I’ve been to Canberra

 I was at the airport in time to see the sun rise.

The CBCA Book of the Year Award Ceremony was held at the National Library of Australia. Graham Byrne and I were thrilled to see in the bookshop multiple copies of both Crichton-winner Big Red Kangaroo and Emu. 
It was a bit tricky taking photos in a darkened auditorium, so I limited myself to this one and to the screen for the Crichton Award. 

 Big Red Kangaroo was in fine company with these short-listed books/illustrations, but I am thrilled to say that Graham Byrne won the 2014 Crichton Award for Big Red Kangaroo. HUZZAH!


Yesterday, at Book & Paper Williamstown, Marjory Gardner officially launched Emu

The talented Danny Walsh, musician and singer with tooo many bands to mention, sang and played Old Man Emu (with audience participation of course!)

Wall projections by my husband, Kerry.

Marjory and Danny spruiking

Sue and Hannah, wonderful bookshop people

Danny demonstrating the mouth harp.

Bruce volunteering to be Danny’s offsider. He had good tone, but was a little light on volume.

An emu nest cake.

Of course. 🙂

Flowerdale and Emu

On Thursday, I travelled to Flowerdale with Diana Lawrenson and Marjory Gardner for our fifth annual Literature Festival. Mark Wilson and Corinne Fenton were also there.

Each year we visit either Flowerdale or Buxton to present this festival. Schools are bussed in from other schools.

This year, I introduced ‘Emu’ to three groups: Prep/1/2; Gr 2/3; and Gr 5/6. The Gr 5/6 made a chicke/egg combo … an egg that becomes a chicken and then folds down to become an egg again. (A new take on the ‘What came first?’ conundrum?)

The younger grades decorated eggs. As you see here.

 Abby provided camouflage for her eggs.

Love the colour theme here.

These eggs contain a chicken and an emu chick

Great images from a simple outline.

Monash KOALA Kids Book Club

 Last Wednesday I was invited to share ‘Seadog’ and ‘There Was an Old Sailor’ with young children at the Monash KOALA Kids Book Club at Monash Medical Centre.The bookclub aims to provide a spot of normal in the middle of medical treatment.

We read ‘Seadog’ then provided individual Seadogs with personalised coats. Then we read ‘There Was an Old Sailor’ before creating a Sailor with a wide open mouth. Sea creatures great and small then disappeared into his tummy, before being ‘burped’ out again.

It was hilarious, as Sailor was fed spaghetti with his seafood, via his open head. He then released his meal at the other end. Toilet humour. It’s a winner. Every time.

Thanks for Seadog

 THIS is why I do what I do … an email from a fan of Seadog.
“Dear Claire,
Just wanted to say a big “Thanks!” for “Seadog”.
We have a 3 1/2 year old who borrows it from the library every time it’s there.
I just asked Oscar what he likes best about the book and he said: “The dog rolls in fish! He runs out of the door!” Those are his favourite bits. He imagines that Seadog is running straight out of the door to roll in more fish!
Anyway, we really want to foster good reading habits and your book has helped as he just loves it!
Thank you very much!”