Emma’s Dilemma

Emma’s Dilemma My 7 y.o. son stumbled on the word “dilemma” in a book yesterday, and was tickled when I told him the definition.  ”Does Emma have a dilemma?” he asked gleefully — referring to a class friend. And so, this limerick (L’Emma-rick?) was born: A certain young lady named Emma Was faced with an [...]

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Games to Encourage Early Readers

Thanks to Family Interest Magazine for publishing my article on games to encourage early readers (p. 13 — full text copied below). I would love to hear from others about your tried and tested ideas, so please comment! Games to Encourage Early Readers by Joanna Norland Early readers can be reluctant readers.  Here are some games [...]

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Writers Development Group Meeting, 8 July 2012

Participants’ Personal Projects Take Shape! Writers development group participants devise personal writing projects to develop over the year. At this month’s meeting, I was thrilled when members shared their burgeoning work — including a whimsical set of children’s poems about ‘what’s inside a tortoise’s shell’  (if you’re lucky, he’ll invite you in for tea) and a [...]

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July Book Review

Zagazoo by Quentin Blake is an unparalleled parenting parable.  Hands off, kids.  This is a picture book for mums and dads. Idyllic couple, George and Bella are delighted when an unexpected parcel arrives at their door –a rosy creature labelled “Zagazoo” with a smile as enchanting as only Quentin Blake can squiggle.  The couple plays happily with their new [...]

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Zac’s Alphabet

Thanks to Mums Write! Facebook member, Pippa Heggie, for writing in about her home grown Alphabet Book: I’ve been making an alphabet / numbers / colours book with my 3 year old. We found some very tactile sticky letters in a craft shop so he can trace the shape of capital and little letters with his [...]

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Second meeting of the MW! Writers Development Group

Lists as a creative tool & insights on writing with children Thanks to the participants of the Mums Write! writer’s development group at The Bell pub, Kemsing for a great night out — and for your thoughtful, fruitful responses to the evening’s exercise:  Write a list about, or from the point of view of a [...]

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Making Books with Kids

Thanks to Family Interest Magazine for publishing my article on making books with children (copied below).  I would love to hear from others about books you have made with the children in your lives — and ideas that you hope to try. Creating Books with your Kids Creating books with your kids is a great way to share a  [...]

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June Book Pick: “A Kick in the Head,” edited by Paul Janeczko

“Poetry gives me a kick in the head.  Poetry gives me a kick!” writes poet, Joan Bransfield Graham, featured in Paul Janeczko’s “everyday guide to poetic forms”, A Kick in the Head.  This well organized, playfully illustrated volume makes the reader want to reach for a pen and get started.  Janeczko  introduces 29 different types of poetry, [...]

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Student showcase – Write a fairy tale from an alternative point of view

In my March workshops, I asked participants to write a fairy tale from an alternative point of view — an exercise inspired by Mini Grey’s delightful The Pea and the Princess, narrated from the PoV of a helpful legume.  They took up the challenge with spirit, and samples of their writing are now posted at this [...]

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We launch the MW! Writers Development Group

On Sunday, 13 May, seven women gathered at the lovely Bell pub in Kemsing for the founding meeting of the Mums Write! writers development group. As mothers, aunts, teachers and godparents, we will meet on the second Sunday of each month to support our common interest in writing for, about and with the children in [...]

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