Saturday, August 1, 2009

Reviews & Recommendations for Mending Lucille

"Mending Lucille" WINS CRICHTON AWARD!
Reviews for Dual Nominee for Crichton Award and Family Therapists' Award 2009

Jennifer Poulter has created an achingly beautiful story of love and loss, of breaking apart and putting back together. Sarah Davis has masterfully captured the little girl's sadness, and her use of color skillfully advances the narrative ... In every possible way, this book is breathtaking. "- Pick of the Month starred review in Sydney's Child, Melbourne's Child, Perth's Child, Brisbane's Child and Adelaide's Child magazines.

"J.R. Poulter's warm and gentle text is beautifully illustrated by Sarah Davis. The child's emotions are exquisitely captured throughout, and close-ups of hands are beautifully portrayed. Metaphors for healing run through the story, from the real wounded bird to the torn doll to the mending of hearts - often conveyed by images of sewing. First and last endpapers extend the story - the threatening, overshadowing bird image transformed by loving hands into simple stitches beside a now-mended, smiling Lucille. Recommended." - Magpies Vol.23 No.4 September 2008 p.30

"Mending Lucille is a precious and insightful picture book about one girl's loss of her mother... A picture book with stunning and evocative illustrations, which deals with the theme of grief and loss in a very sensitive way." - Femail Magazine

Best books of 2008

"For slightly older pre-schoolers, Mending Lucille (Lothian, $29.99) by JR Poulter and Sarah Davis is an unflinching yet deeply reassuring story about a mother’s [departure] and the father’s eventual remarriage. Simply told, beautifully illustrated, heartbreaking but never mawkish: this had me in tears." The NZ Listener, leading review journal New Zealand.

Children's Choice, Top Ten books of 2008 - New Zealand library district - Mending Lucille one of only three picturebooks chosen.

Recommended book for counselling and biblio-therapy by the Monash Medical Centre's Australian Centre for Grief Education in Victoria.

Recommended book - NSW Premier's Reading Challenge List 2009

Recommended book - Dr John Irvine talks about explaining death to children. Mending Lucille is one of his Top Ten recommended books for helping children deal with the concept of death and grieving.

Mending Lucille sold out its first print run in the first week after release.

Monday, May 18, 2009

WIN, Win, Win - Query Tracker turns 2 and gives us the pressies!

Hi all

The amazing folk at Query Tracker are celebrating their 2nd anniversary - celebrating and giving US the presents!!!!!!!! Details below......

Help us celebrate QueryTracker's second anniversary, and you could win a website custom designed for you and your writing. Yes, your own website designed specifically for you.

We are calling it the QueryTracker Carnival, and you can learn more about it here or on the QT blog at

We will be holding four different contests, each with their own prizes. Prizes range from free QT Premium Memberships to query critiques by agents and authors.

The Grand Prize (The Custom Website) will be awarded in a random drawing to take place on the last day of the festivities. To get your name in that drawing, all you have to do is enter any or all of the four contests being held.

To increase you odds, you can receive additional entries into the drawing just by helping us spread the word about the contest. Simply announce the contest on your blog or forum, let us know about it via email, and you'll be given another entry into the drawing. You can read more about this option at

Grand Prize
A custom designed writer's website to showcase your craft.
That's a $600 value provided by Purple Squirrel Web Design (
Purple Squirrel is a web design company that focuses on writers and the writing industry.
You already know their work because they are QT Blogger Carolyn Kaufman, and Patrick McDonald, the creator of QueryTracker.

Good luck. And thank you all for two great years.

For details about the contests go to

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Mending Lucille" nominated for Family Therapists' Award and Crichton Award

It is official, "Mending Lucille" has been nominated for the Family Therapists' Award and the Crichton Award for 2009!

Being Nominated for the Family Therapists Award is very meaningful for Sarah and myself . It recognises the contribution our book has made in tackling a very sensitive topic, the loss of a parent or central carer, and in making available to therapists, counselors, teachers and others involved with children in such a traumatic loss, a resource that is able to reach and help the child at their point of need. Adults too have responded deeply to the book and have found it therapeutic in helping them deal with such a loss, even though years in their past.

I am so thrilled Lothian/Hachette gave me the opportunity search for an illustrator and that I discovered Sarah on the internet! Despite having no money upfront to pay Sarah for a sample illustration, she agreed to look at the manuscript. Sarah rang me straight back after reading it. She had spontaneously fallen in love with the story and told me "I HAVE to do it!" - the rest, as they say, is history! Thank you Sarah for 'seeing' what the manuscript had to say!

