And the Week 4 winner of our March into Reading with Scholastic competition is….

John Staker, Dungog, NSW
CONGRATULATIONS!

Prize: Scholastic book pack, worth $200!


The prize pack includes:

Marvel The Avengers : Age of Ultron Activity Bag
Marvel The Avengers : Age of Ultron Activity Bag
Friends and Foes : Ready to Read Level 2
Hulk to the Rescue : Ready to Read Level 2
Little Barry Bilby Had a Fly Upon His Nose
We’re Going on an Egg Hunt
Anzac Biscuits
Gallipoli
Me and Moo
Alice in Wonderland
False Note : EJ12 Girl Hero
The Sin Eater’s Daughter
Shoes from Grandpa


Congratulations to the winner!
Not a winner? Don’t worry, we have more prizes to giveaway! You could win an awesome Mother’s Day gift. Check them out here.

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And the Week 3 winner of our March into Reading with Scholastic competition is….

T.Irlam, Blayney, NSW
CONGRATULATIONS!

Prize: Scholastic book pack, worth $200!


Order from our March into Reading with Scholastic collection by March 31st and you’ll not only get 30% off Scholastic’s news releases but go in the weekly draw to win a prize pack, worth $200! We have one more weekly prize pack to be won and will be announcing the winner of Week 4, April 2nd.

The prize pack includes:

Marvel The Avengers : Age of Ultron Activity Bag
Marvel The Avengers : Age of Ultron Activity Bag
Friends and Foes : Ready to Read Level 2
Hulk to the Rescue : Ready to Read Level 2
Little Barry Bilby Had a Fly Upon His Nose
We’re Going on an Egg Hunt
Anzac Biscuits
Gallipoli
Me and Moo
Alice in Wonderland
False Note : EJ12 Girl Hero
The Sin Eater’s Daughter
Shoes from Grandpa

Booktopia_Scholastic_FrontPageRotatingBannerClick here to check out our March into Reading with Scholastic collection

And the Week 2 winner of our March into Reading with Scholastic competition is….

M.Hamilton, Hewett, SA
CONGRATULATIONS!

Prize: Scholastic book pack, worth $200!


Order from our March into Reading with Scholastic collection by March 31st and you’ll not only get 30% off Scholastic’s news releases but go in the weekly draw to win a prize pack, worth $200! We have two more weekly prize packs to be won and will be announcing the winner of Week 3, March 26th.

The prize pack includes:

Marvel The Avengers : Age of Ultron Activity Bag
Marvel The Avengers : Age of Ultron Activity Bag
Friends and Foes : Ready to Read Level 2
Hulk to the Rescue : Ready to Read Level 2
Little Barry Bilby Had a Fly Upon His Nose
We’re Going on an Egg Hunt
Anzac Biscuits
Gallipoli
Me and Moo
Alice in Wonderland
False Note : EJ12 Girl Hero
The Sin Eater’s Daughter
Shoes from Grandpa

Booktopia_Scholastic_FrontPageRotatingBannerClick here to check out our March into Reading with Scholastic collection

And the Week 1 winner of our March into Reading with Scholastic competition is….

C. Philpott, Auburn, NSW
CONGRATULATIONS!

Prize: Scholastic book pack, worth $200!


Order from our March into Reading with Scholastic collection by March 31st and you’ll not only get 30% off Scholastic’s news releases but go in the weekly draw to win a prize pack, worth $200! We have three more weekly prize packs to be won and will be announcing the winner of Week 2, March 19th.

