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

Monday 30 May 2011

Nella Goes to Reading Matters (Lucky Duck)

Christmas and my January birthday usually find me receiving exciting gifts such as Coles’ vouchers or bed socks; so last year I asked for a contribution towards my registration for Reading Matters.  http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/reading-mattersTo make my celebrations last a little longer, I also registered for the students’ day and the keynote event – a panel discussion on "My Favourite children’s book".

I won’t try to compete with the excellent bloggers who have written detailed reports. Here are a couple:

But here are some (not all) of the highlights for me:

  • The performances – from Book Thief, City of Bones and When you reach me.
  • Authors such as Markus Zusak and Karen Healey reading their own works (especially the works that are as yet unpublished)
  • Authors giving fascinating talks to the students
  • Markus Zusak explaining that details make a story, that the most important party of storytelling is the unexpected (i.e. a slightly vulnerable Death telling the story is better than a powerful one).  Also, I will now listen for the supermarket conversations - sentences where every third word has a full stop and sentences end with a flourish (listen closely).
  • Hearing that there are as many ways to write a book as there are authors – from Jane Burke’s meticulous research into pig hunting and gutting, to Cassandra Clare’s "microplotting" with her friends over a 13 hour session, to Markus Zusak reworking the story yet keeping it simple to Ursula Dubosarky’s use of the titles of Charles Blackman’s 1950s school girl paintings to shape a story. Dubosarky describes  her writing process as “crystals gathering on a pear”.

Another highlight was My favourite children’s book - a panel where authors reminisced about their favourite books as children. The panellists were:
  • Rebecca Stead – award-winning US children’s author
  • Russel Howcroft – "adman" and Gruen Transfer regular
  • Roland Harvey – celebrated local author and illustrator
  • Miso (Stanislava Pinchuk) a Melbourne artist
  • Lawrence Leung – comedian, writer and star of ABC TV’s Choose Your Own Adventure
 Both Russel & Roland named nonfiction books; for Russel it was Ampol ‘s Australian Sporting Records which he shared with his father; for Roland The Eagle Annual – filled with stories and detailed projects for making boats and other marvels that fascinate the young (particularly boys).

Lawrence went home to his parents to find this favourite book The Bike Lesson by Stan & Jan Berenstain.  He knew exactly where it was, what it looked like, what colour it was ... will it be the same for the ebook generation?

Still more highlights included:
  • Paula Kelly’s 5 myths about young people, books & reading (let’s hope she turns that into a paper we can show the educational hierarchy)
  • Zoe Sadokierski’s session on covers and her "Gruen Transfer" style "design a cover for a new book"
  • Kate Burridge’s session on swearing. Interesting to hear about how Australians use "infixes", i.e. – abso-bloody –lutely? And did you know that the use of body parts as insults started in 1928
  • The wackiness of Richard Newsome & Oliver Phommavanh

So thanks Richard, Mum, Dad and Little Brother, for the Christmas/birthday present! 

PS: Need a hint for presents for 2011/2012? 

The CBCA conference will be in Adelaide next May ...

- by CBCA secretary Nella Pickup

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