PICTURE BOOK FEST DAY 2 – MEET TRUDIE TREWIN

Trudie Trewin is the author of I Lost My Kisses and Wibbly Wobbly Street.

  • She grew up on a farm in South Australia, but says,
  • my outdoor play time was hampered by a condition which left me unable to cope with cold weather – known as ‘Acute Sookie-la-la syndrome’. But don’t worry – having that syndrome had two great outcomes on my life. Number 1… spending half of Autumn and Spring, and the entire Winter inside meant I developed a love of reading. And number 2… it meant I eventually moved to beautiful warm Far North Queensland, where I still live with my husband, three sons and a wardrobe full of shorts and singlets!

Trudie’s acclaimed picture book, I Lost My Kisses is about an adorable cow called Matilda Rose who is worried she has lost her kisses

Matilda Rose loved to kiss. She kissed hello. She kissed goodbye. She kissed good morning and she kissed good night. But one day something went terribly, horribly wrong.

Matilda’s poppa is coming for a visit and the first thing he always wants is a big kiss from Matilda – but she has lot her kisses! Matilda’s mother says they’ll be there when she needs them, but Matilda is not so sure. She sets out to find them, the only trouble is… what do kisses look like?

Nick Bland’s soft illustrations complement the gentle text and it’s no wonder I Lost My Kisses won the 2008 National parenting Publication Award.

So, how did Trudie become an author?

When I left work to have our third son, making it 3 under 3 ½, I joked that I might write a book in my newfound spare time. I actually meant adult fiction, but a workmate assumed I meant children’s books. It planted a seed in my mind, so I enrolled in a course in children’s writing, fell in love with it, and voilà, as they say.

Yeah, embrace your peculiarities. Life’s pretty straight without a wibble or two!

Trudie Trewin’s latest picture book Wibbly Wobbly Street is about the only street in Squareton that’s not straight and smooth and wide. Its non-conformity, and the peculiarities of its residents lead Mayor Angle and his fellow councilors to take some radical action to try and bring it into line with the rest of Squareton.

It’s another book full of quirky gentle humour and a strong theme that it’s okay to be different.

On Friday we’re featuring Catriona Hoy, author of Daddies, Mummies Are Amazing and My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day

PICTURE BOOK FEST DAY 1- THERE WAS A TALENTED AUTHOR

This week we’re having a picture book fest at Kids’ Book Capers – we’re taking time to celebrate some great Australian picturebBooks and their creators.

Unfortunately, in a single week we can only cover a small selection of wonderful Australian picture books, but we’ll be delving into the minds, the lives and the inspirations of three popular picture book authors.

Melbourne’s, Claire Saxby is the author of four picture books but she hasn’t always been a writer. After leaving school, Claire became a podiatrist, but she soon realised that all she wanted to do was write. Claire says,

One of the things I liked most about podiatry was the stories people shared.

Today, Claire is talking to us about her latest picture book, There Was an Old Sailor, a seafaring version of the rhyme, ‘There Was an Old Lady who swallowed a fly”. The Old Sailor eats some seriously unpalatable seafood, but the nonsensical text and Cassandra Allen’s wonderful illustrations are bound to get young readers giggling.

Claire was inspired to write There Was an Old Sailor by  a storyteller friend  who bemoaned the lack of ocean-based cumulative stories and said someone should write one. So Claire thought she’d have a go!

There Was an Old Sailor was published this year, but Claire has been performing it in schools and libraries for  a long time. She says,

Kids like There Was an Old Sailor because it’s absurd! They enjoy the rhythm and repetition and generally are joining in the refrains by about half way through the book.

Cassandra Allen’s illustrations paint the Old Sailor with wonderful laughing eyes, a ‘robust’ frame and Popeye forearms. He’s substantial but never frightening. There’s nothing to dislike about him really, although perhaps he’s a tad greedy.

It’s no wonder that There Was an Old Sailor is proving to be very popular. The language and absurdity give it child appeal, it’s easy and fun for parents to read and it provides opportunities for teachers to talk about the ocean, food chains, fantastic fiction and more.

Claire says she really enjoyed thinking of crazy things for the Old Sailor to do.

The hardest thing was getting the rhyme and rhythm right, so that it could be read for the first time with ease. It took time and redraft after redraft to get it right.

I asked Claire if she had any consistent themes/symbols/locations in her writing.

I hadn’t been conscious of it, but ocean or water feature strongly in many of my stories. Actually in my non fiction too. I grew up by the sea and holidayed by the sea. Many of my stories are in or around water. Themes? I don’t consciously write to a theme. Sometimes I’ll identify the theme and strengthen the story around it, but that comes in the redrafting, not in the original drafts.

Claire has had more than 30 books published and There Was an Old Sailor is her fourth picture book. Her other picture books are Ebi’s Boat, Sheep, Goat and the Creaking Gate and A Nest For Kora.