The prize pack includes:

Marvel The Avengers : Age of Ultron Activity Bag
Marvel The Avengers : Age of Ultron Activity Bag
Friends and Foes : Ready to Read Level 2
Hulk to the Rescue : Ready to Read Level 2
Little Barry Bilby Had a Fly Upon His Nose
We’re Going on an Egg Hunt
Anzac Biscuits
Gallipoli
Me and Moo
Alice in Wonderland
False Note : EJ12 Girl Hero
The Sin Eater’s Daughter
Shoes from Grandpa

Booktopia_Scholastic_FrontPageRotatingBannerClick here to check out our March into Reading with Scholastic collection

Frané Lessac, author of A is for Australia, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Frané Lessac

author of A is for Australia

Ten Terrifying Questions
____________

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in New Jersey and grew up in a small town outside of New York City. From my bedroom window, I could see the famous skyscraper skyline. As a child I spent weekends exploring museums and galleries. I had many pets including snakes, a monkey and a camel.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At twelve, I wanted to be an artist. I explored New York’s Greenwich Village with my snakes entwined around my arm. I loved watching the painters wearing their black berets and the poets reciting verse with the audience snapping their fingers in approval.

At eighteen, I moved to California and lived in a beach house in Malibu while studying Ethnographic Film at UCLA. My aim was to make films about ‘primitive’ tribes before they were swamped by western culture.

At thirty, I was living on a small Caribbean island. I realized I could share stories about people from around the world with words and art. I began painting the lush scenery, flora and fauna, and the colonial architecture of the island. I approached numerous publishers before one accepted my first book – The Little Island

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

Illustrator: Frané Lessac

At eighteen I believed in fate and now I believe we can influence our destiny.

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Rousseau and Matisse. Gauguin’s island sojourn, Matisse’s intricate patterns, colour and composition and Rousseau’s primitives. Looking back, I feel blessed that I had access to seeing their originals in person:
Gauguin: The Seed of the Areoi
Matisse: The Goldfish
Rousseau: The Gypsy

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to visual artists, why did you choose to illustrate books?

I continue to create large-scale oil paintings based on my travels for exhibitions, but when I realised I could share stories about people from around the world with art, I was inspired to write and illustrate books for children.

6. Please tell us about your latest published work…

When I came to Australia over twenty-five years ago, I fell instantly in love with the country and way of life. I found the Australian light and landscape a brand-new challenge. What inspired me most was the freshness of the scenery, the unusual flora and fauna and colour – the red ochre of the earth and the uniquely blue sky. The love of our country is what ultimately drove me to create A is fore Australia – A fantastic tour.

Grab a copy of Frané’s new novel A is for Australia here

7. What do you hope people take away with them after viewing your work?

A is for Australia is a celebration of Australian places and culture. I hope people can explore and discover why Australia is one of the most amazing countries in the world. Perhaps become intrigued to visit some of the places in the book.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of art and why?

Children and their art as a whole, they just do it! They’re brave and they don’t doubt their talent.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

My main ambition is to inspire people to paint, read, think and dream.

10. What advice do you give aspiring illustrators?

First of all build up a portfolio showing a diversity of style and subject matter. Include animals, children, and anything else you love to draw.  Send out sample postcards and A4 tear sheets to publishers, editors and art directors. Update the images and resend at least once or twice a year. Research what’s appropriate for their publishing lists. Join organizations like the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). It’s the best way to keep your finger on the children’s book publishing pulse.

Frané, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of A is for Australia


A is for Australia

by Frané Lessac

A factastic tour of Australia from A to Z with award-wining author and illustrator Frane Lessac.

What is the Fremantle Doctor? Where is Qui Qui? And why are some islands named after days of the week? You’ll uncover these exciting facts when you explore the A to Z of Australia – from Bondi to Kakadu and all the way to Taronga Zoo. Discover why Australia is one of the most amazing countries in the world!

About the Author

Frané Lessac is an author and illustrator of international renown, having over forty children’s books published throughout the world. She was born in the USA and lived on the Caribbean island of Montserrat and London before moving to Australia. Frane has contributed her distinctive paintings to many critically acclaimed children’s picture books, including My Little Island, a Reading Rainbow feature book. Also, On the Same Day in March was named a Top Ten Science Books by ALA Booklist.

