Showing posts with label BW Work. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BW Work. Show all posts

Thursday, 16 August 2018

The Fastest Ship in Space

Today’s illustration is by Yvonne Low from a book she illustrated, The Fastest Ship in Space by Pamela Freeman (Second Look Publishing, an imprint of Christmas Press, 2018).

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

‘Saving Saria’ by Jill Jackson

Scrambling up, she blinked to focus her eyes. Where were the tangled roots outside her home? She swung her head looking for clues until her eyes fell on the rope. It was hanging limp from the boat. Her gut turned.
      She tried to gather her thoughts when the boat jolted and lurched from side to side. A huge silver scaled fish swept by in a trail of ripples. Its tail fin gleamed. 
          Terror shot through her body as she remembered what her elders told her. The creek goes all the way to the big sea. When the tide comes in fish swim up the creek and when it goes out they swim back to the sea.
Kendo stomped up and down the bank his face growing redder with every step. His shrill whistle sent birds flying.
          Willum appeared within seconds his long face like thunder. 
          Kendo leapt onto his back. “Go!” he commanded.
          Willum scampered through the bush before he froze, his hairs on end.  
          Kendo’s sharp eyes scanned for danger. “Don’t even think about diving down a hole,” he warned.
          But Willum was already bolting for the water.
          Kendo braced as they slid down the bank at an alarming speed. At the same time a Hunter bird soared away over the trees. So that’s what spooked Willum!
          The quick current unnerved him as he scoured the creek for his boat. The cold place with no light! They couldn’t end up there. “Get out of the water,” he yelled.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

The Frog’s Princess

This is an excerpt from Kathy Smart’s middle grade novel The Frog’s Princess. Kathy is currently working with a team of artists and a programmer to turn it into an interactive storybook.

Kathy writes under the name Joy Everafter.

Life as a frog was woeful and Francis wasn’t going to miss this chance to change back to human form.  He hung on tight to the pretty girl’s shoulder.  “You’re a princess, aren’t you?  The crown’s a dead give-away.”  He pursed his lips.  “I need a kiss, quick.”
        “Get off me, Frog.”  The princess prised him off and stood.
         Couldn’t she see he wasn’t a frog?  Francis hopped up and grabbed at her skirt hem.  Oops, he got green on it.  
        “It’s okay, I’m a prince.  Prince Francis of Olden.  You kiss me, whammo, I turn back.”  And the sooner the better.  He’d been dodging foxes and weasels all afternoon and he’d never survive a night out here.
        “Master Frog, you’ve been bewitched.”  She wasn’t even looking at him, she was lifting a stick off the ground.
       “Of course I’ve been bewitched!  I mean, how often do you meet a talking frog?”
       She lay on the low stone wall and circled her stick in the well.  All she was thinking about was her Golden Orb.
       He bounced up and down beside her.  “I need you to turn me back into a prince.  It’s a matter of life and death.”
       She didn’t even turn to look at him.  “If you were a true prince—” she said, wetting her arm to the shoulder as she prodded the well, “—you’d have a crown.”
      “I get turned into a frog and I’m supposed to put on a crown?”

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Goldie Alexander: An extract from Changing History?

The extract above is from Changing History? (published by one of Goldie Alexander’s Shakespeare Now trilogies-  a time-warp set in the present and in Berlin 1928, and loosely based on Romeo and Juliet.

Berlin, 1928.
She wakes to smell! An overpowering reek of wet wool, stale perfume, old sweat, beer, tobacco, and spicy sausage.
            She recalls tripping… bumping against a wall… something falling … a red-hot explosion of pain… 
             The back of her head is about to fall off.
             She reaches up to feel a lump the size of a pigeon egg.
              Someone has glued her eyelids together. It takes a huge effort, but she finally manages to prise them apart.
             For a long moment, the world stands still.
             All that come out of her mouth is a soundless ‘Aghh…’
             She can’t believe what her eyes are showing her.
             Strangers! Total strangers are looking down at her: a white-faced clown with huge red lips; an old woman, her wrinkles covered in thick makeup; a coarse, featured man with flyaway wisps of hair; a boy… no, that face is too old to be a child…
             She closes her eyes. This is just a dream. She’s had bad dreams before, woken with a shout loud enough to bring her mother rushing into her room. But nothing, nothing ever like this.
              A man pushes his way through the crowd. He kneels over her, frowns, and asks in German, ‘Wie f├╝hlen sie sich?’
             She finally realises that he is asking how she feels?  But how do you answer a nightmare? ‘Okay,’ she murmurs through cracked lips, though this is far from the truth.
             The man’s face clears. ‘Ah, American… Yankee.’
             Taylor shakes her head and discovers that any movement, no matter how slight, worsens the pain. ‘No…Australian.’

