Top marks for bookmarks

As part of this years Premier’s Summer Reading Challenge (supporting the Multiple Sclerosis Society), students from across the state were invited to design a bookmark. The judges included Bosko the Reading Challenge mascot and myself. As it was Movember, I was sporting a 3 week-old moustache at the time of judging.

We had many many entries to get through…

2011 premiers reading challenge 1

…but we eventually decided on two winners- Kaden Prowse from Swanbourne Primary School and Taylor Anderson from Newman Primary School. Congrats you two!2011 premiers reading challenge 2

HeARTlines in Mundairing

Although Children’s Book Week is over for another year, the fun ain’t over yet – because the HeARTlines Festival is just getting started.

This biennial festival celebrates children’s literature and book illustration, and is held at the Mundairing Arts Centre in the Perth hills. This year HeARTlines is dedicated to the memory of the festival’s founder, WA author Louise Schofield. Louise was an incredible woman and it’s an honour to be a part of her festival this year.

I’ll have original artwork from The Last Viking on display in the exhibition, and prints for sale too… the exhibition opens tonight (Friday 2nd September) and closes Sunday 9th October.
The Last Viking artworkI’ll also be running a school holiday cartooning workshop during the festival – here’s the details:

Friday 7th October
Ages 9-13
Cost: $15 ($10 for members of the Mundairing Arts Centre or Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre).
Call (08) 9295 3991 to book your place.

The Last Viking launch

Viking VIPs
(L-R: Author Norman Jorgensen, Illustrator- me, Kris Williams, our editor Cate Sutherland, Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre director Lesley Reece)

It was a dark and stormy night…

Actually, it was. Norm and I had been watching the weather forecast all week, wondering what the heavens would bring on the Friday night of our launch. By Tyr’s Day, we could see that rain was likely. By Wodin’s Day, rain was certain. Come Freyja’s Day, when the wind didn’t let up all day, we knew a storm was brewing. Thor was angry. The joke going around was that his invite had been lost on it’s way to Asgard. But maybe that was true, and he thought we were snubbing him… and when you snub a Norse god, you get a once-in-10-years weather event. Thirty millimetres of rain fell in 30 minutes: the precise 30 minutes in which our guests were en route to the launch.

Continue reading “The Last Viking launch”

Review: Alphabet Soup magazine

Thanks to Rebecca Newman of Alphabet Soup magazine for the following review of The Last Viking.

If you don’t know anything about Vikings yet, you’ll know heaps about them by the time you finish The Last Viking. The illustrations are fun and cartoon-like and if you’re a super sleuth, you’ll notice that on some of the pages there are messages written in code—rune carvings. At the back of the book (on the endpapers) you’ll find the key to crack the code.

Keep an eye out for the ravens in the book, too. In Norse mythology they are Odin’s messengers, and in The Last Viking, they keep the Viking gods updated on Josh/Knut’s progress.

The Last Viking is an exciting adventure about courage, imagination and dealing with bullies.

Time to go a-viking!

You can read the whole thing here.

Sun on my Stubble

Four tanks of fuel,
5 meat pies,
6 choc milks,
9 days,
2000km of driving,
and 10 million bugs stuck to the front of the car.

These were small prices to pay when I had the opportunity to run 4 youth workshops in the WA Wheatbelt.

In early April I visited schools and youth centres in Bruce Rock, Moora, Wagin and Toodyay. I taught around 100 young people the basics of cartooning, and each student worked on their own one-page comic story.

Students in some of the areas we visited will continue on with comics in school next term, producing longer stories about issues affecting them in their towns. Topics will include ‘bullying’ and ‘a sense of belonging’.

Bruce Rock rocks
Bruce Rock rocks

Continue reading “Sun on my Stubble”

Competition for September- win a signed copy of ‘The Call of the Osprey’

Call of the OspreyThis month, you could win a copy of The Call of the Osprey, signed by the author Norman Jorgensen.

Have you seen a good Viking movie recently? Did you start pillaging popcorn and going all bezerker?

Or maybe you’ve read a cool Viking book lately? Did it make you want to grow a beard, jump in a longship and swing a sword at a sea monster?

To be in this month’s draw, write a review of the Viking book or movie in 25 words or less, then add it to the comments section of this post.

Your deadline is September 28!

The fine print: this competition runs from 7 September to 28 September. Winners will be drawn on 28 September at 2 pm WST and announced on the blog on September 30. To be eligible, blog readers must submit a review of a book or movie, that has Vikings as the main subject. The review must be 25 words or less. Employees of Fremantle Press or their families are ineligible to win.

Competition Winner for August

In Flanders FieldsIn August, we asked readers to submit a question for Noman or myself.

The prize was a copy of In Flanders Fields, signed by the author Norman Jorgensen.

Two (2!) people submitted questions. It made our lives easier, all we had to do was flip a coin to pick the winner.

And the lucky winner was-

Frances Macaulay Forde.

Congratulations! We’ll get your prize to you soon.

P.S. Norman and I have recorded a video based on the sort of questions we get asked at presentations on a regular basis; we’ll upload it asap.

Our July Competition Winner

I was in Carnarvon this past week, doing workshops with Primary and High School students. Thanks to the Shire of Carnarvon for having me, and an extra special thanks to Natalie Whitley, Regional Librarian, for organising the trip.

While there, I met our July Competition winner, Rachel Loffler, who works in the library at Carnarvon Senior High School.

Here’s Rachel and I with her prize- 10 books from Fremantle Press.

The colander helmet seemed like a good idea at the time.

There’s still time to enter our August competition– you could win a signed copy of In Flanders Fields. But, you’ve only got until the 24th to enter. Enter here

Competition for August- win a signed copy of ‘In Flanders Fields’

This month, you could win a copy of In Flanders Fields, signed by the author Norman Jorgensen!

in flanders fieldsYour task is simple- think of a question you’d like Norman or myself to answer, then add your question to the comments section of this post before August 24th.

We’ll randomly select one of the questions, and whoever submitted it will win this month’s prize!

We’ll also select our favourite questions and record a video interview, which we’ll upload at the end of August.

Parkinson interviews James and Norm
Enough Rope
James and Norm appear on Enough Rope with Andrew Denton. That's Andrew on the right. I think.

The fine print: this competition runs from 6 August to 24 August. Winners will be drawn on 24 August at 2 pm WST and announced on the blog on August 31. To be eligible, blog readers must submit a question for Norman and/or James in the comment field of this post. Employees of Fremantle Press or their families are ineligible to win.