Saturday, October 27, 2012

New Leaves Book Shop. Woodend

The New Leaves Book Shop is a seriously beautiful little store. Located on the corner of Anslow and Collier Streets in Woodend, Eleanor has created a highly browsable atmosphere with nooks and crannies to explore - small spaces to dream. It was my pleasure to be the author in residence for a while on a Saturday afternoon. Although mostly tied to my signing desk, I managed a few moments to wander the shelves. The book that tempted me the most was Insects of Surinam by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647 - 1717). I will say no more but if you love scientific illustration, this book will make your heart beat fast.

One of the many things I enjoy about travelling around to schools, bookshops and libraries is the chance to catch up with friends who live too far away to see on a regular basis. A mate from Storytelling Australia (Vic) dropped by for a copy of Phar Lap the wonder horse on her way to her Writer's Group. Kate and Eleanor are now on speaking terms and I look forward to returning to New Leaves one day and discovering them all arguing about commas, tense and recalcitrant apostrophes!

Here we are with mugs of tea in front of the food section ... and no - I didn't escape without making a purchase from the shelf behind me! Thanks for taking the pic Kate.

Toys who become real ...

"When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real." The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

Today I met a toy who had become real. It took my breath away to hold such a wondrous thing. It came about like this ... I was telling stories in the Woodend Library as part of  Children's Week and of course I told the story of Phar Lap the wonder horse. One of my listeners arrived with her Phar Lap, who goes everywhere with his owner and friend. I travel with a Phar Lap too and so we introduced Phar Lap and Phar Lap. I was allowed to take a photograph of the two horses side by side and its perfectly obvious which one is real and which is pretend.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Children's Week. Woodend 27 October 2012

Ahh... its that time of year.

I do enjoy travelling around and sharing the story of Phar Lap the wonder horse. 

This Saturday I will be in Woodend, firstly at the Library for some storytelling and later I will wander down to the New Leaves Bookshop for book signings.

The history of Woodend is closely linked to the gold rush. Arriving in Melbourne in the 1850s, many fevered hopefuls shouldered pics and shovels and marched up Mt Alexander Rd to Diggers Rest, then through the forest to emerge at Woodend. There is much to see in the vicinity and I plan to stay overnight and spend the weekend exploring the surrounds which include Hanging Rock. 

I believe Woodend supports a large horse-racing community. Come and say 'Hi'.

If you can't join me in Woodend but would like to buy a copy of Phar Lap the wonder horse, just google - he's everywhere on line. Or better still, most good book stores have him in stock, especially at this time of year. If you would like a taste of the story visit me here and I will tell you personally.

Woodend Library (cnr Forest and High Streets): Saturday 27 October 10,30 - 11.30 am
New Leaves Book Shop (cnr Anslow and Collier streets): 2.00 - 300 pm 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

More lyrebirds in display

Its like when you hear a word or notice a plant for the first time. You think, 'How unusual!' and then you hear the word everywhere and you find the plant has been growing next door for years.

Well I'm finding its like that with images of displaying lyrebirds. I'm walking into them! They're placed before me. Every time I open my purse I spot one. As the release date for Lyrebird! a true story draws closer and my excitement mounts they're tumbling in front of my vision.

The week before last I went to the Abbotsford Convent  and spotted this one.

A few days ago I was in the Lake Mungo National Park and guess what the NSW National Park logo is?

And then last night, my friend Claire Saxby placed a beautiful book in my hand called Silvertail by Ina Watson. A first edition published in 1946 with illustrations by Walter Cunningham. The copy Claire has lent me actually belongs to children's author Corinne Fenton. Predictably, after seeing Silvertail, I leapt onto ebay and have bought a copy and now I wait for the postie to deliver it to my door.

Thanks Corinne and Claire for thinking of me.


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