Today, I’m pleased to welcome my good writer friend Tania McCartney to DeeScribe Writing to celebrate her newest picture book, An Aussie Year.
WIN A MENTORING PACKAGE: Leave a writing tip in the comment’s section on today’s post and you could win a mentoring package valued at over $100 including editor’s report and feedback on your first ten pages (double spaced) plus synopsis. The package also includes a free e-book on writing.
REVIEW OF AN AUSSIE YEAR
Ned, Lily, Zoe, Kirra and Matilda take us on a journey through a year in the life of Australian children, from cultural celebrations to traditions and events, to our everyday way of life.
An Aussie Year is a picture book bursting with national pride.
One of the things I love most about this book is that it covers a diversity of cultures and traditions that make Australia the colourful and fascinating nation it is today.
I love An Aussie Year‘s lively, fun text and the vibrant illustrations. I think my favourite is the ‘May’ picture of Ned swinging from the Hill’s Hoist clothesline that is so much a part of my own childhood memories.
An Aussie Year combines so many important traditions of both the present and the past. It introduces the reader to things they might not have experienced. It depicts the busy life we all lead today and introduces us to new possibilities and fun things to experience.
Ned, Lily, Zoe, Kirra and Matilda provide a ‘personal’ narrative, showcasing a variety of cultures and experiences.
The humour and colour of this book will delight young readers. There are so many things I learnt like apparently “when SANTA visits Australia, he goes surfing.” I’ll definitely be sure to look out for him this Christmas:)
An Aussie Year gives young readers the chance to absorb so many important things about Australia’s history and culture without even realising they are doing it.
An Aussie Year is a smorgasbord of vibrant images and lively information. I can see this book finding a place in many homes and classrooms.
An Aussie Year: Twelve Months in the Life of Australian Kids by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling
(Oct 2013, EK Publishing, $19.99, hard cover, 9781921966248)
Visit the An Aussie Year website (www.anaussieyear.com.au) to meet all the characters from the book, see updates and behind-the-scenes work. There’s also some Fun Activities for kids.
ABOUT THE CREATORS
She simply adores words and paper—and would ingest them if she could (though she’ll settle for a good coffee).
She frequently flits around cyberspace but can also be seen visiting schools and libraries, running workshops, reading to kids or pushing tomes onto unsuspecting shoppers in bookshops.
Tania lives in Canberra, but would like to live inside a book. http://www.taniamccartney.com
She adores Paris, fabric, design and paper. She lives a very illustrated life—one day she’s creating children’s books, the next she’s creating websites (in between the washing and school lunches!).
She’s the type who has a notebook by her bed because most good ideas happen when you’re supposed to be sleeping.
She lives in Brisbane with her two gorgeous poppets and one gorgeous husband.
Tania’s Five Writing Tips – Non-Narrative Creativity
When I first wrote the text for An Aussie Year—a faction book celebrating our Aussie childhood—I lamented the lack of a narrative storyline, which often allows more creativity in regard to text.
In the final stages of text editing, as the words were cut and honed for both brevity and relevance, I realised something. Creative word choice doesn’t have to give way when writing fact or faction. I’ll admit it’s slightly more restrictive, but there are ways to bring in delicious word-usage without compromising clarity.
For the above January entry, I wanted to include the iconic Aussie tube icy pole, but instead of simply stating ‘we eat icy poles’, I instead tried to look at this treat from a kid’s point of view: January is hot. What happens to icy poles when it’s hot?
Recalling my own childhood, I clearly remember cutting these icy pole tubes from a sheet of frozen block colour, then snipping off the top and warming them in our hands before sliding the ice up the tube. Of course, like kids today, our hands invariably became sticky, and I wanted to evoke that feeling in the text …
Icy poles melt and make our fingers sticky.
When writing your own non-narrative children’s books, these tips can help make your text more effulgent:
- Think like a child. Imagine the scene from their perspective and write in a way that will evoke a feeling rather than stating a fact.
- Bear in mind your target audience; the younger the child, the more childlike your voice can be.
- Use evocative words within a clear sentence structure. Keep your information-intention in mind but then stretch it a little to include interesting word choice or out-of-the-box word placement, as shown in my icy pole example.
- Take time to choose content that resonates with your target age group. Sometimes this means being really ruthless and cutting sections or elements that may go over kids’ heads. This will allow you to spend more time making text extra shiny.
- Consider your text in a layout and design capacity. Perhaps your text can be creatively presented—swirling, coloured, differing typeface or font size. Visuals can positively enhance the way your text sounds.
WIN a Mentoring Package and Writing Ebook!
As I mentioned earlier, leave a writing tip in the comment’s section on today’s post and you could win a mentoring package valued at over $100 including editor’s report and feedback on your first ten pages (double spaced) plus synopsis. The package also includes a free e-book on writing.
You can also win great prizes at other participating blogs on the An Aussie Year blog tour. Here’s a link to the schedule http://www.taniamccartney.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/an-aussie-year-virtual-tour.html
I look forward to reading your tips. Good luck for the competition.