Posted by: Trudie Trewin | February 28, 2012

The Big Read

Some things in life are especially cool.

Reading is especially cool.

Queensland is especially cool. (Obviously, I don’t mean in the temperature sense!)

So it stands to reason that reading books set in Queensland is especially, especially cool!

The people at Book Links Qld have decided to celebrate the National Year of Reading by getting together a list of books for kids that are representative of Queensland. There are three lists of ten books, one for Picture Books, one for Younger Readers and one for Older Readers. You can have a look at the lists here.

And what I find coolest of all is the fact that one of my books, Camp Croc, is included on the list for Younger Readers!

Up until July 31st 2012, Book Links are running a competition where you get to vote for the book you like most in each category. And just by voting, you go in the running for a prize. You can vote online here, or print out the form and either post it, or drop it into your local library (while you’re there, why not borrow a book!).

So if you want to do something especially cool in the National Year of Reading, find a copy of these great Queensland books and get voting!

   (Of course, it would be wrong of me to try and influence you to vote for Camp Croc.………. but, well, this is what happened to a fish that voted for another book!)

Posted by: Trudie Trewin | February 16, 2012

National Year of Reading

Of all the ‘Year Of’s that we’ve had, this one rates right up there as one of the best ever!

This week I went along to the launch of National Year of Reading at the Cairns Library,  in my capacity as one of their local ‘Reading Champions’. Now, I am rather chuffed to be one of their local champions, not just because it was an honour to be asked, and not just because I love reading, but also because I have never been a champion anything before! (Although I admit to being a teensy bit disappointed that there doesn’t seem to be any hint of a trophy. Or a podium to stand on, or the National Anthem being played while I clutch a stuffed koala and sniff back tears of pride!)

But, a champion none the less. And my job is to talk about reading whenever I get the opportunity. Not really hard when you’re an author!

I can’t remember exactly when I caught the reading bug, but my guess is that it was waaay back when I realised that Mum and Dad didn’t really enforce the ‘lights out’ rule if I was reading a book, what kid doesn’t want an excuse to avoid going to sleep!  I remember some of the books I loved in those early years – The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie. But I think my love of reading was cemented when I read Colin Theile’s February Dragon. It was the first book that made me cry. One minute I was reading along with my heart pounding, as the fire roared towards the stables, and the next I was bawling like, well, like a 10 year old girl who loved horses. (Oh those poor, terrified, burnt horses)  That’s when I discovered the power of the written word – and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Reading opens the mind. It develops empathy, creativity, problem solving, interpretive skills, logical thinking and inquisitivity. (Not sure that last one is a word, but I quite like the way it sounds!)

Reading entertains, informs and inspires. It gives insight into unfamiliar experiences.

I firmly believe that people who read a lot a better equipped to deal with life’s challenges.

But I don’t want it to sound like a ‘good for you’ list, like eating vegetables and flossing your teeth! All those things are just the happy side effects of reading – the best reason to read isn’t because it’s good for you….. it’s because it’s fun! It’s anywhere, anytime entertainment. Love it!

Posted by: Trudie Trewin | April 12, 2011

Wibbly Wobbly’s a notable too!

Today the CBCA announced their notables and shortlisted books.

And Wibbly Wobbly Street is on the list as a notable – I’m happy dancing again!

The complete list of notables and shortlisted books can be found here. It’s full of great books, and I’m honoured that Wibbly Wobbly Street has been included.

And since I’m still celebrating Wibbly Wobbly Street’s White Raven listing, don’t be surprised if I look a little wibbly wobbly myself tonight!


Posted by: Trudie Trewin | April 7, 2011

Camp Croc

Look what arrived in the mail today – my advance copy of Camp Croc!

I love the croc on the cover.

And just to show I’m no wimp when it comes to crocs, I celebrated the arrival of my book by doing some croc-wrestling.

Walker Books suggested it would be nice to include an interesting photo on the Lightning Strikes web page when they add Camp Croc to it, so I stepped up to the challenge.  The nice people at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures let me come in and take on some of their most fearsome crocs.


Okay, so this one is actually made of fibreglass and not likely to do much damage – although it’s been raining a bit and I could have slipped off and sprained a wrist I suppose.




This one, however, is real.

Well, real but stuffed. His name is Charlie and was the original croc at Hartley’s. When I first arrived in Cairns he was was decidedly more active, sadly, he died in 2000.




This one, is both real AND breathing! He might only be one year old, but the muscles in his tail are already amazingly strong, and his jaws are capable of leaving a finger dangling by a thread.

Once I had subdued him though he was putty in my hands, and even let me kiss him. The Croc-whisperer, that’s what they call me now!

Posted by: Trudie Trewin | April 4, 2011

Wibbly Wobbly’s a White Raven!

Today I am gob-smacked. And ever so slightly stoked!

