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BugNews CELEBRATING CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

BUG RECOMMENDS

BOOK REVIEWS TO HELP WITH THE CHRISTMAS RUSH

GARDENING 4 KIDS

SUMMER GARDENING IDEAS

JULIE MURPHY

KIDS CLUB ACTIVITIES!

JOHN BOMAN

IMAGINATION

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

COVER Artwork from Serena Geddes & Barbara Pyett’s book:

SERENA GEDDES MEET THE ILLUSTRATOR

DECK the HALLS


Bug in a Book is an Australian/New Zealand Children’s Literacy hub. We promote literacy organisations to the greater community by allowing them to contribute to our Bug in a Book  website and at the same time our e-magazine, newsletters and social networks. You’ll find info on school events, book reviews, links to Aussie authors and illustrators, and much more!

Love the range appealing to kids of all ages and adults. Love the colour, reviews, interviews and all of it...

~ Susanne Gervay, Australian Author. I have really enjoyed reading through the blog. Be it that the website has totally distracted me from painting though. Keep up the great work...

~ Kayleen West, Children’s Book Writer & Illustrator

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www.buginabook.com www.facebook.com/officialbuginabook 1 Bug News Christmas

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Edition 13 Christmas 2011

serena geddes meet the i l l u s t r at o r

editor’s note

BUG NEWS

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Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

julie murphy

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Welcome to the last issue of Bug News for 2011. Special features include Meet the Author interview with Julie Murphy, Meet the Illustrator interview with Serena Geddes and a delightful article by John Boman on the wonders of the imagination and reading. Don’t forget to check out our favourite books in the review section and maybe add some to your Christmas stocking.

Angela Hall

11-12 19-20 Bug Recommends 21 kids club & activities

illustrator and author interviews

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john boman Tell us what you think! Contact us at Bug in a Book:

Book Reviews, Articles, Literature: Angela Hall - Managing Director buginabook@bigpond.com

gardening 4 kids

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Advertising, Graphic Design, Website: Danielle Bagshaw - Art Director delbagshaw@gmail.com All images, logos, and articles are strictly copyright.

melanie avery Bug News Christmas 2


Christmas is in the air. You can see it sparkling in the shop windows and hear it in excited little voices. For us here at Bug in a Book this time of year brings reflection, looking back, saying thank you, and making plans to move ahead better than before. So we are taking this opportunity to share a little about ourselves and our journey....

the bug story We (Angela Hall and Danielle Bagshaw) started from the very ordinary beginning as a couple of literologists wanting to learn and share what we learned about the Australian children’s book world. We soon discovered what an amazing world it is and quickly realised that there were many others who shared this interest. We set up our website and Facebook page to plant the little bug seed. Suddenly the very wonderful Hazel Edwards and Paul Collins were contacting us. Of course we were completely star struck but tried very hard not to let on. From here our author interviews and book reviews were born. This was so exciting for us and spurred us on to nurture what had sprouted to become the early days of Bug in a Book.

Danielle Bagshaw – Collector of those nerdy design magazines and all those computer gizmo’s that designers apparently need. She is obsessive to the point of compulsive about the correct placement of her art pencils and her table being at the correct angle to catch the best lighting. Danielle enjoys sharing her office with her furry foot warmers both canine and feline but not usually at the same time. She regularly changes her computer password because she believes her cat is putting bids on ebay. Danielle loves beauty and colour which sums up what a delight she is to have around.

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Angela Hall – Has ink in her veins. Well no, not really. But she does love to write. She describes it as being free while staying in one place. However the writer’s brain is both a blessing and a curse as this freedom does have a tendency to keep you awake at night and poke you with a hot stick. It also feeds off coffee. Angela spent much of her life as an early childhood teacher and loves the sparkle a good book puts in a child’s eye. She has a big jar full of these sparkles on her book shelf that she has collected over the years.


With half of our interest in the book industry side and half in the children’s literacy side it became apparent to us that the two would have to divide. After much deliberation the Blue Dingo Promotional Network was born. This is our book industry site where we, like the other writers and illustrators out there learn, share, enjoy the promotions and keep putting one foot in front of the other in order to succeed in our passion of creating our very own literary masterpieces. Other more recent developments have been our need to grow our reviewers group. With so much interest from publishers (we are now affiliated with over 20) we were getting far more than the two of us could handle. So please allow me to introduce to you the members of our review team: Rachel Mason – Rachel has been a valued part of Bug in a Book, where time permits her, for quite a while offering her support in the kids club and now reviewing. She is a budding children’s writer, and enjoys the odd artistic pursuit as well as her full time job as mother to three little bugs. She is a Dr. Who fan and it has been said she uses a tardis to get around.

Scott Chambers – A name to keep an eye out for in the future. Scott is a multi-genre writer, poet, scientist, and will also answer to the name Dudley who you may know from the Ask Dudley articles we have on Blue Dingo and previous eMagazines. He can be bribed with chocolate and coffee (but not the freeze dried stuff ).

