Three Quick Questions: Katrina Germein (#11)

All through October, Alphabet Soup is celebrating turning three. We have heaps of writers and illustrators stopping by to answer THREE QUICK QUESTIONS and today’s visitor is Katrina Germein, author of Big Rain Coming and My Dad Thinks He’s Funny.

"Big Rain Coming"  "My Dad Thinks He's Funny"


1. Where do you like to write?

I’m not picky. I’ll draft anywhere—on a bus, in a park, beside the sea. I love notebooks with fancy covers and keep a store in my car and my handbag for when I find a few minutes to scribble ideas. When it comes to sustained writing and editing I like to work at a desk with my computer. It doesn’t need to be my desk and it doesn’t need to be very big but it needs to be in a quiet place. I’m not one of those authors who can work with music playing.

2. Can you name a book you’d recommend to our readers?

George and Ghost by Catriona Hoy and Cassia Thomas. It’s beautiful. I love all of Catriona Hoy’s picture books. I’d love to have written them myself!

"George and Ghost"
Katrina recommends George and Ghost by Catriona Hoy, ill. Cassia Thomas

3. Can you offer a word or phrase that kids could use for inspiration if they have writer’s block?

Katrina Germein
Katrina Germein

‘I was the only one with a key.’

Find out more about Katrina Germein and her books—visit her website and her blog.

© October 2011 “Three Quick Questions with Katrina Germein” by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)

(Psst … see you back here on Monday, when we’ll have the first of our birthday giveaways!)

authors, teachers' resources

Literary auction: $$ for Qld Floods

Authors for Queensland is an online auction set up to raise money for the Qld Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal. Up for auction are books signed by the authors and/or illustrators, picture book illustrations, manuscript assessments for writers, author mentorships, Alphabet Soup subscriptions and much more. (Make sure you check with an adult about bidding for items.)

Items that caught our eye included:

  • Signed copies of Wendy Orr’s new book Raven’s Mountain (out February)"Raven's Mountain (cover)"
  • Signed copies of Katrina Germein’s My Dad Thinks He’s Funny
  • Signed copies of Karen Collum’s Samuel’s Kisses
  • Signed copy of The Tomorrow Book by Jackie French
  • A full set of signed Billie B Brown books by Sally Rippin
  • Signed copy of This is the Mud by Kathryn Apel
  • Signed copies of Famous and Chess Nuts by Julia Lawrinson
  • Illustration (unframed) by Judith Rossell from Janeen Brian’s book Too Tight Benito

The auction ends 24 January 2011.

authors, teachers' resources

My Dad Thinks He’s Funny by Katrina Germein

Some of you probably remember me posting before about when I was growing up and listening to my dad’s terrible jokes and bad puns. I recently read a new picture book by Katrina Germein—and she could have been talking about MY DAD! So I invited Katrina to visit our blog today to talk about  My Dad Thinks He’s Funny (illustrated by Tom Jellett). Here’s a taste:

"My Dad Thinks He's Funny"
Katrina Germein is celebrating her new book My Dad Thinks He's Funny.

My dad doesn’t like babysitting.

He says no one should sit on babies.

My dad doesn’t eat seafood.

He says there’s something fishy about it.

My dad doesn’t lie in bed.

He says you should always tell the truth.

My dad thinks he’s funny.

Congratulations on your new book, Katrina! When you were growing up, did your dad make all the jokes in My Dad Thinks He’s Funny?

"Inside My Dad Thinks He's Funny"
A peek inside the book!

I’m lucky because I grew up with two dads, my father and my step father. My dad likes to tell long stories and my step dad likes to recite silly poems. Mainly, the jokes in My Dad Thinks He’s Funny came from lots of other people.

Once I had the idea for the book I started listening out for jokes and every time I heard one I would write it down. My father-in-law probably contributed the most but there are also jokes from my sister-in-law, my brother and my husband. I was looking for the kind of jokes that make us roll our eyes and also make us laugh.

Once I had a collection of ‘dadisms’ I decided to write the book from the point of view of a child. I wanted to create a story that was warm and humorous, rather than just a collection of jokes.

What does your family think about you using their best jokes in your book?

I think my father-in-law is quite proud to see some of his best material in print! He jokes that I should share the royalties from the book with him.

Now you have your own kids—do they hear these jokes from their dad (or your dad or stepdad)?

Yes! Unfortunately it runs in the family and my husband tells jokes just like his dad.

What’s your favourite joke from the book?

My favourite page is the one where the little boy asks, “Dad, do you know what?” and Dad answers, “I don’t know What, but I know his brother.” That makes me laugh every time. It’s one of the hardest jokes for very small kids to understand but children who are seven or over really like it.

What is the best way to deal with a ‘dad joke’? (Do you roll your eyes?)

Usually I just laugh. I actually think they’re funny!

Katrina Germein is the author of many children’s books, including My Dad Thinks He’s Funny, Little Dog and Big Rain Coming.

"My Dad Thinks He's Funny""Big Rain Coming""Little Dog"

You can find out more about Katrina Germein and her books by visiting her website, her blogTwitter, and her Facebook page.

~ Rebecca Newman, Alphabet Soup magazine

authors, teachers' resources

“Lights Out!” (Katrina Germein)

Today Katrina Germein visits Soup Blog to share about ‘lights out’ (or rather, ON) at her house. Katrina is the author of Big Rain Coming, and Littledog, and she has a new book coming out in August – My Dad Thinks He’s Funny.

A Sneaky Plan

"Katrina Germein with her family"
Katrina Germein with her family

My son thinks he can trick me. He thinks he has me fooled. But I’m smarter than he thinks and I know what he’s up to.

He tells me he wants to sleep with the light on, not just the lamp but the big bedroom light.

“But why?” I ask.

“It’s better,” he says.

I don’t believe him; no one sleeps better with the big light on. Still, I leave the light. I know it’s all part of his sneaky plan.

“Shut the door,” says my son when I kiss him goodnight.

“But you get frightened,” I say.

“Not anymore,” answers my son. “Not now I have the big light on.”

I close the door and leave him alone, alone in his room with the big light on. But he’s not alone really; he’s invited others. They’re all in it together. I wonder who’s conspiring with my son tonight. Zac Power? The BFG? Specky Magee? Bonnie and Sam? Captain Underpants? My son has his favourites. (If it was me I’d choose Pippi Longstocking. But this is my son’s sneaky plan and not mine.) Anyway, I’ll find out who the accomplice is later. I have my ways.

An hour later I open the door. My son is asleep, The Famous Five still in his hand. So that’s who’s been plotting with my son tonight. He’s not the first to fall for their charms.

I kiss my son on top of his head. “Good plan,” I whisper and I turn out the light.

© 2010 Katrina Germein

You can find out more about Katrina Germein and her books at her website.

"Undercover Readers Logo"Alphabet Soup magazine is celebrating the launch of Undercover Readers (our new reviewers club for kids)!  If you’d like to join the Undercover Readers Club, you’ll find an information pack you can download from the Alphabet Soup website. As part of the celebrations, we have a different children’s author or illustrator visiting Soup Blog each day until 29 June 2010 to talk about what they used to read after ‘lights out’ when they were growing up. So be sure to check back tomorrow!

competitions, poetry, teachers' resources

2010 poetry comp for South Australian students

Have you heard about the 2010 Max Fatchen Literary Awards?

It’s a poetry competition for South Australian school students.

Entries close 30 July 2010, and first prize in each category is $50!

The poems will be judged by Australian writer, Katrina Germein. Visit her website for more information.

Get writing!