Di Bates Blog Tour

It’s a thrill to welcome the super talented author Di Bates who was awarded The Lady Cutler Prize for distinguished services to children’s Literature in 2008. She has published more than 100 books in many different genres, including picture books, chapter books and young adult. Here is the inspirational story of how her latest two non fiction books, AWESOME CATS and AWESOME DOGS were published. Continue reading

Author visits


In August I was lucky enough to visit the Portland Library and some schools in the area. This cold, little corner of south-west Victoria is bubbling with talent. I was reminded yet again how wonderful it is to meet your readers and it really does unjade one. Not sure if unjade is a word, actually fairly positive it isn’t, but it describes exactly how I felt. I left inspired and exhilarated.

The children were amazing – the stories that they came up with were unbelieveable.

One small girl asked me if anybody else in my family was a writer. When I replied that I was the first, she beamed. I really felt as if suddenly her horizons had broadened. We don’t have to be like the rest of our family and follow their paths.

Another girl asked me if I was famous. Before I could draw breath, a boy jumped in and said, “Don’t be so rude. Of course Alison’s famous.” Love kids! No reply necessary from me.

I also worked with an adult group, and if any of you are reading this, PLEASE finish your stories. There were so many wonderful picture books in the group. I found it inspiring to be amid such talent.

Thank you South Portland Primary School, All Saints Parish School and the Portland Library for having me!





Queenscliffe Literary Festival

Met so many wonderful children, teachers and other writers and illustrators at the schools’ day of the Queenscliffe Literary Festival. One of many favourite moments. I like to try to guess what pets people have. I ended up totally stumped and had to give up. The pets I didn’t guess? A dingo. A stick insect. An alpaca. A yabby. I should have remembered that I was in the country. This was such a special event to be part of and I found meeting the children really reminded me why I write. Thank you for having me!queeenscliff

Mother’s Day and hard to get books

For you Mum


A few of you have been asking where to get books. I’ve managed to track down some titles, including the elusive My first values series, Feelings and values series and Baby talk series.  Also I have some copies of For you, Mum, just in time for Mother’s Day. If you’re looking for a title, please let me know at alrey@msn.com.au and I may be able to help you out.



1915 Don’t mention the war

Everywhere you look, read and listen seems to be full of information about the First World War. My grandfather fought in France, but he never talked much about it. All I knew was that it left him with a hatred of mud, a pair of army issued jodhpurs and lungs destroyed by mustard gas. But it was 100 years ago. Does it even matter now?

Murphy, Sally

I was wondering about this and decided to ask Sally Murphy whose latest book 1915 has just been released. Thank you Sally for your thoughtful, fascinating piece.



Don’t Mention the War: Why Historical Fiction Matters Continue reading

International Book Giving Day

Today’s International Book Giving Day, which I think is a great idea so I carefully wrapped up a book.

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And went in search of children. Around here the footpaths are full of parents and prams. But not today. We walked for ages in the scorching sun. But nobody.

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Until finally the lovely Jenny and the gorgeous William appeared. I couldn’t have found anybody better to give a copy of The Littlest Bushranger. And I think they liked it too!

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