Kookaburras, cane toads and more

Kookaburra entries are coming in. Yesterday’s poetry offerings had me rolling about on the floor! Just the perfect thing for a wintry lockdown Wednesday. Keep them coming!

My biography of Aussie Stem Star Georgia has hit bookshops around the country. It’s so exciting to see this book in print. Georgia had no idea what she wanted to be until after she started university and even then she nearly dropped out to become a cabaret dancer! But her childhood was full of exploration in the Aussie bush in the Blue Mountains, both with her family and solo. Her love of animals and her passion to see them in their natural environment led to a career as an reptile biologist and explorer. Her PhD involved teaching yellow-spotted monitors NOT to eat cane toads! But that’s not all … you should read about how she travelled through Pacific Islands in a demountable kayak.

Look out for the other two books in this new series from Wild Dingo Press

Dianne Wolfer has written about Munjed al Muderis, and Cristy has written about Fiona Wood. Such amazing writers and such wonderful subjects.

Science has never been more important than it is now. Look out for these titles in all good bookshops.

Kookaburra Competition

**IT’S COMPETITION TIME!**

ATTENTION students, parents, teachers, librarians. It’s Kookaburra Competition time! Clear your desks and sharpen your tools. We have a writing competition AND an illustration competition. Submissions are invited from students for either or both competitions! Four entries (two writing, two illustration) will win a copy of ‘Kookaburra’. But wait, there’s more …

The class that submits the most entries will win a book prize pack from Walker Books Australia.

Competition opens 17 August. Competition closes 25 September.

Results will be posted here and on social media. Winners will receive their prize via Aust Post.

WRITING COMPETITION:

Many will be familiar with the rhyme/song, ‘Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree’. This popular song was written by Marion Sinclair in 1932. She wrote it for a competition and won! The rest, as they say, is history.

Here’s the original and one of the popular extra verses.

Kookaburra (the original)

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Merry merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra,
Gay your life must be!

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Eating all the gum drops he can see.
Stop Kookaburra, stop Kookaburra
Save some there for me!

And here’s a well-known extra verse NOT written by Marion Sinclair

Kookaburra sits on electric wire

jumping up and down his pants on fire

Ouch, kookaburra, ouch kookaburra

Hot your pants must be!

We’d like you to write a new verse for this song. Extra points for basing it on any page in ‘Kookaburra’.

Here’s an example for you:

Kookaburra sits in the tall gum tree,

eating all the spiders she can see.

Crunch, kookaburra! Munch, kookaburra!

Eat them all for me.

ILLUSTRATION COMPETITION

Download Tannya’s outline of a kookaburra. Make it simple, make it fancy. Make it beautiful! Use pencils, paints, collage or a mix of all of these to show us how much you love kookaburras. When you’re done, take a photo and email it to Tannya.

Where to send entries:

Send writing entries to Claire at clairesaxby@optusnet.com.au

Send illustration entries to Tannya at harricks@iinet.net.au

PLEASE NOTE: Include the following in your entry submission:

Your first name, your year level and the name of your school.

  1. Permission for us to post your entry on social media (yes or no)
  2. Permission for us to post your first name with your entry (yes or no)
  3. Permission for us to post the name of your school (yes or no)

*** You will be eligible for a prize, even if you say no to all these. We’d just like to share your wonderfulness. ***

Bring on the kookaburras. Kook-kook-kook! Kak-kak-kak!

Haywire shortlisted

Well, as if having a new book (Kookaburra) release isn’t enough wonderfulness at this tricky time, Wednesday 5 August brought its own special magic. Around the middle of the day, when Victoria was waiting for the daily new infection numbers, the NSW Premier’s History Award shortlists were announced.

And Haywire was there! Shortlisted for the Young People’s History Prize, with two other wonderful books. Visit here for more details and for the judges’ reports.

While you take a look and a read, I’ll be dancing wildly around my house, and possibly my back yard … maybe around the lemon tree in my front yard too!

Thanks Clare Hallifax for loving Tom and Max and their stories. Thanks Omnibus/Scholastic for publishing this book.

Hello Kookaburra!

Welcome!

I am joined today by the wonderful Tannya Harricks. August 1 is release day for our new Walker Books Australia Nature Storybook picture book collaboration, Kookaburra. We are thrilled to add this story to the Nature Storybook series, which celebrates Australia’s diverse landscape and wildlife.

Kookaburras are well-known to many, or most, Australians by their distinctive call. But there’s so much more to these amazing birds beyond their (fabulous) vocalisations. And that is what we hope to offer with ‘Kookaburra’. We invite you into their world, ask you to look and listen, and get to know kookaburras a little more deeply.

**COMPETITION**

To celebrate Kookaburra, we’re going to be having a competition on this blog! On Monday 17 August, we will ask readers and students, teachers and librarians to become kookaburras!

Okay, maybe not.

We will, however post an outline for you to download and make as kookaburra-y as you can, using whatever art medium you prefer. There will also be a writing activity (which could potentially evolve into a performing opportunity!).  

Entries are encouraged from individuals and from classrooms.

The entries we love best (two art, two writing) will win a copy of our book, Kookaburra.

But wait, there’s more.

The class contributing the most entries will win a book pack from Walker Books. 

Help us fill the blog, the world, with fabulous kookaburras.

Meanwhile, we’re off to practice our kooka calls …

Claire and Tannya