The World’s Worst Pirate

(2018 CBCA Notable) By Michelle Worthington and  Katrin Dreiling   When ‘The World’s Worst Pirate’ bobbed above my horizon, I eyed it and thought what could possibly be different about this pirate book? It’s a gregarious fun-loving picture book. It’ll toss you about, like young Will, with the rise and fall of the seafaring ship.…

Parmesan The Reluctant Racehorse

Written by Jacqui Halpin and Illustrated by John Phillips How delightfully disturbing having a horse behaving like a dog – a racehorse at that. Even the name Parmesan was intriguing as it has the same namesake as the dry Italian parmesan pasta cheese. At the author’s storytelling, I looked and listened to her reading the book.…

You have Permission to Daydream

Picture Book Author & Illustrator, Peter Carnavas  gave us permission to daydream through our writing room window. A window as a portal to outside — to anywhere. And as you daydream, look, see, observe… the detail. Next, what can’t you see… behind that leaf, under that sill, in the mailbox? Daydreaming relaxes the mind, calms and frees…

The Fix It Man

Author Dimity Powell & Illustrator Nicky Johnston   The Fix It Man is a heart-felt and joyful story. It tenderly looks at the early stages of grief. The portrayal of a young girl who believes her Dad can fix anything sets up this delightful picture book. No matter the problem or how many of those ‘It was an…

Books Change Lives – Unexpectedly

‘What is your dream?’ Author Brian Falkner asked a room full of year 5 students. Marine biologist, Hollywood actress, lawyer and a room full of nasty criminals made the list. Falkner had to confess to the marine biologist he didn’t really eat dolphins. Relief spread across her face as if she’d sipped warm milk. Dreams…

Preserve our Oceans and Coastal Habitats

Picture Book author, Kim Toft, a former Prep teacher, had some 120 preps to year 2 following her every move. She uses silk painting to illustrate the preservation of our oceans and coastal habitats. Her vibrant colours reflect her subjects which are incredibly realistic. Toft performed her cautionary tale ‘One Less Fish’ in song and…

Over My Dead Bunny

Enter darkened room… Sit. Face eerie grass green iridescent set. Does it hint at where dead bunny will lay beneath? For tis below the surface he arises Hence the mayhem begins… Opinionated Review A cast so talented (and multi-charactered) they would be met with success from every school in the country – familiar with My Dead…

Aspire to our Heroes and Sheroes

Anita Heiss, author of 16 books – her latest ‘Our Race For Reconciliation’ covered three main topics during her Year 4 students’ workshop. Who did they admire? What made a good friend? What things would you say sorry for? The students shared their heroes and sheroes. That one special person in their life they admired and…

Punking Up a Steam

Steaming up the Story Arts’ Festival Ipswich’s (SAFI) Saturday Gala Dinner were the Victorian Era Sci-Fi cast. The steam punkers were from either The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Wild Wild West, H.G. Wells – War of the Worlds or Jules Verne – Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.  Ipswich’s Metro Hotel guests were privy to the era’s steampunk costumes. The…

Dream it! Draw it! Design it! Create it! 

By Maria Parenti-Baldey Author and engineer Andrew King encouraged his young year 1 and 2 audience to dream, draw, design and create. King said engineers liked to draw and design because they were like big kids. He encouraged students to think and imagine. To build planes, bridges, buildings, cars and playgrounds using cardboard boxes. To get…

Cool Hats For Reading Books

Author and public servant with a legal background, Cori Brooke wears a cool hat for every story.  She was thrilled to be shortlisted for the CBCA Children’s Book of the Year awards in the Early Childhood category. ‘All I Want for Christmas is Rain’ was popular with the little-ones who guessed right. Brooke was to wear……

Your Imagination Creates Stories

When Brisbane author Yvonne Mes  introduced herself, she had some 100 year 3, 4 and 5 students putting their hands up wanting the glamorous life of a Picture Book author — on the red carpet with Justin Timberlake, a three storey mansion with giant playground, red Ferrari and private jet. One student was so convinced,…