Wednesday, May 25, 2011

STAV: Primary Science Teachers Conference.

It seemed like a good idea at the time....

Way back at the beginning of the year I had the bright idea of promoting George and Ghost to primary science teachers, so I registered as a presenter. In the middle of writing a year 10 exam, a year 11 SAC and trying to do my tax return last week, it didn't seem like such a great idea!

I've had to write my own teacher's  notes for George and Ghost, which I've posted on my website and tried to link it to both the new National Curriculum and the UK Curriulum. To me, it's a nice little way to introduce Science Inquiry and Science as Human Endeavour.

I wanted to look at picture books in particular and how they could relate to science themes. I quized my writer friends and primary school teachers and came up with their list. During my session, I asked the teachers attending to contribute further.

It was great to have a positive response to George and Ghost and I even sold a few books....and got a free umbrella for being a presenter.

Was I nervous? Pooping myself as usual. It's a whole different ball game, presenting to other teachers as opposed to teaching a class, or talking to other writers. I also spoke about recent books by other writers, including Glenda Millard's 'Isabella's Garden' and Claire Saxby's 'There Was an Old Sailor.' I was also able to point them in the direction of teacher's surprised me that some teachers weren't aware that many publisher's produce curriculum notes and ideas for their books.  I certainly didn't feel like an expert but the audience was kind and indulged me. Perhaps it was a light relief from talks on the National Curriculum and Inquiry Learning.

After attenting two sessions on those topics, my head was frazzled and again, I find it amazing that teachers manage to cope with all the information overload, curriculum changes and...still be passionate about picture books.

I'll be compiling my list over the next few weeks...either here or on my website.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

And the winners are...

Winning entries will receive free copies of Our Gags soon....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Free Copies Of 'Our Gags.'

I had planned to run this post on Friday, in conjunction with Dee White's review of 'Our Gags.' However, Blogger was down and hockey matches, basketball and other family commitments have intervened; including digging our new community garden vegetable patch!

'Our Gags,' is broadly based on our family and in particular my Mum, Rita.
It's a story of sock washing that litters the hallways, dishes that haven't been done, tired mums, new babies and toddlers that are feeling a little neglected.

Annabelle Josse's fun illustrations are a wonderfully warm accompaniment to this collection of three short stories for early readers. Our Gags is part of the Walker Stories series.

Gags is the name we call my mum, rather than Grandma, or Gran. It's one of those childhood names that stuck.

I've shared lots of stories about my mum in this book, how she was a great troll in Billy Goats Gruff, how she zoomed into the house and left it smelling of baking and cleaning...

So if you would like to win a copy of 'Our Gags,' all you need to do is share a story about your own mother, it can be funny, sad or can be about how she helped out with children, or something else. I'll ask my daughter to help me choose the best three stories...or maybe I'll ask Gags to help.

Due to the problems with Blogger last week, I'll extend the deadline till 8pm Tuesday AEST.

Hope to hear from some of you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

'Our Gags' is officially launched.

A bag at the signing...and me.
 A lovely time was had by all on Saturday, when 'Our Gags,' my Walker Story early reader was officially launched.

I can't thank Julie McInnes from Matilda's Books in Mt Waverley enough, for the effort she put into hosting the event. Matildas books is one of those lovely bookshops, independently owned, where the staff are passionate about books and are full of great advice. Julie herself is an ex-librarian and devoted to literacy and literature.

Julie arranged a great window display with a range of all my books, organised all the catering and even provided each mum with a beautiful orchid. My mum and I received a bouquet of flowers each. Mum is still raving about the sausage rolls and wants me to find out where Julie got them. Plenty of champagne and bubbles and almost a couple of tears.

A big thankyou to Walker Books, who generously contributed to the costs of hosting the event. It's been a pleasure to work with the team at Walker who are dedicated to producing quality works.

Cr. Greg Male, Julie McInnes et moi.
Another thankyou to Cr. Greg Male, the mayor of Waverley. It was nice to meet my local mayor and have a chat. Cr. Male took time out from his busy schedule to pop in, say some nice words and even cut an official ribbon to launch 'Our Gags.'

For me, personally, it was a lovely way to thank my mum, who is the 'Gags' in the story for all the things she has done to help over the years . If you want an insight into the chaos that is the Hoy'll just have to read the book. Or better still, encourage an early reader to read it.

On Friday, I'll be giving away three copies of 'Our Gags' on my blog. Make sure you pop back then!