Monday, March 6, 2017

My Perfect Pup - Children's Book Council Notable Book

I am so pleased that My Perfect Pup made this years CBC Notable list...and so pleased that in the same week, the RSPCA found homes for a record number of perfect pups.  I know it's a long stretch, but I'd like to think that maybe My Perfect Pup might have had a tiny bit to do with that.

Thank you to New Frontier and to Anil Tortop for her joyful illustrations.  Bring on the CBC Shortlist!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

For Keeps

I am so honoured to have my story Nora included in For Keeps - A Treasury of stories, poems and plays celebrating 100 years of The School Magazine. I can't quite believe it - Nora is bound between the covers, along with so many celebrated children's authors who have been part of the history of The School Magazine.

Read more about this beautiful anthology Sydney Morning Herald & Kids Book Review

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Meet Scruff and Pippy - My Perfect Pups

I'd like you introduce to you to Scruff and Pippy.  They're the inspiration for my new picture book, My Perfect Pup, and I think they're as pleased as I am with the beautiful illustrations by Anil Tortop.

In a way, My Perfect Pup mirrors Pippy and Scuff's own personal stories.  Both of them are rescue dogs, and there are thousands of other dogs just like them who are waiting to find new homes.

We adopted Scruff from Monika's Rescue about 8 years ago, but somehow I think he was the one that did the choosing. We looked at a lot of dogs that day, but the moment we met Scruff, he worked his charms on us there was no way we could leave Monika's without him.

Pippy came to us 3 years ago from another animal rescue organisation called Paws.  Scruff needed a friend so we scoured the Paws website for the perfect companion.  When we brought Pippy home, it took a while for the two of them to get to know each other, but now they're inseparable.

I sometimes wonder about Pippy and Scruff's previous families and how these two perfect pups ended up as rescue dogs.  I'll never know the answers, but there's one thing I do know... they're both  pretty happy now that they've found their perfect family.

My Perfect Pup - Release June 2016

Thursday, April 4, 2013

It's a new book ... take a look

I've just received copies of my latest book...and here it is!  Salvetti Versus Sim published by Blake Education Australia.  The story is about twelve year old James Salvetti (that's him on the cover).  James is stunned when he's nominated for School Captain alongside super popular, super annoying, Harry Sim.  Could James really be school captain?  Not if Harry or crazy Vice Principal 'Old Mouldy' have anything to do with it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Poetry and Music

Korean Publisher, Happy House, has set some of my poems to music in this beautiful song book called Let's Sing.

Let's Sing
The illustrations are brilliant and I had to share just a few with you.  These cute dogs are from my poem All Kinds of Dogs, and I couldn't resist the painter having a wash from Dib Dab Dob.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Arnie Avery is a Winner!

I am thrilled to announce that Arnie Avery is the WINNER of the 2011 Children’s Peace Literature Award.

The Biennial award is presented by the Psychologists for Peace, a special interest group of the Australian Psychological Society, and is awarded to a children’s book which encourages the non-violent resolution of conflict or promotes peace at a global, local or interpersonal level.

Last week I flew to Adelaide to receive the Award at a ceremony held at Parafield Gardens Primary School - a Save the Children, United Nations Global Peace School. The Year 6 children performed their soon to be recorded original songs about peace and what it means to them. It was a wonderful event - surrounded by wonderful ambassadors for peace. I was humbled and honoured to win such an important award.

Here I am with Kate Prescott, Convenor Judging Panel, Psychologists for Peace (South Australia).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Writing Tip # 5: You have a voice!

When I open a new book, often what draws me in is the author’s style or voice. Voice is the author’s unique way of writing – it shows their personality and attitudes. If you use your own voice when you’re writing, it can make the story more interesting for the reader. Some writers experiment by using different voices for their characters. Here are a couple of my favourite examples:

“Peoples are strange! The things they are doing and saying—sometimes they make no sense. Did their brains fall out of their heads?”
(The Unfinished Angel, by Sharon Creech)

“Wrestling with the straps of her survival kit backpack, which she had with her at all times, then jogging down the dry streambed toward home, Lucky thought of a question that Short Sammy's story had lodged into one of her brain crevices. She figured she had so many crevices and wrinkles, almost all of them filled with questions and anxious thoughts, that if you were to take her brain and flatten it out, it would cover a huge space, like maybe a king-size bed.
(The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron )

Pretend you are writing in your own diary. Start off with the words…
Dear Diary. This is how I make my breakfast…
Don’t be afraid to write exactly the way you speak – that’s your voice, and it can give your writing a special spark.