Monday, January 25, 2010

Australia Day Roundup

To celebrate my country's National Day on the 26th of January, I am bringing you goodies, and snippets of news. As a challenge to my readers, subtitles are partly written in strine, our national language.

{Australia Day clip art copyrighted by Bobbie Peachey}

Yergottalarf - MakeBeliefsComix

I posted about
MakeBeliefsComix before, but want to bring you an update on this great webspace for encouraging kids to express themselves in words and pictures.

Bill Zimmerman has added new characters, objects and environments to give us extra choices. Luckily, it's just as easy to use as it always was.

Avago - at Paper Critters

Paper Critters is a fun place to design your own paper critter. Choose Toy Creator to experiment with making your own critter in your browser. You are presented with an art editor, and the different faces of a box-like critter. The editor allows you to choose colours and decorate your critter the way you want by dragging and dropping different shapes onto each face. You can preview it, make changes, save, share and print. This is a fun place to take even quite young kids for some creative play, as it's easy to come up with something cute so long as you can work a mouse.

Check out
The Colony for inspiration, or to view critters others have made. Here's a screen grab of my critter as I was creating him:

If you and your child enjoy paper crafts, take a look at
Paper Forest which features some fantastic illustrators, or the NicePaperToy ning. Other people's creativity always astounds me, but I bet your youngsters can instantly think of ways of adapting and adopting these ideas. Another great place to get free templates is NaniBird.

Here's a creative way to use the Paper Critters site. After you design your critter online, print, and copy the template onto card. Then decorate, cut out and assemble your critter. Take him out into the wide world and grab some pictures of him. Use these as the basis of a simple caption story, using online editors like
PhotoPeach. Or develop something more complex. Your critter could be the basis of a movie, like the one on the home page. Design a Paper Critter family and chronicle their adventures in a slide show or a scrapbook. Don't you think that would make a fun family project for the next rainy weekend?

Deadset worth a geezer - Speakaboos

Speakaboos, you'll find favourite stories like Curious George and Arthur, Folk Tales, Fairy Tales, Songs, Nursery Rhymes and Fables.

Kids can watch, read along, and listen to the story. I found it pixellated out a little when I tried it on the full screen, but was fine when smaller. You also have the choice to buy online when you join. I didn't but would love to get feedback from anyone who does.

Take a Captain Cook at this! Thanks to Joyce Grant of Getting Kids Reading who told about Hachette's Mysterious Benedict Society games. If your youngster enjoys puzzles, set her loose here, then borrow one of the books from the library.

Goodonya, Book Chook!

I have had another
short story accepted for publication at Rainbow Rumpus. This is a magazine for children. Rainbow Rumpus stories are much like other online magazines, except the stories must be written from the point of view of children with LGBT parents or other family members, or who are connected to the LGBT community. (LGBT = Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender). If you are a children's writer, take note that they are a paying market and very nice to work with.

You liddle bewdy - Book Trailer for My Heart is Like a Zoo
Learn some similes with this beautifully animated book trailer.

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