Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Literary Award winners Announced 2012

 Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards 2012

The Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards were established in 2003. The awards are presented annually for excellence in the development of children’s speech, language and literacy skills.
I must say how very honoured I have felt with my latest picture book  Nancy Bentley, The First Australian female Sailor  being shortlisted in the Lower primary category of these awards.  Thank you Speech Pathology Australia :)
It has been a long wait for the announcement but finally,last night at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, the wining authors and books were announced.
Congratulations to the winners!!
The winning titles in each of the categories are:

Young Children
  • Come Down, Cat! (Sonya Hartnett, Viking)
 Lower Primary
  • The Little Refugee (Anh & Suzanne Do, illus by Bruce Whatley, A&U)
 Upper Primary
  • The Invisible Hero (Elizabeth Fensham, UQP)
 Indigenous Children
  • The Snake and the Boy (Azmen Sebastian, Magabala).

 A Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to author and illustrator Graeme Base. Base won the Lower Primary category in the Speech Pathology Awards in 2005 for Jungle Drums (Puffin) and in 2007 for Uno’s Garden (Viking). His most recent book, Little Elephants, was published by Viking this month.

While the Speech Pathology awards were underway in Melbourne, I was in a book store in
Canberra attending a literary event. Children's Author Tania McCartney interviewed award winning Children's Author- Graeme Base. While Tania managed to get Graeme to open up about the ideas and stimulation behind many of his books, there was not the slightest hint from Graeme or his Publishing House team that he was being bestowed with the prestigious Lifetime award in Melbourne at the same time!

However, it was lovely to hear Graeme talk about his journey to becoming an author and the mysterious moments of fate that sent him on the road to success. As an author it is always fascinating to hear other authors speak about their books, their ideas and why they wrote the book they did.

Tania McCartney is a wonderful, vivacious local Canberra author. Want to know more...  just go visit Tania's website.


While net surfing do pop in and visit the Kids Book Reviews site and read a recent review of my picture book  Max Meets a Monster.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Exploring Canberra

Over the past week I have been out and about enjoying the Capital.  On Tuesday, I had a wonderful afternoon at Floriade. 

Waiting for a day without wild wind and heavy rain seemed almost impossible, so braving the chilly overcast day and armed with an umbrella, I headed off to smell the roses... actually they were poppies.

The gardens were spectacular with thousands and thousands of poppies in the most beautiful displays.

Views of the garden from Poppy level

I loved this pansy. The perfect butterfly design caught my eye.

There was something for everyone. Cafes, restaurants, kids zones and stalls. The Gnome display was fun to visit. The garden Gnomes were all hand painted by local school children.

The Reptile Zone wasn't my favourite area.
It was far too scary with the staff standing
 in a small tent holding giant boa constrictors!
I prefer the animals to be in glass enclosures- so much safer to look at them.
I particularly loved the pancake stack of Monitor Lizards. What a bonding bunch. 

On Thursday, my adventures continued as I set off to explore the Museum of Democracy at Old Parliament House. What a fabulous and fascinating place it is. It houses a wealth of old pictures and information on Canberra and the history of Australian democracy.
 If you decide to visit allow a few hours to wander, read all the information, play with the interactive screens and spend some time just sitting to absorb the historic building.

The Duke and Duchess of York opened Old Parliament House on 9th May 1927

The crowds outside Old Parliament House on the day it opened.

The Senate

The House of Representatives

View from the Media gallery

An unusual displays of old typewriters used by the media to report on events during sittings.

Old and very tiny press room.

A replica of the Speakers Chair for people to sit in. Yes I did!
 It was surprisingly large and I felt a little like Alice in Wonderland when I climbed up.

I have to say it was fun sitting on the couch inside the Prime Minister's Office and having the whole place to myself. Oh the power...

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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Carpet Court Storybook Challenge- Young NSW

 Below is an excerpt from  the Young Witness newspaper Sept 14, 2012

 A class from Bribbaree Public School is now the proud owner of $1000 worth of new books and a colourful reading mat thanks to one of their fellow students.
Grade 3 student, Alex Newell, won the inaugural Terry Bros Carpet Court Storybook Challenge. 
Alex submitted a story about what he loves the most in his community, winning the prize for his classroom, as well as a book package worth $250 for himself. Alex’s story talked about his quiet and friendly neighbourhood. 
There was an overwhelming response from the Young community to the competition with wonderfully creative stories and pictures submitted from primary schools in the local area. 
The entries were voted for by the community to establish five finalists, which were then judged by Peter Terry of Terry Bros Carpet Court along with author Tracey Hawkins. 
Mr Terry said Alex should feel very proud of his creative efforts and it was great to see his take on our community. 
“Congratulations to all the students that entered the Storybook Challenge, there were so many great drawings it was hard to pick just one winner!” he said.
Tracey Hawkins, author of Max Meets a Monster said, it was a pleasure to judge the finalist entries in the competition.
“I was delighted to discover common valued themes within the entries,” she said.
“Many of the children wrote of the fabulous community sporting facilities provided, the green space and parklands available for play, and how friendly people were in their community. Congratulations to all who entered,” Ms Hawkins said.

More than 1700 NSW children entered the Storybook Challenge, describing what they love about their community. 
The program, which is being run in conjunction with the National Year of Reading, aims to encourage more shared reading and creative writing in classrooms across Australia. 

                                                              This is Alex's winning entry

To view all entries received, visit www.facebook.com/CarpetCourt