Celebrating Australia: A Year in Poetry

My friend, Lorraine Marwood, has just released a new collection of poetry for children with Walker Books Australia.

She’ll be appearing here shortly (within the next couple of weeks) but being also a teacher, Lorraine has set me (and other bloggers on her ‘tour’) a challenge. We are each to write a poem using one of her strategies. Hmm.

So stay tuned while we negotiate her appearance, and I wrestle with a new poem.

Graduate Union Family Day

Renee Treml and I were part of today’s Graduate Union Family Day in Melbourne 

 Warren from Embiggen Books in Little Lonsdale St (opposite Wheeler Centre) was the able bookseller.

Monty, daughter of Warren was happy to have a pic taken, as long as she could keep feeding animals into her paper sailor.

Here Monty is trying to smile-as-instructed, while maintaining the supply of food to Sailor  

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The Next Big Thing – I’ve been tagged

I’ve been tagged to take part in an ongoing blog tour about upcoming books. I was tagged by Lorraine Marwood. You can visit Lorraine’s blog and learn about her new book here
But enough about that, and to the questions:
1. What is the working title of your next book?
Big Red Kangaroo. With stunning illustrations from new illustrator, Graham Byrne. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
Big Red Kangaroo is part of a Walker series called Nature Story Books. The series originated at Walker UK (under another series name), but Walker Books Australia is making it their own,  producing titles about iconic Australian animals. 
3. What genre does your book come under?
It’s a bit of a crossover really. The main narrative is fiction, about a day in the life of a male red kangaroo, and on each opening there is also non-fiction. Narrative non-fiction? It’s a picture book for 5 +
4. What actors would you choose to play the parts of the characters in the movie rendition?
 Hmm, I’d have to go inland to audition. I’ll get back to you on that one. 
5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
 A night in the life of Big Red and his family in central Australia. 
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Big Red Kangaroo will be published by Walker Books Australia in August this year. 
7. How long did it take to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It took a while. It was tricky working with the dual texts, constructing a story about a single kangaroo and his family, while keeping in mind the need for species general information.
8. What other books would you compare your book to in this genre?
There are other wonderful books in this series. ‘Bilby Secrets’ by Edel Wignell and Mark Jackson is one. ‘Python’ by Chris Cheng and Mark Jackson is another. 
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
 I loved the poetic language in the Walker UK titles and was inspired by the dual narrative idea. They are all beautifully illustrated and are just lovely books. Here was a chance to blend poetry and non-fiction. What an opportunity!
10. What else might pique a reader’s interest?
Spend a night with Big Red Kangaroo and his family in their Australian home.
If you would like to post about your next big thing, please contact me and I’ll add the link here.

It’s out! It’s out!


‘There Was an Old Sailor’, my picture book with gorgeous illustrations by Cassandra Allen and published by the wonderful team at Walker Books Australia, is released today. Yeehah!


Here it is! In the front window of ‘The Younger Sun’ the wonderful children’s book shop in Yarraville. Note the poster too!


Me and my new book sitting in fine company, in between Bob Graham and Sherryl Clark!