December 2012 Events

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Click on event name for more details

National Year of Reading~ Australia

Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse~ ongoing until Dec 3, Montreuil, France

A Journey Without End: Ed Young~ongoing until Dec 30, Omaha, NE, USA

The Illustrators’ Journey Art Exhibition Featuring Art by Shaun Tan, Matt Ottley and More!~ ongoing until Dec 31, Fremantle, Australia

Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award 2013~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, United Kingdom

2012 South Asia Book Award~ submissions accepted until Dec 31

SingTel Asian Picture Book Award 2013~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, Singapore

Exhibition of Artworks from Jeannie Baker’s Innovative Picture Book, Mirror~ ongoing until Jan 2013, Blacktown, Australia

Reflections… On the Work of Jeannie Baker~ ongoing until Jan 2013, Blacktown, Australia

17th Annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature~ ongoing until Jan 1, 2013, Concord, MA, USA

23rd Annual Children’s Illustration Show~ ongoing until Jan 13, 2013 Northampton, MA, USA

Appleton Museum of Art Exhibit: Sendak & Co: Children’s Book Illustrations Since Where the Wild Things Are~ ongoing until Jan 20, 2013, Ocala, FL, USA

Exhibits of Winning Entries from the 2012 Growing Up Asian in America Contest~ ongoing until Feb 2013, USA

Nami Island International Illustration Concours for Picture Book Illustrations~ submissions accepted until Feb 15, 2013, Korea

Tall Tales & Huge Hearts: Raúl Colón~ ongoing until Mar 29, 2013, Abilene, TX, USA

Skipping Stones Youth Honor Awards Celebrating Multicultural Awareness, International Understanding and Nature Appreciation~ submissions accepted until June 25, 2013, USA

The Children’s Literature Centre at Frostburg State University Presents Storybook Holiday~ Dec 1, Frostburg, MD, USA

The 92Y’s Children’s Reading Series Presents: An Evening with  National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Walter Dean Myers~ Dec 1, New York. NY, USA

The Foundation of Children’s Books Presents a Special Book Group Party with Grace Lin~ Dec 1, Brookline, MA, USA

“Dreams of a City” SCBWI Greece Illustrator Exhibition and Book Event~ Dec 1 – 22, Athens, Greece

Iconic Images: Ten Years of Collecting for The Carle. Gallery Tour with Curator, Nick Clark~ Dec 2, Amherst, MA, USA

Asian Festival of Children’s Content Book Club Presents the Singapore Launch of If I Were A Blue Kangaroo by Dave Seow~ Dec 5, Singapore

Bangalore Literature Festival~ Dec 7 – 9, Bangalore, India

Puppet Show and Book Presentation at the SCBWI Greece Illustrator/Author exhibition~ Dec 8, Athens, Greece

So You Want to Choose the 2013 Caldecott?~ Dec 9, Amherst, MA, USA

Summertime Stories Family Event~ Dec 10, Blacktown, Australia

Bengaluru Sahityotsava~ Dec 14 – 16, Bangalore, India

The Best of the Best in 2012 with Susan Bloom~ Dec 15, Amherst, MA, USA

Children’s book reading of “The Giant’s Star” by Marivita Grammatikaki. Music by Nikos Xanthoulis~ Dec 16, Athens, Greece

Chapter & Verse’s (A Book Club for Adults Discussing Children’s Lit) Mock Newbery and Caldecott Discussions~ Dec 20, USA

The Literature Centre (formerly Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre) Exhibits and Programs~ Fremantle, Australia

Dromkeen National Centre for Picture Book Art Exhibits~ Riddells Creek, Australia

Books Illustrated Events and Exhibitions~ Middle Park, Australia

International Youth Library Exhibits~ Munich, Germany

Tulika Book Events~ India

International Library of Children’s Literature Events~ Tokyo, Japan

Newcastle University Programme of Talks on Children’s Books for 2011-2012~ Newcastle, United Kingdom

Seven Stories (the National Home of Children’s Books in Britain) Events~ Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Discover Children’s Story Centre~ London, United Kingdom

Arne Nixon Center’s Children’s Literature Book Clubs for Adults Events~ USA

Events Sponsored by The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress~ USA

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art~ Amherst, MA, USA

The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Exhibits~ Abilene, TX, USA

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Events

Children’s E-Books: Interview with Hazel Edwards

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

As we continue to explore the world of e-books on PaperTigers, we’re asking practitioners and people on the ground about some of the challenges and triumphs they personally have faced creating e-books, as well as the challenges and triumphs they see for the industry as a whole. Last week we spoke with Janet Wong ; today we chat with Hazel Edwards.

