My other home

4 06 2014

I’m having a little medium-sized break from this blog.

While you’re waiting for me to get back to it, come and visit me on my shiny new writer-and-poet site:

In the mail …

1 07 2013

Kill the music by Nansi Kunze

Look what came in the mail — a shiny new book. What you see above is the first book ever to feature my name …

… in the acknowledgements. 🙂

Kill the Music is a new YA title by Nansi Kunze and it’s just hit bookshops. (You can preview the first chapter on the publisher’s website — it’s free!)

Checking in

21 06 2013

Today I woke to yet another day of wintry sunshine and admired my thriving poppy seedlings and pondered the patch of earth where spinach seedlings should really be by now but aren’t.

Last week at this time I was on Rottnest Island for a retreat with a whole lot of other writers and illustrators from SCBWI Australia West — plus a few extras from the eastern states and from Singapore.  It was an inspiring and creative crowd and hanging out with them for four days was a real buzz. Here’s the view from the cottage I was staying in.

Rottnest (dusk)

Rottnest (dusk)

As luck (and a bit of manoevring) would have it, the second half of 2013 will have a lot more time for writing. I am poised to fill it with words. And poppies. But it looks like I’ll have to keep buying spinach …

Bad joke alert

3 06 2013

Q. Why shouldn’t you try writing with a broken pencil?

A. Because it’s pointless.

Kind of like this post really …

Penguin open to submissions

3 03 2013

Penguin Australia has announced changes to how their submissions process works for children’s and YA titles.

They will be accepting certain types of manuscripts at particular times of the year. You’ll find all the details on their website.

Happy writing.

Eric Vale Epic Fail (A Brilliant Book Trailer)

9 02 2013

So, I continue to gather good book trailers for the Boobook Brilliant Book Trailer Hall of Fame.

Here is my latest find—a trailer for Eric Vale Epic Fail by Michael Gerard Bauer and illustrated by Joe Bauer (who also created the trailer).

It’s short and catchy, it’s funny and entertaining. Straight to the Hall of Fame!

Free magazine back issue

4 01 2013

In my day job I am the editor of Alphabet Soup—an Australian magazine for kids aged 6 to 12 who love reading and creative writing.

Over on Alphabet Soup’s blog, they are giving away a free back issue to the first 200 people who request one before 4 February 2013.  Do  you know any teachers, librarians or friends who might like a copy? Maybe you’d like a copy yourself?

Head on over there to find out how. (And tell your friends!)

Thank you!

Book review: Good Night, Sleep Tight

17 12 2012

good night sleep tight (cover)

Good Night, Sleep Tight by Mem Fox, ill. Judy Horacek, ISBN 9781742832579, Scholastic Australia, RRP $19.99 Published October 2012

Here’s the perfect nursery rhyme book for bedtime.

Bonnie and Ben are being put to bed by their favourite babysitter, Skinny Doug. (Unrelated tangent: Horacek’s Skinny Doug reminds me a lot of a babysitter my brothers and I once had. One night when my brothers kept popping out of the bedroom, he lay flat on his back on the bedroom floor—on a sea of lego—and stayed there until the boys fell asleep. We thought he was the Best Babysitter Ever. Anyway, back to Skinny Doug … )

He shares some nursery rhymes he learnt from his mother, including:

  • Good night, sleep tight
  • It’s raining, it’s pouring
  • This Little Piggy
  • Pat-a-cake
  • Round and round the garden
  • This is the way the ladies ride
  • Star light, star bright

In between each rhyme, Bonnie and Ben cry a catchy refrain—

‘We love it, we love it!’ said Bonnie and Ben.

‘How does it go? Will you say it again?’

A keen illustration-studier will notice that Bonnie, Ben and Skinny Doug become part of the illustration for each rhyme—they are in there riding horses and ‘tickling under there’ with the rest of the cast of characters from each nursery rhyme.

A rollicking and fun take on a bedtime picture book—and a calm ending to send the readers off to bed ready for sleep.

I received a review copy of Good Night, Sleep Tight from the publisher but receive no payment for reviewing it. (I do get to keep the book though. Lucky me!)

© Rebecca Newman December 2012. Review of Good Night, Sleep Tight by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek.…ht-sleep-tight/

The Hidden Alphabet (A Brilliant Book Trailer)

30 11 2012

Readers of this blog (hello to all five of you!) will know that I am a curmudgeon when it comes to book trailers. And yet—HERE I AM! With book trailer #2 making it to the Boobook Brilliant Book Trailer Hall Of Fame. (You will find the first book trailer in the Hall of Fame if you read this earlier post.)

I haven’t read this book. Yet. I like the trailer so much that I am going to track it down immediately and find a small child to read it with me. Why does this trailer make the cut? The music in the trailer is done well (in my—rather biased—opinion), the trailer itself is quirky and visually appealing. I think it does a good job of advertising an alphabet book and is enjoyable to watch just for its own sake. And this book trailer is for:

The Hidden Alphabet by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

What do you think, would it make it to your Hall of Fame?

In the Lion (a Brilliant Book Trailer)

20 07 2012

I have a confession—I’m not really taken with book trailers. I want to get excited about them, I really do … but it seems I expect a lot from a book trailer, and most are quite bland.

It’s the National Year of Reading and I think good book trailers are a great way to promote books. So when I come across them, I’ll post the book trailers that do grab me.

Today’s trailer is for is an upcoming picture book by Perth author-illustrator James Foley—In the Lion will be out in August.

Put me out of my misery—can you recommend any other ‘must see’ trailers for children’s/YA titles?