Vale Kim Gamble: KOALA Legend 2007, now and forever

Kim first appeared on a KOALA shortlist in 1993 for The Magnificent Nose and other Marvels - the beginning of his great partnership with author Anna Fienberg. Many of his other books such as Horrendo's Curse, The Hottest Boy who ever lived, and some of the stories about Minton were also all shortlisted.  However, his most popular books in the KOALA Awards were the stories about Tashi written by Anna and her mother Barbara. Sometimes three Tashi books were shortlisted in the same year. In 2003, The Big, Big, Big Book of Tashi won a Kids Own Australian Literature Award in the Younger Readers Category.

Kim regularly attended Awards Day and on several occasions was our resident artist. Students (and teachers) watched spellbound as a fabulous picture of Tashi unfolded in some amazing scene. It always felt like a little bit of magic was being created in front of us when we were lucky enough to have Kim visit. The last time Kim drew for us was at The Monkey Baa Theatre at the 2012 Awards Day.

Kim also happily provided illustrations for our KOALA bookmark, 21st birthday library bag and special birthday invitations. In 2007, Kim Gamble was honoured as a KOALA Legend for his dedication and generous support of KOALA. By then, fourteen of his illustrated books had been shortlisted.

Kim will be a KOALA Legend now and forever.


AWARDS DAY 2015 - A movie in the making!

Christian Garcia from Soul Candy Media writes:

As a startup, we believe in sharing and contributing towards our greater community. 

Each year, Soul Candy Media works with a local community project and/or non-profit organisation and we are proud to have sponsored a fantastic non-profit organisation - Kids Own Australian Literature Awards aka KOALA; and captured their 2015 KOALA Awards Day at Newington College today. 

KOALA promotes and encourages the appreciation of Australian literature for children and young adults. Readers from all over NSW are involved as they share their views on their favourite literature and vote for their favourite Australian authors and illustrators. 

It was such a great experience to have been part of the KOALA Awards. Seeing students from various Sydney schools cheer, meet and connect with each other, with the authors and illustrators that inspire them was simply amazing. On top of that, interviewing the authors and illustrators and sharing their insights, why they love what they do and the messages they have for kids' storytelling was even more powerful.

Thank you to the KOALA team, Newington College Stanmore, the authors, illustrators and of course all students for a fantastic day. 

We can't wait to put all this together!








Story Hooks and Sizzling Starts

Encourage students to read books from the KOALA shortlist with this first lines activity.

In pairs, students identify which criteria the first lines meet.

Then rank the first lines in order of most enticed to read.

Share and explain personal choices.

Students try to match first lines with books.

Share each matching book with students.