Hazel is a 2012 Astrid Lindgren Award nominee, and Ambassador for Australia’s  2012 National Year of Reading, and writes a story each birthday for her grandkids. f2m:the boy within was a 2011 White Ravens selection. Hazel is also a director of the Australian Society of Authors and especially interested in e-books. She is perhaps best known for her There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake series, as engaging and creative as the author herself, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with the release of the Pocket Bonfire short film that screened internationally at 2011 film festivals.

We first interviewed Hazel back in 2007, and since then she has been a regular guest on the PaperTigers Blog; we’re delighted to welcome her back now to tell us about her involvement with e-books.

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What was your inspiration for writing e-books? Was that your intention from the get-go, or was there an evolution in your creative process?

I enjoy e-books, both as another innovative format for my stories and to read myself. Inclusive of print, not exclusive. Audio already exists. Maybe smellovision next?

Change should be embraced, not feared. So, although I’m format-challenged, my aim is to learn one e-skill per day and slowly add e-stories to my website. For e-skilled children who are more visual rather than verbal, I’d prefer them to exercise their imaginations reading mysteries on screen, than play violence-based computer-games.

As a 2012 National Year of Reading Ambassador, I’m keen on any aids to literacy, and reading ‘on screen’ is seen as ‘cool’ by challenged readers, whether kids or adults. That’s the reason for adding my mystery series and performance scripts as an easy way of sharing reading for a fun purpose.

‘Us mob likes your e-stories’ was a response after an outback web-chat with an indigenous literacy program.

Fan mail proves e-books work for challenged readers, whether read on laptops or other devices. Educator Robyn Floyd forwarded this fan mail. And it’s genuine responses like this that make an author’s day.

Recently, my e-mentor daughter streamlined my website to allow sales of my print books, along with a slow move to all e-books, for the ease of readers beyond bookshops and libraries. This also makes my books available for international schools or remote web chats.

Experimentally, I grouped some of my easy-to-read children’s mystery stories into an e-book series, Project Spy Kids, starring Art, a challenged reader who is a sleuth and excellent problem-solver.

My mainstream publishers have my print titles as e-books on Amazon etc.  These include the nonfiction Aussie Heroes series Sir Edward Weary Dunlop and forthcoming Dr Fred Hollows and eco-fantasy  Plato the Platypus Plumber (part-time). An early e-book series was Duckstar.

So why did I become an e-publisher?

  • Some of my publisher merger ‘orphaned’ titles were requested by readers and I had no copies. Rights-reverted titles could be re-published in new formats, from my own site.
  • My aim was speed of reader access (they get the e-book within 24 hours) plus extras like free finger puppet patterns or Antarctic polar ship plans.
  • I write in varied fields. Writing a Non Boring Family History, my most popular e-book, helps grandparents or parents wanting to write family stories for children of their extended families internationally.
  • A non-fiction title in print and e-book format is Difficult Personalities with Dr Helen Mc Grath. This has an audio Louis Braille version as well.
  • International web-chats with authors are more relevant when the e-book is instantly accessible. f2m:the boy within is a significant  gender transition (and punk music) print novel easily and diplomatically available for international readers via Amazon etc.

In 2009 I was an Author Ambassador with the Nanjing International Cultural Exchange.  We did webchats in dual languages, and wrote some school-based stories about school pet turtles in Mandarin and English to exchange between the Australian and Chinese schools. Now some of my titles are in Mandarin.

So although I see my core profession as author, I’ve become an authorpreneur, unintentionally.

Children’s books, particularly picture books, present specific challenges to the e-book industry in terms of faithful reproduction of art and story. They also present exciting opportunities for new forms of interaction. What limitations or challenges, expected or unexpected, have you personally experienced creating e-books for children, and in turn, what benefits have you discovered as compared to printed books?

Picture books are a greater technical e-challenge in terms of preserving the quality via aps but Blue Quoll is innovating with selected picture book titles of mine. Certain stories are better suited to certain formats, but there is enormous potential for adding/changes languages and using the audio as a literacy aid. This is the MOST exciting area.

Plato the Platypus Plumber Part-time is available in Spanish, German and English as an e-book as well as a print picture book. The eco-water issues plus the ‘tool kit’ for fixing watery problems, but also grumpy people, is relevant for the age group, but there are still quality-formatting-conversion challenges to e-books.

