The D Word – Diversity at the AAA

Well, the dust has well and truly settled on the The CBCA  Anticipate, Appreciate, Applaud (AAA) shortlist announcement in March this year, and in my mind, the gold has sifted to top to be extracted here in this post. The day started with Freya Blackwood speaking on ‘Escape to the everyday’ and the adventures that can be had in the seemingly ordinary moments of life – a theme many of her books pursue – before receiving the IBBY honour book for illustration award. The morning panelists spoke abou...
More

Our Country, Our Stories – Reviews and Activities

It's that glorious time again where teachers, parents, children, literacy creatives and advocates raid the bookshelves (and craft cupboards) in honour of the annual Book Week celebrations! Hosted by the Children's Book Council of Australia and running from August 20th to 26th, this year's theme is inspiring; it's 'Australia! Story Country'. Last year I wrote the articles Books Light Up Our World and More Books to Light Up Our World posts. In accordance, this year I will provide a summary of b...
More

More Top Picks from 2015  

Last month I ended the year with a Top 15 of '15 with books carefully selected by my six year old. Choosing only a small number of favourites out of the many, many fabulous children's books out there is always a tricky task, so we're making another list! This time, I'm basing these on my observations of my recently-turned three year old's engagement with these books over the past few months. And here they are, in titled alphabetical order.   Alfie's Lost Sharkie, Anna Walker (author, illus.)...
More

Top 15 of ’15

Last year I enlisted the help of my five year old to come up with a 'best-of' list, and I think she did extraordinarily well! So, we're doing it again for books published in 2015! According to my stats, 2014 saw over 250 picture books borrowed, received, bought, read, and of course, enjoyed! Let's see if we can top that this year... Woooo! 262 borrowed library books, plus those received graciously from literary publications for review, plus those I've bought! :) Here we go! Of all the beau...
More

What Makes Picture Book Creators Happy

In the last two posts on picture books, I explored what makes a successful book, and how best to utilise them. Today I'm reflecting on some past interviews with the very writers of those wonderful pieces of art, and more specifically, what creating these literary jewels means to them. Which responses resonate most with you? Author and illustrator, Renée Treml: "For many years I was unknowingly creating characters through my artwork - I kept drawing the same animals over and over and discov...
More

Picture Books in the Eye of the Beholder

To begin my journey towards becoming a published picture book author, I became an avid (perhaps compulsive) reader of the genre. Yes, it has definitely helped having two young daughters around as an excuse for my weekly loitering in the kids' section of the library. Anyway, I also began writing formal reviews around 18 months ago, in the hopes that studying these beauties would ingrain some wisdom and impart a whole bunch of amazing writing skills. Well, let's see if some of it is getting throug...
More