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Archive for June, 2011

Julia Donaldson New Children’s Laureate UK

Author of best selling children’s picture books Julia Donaldson has been appointed the new Children’s Laureate. She is taking over from illustrator Anthony Browne for a two year term. 

Some of her most well known books are; The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, The Snail and the Whale and Sharing a Shell.

She is the seventh to hold this position and previous laureate’s include; Quentin Blake, Michael Rosen and Jacqueline Wilson.

During her term she isn’t planning on sitting back and relaxing, according to the Guardian UK report she is ‘planning to have quite an active two years. I’m hoping to bring some drama and music to the job. I always act out my own stories with lots of audience participation so I’m planning to do lots more of that. I hope to encourage and inspire children to act stories out’.

Howl’s Moving Castle

By: Diana Wynne Jones

Ingary is a land where 7-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist. It is also a place where it is commonly accepted that to be born the eldest of three is quite a misfortune as you will be the biggest failure. Sophie is the eldest of three girls and while disappointed with her probable future failure she really does want what is best for her sisters. When it appears they are taken care of she resigns herself to working in the hat shop. Even while keeping to herself Sophie somehow manages to attract the attention of the Witch of the Waste, who puts a curse on her turning Sophie into an old woman. The problem with being under a curse like this is the inability to tell anyone about it.

Sophie refuses to let the Witch have the last say and sets out to get help. There is only one place she might be able to find the help she needs and that is at the darkly ominous moving castle. The castle belongs to Wizard Howl who supposedly eats the hearts of young girls. What Sophie finds there is not what she expects. Howl is quite different to what she believed he would be. There is a young apprentice, Michael and she makes a deal with a fire demon named Calcifer. There is more than one spell in desperate need of being broken, can Sophie overcome her fear of failure and help herself and those she cares most about?

Sophie is a wonderful character who is stronger than she thinks. She is in some way resigned to her lot yet determined to have that on her own terms. She adapts well to her curse, embracing the change and making the most of it, with what is a times quite a scathing wit. Jones has created a wonderfully varied and visual environment to encapsulate a story that is layered yet in no way confusing. The characters are well fleshed out, full of light a shade, something which enables them to spring off the page. The plot is full of secrets, suspicions, crossed communication and general wrong assumptions, which when woven together by such a deft hand, make a tale that is a wonderfully funny, fantasy romp.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Published: 05 March 2009

Format: Paperback 304 pages

Categories: Fantasy Humour

ISBN 13: 9780007299263

Purchase: here

Speech Pathology Australia 2011 Book of the Year Awards

Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) this week released the shortlist for its annual Book of the Year Awards.

These awards were started with the objective to promote literacy and the need for good literacy skills, and enabling speech pathologists, teachers and parents the resources to build a library that can be uses to help promote literacy and reading.

There are four categories and this years short list is :


A Giraffe in the Bath
Mem Fox & Olivia Rawson, ill. Kerry Argent – Penguin Group (Australia)

The ABC Book of Cars, Train, Boats and Planes
Helen Martin, Judith Simpson & Cheryl Orsini – Harper Collins Publishers Australia

Can We Lick the Spoon Now?
Carol Goess, ill. Tamsin Ainslie – Working Title Press

The Flying Orchestra
Clare McFadden – University of Queensland Press

I Found a Friend and My Friend Found Me
Beth Norling – Penguin Group (Australia)

It’s Bedtime, William!
Deborah Niland – Penguin Group (Australia)

JoJo Goes to Playgroup
Christine Miesen – Penguin Books (Australia)

Leo, the Littlest Seahorse
Margaret Wild, ill. Terry Denton – Penguin Group (Australia)

The Little Drummer Boy
Bruce Whatley – Random House (Australia)

Love from Grandma
Jane Tanner – Penguin Group (Australia)

One Funky Monkey
Stacey McCleary, ill. Sue Degennaro – Walker Books Australia

The Truth About Penguins
Meg McKinlay, ill. Mark Jackson – Walker Books


Boris Gets a Lizard
Andrew Joyner – Penguin Group (Australia)

The Boy and the Toy
Sonya Hartnett, ill. Lucia Masciullo – Penguin Group (Australia)

Duck for a Day
Meg McKinlay – Walker Books

Hairy Nose, Itchy Butt
Elizabeth Frankel, ill. Garry Duncan – Jane Curry Publishing