Kerrin Bagshaw - Kerrin is a mother to a little bug and sister to a Bug in a Book director, because of this Kerrin had absolutely no choice but to sit tied to her desk and work for the queen bugs. Just kidding. Kerrin is a lover of children’s books and enjoys sharing her ever growing collection with her daughter. She values early literary enjoyment for young children.

Kylie Calwell – Kylie is a reviewer over at the wonderful Kylie Verse where she shares an enormous collection of YA books, trailers, events and information for writers. Recently she commenced The Kylie Verse YA Book Club which you can find featured on the Bug in a Book web site also. You of course can safely assume that she is also a writer.

Kelly McDonald – Not only is Kelly a talented illustrator, she is also very handy with a keyboard and writes children’s stories for various ages. When not reviewing for Bug in a Book or following her booky interests she can be found frolicking around in faerie gardens as Faerie Crystall (The Magickal). Beware of the faerie dust, it isn’t always used for good, she is quite mischievous.

Vicki Griffin – Vicki is an author who uses her indigenous background to inspire her and to reach out to the communities. Vicki is also a columnist and when she is not writing she is probably deep in thought plotting new adventures. Vicki’s book Nana’s Storm is about one very cheeky Nana and I do wonder if it may be just a bit autobiographical.

Cassandra Griffin – Is the most recent of the reviewers to join Bug in a Book. She is also a writer of YA Fiction, urban fantasy, poetry and lyrics (pretty awesome bunch these writers). Cassandra might describe herself as Whovian with exceptional taste in music and foot wear. However that probably isn’t the case as I just made that up… except the Whovian part.

Bug News Christmas 4


Blue Dingo...

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Lets you network with other people in the Australian/NZ book industry, everyone from writers and illustrators looking for resources to help them get published, seasoned authors and illustrators, publishers, businesses and services with the industry knowledge and an array of industry groups, clubs and bloggers. Jo

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Tania McCartney is an author, publisher, magazine editor, book reviewer and marshmallow-gobbler. Her current books include: Riley and the Grumpy Wombat: A journey around Melbourne, Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline Beijing Tai Tai: Life, laughter and motherhood in China’s Capital.

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john boman

| imagination

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living; it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities. ~ Dr. Seuss

A

s a young child, I used to believe that magic was real. I would see a magician do his trick and make a coin disappear, or choose the right card from the pack or more stupendously, saw some poor helpless audience member in half. And I believed in it. I had to believe in it. My very life foundation rested upon the fact that the unreal or the fantastic could indeed come to life. When I read a book with wonderfully weird and fantastic characters, that world was built into my mind. Not only did the author and illustrator take me to far and strange places, but in my mind I added to their worlds. I saw the monsters and the mythological creatures in clear 3D in my mind. Sometimes I even continued the story and added myself into the mix. There was nothing wrong with that was there? To me it was all real and I was better for it.

writer profile John has too much imagination. So much so that he needs to get it all out of his head before it explodes. He lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, with his wife, two sons, a dog and cat who never comes home. He hopes to write many fantastical books for years to come.

Reading has an important role to play in the development of the imagination process. If a computer program has a code that brings it to life, then reading a good book, especially for a child, brings their imagination to life and teaches them that all is possible. How dull our lives would be without Dr Seuss, Roald Dahl, Dr Who, Neil Gaiman, Phillip Pullman and the trove of wonderful story books we read and have had read to us as children. We stoke the fires in the brain when we encourage children to read and be just as creative as the writers and illustrators that share their wonderful thoughts with us. It’s a vital part of the human process to imagine, to dream of a different life. So why do we take that from our children as they grow older? My imagination was and still is the fuel of my soul. When we as parents ‘grow up’ we have a tendency to lose that part of ourselves; that connection to that invisible place where all is possible and the very atoms of existence come alive. This may be because of a number of factors. Real life is invasive after all. We have to stop disabling such a crucial part of childhood and indeed an important part of being human. We don’t teach our children to dream. We dismiss their quirks and strange ideas and tell them to grow up. Imagination becomes a dirty word and is usually tossed aside like a discarded tissue. Reading is encouraged less and less as children get older. Like a fire with no wood, the flame of imagination goes away and is generally never lit again. But why is it so important?

Bug News Christmas 6


john boman | imagination Without imagination we wouldn’t have computers, cities, cures for cancer, IPADS, planes in the sky or cars that go faster than ever before. Fire would never have been invented and our ancestors would have died out in that cold, cold cave a long time ago. We wouldn’t have the Mona Lisa, a Star Wars movie or the potato chip. We wouldn’t have the wonderful books that we read time and time again. Who knows what we might have read as children otherwise? • • •

Alice’s Adventures in cleaning Toilets? Green Eggs and Ham are Hygienic Nightmares: A lesson in keeping your fridge clean. The Secret Garden: How to grow the perfect Asparagus!

That’s why I wanted to write children’s books. My first novel, THE SPIRIT OF THE MOON, is full of strange ideas, and wonderful characters with names like Phaestus Greenant. I have a town called Sovereign Creek that has been called ‘The Weirdest Town in the World.’ That’s enough for any child to conjure up several scenarios of why that may be. Certainly an active imagination helped in the writing of the story, but it paid a more important role. I imagined that one day I could write a book. And I did. Stimulating children and teaching them that imagination is not just a childhood trope to be discarded when they come of age. It’s a part of humanity. It’s a part of who we are. Isn’t that the greatest gift you could give to a child? Let them imagine who they are, who they can be. And more importantly, what they can do. Foster their reading habits all their life, add a little dash of dreaming, a pinch of what-may-be and you have the perfect recipe...for an imaginative life!

