So much to talk about today, so each bit will be brief. Firstly, congratulations to Australian illustrator Freya Blackwood. Her illustrations for Margaret Wild's Harry and Hopper has won her the 2010 Kate Greenaway Medal. I know she isn't the first Australian to do so. Gregory Rogers won in 1995 and Bob Graham won in 2002, but she is the first Australian female illustrator and we have had a week of first Australian women with the new prime minister also being a woman.
I have included Pearl S. Buck because although she usually writes for adults her short novel, The Big Wave has provided me with some very memorable teaching experiences. I have never read it to a class without it being a huge hit. It has brought tears to tough ten year old boys' eyes. I have even read it to children as young as eight and now that there has been a tsunami in their lifetime it has taken on new meaning. There are other books around now to support it too, such as Kimiko Kajikawa and Ed Young's Tsunami!
Charlotte Zolotow is one of the veterans that I wrote about when I was writing about Eric Carle's birthday. Amazingly, she is 95. While she has written a multitude of memorable books, my favourite is still Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present. I read it any excuse I can, Mother's Day, birthdays, when I want children to be kinder to each other, more thoughtful...whatever!
Lastly, a book on the refugee theme - Rainbow Bird by Czenya Cavouras. This book was created by a fourteen year old Adelaide girl who had many discussions with her grandfather about his trips to Port Augusta. Czenya says in the afterword that she wanted to challenge her readers to imagine themselves in a similar situation and then ask themselves how they would respond. Would they be as hopeful?