Every year the International Youth Library select 250 newly published books from around the world for their White Ravens list. The White Raven label is given to books that ‘deserve worldwide attention because of their universal themes and/or their exceptional and often innovative artistic and literary style and design’. And to my delight, Wibbly Wobbly Street is one of them for 2011!

Eleven books from Australia made the list this year, you can see them all here:

This is me today:

Posted by: Trudie Trewin | January 25, 2011

Happy, happy day

I know I haven’t posted anything here for a while, but today is too momentous to let pass without comment….

This morning, our eldest son headed off for his first day at high school. But it’s not the passing from child to young adult that makes this such a happy day for us. And it’s not the fact that he looks so grown-up in his new uniform either (although he certainly does). And it’s not even the fact that he’s headed off to school full of excitement, with a heart full of hopes and plans for new experiences and expanded horizons.

Nope, what makes this such a happy, happy day for us is the knowledge that today he will finally, finally… eat the lunch I packed for him!!

You see, for the last eight years (prep through to year 7)  his lunch boxes have returned almost as full as I sent them off. Because there is only ONE sandwich that my son will eat… peanut butter. And our primary school has a strict ‘no nuts’ policy.

But there is no such rule at the high school – so now I can look forward to five years of empty lunch boxes – YAY!!!!

…Unless of course he comes home and tells me that peanut butter sandwiches aren’t ‘cool’ enough for high school…. what are the chances?

Posted by: Trudie Trewin | September 2, 2010

What’s with the names?

As a writer, I’ll sometimes give my characters unusual and weird names, especially to add some humour.

But as a parent I much rather the names that have stood the test of time. And I like to spell them normally too – I was never even slightly tempted to write ‘Danyule’ on the birth certificate.  I am constantly amazed by some of the names I hear, and the reasons behind them…

The other day I heard of a child given the name ‘Maakee’, because when the mother was little she had trouble saying monkey, and that’s how it came out.

Lucky for my kids I didn’t go down that path… when I was little I had trouble with the word ‘coat-hanger’. Just imagine introducing young ‘Goat Angg Angger Trewin‘ to his year one class mates!

And if my kids use this method of naming, I’ll end up with Copenopen Trewin (coconut), and Elbumow Trewin (elbow) for grandkids!


Posted by: Trudie Trewin | July 2, 2010

Doodling Ukuleles

I love the Ukulele. There, I’ve said it – and in a public forum to boot! It’s fun and lively, and captures the relaxed lifestyle of the Pacific Ocean tropics perfectly. Cairns is holding its inaugural Ukulele Festival this week and I’m looking forward to kicking back on the Esplanade and listening to some of the performances. (For those currently in the grip of the cold snap down south, it’s likely that there will be blue skies, and around 27 beautiful degrees drifting lazily on the breeze!)

One component of the festival is the Uke Art Exhibition on display at the Cairns Regional Gallery. Some local, national and international artists have decorated ukuleles, which will be sold to raise money for the Duchenne Foundation. I browsed through the eclectic collection last weekend, and thought I’d share some of my favourites with you.

Some were decorated with lovely paintings…

Hayley Gillespie

John Phillips

Shaun Tan

Karen Cousens

Some were decorated with paper or beads…

Some were amazing, but unplayable!

Geoff Dixon

kendall Booth-Thomson

And this one played itself…

Kevin Mayo

This one was cool, but a little scary…

Greg Dwyer

But these four were my favourites. So much fun, just like the ukulele…

Gary Myers

Tohby Riddle

Colin Thompson

Michael Salmon

Some of these ukuleles are for sale on ebay, with the proceeds going to the Duchenne Foundation. Here’s the link:

Posted by: Trudie Trewin | June 22, 2010

Worth every shiver

Last Thursday I flew to Sydney for the NSW CBCA conference. On the plane trip down I worked out that this was the first time I would be spending a weekend down south during winter in 21 years! I looped the scarf around my neck a couple more times – would the conference be worth facing single digit degrees?

Well, YES! I had a blast. I spent two days listening to some of Australia’s best writers and illustrators. All were inspiring, some were inspiring and funny, and even  inspiring, funny and a teensy bit cute (yep, Markus Zusak was one of the presenters).

But wait, that wasn’t the best bit. The best bit was the social side – catching up with old friends and making new ones. Living so far away from the capital cities means opportunities such as these are almost non-existent, so for me the morning teas, lunches and dinners were very much the icing on the cake! In fact, an extra day at the end, dedicated to social-surfing, would be about the only thing the conference lacked.

Oh, but wait… the very best bit… it wasn’t even that cold!

Posted by: Trudie Trewin | June 4, 2010

Some reviews

Here are some lovely reviews for Wibbly Wobbly Street that Google has dropped in my in box recently….

Gotta love those google alerts!

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