Archive for the ‘Dimity Powell’ Category

That’s the Spirit – Aussie books that inform and thrill

Monday, January 16th, 2017

With only a week to go before you sling a few more lamb chops onto the barbie, here is swag of ‘must read’ Aussie kids’ titles to put on your reading list, (not the barbie). There’s a Magpie in my Soup Sean Farrar & Pat Kan It’s that time of year when raucous baby magpies […]

There’s no place like home – Aussie flavoured picture books

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

During my short sabbatical from all things digital over the festive season, I visited some exotic, mesmerising places, supped on mouth-watering local fare, and immersed myself in numerous colourful cultural experiences. It was invigorating and fun but like always after a hard stint abroad, it is great to be home, because for me, there is […]

Under the Christmas Tree Part 6 – Tis better to give than receive

Monday, December 19th, 2016

It’s almost time to step away from the desk and wrap up the year. What a year it’s been, brimful of incredible stories and pictures, all of which have been a delight to share with you. It is, as they say; better to give than receive, so here are some final last minute helpful hints […]

Under the Christmas Tree Part 5 – Festive boredom busters

Monday, December 12th, 2016

For most of us, it is now officially school holiday time, the season of fraught mothers, constant interruptions, drained purses, and frazzled tempers. Or, if you’re clever, blissful moments spent with your darlings in between extended periods of boredom busting activity. Festive harmony is easy to achieve, you just need the right materials.  Here are […]

Under the Christmas Tree Part 4

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

It’s time for some fun fiction for kids. This little cluster of Christmas inspired picture books is sure to generate a smile or two and plenty of sage head nodding, perfect for slipping under the Christmas tree. Christmas at Home by Claire Saxby and Janine Dawson I adore the homegrown simplicity juxtaposed with the bustling […]

Under the Christmas Tree Part 3 – Self-help for kids

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Self-help titles are normally in high demand following the glut of Christmas overindulgence we adults tend to experience at this time of year. Children, thankfully do not time their greed or any other dilemmas for that matter so predictably. Therefore, it’s comforting to know there is an ever-available selection of fantastic kids’ books allowing little […]

Doodles and Drafts – All of Us Together with Bill Condon

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

 Bill Condon is a man of modest expectations that do not match his considerable abilities. He writes with charm, wit, sincerity and affection. His novels for young people, of which there are many resonate a genuineness that fascinates newcomers and for many older readers, transports them back to the idle days of their childhood, warts […]

Under the Christmas Tree – Part 2

Monday, November 21st, 2016

It’s important to keep the little ones pleased and preoccupied at Christmas time. Getting this mix right, ultimately frees up more ‘adult time’. In keeping with our non-fiction gift ideas theme, here are a few more picture books to soothe those savage beasts…ironically, all about savage beasts! Gigantosaurus by Jonny Duddle Gigantosaurus is more of […]

Under the Christmas Tree – Part 1

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Okay, with just over a month and a half to go, it’s time to get serious about Christmas. For the next 42 days or so,  I’ll attempt to fill your Christmas lists with some nifty literary ideas for kids to go under the Christmas tree this year. Today we look at some terrific non-fiction titles […]

Guest Post with Robert Vescio – Connecting Friends Oceans Apart

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Today, dedicated writer for children and father himself, Robert Vescio uncovers the story behind his latest picture book, Jack and Mia. In this special guest post, he reveals how his own family background influenced this story. But first a little bit about Jack and Mia. I have to say I love the look and feel […]

Doodles and Drafts – Halloween guest post by Karen Foxlee

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Halloween is a time of frights and treats, tricks and magic, guises and remembrance – All Saints’ Day Eve. A fitting time to indulge in a little fantasy and fun. Karen Foxlee’s latest mid grade novel, A Most Magical Girl combines all of these things and will have primary aged readers biting their nails in […]

Doodles and Drafts – In conversation with Tania McCartney over tea!

