23 July 2014

Picture Book Manuscripts Wanted!

Here is a big shout-out to all aspiring picture book creators - we are looking for new texts for our 2017 publishing list. 

But here is what we DON'T want stories about:

cute dogs/cute kids
how an animal/child/creature of any kind discovers it is different and that's okay
how much anyone loves anyone else.

We DO want stories that:

are imaginative 
are original
make you think
make you smile.

Of course these are the hardest stories to write. We want you to think outside the box and come up with something that is going to knock our socks off. A really child-friendly picture book has something very special at its heart. It is instantly accessible. It has a universal truth to it. It sings somehow.

Please don't try to rhyme if you're not good at it.
Don't overwrite - 300 words is pretty perfect.

Picture books that someone else published that we think are pretty close to perfect would be:

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

  Image result for stick man cover

The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr

 Image result for The Tiger Who Came To Tea cover

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

 Image result for where the wild things are book cover

Hairy Maclary From Donaldson's Dairy by Lynley Dodd

The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack

 Image result for The Story About Ping cover

Please read our manuscript submission guidelines here before you send in your work.

We would love to hear your suggestions for the best children's picture books of all time.  Better still ... write one for us!

21 July 2014

Fan mail

Omnibus illustrator Martin McKenna recently received some lovely feedback on his new picture book Octopuppy. Thank you so much, Ms Bicknell, for getting in touch and sharing the children's work! 

Hi Martin,

My prep class (6 year olds) have been so excited to be reading Octopuppy this week. They cheer every time I get it out to read to them. They have loved every minute of our reading lessons this week.  

I have attached some pictures of the 'Lost' posters that they made. We hung them up around the school before turning them into a classroom display. The kids had to create a poster to help find Jarvis by picking something that he could do that a 'normal' puppy couldn't. It was a great activity. I hope you enjoy seeing some of the amazing learning that has happened through the use of your hilarious book. 

Kind regards,

Ella Bicknell 
Prep Teacher
Grahamvale Primary School


17 July 2014

Word Crimes

When our resident grammar expert sent me this link it made me laugh out loud.  Weird Al Yankovic has a song called Word Crimes - take a look. Of course there are those who disagree. It's great to see Al worrying at the grammar bone so to speak.

My butcher loves to put signs up all over his shop touting his meat.  He can't spell or punctuate which used to be guaranteed to make me reach for a texta. He tries to tell me he does this deliberately just to get his customers talking. I doubt it. He has clearly never come across these and neither had I until recently. Personally I intend to celebrate National Punctuation Day even if it is an American affectation.  I shall make a waffle, top it with bacon and maple syrup and think pure punctuation thoughts.

My son's best friend has a misspelled tattoo that made me laugh out loud when I saw it. There are some absolute masterpieces here

What is it about grammar and spelling that makes some of us so sensitive? Does it really matter any more? We have authors who can't spell – we do it for them. A little while ago the Oxford comma was pronounced dead but then like Lazarus it rose again.  (I was afraid to use a comma anywhere in that sentence. The nuns used to red circle my commas without explanation and to this day I feel unsure and unhappy when I meet one.  A comma, and a nun for that matter.)  I remember when I got my first manuscript back from the editor and saw that I had spelled the simplest of words incorrectly half a dozen times.  Not even a possible typo just a straight out mistake. I cringed. I realised I'd probably spelled that particular word wrongly all my life.

My children were hounded relentlessly about their spoken and written language as they grew up. Thinking back it is clear that this was what my own mother did and so did those nuns so it was little wonder I followed suit. But now a certain ennui is setting in. Those same kids send me texts and Facebook posts littered with misspelled words or indecipherable contractions that require me to ask for explanations. I still can't wrap my head around the whole concept of a meme though I do like this picture which I am reliably told is itself a meme.  I have no clue why it's a meme however and welcome any explanation.

My clever clogs children like to point out things are different now. They suggest I fit this category. Possibly. But trust me; I am not rotfl

And I really, really, hope, I haven't wrote nothing wrong in this blog ...

06 July 2014

Book review 'Secret Agent Derek ‘Danger’ Dale: The Case of Animals Behaving Really REALLY Badly'

* Secret Agents R Definitely NOT Us HQ
* Countess Kristabel von Krystal, Crudman, Archibald Boss, Twittles, Blubber Boy, Carlos and Carmen, Chirpy, Annabel and Evil Doctor Evil MacEvilness

Alfie Jellett, 8

Thanks, Alfie! Remember, if you enjoy reading an Omnibus book and write a book review you can email it to info at scholastic dot com dot au and receive a free book!

02 July 2014

Tales from the Half-Continent

Thank you, Reading Time, for the lovely review of David Cornish's new companion book to the Monster Blood Tattoo series, Tales from the Half-Continent. 'Dickensian in style and tone and peopled by a host of strong, eccentric and memorable characters' is high praise indeed.