Thursday, June 17, 2010

19th June Patricia Wrightson (1921 - 2010)

Patricia Wrightson was one of Australia's most distinguished writers for children. She won many prestigious awards. She was awarded an OBE in 1977, The Dromkeen Medal in 1984 and the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1986. She also won the Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award four times. The New South Wales Premier's Literary Prize for Children's Literature is named in her honour.

The books she won awards for are written for children much older than the ones I currently teach, but recently my son was working in Glebe and I felt the need to reread I Own the Racecourse, a book that is set near Harold Park that I had read and enjoyed when it was new.

The fluent readers at school do get to enjoy Patricia Wrightson's writing though because she authored three of the popular Aussie Bite series. I have even read them aloud to classes because they are short, but well-written and deal with themes very pertinent to this age group: Rattler's Place is about moving house; The Sugar-Gum Tree looks at what can happen when good friends have a disagreement; and The Water Dragons has an environmental dilemma.

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