Grab a copy of John’s book, The Spirit of the Moon, available now!

http://www.johnbomanauthor.com/Books.html advertisement We cover news, reviews, interviews, articles, guest posts, events, specialist literacy articles and much more, attracting readers from all over the world including teachers, librarians, industry professionals and parents and kids. We are currently proud to achieve over 42,000 hits per month (and growing exponentially), and are one of the most respected literary sites on the web.

Kids Book Review is a 100% voluntary children’s literature and book review site that supports and features authors, illustrators and publishers Australiawide and internationally.

We receive books from major Australian publishers, indie publishers, international publishers and self-publishers for review (click here to find out how your book could be reviewed), and we use our considerable social networking skills to further promote and enhance any book appearance on KBR.

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Dimity Powell

Australian Children’s Author To Read, Write and Inspire are my ambitions. To wake up smiling is my goal. To share life’s magic is my dream. Join me in the sharing, caring and fantastical world of children’s literature on my Blog.

http://dimswritestuff.blogspot.com/

Karen Tyrell

Australian Children’s Author I’m a multi-genre Australian writer with six completed or near completed books … a Memoir, a Crime Faction, two picture books and two books in the Super Space Kids series.

Linda Ruth Brooks

Australian Children’s Author Callan the Chameleon lived in a tall lilly pilly tree with pink tipped leaves. The leaves of the lilly pilly tree grow very thick. Callan felt safe in the rustling tree that was home....

Please check out my blog!

www.karentyrrell.com

www.lindaruthbrooks.com/

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New Dual Core computers (from $473), Dual Core notebooks (from $484), notebook batteries, computer components, accessories, software and laser toner - all at very competitive prices.

Book Cover Cafe Book Cover Cafe welcomes writers and authors inside to find free, practical and actionable resources along with quality award winning cover design and book production services. Founder Anthony Puttee assists authors create and launch their books into today’s marketplace. Having presented on panels and industry events with best selling authors and industry professionals, Anthony helps authors demystify today’s evolving publishing industry.

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Rebus Press Julie Jay and Fee Sievers are the two-woman team that is Rebus Press. Our service is fast, reliable, aff ordable and friendly. Overheads are low (which keeps your costs down!) and we’re both published authors who are extremely passionate about what we do. Bett er yet, we LOVE to talk about self-publishing, so, if you haven’t already, come in and have a chat with us about your writi ng project.We’ll talk you through the self-publishing process and give you a free, no-obligati on quote on what it’ll cost to turn your manuscript into a beauti ful, aff ordable book.

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Advertise! Want to advertise with Bug in a Book? Head over to www.buginabook.com and check out our advertising section for more info.

Bug News Christmas 8


Summer Gardening for kids! Summer is here! The weather is nice and warm and the days are long so it is the perfect time to be outside and active with the kids. At this time of year there are plenty of gardening activities that little green thumbs can take part in that are not only fun but help them learn about the world around them. Grow sunflowers Sunflowers are hugely popular flowers for kids. They are bright, come in a variety of colours and their height amazes children. Growing sunflowers is a great way to encourage children to practise their mathematical skill by measuring and tracking their rate of growth. Once your sunflowers have bloomed keep the biggest flower heads, dry them out and collect the seeds to replant next year.

Read a book Summer is the time when potatoes grow and Pamela Allen’s The Potato People is a fantastic book to share with your little green thumbs. It tells the story of a grandmother and her grandson who make potato people, grow them in the garden and end up with masses of potatoes. The story not only shows children how potatoes grow but also highlights the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. It is a lovely story that I’m sure you’ll love reading with your little one – I know I do! Water the garden During the summer months not only do we get hot and thirsty but our gardens do too. Get the kids outside with buckets and watering cans to help water the plants. It helps keeps your plants happy and your kids will have fun and keep cool splashing about in the water. The best time to water your plants is in the early morning or late afternoon and evening to help stop water evaporation. Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas season with your family and friends. To celebrate the festive season and to encourage your little ones to head outdoors into the garden we are offering 15% off all orders for Bug In A Book readers until December 15th. Simply enter the code BIAB at the checkout to take advantage of this offer. Happy gardening! Caroline.

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Plant a butterfly garden Kids love butterflies so why not plant a garden that will attract them? One of the best plants you can grow to attract these beautiful creatures is Buddleia. This plant has large flowers full of nectar that attract butterflies and birds into your garden. It may be a good idea however to plant it in a container as it can grow to be quite large and tend to take over areas if not controlled.

Written by Caroline Roberts – owner of Gardening 4 Kids, an online store that specialises in quality fun and educational gardening products for children. To see more visit www.gardening4kids.com.au


Bugs in Focus ~

Ants

Ants love dry warm weather, which is why you see them during the summer months. Did you know: 1. 2. 3.

