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Our wonderful children's book creators are finding lots of creative ways to share their books and reading fun online with YOU their readers.

Here are this week's suggestions of bookish fun to help you get wild about books @ home...

Author Hangout with Adrian Beck

Tune into crazy bookish fun daily at lunchtime at the Author Hangout with Adrian Beck as he live streams chats with Aussie children's book creators. You can watch live on Adrian's Facebook page  (check with your parents) or subscribe to Adrian's YouTube channel from the video below. There are segments like Ready Set Draw where illustrators create pictures out of scribbles (think Mr Squiggle), Story Starters, Boredom Busters and a game of Book or Chook (think Hangman) where the loser has to do the Chicken Dance. There isn't a dull moment on this show!

These are the talented book creators Adrian is chatting with this week.

Book 'N' Boogie with Nat Amoore

Did you ever think you could combine books, fitness and fun? Super talented, energetic author and dancer extraordinaire, Nat Amoore has you covered with Book 'N' Boogie! Join Nat each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10am to boogie along to her fun and slightly wacky book-inspired dances. Subscribe to Nat's YouTube Channel to dance along with her.

Here's Nat's first Book 'N' Boogie dance video inspired by Adrian Beck's new book Derek Dool Supercool

Gabrielle Wang's SPARK 

If you like to draw and/or write stories then Gabrielle Wang's SPARK might inspire your creativity.

Every Saturday Gabrielle will be putting up a new illustration to SPARK your imagination. Gabrielle hopes that children from around the world will upload their work to her SPARK page to share with us all.

For her first SPARK, Gabrielle has drawn flying bears and she asks you to draw or paint a picture or write a poem or paragraph inspired by her illustration and upload it to her SPARK page.

Felice Arena - The Besties World 

This is a great time to be learning new skills!

One of the readers of this blog is planning to learn how to play the ukulele and I recommended Felice Arena's  The Besties World website. Click HERE for the chord and lyric sheets for some of the songs from The Besties Ukulele Album. You can also download some pictures from The Besties books to colour.

 

Bedtime Stories Podcast with R.A. Spratt

This is a weekly podcast of funny stories for kids by R.A. Spratt the author of Nanny Piggins, Friday Barnes and The Peski Kids. Tune into Bedtime Stories for fun stories, laughs and silly voices.

 

Macca the Alpaca and Celeste the Giraffe Easter activities

Matt Cosgrove has created fabulous Easter activities for you to do with with Macca the Alpaca and Celeste the Giraffe, including a gorgeous Macca the Alpaca Easter egg basket. Lots of Easter goodness here to fuel your creativity!

Harry Potter At Home hub

For the Harry Potter fans, you will be excited to learn that The Wizarding World Team have created The Harry Potter At Home hub to banish boredom while everyone is keeping safe at home. Read the news about The Harry Potter At Home hub and register for the newsletter HERE.

Click HERE to enter the Harry Potter At Home hub and just like Hogwarts and its staircases, this page will be changing all the time...

Happy reading!

 

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Now is the perfect time to get wild about books...

Our wonderful book creators are finding lots creative ways to share their books and reading fun online with YOU their readers.

Anna Walker

If you've read Mr Huff, Florette, Peggy, Lottie and Walter and other picture books by Anna Walker then you will know how creative she is! If you love making and creating and using your imagination then visit Anna's new website called Twiglet for ideas and inspiration and on the Twiglet Instagram page

Judith Rossell

Judith Rossell is the author of the Stella Montgomery series and makes the most amazing model houses. Judith is currently running an Art Challenge on her Facebook page. The first challenge was making tiny houses and you can watch Judith's video HERE.  

Tania McCartney

Tania McCartney is sharing a story from her latest Evie and Pog series. Stay tuned for more content on Tania's YouTube channel.

Gus Gordon

It is always a privilege to hear an author read their book. If you enjoy Gus Gordon's picture books you can listen to Gus read his stories on Gus' Instagram page

Sally Rippin

Sign up for the Sally Rippin Holiday program - it's free! Did you you know there are THREE new Billie B. Brown books?

Matt Stanton

Matt Stanton the creator of the popular Funny Kid series is currently doing videos from his studio. In this video you can draw a monster for Monster Monday and have a sneak peek at his new Funny Kid book!

Mo Willems

Fans of Piggy and Elephant and The Pigeon will know Mo Willems. You can have fun doing LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems  HERE 

 

Book Publisher Activities

Penguin Random House has fun activities for you to download for some of your favourite books.

