Posts filed under: Writing

“…a philosophical-poetic fairy tale about family and friendship…” 

 

A lovely German review by Catherine Mahrenholtz about Vincent! Apologies for the dodgy google translation…..

“This novel is often reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s children’s books in its whimsical nature, but Lisa Nicol treats her characters in a much more warm-hearted way – everyone wants to book a short break at “The Grand” immediately. “Vincent and the Greatest Hotel in the World” is a philosophical-poetic fairy tale about family and friendship for children aged 10 and over.”

https://www.ndr.de/kultur/buch/Vincent-und-das-grossartigste-Hotel-der-Welt-ein-poetisches-Maerchen,vincentunddashotel100.html

 

 

Reviews- The What on Earth Institute of Wonder

I could not love this book any more! @lisanicolauthor has once again blown our minds with a story so fabulously bonkers and so beautifully written that I had to just lie in a dark room for a good while and appreciate what I had just read….. definitely in the running for one of my favourite books of the year!

Rachel Robson, Children’s literacy specialist, Gleebooks, 31 August 2021

…a superbly crafted blend of wonder, action and remarkable characters.

Joy Lawn, Magpie Magazine, May 2022

What a beautiful story Lisa Nicol has written for us to enjoy. It is heart-warming and so full of love, but also loss. By the time you finish The What on Earth Institute of Wonder, you may just want to go out and save the world single-handedly…. This is definitely a book you will want to read more than once.

 Sue Mauger, Glamadelaide, September 24, 2021

The What on Earth Institute of Wonder is indeed itself wonderful, a finely honed, multi-faceted little gem…

Kevin Steinberger, Magpie Magazine, Nov 21

From the moment I began to read this middle grade, speculative fiction novel, I knew it was a goodie…. It will make readers smile, yearn, feel sad and most of all wonder ….. A quirky, heartfelt, unique story of friendship, family and conviction that is sure to be eaten up by kids aged 9-13.

Renee Mihulka, CBCA’s Reading time, Nov 21

This is a hilarious, magical, quirky and just-a-little-bit serious tale about friends, family and the wonders of nature.

Kid’s Reading Guide 2021 -22, Handpicked and reviewed by Australia’s leading booksellers

Charming and surprising and mysterious and whacky. It hooked me from the beginning….One of those books you just put down and sigh with satisfaction.

Pamela Ueckerman, Middlegrade Mavens Podcast, Episode 98

…her writing wraps around me like a warm doona and I slip immediately back into my childhood. …I have to say, Lisa Nicol does not get nearly as many song dedications and street parades as she deserves.

Nat Amoore, Author and Critic, One More Page Podcast, Episode 62

This is a delightful story with elements of fantasy, environmental activism, family dilemmas and friendship all woven together with whimsy to create a charming story for young readers. … uplifting and warm, and quirkily appealing with a touch of the impossible.

 Carolyn Hull, Readplus Oct 28, 2021

With adventure, family life, humour and drama a-plenty, I heartily recommend this for your readers from around Year 4 upwards.

Kid’s Book Review, 21 October 2021

Lisa Nicol’s whimsical way with words is becoming the stuff of legend. Her narratives are an intoxicating mix of wonderment, cheek and incredible heart; a strange combination but one that makes her middle grade novels fulfilling and memorable. The What on Earth Institute of Wonder perpetuates this premise while managing to incorporate an African forest elephant and a New Zealand Kakapo into the same sentence, never mind the same Kombi van!

 Dimity Powell, Dim’s Write Stuff

 

 

Meet Bartholomew Stagger

The What On Earth Institute of Wonder comes out 31 August. I’m excited and nervous all at once…..

Illustration by Cathrin Peterslund. Design by Atticus Mordue

The What on Earth Institute of Wonder

One elephant, one kakapo, one unlicensed teenage driver, one boy waiting for the world to end and a twelve-year-old girl with a very special gift.

Sal has always had an affinity with animals – especially the lost kind. But when two rare and endangered creatures appear out of nowhere, life takes a detour into strange and uncharted territory.

Join Sal, Bartholomew and Roy on a mind-boggling expedition into the secrets of the Animal Kingdom with only an invisible map of the human heart to guide them. (Unless, of course, you count the talking parrot.) What on Earth could possibly go wrong…?

Ah….I’ll let you in on a secret. A lot!

