Archive for March, 2017

Thanks for this…


You say you love picture books, but you’re ready to venture into chapter books? Look no further! Princess Cora and the Crocodile, a picture book-storybook hybrid, just arrived and features the best of both worlds. The reader will not be disappointed by the Newbery/Caldecott winning pair of Laura Amy Schlitz and Brian Floca.


My first grade students love to read and find new books. As with every class, some children are revved up more easily than others.  I chose to read Princess Cora and the Crocodile aloud to my students, as I would with any picture book. Knowing that this story was structured in chapters, I was pleasantly surprised when one particular student begged for more upon each stopping place. Beyond that, he requested it at every transition.

“Are you going to read more of that crocodile book now?”

He couldn’t get enough! In fact, when I promised him…

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The Lego Batman Movie

OK – you’ve converted me. Although it’s not my usual – I’ll have to go see this now… 🙂

Film Mafia



Enormously entertaining, inventive and visually spectacular, The Lego Batman Movie demands to be seen on the big screen. I can whole-heartedly recommend it; having, along with the rest of Australia’s reviewers, been ludicrously embargoed on reviewing it until six weeks after the rest of the world, I’m probably preaching to the converted. At this point, if you live in Australia, you’ve either been waiting for Lego Batman – delayed interminably to achieve a school holiday release, which must make sense from an economic standpoint – or you couldn’t care less about it.

The script has lavish fun referencing the Batman mythology from go to woe, and the deeper you are enmeshed in that universe, the more fun you’ll have. Whether its retroactively creating an origin story for the cartoon “POWS!” and “WHAMS!” that appeared in speech bubbles during the 1960s live action television series, running backwards through all the…

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Congratulations on the ‘modest bow’ for both last year and this year, Niall.

The Fluff Is Raging

So here we, round the bend and the final leg, the finish line in sight.

With only a few days left in March, it’s time to get those Reading Ireland posts in.

Some housekeeping announcements:

2a496a3a3a2dd74bb322e2438cde1314.jpgThe Hennessy Literary Awards take place tomorrow evening in Dublin. Congratulations and best of luck to all the shortlisted writers, including friend of the Begorrathon, Clare O’Dea. I attended last year’s ceremony as I was on the shortlist [modest bow] and it’s a lovely evening.

I had planned to go this year as well, but alas I won’t be attending as my invitation appears to have been lost in the post.


The lovely people at Banshee are launching their new issue later this week in Dublin. It just so happens I have a story in it [another modest bow] and the issue, which also features work by Stephanie Conn,

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Lakeside, I watch

the Coots bouncing

on top of the water.


They throw their heads

with intention and abandon.

Plunging – immersing themselves.


I want to bounce,

immerse myself.

Plunge into you…


Frances Macaulay Forde © 2001

*Coots: small black waterbird related to Moorhens: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coot

(1st Pub. ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’, Ireland, 2003.)


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Happy 100th Birthday to Dame Vera Lynn:  ‘I JUST WANTED TO DO MY BIT.’


Dame Vera Lynn turns 100 and opens up on singing during the Battle of Britain and beating Ed Sheeran to No. 1

Forces’ sweetheart Dame Vera reflects on her time singing for troops and the poignancy of her hit ‘We’ll Meet Again’ as she celebrates landmark birthday.

#WWIISweetheart    #BlueBirdsOver   #WhiteCliffsOfDover

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Wonderful writer, interesting man. Been a Norm fan for quite a while now…


Norman IMG_1164Children’s author Norman Jorgensen has been writing stories since he was in primary school, and his latest story, The Smuggler’s Curse (Fremantle Press), details the rollicking adventures of young Red Read, whose mother “sells him to an infamous smuggler, plying his trade off the north-west coast of Australia in the closing days of the 19th century”.

Norman’s first picture book, In Flanders Fields (with illustrations by Brian Harrison-Lever), set in World War One, tells of a homesick young soldier who risks his life to rescue a robin caught in the barbed wire of no man’s land. In Flanders Fields won the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year Award in 2003 — the first of many awards for Norman. He has since written a dozen books for children and young people.

Born in Broome, in Western Australia’s tropical north, he now lives in a…

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Wonderful, stirring stuff!

The Fluff Is Raging

sTlPo-w5.jpg Stephen James Smith

Poet Stephen James Smith was commissioned by the St Patrick’s Festival Festival to write a poem in response to the theme of this year’s festival.

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