While I love Cynthia Voigt's books, she writes for young adults and not for the age group I deal with on a daily basis. An author who does write for the clientele of my library though is Narelle Oliver. She is an Australian, lives in Brisbane and does wonderful things with linocuts, my favourite art medium.
I first got hooked on Narelle's work when I used The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay in a circle- time-type discussion about how everyone has a special talent and something to offer the whole group. It was so successful and became a class favourite, with students often referring back to it in class discussions when wanting to make a point about strengths and weaknesses.
After that I made a point of following her and 'hanging out' for the next book. When Home came out, I was immediately smitten. I sang its praises to anyone who would listen. I spoke about it at literature workshops, I read it to children and drooled over the art work. Here Narelle has combined linocuts with coloured pencils, pastels, collage and photography. The book is set in Brisbane and like many of her books it explores the loss of natural environment and features the victim animal's point of view. And I can't wait to use it again during Book Week because with 'Across the story bridge' as a theme you have to use a book with such stunning illustrations of the real Story Bridge in Brisbane!
Then last year there was Fox and Fine Feathers and she did it again, a wonderful book with linocuts, a theme from nature and birds who triumph once again. Look at her website http://www.narelleoliver.com and discover everything she has to offer!