A couple more pictures from MARC Lit Fest at Eildon

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There Was an Old Sailor is always great fun to share with young students. It lends itself to a whole range of language games, sung and spoken. The book has been unavailable for some time, but is to be rereleased next year.

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Old Macdonald gets a nautical makeover to become Old Man Sailor and to feature all sorts of sea animals.

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The intrepid team at end of day assembly: me, Marjory Gardner, Corinne Fenton and Mark Wilson. I am drawing the name of the winner of a copy of Bird to Bird.

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Dam fine

Annually since the horrific bushfires in 2009, with a group of writers and illustrators I have been part of a Literary Festival in the region covered by the Merrijig MARC Van (formerly centred in Yea). It was the brainchild of MARC librarian, Libby Ahern and author/illustrator Mark Wilson and included Corinne Fenton, Diana Lawrenson (until last year), Marjory Gardner and me. The region is divided into sub-regions so we’d see different students each year on a three year rotation. This year, Eildon was both new entry to this cluster and host to the Lit Fest.

In previous years, the Lit Fest has generally been held in August and is often very very very cold. Yes, sometimes snowing. Often raining. Occasionly sunny, but always cold. Yesterday, the ninth festival, we were treated to sunshine and roses (actually, native flowers, but you get the idea).

Libby and her offsider, Lyn make sure this day runs like clockwork. No mean feat when there are multiple schools travelling in from distant areas. This year, we also met Nicole, maternity leave MARC librarian. With the host school parents group and teachers from all schools, we were right royally hosted. We conducted workshops with wonderful students who worked well together despite having travelled long distances and having just met each other.

At the end, there’s an assembly where we share the day and are presented with produce from each school/region.

It can feel like an early start (okay, it was an early start – 5.30 am for me) but it’s always a wonderful day. Thank you again to all the schools attending, to Eildon PS for hosting and to Libby, Lyn and Nicole for weaving your special magic.

Summer is coming

Summer is approaching. Apparently. Yesterday it felt closer than it does today, but that’s always the case in Melbourne, where I live. Variety. That’s what Melbournians love. Which is fortunate, because that’s what our weather offers.

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This week, I received my author copies of ‘The Puffin Book of Summer Stories’. It’s a compilation of 8 picture books, including my story with Tom Jellett,  ‘Seadog’. The other stories in this collection are: ‘Summer’ by June Factor and Alison Lester; Grandpa and Thomas by Pamela Allen; My Hippopotamus is on Our Caravan Roof Getting Sunburnt by Hazel Edwards and Deborah Niland; Eve and Elly by Mike Dumbleton and Laura Wood; Castles by Allan Baillie and Caroline Magerl; There’s a Sea in My Bedroom by Margaret Wild and Jane Tanner; and Max by Marc Martin.

While I was familiar with some of these stories, there were others new to me. Very happy to be keeping company with them all!