Ants are extremely strong? They can lift between 10-50 times their own body weight depending on their species! They use their antennas for hearing, smelling, tasting and communicating with each other? They are related to bees and wasps?

Ants are often viewed as both beneficial and a pest in the garden. Whilst they are great at aerating soil they can also help transfer aphids around your garden due to the fact that they like to eat the honeydew that the aphids secrete. If you need to protect your plants from ants a powder ring can help. Simply sprinkle a ring of cornflour or baby powder around the areas that you want protected from ants. They don’t like traveling through it so will avoid the area. Of course you will need to reapply after rain or heavy wind but the best thing is that it is kid-friendly.

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tio c u A ity

Char

Help Save a Tasmanian Devil this Christmas!

DFTD is a fatal condition in Tasmanian devils, characterised by cancers around the mouth and head. Animals usually die within a few months of the cancer becoming visible. Tasmanian devils with facial tumours find it difficult to eat, death results from starvation and the breakdown of body functions. Please support a great cause and help these amazing animals - head over to Tasmanian Author Kate Gordon’s blog!

Aw eso Priz me es!

A signed copy of Kate’s book, Thyla. A signed copy of the very first hot-off-the-press Vulpi (the sequel to Thyla) – read it before anyone else does! A signed very rare hardback copy of Christina Booth’s acclaimed picture book, Potato Music. A manuscript assessment of the first thirty pages of a Young Adult Novel, compiled by Kate! And the most wonderful prize of all, an original illustration from Christina’s beautiful Tasmanian Devil book, Purinina.

Bug News Christmas 10


Meet the Illustrator

Serena Geddes

‘Why I Love’ Series ‘Why I love my Mum, my Dad, my Grandma and my Grandpa’ Written by Alison Reynolds, is a fun and delightful collection of short stories about what our parents and grandparents are not so good at and what they are great at and of course, why we love them. Published by The Five Mile Press release date March 2011.

Samuel’s Kisses

‘Samuel’s Kisses’ written by Karen Collum follows one toddler on an ordinary shopping expedition with his mum. Through the gentle touch of a kiss, strangers are transformed, impatience forgotten and joy rediscovered. Aimed at the 2-5 year-old market, Samuel’s Kisses is bound to leave every reader with an overwhelming case of warm fuzzies.

Published by New Frontier Publishing released November 2010.

Maybe Because ‘Maybe because’ written by Aimee GarciaTice is a beautiful picture book about adoption. The book looks at adoption through the eyes of its main character, ‘the best boy in the whole wide world’, who happily explains the positive and quirky reasons which he believes are why he is so loved and wanted. Published by Bacon and Eggs Media released November 2010.

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“As a child I enjoyed scribbling on scraps of paper, cardboard boxes and even my parents’ piano, which was rather silly considering I signed my name next to my creation. Trying to convince my parents it was their other daughter for the next 45 minutes proved a waste of time and did not lessen the punishment.” In 1996 I was accepted as a Trainee inbetweener for Walt Disney Animation Australia, a career path I never knew existed. Disney offered an intensive 3-month training program to become an in-betweener, and once through, areas such as life-drawing, animal and human anatomy were all part of our learning. In recent years I found myself picking up books thinking this is what I’d love to do. In March 2009 my job ended and I decided to follow in the footsteps of my fellow Disney colleague, Tina Burke, into the book world. I invested 2-3 months into creating new artwork to send to publishers in Australia and the UK and within 3 months I had landed my first contract. It’s been a fun filled 2 years in the publishing industry with 12 books completed and 4 lined up to welcome in the new year!


Where does your inspiration come from? It can vary from people watching in a café to looking through books at the local library or bookstores. I find meeting with the author can give me a better insight into the style or characters for their books and it’s also a good excuse to meet up for a coffee... What are your favourite subjects to illustrate? People and animals are enjoyable to create and where I have most my fun. Inspiration can sometimes come from friends or family which can be a good or bad thing, depending on what the finished character looks like and who I based it on. What is your favourite medium for creating? It varies depending on each project. Working in ink and pen is certainly faster for me especially if I choose to colour them on the computer. I also enjoy using watercolour and pencil when doing traditional illustrations. What is your favourite part of the illustration process? Adding in something quirky or humorous to either the character’s personality or the environment they may be in. I also enjoy being able to create a picture with no words so the drawing can do all the talking. Do you have a particular ‘proudest art moment’? Sometimes I surprise myself with an illustration or a scribble and look at it thinking ‘That actually turned out ok’ but I must admit, something that sticks out in my mind was when I met with Walker Books. My portfolio was full of illustrations from the books I had illustrated and Donna Rawlins pointed out a character I had created for my own children’s story and she said ‘This is by far the best illustration in your portfolio’ I think I was still smiling days later. If you were to name your two favourite artists, who would they be, and why? This is hard as there are many, but two come to mind. Stephen Michael King - I quite like his characters, they often seem reflective and I find them unique in their own way. He uses composition, movement, colour and expression extremely well and I find myself wanting to get to know more about his characters. Gus Gordon is the other, I had a phone call from Gus the last time I mentioned he was an inspirational illustrator of mine, but that is not why I am writing him down again. I love his humour. It’s quirky and there is always something unexpected with his characters, their habits or their environment. Do you have any words of wisdom for artists wanting to break into the book industry? I tend to get a lot of emails from people who have written a story and want it illustrated to send to a publisher. . Unfortunately that is not how it works and I have to send a standard response. Publishers tend to have their own illustrators and prefer to read manuscripts as text only. As an illustrator trying to break into the industry be aware that it is very rare for a publisher to take on a manuscript that is fully illustrated. Sending rough illustrations for the character design or a page or two mock up maybe an option but I don’t think it’s recommended. Be prepared for knock backs. Publishers get hundreds of artists and writers knocking on their doors (including myself ) trying to get a foot in the door or their first break. I started out by picking up books that I felt the style was similar or that I could do and looked at who the publisher’s were. I’d send a sample copy of my work maybe 10 – 12 images with a cover letter and wait…sometimes for a while. New Frontier Publishing are a wonderful small publishing house in Sydney who take on new talent. I’d highly recommend them when starting out. They were my first publisher and I had the pleasure of illustrating several books with them, but being a smaller publishing house they will be inundated with interest from other writers and illustrators so patience is always good to have. If you can, get amongst the creative community by attending talks, workshops (there are plenty at the NSW Writers Centre) or become a member to organisations like Society Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) or Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) or get your work up on creative websites like Illustrators Australia (IA) are all things that will help you in the industry. I was very surprised at just how open and friendly everyone was and is in the world of Children’s Book’s.