The Important Things
Peter Carnavas – New Frontier Publishing

Luke Davies, ill. Inari Kiuru – Harper Collins Publishers Australia

The Miracle of the Little Wooden Duck
Margaret Wild, ill. Dee Huxley – Working Title Press

Miracle on Separation Street
Bob Graham – Walker Books

Scaly-tailed Possum and Echidna
Cathy Goonack – Magabala Books

Shake a Leg
Boori Pryor – Allen & Unwin

The Snake and the Boy
Azmen Senastien – Magabala Books


Arnie Avery
Sue Walker – Walker Books

Battle Boy: White War
Charlie Carter – Pan MacMillan Australia

Deborah Abela – Random House Australia

Harriet Bright: The Star You Are
Claire Craig – Penguin Group (Australia)

Head Spinners
Thalia Kalkipsakis – Allen & Unwin

Mosquito Advertising: The Parfizz Pitch
Kate Hunter – Quniversity of Queensland Press

The Keepers: Museum of Thieves
Lian Tanner – Allen & Unwin

Nanny Piggins & the Runaway Lion
R. A. Spratt – Random House (Australia)

Morris Gleitzman – Penguin Group (Australia)

Raven’s Mountain
Wendy Orr – Allen & Unwin

Red Dirt Diary
Katrina Nannestad – Harper Collins Publishers

The Song of the Winns
Frances Watts – Harper Collins Publishers


Beautiful Colours
Tina Raveneau – Black Ink Press

The Devil You Know
Leonie Norrington – Allen & Unwin

Fair Skin Black Fella
Renee Fogorty – Magabala Books

Guulaangga the Green Tree Frog
Gloria Whalan – Black Ink Press

Jakobi & Nan
Esther Fisher – Black Ink Press

The Little Moo Cow
John Delacour – Black Ink Press

Look See, Look at Me
Leonie Norrington – Allen & Unwin

Our World: Bardi Jaawi Life at Ardiyooloon
One Arm Point Remote Community School – Magabala Books

Peka-Boo, the smallest bird in the world
Eliza Feely – Allen & Unwin

Sam’s Fishing Adventure
Monique Russell – Black Ink Press

Scaly-tailed Possum and Echidna
Cathy Goonack – Magabala Books

Shake a Leg
Boori Pryor – Allen & Unwin

Sissy’s Secret
Althea McKeown – Black Ink Press

The Snake and the Boy
Azmen Goonack – Magabala Books

Stolen Girl
Trina Saffioti – Magabala Books

Walkabout with our Mates
Esther Fischer – Black Ink Press

Congratulations to all short listed authors. The Awards will be presented  in Darwin on Tuesday 18 October 2011.

The Mortal Instruments Casting News

The Twitterverse has been buzzing for a while now about the casting of this series by Cassandra Clare and now it has been announced that the role of Jace Wayland will be played by Jamie Campbell Bower. His is a face that will be familiar to fans of both the Harry Potter films and the Twilight films. He will be playing opposite Lily Collins who has been cast as Clary Fray.

Read more here

Divergent (Roth) – Book Trailer

It looks as though dystopia will be big and here is a trailer for the new YA thriller Divergent. I think this looks good. I’ll let you know when I read it.

Hades (Adornetto) – Book Trailer

For all you fans of the Halo Trilogy, here is the book trailer for the second book Hades, by Alexandra Adornetto.

Inheritance Teaser

I know many of you have been waiting and waiting for this book and so in an act of kindness, or just plain cruelty I am passing on to you a link to a sample from the new Christopher Paolini book – Inheritance, due out on the 9th of November 2011.


Click here if you are so inclined.

Horrid Henry – Movie Trailer

Shortly for release (July 2011) is a movie based on the best selling books about Horrid Henry, by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross. This will be the first British kids movie to be shot in 3D (I’m not a huge fan of 3D but I will wait and see before making a judgement).

Horrid Henry: The Movie stars Anjelica Huston, Richard E Grant, Rebecca Front, Parminder Nagra, Jo Brand, Prunella Scales and Matthew Horne. It introduces new comers Scarlett Stitt as Moody Margaret, Ross Marron as Perfect Peter and Theo Stevenson as Horrid Henry. The script was written by Lucinda Whiteley and directed by Nick Moore. 

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