Posted in Events, Indigenous Literacy Day

Indigenous Literacy Day – 5 Sept 2012

Today is Indigenous Literacy Day. Alphabet Soup will be making a donation to ILD and we will also be donating the profits from every order made via our website today. So if you were thinking about subscribing to Alphabet Soup, now is a good day to do it!

The Indigenous Literacy Foundations says:

“Funds raised will help us buy new books and resources for kids living in the remotest parts of Australia … One in five children living in a remote community cannot read or write to the basic minimum level. Our Foundation provides access and resources for children in these communities”.
(If you don’t want to subscribe to Alphabet Soup but you’d like to make a donation to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, you can make a direct donation via their website. Every little bit helps!)
Posted in authors, Events

NSW author/illustrator event (11 August 2012)

If you’re in NSW, head over to The Children’s Bookshop in Beecroft on 11 August—there will be lots happening to celebrate National Bookshop Day.

The bookshop will have authors working in the shop window, an artist in residence will be creating some illustrations, there will be book busking, face-painting, a sausage sizzle and balloons.

Schedule for the Morning:

10–10.45am Special Story-Time!

Meet Ursula Dubosarsky who will be reading such books as Too Many Elephants in This House and The Terrible Plop.

Too Many Elephants in This House

11.30am Meet Duncan Ball, author of Selby and Emily Eyefinger. (Selby will also be there to meet the kids.)


10am–12 noon Meet a range of authors in the Living Window—authors will be writing in the window! The Artist in Residence for the morning, Lisa Stewart, will also be working on illustrations in the shop.

Where: The Children’s Bookshop, 6 Hannah Street, Beecroft NSW

When: 11 August 2012

RSVP: for the 10am or 11.30am sessions. Ph. 9481 8811

Posted in Events, library, teachers' resources

WA event: Libraries hosting Book of the Year talks

Here’s something for grownups in Perth who love children’s books. (If you live in another state, check with your branch of the Children’s Book Council for similar events around Australia).

Book of the Year Award—Shortlist Talks

Every year around May, the WA Branch of the Children’s Book Council of Australia presents a talk about the books that have been shortlisted for the Book of the Year Awards. This year a panel of experts will present the Shortlist Talks and our editor—Rebecca—will be on the panel on 3rd May at the Joondalup Library. Come and say hi!

So—come along and discuss good books, enjoy a light supper and cheer for your favourite shortlisted title!

North of the River
Where: Joondalup Public Library, 102 Boas Ave.
When: Thursday, 3 May 6:30 pm for 7pm
Cost: $10 members $15 non members. Pay at the door
Light refreshments available
Bookings are essential—visit the CBCA WA website for details.

South of the River
Where: A. H. Bracks Public Library,
cnr Stock Rd & Canning Hwy, Melville.
When: Wednesday, 9 May  6:30 pm for 7 pm
Cost: $10 members $15 non members. Pay at the door
Light refreshments available
Bookings are essential—visit the CBCA WA website for details.

See you there!

Posted in authors, Events

QLD events: Meet Tania McCartney

If you’re in Queensland, there are two chances this weekend to meet the author of Australian Story: an illustrated timeline.

Australian Story cover

Tania McCartney, author of Australian Story
Tania McCartney, author of Australian Story

1. Saturday 24 March 2012  at 2pm.

Maroochydore Library (Sunshine Coast) a fun event to celebrate the launch of Australian Story! Come dressed as your favourite Aussie character. For more info and bookings, visit Tania’s blog.

2. Sunday 25 March at 3.30pm

Join Tania McCartney at Black Cat Books and Cafe for a fun afternoon of interactive historical fun! Things kick off at 3.30pm. Come dressed as your favourite Aussie historical character and you could win a prize! For more info and bookings, visit Tania’s blog.

Tania visited Soup Blog earlier this month to talk about Australian Story and why history is cool. Read her post here.

Posted in Events, Writers' Festivals

2012 Perth Writers Festival

Other people wandering about at the Perth Writers FestivalYesterday was Family Day at the Perth Writers Festival and we had a brilliant time wandering about the grounds of UWA listening to free talks and bumping into authors and illustrators of our favourite books.