Bug News Christmas 12


Meet the Author

Julie Murphy

Award winning Australian children’s writer, zoologist and former zookeeper. Julie’s web site: http://members.optusnet.com.au/~julieamurphy/ Arachnids Arachnids are a special group of animals that includes spiders, scorpions, ticks, and mites. This attention-grabbing book takes a close look at some of these amazing creatures. Their poisonous fangs help them catch prey and defend themselves. Their complex webs and nets catch food and keep their eggs safe. These are just some of the weird, wild, and wonderful ways that arachnids survive in the wild.

I have been interested in animals and stories for as long as I can remember. I studied Zoology at university and really loved it. However, after finishing a Masters thesis about how guide dog trainers assess the temperament of their dogs, I faced the sad reality that long-term jobs in zoology were few and far between. I took a side-step into the fascinating world of zookeeping, which kept me busy for ten years!

Published by Gareth Stevens Publishing

Desert Animal Adaptations Desert animals special features help them survive in the heat and cold of their bone dry homes. Read all about the amazing adaptations of desert animals. Published by Capstone Press

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On the home front, I was constantly saving up for the next backpacking trip overseas with my partner. We have been lucky to have visited parts of Africa, Asia, South America, Europe and, of course, Australia. Now we are older and have a 7-yearold daughter, our destinations and modes of travel have become somewhat more comfortable. In 2007 we spent 14 weeks towing a camper-trailer around outback Australia. It was a bit different from sharing the back of a truck with 23 South American farmers...but there were a few similarities at times! I am now happily immersed in the wonderful world of children’s literature., specialising in animal and nature-related topics.


Tell us a bit about yourself. I trained as a zoologist (animal scientist), specialising in Animal Behaviour, and worked as a zookeeper for ten years. So you could say I’m pretty interested in animals. I have been writing for quite a long time, and most often write about…wait for it…ANIMALS! I enjoyed writing stories and poems at school, but my first professional writing work consisted of scientific reports. From there I branched out to magazine articles about travel (I love travelling), zoos and pets, before finally moving into the wonderful world of children’s books. As an author what is your most satisfying accomplishment? Having publishers like your work enough to publish it always feels good! Also, receiving dren enjoying my books is another delight. Most recently, receiving a Whitley Award al Zoological Society of NSW for my book, Great Barrier Reef Under Threat, was en my early training in zoology, the award felt like completing a circle in my rather

photos of chilfrom the Royfantastic. Giveclectic career.

What would be your ultimate achievement? I do hope, one day, to break into the Trade market. To see one of my books in a bookstore would be lovely…although continuing to see them in school libraries is mighty fine too! What inspires you? Life. I never have a shortage of ideas for stories – only the time in which to write them. My 8-year old daughter is a constant inspiration. Also, strangers I see, conversations I hear, thoughts that come to me in the middle of the night…anything can become the seed of a story. Do you have a favourite children’s book or author? I especially love picture books. I find them a terrific way to engage a child’s imagination and sense of fun. I love gentle, loving books and bouncy, rhyming books. I love books that make me laugh and cry, and stories that tell us about ourselves – what we are and what we could be. Here’s a list of some favourites: “Close Your Eyes” by Kate Banks, illustrated by Georg Hallensleben, 2002, Frances Foster Books. “Down by the Cool of the Pool” by Tony Mitton, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees, 2001, Orchard Books. “Pog and the Birdies” by Jane Simmons, 2005, Orchard Books. “Some Dogs Do” by Jez Alborough, 2003, Walker Books. “Bobby Dazzler” by Margaret Wild & Janine Dawson, 2006, Working Title Press. If you could go anywhere (real or fictional) where would you go? I have been lucky to have already visited many wonderful places in the world. I love nature and wilderness. New Zealand has a great diversity of natural beauty, so that is my place of choice right now. In fact, by the time you read this, I might already be there - I have the plane tickets booked! What 3 things can’t you live without? Time to write and think, my family, coffee What is your Christmas wish? That everyone slows down, buys less and spends more time with the ones they love. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Che

c artic k out Ju lie’s le Nam - ‘What ’ e?’ on p s in a age 22!

