back garden she didn't know what a big part of the family she was about to become. Laura and her husband, William, named her Pumpkin and her bond with their rescue dogs, Toffee and Oreo, was soon obvious. The three of them take naps, watch TV and cuddle each other and Pumpkin is always with her two new mums. Be prepared to fall in love with ...
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Penny Morrison – Riding the Wave Part 3

This is the third and final part of my interview with Penny Morrison, author of Captain Sneer the Buccaneer, the Hey! series and The Mighty Mighty King Christmas Book. In this installment Penny reveals the patience needed to be an author as she discusses the circuitous path to publication of Captain Sneer the Buccaneer. See part 1 here and part 2 here. Penny, Captain Sneer, published by Walker Books, was released in September 2016 but I understand all was not clear sailing (pun intended:) ). ...
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#InterviewByBook with Adele Jones

Title: Activate Author: Adele Jones Illustrator: N/A Publisher: Rhiza Press (YA/Adult imprint of Aussie children’s publisher Wombat Books) Genre: Techno-crime thriller Age Group: Young adult (13+) Please tell us a bit of what your book is about. Activate is the final book in the Blaine Colton trilogy. The teenage hero, Blaine, is a survivor of a genetic disorder, thanks to some pretty cool gene therapy. Activate begins with Blaine living a secret life to protect him from enemies he...
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Top 16 of ’16

  Every year I, together with my two girls, reflect on our year in books - the ones that made us laugh, cry, connect, ponder and encourage affection. I also usually review my statistics on books borrowed, received for review and bought, but this year let’s just say, it's hugely extensive, and still counting. So, once again, of all the beauty, heartbreak, joy and wisdom we've so fortunately added to our literary repertoire, here are Miss M (age 7) and Miss A’s (almost 4) top 16 childre...
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Reflecting on 2016 with the JWFK Team

2016 has been a tremendously eventful year on the blog, with establishing the Directory, a cascade of amazing interviewees and guest posters, and invaluable tips and news updates made available. And I couldn't have done it all without the support and dedication of my wonderful team of bloggers and the Australian kidlit community. So, thank you! I feel blessed to be a part of this always-inspiring world. To celebrate, a few of us Just Write For Kids bloggers got together to reflect personally ...
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#InterviewByBook with Adam Wallace

Title: Zombie Inspiration Author: Adam Wallace Illustrator: James Hart Publisher: Krueger Wallace Press Genre: Zombie/Comedy/Personal Development Age Group: 9-13 Please tell us a bit of what your book is about. Well, this is a totally, absolutely, fully, nearly almost true story about me when I was at high school and the zombie apocalypse hit the world! It’s about my search for someone who inspires me, and that inspiration comes from the most unlikely source … the zombies themselves! ...
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In the Presence of Giants

The title of this article might seem a misnomer given the physical stature of both Margaret Wild and Julie Vivas, however there is no doubt about their giant status in the picture book world. It was an absolute pleasure to hear them speak in conversation with Belinda Murrell at the CBCA Northern Sydney sub-branch Christmas party on the last day of November 2016. Margaret’s writing has long been a touchstone of mine with her exquisite use of words and her perfect emotional pitch. I return agai...
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#InterviewByBook with Kris Sheather

Title: The Green Goggles Author: Kris Sheather Illustrator: Kris Sheather Publisher: Ormiston Press Genre: Picture Book Age Group: 2-6 Please tell us a bit of what your book is about. Pete wakes up excited because it’s his birthday. He’s disappointed with his presents until he receives a pair of green goggles. Wearing the goggles ignites his imagination and his backyard is transformed. What kinds of themes / issues are raised in this story? The first theme is on emotional rea...
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Review: A Picture Book Exploring the Life of Dame Nellie Melba

Meet... Nellie Melba, Janeen Brian (author), Claire Murphy (illus.), Random House, 2016 Synopsis: Dame Nellie Melba was Australia's first classical music star. The beauty of her singing was celebrated around the globe. She was appointed Dame Commander, OBE for her enormous fundraising efforts during World War One and today she is commemorated on Australia's hundred dollar banknote. This is the story of how she rose to fame, and how she brought opera to Australians in the city and in the bus...
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#InterviewByBook with Elizabeth Mary Cummings

Title: Mrs.T and the Magic Pencil Author: Elizabeth Mary Cummings Illustrator: Johanna Roberts Publisher: Elizabeth Cummings Genre: Picture book Age Group: 4-7 What kinds of themes / issues are raised in this story? The idea that someone can make a lasting impact on a child’s life is the core of this story. Themes such as self-esteem, caring, childhood memories also feature. How are these important to you in raising awareness to your readers? For readers of this story I hope t...
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