Category Archives: Anthologies

Laughter, Tears & Coffee – Hélène Jermolajew

Standard

 

Balboa Press

ISBN 9781504309363

RRP $14.99

helene

Yes, you already know it if you have read this blog before. I am a self-confessed nerd and was as a child as well. I didn’t just love reading as in stories, I revelled in information books and I LOVED poetry. I still have two poetry books my Mum included in birthday presents; I usurped my older brother’s poetry text books the minute he was done with them. I’ve written it, I won a prize in high school for it and I love teaching it.

So when my friend Hélène recently published her book of poetry I was dead keen to read it. As luck would have it there was an afternoon this week when I was far from feeling 100%, it was rainy and I went to bed like a diva to recover and began to read. Is there anything quite as soothing as poetry for an aching soul? Contrary to Hélène I have no aversion to free verse, indeed it is often my preference but I could certainly well appreciate the rhythm and cadence of Hélène’s verse.

She began writing as a child, has always written and has honed her craft as a member of various groups, as well as performing/presenting in various venues.  She brings the wealth of her life experience to her work. Child of immigrant parents, challenges, highs and lows, family, children, travel and more are reflected in her writing.

This volume of eclectic pieces is categorised by themes such as Nature, Inspired by Beach and Farewells & Memories. Throughout we can share Hélène’s emotions and relate these to our own experiences, although not all.

I think of all that I enjoyed in this, one particular poem stood alone for me in it’s simple poignancy but depths of ‘story’.

Buttons

War came to her door in Belgrade;

She refused

To clean snow-laden streees;

Driven away

In German trucks

Leaving her half-eaten chocolate bar

On the table;

Interned,

Slave labour,

Punching out unknown metal objects,

Moved,

Un-asked;

Another camp,

Sewing,

Buttons, buttons, buttons

On German uniform trousers,

Fifty-two buttons on each pair,

Every day,

Every night;

 

For the rest of her life my mother hated buttons.

 

Well done  Hélène and thank you for allowing me the privilege!

 

Advertisements

Rich & Rare – edited by Paul Collins

Standard

rich&rare

ISBN: 978-1-925272-11-6
Publication date: October 2015
Extent: 512 pages
Format: B Format paperback
Price: AUD$24.95
Category: Genre fiction and poetry
Age guide: 11+

 

This is a sumptuous and luscious smorgasbord feast for any reader, gathering delicacies supplied from Australia’s best storytellers. Our ‘young and free’ creators include: Michael Gerard Bauer, Gary Crew, Justin D’Ath, Scot Gardner, Kerry Greenwood, Libby Hathorn, Leigh Hobbs, Sofie Laguna, Kirsty Murray, James Roy, Shaun Tan and Gabrielle Wang.

Ford St seems to have a monopoly on providing us with wonderful anthologies that are both fresh and contemporary. This is another that will provide fabulous reading for individuals and also for reading aloud. I have been advocating and supporting reading aloud to older students and this is a perfect volume for such a purpose. The diversity of the collection allows for students to be introduced to this impressive cast of writers, to sample a wide-ranging variety of genres and to explore the structure of successful short story writing and poetry.  Here they will find humour, horror, reality, fantasy and much more. There is something for everyone on this menu!

This was one of my outstanding ‘holiday’ reads as I spent time in the beautiful Blue Mountains with family as I could easily pick it up at any time and read one or two stories in moments of complete laziness. Perhaps my only ‘complaint’ is that some of the stories are so engaging that I was almost disappointed to reach the end so quickly. I think my favourite was the marvellous violin which springs to life after long disuse – you will see what I mean when you read it!

This collection sits easily on shelves for your upper primary to secondary students – only one story had a few ‘iffy’ moments but nothing graphic or disturbing.  Illustrated throughout the text is even more accessible for those reluctant readers.

Certainly if your English program includes exploring the short story genre this would be ideal for demonstrating to students how this can be achieved.

Oh and that cover is JUST divine!! 🙂

Highly recommended for both personal and classroom/library reading.

Teaching notes are available at the Ford St website – so you can easily plan to incorporate the book in your planning.

Awesome Animal Stories for Kids – Aleesah Darlison

Standard

awesome

ISBN: 9780857989680

Published: 01/12/2015

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

Extent: 208 pages

– RRP $14.99

One thing we know as teacher-librarians is that you can never have too many animal stories. Younger readers especially eat up such tales whether crazy, realistic, whimsical or humorous. This new collection from Aleesah Darlison covers all those bases and with a text that is ideally suited to newly independent readers who are enjoying their first foray into chapter books.

Kasey rescues and nurtures a baby magpie, Grandpapa Cat tells his grandkittens the legend of Alvarado, King of Cats, we find out what happened next to Puff the Magic Dragon, Princess Pigletta is pignapped and so much more! Any young reader will enjoy the imaginatively told animal adventures in this collection and they would be ideally suited to the short ‘read aloud’ times after breaktimes.

This much-published award-winning author has definitely come up trumps with this fun anthology of 12 stories. Highly recommended for your shelves for both boys and girls of around 7 years up.

Check out Aleesah’s website here for more info about her, her books, author talks, resources and news.

http://www.facebook.com/AleesahDarlisonFanPage

http://twitter.com/aleesah

 

Henry Lawson Treasury – illustrated by Oslo Davis

Standard

HenryLawsonOslo

Random House Australia

ISBN: 9780857985132

Published: 03/11/2014

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

Extent: 160 pages

RRP $19.99

I grew up with a dad who loved both Lawson and Paterson and I loved them too. Standard party pieces were recitations from these two legendary Australian writers. And now, we are able to introduce the ‘Poet of the People’ to a new generation via this beautiful anthology, illustrated by Oslo Davis in a simple but stunning monochromatic style.

This new volume contains not only well-known pieces from the great Lawson but also some that may be new for readers. A brief three page biography gives newcomers some insight into the man who, of course, features on our $10 note. One of the joys of visiting my aunt in her former locale was to be able to pass by the Budgee Budgee Inn where Lawson staged ‘The Loaded Dog’ – just around the corner! I would also pay my respects as I drove by.

Four ragged, dried-up looking children are playing about the house. Suddenly one of them yells, “Snake! Mother, here’s a snake!”

The gaunt, sun-browned bushwoman dashes from the kitchen, snatches her baby from the ground, holds it on her left hip, and reaches for a stick.

“Where is it?”

“Here! Gone in the wood-heap!;” yells the eldest boy – a sharp-faced urchin of eleven. “Stop there, mother! I’ll have in . Stand back! I’ll have the beggar!”

The Drover’s Wife. First published in The Bulletion, 23rd July 1892

As we seek to inform our students of all aspects of the history of Australia, Lawson’s work remains triumphantly eloquent of the folk of the bush, their success and despair, their comradeship  and their isolation and above all their indomitable spirit.

If it has been some time since you dipped into our bush writers, this would be a perfect chance to do so but aside from that, this is a most elegant and well presented album to grace your library shelves. This copy is staying firmly on my own bookshelf – thank you Dad for just one of many wonderful memories.

Highly recommended for both primary and secondary school students – from around Year 5 upwards.

Photos taken at the Henry Lawson memorial, remains of his old childhood home, on Henry Lawson Drive, Mudgee.

henry lawson memorialhenry lawson 2