Tag Archive | authors

Roald Dahl Day

The library celebrated Roald Dahl Day on Tuesday 18th September by inviting all of our Year 2 students to a party.

We decorated the library with a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme, complete with chocolate river, giant mushrooms and large “lollies” hanging from the ceiling. The library staff and Year 2 staff all came in costume and most of the students did too.

library-staff willy-wonka wonka-land

We started with students doing a round of themed activities. For The Enormous Crocodile we played Stuck in the Swamp on the lawn outside the library; for George’s Marvellous Medicine I did a science show where we mixed different chemicals to make things change colour and fizz; for Fantastic Mr Fox we played pin the tail on the fox and for The Twits students donned blindfolds and searched for rubber worms in our wormy “spaghetti”.

  wormy-spaghetti  marvellous-medicine

The food was provided by our Year 12 Hospitality students who did a great job creating a themed menu with lots of chocolate, James and the Giant Peach cupcakes, snozcumber sandwiches and human bean dip from The BFG and chicken nuggets from Fantastic Mr Fox among others, with plenty of fizzy lifting drink to wash it down. We sat down on the floor together and had a giant picnic.

picnic  food

Visiting Authors

As part of our Book Week celebrations we had four visiting authors across P-12. Nadia Sunde was a big hit with the students and staff alike in P-3. She is a storyteller who gave a hilarious performance involving music and drama, which was highly interactive and explored the power of the imagination.

Pat Flynn spoke to the Year 4-7 students and all of his books were borrowed immediately after his talks. Steph Bowe was our speaker for the Year 9-12 students and it was interesting for them to see someone so young who was a successful author.

Finally, Peter Carnavas conducted workshops with our Year 8 classes as part of their picture book unit in English, focusing on the way in which images can convey meaning.

Nadia Sunde  Steph BowePeter Carnavas


Kerry Argent Visits

Kerry Argent, illustrator of books such as Wombat Divine and Too Loud, Lily, visited PLC today to speak to our Prep to Year 3 students. Through showing lots of examples of her art, the students got to see how an illustrator works to transform an author’s words into a picture book. Some impressive drawings of koalas were made by following Kerry’s simple tips.

Kerry Argent 1Kerry Argent 2

Samantha Wheeler

Samantha Wheeler, author of Smooch and Rose and Spud and Charlie, visited the school today to speak to our Year 4-7 students about her work and to give some valuable tips about structuring a story. The students enjoyed her interactive presentation and had lots of questions at the end. samantha wheeler 1 samantha wheeler

Your new book, Mr Cassowary, is coming out in September. What’s it about?

Mister Cassowary is a mystery about a young boy, Flynn, who goes up to Mission Beach with his dad and discovers there’s a strange cover-up surrounding his grandfather’s death. Was it something to do with the large dinosaur-like cassowaries that live in the area?

You have a lot of animals. Have any of them made an appearance in your books?

Yes! Of course! Lizzie from Smooch and Rose was based on a dog we once owned. Mickey was my husband’s one and only horse and Spud was based on a lazy ex-racehorse I once owned.

 What does this year’s Book Week theme, Books Light up our World, mean to you?

Having travelled a lot as a child and as an adult, sometimes new cities can feel like dark and lonely places. But when you open up a book – whether to read or to write in – your world is suddenly alight. You can be whatever you want to be.

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring author/illustrator?

Write about what you love. That way, you get to be where you want to be, have what you want, be with whomever you wish – every time you enter the story.

 How might teachers use your books to teach the Australian Curriculum, particularly the sustainability cross-curriculum priority?

My books all come with great teachers’ notes (notes for Smooch and Rose and Spud and Charlie are here: Nell) but more specifically can be used to teach sustainability such as:

  • living things depend on each other and the environment to survive
  • scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions
  • science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions

Samantha has mapped Smooch and Rose against the Australian Curriculum. You can download the document here.Smooch and Rose and The Australian Curriculum

Peter Carnavas

Award-winning author and illustrator Peter Carnavas visited the school today to do workshops with our Year 8 English students, who have just started a unit on analysing and creating picture books. This is the fourth time Peter’s been to the school. He must be getting sick of us but we keep getting him back because the students and teachers find him enormously engaging and informative.

My interview with Peter is below.

Peter 1 (2) Peter 5

What would you say to schools is the benefit of getting an author or illustrator in?

It gives students and teachers the opportunity to gain an insight into the creative process of writing and illustrating a story. The visit aligns with many English concepts, including author perspective and visual literacy. Most if all, it hopefully provides inspiration for students to write and illustrate their own stories.

What does this year’s Book Week theme, “Books Light up our World”, mean to you?

Stories illuminate us in many ways. They provide new perspectives, shed light on otherwise silent issues and give voice to many different people. They also light up our world by simply making us feel more alive and more connected.

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring author/illustrator?

Tell the story you want to tell. Leave the trends and commercial ideas to others and just write the story you are passionate about. also, becoming an author/illustrator may be difficult, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible,

What was it like going to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair?

It was quite inspirational and incredibly overwhelming. The size of the fair and the number of publishers and creators made me feel very small but still rather wonderful to be a part of it.

What effect, if any, did libraries have on you as a child?

I discovered my heroes in library shelves – Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake. I still remember plucking Matilda from the shelf in primary school. I was hooked. I continue to find heroes in libraries to this day.

Voices on the Coast

Aleesah Darlison 3 Barry Jonsberg 2 Mark Wilson 2

(left to right: Aleesah Darlison, Barry Jonsberg, Mark Wilson)

It’s always lovely when students and parents take the time to tell you how much they enjoyed an activity, and this week three separate parents came to tell me how their kids raved about their experiences at Voices on the Coast Literature Festival. Thanks to TL extraordinaire, Kelly Dunham, and her team at Immanuel Lutheran College for organizing another great event. I’ve got students in senior college now who’ve been going every year since Year 5 and they look forward to it eagerly.

This year our students saw Aleesah Darlison, Oliver Phommavanh, Mark Wilson, Catherine Jinks, Barry Jonsberg (my personal favourite – hilarious!), Sean Williams, Skye Melki-Wegner, Belinda Murrell and many more. Despite the bitter wind, it was a great couple of days and really inspires those kids to read the books of the authors they’ve seen.