Posted in info

Roses are Blue giveaway winner

roses are blue

Our Roses are Blue giveaway closed on 6 August. We put all the names into a soup bowl and pulled out the winner — TESSA BENNETT!

To enter, you were asked to visit the Poetry Tag website and choose your favourite poem (by Sally Murphy). You also had to tell us why you chose that poem.

Tessa said:

Fond Farewell is my favourite poem by Sally. It reminds me of my mum. At school drop off, even in the car, I wish had some Mum repellent too! At least if I had my head buried into Roses are Blue she might not come at me!

Congratulations Tessa! We hope you enjoy reading Roses are Blue.

Posted in info

Four bookish events! (NSW, VIC, QLD)

poster for book event wendy orr

You are invited to celebrate the publication of Rescue on Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr!

When: Saturday 26 July 2014 at 2pm
Where: Petersen’s Bookshop, 103 High St, Hastings VIC 3915
RSVP: info@teachersresource.com.au by Wednesday 23 July 2014

 


 

poster hasel and rose book launches

Three cities, three book launches for Hasel and Rose by Carline Magerl!

Caroline Magerl will be demonstrate her watercolour technique, accompanied by clarinetist Janet Brewer. (And you could win the demonstration watercolour as a door prize!)

Here’s where to go.

Sydney:
Thursday, August 7 at 6 pm
Books Kinokuniya,
level 2, The Galleries,
500 George St, Sydney

Melbourne:
Saturday August 9 at 3 pm
Little Book Room
759 Nicholson Street, Carlton North

Brisbane:
Friday, August 22 at 6 pm
Black Cat Books
179 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, info

Book review: Darcy Moon and the Deep Fried Frogs

Darcy Moon and the Deep Fried Frogs by Catherine Carvell, ill. Michael Scott Parkinson, ISBN 9781922089717, Fremantle Press

Darcy Moon (cover)

REVIEWED BY BRIDGET, 10, WA

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Darcy Moon and the Deep Fried Frogs is about a girl who discovers she’s an Earth guardian. She meets a turtle named Wizen and frog called Jumpy. Darcy must save the swamp from the famous Sid Bellows the owner of Skippety Chips, while keeping her embarrassing parents under control.

Darcy Moon and the Deep Fried Frogs was very enjoyable, and had a great plot. It is a fantastic book for those searching a quick, humorous read, or a beginner looking for a challenge. It would also be quite a good book for teachers to read to their class.

It is a great book, but a little predictable. Overall, I think it is a very enjoyable and exciting read. I’d definitely read it again and recommend it to all my friends.

I give it 4 ½ stars. Apart from the book being a little predictable, it was perfect.

4 1/2 stars

Guess what? You can read sample chapters of this book on the publisher’s website and you can check out our interview with the author.

Bridget had book reviews published in Alphabet Soup’s print magazine, and this is her first book review for us online. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in info, teachers' resources

Last chance to purchase back issues

After 25 December 2013 we will no longer be offering back issues of Alphabet Soup magazine for sale. So now is your LAST CHANCE to order back issues! You can order copies through our website.

Some of the earlier issues are now in short supply and issue 7 is almost sold out. If an issue is no longer available it will not appear as an option on the list to purchase. (We will do our best to remove sold-out issues from the list as soon as they are sold out!)

NB: There was no summer 2008 issue. 

Here is a snapshot of what was in each issue:

Issue 1 SPRING 2008 (limited supply)

issue 1

Theme: Alphabet Soup (a bit of everything!)

Author Q&A: Jackie French

Interest article: Firefighting

Poetry and stories by AB Paterson, Charlotte Clarence, Nardia Bordas

Folktale/fairytale: The Magic Porridge Pot

Issue 2 AUTUMN 2009 (limited supply)

issue 2

Theme: Water

Author Q&A: Duncan Ball

Interest article: Scuba diving

Poetry and stories by Brian Langley, Charlotte Clarence, Michele Purcell.

Foktale/fairytale: The Fisherman and His Wife

Writing tips: Keeping a journal

Issue 3 WINTER 2009 (limited supply)

Issue 3

Theme: Flight

Author Q&A: Jo Oliver

Interest Article: Air Traffic Control

Poetry and stories by CJ Dennis, Marie Clark, Michele Purcell

Greek Myth: Daedalus and Icarus

Writing tips: Describe it!

Issue 4 SPRING 2009 (limited supply)

"issue 4 cover"

Theme: Gardening

Author Q&A: Mark Greenwood

Interest Article: Home-grown vegies

Poetry and stories by Ann Ingalls, Brian Langley, Hazel Edwards, Michele Purcell

Folktale/Fairytale: Jack and the Beanstalk

Writing tips: Writers’ block

Issue 5 SUMMER 2009 (limited supply)

"Alphabet Soup issue 5 cover"

Theme: Space

Author Q&A: Christine Harris

Interest Article: Astronomy

Poetry and stories by Sally Murphy, Jackie Hosking, Paula Hayes and Mabel Kaplan

Folktale/Fairytale: The Red Riding Hood Rap

Writing tips: What does ‘write what you know’ mean?

