Being interviewed by the Science Show host, Robyn Williams, is like having front row seats with a master in the art of interviewing. The stars of this interview were two little native freshwater fish -- Gladys and Stripey. It was fab to discuss my first children's book with Robyn.
A podcast is available on the Science Show website. And I quote from the ABC RN Science Show podcast, ' Michele describes how she is inspired by the natural world, and how she created an adventure story for children based on science and the lives of two little fish.' Here's the link to the podcast.
The book is called, Gladys and Stripey: two little fish on one BIG adventure.
Thursday 23 November at 7.45pm (SA time) I'll be chatting to the iconic, and soon to retire (as in next week), Peter Goers. What an amazing radio host. We first met years ago when my memoir about accompanying my mum with dementia was published. Delighted that I'll get to say goodbye when we chat later this week about Gladys and Stripey -- my first children's book.
It's hard not to laugh when chatting with Peter Goers, even when the topic is tough. His dry quick wit is really something. This photo was taken in Adelaide at an Alzheimer's conference a few years ago.
This is a beautiful picture book for our times. Called Hope is the thing, it was inspired by Emily Dickinson's poem, "Hope" is the thing with feathers. Who said picture books are just for kids? All ages will be blown away by this beautifully written and illustrated book. Best to head down to your local bookshop or library, and get yourself a copy.
In 2015, my book about accompanying my mum with dementia, Fraying: Mum, memory loss, the medical mazeand me was published. What I discovered, when mum's memory was changing, is that Mum and I loved looking at picture books together, often the garden or nature variety. Mum's earthly journey came to an end over a decade ago, but I'd bet she would have loved this book. The rhyme is as soulful as the illustrations.
If you have someone close to you with dementia, and you read this WITH them, I'd love to hear how it goes. You can contact me via the contact page on my website - www.michelegierck.com.au
It's great that the River Detectives program has discovered Gladys and Stripey: two little fish on one BIG adventure, and like it so much, that this unique picture book, --'valuable to all as a way of learning about waterways, native fish and importance of healthy habitat and fish passage' -- is now one of their recommended resources.
The book is based on an Australian threatened freshwater fish species. It encourages readers to discover what's in their own waterway. Public and school librarians will want to check there's a copy on their shelves.
More details about Gladys and Stripey: two little fish on one BIG adventure, including a video, educator notes and activities can be found at https://michelegierck.com.au/gladys-and-stripey/
What a blast to read the story, Gladys and Stripey: two little fish on one BIG adventure, then take kids (along with their adults) down to a real fish ladder where scientist John answered questions and told a few of his own stories. Follow that with a make-shift fish ladder, watching kids moving the fish through it. (Big fish in the deeper part. Little ones stopping to rest.) And finish off with some clay modelling. Who would have thought the kids would craft not only fish, but a sculptured fish ladder! Oh, the joy of learning. It's brilliant. And all the time, the kids were just having fun. Adults too.
Where's the real fish ladder? Just behind the sign I'm pointing to, which explains all about Darebin Creek Fish Ladder. I'll include a pic in a future post.
To find out more about Gladys and Stripey: two little fish on one BIG adventure, go to Michele's website: www.michelegierck.com.au
Read a fab review of Gladys and Stripey: Two little fish on one BIG adventure by author and blogger, Dr Helen Edwards. Perfect timing for Nature Book Week (4 -10 Sep 2023).
Michele will be speaking at Darebin Creek, on Sat 9 Sep (10am), as part of Nature Book Week. Along with Victoria from Nature Play Learning, they will then explore the newly-built fish ladder, and enjoy being out in nature. Bookings are essential.
It's official. Gladys and Stripey: Two little fish on one BIG adventure is OUT NOW. Based on a threatened Australian native freshwater fish, the book is earning high praise from kids and their communities, nature lovers, ecologists, ecological activists and educators.
Here's a sample of fab comments:
‘Gladys and Stripey is a truly wonderful book.’ - Mark Lintermans, Associate Professor of Freshwater Fisheries Ecology and Management.
‘I loved it [Gladys and Stripey] and would love to stock it.’ - Alexa, Children's Book Buyer at Readings in Hawthorn.
‘I think the story is fantastic. Educational, informative and an enjoyable read.’ - Shane Giese, STEM Teacher and Deputy Principal.
‘Jeremy loves Gladys and Stripey. He told me to tell you it's the best book in the world!!’ - Mother of a young reader. This comment was sent with a photo of the young boy engrossed in the illustrations.
Gladys and Stripey made their First Big Public Appearance at the recent Native Fish Forum in Dubbo, 3 May - 5 May, prior to the official release of the book. They were warmly welcomed by the native fish community, from scientists to fishers. An image of the book cover even made it up on the big screen!
Author and publisher, Michele Gierck, says children (and adults) around Australia will soon have the chance to share in Gladys and Stripey's adventure!