Here’s a photo of other people who were also wandering about enjoying the literary goodness of the day.  ———————————————————————->

We started the day in the tropical grove listening to Cristy Burne talking about school camping trips and Japanese horror stories (it turns out there’s not much difference). James Roy was giving out some good writing tips to keen young writers in his audience. Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac had their audience roaring with laughter, stamping feet … and throwing plastic fruit … as they performed the story of The Greatest Liar on Earth—their new picture book. There were also baby animals to help launch Karen Blair‘s book Baby Animal Farm (and cupcakes, too). And heaps of other author and illustrators talks which we didn’t get to because we were so interested in each session we kept forgetting to duck out halfway through to check out the others that were running at the same time. (OOPS—did you go to any others? Let us know what you thought in the comments!)

Here’s a photo of Briony Stewart, author of the Kumiko and the Dragon series.

Briony Stewart, Perth Writers Festival 2012

(She looks like she’s singing opera in this shot, but actually she’s talking about the bravery of the characters in her story.)

And a shot of author and comedian Oliver Phommavanh signing a copy of Thai-riffic! for us.

Oliver Phommavanh at Perth Writers Festival

And we just had to take a photo of this art installation by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa. It is called Breathing Flower and it was floating on the reflection pond at Whitfield Court. It’s HUGE and amazing to look at. And it’s there for the Festival of Perth (not just the Writers Festival) but we reckon it makes a good writing prompt for a story or poem …

Breathing Flower (art installation by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa)

If you’re in Perth, did you go to Family Day this year? Who were your favourite speakers? (Was there anyone else you wish was a speaker?)

Posted in authors, Events, illustrator

WA event: A Night With Our Stars

If you are a teacher, librarian, teacher-librarian, or any grownup who loves children’s books (and who doesn’t?!) on 8 March you should head along to A Night With Our Stars at Westbooks in Victoria Park.

Twenty children’s (and YA) authors and illustrators will each have 3 mins to speed-talk about their books published last year. It’s an annual event run by the Children’s Book Council of Australia WA branch and it’s open to the public. Here’s a list of the fabulous speakers:

  • Wendy Binks
  • Rebecca Cool
  • Deb Fitzpatrick
  • Georgia Efford [Uthando Project]
  • James Foley
  • Rina Foti
  • Norman Jorgensen
  • Clare Harris [Uthando Project]
  • Brigid Lowry
  • Bevan McGuiness
  • Meg McKinlay
  • Sonia Martinez
  • Sally Murphy
  • Chris Nixon
  • Matt Ottley
  • Danny Parker
  • JB Thomas
  • Zoe Thurner
  • Jan Tilbrook
  • Leanne White

Tickets are $25 and you can pay at the door on the night, but you do need to book. For more info (and booking details) see the CBCA WA website.

NB This is not an event for children. (Sorry—we’ll let you know about more kid-friendly events soon!)

(Westbooks also stock Alphabet Soup magazine. What a top bookshop!)

Posted in Events

NSW Family events: Marian St Theatre

Here’s an event for NSW families who love to see folktales and fairytales performed—two tales in one show!

Sleeping Beauty tells the story of Princess Rose who pricks her finger on her 16th birthday and falls asleep for a hundred years. You can help tell the story!

Then walk the seashore in the second story The Golden Fish with Peter, a poor fisherman, who takes pity on a glittering golden fish in his net.

When:  Saturdays until 3 March 2012  (10.30am and 1pm)
Where:  Marian Street Theatre, 2 Marian Street, Killara NSW
Prices:   Children $18, Adults $22, Families of four $68; Groups 15 or more $15 per head;
Bookings:  1300 306 776 or

For further information, visit the Marian St Theatre website.

Posted in Events

Book Launch of Chantelle’s Cloak by Lorraine Marwood (VIC)

Chantelle's Cloak (cover)If you live in Bendigo (Victoria), come along to the launch of Chantelle’s Cloak, the new Aussie Nibble by Lorraine Marwood (ill. Jocelyn Bell)

This family event will feature a reading from Narelle Stone, live harp music, sales and signings, and cup-cakes.

Guests are invited to wear a cape and participate in a Magical Cape Parade to be in the running to win great prizes.

Where: Bendigo Library, 259 Hargreaves St, Bendigo VIC

When: Wednesday September 28, 2011 6pm to 7pm

Ages: All ages!

RSVP: Tammy Higgs (03) 54492771 or

READ AN EXTRACT of the book on the publisher’s website.