The Wildly Intrepid Jan Latta – part 2

In Part 2 of finding out how intrepid pioneer Jan Latta carved out for herself a publishing niche, Jan talks about some stories behind her adventures and her marketing and promotion strategies. To recap part one, click here. Jan, how do you walk the fine line between fact and fiction in bringing the animals stories to life? How much do you attribute human emotions/motivations to them?  The True to Life Books are called creative non-fiction because the animals ‘talk’ to children in the text...
More

Picture Book Review: Wolfie, an Unlikely Hero

Wolfie: An Unlikely Hero, Deborah Abela (author), Connah Brecon (illus.), Random House Australia, 2017 Synopsis: I, The Wolf, am sick of being the bad guy. I’m taking over this book. Dear Readers, Fairytales are nonsense. They’re full of wolves pestering pigs and picking on sweet little girls in red hoods. But I would never do those things. I knit! I bake blueberry pie! You know what I really want to do? I WANT TO RESCUE A PRINCESS! And if I can’t? I QUIT! Yours sincerely, Wo...
More

The Wildly Intrepid Jan Latta – Part 1

Today’s interview is a break from my usual focus on up-and-coming children’s book creators, to look at someone who has forged her own way into a niche market in children's publishing, and from whom much can be leant. Jan Latta is the only woman in the world who is the author, wildlife photographer and publisher of books on endangered animals. Each of her books is self published and distributed widely in schools and she is a sought after international speaker. On the publication of her 17th b...
More

Picture Book Review: Parmesan, the Reluctant Racehorse

Parmesan, the Reluctant Racehorse, Jacqui Halpin (author), John Phillips (illus.), Little Pink Dog Books, 2017 Synopsis: Parmesan, the racehorse, thinks he's a dog. Instead of training with other horses, he's off with his doggy friends, playing doggy games. Will he be ready to run like a racehorse in the Spring Carnival? A humorous light-hearted tale that celebrates the joy of being yourself and running your own race. Review: As an animal lover, and someone who particularly adores both hor...
More

Book Review: Max Booth Future Sleuth, a Sci-Fi Adventure Series for Young Readers

Max Booth Future Sleuth: Selfie Search, Cameron Macintosh (author), Dave Atze (illus.), Big Sky Publishing, 2017 Synopsis: Max Booth Future Sleuth is back with more sci-fi adventure and another mystery to solve! Max has been handed an ancient mobile phone. It’s from the year 2017, which makes it more than 400 years old! What’s more, it’s full of photos – all of the same person. Max and his robo-dog sidekick Oscar learn that the photos hold a secret that could lead them to fame and fortune. Bu...
More

Picture Book Review: The Catawampus Cat

The Catawampus Cat, Jason Carter Eaton (author), Gus Gordon (illus.), Penguin Random House, 2017 When I first received this delightful picture book I thought the author, Jason Carter Eaton, had made up the word “catawampus” to suit the story’s feline character, and to have some fun. While fun definitely is had in a reading of this book, it turns out that catawampus actually means askew, awry, or positioned diagonally; and the characters in the tale certainly have the angles of their world cha...
More

Book Review: Ella Saw the Tree by Robert Vescio and Cheri Hughes

Ella Saw the Tree, Robert Vescio (author), Cheri Hughes (illus.), Big Sky Publishing, 2017. Synopsis:  One windy day, as Ella plays in her backyard, she is showered by leaves. When she looks up, Ella sees a tree in her backyard ... has it always been there? And why is it crying? It’s not until Ella carefully and attentively takes the time to - smell, listen, feel and look - that she discovers the tree in her backyard, as if for the very first time. By slowing down and experiencing new sensati...
More

Zanni Louise – Walking on Sunshine Part 2

This is part 2 of our interview with Zanni Louise, author of picture books Too Busy Sleeping and Archie and the Bear, plus  four early readers and another picture book coming out next year. In part 1 (here) we found out how her blogging both ignited her desire to write for children and provided the opportunity to be published and in part 2 we look at some of the issues involved in the business of getting published.  Hi again, Zanni! You've had two books published with one publisher (Little H...
More

A New Eco-Fantasy Adventure from Karen Tyrrell

Just Write a For Kids are thrilled to welcome back resilience and anti-bullying author expert, Karen Tyrrell! Her current blog tour includes the sequel to the fabulous Song Bird Superhero; introducing the 'un-bee-lieveable' The Battle of Bug World! REVIEW: Song Bird: The Battle of Bug World, Karen Tyrrell (author), Digital Future Press, 2017 Synopsis: A superstorm destroys Rosella Ava Bird’s flower garden. All the bees are disappearing. A giant sinkhole cracks open beneath Rosie’s schoo...
More

Review of the the Latest in the Ottoline Series by Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell

Ottoline and the Purple Fox, Chris Riddell (author/illustrator), Pan Macmillan, 2016 Synopsis: Ottoline and Mr Munroe love puzzles, clues and mysteries. One day, they meet an enigmatic purple fox, who offers to take them on a night-time urban safari. The fox shows them all the hidden animals of the city and Ottoline makes notes on them in her field notebook. Mr Munroe is making notes too - on the anonymous poems he finds stuck to lampposts on their journey. Who is the secretive poet, and h...
More