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Tania McCartney is no stranger to the world of Kids’ Literature. Her knowledge and ability to produce entertaining, endearing and enduring picture books is nothing short of remarkable and now sitting comfortably in her enviable arsenal of accreditations, is a re-discovered gift – illustration. Sumptuously rich in detail and stuffed with enough iconic charm to […]

Double Dipping – Friendships lost – picture book reviews

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Recently, the world lost one of the Children’s Literary Industry’s most recognised and iconic author illustrators, Narelle Oliver. Among many of the literary legacies she left us (you can read about her marvellous achievements and books in Joy Lawn’s post, here), she was a woman who encouraged and maintained sincere relationships with everyone she met, […]

Doodles and Drafts – Mark Carthew

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Quiet achievers are those I admire most. Mark Carthew is one of those quiet achievers, except when he’s strumming out a tune on his guitar and reading one of his crazy verse orientated picture books aloud. With more projects on the draft table than you can wobble a pencil at, I thought it was high […]

Review – Sugar and Spice Collection

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Fairies and ponies, ballerinas and bows; all things nice, may not be what all little girls are made of but this omnibus picture book collection, Sugar and Spice, fresh out of the uber productive creative forge  of EK Books is sure to delight even the fussiest of feminie tastes. Designed with little girls in mind, […]

Unforgettable YA tales that stick

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Live throws up some questionable situations at times, which, for young people especially can result in unforgettable experiences. I love young adult novels that encapsulate such experiences in stories with unreserved candour and humour. Here are some unforgettable examples. Forgetting Foster by Dianne Touchell Touchell’s ability to reach deep into the grey sticky bits of […]

Where do I belong? – Picture books & Place

Monday, September 19th, 2016

When penning a narrative or even recording ones past, authors must be aware of a number of aspects that shape a reader’s impression of the story. A sense of place is one such nuance that forms specific reactions and can colour a reader’s entire experience. When fashioned convincingly enough, a sense of place depicts not […]

Doodles and Drafts – Guest post by Wai Chim – Author of Freedom Swimmer

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Today we welcome author, Wai Chim to the draft table. Her motivation to write Freedom Swimmer, stems from the little known history of her father and the need to understand more about the horrific events that took place during the period of China’s Cultural Revolution. Here is her story about his story. Writing my father’s […]

Review – Freedom Swimmer

Monday, September 12th, 2016

I often have great difficulty reviewing a book I feel a profound affection for. Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim may be one of those books. There is an aura of Amy Tan about Chim’s depiction set in Communist China of two boys and their astounding quest to find a better life. If you think this […]

Striking Out – Picture books that challenge

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

There are times in every small person’s life, when they are faced with taking the plunge, striding into the unknown, and just striking out into that adventure called life. It’s not always easy, sometimes it’s downright wrenching, but who says it can’t be fun. Here are a cluster of recently released picture books that will […]

Marvellous midgrade reads – Reviewing Aussie Talent

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Midgrade readers have to fulfil a variety of whims. They should appeal to the increasingly insatiable literary appetites of confident mid-primary aged readers. They must soar with excitement and be able to crack readers up at the mere mention of impending doom for any adults foolhardy enough to wander through the storyline. And they should […]

Fun for Fathers – Picture books to share with Dad

Monday, August 15th, 2016

One of the most joyful pleasures a child can enjoy is Daddy-time. There can never be too much of it. Here’s a new selection of picture books you can share with your special little someones on Father’s Day or indeed, at any time at all. The Ballad of Henry Hoplingsea by Julia Hubery Illustrated by […]

Review – Little Wing

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Author illustrator, Katherine Battersby has flown many miles in recent times, a bit like her latest picture book character, Little Wing. Little Wing catapults the connotation of taking a leap of faith into glowing picture book form that is a pure delight to read. Little Wing is the smartest animal in the world. He owes […]

Review – Noisy Nights – on tour with Fleur McDonald

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

If you like novels of the rolling outback variety with plenty of page-turning drama, a sprinkle of bucolic romance and a good dose of dust and hardship, then you are likely familiar with one of Australia’s leading rural writers, Fleur McDonald. Her litany of outback, female orientated sagas constitute engrossing adult reads. However, not content […]

Double Dipping – Save our Trees!

Monday, July 25th, 2016

With National Tree Day just around the corner (28th to 31st July) what better way to celebrate the importance of sustaining and enriching our environment than by honouring earth’s life source, the tree. Here are two picture books that appeal to the younger end of the market. There are many more, that showcase the magnificence […]

Feeling Good and Fitting In – Inspiring Picture Books

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Self-assuredness, making wise life choices, strong self-esteem, and a kind heart – all positive attributes we wish for our offspring but not always easy to foster. The beautiful subtly of picture books can help reinforce and encourage these traits in children. Here are some inspiring examples. Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry Illustrated by Tom […]

Double Dipping – Terrific reads for Tweens & Teens

Monday, July 4th, 2016

As children shrug off their tween years and enter the tribulation-ridden terrain of teenage hood, the art of telling stories for them becomes more exact and tenuous. Tales still need to entertain yet they must also strike such firm and resounding accord with their intended audience that for readers to abandon them would be like […]