Issue 6 AUTUMN 2010 (limited supply)

"Alphabet Soup issue 6 cover"

Theme: Outdoors

Illustrator Q&A: Chris Nixon

Interest Article: Rogaining

Poetry and stories by Jackie Hosking, Beverley Boorer, Michele Purcell, Selina Duke

Folktale/Fairytale: Hansel and Gretel

Writing tips: Getting to know your characters

Issue 7 WINTER 2010 (ONLY 3 copies remaining)

"Alphabet Soup issue 7 cover"

Theme: Ice

Author Q&A: Sandy Fussell

Interest Article: Art in the Ice Hotel

Poetry and stories by Karen Collum, Michele Purcell, Di Bates

Folktale/Fairytale: The Snow Maiden

Writing tips: Point of view

Issue 8 SPRING 2010 (limited supply)

"Issue 8 cover Alphabet Soup magazine"

Theme: Music

Interest article: Playing the viola

Poetry and stories by Jeni Mawter, Valerie Thomas, Lyn Oxley, Rebecca Newman

Folktale/fairytale: The Smell of Bread

Writing tips: How do I write a funny story?

Issue 9 SUMMER 2010 (limited supply)

"Alphabet Soup magazine issue 9 cover"

Theme: Wetlands

Author Q&A: Hazel Edwards

Interest article: Wetlands Care

Poetry and stories by Sally Murphy, Edel Wignell, Rebecca Newman, Aleesah Darlison

Folktale/Fairytale: A Needle and Thread

Writing tips: The writer as crocodile hunter

Issue 10 AUTUMN 2011 (in reasonable supply)

"Issue 10 cover Alphabet Soup"

Theme: Chemistry Fun

Author Q&A: Oliver Phommavanh

Interest article: International Year of Chemistry

Poetry and stories by John Malone, Nadine Cranenburgh, Michele Purcell, Kathryn Apel

Greek myth: The Golden Touch

Writing tips: Playing with words

Issue 11 WINTER 2011 (in reasonable supply)

Issue 11 cover, Alphabet Soup magazine

Theme: Things with Wings

Interest article: Bee keeping

Author Q&A: Wendy Orr

Poetry and stories by Edel Wignell, Jackie Hosking, Lorraine Marwood, Michele Purcell and Emma Cameron

Folktale/Fairytale: The Six Swans

Writing tips: Writing great dialogue

Issue 12 SPRING 2011 (in reasonable supply)

Alphabet Soup magazine, spring 2011

Theme: Sail Away!

Author Q&A: Briony Stewart

Interest article: Sailing

Poetry and stories by Pat (Tricia) Simmons, Edel Wignell, Michele Purcell, Susan Stephenson

Fable: The North Wind and the Sun

Writing tips: Finding the right title

Issue 13 SUMMER 2011 (in reasonable supply)

Issue 13 cover

Theme: Medieval

Author Q&A: Norman Jorgensen

Interest article: Fencing

Poetry and stories by Jackie Hosking, Marianne Musgrove, Michele Purcell, Tracey Slater

Legend: Robin Hood Meets Little John

Writing tips: Finding good names for your characters

Issue 14 AUTUMN 2012 (in reasonable supply)

Alphabet Soup issue 14 cover

Theme: Fun with paper

Writer Q&A: Lorraine Marwood

Interest Article: Making paper

Poetry and stories by Edel Wignell, Jackie Hosking, Rebecca Newman, Zoya Nojin

Fairytale/Folktale: Why Evergreen Trees Keep Their Leaves

Writing tips: Journalists’ skills

Issue 15 WINTER 2012 (in reasonable supply)

Alphabet Soup issue 15 cover

Theme: National Year of Reading!

Author-illustrator Q&A: Peter Carnavas

Interest Article: Judging Book Awards

Poetry and stories by Kathryn Apel, Sally Murphy, Lorraine Marwood, Michele Purcell, Susan Stephenson

Fairytale/Folktale: The Three Wishes

Writing tips: Beginnings — finding a hook

Issue 16 SPRING 2012 (in reasonable supply)

Alphabet Soup issue 16 (cover)

Theme: Champions

Author Q&A: Jen Banyard

Interest article: Behind the Scenes at Big Events

Poetry and stories by Marianne Musgrove, John Malone, Dianne Bates, Rebecca Newman

Fable: The Tortoise and the Hare

Writing tips: 10 Behaviours of a Champion Writer

Issue 17 SUMMER 2012 (in reasonable supply)

issue 17 (cover)

Theme: Come to the Fair!

