Lyrebird launch


Sunday was a busy day. We shot down to Ocean Grove to visit some new parents and their gorgeous son, then back to Melbourne, hopefully to be in time for the launch of Jackie Kerin’s new picture book, ‘Lyrebird: A True Story’. We had two reasons to be there. The first was to help Jackie celebrate the release of this beautiful and informative book. The second was to sing with our choir ‘Carol of the Birds’, an Australian Christmas carol. We made it by the skin of our teeth as the MC was inviting applause for a singer/guitarist performance. His next words invited the choir to the stage. And we rocked it! Not bad without warm up or practice.

Here’s Jackie with ‘Lyrebird’ and wearing a dress specially made and painted for the occasion. Stunning! The story tells of Edith a flower grower in the Dandenongs and a lyrebird she called James. Her well-honed words are complemented by fantastic illustrations by Peter Gouldthorpe. ‘Lyrebird’ is published by the Museum Victoria. For more info visit Jackie’s website.

Posted by Picasa

Play School

What a thrill to have my picture book ‘The Carrum Sailing Club’ (illustrated by Christina Booth, published by Windy Hollow Books) featured on Play School this morning.

My friend Jackie Kerin came to watch it with me so there was someone to share the smiles with. Thanks Jackie.

Here are some more of the photos she took. Mine would have been wobbly with excitement!

What a sunny day. 🙂

Stomping across the green-troll bridge

Dancing with seagulls. Flap-flap-twirl!


What a great word! It’s an adjective, describing animals who emerge at twilight.

It’s also the title of a new exhibition at City Gallery which is part of Melbourne Town Hall. We went to the opening on Thursday night but will go back for a proper look soon. The launch was packed, packed, packed!

The exhibition is curated byJohn Kean, artist and curator formerly of Melbourne Museum but now freelancing. The exhibition celebrates familiar and not so familiar crepuscular urban dwellers. I took photos of just a few of them…

It was a busy week for John and partner Jackie Kerin. While John was celebrating the living (okay, so with some taxidermied, photographic, painterly assistance), Jackie was in the hills celebrating the first showings of a film about a lady and a lyrebird in the 1930s. More details on Jackie’s launch here.

Storytime goes live!

It’s happening! In August, my friend Jackie and I trained into Melbourne, to RMIT television studios to record the second episode of a new television series for Channel 31. As the title suggests, each episode features a story.
In our episode (Episode Two), I read my story, ‘There Was an Old Sailor’ and there are songs and activities. It’s just like a storytime at your local library…well except that Tall Ted is the link, rather than your local children’s librarian.

Each episode features an activity that can be downloaded from the website and completed at home.

And now the 12 episodes are ‘in the can’, the show will be shown around Australia via local Channel 31s. It all begins 9.30am Wednesday 8 December.

Our episode is the second one, so if you want to see my first ever television appearance, and Old Sailor, tune in 9.30am Wednesday 15 December!

Visit Tall Ted for more details about Storytime.

Independent Type: Books and Writing in Victoria exhibition

Last night my friend Jackie Kerin and I attended the opening of the Independent Type: Books and Writing in Victoria exhibition at Altona Meadows library. The exhibition celebrates the development of writing in Victoria from markings on possum-skin cloaks through to contemporary offerings. The exhibition, initially mounted at the State Library is now making its way around Victoria via selected public libraries.

Last night was the opening of the Independent Type: Books and Writing in Victoria exhibition at Altona Meadows library. The exhibition celebrates the development of writing in Victoria from markings on possum-skin cloaks through to contemporary offerings. The exhibition, initially mounted at the State Library is now making its way around Victoria via selected public libraries.

Local authors were asked to provide material to supplement the touring exhibition and now features work from Andy Griffiths, Jackie Kerin and me.

Launch of ‘There Was an Old Sailor’

Saturday 27th was the official launch of ‘There Was an Old Sailor’. It was held in the foyer of Sun Theatre, and hosted by Sun Bookshop (which includes the across-the-road children’s bookshop Younger Sun).

It was great fun. We had a good crowd there and Danny Walsh‘s playing and singing drew in a few more off the streets. Cassandra Allen was unable to be there, she being in Switzerland and all, but her parents and a friend were there and it was lovely to meet them. My good friend, storyteller and fellow author, Jackie Kerin launched ‘There Was an Old Sailor’. Appropriate for her to be the launcher as without her, I probably wouldn’t have written the story or persisted in submitting it to publishers. Danny sang and played, including singing the story of the old sailor, which he’d set to music. He had us all singing along.

The only bad thing about launches is there’s never enough time to talk properly to everyone. Thank you to everyone who was there. Perhaps I’ll just have to have another one! Anyhoo, here are some pics from the day…

Storytelling and the State Library

Last night I went to the State library for a forum on ‘The evolution of storytelling’ featuring three different storytelling styles. Speakers were storyteller and author Jackie Kerin, author Gabi Wang and Radio National presenter Michelle Raynor. Michelle spoke first talking about the challenges of storytelling in a landscape of rapidly evolving media technology. Then Jackie shared some history of the oral storytelling tradition before captivating all with her performance of ‘Edith’s Lyrebird’ and ‘Shark’. For more of Jackie’s doings visit her here.

Gabi talked about her Chinese heritage and her own history and how that informs her writing. She also showed us an amazing scroll that she completed as part of her art studies in China. She talked about her forthcoming novel, Little Paradise, and its origins. She also alluded to inheriting her mother’s sense of style (sorry Gabi, couldn’t resist) For more details visit her here.

Jackie is looking for the storyteller in Gabi’s wonderful scroll. The detail and fine brushwork is amazing .

CBCA at the Convent

My friend Jackie Kerin and I went along to the CBCA Book Week gig at The Convent in Abbotsford. It’s a great venue and I like going back there because before it became an arts precinct and after it was a convent, it was part home to Lincoln Institute and I studied there. But…back to Sunday…

Jackie was storytelling, based on her book, Phar Lap the wonder horse. I had no official function and as I had no copies of Sheep, Goat beyond my own, was keeping a low profile. I did catch up with a few people (hello Jacqui Grantford, Ann J) and meet some new ones (hello Sarah Davis, Mark Austin and Richard Mordern) and ended the day reading Sheep, Goat to a few people (Jacqui G had painty hands)

L to R…me, Jackie Kerin, Mark Austin, Pemberthy Bear and Jacqui G. To those who know Sally Murphy’s Pemberthy Bear, this is Pemberthy, taking a bow.

Phar Lap is launched

Today I attended the launch of a picture book I’ve watched grow from a simple spoken idea nearly eight years ago. Phar Lap the wonder horse (the picture book) began as part of a conversation while watching children do circus classes (okay so the connection isn’t that clear yet). It’s in ballad form and is gloriously illustrated by Patricia Mullins using collage.

Jackie Kerin is the author and her Phar Lap story is the first picture book on his history. It follows his story from birth to death and all the wonderful excitement in between. It uses the language of the racetrack, of the time. Jackie is a talented storyteller and performed ‘Phar Lap the wonder horse’ for the audience. The launch, held at Melbourne Museum, in the presence of the tall red horse, was attended (amongst others) by a class from a local primary school and others. Jackie held us all in thrall as she performed.

Patricia’s wonderful original artwork was on exhibition and it was great to see the textures and layers in her work. Afterwards we retired to The Windsor for a wonderful lunch.

Congratulations to Jackie and Patricia and Melbourne Museum (publisher). It’s a wonderful book.