In The Lion: crappy costumes!

2017 marks the 5-year anniversary of my book In The Lion.

In The Lion, front coverIt’s a catchy cumulative picture book about bravery, heroism and a very hungry carnivore. It was my first book as author and illustrator, and my first with the wonderful team at Walker Books.

I recently realised that in the five years since the book came out, I never got around to sharing the costumes I made for each character in the book. These were quick, easy and – yes, slightly crappy – costumes I made in an afternoon from things you could find around the house, plus a few things from the $2 shop and the art and craft store. When I talked about the book at the Perth Writers Festival in Feb 2013, kids from the audience wore the costumes and helped me act out the story.

An example of the crappy costumes – here, the character of the armadillo.

Hopefully these costumes (or something like them) would work for you and your kids at home, or even the students in your class, so that you can act the story out too.

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Meeting Mem: Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2014

Bali … it’s an idyllic paradise filled with rice fields, temples and frangipanis … unless you’re in Kuta, and then it’s a place of digestive upsets and Bintang-singleted bogans.

Don’t go to Kuta. Go to Ubud. It’s a very special place an hour’s drive north of Denpasar, and I got the chance to go there for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in October. I ran a workshop for kids, I did a school session too, and I got to be on a panel with Mem Fox!

Jeni Caffin, Zak Waipara, myself and Mem

Details after the jump.

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The Last Viking Returns out now

The-Last-Viking-Returns-cover-500pxMy new children’s book The Last Viking Returns is finally out!

Written by Norman Jorgensen, it’s the sequel to The Last Viking. Here’s the official synopsis:

Josh is still as brave as a Viking warrior, and not much can scare a Viking … but the two littlest Vikings have grown up a bit since the first book, and they’re going berserk. They think they’re invincible, and that spells trouble!

When Pop takes the family to Viking World, Josh finds out just how far he’ll go to keep them safe.

You can find The Last Viking Returns at your local bookstore and online.

Hit the link for more photos from the official launches!

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‘In The Lion’ noted in 2013 CBCA Awards

CBCA Notable Book medalMy picture book ‘In The Lion‘ was named a Notable Book in the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Picture Book of the Year category. Thanks to all the judges, and congrats to all my colleagues who had books noted and shortlisted.

In The Lion launch and family day

On July 30, my friends, family and the Perth SCBWI crew gathered at Beaufort Street Books to launch my new book In The Lion.


My cousin, author Jon Doust, launched the book. Thanks Jon!


Then on August 11th, we had a family day at Beaufort Street Books! It was an all-day extravaganza featuring:
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There’s a lion on the loose!

He’s escaped!

My new book In The Lion is in all good bookstores now.

Magpies magazine released the first review:

“The format of the text is delightfully repetitive… in true children’s picture story book tradition it is up to the protagonist Richard to save the day! The illustrations are colourful and there is action within for the reader to giggle over. A fun story.” – Sharon Greenaway

But wait- THERE’S MORE! For a limited time, some bookstores are giving away a free In The Lion library bag with every purchase!
The flap opens up to make Liev the Lion roar.

Telling Tales in Balingup this weekend

I’ll be in Balingup this weekend (Sat 14th and Sun 15th July) for the Telling Tales Children’s Literature Festival.

Last year was my first time at the festival, and I was really impressed with the way the community runs it and gets behind it. It’s not that far a drive from Perth city – only an hour south-east of Bunbury – and well worth the visit.

Me with Liev the Lion at last year’s Telling Tales

There’s a great lineup this year, including Sean E Avery, David Caddy, Deb Fitzpatrick, Elaine Forrestal, Gabriel Evans, Sonia Martenez and Chris Nixon.

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