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...
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#InterviewByBook with Jessica Spencer

Title: The Enchanting ABC Author: Jessica Spencer Illustrators: Amanda Esho, Lauren Hakavalu, Renee McGrath, Natalie Muscatello and Kylee Gilbank Publisher: Adored Illustrations/Captain Honey Genre: ABC Picture Book Age Group: 0-6 years Please tell us a bit of what your book is about. The Enchanting ABC is a collection of whimsical inspired words and illustrations. The book was created to help Children learn the ABC (using alliteration) while being enchanted by beautiful illustrations...
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Character Q and A: Interview with The Scared Book

#TheScaredBook #BooksOnTour #BlogBlitz #Day2 Today we are thrilled (haha!) to introduce the one and only, The Scared Book to the panel, who will be discussing some highly personal and spine-tingling topics. Thanks for joining us! 😱 😜 👹 Dear Scared Book, I understand you have a fear of monsters. Where and when did this stem? Is this your biggest fear? What else are you scared of? I am very scared of monsters! It comes from watching a scary movie which gave me n...
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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...
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Zanni Louise – Walking on Sunshine

Zanni Louise is author of picture books Too Busy Sleeping and Archie and the Bear published by Little Hare. She also has a deal for four early readers with publisher Five Mile Press and another picture book with Scholastic coming out next year. I've run into Zanni in cyberspace groups, shared in her enthusiasm for the release of her new book and listened rapt to her interview with Allison Tait on the Australian Writers Centre So You Want To Be a Writer podcast. She is a very generous member of ...
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Shelly Unwin – Launched!

Shelly was my very first interviewee on this blog two years ago (see here, here and here) and now here she is – finally – with her series of no less than five books! And they are so gorgeous too!  It’s an absolute delight to welcome Shelly Unwin back to the JWFK blog! Thanks Debra! It’s lovely to be chatting with you again, and at such an exciting time. Shelly, last time on this blog, you had just signed the contract with Allen and Unwin but couldn’t tell us much about the books at all, b...
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KidLitVic2017 Reflections

I'm still buzzing after a day of encouragement, empowerment and energy. A day filled with camaraderie, connections and reverence. KidLitVic Meet the Publishers Conference 2017 in Melbourne on May 20th certainly achieved its goals for attendees to network, showcase talents, and “kick-start, build, reinvigorate and strengthen” our creative journeys. Conference organisers, Alison Reynolds, Coral Vass, Jaquelyn Muller and Nicky Johnston once again did a stellar job in putting it all together. Eve...
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#InterviewByBook with Renee Price

Title: Digby and the Yodelayhee Who? Author: Renee Price Illustrator: Anil Tortop Publisher: Create It Kids Genre: Picture book Age Group: 2-7 years Please tell us a bit of what your book is about. Digby Fixit and his friends follow their second adventure, in an attempt to solve the mystery of a noisy noise. Could it be the sound of an ant trail? An instrument? An elephant? And why is it so noisy? What kinds of themes / issues are raised in this story? Digby and the Yodelayhee W...
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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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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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