News & Events

News & Events

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6-7thth April 2017 at Stanthorpe, Qld
Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery was the venue for an Art Workshop with Mrs Echidna's Dilemma.  Held during the Easter School Holidays (6th-7th April 2017) the workshop was designed for primary-school students.  
Their parents / grandparents didn't want to miss out, so a second workshop in embroidery -  "Manipulating Threads" - was held the following day, also at the Art Gallery.
Stitching in the Classroom
What does Mrs Echidna's Dilemma have to do with Maths?  An enterprising teacher linked the cross-stitch illustrations in the narrative text of the book to the maths unit on reading and understanding graphs.
August 2016 with Prep Students
Their excitement was palpable.  Because the teachers had taken the time to share the story with the children before my visit, the students were anticipating the author's visit, and ready to learn more about how the book was written, and the animals in it. They loved the finger puppets (always a hit!) and were quite inventive as they made up THEIR songs about the animals encountered in the story.
Year 3 co-ordinator
Our Year Three students have enjoyed author visits from Betty Johnston for a number of years.  This year, Betty indulged us by visiting twice and developing a new, hands-on program for our students.
March 2015

Recently I visited Year 3 students who were learning to write and illustrate a story.  I completed TWO workshops with these students - one on how I developped the story, and the other on how the illustrations were created.

After the first visit, students were asked to research an Australian animal Mrs Echidna could have met as she waddled through the bush, and add their character to the book. Here are their stories...

November 2014
A group of University of the Sunshine Coast pre-service teachers investigated teaching 'off the beaten track', visiting 13 "country" schools of various descriptions in central Queensland.  As we all know, visitors bring a gift - in this instance, a copy of 'Mrs Echidna's Dilemma' for the school libraries.  Here's the report from their intrepid leader, who has more than 40 years teaching experience under his belt:
1st November 2014
A routine book purchase from my website had an unexpected ending.  Jan had purchased the book for her overseas grandchild.  However, when she saw the return address, she realised that the author lived just north of Brisbane.  As co-ordinator of a SEQ 'Be Creative' retreat at Dakabin , Jan asked if I could visit them and show them the original quilts.  Who can resist an invitation like that?  Dakabin is about 10 minutes from where I live!
14th October 2014
How exciting it is to visit a school where the children have been preparing for the visit by reading the book and doing many activities around the topic of our wonderful Australian animals.  The Preppies at SSSS were amazing - so interested in the story, the singing, the puppets, and all the other stuff that happens in the program.

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Yesterday your book arrived and I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with it. .... Reading it with (my grandchildren) and then enjoying the video together will be a special joy that may only be eclipsed by my perusal of your stunning embroidery and quilting techniques. Your work is truly masterful. This book will have a place of honour in my growing collection of children's book that are either about or illustrated by needlework.

Have a look at Nancy's blog about this book!

Nancy McElroy
Email from Canada
G'day Betty, .....the book arrived today. There is so much more in it than I expected. Especially the dvd and puppets. I am absolutely thrilled. Congratulations Betty, it is a worthy work of art in every sense of the word.
Kath G

Your delightful 'touchy feely' book arrived today.  Thank you very much  .... What a great combination of information for children and the adults who will be reading the book. The addition of the DVD and instructions for making the puppets makes it an excellent resource.

Editor 'Puggle Post'

Thank you for coming to visit Prep Blue at [our] School. Our favourite part of the story was when the echidna laid her egg. She put it in her pouch and when it hatched it became a Puggle.

Letter from a Prep Class
class letter after a school visit
Two copies of your book arrived [at our school] the other day. They are brilliant. Thanks for breaking the mould of traditional storybooks!
Teacher-Librarian, Qld
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