Australian Literary Educators Association - Conference in Darwin July 20 2014, 0 Comments

Last week I attended the ALEA ( Australian Literary Educators Association ) conference in Darwin where I gave a talk about making books in remote indigenous communities and shared a session with Jackie French about being the Australian Children’s Laureate. 

View from my room at the Darwin ALEA Conference

Tye, who is the Marketing Manager for Education, Events and Partnerships at Penguin books came with me and made sure everything ran smoothly. 

There were 600 delegates at the conference, all interested in children’s literature and literacy. I was lucky to attend a function at Government House where we chatted and had drinks and delicious food in the warm tropical evening and I also shared story time at the City Library. It was very exciting being part of such a big event and lovely to be somewhere warm and sunny.

Darwin Wave Pool

Click on the image below to visit ALEA website:

A Review of "Our Island" July 01 2014, 1 Comment

Our Island

The children of Gununa,
Alison Lester and Elizabeth Honey
Penguin 2014


Our island lies beneath a big blue sky,
surrounded by the turquoise sea.
Turtles glide through the clear salt water.
And dugongs graze on the banks of seagrass…

And so begins the text of a most stunning pictorial book about Mornington Island, the largest of the Wellesley group in the Gulf of Carpentaria, the result of a collaboration by the children of Gununa – the main township- and Alison Lester and Elizabeth Honey. Focusing on the stunning wildlife that inhabits both land and sea, the illustrations have been done by the children of Mornington Island State School using wax crayons and food dye wash.  This makes the focal point of the pictures stand out against the background which blurs and blends as dyes do and the landscape does. Beginning with the sunrise and following through the day until the ghost crabs make patterns on the sand, the local dogs sing to the moon and the island finally sleeps, this is a celebration of life in a unique environment where the connection between the land and life is almost indivisible.  

To read the full review click here

This review was provided by Barbara Braxton. Barbara is a Teacher/Librarian. You can read more of Barbara's worke here ...

The Bottom Shelf

500 Hats 


Why books are a big deal. June 27 2014, 1 Comment

Author and illustrator Alison Lester loves that her job involves making story books not just for children but WITH them. Alison's work has resulted in some amazing artwork and publication of new books by the children themselves. Some artwork from Alison's student's is shown below.

Alison's recently discussed her work with young artists on the ABC web site ...

"I've been writing and illustrating children's books for about 35 years.
My picture books mix imaginary worlds with everyday life and encourage children to believe in themselves and celebrate the differences that make them special. I am an Australian Children's Laureate (2012-2013) and my most recent picture books include Running With the Horses, a story based on the evacuation of the world-famous Lipizzaner horses from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna during the second world war; One Small Island, about the life and times of a World Heritage Listed island; Sophie Scott Goes South about a little girl's voyage to Antarctica; and Kissed by the Moon, a lyrical lullaby for small babies celebrating a child's wonder at the natural world. I live on a farm in the Victorian countryside."

To read the entire article click here