By Sharon Giltrow
Humour connects, engages, and draws people in. It is a powerful tool that can be used to deliver important messages.
Gavin Aung Than, New York Times best selling cartoonist, uses humor in his graphic novel , SUPER SIDEKICKS BOOK 2 - OCEAN'S REVENGE to introduce young readers to...
"A giant whirlpool of rubbish soup the size of a small country"- Gavin Aung Than
SUPER SIDEKICKS BOOK 2 – OCEAN’S REVENGE
Written and Illustrated by: Gavin Aung Than
Published by: Penguin Random House Australia, September 2019
US release: July 2021
The Super Sidekicks are back! An unidentified object is heading straight for the city, moving fast! Something fishy is going on . . .The world’s superheroes are missing, and humankind is under threat from an ancient underwater menace! Can the super sidekicks save the planet before it’s too late?
OCEAN’S REVENGE, won the 2020 Environment Award for Children's Literature in Australia.
Let’s see how Gavin adds humour to this serious subject…
G-"Here, the Super Sidekicks prepare to meet an underwater enemy headed their way. We see how they use teamwork to overcome any obstacles, while also being close enough to make fun of each other at the same time. Just wait until to you see what they find in the ocean!"
In the first spread Gavin uses a funny premise- What if you could hear other people’s thoughts? And their biggest fear is a swimming clown.
The second spread uses great super silly words – FHOOF! SCHURLLP. As well as a pun on godspeed – GOOspeed!
Well, that’s it from me this month, see you in July, with another great Aussie book.
Share a laugh and connect with someone today.
For a chance to win a copy of SUPER SIDEKICKS BOOK 2 – OCEAN’S REVENGE
1. Comment on this blog post
2. Share this blog post on social media
3. Follow Sharon on twitter
4. The winner will be announced on twitter on Monday 5th June
Sharon Giltrow grew up in South Australia, the youngest of eight children, surrounded by pet sheep and fields of barley. She now lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband, two children and a tiny dog. Sharon has taught for all of her career. Previously a teacher of children who are hearing impaired and Deaf-Blind, she now teaches young children with Developmental Language Disorder. Her humorous debut PB BEDTIME DADDY! released May 2020 through EK books. Sharon’s humorous follow up PB GET READY, MAMA! Is due to be released through EK books in 2022. She was awarded The Paper Bird Fellowship for Writers in 2019, during this time she wrote her early middle grade book SAMARA RUBIN AND THE UTILITY BELT, which will be released in 2021 through Clear Fork Publishing’s new imprint &MG. She was recently awarded a U-15 K Arts Grant to further develop her early middle grade series – THE UTILITY BELT.
by Bryan Patrick Avery
If you’re like me, you have a To-Be-Read pile stacked up high enough that it might one day topple over and crush you but that doesn’t keep you from buying books to add to the pile. Where do I get suggestions for new books to add to my shelf? I browse the myriad of reading lists published by ALA, SLJ, and even independent groups and individuals. Whether I’m looking for a mentor text, some inspiration, or just a good read, I’m always able to find what I’m looking for. This month, I’ll share with a few of my favorite sources for reading lists. First up School Library Journal’s (SLJ) Hot Reads Summer Series.
SLJ’s Summer Series covers everything from picture books to YA, and even includes graphic novels and nonfiction. The books are grouped by category. Clicking into a category will give you additional options. For example, the chapter books section includes lists for graphic novels, realism, humor, and mystery, all written at the chapter book level.
Another great resource for finding new books is the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). This list is broken up into four categories: Birth- PreK, Kindergarten to 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade to 5th Grade, and 6th Grade to 8th Grade. Each list is available as a PDF download.
I’m frequently looking for books from Black creators. One of the best resources I’ve found is The Brown Bookshelf campaign 28 Days Later. This campaign runs every February for Black History Month. Each day features a new creator (author, illustrator, or both) and their latest work(s). It’s a great opportunity to find some wonderful books and get a glimpse into how they were created. Though the campaign runs every February, the lists for each year going back to 2008 are available year-round.
I hope you’re able to find some wonderful books using these resources. If you have a reading list you love, drop it in the comments.
That’s all for this month. Happy reading and have a magical month.