 Grab a copy of A is for Australia

A ‘Mr Men and Little Miss’ film in the works

mr-tickleReally, it’s about time.

44 years, 85 characters and more 120 million copies after Roger Hargreaves wrote his first book, inspired by his son asking what a tickle looked like, film rights for the Mr Men and Little Miss characters have been secured by Fox Animation, the studio behind the Ice Age and Rio franchises.

Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison added: “The Mr Men and Little Miss characters have delighted readers from around the world for decades.”

Shawn Levy, who produced and directed the Night at the Museum films starring Ben Stiller, will produce the movie.

Do you have a favourite Mr or Miss? Tell us in the comments below.


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Ruthie May, author of Count My Christmas Kisses, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Ruthie May

author of Count My Christmas Kisses, Stew a Cockatoo and Count My Kisses, Little One

Ten Terrifying Questions
____________

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia until my father dragged the family across the Nullarbor when I was 15 for bigger things out East. I finished high school and went to University in Sydney and haven’t really ever left.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At age 12 I dreamed of one day running my own newspaper and dating Spike from Press Gang – the thought of sitting around talking about what stories were important and which weren’t seemed wonderful to me, and Dexter Fletcher was just so witty and respectful of Julia Sawalha; at age 18 I wanted to be an academic historian – I was studying history and loved it, I still do; at age 30 I wanted to be a lady of leisure – it seemed so appealing.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

Author: Ruthie May

I believed that life would take a linear, logical course.

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Itsy-Bitsy Babies by Margaret Wild & Jan Ormerod; The Millennium Book of Myth and Story by Maurice Saxby & John Winch; & The Ghost’s Child by Sonya Hartnett.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a picture book? 

There is so much delight to be had in a picture book – you only need to sit down and read to children to discover that. You can see the world open up to a child right before your very eyes. To be able to create those experiences is a total joy.

6. Please tell us about your latest picture book…

My latest picture book is a follow up book to a book I wrote a number of years ago called Count My Kisses, Little One. They appear to be counting books, but they are really about smooching and the affection small children have for new babies.

Grab a copy of Ruthie’s new book Count My Christmas Kisses here

 

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

A warm fuzzy feeling.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

In the realm of children’s picture writing, I’ve always admired Margaret Wild who knows how to write for babies and toddlers like no other, and Jan Ormerod, who was also a great expert in writing and illustrating for small children.  If you read their books, it doesn’t take long to see what great observers they are of life in the small lane.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To continue writing picture books that keep the interest and imagination of toddlers alive; books that when the reading comes to a close the toddler says, ‘again’, and mum or dad or the loved one has to read it over and over. Sorry grown-ups. 

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Don’t be one of those people who read children’s books and say ‘I could have written that’ – you didn’t – but you could – if you sit down and give it a try.

Ruthie, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Count My Christmas Kisses


Count My Christmas Kisses

by Ruthie May, Tamsin Ainslie (Illustrator)

From the creators of the beautiful Count My Kisses, Little One comes another delightful book, perfect for the festive season.

One kiss for baby, under mistletoe. Two kisses for baby, catching falling snow.

2010’s Count My Kisses, Little One was an instant hit with Australian littlies and their parents. With Tamsin Ainslie’s adorable illustrations and Ruthie May’s beautiful rhyming text, the book gently introduced young children to the idea of numbers and counting.

The book soon left our shores, and went on to become an international bestseller, with more than 100,000 copies sold worldwide. Now, Ruthie and Tamsin are back with Count My Christmas Kisses – a gorgeous new picture book, perfect for the holiday season.

About the Author

Ruthie May was born in Perth, Western Australia. She is the published author of Count My Kisses, Little One and Stew a Cockatoo: My Aussie Cookbook illustrated by Leigh Hobbs. Ruthie immerses herself in stories for both children and grown-ups, but prefers stories where age doesn’t matter..

 Grab a copy of Count my Christmas Wishes

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