In Puffinalia for Kids you will find puzzles, crack the code, drawing activities and perhaps a little bit too much information about Adrian Beck the author of Derek Dool Supercool.

 Puffinalia Littlies for younger readers has mazes, finger puppets to make and you can go on an insect safari in your backyard.

Penguin Random House also have stacks of activity packs for some of your favourite books HERE

 

Stories at Home

Story Box Library - Australian Stories online

With  nearly 300 stories to choose from you will definitely find some of your favourites on Story Box Library. If your local library subscribes to Story Box Library then you can log in and select your library and type in your library card number to watch the stories for free. (If you belong to the Yarra Plenty Library like me - we can use our library card!)

Story Time from Space

You can even listen to stories from space read to you by astronauts on the International Space Station with Story Time from Space . Now that's pretty cool! 

 

Writing Fun

Gross Stories Competition

My favourite podcast One More Page has a Gross Stories Competition for kids up to 12 years old. You can email your story to onemorepagepodcast@gmail.com before April 5th. The winning story will appear on the podcast. Good luck!

 

I hope these stories and activities will help you to get 'Wild about books @ home'. I'll be adding more blog posts like this one so stay tuned! 

I would love to know what you're reading. You're welcome to tell me in the comments...

Happy reading! 

I enjoy listening to podcasts when I'm out walking and because I'm wild about books, most of the podcasts I listen to are about books! 

One of my favourite podcasts about children's books is One More Page which is hosted fortnightly by three fun, book-loving ladies who also happen to be authors. 

I regularly laugh out loud as I'm walking and listening to Nat Amore, Kate Simpson and Liz Ledden. Their One More Page podcast is chock-full of entertaining interviews with authors, illustrators and other people from the book world. Whatcha Readin? will have your TBR (To Be Read) pile growing into Mt Bookerest! There's bookish fun in Kids Capers, competitions to win great books and you can hear about upcoming book events. I also look out for Marianne Khoo's vibrant illustrations of each podcast's theme. What a talented team at One More Page!

You can also listen to the podcasts HERE on their website and find more information in the Show Notes.

You shouldn't, but if you need one more reason to listen to One More Page...their guest author for Episode 25 on Wednesday, February 13th will be Tim Harris whose new book Mr Bambuckle's Remarkables On the Lookout is out now!

Thank you One More Page for highlighting kids' books and reading in a fun and engaging way and making this teacher librarian's heart sing!

Happy reading...and listening to One More Page!

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If you live near Eltham then give yourself a treat over the holidays and visit Judith Rossell’s 'Adventures in Illustration’ exhibition at the Eltham library with your family. It's in the community gallery until January 20th.

Judith Rossell is a writer and illustrator of children’s books. You might know her best from her award-winning Stella Montgomery novels or for her whimsical illustrations of Bogtrotter written by Margaret Wild.

Today I discovered that Judith also loves mazes and puzzles and has created and illustrated some fabulous maze and puzzle books. This is an illustration from one of the books.

Bogtrotter is a picture book I have loved sharing with classes in the library so I was excited to see my favourite illustration on display.

It was fascinating to see close-ups of Judith’s detailed sketches and final illustrations from her Stella Montgomery series including the sketch and final illustration of the front cover of her latest book Wakestone Hall. You can look through folders of Judith’s work and explore her illustrating process. I'm looking forward to reading this book over the holidays!

Judith is also a crafty person and you will be impressed with her ‘House for Miniature Students’ created from recycled and re-purposed materials. Make sure you read the information about some of the pieces Judith has used. (My photo of the house doesn’t do it justice.) You can also see Judith’s mini handmade Christmas trees decorating the fireplace and a model of her dream beach house. Once again, Judith’s love of detail is on display! (I wonder if Judith's past life as a scientist is coming out?)

Judith grew up in Eltham and it is wonderful that her work is on display at the Eltham Library Community Gallery. I hope lots of families visit Judith’s exhibition and writers, illustrators and creators of all ages will be inspired.

Workshops with Judith Rossell

Book into these creative workshops with Judith as part of the Summer Reading Club.

Thank you Yarra Plenty Library for making reading, writing and creating so much fun!

Happy creating!

On Saturday, The Little Bookroom celebrated it's 58th birthday with it's inaugural Kids Books Fest. It was a day of celebrating books and reading with a session for young readers in the morning and I attended the afternoon for primary school children.

(Watch in full screen by clicking on the square)

By 2pm everyone was seated and eager for our exciting afternoon to begin...

