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PASS THE BOOK BATON

It’s Friday! And that means it’s time for Pass the Book Baton. Every week Alphabet Soup features a book creator who will answer one question before throwing a new question to the next Friday visitor. (It’s kind of like a book relay in slow motion.)

Today the book baton is passed to Lorraine Marwood. Lorraine is an award-winning writer of novels, verse novels and poetry. You might recognise some of these books:

Last week Kylie Howarth asked:
Which poem or book you have written means the most to you?

Lorraine Marwood answers:

Ah, a perennial question that is often asked and at different stages or times in my writing journey there would be different answers.

Of course my first book picked up way back in 1999 part of the superdooper series ‘Rainbow Toes’ was a very exciting experience — even when the editor said I had to work on my ending before it was accepted. I was determined and still love this book today.

Or I could chose my first verse novel with Walker books Ratwhiskers and Me which allowed me to explore my love of history and my love of poetry in a fast paced narrative.

Then again I could choose my second verse novel Star Jumps, which was written in tears and shows life on a real live dairy farm as drought hits. This novel won the inaugural children’s section of the Prime Minister’s literary awards. So I love it because it celebrates my children’s growing up years and because it validated me as an author.

Or it could be my latest manuscript written last year at a May Gibbs literary fellowship in Brisbane. This one is close because it touches on grief — again another verse novel.

And poetry? I love writing poems mainly for children but continue to write literary poetry and be published in this genre too.

My latest collection Celebrating Australia: a year in poetry was a challenge to write, to research different celebrations (because I believe poetry should reflect facts as well as emotion) and to construct the poems in different ways.

A favourite poem from this collection was one on Christmas. My editor didn’t quite like the poem I’d already written and said to write a new one. I did, about a boy chosen to be the donkey in the nativity play, although he had no idea of what was going on — his friend Tiff kept explaining all the way through until he surprises himself and the reader right at the end. I love it when the right tone comes through for me and then the poem flows. Funny how my writing reflects my life because when I’d written that poem (the editor loved it by the way) my grandson was selected to be the donkey in his preschool play!

As my life continues on with many unexpected twists and new horizons, I love that my writing can help me adjust to new situations, to find meaning and to share this with my readers.

Poetry has the power to express what is on the inside and this is sometimes hidden to the poet too. So each new direction I take produces work which reflects that and looking back each poem or story contains the essence of that experience. So there are no favourites in my writing, just deep gratitude that writing is what I must do no matter what.

For more info about Lorraine Marwood and her books and poetry, visit http://lorrainemarwood.com or check out her blog http://lorrainemarwoodwordsintowriting.blogspot.com.au/


All the Lost ThingsAnd now Lorraine Marwood passes the baton to the next Friday visitor — Kelly Canby. Kelly is an author-illustrator living in Perth, WA.

Lorraine asks:
“I see you do illustrations for a range of children’s genres, as well as colouring books!  Can you tell us a bit about your illustrative journey and what you’d passionately love to draw in the future?  Thanks.”
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Check in every Friday for questions and answers from children’s authors and illustrators.
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See you next week!

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PASS THE BOOK BATON

It’s Friday! And that means it’s time for Pass the Book Baton. Every week Alphabet Soup features a book creator who will answer one question before throwing a new question to the next Friday visitor. (It’s kind of like a book relay in slow motion.)

Today the book baton is passed to picture book author and illustrator, Kylie Howarth. Kylie’s books have been published in Australia, New Zealand, France and the USA. She grew up in the country with a dog, sheep, orphaned kangaroos and even an echidna.

Last week Geoff Havel asked:
How much of your love of stories and your ability to write them comes from your own childhood on a farm and how much comes from being surrounded by children now?

Kylie Howarth answers:
I do draw from my own childhood and now more than ever appreciate all the experiences my parents gave me. Not every kid had pet kangaroos or spent a year traveling around Australia. As a child I loved drawing and have always been fond of animals and the beach, which are both reoccurring themes in my books.

That being said I am now focused on creating stories that my children love. Their interests and personalities are definitely the biggest inspiration for my work. They contribute so much to my books too as I am constantly tweaking text and layouts based on their reactions and feedback. We also create paintings together in our backyard art sessions, which I then scan and use as textures in my illustrations.

For more info about Kylie Howarth and her books (and colouring sheets and craft activities), visit www.kyliehowarth.com


Celebrating Australia: a year in poetry (cover)And now Kylie Howarth passes the baton to the next Friday visitor — Lorraine Marwood. Lorraine is an award-winning children’s author and poet. Her most recent poetry collection is Celebrating Australia: A Year in Poetry.

Kylie asks:
“Which of your poems or books means the most to you?”
..
Check in every Friday for questions and answers from children’s authors and illustrators.
 ..
See you next week!

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PIANO AND VIOLIN
by Gabriel, 6, NSW

Violin - photo from pexels.comI am learning piano and violin. It is lots of fun. I will tell you what are the similarities and differences between the piano and violin.

Piano and violin are both made out of wood and strings, and it is hard to play them. Both need teachers to tell you how to play them.

