Spring brings the school holidays for most of our readers — though some states and territories are about to head into Term 4 already. Whether you are just finishing your holidays, or just starting them, it’s always a good time for some more reading. And you’re in luck, because the last day of the month means it’s time for our Top Reads team* to recommend some brilliant books!
Month of Poetry is run by children’s writer Kathryn Apel and is open to anyone — children and adults — anywhere in the world. Aim to write one poem per day during January and at the end of the month you’ll have a drawer full of new poems.
If you register at the Month of Poetry site (it’s free to register), Kathryn will send you a password. The poem pages are not open to the public, so only participants with the password will be able to see poems, post their own poems, and add comments. Once a week there will be a specific poetry challenge (e.g. a theme or an image) posted to the site. If you have registered, you can use the password to post your poem for that day onto the locked pages, and you can read other participant’s poems … and comment on them if you like.
Of course, you don’t need to sign up to the website to write a poem a day … you can just quietly (or loudly) write a poem every day in January anyway. But if you’d like a bit of encouragement, then the Month of Poetry site is a great way to get your writing kickstarted for 2015.
The next school holidays aren’t far away. If you live in NSW, we’ve heard that The Children’s Bookshop will be hosting some fabulous school holiday workshops for young readers, writers and actors.
Workshop 1: Deborah Abela — The Secret to Writing Great Stories (For students in Years 3–6) Join Deb for a morning of writing fun as she reveals the secret to creating your own great stories. Then stay to celebrate the launch of New City, the sequel to her bestselling book, Grimsdon. Food and drink provided!
When: Monday 29 September 2014, 9–12-30pm
Cost: $50 per student . All materials are provided. Book early! —
Workshop 2: Geoffrey McSkimming — Character Building (for children in Grades 5–8)
Join Geoffrey McSkimming, author of the Cairo Jim chronicles and the new Phyllis Wong mysteries, for a fun morning looking at how to create and flesh-out characters.
When: Tuesday 30 September 2014, 9–12-30pm
Cost: $50 per student. All materials provided. Book early! —
Workshop 3: (Where’s) Wally Comes to Beecroft!(For Children Ages 5-7) Share the stories and adventures of Wally from the Where’s Wally series. Lots of craft and art activities for the kids and a Where’s Wally show bag! Wally will be visiting and the kids will be asked to find Wally in Beecroft at the end of the workshop.
When: Wednesday, 1 October 2014, 9–11am, then a Search for Wally between 11–11-30am with prizes!
Cost: $30 per student. All materials provided. Book early.
Work 4: The Tangled Tricks of Twelfth Night (For Students in Years 3–7) Run by our resident drama teacher and Shakespeare enthusiast! A drama workshop full of fun and creativity — come and play with one of Shakespeare’s great comedies and discover Disguise, Fools, Forgery and Yellow Stockings. A hands-on and FUN workshop!
When: Thursday 2 October 204, 9–12-30pm
RSVP for any of these workshops: to The Children’s Bookshop, 6 Hannah Street, Beecroft. Ph. 9481 8811
Most of you will be back at school by the time you read this. I hope you have lots of exciting plans for 2014.
Here are some of mine:
launch our new website (which will incorporate this blog — stay tuned)
share heaps of book reviews, artwork and fabulous writing by young writers (that’s you!)
read lots of books (OK that’s the plan every year)
Even though the blog has had a holiday during January, we’ve been working away gathering bookish news, reviews and interviews. And I know quite a few of you love entering writing and art competitions, so you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve also updated the Kids’ Writing Comps page with the first of the writing competitions for 2014.
Cost: check with the bookshop—by email or phone 9481 8811
2. Creating Spooking Houses with Sarah Davis
In this hands-on workshop for children in grades 3–6, you will make a paper diorama of a haunted house with Sarah Davis, illustrator of Sounds Spooky. Design character cutouts and set up and photograph little dioramas with spooky lighting. Go home with a photo print, and your house and characters.
When: Tuesday 9 July 2013, 9–12.30pm
Cost: $50 per student. All materials provided. Book early!
Join cartoonist James Foley for an introduction to creating your own kooky comic strips. James drew the cartoons in the Quokka for many years. He also illustrated The Last Viking, and wrote and illustratedIn The Lion. While you are at the Arts Centre, you can check out James’s illustrations from In the Lion in the heARTlines exhibition.