Here is the site announcement for the Crichton Award nomination -

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Melbourne - Creative and Craft paradise

Melbourne is the home of much that is the best of handcrafted, craftsman made.
Parthenon Shoes in Coburg is one such business. Run by Christine and her Father John Koikas, this is the shoe as art! Christine is holding one of her personal favourites among her creations.
Craft made ball gowns and bridal gowns glitter from street front boutiques along the long, long stretch of Sydney Road. Glorious gowns with finely detailed beadwork and exquisite lace look out of suburban shopfronts.

The markets in Melbournes' beachfront St Kilda are typical of the amazing array of highly original craft work on offer at affordable prices!

From Mugs on Mugs to Aussie Animals, Origami Architecture to Sleeper Clocks.

St Kilda Marketeers include:

Sculpted by Senia - Australian, handcrafted pottery animals,

Glass Art - Sally Green's unique lampwork jewellery
Celtic Handmade - Tony Fitton,
Handmade pewter jewellery - Yvonne Moloney & Colin Fleming,
Recycled redgum, clocks - Bill Jackson,
Handmade kilnformed glass - Ray Seeber
Metal jewellery - Edward Faingold,
Ocean inspired jewellery - Dan McGill -
Art & Craft - Yani Moediman -
Stainless Steel Design - Serge Rudakov -
Handcrafted bells and windchimes - Bird's Gallery
Handmade Metal Art - Lee Rodsted - Hyram's Metal Webs
Other crafts -
Danny's Knitwear, Queen Victoria Markets,

For the art of writing and associated excellent conversation - Collected Works Poetry & Ideas Bookshop,

Melbourne - living well, eating well and CHEAP!

Evidently, Melbournians are full of angst about the prices they pay for their food stuff. Please, come north and compare! We wished we could truck it all back to QLD with us! The fresh, the exotic and the range of cooked delicacies from everywhere - we were in a constant state of salivation!
The Coburg Fruit Garden run by Toni [here with Geoff] and his brothers Milad and Fred was the first big eyeopener - B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!

Northeners look at the quality and the prices and drool!
Melbourne is flush with markets - in the suburbs and the urban cities and Melbourne CBD. Good value and high quality is the hallmark of these places.
The fish and meat markets at the Victorian Markets.
Have a variety we don't see up north and the prices - well, you can see!
A freshly baked spinach and cheese wrap with a cup of coffee at the Markets gave me back change from $5.00.
Eateries in Melbourne are often literally on the curb side!
A Greek eatery with mouthwatering selection of goodies - cake and coffee with the traffic at your elbow - this too was Coburg. Yannis Patries and Cakes, in Coburg, served you a shave away from passing trucks and cars.

Service everywhere was friendly and everyone was helpful! Michael Lorenzen's Highway 31, Cafe & Diner in Brunswick has the reputation for the BEST burghers in Melbourne. If mentioning service, Geore of "C&B" in the CBD and Vishal of Seven Eleven would have to be singled out as exceptional!

Last but not lest, chocolate to die for.....tucked away in Acland Street, St Kilda is San Churro, Spanish Chocolateria.

Don't forget Haigh Chocolates in the CBD either! YUM!

Melbourne - the message - art on the streets!

Melbourne has art on the street corner, and down the alley ways. It is on the rooftops and walls and down the arterials and it says, 'Hold up, society is heading down the highway full speed, WRONG WAY!'
Figuratively, it is the Writing on the Wall. Who is looking. who is listening?
To Melbourne's credit, certain areas are set aside for the art of protest and its message.
The alleyways of Melbourne CBD are alive with it. St Kilda alleys and rooftops also resonate the warnings.
Melbourne Artist, Tigre, viewed Melbourne's response to street art as enlightened compared, interestingly, to New York, where zero tolerance is the rule. No street art lasted longer than maybe an hour before the whitewash brigade obliterated its message. Till, that is, an entrepreneur bought up an apartment building, opened it to the artists and funded its existence with funky retail outlets.
AMelbourne's street art targets irresponsible affluence, greed and disregard for environment. all things with a price tag that is not nice or 'convenient' but is indiscriminate in who it punishes. Tip the natural balance and everything falls into the refuse heap - Soylent Green anyone?

