Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Sunday 17 July 2011

A Writer Reads (or Penny Discovers What She's Been Missing!)*

Penny devours some classics!

I guess a lot of people would assume that writers of children's books have read every good children's book ever written. But not me. You see I grew up in a musical family who read lots of sheet music but didn't read much in the way of fiction. So I still read children's books at every possible opportunity and I recently trawled through the shelves of the State Library and picked a selection at random. Here's what I'm discovering this time around.

Ghost Hunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost! by German-born author Cornelia Funke is a fun and quirky story about various kinds of ghosts and how to stop them haunting people and places. Cornelia also wrote Inkheart, a personal favourite.

Mr Badger and the Big Surprise, written and illustrated by talented Aussie Leigh Hobbs, is a terrific story about Mr Badger, the Special Events Manager in a big London hotel and I so look forward to reading more in the series.

Sarindi's Dragon Kite by Australian author Janine M Fraser looks at the effects of natural disasters on families. Through Sarindi's eyes we visit loss and grief but also hope and joy.

But the one I read last night and which I absolutely loved is Scottish author Kenneth Grahame's classic Wind in the Willows, the story of Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad. I'm sure I read this as a child ... I must have, mustn't I? Anyway, I loved it and the beautiful colour illustrations.

I've just started The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by Aussie icon May Gibbs., another classic. It's going to take me some time to get through this volume but I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Then there are the others waiting in the wings (actually on my bedside table) ... Agent Z and the penguin from Mars by Mark Haddon, Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool by Odo Hirsch and finally The Enchanted Wood by the brilliant Enid Blyton.

You've probably all read these already and know what a treat is in store for me. Then, when I've finished them, it's back to the library for me.

Happy reading everyone!

Cheers, Penny Garnsworthy (newsletter officer)

* We need your help! What do you think, readers? Has Penny got a good selection here? Did you love The Wind in the Willows? Is Enid Blyton really brilliant? And what other novels should Penny read as she continues her kidlit education? 

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