What a festive month February is! So much happening on the 14th February! How did you celebrate Valentine's Day, Library Lover's Day and Book Giving Day?
I love giving bouquets of kids books on Book Giving Day. I wrote a post about how I celebrate for the Wombat Books blog, here.
For Library Lover's Day, I discovered the joys of a Little Free Library in our local area, and of course, I was compelled to read a book!
And this little beauty arrived just in time for Valentine's Day - isn't she a sweety? She's one of Tania McCartney's 'Bear a Day' that I won in an auction on Instagram. She's auctioning 90 bears over 90 days! Do follow her on instagram here.
Also this month, I've been excited to see The Scared Book out and about not only in shops but also in blogs. Reading Time online, which is put together by the CBCA, published an article of mine about what I've discovered about the magic potential of monsters to unleash children's creativity. Read the article here.
In a few random minutes that I had this month, I found myself googling The Scared Book (as you do) and I discovered a fabulous blog from a speech pathologist in WA who analyses the book from a Speechy's perspective. How cool is that? You can read the blog here. And I'm sure if you follow Cecile on social media, you'll discover some other great books to use for speech and language development.
This month I have been listening a brand new podcast about kids books, called One More Page Podcast. It has something for all lovers of kids books - adults and kids alike. Do subscribe and listen in - it's a bit of a hoot. Just as a sample of their offbeat style, check out the video they made (below) for Halloween featuring the one and only, The Scared Book!
I've also been blogging over at the Just Write For Kids Blog, so check out part one of my interview with the amazing author and illustrator, Aura Parker here.
Some friends of mine had book launches this month which I was sad I couldn't get to - both mid-grade novels - it must be Mid Grade Month!
First is Tim Harris who launched the next book in his remarkable series Mr Bambuckle's Remarkables Fight Back. I interviewed Tim on the Just Write For Kids Blog last year - you can find the interview (in two parts) here.
Second is Catherine Pelosi launched her first book Quark's Academy. I'm so excited to learn that Catherine has two other books to be published this year and next, and I hope to interview her for the Just Write For Kids Blog in the near future! For now, you can listen to an interview with her by the One More Page Podcast crew, on their second episode.
A few other books that have caught my attention this month and I recommend looking out for are:
1. Macca the Alpaca by Matt Cosgrove. I've not met Matt, but we have been conversing over the twittersphere, and his new book is fun and the artwork is divine - vibrant colour, amazing texture and so rich in humour. Here's a collage I put together using a photo of one of my alpacas (I owned two many years ago) and Matt's Macca. Could be twins!!
2. Room on Our Rock written by Kate and Jol Temple and illustrated by Terri Rose Baynton. This is an incredible book that reads one thing one way, and the opposite thing backwards. Trying to workout how they wrote this is mind boggling - like back-masking a record (does that date me??). This is guaranteed to have kids reading it forward and backwards over and over and considering the different responses to those in need.
3. Begin End Begin a #LoveOzYA Anthology has the best YA short story I've read since... whenever! I thought Jaclyn Moriarty's story 'Competition Entry #349' was hilariously brilliant! Such wit, wisdom and insight, and an incredible object lesson on character's voice - superb! This anthology has been widely esteemed and most recently, in the raft of nominations for the Aurealis Awards shortlist.
And so what marvellous things am I looking forward to in March?
1. The Children's Book Council announces the Book of the Year long-list on Tuesday (I know it's technically still February but I needed to wrap this February post up before March otherwise it'd be weird) and the shortlist is announced on the 27th March (Yep, it will fit nicely within the scope of my March update!) So I'm sure I'll have lots of friends on the lists to celebrate with!
2. My CBCA sub-branch has another of their wonderful meetings for anyone interested in connecting kids with books. This one is at The Children's Bookshop, Beecroft on the first day of March - find out about it on the website here. And just prior, is the launch of A Boat of Stars poetry anthology that will see a galaxy of Australian Kid's Lit stars descend on the bookshop - should be an amazing launch!
3. International Read to Me Day on March 19 - who will you read to? The official website has a GREAT booklist if you need inspiration for what to read (wink, wink)! Find it here. And don't forget to post photos of you reading to a child on their social media pages.
Stay tuned for more adventures in Marvellous March! Until then, here's a pic of my little donkey, Telly, with his fancy new fly veil - because the world needs more photos of donkeys :)