New books by Julie in January 2012: Whose Home Is This? Whose Baby Is This? (Capstone Press, USA)

Bug News Christmas 14


Top Foods to Avoid this Christmas by Melanie Avery www.letspartyadditivefree.com I love Christmas! I love the colours, the sparkle, the music, the happiness it brings, the sense of wonderment on children’s faces, the twinkle of fairy lights and of course the vision of the big man in red. Since deciding to live additive free, I venture into the supermarkets in the Christmas pre season hoping for a new find – an additive free treat! Every year I come away not only a little disappointed but a little frustrated at the chemical laden products that line the shelves, clearly marketed at children and the emotions Christmas evokes. This frustration led me to write and self publish my second book titled Let’s Celebrate Christmas! Additive Free which is loaded with great additive free recipes for those delicious meals and treats we look forward to at Christmas. What I discovered while researching and writing this book is that there are a number of commonly consumed foods at Christmas which contain additives that have harmful side effects. Here, I will share with you the top five products to avoid and why: Dried Fruit – commonly used ly always contain sulphur dioxide phur Dioxide 220 - asthmatics lems, possible mutagen, can be

in Christmas baking, unless dried fruit is organic, it will nearwhich is used to both preserve the fruit and keep its colour bright. Sulshould avoid, gastric irritation/damage, hyperactivity, behavioural probfatal to asthmatics. Buy organic dried fruit to avoid the sulphur.

Soft Drinks – The regular varieties will have preservatives, most likely to be 202 Potassium Sorbate 202 (possible liver damage, behavioural problems, linked to asthma, avoid if kidney or heart problems) or Sodium Benzoate 211 (hyperactivity, asthmatics should avoid, nettle rash, behavioural problems). The diet varieties will also have artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame 951 (linked to many health problems including cancer, asthma, nausea, depressions, hyperactivity and seizures) or Saccharin or calcium/sodium/potassium saccharin 954 (known carcinogen especially linked to bladder and reproductive cancers, banned in USA in 1977 but reinstated with strict labelling provisions). To avoid these nasties and still have your fizzy drink, mix some 100% real juice with some mineral water. Custard – a lovely side with many desserts and one would think it to be fairly natural but not so. Most store bought custards will contain flavour (this is a broad ingredients listing. There can be over 50 chemical ingredients to make up just one flavour. These ingredients are often protected as the food companies claim them as their ‘secret ingredient’ so there is no requirement for them to be included on food labels, as well as the 5% loophole), colours such as Annatto Extracts 160b (hypersensitivity, allergic reactions, skin irritations, linked to behaviour and learning problems) and commonly Carrageenan 407 (a suspected carcinogen, linked to ulcerative colitis, damage to the immune system and concern about toxic effects. Not recommended for children, many reports of IBS like symptoms associated with it’s regular use. Not recommended for regular consumption). Make your own custard and you will be glad you did! Lollies – most lollies will contain artificial colours and flavours with many adverse reactions such as hyperactivity, skin rashes, migraines, behavioural problems, thyroid problems, chromosome damage, suspected carcinogen, upset stomach, kidney hypersensitivity, allergic reactions, linked to behaviour and learning problems. There will also be other questionable ingredients with similar reactions. The Natural Confectionary Co. Lollies are the best choice and now have a Christmas Mix. There are other brands that claim to contain no artificial colours or flavours but they will use some natural ones that still have side effects.

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Salad Dressing – there are many varieties on the market that make a variety of health claims. Most will contain preservatives such as Potassium metabisulphite 224 (allergic and hyper-sensitive reactions, asthma, behavioural problems, chronic nettle rash or hives, prohibited in foods for infants, stomach upset), colours such as Caramel IV 150d (asthma, may cause gastrointestinal problems, prohibited in foods for infants) or flavours as well as other additives. Most health food or organic stores will have great organic salad dressings available or you can make your own. I can sense that the thought of cooking is making some of you scream ‘Oh no!!’ but really, cooking your own foods can be fun, rewarding and brings back those childhood memories. So to get you started, here are some recipes from our new book that are great to try out in the festive season. Wishing you all a lovely Christmas xx

Creamy Coconut Dressing INGREDIENTS: 3 tbsp organic coconut oil 2 tbsp agave syrup (or honey) 1 tsp Dijon mustard Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon METHOD: Whisk all ingredients together until you have a mayonnaise like consistency.

