Tag: Stories for children

A Shiver of Sharks

pirateparrotbadge2_zps86e9fe59Ahoy there me hearties! I have longed to read this ‘ere app of Julie Hedlund’s. The time be ‘ere at last.


It’s a strange thing that made this ‘ere possible. Me swab mate, Phil had enough air miles to get a free iPad mini. Now Yee can’t store much on a mini but I had to snap up a Shiver of Sharks.

I love me some flamingoes and seahorses and the kids thought the shark bit was cool as pirate booty. It is so fab I’m hoping there’s space for A Troup is a Group of Monkeys but they will probably stock it up with games now.

I can’t recommend this app highly enough and I hope one day to have the skills to do something like this myself.

Strange coincidence that our friend Beth Stilborn interviewed Julie this week. It’s a brilliant interview, check it out ‘ere. (I don’t know what all this pirate talk is about, there’s narry a pirate innit. I blame the parrot.)

Have a great day me hearties!



Blog Hop: My writing process

Mr. Haiku Mike Schulenberg who loves Norway but doesn’t live there 😉 has kindly passed a blog hop onto me. Writers have to answer four questions about their writing process.

The rules are to post on a Monday and tag three people who then post the following Monday continuing the tagging. So…

1 What am I working on

I’ve just published The Everglades collection of poems and just done March Madness poetry competition, and I am in the middle of Video Idiot Boot camp with Katie Davies. I’m arranging a few local events like school visits and a book reading and I can’t wait to get drawing again.

I’m up to about half way with a zombie collection. I can’t decide to publish that next or try publishing my chicken pub Cheeky the Cheeky Chinese Chicken. I have to seriously practice drawing chickens and corridors and karate kids and Chinese buildings. Phew that will only take me ten years.

I am struggling to make a pub out of Eastersaurus but I’ve had a great idea with dinosaurs and holidays poetry collection.

I haven’t worked on my royal plumber story in ages. That would be a fun one to illustrate.

Oh and it’s National Zoo day on April 4th so I am going to celebrate with a Weirdo Zoo giveaway.

2 How does my work differ from others of it’s genre?

It’s weird lol. Seriously I don’t think I have a style yet, like say Julie Rowan-Zoch’s unique art style. Maybe others could judge that better than me. I will say that in terms of poetry collections I like to think of subjects that haven’t been done too much, though I guess zoos are pretty common.

3 Why do I write what I do?

It started gradually as something I enjoyed and now I’m like an armchair in the lounge of kidlit. I couldn’t do anything else but be this armchair. (I probably could have thought of something a bit less lazy. They are useful though ;)) And because I’m far too childish now to have another adult job.

4 How does my writing process work?

Err… I fit social media in all over the place, sometimes in the middle of the night if Hannah wakes me up. After the school run and the dog walk I get on with my most urgent writing tasks. I run errands like library and grocery store right before I pick the kids up. Housework is tossed in there somewhere. I tend to like drawing on an evening.

And I am going to tag Teresa, Julie and Robyn.


Kim and the Beansprout

Susanna is hosting another fab writing contest. This time it is a fractured fairytale and can be about a season.

Here’s mine:

Kim and the Beansprout

Kim and his family had their usual dinner of plain rice.

The neighbour came around with a plate of bean sprouts, some of which fell off the plate as she hurried over with her offering.

Kim went to bed early, sad for his dad because he had lost his job.

The next morning was Carnival day. Kim’s family were not in Carnival mood but they went outside to watch anyway.

During the busy day a strange thing happened. Kim noticed a giant beanstalk growing up to the sky.

Kim scrambled up to see if riches awaited him. Instead a giant komodo dragon breathed fire at him.

Kim dropped down the beanstalk. “Dad! There’s a Komodo dragon!”

His dad had a great idea! They could they lure the dragon down the bean sprout?

Kim smelled a nearby trader’s food. “Delicious!”
“I can lure the dragon with tasty food,” he told his dad. So Kim borrowed a tray of dumplings and took it half way up the bean sprout.

The dragon sniffed and looked, but he didn’t like dumplings.

So Kim slid the tray of dumplings back onto the vendor’s stall.

Just then, the Chinese Dragon danced by. Kim grabbed his dad’s arm and soon they were underneath the dragon heading towards the bean sprout.

Kim’s plan worked, the komodo dragon was quite smitten with the Chinese Dragon and especially enjoyed her dancing. He scrambled down the bean sprout and Kim and his dad leapt out and wrapped the Chinese dragon around the komodo dragon, capturing it.

“Dad, the dragon can protect our bean sprout and in return we get bean sprouts for life and a magical experience for passing tourists. We can charge people to climb the bean sprout and ride on the dragon.”

Dad had already been looking at dragon meat recipes. His lips were already salivating.
“Please dad, I think I’m a vegetarian.”

They became very famous with their bean sprout and dragon until Mama dragon popped her head through the clouds.

See here for all the prize details and to read all the entries. Sorry to clutter your inbox but I’m back tomorrow with a parrot for PPBF. Have a great day!


Pip and Posy

After a super March Break I’m ready for Perfect Picture Book Friday and I have a cute snowy one today. Hopefully it’s the last snowy one this winter. Axel Scheffler of Gruffalo fame has written two very cute characters and there are lots of books out there about their antics. I had no idea.
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Pip and Posy The Snowy Day written and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, published by Nosy Crow, Ltd on 4th October, 2012.

