5 April 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009-13: Be a Kid

I'm taking the opportunity provided by this week's Weekly Geeks task to momentarily depart from writing about crime fiction to tell you about 3 children's authors that my children, now in their late 20s, adored.
    The task:
    April 2nd was International Children's Book Day. And April is National Poetry Month. In celebration, I have two lovely options for you this week:

    Option A: Be a kid!

    You could read a picture book (or two or three) and share what you read.
    Write up a post sharing your favorite books from childhood
    Write up a post about reading together with your child(ren)

    Option B: Be a poet!
The authors are three award winning writers that the non-Australian world may not have come across, but in my opinion, are well worth your hunting down.

The first is Mem Fox who published Possum Magic back in 1983, and then followed it up with a number of other books. She is a much loved Australian author, whose books have a real quirkiness. Her Possum Magic page contains recipes for Australian dishes you may have seen mentioned but did not know how to make: lamingtons, pavlova, and Anzac biscuits.

Mem Fox really followed up in the Australian tradition established by books like The Magic Pudding, books that endeared our native fauna and flora to our children.

Hazel Edward's book There's a Hippopotamus on our roof eating cake couldn't be more different.
I was reminded of it the other day by Rhubarb Whine who said that the hippo that used to be on her roof had come back. She said she knew he had because of the leaks in the roof.
We haven't had enough rain here in Paradise to cause the roof or anything else to leak, but elsewhere in Australia in recent weeks there have been deluges and flood.

It is 30 years this year since the first Hippo book appeared, and Hazel Edwards has continued to write prolificly, more Hippo books, but also writes YA books, easy readers and even adult non-fiction.

If you are a teacher her book pages contain lesson plan and activities you can use in conjuction with her books.
And believe me, my daughters loved the Hippo! We still have a much read copy.

My last author is Graeme Base who came to parental notice with Animalia, published by Penguin in 1986.
    Within the pages of this book
    You may discover, if you look
    Beyond the spell of written words,
    A hidden land of beasts and birds.
    For many things are 'of a kind,'
    And those with keenest eyes will find
    A thousand things, or maybe more -
    It's up to you to keep the score . .
Graeme Base has won all sorts of awards with this and subsequent books.
He too has branched out although children's picture books very much dominate his portfolio.

But this year he has been nominated for an Edgar Award (Mystery Writers US) - Juvenile section for Enigma

Do visit the Weekly Geeks site to see what my fellow geekers are up to with this week's task.


claire said...

I love Mem Fox! Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is one of my fave picture books ever. And my little ones always get tickled by Where is the Green Sheep? Haven't heard of the other two before, though.. thanks for introducing them to me. :D

gautami tripathy said...

Never read any of those. Seem like good books. Will check those out for my nephew!

Poetry book review

Dorte H said...

Lovely post, Kerrie.
I am sure my children and I would love magic possums & hippos on the roof. We mostly get cats and dogs in boring old Denmark, but we had a lovely monster book which two of my grown children still quote to this day.

I decided some time ago that I would only participate in Weekly Geeks when I could make it crime-related so I wrote a "poetic review" :)

Bernadette said...

Mem Fox is certainly a national treasure Kerrie. I've lost count of how many copies of Possum Magic I've sent overseas to friends and family.

Unknown said...

I've never heard of the books you've mentioned, but my boys would love hippos on the roof! - I'll have to keep an eye out for them!

Rikki said...

I don't know any of those, I'll have to check them out. Animalia sounds extremely interesting. Thanks for letting us know about these books.

pussreboots said...

I read Possum Magic to my son when he was just a toddler. That was before I started my book blog. It was a cute book. We have a different Grahame Base book in our collection which I need to review.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link back, Kerrie. I am happy to report our hippo - although still in residence - is a little calmer this week and has dry feet.

I LOVE Animalia, it's a favourite. So much so, I have 2 copies, one that is rarelt flipped through for clues as I love it's illustrations and want to keep it special.

Dreamybee said...

I love the illustrations in Animalia! Possum Magic looks like it would hold similar appeal. I've never heard of the hippopotamus books, but anything with a hippo is sure to make me giggle! Sounds like it would be a fun read.


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