Monday, 9 July 2018

Extract from Iron Mouth by Sharyn Bajerai

This would be the worst day of my life. It would be even worse than the day a girl beat me last year in my running race. It didn’t help that Mum was in a bad mood.
            The car jolted to a stop. I was glued to my seat.
‘Out!’ shouted Mum.
            ‘I feel sick,’ I said, and moaned.
            ‘You’re going to school and that’s it,’ she said. ‘Out!’
            I still couldn’t move.
            ‘I’m in a hurry.’ Mum unsnapped my seatbelt, leaned over me, opened my door and pushed me out.
            I tumbled out of the car far too near to Rusco ‘Bully’ Leeming and his friends.
            ‘Thanks Mum,’ I mumbled. I grabbed my backpack from the pavement. The car door
slammed shut as Mum took off in a plume of black smoke.
            ‘Hey,’ said Leeming. ‘I could report your mum’s car for smoking.’ He laughed loudly at his
own joke. His friends joined in.
            ‘Yeahhhh,’ I said nervously. I heaved my backpack onto my shoulder and took off. I wasn’t
going to stick around for one of Leeming’s verbal bashings.
I saw my best friend, Dean, playing with his football and trotted towards him.
            ‘So did you get them?’ he asked.
            I bared my teeth. He took in a sudden breath. ‘Wow! How long do you have to wear them?’
            ‘Two years,’ I mumbled.
            ‘Two years! That’s forever!’
            ‘I know. Mum says I’ll thank her one day for having nice, straight teeth,’ I said.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Anthea Stead, illustrator

 This illustration is by award-winning artist, Anthea Stead who has illustrated several books published by Walker Books Australia. Check out her website

Would you like to show-case your own writing or illustrations? Send your illustration (jpg) or writing (to 250 words) to [email protected]

Friday, 6 July 2018

Poem by Virginia Lowe

This fear of dragons
 for Ursula Le Guin

by Virginia Lowe

Once upon a time
in a land far far away
there lived a race of people
who were terrified of dragons -
dainty little elves as well -
of rabbit holes, faraway trees,
Narnia, Earthsea
any sort of magic really
fairy tales and fables,
myths and legends
even Bible stories

‘No time!’ they said
‘we’ve got to make money
play golf or the Casino
surf ocean or internet
Then make more money!’

Too afraid to stop for dragons
witches or fairies
talking animals or hobbits
all fantasy scared them witless
No time, no mental space
Possessions and money matters –
harsh realists all

That race exists no more
Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings
Game of Thrones, Star Wars
visual fantasy
has put paid to it

And readers return
as they always have
Always Coming Home
to books, to fantasy
to Hainish planets
to mind experiments
to empathy
to be Dispossessed

Note by Virginia Lowe: Le Guin’s 1974 article ‘Why are American’s afraid of Dragons?’ was very influential when I first started teaching children’s literature at university. It is available at:

Thursday, 5 July 2018

From Cinnamon Stevens: Ghost Light by Pauline Hosking

Diary entry for March 18th

I am sitting in the brand-new Ambassador Theatre, observing.
That’s what detectives do.
          My bum is the first bum to ever touch this prickly, cloth-covered seat. How awesome is that?
          Around me heaps of nervous kids are waiting with their parents/teachers/friends. They’re here to try-out for a part in Macbeth, the play by William Shakespeare. The one about murder. And witches.
          My best friend Cossie hurries up the aisle. ‘Cinnamon, Cinnamon!’ Behind her glasses, her eyes are wide with excitement. ‘Cinnamon, do you believe in ghosts?’
           ‘Do I believe in goats?’
          ‘No, GHOSTS!’ Cossie bounces into the seat next to me. ‘I think I just saw one!’
          ‘Wow! True?’
           ‘It was white and shimmery. It gave me a wave and disappeared.’ 
          Wow to the max! ‘Where did it go?’
          ‘No idea. Back to the astral plane?’ Cossie grins. ‘Course I might be mistaken. I’d taken my glasses off to give them a polish. You know I’m short- sighted. Maybe it was a cleaner or someone.’
          ‘Yeah. Maybe.’ Or maybe not! This sounded like something I should investigate.
          I check the time on my phone. ‘Cossie, we’ve ten minutes before your audition starts. Let’s go find this ghost!’
          She gives a thumbs-up. ‘Wicked!’
          That’s why Cossie’s such a good friend. She’s always up for adventures.
          ‘Follow me, Cin. A ghost hunt might settle my nerves!’
          We hurry down the centre aisle. Cossie leads, I limp along behind. During my last case I’d sustained a life-threatening injury (okay, a broken toe) which was healing. Slowly.
          The auditorium is built like an amphitheatre, with tiered seats leading down to the stage. The whole place smells of fresh paint.  
          When we reach the stage with its massive scarlet and gold curtain, Cossie whispers, ‘Quick, in here!’     
          We slip through a narrow gap at the side of the curtain into the backstage area. An almost invisible door is tucked against a far wall.
          My friend says, in a Dracula-type voice, ‘I voz searching for a place to practise my lines ven I discovered zat door and ze secret stairs beyond. Come, Cinnamon, ve must go down ze stairs into ze darkness!’
          She opens the door, revealing a space like a lift shaft. But there’s no lift. Instead, a metal staircase spirals above our heads and beneath our feet, lit by dim electric lights. We’re near the bottom of the stairs, only a few steps away from a shadowy, cavern-like basement.
          I’m starting to feel less enthusiastic. Not that I’m scared of the dark exactly. I just prefer places that are brightly lit.