However the Pocket Bonfire’ production of There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake is an excellent example of the director retaining the sentiment and childlike focus of the original book, but using the strengths of the medium to add new insights via sound, pausing, visuals etc.

I would like to see the Hippo stories in e-book apps formats. But that decision is for the publisher Penguin and when they think the timing and technology appropriate.

Particularly in English-speaking countries, a common concern is the lack of diversity in children’s books. How or do you think e-books might address such concerns, and how has your work engaged with issues of multicultural children’s books?

Stories crossing media into theatre or film and going into formats such as Braille or Auslan signing for deaf kids have always intrigued me.  My books have been translated into Indonesian, Mandarin, Finnish, French, Polish and American, where Mum became Mom and taps became faucets.

I live in a multicultural suburb of Melbourne. Our neighbours are Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, Dutch, New Zealander, Serbo-Croatian , Somali and Italian. That’s just my street. Hence my Frequent Flyer Twins are Asian-Australian 10-year-old sleuths. Authors draw inspiration from their communities, but the best stories always have universal appeal through compassion.

Originally a popular print series, the Frequent Flyer Twins books now have new covers, e-formatting for all kinds of e-readers and merchandise such as stickers, t shirts, etc. by graphic designer/illustrator Jane Connory.  We met serendipitously in a local park when I was doing a Channel 31 “Kids in the Kitchen” program linking food and reading my picture books.  I had my grandson cooking Hippo footprints on camera (pancakes). Jane now designs all the new e-books in the “Project Spy Kids” literacy mystery series and illustrates the covers.

In the twentieth century the development of children’s rooms in public libraries marched hand-in-hand with growth in the children’s publishing industry. Do you think e-books will change roles of traditional libraries, and how do you envision e-books reaching children of all incomes and backgrounds?

Digital libraries are the key to providing e-books for readers of all incomes. But it’s also necessary to recompense the creators, without illegal copying depriving them.  Currently Australia has PLR (Public Lending Right) and ELR (Educational Lending Right) recompense for surveyed usage of creators’ books in libraries. This is a very significant part of most creators’ incomes. However audio and e-books are NOT included.

Distribution of digital books is a key issue and currently there are discussions of ways creators need to be compensated for library usage.

Stories about minorities need to be better distributed and recompensed, so readers can learn more about other worlds.

We love sneak previews! What are you working on at the moment? Do you plan for it to come out in print, as an e-book, or both?

The Parts of Speech TV Show and the L of a Difference literacy performance scripts have just been uploaded to my site.  Next is the sequel to my chapter book Sleuth Astrid the Mind Reading Chook called Lost Voice of the Grand Final.

This month, I launched a picture book A Safe Place to Live by Bic Walker, a former refugee/boat person from Vietnam and now an architect, who has written a universal story of change from a child’s viewpoint, based on her experiences. I highly recommend this self-published book, and have suggested to Bic than the e-book should be her next challenge.

This is a time of expediential change with e-books. We are all learning together. Next up, I’m going to write Authorpreneurship, a “how to” writing book, just as an e-book, not print.

If you were a fortune-teller, where would you predict the future lies for the evolution of the printed book vs. the e-book generally?

I’d predict that internationally more emphasis will be on audio stories with pictures for future literacy and ease of changing the language. What that technology will be called and in which format, is in transition now.  These are exciting times as regards technology, but the world still needs storytellers, so we can see the world from another’s viewpoint.

Titles, covers, chapter headings and blurbs are especially important for e-books. Readers expect more ‘gadgets,’ but currently print-book conversions work quite well. I predict that the game-book will be the next development, which is why I have been experimenting with my junior mysteries to encourage reader involvement.

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Thank you, Hazel.

Australian Author Hazel Edwards Announces the Release Of Her Literacy-Mystery E-Books

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

If you missed it last month, be sure to read our guest post by Australian writer Hazel Edwards entitled “How I Feel About a Film Being Made from My Picture Book There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake”. Besides celebrating the release of this short film and recently being named as one of the Ambassadors for the National Year of Reading  in 2012, Hazel is also celebrating the online release of her literacy-mystery e-books. One of her reasons for releasing e-books she says  is so that she can “reach kids in remote communities or even international schools who don’t have access to bookshops but whose parents can buy $2.95 easy-to-read books online.”  Interested in learning more about the e-process? Check out Hazel’s and illustrator-designer Jane Connory’s post Co-Designing E-books Literacy Mystery Quest.