A piano is a keyboard instrument, but a violin is a string instrument. A violin needs a bow but a piano does not need a bow. You will need to stand up when you play the violin. When you play the piano, you need to sit down.

I like playing the piano the most. The violin is hard to play, because I have to hold down the strings.  I want to keep learning the violin because I want to be a professional violinist.


Alphabet Soup has published Gabriel’s work before. You can read his earlier work here.  If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!

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PASS THE BOOK BATON

It’s Friday! And that means it’s time for Pass the Book Baton. Every week Alphabet Soup features a book creator who will answer one question before throwing a new question to the next Friday visitor. (It’s kind of like a book relay in slow motion.)

Geoff HavelToday the book baton is passed to Geoff Havel. Geoff was born in the mountains of New Guinea and now lives in Western Australia. His first book — Ca-a-r Ca-a-a-a-r was written during uninterrupted sustained silent reading in a year 5 classroom at Walpole Primary School. His latest book is Dropping In — an action-packed novel that explores friendship, bullying, and living with a disability. (You can read a sample chapter of the book on the publisher’s website.)

You might recognise some of these books by Geoff Havel:

Last week Sally Murphy asked:
What is the thing (or things) you are most proud of in your writing career to date?

Geoff answers:
Every so often I come across a story that cries out to be told because it might make a difference. One such story was The Grave of the Roti Men. I was travelling back to the ferry terminal on the island of Roti in Indonesia when we passed a road turning off towards the ocean. I asked another traveler where the road went and he replied, “The Village of Widows and Orphans.” Right then I knew the story had to be told and I was the one to tell it.

It was the same for Dropping In. The story sort of dropped into my lap when I saw three boys rolling down my street on a couch skateboard they had built. It wasn’t long before I had a clear idea of the three main characters and what the book would be about. I am proud of both those books because it feels like they were meant to be written and I was the one to do it.

Visit Geoff Havel’s website for more about him and his books.

Read an earlier review of Dropping In by Joseph, aged 11.


1 2 Pirate StewAnd now Geoff Havel passes the baton to the next Friday visitor — Kylie Howarth. Her picture book illustrations include lively textures created from paintings by her two young children during their backyard art sessions.

Geoff asks:
How much of your love of stories and your ability to write them comes from your own childhood on a farm and how much comes from being surrounded by children now?
..
Check in every Friday for questions and answers from children’s authors and illustrators.
 ..
See you next week!

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Image from pexels.com

SUCCEED
by Anishka, 7, QLD

A single seed is all we need to succeed.
I believe, I can walk.
I believe, I can talk.
I believe, I can fly.
I believe, I can cry.
When I say so,
I mean let go your feelings and just try,
That’s all you can do.


Anishka has been published at Alphabet Soup many times — you can read all her earlier work here.

If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!

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This is the very first TOP READS post for 2017! At the end of each month — from February to November — our Top Reads team recommends their favourite reading material from the previous month. Yesterday we introduced our 2017 Top Reads team; they are all children aged 12 or younger.

And here are the first recommendations for the year. Check the bookshelves at your local library, school library, bookshop or friends’ houses and get reading!

You can check out all previous Top Reads posts here.

All our Top Readers are kids aged 12 and under. No grownups allowed!

It’s time to introduce the 2017 Top Reads Team. What is the Top Reads Team? Members of this team are keen readers who stop by each month to recommend a favourite read for the month, and they’re all kids like you! We’re very excited to introduce our team members for this year.

INTRODUCING:

Stacey, 12, VIC
Stacey enjoys teamwork in basketball, making new friends and listening to music. When reading, she likes to guess how problems will be solved.

Matilda, 11, WA
Matilda has been writing book reviews for Alphabet Soup since 2011. When she’s not reading, she likes gardening, drawing portraits and writing poems. Her favourite authors at the moment are Jaqueline Wilson and David Walliams.

Mitchell, 11, VIC
Mitchell loves basketball, Stephen Curry, reading and school. He spends most of his time practising basketball or watching TV.

Tess, 11, WA
Tess’s favourite things to do are reading and gymnastics. She also enjoys swimming, netball and playing her violin. Tess enjoys curling up in her hanging cocoon to read her favourite books.

Xavier, 8, NT
When he’s not reading, Xavier enjoys riding his bike, swimming and playing soccer. He also loves making up stories. When he grows up Xavier wants to be a doctor.

Lewis, 8, WA
Lewis loves reading, particularly entertaining/funny books. When he isn’t reading he loves soccer, swimming, Lego and playing with his younger brother.

Anishka, 7, QLD
Anishka loves writing poems — she started composing her own poems when she was four years old. She loves to play with her friends. She also loves to practise yoga everyday.

Céití, 7 (nearly 8), WA
Céití loves spending time with her chocolate labrador Flynn. She enjoys all sorts of reading and writing, and playing minkey, soccer and tennis. Her favourite books at the moment are the Kingdom of Silk books.

Albie May, 5, NSW
Albie May loves endless engrossing narratives — the longer the better! Last year she wore out her paperback edition of The Big Book of Tashi. She is also a big fan of Winnie the Pooh.

Look out for their first book recommendations for 2017 on the last day of every month!

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