Ode to an Author: The Incomparable MEM FOX!

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Good evening all, Mad Martha here! I am utterly excited to be bringing you this ode today, as I have just met this most famous and fantastic of children’s authors, Mem Fox!  Yes, Bruce and I made a perilous journey to Chermside Library to see the lady herself (and the wonderful illustrator Judy Horacek, who collaborated with Mem on Where is the Green Sheep? and Goodnight, Sleep Tight) discuss all things literacy.  Alas, we did not manage to get a photograph with Mem or Judy, but they were kind enough to sign our copies of the two books on which they collaborated.  Here are some pictures:

DSC_0299     DSC_0304

You can really see the excitement on Bruce’s face.  It’s good to see him openly displaying his emotions in such a way. For my part, I was so excited that my hand was shaking as I took the photo during the signing.

Considering the incredible and widespread influence Mem Fox has had on children’s literacy in Australia, I thought it fitting to honour her with my very best efforts.  To this end, I have created an epic ode that references just a few of her 40 books.  I would like to offer this ode as my personal thanks to Mem for her passionate efforts to promote child-parent (or grandparent, or carer) bonding through reading.  I have titled this ode, “Time for a Story”.

It’s time to arise;

stretch and open your eyes!

Start the big day anew,

Oh I DO love you!

koala lou 2

It’s time for a bite;

first we’ve had since last night!

What would you like most?

Magic vegemite toast?

possum magic

It’s time to go out

and see who’s about.

What clothes will you choose

to match Grandpa’s red shoes?

shoes from grandpa

It’s time for your lunch;

here’s an apple to crunch.

But I’d rather drink juice

than say “Boo!” to a goose!

boo to a goose

It’s time for a play!

Should we draw or use clay?

Dress up like a cat?

Chase a magic blue hat?

the magic hat

It’s time for a scrub;

Quickly! Into the tub!

Oh you bold, cheeky child,

you just drive me wild!

harriet

It’s time now for bed,

cuddle up, rest your head.

But before we sleep,

Let’s find that green sheep!

green sheep

Sleep well little mouse,

You are safe in this house.

I’ll turn out the light,

now Good night, sleep tight.

time for bedgood night sleep tight

If you have never encountered Mem Fox before, firstly…you call yourself a reader? And secondly, get on to her work POST HASTE! You’ll be a fool to yourself and a burden to others if you don’t.

Adieu, adieu,

Mad Martha

Introducing Mad Martha….and bedtime books for little gargoyles.

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Mad Martha, pictured here on a holiday visit to the Cumberland Pencil Museum.

I feel it would be remiss of me at this stage not to introduce to you someone who shares shelfspace with me.  Mad Martha is another denizen of the shelf, who shares my role as book guardian, and also defends the shelf against spider hordes as and when necessary.  I have extended an invitation to her to join me in my blogging endeavour, and she has kindly accepted that invitation.

Now, to the business of musing.  I have been asked by a follower to share my knowledge in the area of books that are best suited to ushering little gargoyles (and fleshlings) off into the land of Nod.  While there are many books that fit this criteria, I have selected three that I feel do the job admirably…

A classic of the “digital” age

The first of these is Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, by that wizard of wordsmithing, Mem Fox.   The gentle rhyming text assists little ones to count their own digits instead of the more traditional counting of sheep, in the pursuit of drowsiness.  A word of caution however: the repeated refrain of this book “and each little baby/as everyone knows/has ten little fingers/and ten little toes” may make it a controversial choice for those who do not possess a full complement of fingers or toes.  Or indeed, those that possess a full compliment plus reinforcements.

Who’s in charge here?

Next is Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by the incomparable Mo Willems.  This titanic struggle betwixt reader and pigeon will be all too familar to parents of  stubborn little fleshlings, for whom sleep is a dirty word.  Parents will enjoy the tried and true excuses trotted out by the manipulative pigeon and reading the book with their offspring should significantly reduce a young fleshling’s arsenal of bed-avoiding strategies.  And no, you can’t have a glass of water.

This won’t take long…

Finally, Snugglepuppy (A love song) by Sandra Boynton is the perfect way to sing your mini-me to sleep.  It’s true, the important message in this book doesn’t take long, but it is well worth conveying at any time of day. Loudly. So that the neighbours can hear. And develop a deep-seated envy of your wonderful connection with your young fleshling.  And wish were half the parent you are.

Please feel free to comment and share any other wonderful bedtime books that you feel should be added to the list.

Finally, today is Roald Dahl Day…you may wish to celebrate by eating copious amounts of quality chocolate.  Or perhaps a giant peach.  I wish to celebrate by sharing this quote from the man himself – about the value of bookshelves.

Until next time,

Bruce.