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To help people to write and illustrate great children's books
I have always loved books. I have lectured at uni in English, Children's Literature and Creative Writing. I have also been a librarian, in municipal and school libraries. I kept a reading diary of my two children's contacts with books from birth to adolescence, on which my PhD and my book are based. The book is 'Stories, Pictures and Reality: Two children tell'. I travel with my husband John. I will be attending several international conferences and visiting universities in 2009, in Europe and America.
You never hear of tyrants being great readers of fiction, even if they like other sorts of fine art - painting and music, for instance. To read a story, you have to think the thoughts of another, walk in the shoes of another. So you would find it difficult to exploit people, let alone hurt them. I think reading stories is one way to peace in the world, and the sooner children are introduced to it, the better.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
We have a spare bedroom with a double bed.
If we stayed with someone, we are not very good cooks (unless you like eggs or soup!) but in exchange i could give presentations or workshops to parent groups or writing groups.
We travelled using Servas with two children twenty five years ago - Germany, Italy, Denmark and London. Because we had children, we only stayed with people who also had children. It was a great experience! On our return we put up several people, and entertained others to meals, through Servas.
I have only just joined couch surfing.
Reading, concerts (classical), plays, bushwalking, swimming, children's literature, child development. John writes poetry. Gallaries and museums and great scenery, overseas, and places with literary or historical connections.
Music, Movies, and Books
Music: Mozart (of course), Vivaldi, Beethoven.
Books: Margaret Atwood, A S Byatt, Patrick White, David Malouf,Lloyd Jones - to name a few.
Children's books: Shaun Tan, Tove Jansson (Moomintrolls), CS Lewis, Lewis Carol, Sonya Hartnett, AA Milne.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I travelled to Indonesia and Malaysia with my daughter and grandson. It was remarkable travelling as a grandparent. We went to Sumatra to see the oranotangs in the wild. The day i left my daughter went up to see them again with the little one (14 months) in a back pack. He had red hair. A female came and tried to take him out of the back pack. Fortunately his feet were not easy to get out of the holes, and my daughter screamed and frightened her away. She was curious rather than aggressive - she must have wondered about the red hair. No doubt she hadn't seen a caucasian baby before - hardly any of the people had either. Everywhere we stopped, people pulled out their cameras to take his photo. There are more pictures of him in albums there, than we have I think!
Teach, Learn, Share
I could give workshops on making picture books to writing groups, or talks on reading to children to parent groups, or Australian childrens' books to other interested groups.
I am interested in finding out about childrens' books in other countries, and talking to authors and illustrators and others interested. Also in other education systems.