Blog tour dates…
1/09/2012 Spinning Pearls http://spinningpearls.blogspot.com
3/09/2012 Writing for Children with Peter Taylor http://writing-for-children.blogspot.com.au/
7/09/2012 From Hook to Book with Chris Bell http://christinemareebell.wordpress.com/
8/09/2012 Kids’ Book Reviews with Tania McCartney www.kids-bookreview.com
12/09/2012 Reading and Writing with Dale Harcombe http://livejournal.com/users/orangedale
18/09/2012 Jackie Hosking PASS IT ON https://jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com/
23/09/2012 Writing Children’s Books with Robyn Opie Parnell http://robynopie.blogspot.com.au/
02/10/2012 Angela Sunde at http://angelasunde.blogspot.com.au/
As many of you will know, I LOVE things that rhyme and Sally’s delightful picture book Bushland Lullaby rhymes like a dream. Illustrated in pale pastel colours Lisa Stewart has taken Sally’s exquisite poetry and turned it into a true lullaby, soft, gentle and calm.
The double page spreads are each dedicated to one Australian animal – the bandicoot, the possum, the platypus, the crocodile, the goanna, the seagull, the penguin, the wallaby, the koala, the wombat, the fruit bat, the emu and the dingo, complete with their own four line verse about how they go off to sleep.
On the windy plain beyond the town
Where grass grows rough and rustling borwn
The sun gives way to cool moonbeams
And little emu’s chasing dreams
Welcome Sally to my blog. Thank you so much for asking me to host your tour today.
Thanks for having me!
Were you commissioned to write this book or did you pitch the idea to Scholastic?
I subbed the ms on the 8th of December 2010 with the note; Dear Editor – Having a grandson I suppose I have lullabies on the mind, so here’s a picture book text for your consideration.
How long did it take you to write?
I don’t really remember, but probably about two hours, based on other similar and more recent texts.
Have you written any other stories in verse that have been published as picture books? What are they?
My first verse picture book was “Dreadful David”, published in 1984 when my son was three.
The second was “Emma Jane’s Zoo”, in 1986.
Then came “Angie the Brave” in 1987.
“That’s Enough” in 1989
“Wicked Rose” in 1991 and…
“Polly’s Party” in 1992.
Oh, and “Cinderella’s Wedding” in 2001.
There were also quite rhyming educational reading scheme books such as “Elizabeth” in 1986 and “Blue Moon Animal Day” and “There Were Cats” in 1987.
“That’s Enough” and “Polly’s Party” were also ed-published, but they were hardbacks and so more aligned with trade.
Come to think of it, most of my picture books have rhymed. I can think of only “Summer Magic” 1992, “Bunyips Don’t, 1996 and “I’m Big Enough”, 2006 that don’t.
As a poet do you prefer to write in rhyme and meter or free verse? Why?
I almost always write in rhyme and meter. I don’t “get” free verse at all. Blank verse- yes. Free verse – no. I have written in it now and then (even won a prize for it once) but it’s unnatural to me. I see poetry (which isn’t the same as rhyming texts in my opinion) as a beautiful intricate pattern. It can be an unusual pattern and in fact I write some very odd forms – but a pattern nonetheless.
Here is one of the oddest forms I ever wrote. It’s a kind of reversed acrostic with inserts.
The Book of Anna
Twining words in honeysuckle old style,
Hillsides witness my word-requited tale,
Etudes, preludes, alluding to my ink smile-
The book of Anna –poet of the grail.
Briar roses, innocent and blushing
Overhanging my white uncharted brow
Over, lover, roving words a’hushing,
Knowing rhymes in the long-forgotten now-
Book of Anna – poet of believing.
Odes to seasons, sonnets from my life
Free verse, reversed, synonyms of leaving,
Of this Anna – and metaphors run rife.
Anthems penned in a fine soprano ringing,
Nevermore the silence of the night-
None but I need mind the rhythm winging
Ashes, roses, disposes of the light.
Anna – poet – B(r)ooks not black and white.
Flinging phrases out along the sunset,
Overreaching the syntax of today,
Of fun, so one, wordplay often unmet,
Kicking, clicking, all along the way.
Only Anna may venture to the deep end
Often swinging her dictionary’s tail,
Bringing, stringing, words both large and wee, penned,
Book of Anna – encrypted – cannot fail.
Even roses must twine about the ladder,
Hearts and thorns form poetical bouquet,
Torn, unspoken, broken, dyed with madder,
The Book of Anna, elliptical ballet.
Do you think writing in rhyme and meter can be taught?
Yes, I’m sure it can, but it’s easier for some people than others. I have a method of teaching meter that almost always works. Some people have natural meter which is wonderful. One of the main things about teaching rhyme, I think, is to train people not to go with the obvious rhyme that leaps to mind because it will probably be a cliché. My e-book “Writing Metrical Verse” has a lot more to say on rhyme and scansion.
Thank you Sally!
Thanks Jackie for these very interesting questions.
Now something special for YOU!
Everyone who comments on this post goes in the draw to win one of three PDF e-books written by Sally.
Please state your preference when commenting.
- Writing a Picture Book Text
- Finding Farholt
- Writing a Manuscript Proposal