This is the cover of our brand new book ROOM ON OUR ROCK. It's a pretty special thing. It's a book about sharing that can be read front-to-back or back-to-front for a very different perspective on the same story. We, along with the talented NZ artist Terri Rose Baynton and publisher Scholastic are donating $1 from the sale of each book towards Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation's Refugee Action Support. It's a program that helps refugee students get the literacy support they need to meet the challenges of the classroom. We're puffed-up-chestproud to be a part of it.
You can't say they weren't warned, but the lovely folk at Adelaide Writers' Week have asked us back for 2018! How great. We love this garden festival of words and the Kids' Weekend is second to none. We'll be reading our brand new book (out Feb) and doing a Captain Jimmy Cook session. Can't wait!
It was neither squishy or minnie – other than that SquishyMinnie is everything I'd dreamed it would be. It's a ridiculously charming children's bookshop in Kyneton, Vic. It's so homely and delightful that you expect it to be run by a family of kindly babushka dolls and their pet penguin, Boris. It's not. It's run by the lovely Kirsten and on Wednesday they have BookClub. On this particular Wednesday, BookClub discussed Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers Third Grade! I was lucky enough to be a part of the heated debate over morse code, vomiting cats and gender stereotypes. Brilliant. I'm personally a big fan of kids' characters with flaws – which is why we create them. I've always found that kids use these wonky characters to explore their own worlds and make sense of it... and Jimmy does a very good line in wonky.
Here he is. Jol. In a sea of grade 5s and 6s talking about the finer points of writing a book without a point. Gold Star. From here we set sail to the grade 3 and 4 to explain why Captain Jimmy Cook is obsessed with history and full of misguided ideas about exploration and constipation... then onto the calmer waters of K - 2 to wear a few silly hats and discuss the age old question... what rhymes with elephant?
Today I drove out to two delightful schools in the Hawkesbury... at least I think that's where I was. First to Peat's Ridge Primary where they have a some sort of rare sparrow nesting on their grounds and then to Somersby Public for an afternoon of reading, rhyming and staring in amazement at their disco chickens.
It's happening AGAIN! Book Week is off and running and libraries and schools everywhere are getting into the swing. Here's us at Mosman Library reading to hundreds and millions of excellent young readers and writers from Sacred Heart and Mosman Primary. Thank you to the Simin the librarian for organising this great event! They even got a sneak peak at the new top secret book which they promised to forget they ever saw...
The CBCA has selected Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers Third Grade as Honour Book for 2017. What a treat! First a Notable, then the shortlist, now this. We're letting this go directly to our heads... eating ice cream for breakfast, wearing hats with fake fruit, riding lamas around town and letting it all sink in. Thank you CBCA for this lovely award.
Okay. Pull over your horse drawn apple cart and get ready to fall off your cow. This is some seriously great news: Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers The Third Grade has been turned into a play... no... not just any play... a musical play! And it's touring schools right now. We just saw a performance to grades 3 -6 at Marrickville Primary this very morning. It was awesome, there was an Alice Toolie puppet and a talking stick puppet... they even made one of the teachers into the dude who sells the Big Deal in the book. Nice work Meerkat Productions. Gold Star.
Buffalo Exploding Floss! That's what the kids invented at the Woolahra Library Writers' Sessions on Friday. There were some other crazy products like Lava flavoured Slime Cream and Crunch Cactus Cakes... but those are best left unspoken about. Thanks Sarah and the team at Woollahra Library for having us in to talk books with the kids.
Whoo Hoo! We just beamed into classrooms across the state for a chat with over 2000 kids... with Jol dressed like a chicken. Umm. Yeah. I on the other hand looked very sensible in my jaunty captain's hat and said very sensible things like, "What does a chicken who likes reading say?"
Did we forget to mention Captain Jimmy Cook is off on another adventure? He is. This time he's got his eye on the prize... treasure. Oh he also has his eye on inventing robot bin and is trying to contact a pirate that doesn't have email...
Jimmy Cook has been shortlisted by ABDA for Best Deigned Book in Children's fiction along with these stunners. Gold star Jimmy and Jon Foye.
Well hello there uncharted land of the CBCA shortlist! We're stepping bravely on to your shores and setting up an ice-cream stand that only sells weird flavoured ice cream like seaweed and rubber chicken flavour. Ahoy!
Yes it was wet. It was soggy. But it was GREAT. Rain, heat and sleet could not keep the kids from the books or the books from the kids. We met hundreds of young readers and writers from all over the country and shared our new Jimmy Cook and our silly picture books. We even read a brand new book and got some excellent suggestions for the title... I still can't decide between Evil Snail Robots and Wizard Dizard. Any more suggestions SEND THEM OVER!
Captain Jimmy Cook has discovers the Children's Book Council Awards LONGLIST. He's put down his anchor right next to Artie and the Grime Wave and WIzz the police dog. Gold Star Jimmy!
Well hello there Russ the Story Bus. Russ is about the coolest bus you can possibly ride. He's decked out with library of hot of the press books and he gives all his books away! This is us out at Llandilo Pubic School reading books and having a ball. Go Russ.
Kellyville Ridge, that's where it's happening. And no one is more happening than Rhiddi who won the Premier's Reading Challenge with her beautiful cover re-design of Thumbelina and book report to boot. Thanks to all the grade 3s and 4s for having us and glade you liked the rhymes!
We made a little video of Captain Jimmy Cook to help him set sail. Check it out...