Noisy Nights is a delightful new picture book written by Fleur McDonald and illustrated by Annie White. You can read my review here on the blog and enter to win a copy of the book.
I have the pleasure of being joined by Fleur McDonald today as part of her Noisy Nights Blog Tour. Fleur has grown up on farms in Australia and she draws inspiration for her books from her experiences. This certainly shines through in Noisy Nights, which is all about a noisy farm at night. Read on to find out why Fleur decided to write Noisy Nights.
There is nothing more gorgeous than hearing a child giggle. For me, hearing that child laugh while reading a book, is even better. After all, something has really resonated with them to make it happen.
As a kid, I spent HOURS reading. Apparently (and I can’t claim this is true as I don’t remember, but Nana says it was, so it must be!) after my first day at kindy, I stormed home to my Nana’s place, flung myself into the old Smokers-Bow Chair (which we grandchildren called ‘The Story Telling Chair), she had next to fire place and groaned: ‘they didn’t teach me to read!’
That was the start of a love of reading that I’ve never lost.
Mum used to tell me, she’d hear me laughing in my bedroom and sneak down to see why … I would always be reading.
In 2004 I was told my son was ‘at high-risk of autism.’ I didn’t know what autism was and started researching it from that day. As time went on Hayden began to show more and more signs that this was the case. During his year at kindy, one of the reports I kept getting back was his concentration span was very limited. I wondered what I could do to increase it.
For a few weeks I watched Hayden and it became clear he loved being out in the sheep yards. He loved the dogs, pet calves and lambs; any animal really. (I do need to mention here, that it didn’t mean he was good with them, but he loved being with them.) He also didn’t sleep at night.
I decided to try something I hadn’t done since I was at school and that was to write a story. The story had to be about something he could relate to, understand and liked.
It took me quite a while and I struggled with the rhyming and rhythm. Poor Hayden had several versions tried out on him. But he sat still for longer and he laughed every time I read it to him.
That made my heart very happy.
Having been involved in the agricultural industry for more than twenty years, it frightens me how little some children understand about where their food comes from and how country people live. From here on in, I’d love to be involved in educating kids through stories – the emphasis being on STORIES.