I’m so excited and nervous that The What on Earth Institute of Wonder is coming out on the 31st of August.  If you adore animals and don’t mind a laugh, I reckon you’re going to love it. Well I hope you are. And there’s plenty of that in there too. Hope.

Stay tuned over the coming months for some sneak peaks and stories behind the story…

 

 

Elephants & Pianos

Elephants and pianos keep appearing in my work. 

There are pianos and elephants at The Grandest Hotel on Earth. And the new book I’m writing has them too!

Elephants are the most majestic creatures. They fill me with awe and wonder. When I came across Paul Barton and his piano playing for elephants, I was captivated. I have watched his clips on YouTube many times over.

I particularly love this one.

Peter the elephant’s love of music is undeniable. The music delights him. He has to move his body and he has to woop and holler. (His mate seems to be having a pretty good time too!) I think Peter feels exactly the same things I feel when I listen to music that I like. 

Take a look and see if you can relate to how Peter the Elephant feels when he listens to music

 

 

 

Vincent and The Grandest Hotel on Earth

You know it’s been too long between posts when you can’t remember how to log in to your own website. Which could be good for security. Say if someone dangled me by my feet over a cliff and yelled “tell me the password to your website or it’s all over baby!” I could honestly reply “Well I’d genuinely love to help you but I can’t remember.” Might get me out of that sticky situation.

I’m beyond excited about my new book Vincent and The Grandest Hotel on Earth coming out on 2 July! You won’t believe this place. It really is wilder than the African savanna, more fantastical that Disneyland and more magical than Shangri-La. Can I just say pocket dogs and sloths…and wait till you hear about the rooms….

Dr Boogaloo The Musical?

It’s very exciting news!

Dr Boogaloo and The Girl Who Lost Her Laughter is being adapted for the stage as a musical by the frighteningly talented Yve Blake and Alice Chance.

Yve Blake

gotta love a girl who can pull off a koala-do

I’m trying not to get too excited because these things take time. And you should never count your musicals before the curtains part on opening night. But it’s hard not to get excited when you’ve heard the songs Yve and Alice have written. They’re beautiful and funny and moving too…

As a writer, hearing your characters turned into songs is completely magical.

And wait till you hear their ideas for Leonard! I have a feeling Leonard is going to love the limelight. He loves an audience, as you know!

 

 

Slack Children’s Author Finally Updates Website

Boy oh boy. It’s been a while. Forgive me for not posting but I’ve been out and about with Dr Boogaloo and The Girl Who Lost Her Laughter. And so much has happened, I’m not sure where to start!

Perhaps we’ll go back to Russ The Story Bus. Now THAT was fun. Russ the Story Bus is part of the SWF Festival of Moving Stories. It’s a big bus that travels round the countryside visiting schools and giving out brand new free books. I got to go cherry picking in Young – where I also ate too many prunes! Very NOT wise when you have long bus trips ahead. Sorry Mr Cheeseman. Mr Cheeseman was my driver! Luckily for me, Mr Cheeseman did not mind a prune himself so we made good company.

Mr Cheeseman likes BIG things.

He’s a very happy fellow and taking his picture with REALLY BIG things  makes him even happier. Note to self – only ever go on long road trips with very jolly people. So much fun!

Here’s Mr Cheeseman with a GIGANTIC tennis racquet in Barellan. Barellan is a tiny town where Aussie champion tennis player Evonne Goolagong grew up. (We made a special detour just to visit the gigantic racquet and we were very nearly late to school!)

And here’s a gigantic dog we saw in Yass! That’s a normal size dog next to him. You can just see the top of his head. I think Mr Cheeseman was too scared to stand next to this dog. Which was very sensible!

We also visited a gigantic guitar which made Mr Cheeseman as happy as a banjo player.

I love road trips. There’s something relaxing about being in transit. Going somewhere feels good.

And as well as seeking out GIGANTIC things, we did squeeze in a few school visits. The kids were so smart. It always blows me away how creative and clever kids are. We listened to different pieces of music and came up with ideas for stories and characters. Music is great for getting your magical thinking all fired up. Lots of writers use music to kickstart their imagination. If you get stuck with your creative writing you should try it.

Shoutout to Hay Public School, St Mary’s Primary School,  Cootamundra Public School, Young Public School, Young North Public School and Yass Public School. Thanks for having us! We had the best time!