Crunchy Fruit Crackles INGREDIENTS: 200g Green & Blacks White Chocolate 1 cup organic corn flakes ½ cup organic dried fruit of choice, chopped ½ cup Arnott’s Milk Arrowroot Biscuits, chopped METHOD: 1. Line a patty pan tin with paper cases and set aside. 2. Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and then place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (be sure the bowl does not touch the water). Heat for 5 minutes, stirring often until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan. 3. Add the cornflakes, dried fruit and biscuits into the chocolate. Stir until all of the ingredients are well coated in the chocolate.

Additive Free Christmas Pudding INGREDIENTS: Makes a 2.75 litre pudding Be sure your dried fruits are 100% fruit with no additives such as sulphur. Choosing organic helps. melted pure butter for greasing 900g organic mixed dried fruit 75g finely chopped dried dates 200g organic currants 200g chopped organic dried apricots 250g pure butter 115g soft brown sugar 2 tablespoons golden syrup 175ml water 1 teaspoon bicarb soda 3 eggs, lightly beaten 170g SR flour 90g plain flour 2 teaspoons mixed spice 1/2 teaspoon ginger 5 tablespoons whiskey (no additives)

METHOD: 1. Grease a 2.75 litre pudding basin / tin with melted butter and line the base with baking paper. Mix together the dried fruit, dates, currants, apricots, butter, sugar, syrup and water in a large, heavy based pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly for 10 minutes (or until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. 2. Bring mixture to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the bicarb soda and set aside to cool completely. 3. Transfer the fruit mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the eggs, flours, spices and whiskey and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared basin/tin and smooth the surface. Place a piece of baking paper over the top of the pudding mixture, cover with foil and then with the pudding basin/tin lid. 4. Place the basin on a trivet (I just used a small plate) in a large saucepan or pot. Add enough boiling water to come two thirds up the side of the basin/tin. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and boil steadily for 5 hours, topping up with boiling water as required. 5. Carefully remove the basin/tin from the pan and let it cool completely. Remove the foil and baking paper and wrap the basin/ tin tightly in foil. Store the pudding in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. (I took my pudding out of the tin and wrapped it in foil as I was making more). 6. To serve, remove the foil and cover the surface with baking paper, foil and the lid and simmer on a trivet in a large pan of boiling water for 2 hours (I reheated mine in the microwave - without the foil of course!). Serve with cream, homemade ice cream or homemade custard.

Bug News Christmas 16


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Nina is a nice but nervous numbat. In a nutshell, she is the most nervous numbat in all of North Nundroo. Nervous Nina and the series are great for those who are learning their letters and sounds or even those children who are looking to grow their vocabulary with lots of lovely new words. Great for home and school. I plan to collect the whole set. Get your tongue twisted today! ~ Angela Hall Scholastic Australia RRP: $4.99 ISBN: 978 1 74283 048 3 November 2011

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s d i K

! b u Cl

Help! I’m Lost! Draw a line from animal to their home to help them find their way.

Wombat

Koala

Cave

Magpie

Mound

Bent Wing Bat

Nest

Termite

BARKOOKURA ____________________

DOGIN ____________________

MOBWAT ____________________

LOKAA ____________________

LATUSPPY ____________________

NICHEDA ____________________

NANAGO ____________________

WAACSSORY

Gum Tree

Australian Animal Word Scramble!

Burrow

____________________ Answers: Kookaburra, Dingo, Wombat, Koala, Platypus, Echidna, Goanna, Cassowary.

21 Bug News Christmas


Cool links:

“What’s in a name?” Have you ever noticed that some animals have the strangest names? Why do we call jellyfish jelly-fish, for example, when they aren’t really fish at all? They are invertebrates (animals without a backbone), whereas fish are vertebrates (animals with a backbone). I think their other name suits them better - ‘sea jellies’. Starfish have the same problem. Perhaps it’s better to call them by their other name - ‘sea stars’.

SUMMER 2011 ISSUE OUT NOW!

The Australian magazine for children aged 6 to 12 who love reading and creative writing.

www.alphabetsoup.net.au

Hazel Edwards

Just for Kids!

Another example is the flying fox. Yeah, right. If you have ever seen a fox that can fly, then I think you need glasses! These animals are not really foxes, but they do fly. You may know them by their other name - ‘fruit bat’. This is quite a good name because these animals are bats they do eat fruit (and nectar). But can you believe it… not everyone is happy with that name either! Thanks to scary vampire stories, some people mistakenly believe that all bats like to get tangled in your hair and drink blood. The only bat they like is the one you play with on a big, grassy oval in the Aussie summer. But regardless of what they are called, fruit bats are beautiful animals that won’t trouble you if you don’t trouble them. So let’s not give them a bad name!

Fun facts

www.hazeledwards.com/page/just_for_kids.html

ing

d clu n i ! ties hippo i v i t f ac in the o s Lot olour C

When resting, fruit bats hang upside down in trees by their feet. A mother fruit bat feeds her babies with milk that comes from teats in her arm pits! Activity Can you think of any other weird, unsuitable animal names? There are lots out there.... Written by Julie Murphy Julie recently received a Whitley Award Commendation 2011 in the Children’s Series category for her book, What’s the Issue? Great Barrier Reef Under Threat. The award is judged by the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.

