Posted on November 22, 2011 by Rhondda
At a recent SLAV conference I was fortunate to hear Alison Lester speak about her latest book One Small Island (Penguin).
Alison engaged in a conversation with Laura Harris of Penguin Books to help us understand the inspiration behind her career as an illustrator and author. It followed very neatly from a presentation by Sue McKerracher who spoke about the National Year of Reading (NYOR). Alison is an ambassador for NYOR and her book Are we there yet? is the feature book for the 2012 National Year of Reading. Her discussion with Laura focussed the book she wrote in collaboration with Coral Tulloch One small island and a very special preview at her forthcoming title Sally Scott goes south.
The picture book One small island was written by Alison Lester and Coral Tulloch. Together they bring the history of this amazing speck of land called Macquarie Island found in the vastness of Southern Ocean between Australia/New Zealand and Antarctica to life. It is the story of how this remote and precious World Heritage Site has been affected by human interference. The island has a unique ecosystem and humans have caused a lot of damage since the island was first visited by humans. Today there is a battle being fought to restore it.
The beautiful illustrations in the picture book were put up on a large screen in the auditorium for us to admire and they were very eloquent. We all left the session wanting to buy a copy of the book and all of us are very interested in what will become of Macquarie Island.
If you want to hear Alison talking about the book herself you can go to ABC Radio National’s Life Matters site where, on the 1st of August, they aired a great interview with her about Macquarie Island and her book.
Filed under: images, Library2.0, literature, Reading, Research | Tagged: ABC Radio National, Alison Lester, Coral Tulloch, Life matters, Macquarie Island, One small island, picture books, SLAV | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 18, 2011 by Rhondda
One of my colleagues and I decided to use picture books as the genre for our first literature circle book for a year 7 English class.
We used picture books to encourage the students to look beyond what was written in their text. They were encouraged to think critically about all the graphic components and reflect on how they add to the text. The tasks were also developed to encourage the boys to develop their inference skills and respond to the works they were reading on a level that they had not been required to do with their earlier texts.
The boys were asked to choose one of 6 picture books. Their choice was the basis for the formation of the group they would work with for three weeks.
The boys read the picture books and were given a number of short tasks to complete; some on an individual basis but then sharing their thoughts/ideas with the rest of their group. All these short tasks were then used to create the basis of a glog for each group.
Today they put their ideas together and prepared to create their glog. The will include text, images and multimedia components. They have also been given a rubric to indicate how their glogs will be assessed. I have put the rubric and details into my Reading wiki.
The work that the groups have done so far has on the whole been excellent and I am hoping to have some great glogs that I can use in the library. I also used part of a lesson to explain the basics of Creative Commons to the class as they began a search for appropriate images and explained that sound and music is available under CC licenses too. The students took this information on baord and I was pleased to see that they were busy finding CC images for their glogs.
I have included a list of the short tasks that were undertaken by the students below.
- Analysis of the cover: Comment on the picture on the cover – what it tells the reader about the book; the colours used; the style and colour of the lettering used; what questions the cover raises in the mind of the reader; what other information is given on the cover
- Scanning skills: Spend 5 minutes browsing through the book and then spend 5 minutes writing what you think the book will be about based on what you see and read.
- The introduction: In 50 words outline how the author introduces the book and catches the attention of the reader.
- Sharing ideas with the group: Come to an agreement about what works best on the cover. (and anything you don’t think works). As a group create an alternative cover and “Blurb” for your book
- Summarising Skills: Make a 100 word summary of the pages which you read for today in your own words. Remember that a summary needs to include the main ideas/information of the text in a logical order. Share your ideas with your group. Do they agree or do they have alternative points?
- Creating Questions: Write 5 questions which could be used to test the reader’s comprehension of the text which you read for today. Remember that questions need to include the main information in the text and they need to test whether the reader has understood the text. All questions need to be open-ended to allow for discussion. Share these questions with your group and take note of their answers.
- Illustrating skills: Draw a picture which illustrates the section of the book which you read for today. The drawing must show what is in the text and how well you have understood the meaning of the text.
- Character description: Pick a character from your book and write either a “missing person” or “wanted” poster for this person. Include in your poster information that you have discovered from the book.
Filed under: Education, Library2.0, literature, Reading, Uncategorized | Tagged: Children's picture books, classroom activities, glogs, literature circles, picture books | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 30, 2011 by Rhondda
More exciting news for the Australian book world and especially Shaun Tan. He has been announced as the winner of this year’s ALMA.
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world’s largest prize for children’s and young adult literature. The award, which amounts to SEK 5 million, is awarded annually to a single recipient or to several. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and those active in reading promotion may be rewarded. The award is designed to promote interest in children’s and young adult literature, and in children’s rights, globally.
The award, which is the world’s largest children’s literature award, was awarded for the 11th time this year. You can read more about it on their website. Their explanation about why Shaun Tan won the award is here. I love their introduction
A masterly visual storyteller
Shaun Tan is a masterly visual storyteller, pointing the way ahead to new possibilities for picture books. His pictorial worlds constitute a separate universe where nothing is self-evident and anything is possible. Memories of childhood and adolescence are fixed reference points, but the pictorial narrative is universal and touches everyone, regardless of age
You can watch the broadcast (in English) of the announcement as well as the presentation to Shaun Tan at (in Swedish with English subtitles). There is also an article in the UK newspaper, The Guardian
Shaun Tan is the second Australian ALMA winner, the first being Sonya Hartnett in 2008.
Filed under: literature, Reading | Tagged: ALMA, Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, children's literature, picture books, Shaun Tan, Sonya Hartnett, YA literature | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 3, 2010 by Rhondda
There has always been a steady readership for John Marsden’s Tomorrow, when the war began series. After the publication in the early nineties the initial very high interest levels in this series has settled to remain constant until this year. There can be no denying that a film can breathe new life to a novel as it has done in this case.
The film version of Tomorrow, When the War Began was released in cinemas during the September school holidays, and Pan MacMillan have re-published the series of novels, with new cover designs.
There are obvious advantages for authors to have their novels made into films but in the translation from book format into screen format there will inevitably be some compromises made and that can sometimes be difficult for the author.
This was the subject of a broadcast on the ABC Radio National’s The Book Show on 19th. of October. The discussion by John Marsden about his story being filmed and “put out there’ to a whole new audience makes for a very interesting podcast that can be downloaded for later listening or sharing with classes. The way the characters look and behave in the film, the violence the screen and the visual images of the hitherto unknown enemy are just a few of the items covered by JM in this 17 minute interview. Apart from general interest in the books it would be good for students who are contemplating creating book trailers to hear John Marsden speak about the differences between the two mediums.
Another podcast worth listening to was the ABC’s Life Matters program where author and illustrator Graeme Base discusses the inspiration for his latest beautifully illustrated book, The Legend of the Golden Snail. In this podcast he talks about drawing on his childhood sea voyage to Australia as inspiration for the story about an epic sailing adventure, with some big lessons in life for a boy called Wilbur. If you visit the Graeme Base’s site you will also find trailers for the title.
Filed under: audio, Education, Library2.0, literature, Reading | Tagged: ABC Radio National, children's literature, egan, Graeme Base, John Marsden, Life matters, picture books, podcasts, The book show, Tomorrow when the war b, YA literature | Leave a Comment »