Review – Dragonfly Song

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Wendy Orr’s latest novel has the sweeping majesty of an epic novel and the thrill of a mid-grade fantasy that will win leagues of young new fans. Powerful, eloquent and moving, Dragonfly Song is a story you will never want to leave. At first glance, Dragonfly Song is not for the faint hearted, weighing in […]

DOODLES AND DRAFTS with Wendy Orr on the inspiration behind Dragonfly Song

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Hang onto to your bronze daggers as you are in for ‘a riveting, mythic Bronze Age adventure’ –  we have the remarkable Wendy Orr at the draft table today, escorting us on her Blog Tour for her stunning new novel, Dragonfly Song. And like all terrific stories, there is usually an even more fascinating story […]

Being You is Best – Picture book reviews about Self

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

It is sheer coincidence that the following picture books lie on my desk at a time when the tenets of tolerance, acceptance and being yourself are being so brutally questioned again, (when are they not). However, it is heartening to know that equally powerful positive messages are available and as accessible as picking up one […]

Review – One Would Think the Deep

Monday, June 13th, 2016

If you thought Claire Zorn’s first two YA novels, The Sky So Heavy and The Protected, were brilliant, you’re going to need double tinted Ray Burns for her latest masterpiece, One Would Think the Deep. Zorn manages to mould rough edged, grit-encrusted reality into exquisite accomplished prose with the mere flick of her fingers. One […]

Curious Concepts – Concept picture book reviews

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Concept picture books play a huge part in shaping a young person’s perceptions. They are capable of unlocking an inquisitiveness that hopefully sticks around for life and are crucial for developing critical thinking, reasoning, and logic. However, important educational concepts need not be strictly didactic and dull as these entertaining picture books clearly display. Garden […]

Spinning Tales – Cricket inspired Young Fiction

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

I realise it’s brass-monkey weather already and for many a young sportsperson, rugby jerseys are in preference to baggy greens. However, the warming image of red leather cracking against willow against a burnished summer sky is one I am in dire need of right now. Therefore, here are a few of some recent favourite cricket […]

Australian Story – Stories with a love of Country

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Wednesday the 25th May marks the 16th National Simultaneous Storytime event. Aimed at promoting the value of reading and enjoying stories inspired and produced by Australians this campaign sits neatly alongside the 2016 CBCA Book Week Theme – Australia! Story Country. Story telling expeditiously fosters an appreciation and understanding of our unique Australian humour, environment, […]

Packing it on – Dog titles with a Difference

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

I can’t help it, but my shelves seemed littered (pardon the pun) with delightful doggie-inspired titles lately. Just what makes animal tales, namely those featuring cute and courageous canines so attractive for young readers? Is it that dogs and cats are real, free of pretension and judgement and brimming with pure joie de vivre? Is […]

Review – The Pause

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

This book is remarkable. John Larkin cleaves a mighty wedge into our suspension of belief with the consummate precision and delicacy of a brain surgeon. The Pause doesn’t just tell the story of emotionally damaged Declan O’Malley poised to leap in front of a train and end it all; it entertains the reader in a […]

Mums are Super! – Small reads, big on Heart

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Mums come in all shapes and sizes and deserve adulations, which match their boundless love, tireless efforts, and quiet achievements. To fit them all into one day – Mother’s Day – is a mission impossible so shower your mother with gratitude (and great reads) year round! Or, if you are like me and prefer to […]

Marching Forward – Remembering Bravery Reviews

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Remembering, honouring, commiserating, – learning. When recently reading ANZAC titles to my maturing primary schooler, she asked, ‘Are there still wars, going on?’ I had to reply that yes, sadly there were. However, by sharing the past and gradually exposing children to the realities of it, hopefully they become better equipped to care enough to […]

Getting Serious about Series # 4 – Ripper Reads for Girls

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

I don’t usually like to categorise reads into which gender they might appeal to better. I believe every child is individual and will find a story to fit their unique reading tastes no matter how pink the cover or how boyish the hero. To say that boys should be directed to sports orientated titles and […]

Powerfully Poignant – Historical MG reviews

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Being part of the human species is not always a club I’m proud to belong to. We can be pretty awful to each other sometimes even though most of us, most of the time err on the side of kindness. History allows us to mark the good times and the kind people. More frequently however, […]