Bug News Christmas 22


S

o Christmas is only a couple of weeks away and you haven’t got two coins to rub together let alone enough money to buy the whole family presents. Never fear… Faerie Crystall is here!

I have a list of presents for everyone that can be made by you in no time at all, and cost zip! Most things you will find about the house, in the back shed or in the yard. This year, get creative!! Mum and Grandmother: • A Portrait. Got a camera? Mums and Grandmothers love nothing more than your big shiny smile looking out of a picture frame. Go to a park and get a friend to snap some shots, or set the self timer and do some self portraits if you are a bit shy. If you can print it, do so, otherwise just copy onto a disc for your mum to choose her favorite. It’s a guaranteed winner. If you have brothers and sisters, why not get together and all say cheeeeeeeeeese! You may also want to try your hand a making a frame from decorated cardboard or ice block sticks. •

A little book of why you love your mum - Staple some papers together, and write some little quotes; I love my mum because… The best day with my mum was….. My best memory of my mum was….. Think of all the things that will make her smile. Grandma would love these too.

Dad and Grandfather: • A book of Dad or Grandpa Vouchers I will do the lawns. I will put out the bins. I will take out the garbage. I will put my toys away. A big book of things you know your dad will appreciate you doing. But just make sure you do them!! I bet there might be a few jobs around Grandpa’s house that a big strong grandson/daughter could do. It would be a great opportunity to have a chat with him too. You might learn some wicked tales about your parents!! Teenage Sisters and Brothers: • Runes - Collect some nice round rocks from the garden. Shiny white ones would look good, or make some clay circles, or even wood ones would be nice. Go online and Google runes. They used to be used as an old Nordic alphabet, but now are said to be able to divine the future! Inscribe the symbols on your stone with a texta, or if you are really clever you can scrape them in, or paint them. Put in a little bag with a print out of their meanings. She will love them! If you are feeling really clever why not make up your own symbols with a special meaning. •

A Music CD - Download some of his/her favorite tunes onto a disc.

I Owe You Voucher - Make a voucher saying you owe him to be collected at your brother’s convenience. Write something that you know he hates doing like cleaning his room, or doing some of his chores.

Little brother or sister: • Write them their very own story. Use their names. If you want, print out some photo’s and add their picture into the illustrations, but they wont care if you just draw stick figures. Take them on an adventure. They will love being the star of the story. A Cubby, Car or a Kitchen out of Empty Boxes: •

Use paper plates for wheels on a car, a Tupperware container for a sink and paint on a stove top in a kitchen, paint on windows, cut open a door. Little kids just adore boxes.

Anyone and Everyone: • Cooking - There is always baking cookies or molding chocolates! Everyone loves a Christmas treat!

Get creative this Christmas, and spread a little joy and magic about. See you next year. Hugs wishes and fairy kisses, From the Magical Faerie Crystall.

23 Bug News Christmas


Budding Writers!

Written by Rebecca Newman, editor of Alphabet Soup. An Australian magazine for kids aged 6 to 12 who love books and creative writing.

‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE WRITING! (Fa la la la la la la la la) The weeks leading up to Christmas can be a great time for writers to get some extra writing in. Here are some Christmas writing ideas. Writing as a gift Try writing a special poem for your grandma, or a short story for your best friend. It might be about them, or you could dedicate it to them. Type it and print it out (or write it in your best handwriting) and then roll it into a scroll and tie with a ribbon. Writing as entertainment 1. Write a poem about important (or funny) events that happened in the family this year. Read it aloud to everyone before Christmas lunch. 2. Make your own Christmas crackers—include your own jokes or riddles. Or instead of jokes, include a short note with a memory of something that happened this year for the family to share. Writing to stay in touch Offer to write your family’s Christmas newsletter. A Christmas newsletter is usually about one page long and includes short reports and photos of the best things that happened this year. When your newsletter is ready, you can email or post it to family and friends who live far away. (Make sure you check with your mum or dad before you send it.) Writing as a record Make your own family newspaper or magazine for 2011. Put it somewhere where everyone can read it during a Christmas gathering. Start a tradition and make a new issue every Christmas! What you could include in your newspaper or magazine:

• An interview with a family member about a Christmas Day they remember from when they were growing up. • Highlights of the year (any new babies, milestones, holidays, inventions?). • The family’s Best and Worst for the year (movies/books/sports results/picnics etc). • Photos (ask permission before using a photo someone else has taken). • Quotes—important, silly or funny things family members have said. • A list of who is at your Christmas gathering in 2011, where it is, what you’re eating etc • Leave a space so guests can write a brief note about what was best about the gathering this year (“Jack singing Jingle Bells” or “Gran’s Christmas pudding”)

Remember to store your newspaper or magazine in a safe place so you can look at it next year if you want to. Alphabet Soup is a quarterly magazine for children aged 6 to 12 who love books and creative writing. Summer 2011 ISSUE IS OUT NOW!

www.alphabetsoup.net.au

Featuring: Q&A with Wendy Orr (author of Nim’s Island and Raven’s Mountain), meet a beekeeper, poetry by Jackie Hosking, Lorraine Marwood and Edel Wignell, and enter our kids’ writing comp!

Bug News Christmas 24


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