Growing Bookworms – Meet children’s author and blogger, Norah Colvin, creator of Readilearn #childrensfiction #childrenseducation #Growingbookworms

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Growing Bookworms – Meet children’s author and blogger, Norah Colvin, creator of Readilearn #childrensfiction #childrenseducation #Growingbookworms

Today, I am delighted to introduce you to children’s author, Norah Colvin. Norah is a retired teacher and runs a marvelous educational site called Readilearn which is packed with wonderful teaching aids and ideas for promoting learning among children. Welcome Norah!

I have read and enjoyed a few of your children’s pictures books. They comprise of delightful age appropriate stories and lovely illustrations. Is there any particular children’s book author whom you admire and consider to be a role model for your writing?

Robbie, thank you so much for inviting me here to talk about my books and favourite authors. There are so many authors whose work I love, it’s hard to know where to start, but I guess if I had to pick just one, I’d have to say Mem Fox.

Mem has written so many wonderful picture books that touch my heart. Each one is a gem. She is enormously prolific and writes in many different styles. Possum Magic, her first picture book, was published in 1983, too late for my son and a few years before my daughter was born. I fell in love with this book and Mem as soon as I read it. But I love so many others of her books too, especially Koala Lou (I can’t read it aloud with tearing up), and Whoever You are (same thing). For others of her books that I love, it’s best to just go to her website and check out her full list. I love them all!

One book of Mem’s that I found especially inspiring was her memoir Mem’s the Word. I had always wanted to be a published writer but had never been successful in having any of my submissions accepted. In the memoir (great name for a book about Mem, eh?) Mem revealed that she’d had her first book published when she was forty or almost forty. That gave me hope. I was not yet 40 at the time, only almost. Not only that, Possum Magic had been rejected nine times and had gone through many changes and edits before it was published. Possum had even started life’s journey as a mouse. I thought maybe there was hope for me yet. It took decades after that for me to have these little picture books published with Library For All, but I have been a published educational writer since the early 1990s (last century!)

Mem has also written a brilliant book for parents called Reading Magic. It is all about the importance of reading aloud to children and I just love it. Whenever I know someone who is becoming a parent for the first time, I gift them this book and one of Mem’s picture books as well, usually Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes if I can find it, or Possum Magic. While I can talk (and write, which I often do) about the importance of talking with, reading to and playing with children, a message from Mem gives extra authority to the message. While we’re talking about Mem – although she is an Australian and was born here, she grew up in Africa, Zimbabwe, I think.

You can read more about Mem Fox on Norah’s blog here:

Where do you find inspiration for your children’s picture books?

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