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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

'Australia to Z' by Armin Greder

Received from the Publisher 

From the BLURB:

Juxtaposing words and images, the multi-award-winning author of The Island shines an uncompromising light on what it is to be Australian.

I don't normally review picture books - not because I don't read them and love them (I do, I really do!) but because I think to do them justice I'd have to dedicate an entire blog to the reviewing of them (Hey! There's an idea...) and I personally love the book blogs in which actual children review picture books (and I'll admit, their opinions hold more weight than mine!) 

But I simply have to rave about Armin Greder's 2016 picture-alphabet book, 'Australia to Z'. 

Look, all picture books are art books as far as I'm concerned. But Greder's especially feels sharp and subversive - and a perfect example of how children's picture books especially, can say so much with so little. 

In Greder's alphabet book, A is for 'Aborigine', 'Boat People' is for 'Rupert Murdoch' stands for R and 'Meat Pies' comes before 'Nationalist' (with a drawing of a man wearing an Australia flag cape ...)

Author Libby Gleeson perfectly summarises what this Alphabet Book is really all about, and how it's for everyone: "... Armin Greder has cast his critical eye on us and our symbols." Indeed he has - the good, the bad and the downright ugly (aforementioned 'Nationalist' and 'Rupert') 

This book says a lot with so little - flipping through the pages and acknowledging the chosen alphabet symbols is sometimes uncomfortable for Greder's scathing accuracy - P is for Pokies - but there's beauty alongside the brutal, and Greder's underlying message is a powerful one worthy of applause. 

'Australia to Z' is probably going to be my favourite picture book of 2016. I expect to see it winning awards in the coming months, as a celebrated picture book for the young and old - indeed, an important book for all of us to read and listen to its powerful message. 


Monday, January 4, 2016

Writers on Wednesdays – my 'Reading for Writers' session!

Hello Darling Readers!

Just popping in during my January blog-break to say that I'm very excited to be hosting a Writers Victoria 'Writers on Wednesdays' session on January 27, all about 'Reading for Writers' (ummmm, yes, I might know a thing or two about this topic). 

Here's my tutor profile, and a little Q&A I did about reading and writing and my background.

If this sounds like something you'd been keen to partake in, I'd love for you to come along!  

The pertinent details of the session
  • Date: Wednesday 27 January 2016 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
  • Where: Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne 
  • Cost: $35 (member) $30 (concession member) $50 (non-member)
  • Rating: All 

You will learn:
  •  How writers can take positives from two maligned but successful readerships: romance and youth literature 
  • About the dangers of only reading within your own genre, and how to avoid pale imitations 
  • How to harness the power of purposeful reading 
  • How to make a career out of reading through reviewing books and freelance writing 
  • About readerships, community and the social side to reading in the digital age

| More