Suitable for: 2+

Themes/Topics: co-operation, falling out, making up, resolving differences.

It was a very snowy day.
Pip and Posy wanted to go out and play.

Synopsis: Pip and Posy go outside to build a snowman and can’t agree on anything. They both get cross but in the end find a solution.

Activities: Try doing a project with someone else and count the differences of opinion. Brainstorm happy endings. Projects could be making a papier machee, a rocket anything.

I love how cute these characters are. Axel’s classic style is unmistakably his.

Susanna has a full picture book library at her place.

See you on Monday for the announcing of the winner of The Everglades book. Have a great weekend.


Farley Found It!

It’s raining here so there might be a few animals doing what Farley is doing in this fun picture book. Sandy doesn’t even go in her shed, the little monkey.


Farley Found It! written and illustrated by Bruce Van Patter.

Suitable for: everyone!
Themes/Topics: sharing, acceptance, tolerance, friendship, humor.

Farley loved his meadow when the dandelions glowed in the sunshine.

Farley the sheep hates sleeping outdoors and pinches Edna’s house. Edna keeps hiding it but guess what?

Too funny indeed and the lush colours in this are wicked! I love the lime and the green. This is a classic must-read pb.

Make a dog house out of a box and watch your sister pinch it then hide it again and so on 😉

See more awesome picture books at Susanna’s library of picture books. Have a great weekend!


Sylvia Liu

Sylvia Liu in charcoal and oil colours

Sylvia Liu is an author/illustrator who I discovered through the brilliant 12×12 group and the Doodle a Day gang. Recently she won the Lee & Low New Voices Award for her book, A Morning with Gong Gong. Read a great interview with her here.

I almost didn’t draw her, knowing she’ll spot all my newbie mistakes. Take a look at some of her amazing art work here.

Sylvia shares a fun hobby with my brother, she loves surfing. I’ll have to get a picture of that to paint 😉

Congrats to Sylvia, she’s so lovely and supportive to everyone. I am sure she will be a household name some day soon.


Enjoy the Super Bowl and Happy Groundhog Day!


An African Princess

I am excited to let you know lovely poet, Linda Baie is blogging about Weirdo Zoo today. Get thee there if you want to snap up a copy. And thanks so much to everyone who has already read it. Please review it on Amazon, it really helps more people to find it :0) Thank you!


Being multi-cultural book week I picked out An African Princess written by Lyra Edmonds and illustrated by Anne Wilson.

Themes/Topics: Family tree, pride, self-belief.

Suitable for: Pre-school – 1

My name is Lyra and I’m an African princess.

A long time ago, a princess was captured from Africa and taken to the Caribbean to live.
The princess had many children, who also had children, and soon there were too many princess to count.

Synopsis: (book cover)
Lyra’s mama tells her that she’s a princess from Africa. Sometimes, though, Lyra isn’t so sure. How many African princesses live in the city and have freckles?


Here are some great musical instruments to make fit for a princess. Prince and Princess crafts for kids.

I just love the beautiful illustrations in this book. A lot of it is in that fun scrapbooking style.

Read more multi-cultural books in Pragmatic Mom’s blog hop here.

And more perfect picture books on Susanna’s blog here.

Have a great weekend and stay warm!


Phyllis’s Cool Fashion Show

Our delightful groundhog lady Susanna Hill is celebrating the time for her character Phyllis to decide if Spring is here by having a Cool Fashion Show.




This one is Phyllis at night 😉

Check out more Phyllis’s in action here:



Little Red Riding Haikus

Month of Poetry is going really well, the poems are delightful and the cameraderie is awesome. Kat set us a challenge to write Rapunzel in haikus and being more familiar with Little Red I decided to do Little Red Riding Hood instead.

The stories were so fun and clever, Mary Lee Hahn’s Little Red was amazing, and there was a Goldilocks one. Here’s mine. I’m going to learn more about shading thanks to Jeanne and her eggs and maybe work on the cape a bit more.


Little Red Riding Hood in Haikus

little girl, doted on
A cape made for her
Riding Hood

here’s a basket of cakes
Granny’s not feeling well
be a dear, Red

Little Red met a wolf
she gobbled through his mind

Afraid of woodcutters
not gobbled yet
hatches plan

where are you going?
to grandmother’s house

now with directions
one runs, one saunters
meet you there

wolf gobbled grandma
hopped into bed

little Red arrives
deep voice booms
who’s there?

what big ears you have
all the better to hear you
sharpen up

what big eyes you have
all the better to see you
watch out

what a big mouth you have
all the better to eat you
gobble gobble

full belly, wolf sleepy
huntsman cuts the out
refills with stones

Little Red Writing Hood, 2014.

Anyone fancy trying this with a fairytale?


Underpants Wonderpants


Underpants Wonderpants written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Deborah Melmon

Suitable for: All ages

Themes/Topics: Underpants, potty humor, heroes, innovative problem solving.

Is it an eagle? Is it a plane?
No – it’s Underpants Wonderpants to the rescue again!

From a new mouse house to eradicating aliens this super hero dog has a lot of hero work to do using wonderpants to save the day.

Activities: Make your own wonderpants flag. Underwear craft on Pinterest. A superhero starter kit on Pinterest.

I love the vibrant illustrations and the story is fun, fun, fun! Super end papers too.

Find more Perfect Picture books in Susanna Leonard Hill’s perfect picture book library.