Author Rodda, Emily

Illustrator Smith,Craig(Aus)

Item Code 7926084

Product Type Book

Format Paperback

ISBN 9781862918337


  • Description
  • Details
  • About Author
  • About Illustrator

It's crunch time in Bungawitta.

The land's as dry as a dead galah, there's no rain in sight, and only twelve people left in town. Little Glory-Alice blames it all on the TV weatherman.

Jay knows better. Nobody can make it rain. But a shower of money would help keep Bungawitta alive. And a festival would attract city tourists with money to spend, Jay's sure of it.

But can twelve people, two dogs and a Shetland pony put on a proper festival? Only time — and the ABC — will tell.

Genre: General Fiction Reading Level: Lower Primary, Upper Primary School Year: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4 Lexile Level:: 810L Ages: 6 to 10 Page Count: 96
Emily Rodda

Where were you born? Where do you live now?
I was born in Roseville, on Sydney's North Shore. Now I live in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, in a place that, strangely enough, is surrounded by bush and so is very like the place where I was born.

Where did you go to school?
I went to many schools in my infants and primary years. I started school at Roseville Public, NSW. Then my family moved to Melbourne, so I spent a year at East Ivanhoe School in Victoria. After that, we moved back to Sydney and I was at East Lindfield Public School for years 2–4. I spent years 5 and 6 at Artarmon Opportunity School, an amazing experience. My high school years were at Abbotsleigh School in Wahrongah, Sydney. The principal there was Ms Betty Archdale, a wonderful, independent, outspoken woman who had a great influence on my later life. 

Did you have a nickname?
As my real name is 'Jennifer', my friends at school always called me 'Jenny'.

What were you like in school?
I was a 'good', hardworking student, who usually obeyed the rules, but I hated Maths and often daydreamed during those classes.

What is the naughtiest thing you did?
When I first started school, if I got bored I'd just leave and walk home. I didn't realise that wasn't something you should do.

What was your favourite book growing up?
I loved the Faraway Tree books by Enid Blyton and The Wind and the Willows by Kenneth Graham. Later, it was Anne of Green Gables by LM Montogomery. When I was really little, my favourite book was Pookie the Rabbit with Wings.

Who is your favourite children’s author?
So hard to say. Roald Dahl? He's brilliant.

What is your favourite food/colour/movie?
My favourite colour is red. I can't decide on my favourite food or movie.

Who inspired you to write?
I think Enid Blyton inspired me to write, because I loved her books so much when I was in years 3 and 4; and I wanted to be like her.
How did you get started?
I told my first child (Kate) a bedtime story, and later wrote it down and sent it to a publisher. The story (Something Special) was accepted and then published with illustrations by Noela Young. The next year it won the CBCA Junior Children's Book of the Year award and that encouraged me to go on and write more books.

How old were you?
In my early thirties.

Why did you want to be a writer?
Because I loved to read and I thought nothing would be better than to be a writer like the ones who had brought me so much pleasure.

How do you think up ideas?
Usually I just take the things I know or have heard about and imagine a story around them.

Do you have a special place where you write?
Yes. I have a desk in a rom with a view of our garden.

What is the best thing about being a writer?
The fun of creating stories and getting to know my characters. For me, writing is very like reading. Pure pleasure. If it were possible, I'd do nothing else.

Have you had any funny or embarrassing moment as a writer?
When I was writing action scenes in Deltora Quest I would sometimes 'act out' the fights, sitting in my chair. It was very embarrassing if anyone saw me doing it!
What do you do when you are not writing?
Mainly I look after my grandson Raffy, or work in my garden, or read.

What would you have chosen to be if you were not a writer?
Before I was a full-time writer, I was a publisher and also an editor who worked on other people's books. I enjoyed that very much, but I enjoy writing more!

Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?

Charles Dickens?

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Craig Smith

Where were you born?

Woodside, SA. Mine was a small country town childhood.

Where do you live now?
Melbourne (Peoples Republic of Brunswick)

Where did you go to school? 

Woodside PS, Oakbank Area School. Then onto Birdwood to fail matriculation. After that the excellent South Australian School of Art.

Did you have a nickname?

What were you like in school?
Shy, scared, loved the library and the oval. In primary loved spelling. In secondary loved reading. Left school innumerate but happy. And with the habit of reading ingrained.

What was your favourite book growing up?
The book that changed my life at 13 years was William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
Who is your favourite children’s author?
As a kid probably Enid Blyton (Noddy) and Richmal Crompton (Just William series). Lots of Readers Digests.

What is your favourite food/colour/movie?

Linguini, Naples yellow, Doctor Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick)

Who inspired you to illustrate?
The example of my sister Maire. Then my lecturer at art school, George Tetlow, who made sense of life drawing for me. After that, a whole lot of European illustrators, Etienne Delessert, Heinz Edelmann, Freidrich Karl Waechtar and others — that I knew through art magazines and books.

How did you get started?
An art school assignment led to an invitation from a publisher to have a go at doing some roughs. This project was eventually published as Black Dog (written by Christobel Mattingly).

How old were you?

I was only nineteen.

Why did you want to be an illustrator?

Self expression as a humourist.

How do you think up ideas?

Be still, don’t hurry, get into the story. Once I’ve settled on an approach the ideas tend to come faster. If I’m blocked I’ll grab an art book (contemporary illustration) and flip through that to start the flow.
Do you have a special place where you illustrate?
My desk, my light, my music.

What is the best thing about being an illustrator?
It may be being able to work alone. Or it may be being part of a generous community of colleagues and friends in the book trade. Or it may be the quiet satisfaction of the aesthetic task. (Should that line be there, or there?)

Have you had any funny or embarrassing moment as an illustrator?
As a twenty-something illustrator was asked to speak at a conference in Canberra. I looked at the audience and my brain shorted. All I could see think and feel was me, but from the audiences perspective. So, I was viewing my own anxiety. It didn’t get better, I mumbled an apology and walked away.

What do you do when you are not illustrating?
Reading, gardening, making stuff in the shed, sewing, cycling, driving. Trying to fix iTunes. A bit of grandparenting. Thinking my thoughts.

What would you have chosen to be if you were not an illustrator?
Not at all sure. I think I landed the only job that suits, therefore I hang onto it grimly. A colleague has a day job that involves 4-wheel driving around the Snowy Mountains (weed control). That sounds like a great other job (apart from the herbicide).

Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?

In the recent past (five years) I would most like to talk to Ken Henry for guidance on how to think about capitalism. Further back in the past (thirty years) I’d like to speak with my father, who died when I was comparatively young.
An historical figure I’d like to chat to would be Margaret Thatcher on the subject of climate change. Or George Woodroffe Goyder (Goyders Line). Len Beadell would be fascinating as well. (Not quite politically correct these days).

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?

I dislike social media. I’m wary of being spontaneous and then proving silly with hindsight.

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