Bryan Patrick Avery writes poems and stories for children from toddlers through middle grade. His middle-grade story, “The Magic Day Mystery”, appears in SUPER PUZZLETASTIC MYSTERIES, an anthology from HarperCollins and the Mystery Writers of America. His picture book, THE FREEMAN FIELD PHOTOGRAPH, was published in April 2021 by Clearfork Publishing/Spork. His early reader series, MR. GRIZLEY’S CLASS, will be available in August 2021. Bryan lives in Northern California with his family.
by Melissa Stoller
Where I live, we are celebrating the beginning of summer break. I remember counting down the days when I was a child, and I admit I still do the same thing as an adult. However, as much as I love the slower pace of summer, it can be hard to squeeze in enough writing time. Rediscovering childhood memories and associated feeling can help as you brainstorm ideas, write your story, or revise your manuscript.
Here are a few summer-themed prompts to keep you writing during this season:
1. Think about your childhood summer activities and adventures. Did you spend time at the beach, by a pool, or at a lake? Or maybe you ran through sprinklers on your lawn. Write a few lines describing how you felt skimming though the cool water.
2. Imagine some of the summertime foods you enjoyed as a child. Write a scene about eating an ice-cream cone, enjoying a sunny (or ant-filled!) picnic, or sipping lemonade on a shady porch swing. Describe how you each treat tasted, smelled, and looked.
3. Did you enjoy family road trips as a child? Or do you take summer vacations now? Write the beginning of a story incorporating some memories or hopes for summer travel. Include sensory details.
4. What books did you read during summer vacations as a child? Can you use any as mentor texts now? Think of a book title or plot based on your favorite summer reading list, or revise a work-in-progress with a specific book in mind.
5. Do you have any memories of summertime pet-friendly activities? Did you walk your dog along the ocean, or horseback ride in the mountains? Write a few lines including a pet.
I hope these prompts brought back pleasant memories that you can convert into story ideas, scenes, and revisions. Let me know in the comments.
Melissa Stoller is the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Return to Coney Island (Clear Fork Publishing); and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush, Ready, Set, GOrilla!, and Sadie’s Shabbat Stories. (Clear Fork). Melissa is a Blogger and Course Assistant for the Children’s Book Academy, a Regional Ambassador for The Chapter Book Challenge, a volunteer with SCBWI/MetroNY, and a founding member of The Book Meshuggenahs. In other chapters of her life, Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer and editor, and early childhood educator. She lives in New York City with her family, and enjoys theatre, museums, and long beach walks.
By Annette Schottenfeld
As creatives, we come up with many story ideas. Ultimately, one speaks louder than the rest and is selected to place our time and energy into.
So, what does this have to do with Finding Your Mud Bath? A mud bath represents your end goal, the reward you strive towards.
In my upcoming picture book Obi’s Mud Bath, young rhino Obi goes on a quest to cool off in an ooey, gooey mud bath. Along the way, he encounters many obstacles, just like writers crafting their stories.
Writer’s block, lack of tension, a quiet voice, or umpteen other pitfalls can stand between you and the story you want to write.
Even though Obi faces numerous failed attempts at finding his mud bath, he stays positive and persists with the help of the friends he meets.
Writers need this mindset and support as well. It can be difficult to stay positive when constructive feedback and rejections are par for the course. Think of it this way - deciding to stick with it and edit your story yet another time puts the power back in your hands.
Armed with this mantra I was committed to my writing, but after submitting stories for years, I still had yet to get a publishing deal. At a definite low point, my daughter coincidentally returned from a semester in Copenhagen and brought me a Danish picture book. I asked her why and she said, “Because it’s what you do - you write stories for children.” Her confidence in me was contagious, and I was back on track.
When I took the The Craft and Business of Writing Picture Books at The Children’s Book Academy during the summer of 2018, I found a positive group of professionals and peers who boosted my writing skills and helped me strengthen Obi’s story. I left the class with a polished piece that was offered a contract. One of the best parts of the program was that the cheerleading and support did not end there. Dr. Mira Reisberg, who is The Children’s Book Academy’s founder and also the editor and art director for Obi’s Mud Bath, continued to share enthusiasm for her students, plus a community of writer friends had been formed.
Both Obi and I found our own mud baths with the power of positivity and perseverance.
Don’t give up,
Decide you can - reach your mud bath!
My mud bath was to become a published children’s author. What is yours?
I will be offering a signed copy to a lucky winner that comments on the piece (or also follows me on Twitter or leaves their email on my website)!
Annette Schottenfeld is passionate about writing for children, hip-hop dance, and environmental issues, believing all have the power to change lives. She is also the author of Not So Fast, Max: A Rosh Hashanah Visit with Grandma. Annette lives in New York with her husband and two grown children.
Connect with Annette:
Purchase OBI’S MUD BATH
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We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
4th Mondays will be a mystery for right now.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break