Author vs Illustrator Debate
We were treated to a lively debate between author and illustrator partners  chaired by Peter Helliar (Frankie Fish series). The panel was made up of Danny Katz and Mitch Vane (The Little Lunch and Poppa Platoon series), Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood (Real Pigeons series) and Andrew Hansen and Jessica Roberts (Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies series). They had to convince us which is more important - words or pictures? What do you think?

Illustration Battle
The illustrators battled each other under extreme pressure with just THREE minutes to draw requests from the audience! It's not easy drawing a moth with cheese for antennas or a zombie unicorn with a banana horn. Mitch Vane and Ben Wood's illustrations were so close they used 'Paper, Scissors, Rock' to decide the winner! The final result was a draw between Mitch Vane and Jessica Roberts.

Total Quack Up! 
Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck are the editors of Total Quack Up! They wanted to do something to help raise money for Dymocks Children's Charities who provide books to children who don't have access to books. Sally and Adrian approached eight author friends to write a funny story for the book and James Foley to be the illustrator. All of these generous people donated their story and illustrations to create this book. Total Quack Up! is guaranteed to have you laughing and quacking up! Buying a copy means you will be helping other kids to have books so they can enjoy reading too.

We had laughed lots while listening to Adrian and Sally read 'Who Blocked Up the Dunny?' written by Ella Wallace who won a competition to have her story published as James Foley illustrated the 'unplugging' part of the story. 

Gastronauts Launch
James Foley launched his book Gastronauts which is the third book in his Sally Tinker series. We were all blown away when James showed us his dummy book of illustrations that stretched across the front of the room and round the corner! 

In Conversation: Sally Rippin and Elliot Perlman
Elliot Perlman is a famous author of adult books who has written his first book for children called The Adventures of Catvinkle Elliot told Sally that Ula the dog in the story is based on his dog called Ula when he was growing up. The children in the audience were very lucky to be the first children to hear Elliot read his book aloud - what a treat it was!

 A BIG thank you to Leesa and the staff of The Little Bookroom and all of the authors and illustrators for a fabulous afternoon of celebrating books and reading. See you next year!

Happy reading!

Thanks to The Kids’ Bookshop, I spent an inspiring evening listening to the Andrew JoynerGus GordonAnna Walker and Jane Godwin talk about the process of creating their latest picture books.

I really enjoy hearing about what sparks an author's ideas, where they like to write or illustrate, the process they follow and any other interesting tidbits of information I can share with readers.

Here are some little pieces of information I gleaned from the evening….

Andrew Joyner – The Pink Hat

The Pink Hat was inspired by the 5 million people in 82 countries who participated in the 2017 Women’s March

This is the first book that Andrew has created entirely on an iPad

Andrew does his thinking by drawing

Andrew once worked in a record shop and has a big collection of vinyl records he likes to listen to as he illustrates in his office space at home

Teacher notes

Gus Gordon – The Last Peach

The Last Peach is Gus' first book that is written completely as a dialogue

Gus was playing around drawing bugs to match a possible book title when he drew the two bugs that star in his latest book. A little dialogue between the bugs started in his head and their story was born

Gus chose to use a limited pallet of colours for this book and when collecting green papers for his collage he was amazed at the many shades of green that can be found

Gus wasn’t sure how the book would end. He found his answer when walking along a street in Paris and saw a vintage black and white picture with a bright orange sun…that looked like a peach to him!

Gus works in a gorgeous light-filled nook at home where he has an impressive set of drawers that hold his precious collection of vintage papers, cards, flyers etc that he uses for his collage illustrations

Gus enjoys listening to music as he illustrates 

We both come from the same area in country New South Wales!

Teacher notes and Activities


Jane Godwin and Anna Walker - Go Go and the Silver Shoes

Go Go and the Silver Shoes is the seventh book that Jane and Anna have created together. They see the world in the same way and their words and illustrations complement each other

The name Go Go is thanks to Andrew Joyner!

Jane is an author and a book publisher

Jane prefers doing her writing alone and in silence or with just the sounds of the natural world

Anna works to scale with her illustrations (same size as the book) and it takes about a year for Anna to complete a book from the roughs through to the final illustrations

Creating collages reminds Anna of playing with her doll's house when she was young and she is still very good at focusing and getting lost in her work

Anna enjoys working in a shared workspace at the Abbotsford Convent

Anna owns a pair of sparkly silver shoes just like Go Go!

Teacher notes and Activities

We are lucky to have many talented Australian authors and illustrators! Thank you for a fabulous evening giving us a peek into your creative processes and for generously giving your time, Andrew, Gus, Anna and Jane...

Happy Reading!

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