Teacher’s notes can be found for There Was an Old Sailor on Walker Books Australia website http://www.walkerbooks.com.au/statics/dyn/1266193594964/There-Was-An-Old-Sailor-Classroom-Ideas.pdf

On Wednesday, we’re talking to Queensland author, Trudie Trewin, author of I’ve Lost My Kisses and Wibbly Wobbly Street.

FRIDAY BOOK FEATURE – STREETS AND DUCKS

Welcome to our first Friday Book Feature. So many fantastic books! Unfortunately, too many to feature here, but these are my picks for this week.

WIBBLY WOBBLY STREET

Written by Trudie Trewin & illustrated by Cheryl Orisini

I live on a rough winding road that goes for more than 10 kilometres and is peppered with bark, lizards and the occasional hopping kangaroo. So I was totally intrigued with the concept of Trudie Trewin‘s new picture book Wibbly Wobbly Street, and the idea that a road could be straightened or ‘made perfect’.

Beautifully illustrated by Cheryl Orisini, Wibbly Wobbly Street tells the story of the only street in Squareton that’s not straight and smooth and wide. It’s a street that doesn’t conform. Mayor Angle and his fellow councillors take some radical action to try and bring it into line with the rest of Squareton.

Trudie Trewin says the story was inspired by a friend of hers who had trouble remembering the name of a street she was talking about.

She ended up just calling it ‘Wibbly Wobbly Street’ because of its hilly and twisty nature. It struck me as a fun name for a story, but it took me about four years, and many failed drafts, to come up with a plot to suit.

Wibbly Wobbly Street is a picture book for ages 3-6 and the ridiculousness of trying to physically straighten a street will appeal to their sense of humour.

Particularly as the street is obviously much more exciting than the rest of Squareton.

Trudie  has also used fun words, like ‘wibble-extomy’ and ‘wobble-otomy’, which add to the appeal. She says she loved being able to use wibbly wobbly language in the book. “I loved using words like rectangle-fied, wobble-otomy, wibble-ectomy, hotch-potch, askew, squiggled, joggled.”

So, what’s unique about this book?

Celebrating individuality isn’t new, but I can’t think of another book where this theme has been approached from the point of view of a stubbornly twisted street.

Wibbly Wobbly Street is published by Scholastic Australia ISBN 9781741695618

DUCK FOR A DAY

Written by Meg McKinlay and illustrated by Leila Rudge

I’ll admit to complete bias with this book by Meg McKinlay. Firstly, I love ducks and secondly, I love the concept of class pets and think they add something special to any school room.

In Duck for a Day, Mrs Melvino brings a duck, Max into the classroom and Abby desperately wants to take him home for the night.

Abby lives in a spotless house where pets are not allowed because they might make a mess. A classroom pet visit is a temporary thing and Abby manages to persuade her Mum to let her bring the duck home. But this is only the first of Abby’s hurdles.

Next she must overcome the strict demands of Mrs Melvino who won’t let Max go home to an environment that is less than ‘duck’ perfect.

Streets also play an important role in this story because when Abby finally gets to take Max home, the duck disappears and waddles up the street to the park. Duck for a Day is a beautifully illustrated book for 7-9 year olds full of gentle humour and situations that kids will relate to.

Duck For a Day is published by Walker Books Australia – ISBN 9781921529283

FRIDAY BOOK FEATURE STARTS TOMORROW!

Tomorrow, we start our FRIDAY BOOK FEATURE at Kids’ Book Capers –  and this week, it’s all about streets and ducks.

I can’t wait to talk about some new releases in the wonderful world of kids’ books.

We’re going to be blogging every Friday and greeting new arrivals to the book shelves.

Discover Trudie Trewin’s quirky new picture book Wibbly Wobbly Street which has been beautifully illustrated by Cheryl Orsini.

We’ll also be taking a waddle down the road with Duck for a Day written by Meg McKinlay with gorgeous illustrations by Leila Ridge.

Look forward to seeing you then.

Dee

FRIDAY BOOK FEATURE STARTS THIS FRIDAY WITH STREETS AND DUCKS

Since we started Kids’ Book Capers, there have been so many interesting things happening on the Kids’ book scene and so many fascinating people to chat to. So we haven’t had time to talk about all the great new releases.

That’s why Kids’ Book Capers will also be blogging on Fridays  with our new Friday Book Feature where we’ll be greeting new arrivals to the book shelves.

To kick things off this Friday we’re going to be talking about Trudie Trewin’s quirky new picture book Wibbly Wobbly Street which has been beautifully illustrated by Cheryl Orsini.

We’ll also be looking at the heartwarming, Duck for a Day written by Meg McKinlay with gorgeous illustrations by Leila Ridge.

Look forward to seeing you then.

Dee