Queensland Poetry Festival – Event for Advocating Poetry for Children

The Week of the Queensland Poetry Festival is finally here.  If you are attending the poetry for kids discussion panel  at the Brisbane Square Library do book with the library.  The panel is followed by a reading for children at 2pm and while it is free it is a good idea to book.  See you there if you make it, and don’t forget to say hello!

 

Skyping for World Literacy

Magic Fish Dreaming

Image courtesy Mel Irvine, children in Philippines Reading Magic Fish Dreaming

So excited that I will be skyped to Philippines in September, to read  poems to some of the children gathering there to celebrate World Literacy Day.

My dear friend Mel Irvine, supported the kickstarter creation of the book and purchased it to share with Philippine’s children has recently extended this invitation to me. I thank her very much for the opportunity to share poetry and my story live to an overseas audience.

I applaud all her wonderful efforts working to empower the children and young people through the arts and education and feel both blessed and privileged to know her.

Will let you know how it goes!

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Meeting the Sandcliffe Writers Festival Presenters – Schools: Gregg Dreise

 

Gregg Dreise is a gifted storyteller and musician, and he features the didgeridoo and guitar in his performances at schools and festivals. He is a descendant of the Kamilaroi and Yuwalayaay people of south-west Queensland and north-west New South Wales.

He is the award-winning author and illustrator of Silly Birds (winning awards and being showcased in Australia, Italy, U.K. and the U.S.A.); Kookoo Kookaburra (winning awards and being showcased in Australia and Germany); Mad Magpie (Longlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards 2017); and the soon to be released Why are you Smiling. All of these stories are about teaching morals. They address friendship, kindness, tempers and bullying.

Gregg is also the illustrator of Di Irving’s retelling of the classic story Tiddalik the Frog, and Elaine Ousten’s second megafauna picture book.

 

1. Have you been to the Sandcliffe Festival Before?

I have performed at schools and libraries in the area, however these are my first performances at Sandcliffe.

 

2. What are you looking forward to and how did you become involved in it this year?

I am looking forward to making some students giggle and some teachers learn some new things (maybe a giggle out of them too). I was approached through Speakers Ink.

 

3. What will you be doing for the festival ?

I perform story telling with the use of art, a guitar, didgeridoos, and really daggy dad jokes – sorry, but they are daggy 😛

 

4. If you could choose to be a favourite literary character, who would you be and why?

I would be Tintin. When I was in primary school, I enjoyed the adventures of a young brave guy.

 

You can find more information about Gregg on his website

www.greggdreise.com

 Lucas ProudFoot is  also visiting schools for the Sandcliffe Festival http://www.circularrhythm.com/

I wish Lucas and Gregg all the best for their wonderful work and in their visits to schools!

Ten Things About Poetry and Me: J.R.Poulter/J.R.McRae

Another in the series Ten Things About Poetry and Me.
Enjoy!

Ripple Poetry

1.What is  your earliest memory of poetry?

I’m told, I knew all my nursery rhymes by heart before I went to Kindergarten. So someone, possibly my mother or maternal grandmother, taught me. My love of verse came from listening, firstly, to my father recite comic verses by Lewis Carroll and melodramatic poetry by Mrs Felicia Hemans [Casablanca, in particular, which he recited with flair] and, secondly, to my maternal grandfather recite The Man from Snowy River, and reading The Hunting of the Snark, by Lewis Carroll.

2.When and why did you begin to write poetry for children?

I started writing poetry and illustrating my verse whilst in primary. Many of the poems were either narrative or humorous or both, which I read or wrote to my maternal grandmother, who is responsible for having encouraged this behaviour in her granddaughter..

3.Do you think writing for children is the…

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The Fix- it-Man

ISBN  9781925335347   Hardcover Picture Book   EK Books Endorsed by Paradise Kids

It is a challenge to cover the deeper topics in life for young children in a way that is relatable, honest and caring, but Dimity Powell’s The Fix -it-Man sets out to do just that.   Nicky Johnston’s gentle, joyful and equally caring illustrations take the reader through the happy, although sometimes challenging times, in a family that is about to be broken by something that just can’t be fixed.  A double centre spread of predominantly subdued grey father and daughter nestled in a bean bag, is particularly moving, and marks a shift in the narrative from the fix-it- man to a fix- it- girl.  Another especially powerful metaphor for grief in the story is the broken teddy bear, ‘Tiger’ who needs mending.  Our young narrator says, ‘Pieces spill out from Tiger’s heart, as Dad takes him from my hand. ‘I can’t fix him Dad.’ The idea that in the healing process at different times all family members can play a role, and need to care for those still living, is especially powerful.

I can see the book often being used by early childhood educators, psychologists and hospitals as a tool to trigger discussion of how children and parents can find ways to recover from loss, especially how father and daughters can assist each other. But at the same time children will enjoy the journey of a courageous and vivacious little girl who sometimes breaks things precisely because she is so vibrant, and who is lucky to have a kind- hearted Dad who is her hero.  Well done Nicky and Dimity for a simply beautiful contribution to children’s picture books and EK publishing for publishing it.

Book available from all good bookstores.

Dimity will be signing books

Berkelouw Books on the Sunshine Coast, April 22nd, 2017