Author-illustrator Q&A: Mark Wilson

Interest article: Juggling

Poetry, stories and a play by Jackie Hosking, Kathryn Apel, Michele Purcell, Susan Stephenson

Folktale/Fairytale: The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Writing tips: A lucky dip of prompts

Issue 18 AUTUMN 2013 (in healthy supply)

Autumn 2013 Alphabet Soup (cover)

Theme: Long, long ago

Author Q&A: Tania McCartney

Interest Article: School in 1941

Poetry and stories by Rebecca Newman, Tricia Simmons, Zoya Nojin

Folktale/Fairytale: The Little Red Hen

Writing tips: Writing perfect endings

Order back issues from our website

Posted in info

The Coolest People in Australian History

Tania McCartney (photo)
Tania McCartney

Tania McCartney is one of our favourite visitors and — hooray! — today she’s visiting again. We’re celebrating her newest book Caroline Chisholm: The Emigrant’s Friend. This is the fifth book in the ‘Aussie Heroes’ series of junior historical fiction, it’s an illustrated chapter book for children aged 8–12. (Illustrations are by Pat Reynolds.)

Tania is on a blog tour to celebrate the book. You might remember when Tania launched her book Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline, she gave us Ten Reasons Why History is Exciting. Today she’s here with her list of The Coolest People in Australian History. Awesome!

Over to you, Tania.

There’s a saying you may have heard: fact is stranger than fiction.

What does this mean?

Well, it means that Real Life — and the many quadrillions of things that happen in Real Life — are often more shocking, more exciting, more adventurous, more interesting, funnier and crazier than anyone could ever make up in a storybook.

History and its stories are particularly stranger than fiction — and the further you go back in time, the more bizarre these stories can be. Some of you may have read the Horrible Histories books, and you’ll know exactly what I mean!

The history of the Australian people is, of course, many thousands of years old. It all began when our First People arrived — some say over 60,000 years ago. Other than the precious relics of our Aboriginal stories and cave paintings, our country’s recorded history is a lot shorter than that — just over 200 years.

In that time, many people have dedicated their lives to shaping this great country of ours — standing up against injustice, providing a helping hand or creating something beautiful. There are simply too many people to choose from, but I’ve chosen five people I think are some of the coolest Aussies in history.

To me, these people are cool because they were either brave or talented — or both. The brave ones were ferociously brave. The talented ones were the best in their field.

I wonder who will make this Cool Aussies list in 100 years’ time. Will it be you?

  1. May Gibbs (1877–1969). Cecilia May Gibbs was an artist and author responsible for the beautiful Snugglepot and Cuddle Pie series of children’s books (among many others) that celebrate our Australian flora. Once upon a time, the only books Australian children had to read were from British or American authors! May Gibbs was one of the very first authors with a true focus on Australian life and our environment, and of course, many Aussie authors have since followed in her footsteps. Very cool indeed.
  2. Donald Bradman (1908–2001). Australia is a nation of sport-lovers and quite possibly our most famous Aussie sportsman would be Sir Donald Bradman. I’m sure you’ve heard of him. He was such a fine cricketer, people said he was the equivalent of three batsman, not just one. He was also cool because he was a vibrant, entertaining sportsman; his skills would attract enormous crowds. I must admit, I still don’t ‘get’ cricket but there’s no doubt Mr Bradman was probably responsible for making it so popular.
  3. Ned Kelly (c.1855–1880). Some people would argue that a murderous bushman is not the coolest of historical Australians, but much has been written in support of Ned Kelly — that he was misunderstood and targeted by the authorities — perhaps even set-up. Some have even called him a modern-day Robin Hood, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. When he was hanged at age 25, his final words were ‘such is life’.
  4. Eddie Mabo (1936–1992). Eddie Koiki Mabo was born in the Torres Strait Islands and was a champion for Indigenous land rights. He was deeply committed to forging a landmark decision with the High Court of Australia that allowed Aboriginal people to claim back the land that was taken from them when white man arrived in Australia. Today, we celebrate Mabo Day on 3 June every year, in honour of Eddie’s important achievements. Not only cool — awesome.
  5. Caroline Chisholm (1808–1877). Caroline was born in England but emigrated to Australia with her family, where she began helping the penniless, homeless young women sent by boat to Australia. As more women and families began to arrive, Caroline helped them find work and housing. She also reunited families and improved appalling conditions on immigrant ships and on the Victorian goldfields. Caroline helped families make the best of terrible situations and dedicated her life to the wellbeing of others. Not much cooler than that.

What do you think of my 5 Coolest People in Australian History list? Do you agree with it? Who would be on your list and why?

Leave a comment below, with YOUR top 5 Coolest People in Australian History, and I’ll publish your picks on my blog! Make sure you leave your first name and age with your comment.

~ Tania McCartney, author of Caroline Chisholm: The Emigrant’s Friend.

Caroline Chisholm - book cover

Do you want to know more about Tania McCartney and her new book? Check out the other stops on the Caroline Chisholm Blog Tour.