Saturday, 28 November 2015

Christmas at Grandma's Beach House AND Christmas at Grandad's Farm

This is the wonderful Red Door Books in Lancefield where I shared both my Christmas books this morning.

We sang and read, then read and sang again. A fine activity for a sunny Saturday morning. 

On the way home we took the short cut. Except for the bit where the bitumen ran out. That bit wasn't the short cut. But we did see parts of outer outer Melbourne that we've never seen before ...

Monday, 23 November 2015

My Name is Lizzie Flynn builds a new quilt

Today I was in a wonderful primary school in the west of Melbourne, visiting Yr 2 and Yr 3 children.
As well as talking about the writing of the book, a student dressed in apron and bonnet and we talked about the things that were different in 1841.

And then they made their own 'patches' for a classroom quilt. It was fabulous to see the creativity and the different patterns they developed. The second group had less time (because we - okay I - lost track of time) but they were well on the way to creating their own images.

It was a lovely, very new school (only six years old) but was filled with enthusiastic students and wonderful teachers.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Sunshine-y day

First stop, Dymocks where I read books to a small but enthusiastic group of children, happy to sing along with me (and not comment on whether or not I was in tune!)

Then I ran into my parents who didn't know I was going to be in the area. Mum told me that both Christmas books were in the Big W catalogue so we wandered in to see them. As I was straightening the piles (of course), two women looked at me curiously and I confessed I'd written them. Lovely ladies, they were excited to meet an author and each bought a book for grandchildren. While they were chatting, another lady overheard our conversation and bought two, then another man - 'new to Australia' he told me - bought one of each!

Then Mum and Dad bought me lunch. Some days are just sunshine. 

Friday, 13 November 2015

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

I've been launching 'Christmas at Grandma's Beach House', firstly at Wedderburn College, with Yr 2 and their wonderful teacher, Mrs Mac
, who prepared the setting for the launch. She also prepared her students for the first student-sung rendition of 'Christmas at Grandma's Beach House', complete with actions. Stay tuned for the Youtube link!

And they wrote me letters, asking questions and telling me about themselves 

Then it was time for the Melbourne launch at Tucker Rd PS, and their wonderful librarian Robin.

In between, there was another little launch, attended by half of Melbourne! This 'little' launch was for the Myer Christmas Windows. This year, the window display was based on 'Little Dog and the Christmas Wish', written by Corinne Fenton, illustrated by Robin Cowcher and published by Black Dog Books.

It was fabulous to be in the crowd to celebrate the big reveal. Congratulations to Corinne, Robin, Maryann, John and all the Stage One crew. And if you look closely, you'll find Corinne is represented in the Block Arcade window. Who else can you find?

If you were feeling a bit like making some Christmas noise, head on down to NGV foyer where music is just waiting to be made.

I planned to get to the Hermitage exhibition much earlier in the season, but only just made it. The advantage was there was no queue to get in. Next time I'm invited to tea, I'd like to see this tea service in use. What are my chances?

This display of rings, brooches and hat pins was so beautiful. Delicate and gorgeous.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Yesterday was the thirtieth YABBA Awards ceremony, this year held at Sacre Coeur in Glen Iris. (follow the link for the winners). These children's choice awards are always fun. Students are bussed in from schools all around the place and authors and illustrators (whether or not their books are in consideration) are feted. After the awards, there's morning tea, then a chance for students to gather signatures and talk to authors and illustrators, before lunch. We were escorted by Sacre Coeur students to and from the hall and there was plenty of time to chat with them and other students in between signings.

This year's event was particularly glitzy as you can see. Brought out the Hollywood in me. Lucky we had to leave the hall for lunch. Otherwise, I may have had to sing.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Keilor Downs Kinder and 'Carrum Sailing Club'

My daugher-in-law is currently doing a placement at Keilor Downs kinder. She has based one of her projects around 'Carrum Sailing Club' and asked me to come and read the book. She'd prepared 'stations' outside based on each opening (eg scrunching on sand, hiding behind bathing boxes)


At each 'station', I'd read a page and the children would act it out (eg tiptoe, tiptoe BOO! at the bathing boxes)

 At the end of the story, we 'fly away home'. 

Rach had made 'seagulls and hung them from a tree (flap, flap, twirl). You can see one in the top right of this pic. The children had been fascinated by their construction but they found them a little complicated to make themselves, so I offered to show them how to make two simpler types of boats.

This girl sat by me and followed my movements as I made a boat. When we were done, she wanted to make another one so she followed me again. Then she made a third. Then, she instructed another girl in making her own! Amazing.


We made many boats, in many colours and two different styles. Some worked best sitting on the table.

 Others needed to be sailed.

Two wonderful mornings with inspiring and aspiring teachers, engaged and enthusiastic children in an environment rich in stimulus and opportunity for child-led learning. Thanks to Rach and Louise for letting me be part of it.