A Bookish Adventure

I started this blog to document an extended trip to the US and UK in 2012, introducing children to my Alice-Miranda series. It's hard to believe that it's just on four years since we launched the first Alice-Miranda title - and now there are nine books out in Australia with another five still to come. When I first came up with the idea of this precocious seven and a quarter year old, I had no clue that she would take me on such an amazing journey, not only in Australia but also across the world. I visited 37 schools while we were away in 2012 and gave over 80 talks - it was fantastic. In 2013 I've been on lots of new adventures in the UK - visiting schools from London to Southampton, Lancashire, Scotland, Newcastle and back to London again. After that I headed off to meet readers in Singapore. In Australia I've been to Melbourne, Perth, Albany, Alice Springs and Brisbane. There's a new series too - about a gorgeous little girl called Clementine Rose. She and Alice-Miranda don't know each other yet, but they will soon.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

St Christopher's Catholic Primary School Holsworthy, Mount Colah School, Ascham, St Anne's Strathfield South, St Columba's Leichhardt, Leichhardt Public School and St Luke's Dee Why

I hadn't realised just how far behind I have been on the blog (lots of touring and editing lately) and so I've decided to do some big catching up, combining tour weeks together.  Life has continued to be a whirl through April and May and I fear if I don't catch up now, I never will!

In early May I had a great time visiting St Christopher's School in Holsworthy where I spoke with the girls from Years 3-6.  They were very enthusiastic and asked great questions.  Lunch was delicious too!

 
 
I loved visiting Mount Colah Public School, which is just a little further north from where I live.  Set among the trees, the school is picturesque.  The students were terrific and it was great to meet the librarian, Jennifer and her assistant and a local bookseller I hadn't met before, Carolyn Rettalick as well as the Principal who came to watch my presentation.  I spoke to the girls (although you may notice there are two boys in the photo below with some of the students - they came along to my talk and had me sign books for their sisters) and they asked great questions and were very keen readers of Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose.
 
 
A couple of weeks later I visited St Anne's Strathfield, a small school with incredibly enthusiastic readers.  I couldn't quite believe how many books I signed there - something like 85 books for a population of 140 children.  Flory Cavallo, the librarian who looks after St Anne's and St Columba's is a great lady who obviously shares her love of books with the students.  She's also a superstar at morning teas - and an enemy of my waistline!
 
 
I visited Ascham in Edgecliff the next day and managed to have a dream run with almost no traffic at all.  I always enjoy seeing the Ascham girls and they didn't disappoint - although sadly there are no photos from the morning.  I wish I had been able to film the little girl who took on the role of Mr Sparks the snorer - I've never seen anything like it and clearly she is destined for a life on the stage.
 
On Thursday I headed over to Leichhardt for the day.  I wasn't worried about getting to St Columba's on time, until for whatever reason the traffic, which had been flowing well, came to a complete standstill on Victoria Road.  The minutes were ticking by way too quickly and although I thought I'd left home with an hour to spare, turns out the traffic beat me and I was a little bit late.  Grrr - Sydney traffic can be so unpredictable.  It was no problem though, as Flory adjusted the schedule and we were on track in no time.  Again the children were so enthusiastic and I loved meeting them.
 
 
Zoe and I visited Shearer's Bookshop at lunchtime.  I'm sad that they've had to move out of their beautiful space in Norton Street but as always Barbara and Tony have done a terrific job with their relocation to The Marketplace - making the best of the situation (and a couple of weeks later winning Independent Bookseller of the Year and Bookshop Marketing Campaign of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards).  I managed a spot of 5 minute shopping too - at the Italian Shoe Shop in  Norton Street :)   

 
In the afternoon I visited Leichhardt Public School - it's a big place and the children were lots of fun.  Completely engrossed and wonderful participants.  It was great to have the event at the end of the day as lots of the children brought their parents back to buy books and have them signed.

My final school on this leg of the tour was St Luke's Dee Why.  I worked with the wonderful Jane Coffey from Novella Books in Wahroonga.  I had been looking forward to going to St Luke's as one of my old colleagues, Sue Jenkins is the librarian there for the Junior School.  The campus has undergone some major building works in recent times and is looking fantastic.  I had a great time talking to the students in Years 3-5.  I will add a photo once I can access the one I have :)

Touring is great fun - it's a joy to meet students and teachers and a privilege to have an opportunity to visit so many schools.
 

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