Nothing is spared the piercingly perceptive eye of the alley and rooftop artist.
Are we standing in queues waiting for nothing to happen;
waiting for action from those with the power to make change but won't because they are committed to
the status quo?

Where to now?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Melbourne - art is everywhere

Art is all over the place in Melbourne - you just keep walking into it , over it and under it!

This city is having a full on affair with art - it's everywhere!

It's in the buildings, on the street corner and walking the streets!

Yes the guy qualifies! What a statement!

How about this web of metal and iron lacework - sklylight roof in an arcade.

And this beautiful

leadlight feature in another arcade - does anyone know who the artist was?

This sort of thing is hidden all round Melbourne.

How about the mural! This particular building was 'full of fit' artwise, an Art Deco treasure trove!

Don't neglect to look under foot either - this intricate mosaic is the centrepiece of Block Arcade.

Buildings in Melbourne bear a

degree of decoration I've not found in other Australian cities.

The doors, the walls, the windows - inside and out - art wherever it could tastefully feature.

This door, one of a pair at St Paul's, is, to me at any rate, reminiscent of the decorative art of William Morris.

What sort of statement do you think the artist was making who put Tom to oversee the much in need of restoration Edinburgh Building?

Then there is the 'purpose' placed art. This is a touch spooky!

Buildings, especially bank and finance related buildings had 'guardians' placed over them - hidden amongst the decorative gothic Victorian/Edwardian architectural features but very much a 'presence'.

The Guardians of the ANZ! There are at least 7 levels of Guardians built in to the facade.

The Safety Deposit Building has at least three levels of Guardians.

Modern finance related edifices do not differ. Melbourne's Crowning glory, the ultimate tribute to the Packers, is the Crown Casino, watched over by Kerry himself.

You can't say the man didn't have a sense of humour and a respect for tradition!

The portrait urn at the entrance of the Crown Casino.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

5 Days in another CIty - Melbourne in a blink!

Journal of a sojourn in the southern capital from afternoon, 14th, to morning of 19th January.
Virgin Blue ushered us in to a Melbourne welcome such us as only Melbourne can turn on - 37 degree heat with a cold wind! The next day was typically 21.
Did I pack for all seasons - sort of - short sleeved T-shirts and a Jacket.
We stayed in Melbourne's newest hotel - Causeway 353 Little Collins Street - opened in October 08. Breakfast waadt ist.xml">
[Pic 1 - Causeway Hotel, 353 Little Collins Street, Melbourne's newest - afternoon; Pic 2 - evening! ]

When we arrived the access alley way was a hive of activity. Cafes and diners were opened - about 8 in that alley way. Shops and specialist food outlets were abuzz. People wandered up and down continuously.

By evening it was a different story - deserted! This was typical of most of the lane and alleyways in the City. I have to say, not knowing Melbourne, it made finding a place for tea interesting, especially if tired and not wanting to walk for yonks! By the time we left we knew every eatery open post 6.00pm!

'Interesting' stuff is around every corner! Loved the arcades! Below are some views of the Royal Arcade - Popular name "Gog & Magog" after the 2 charmers who bong the chimes every 15 minutes and once for each hour on the hour. You can hear it streets away. [Pics 3, 4, 5]

The specialty shops were myriad - you name it! A shop specializing in dark dark chocolate [yum] sat strategically under the guardianship of Blind Father Time. No one watching - INDULGE! [Pic 6 - Father Time guards the entry to Koko Black Chocolateria - time spent there is measured in kilos!] [Pic 7 Sweet Makers showing us what is in our just desserts!] Temptation lurked around every corner - the solution - walk, walk, walk it off!

Pic 8 - A whole shop full of Babushka Dolls!]

Everything was colourful and quirky.

Among the eye-catchers were the bags and the beads! [Pcs 9, 10, 11 Beads and bangles, Baubles and bling,

Every fine and feathered thing! ]

The bags were no less imaginative and colourful
- especially the clubbing / evening bags .

These sparkled with all the colours of the rainbows or were just outright BLING! Of course there were matching shoes. Partners' patience was just about given out, so we didn't get to shoes this trip.......

[Pics 12 - 18 - evening/clubbing bags to die for]

"Paris" on the corner of Little Collins Street and the Causeway 353 access alley was and "everything for the It girl" shop! [Pic 19]

The staff there were deserving of some sort of customer service award!