Friday, March 14, 2014

Stephen Whiteside: The Billy That Died With Its Boots On

Stephen Whiteside was thrilled to be able to bring an advance copy of his soon-to-be-released collection of poetry for children to the Port Fairy Folk Music Festival. Titled "'The Billy That Died With Its Boots On' and Other Australian Verse", it is being released by Walker Books Australia in May.
The book is targeted to primary school children in grades 5 and 6, but Stephen says he likes to see it also as a book for parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, godparents, etc. Stephen writes in the tradition of Banjo Paterson and C. J. Dennis, and believes the book will be great for adults who are keen to introduce children to Australia's rich heritage of rhyming verse.
Many of the poems in the book relate to the Australian outdoors - the mountains, the snow, the beach, the ocean, native birds and animals, etc. However, there are also poems about dinosaurs, sport, the weather, and suburban living. There is even a poem about Martians!
Stephen has been writing rhyming verse for over thirty years. He writes for both adults and children. Many of his poems have been published in magazines and anthologies, both in Australia and overseas, or won awards. He received a Golden Gumleaf for "Children's Poem of the Year" at the Australian Bush Laureate Awards in 2013 for his poem "The Sash", which features in the book.

Stephen works as a medical practitioner (GP) in the suburbs of Melbourne and you can read about him HERE

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