Books on Tour — Anne Donnelly

With all the recent news about dramatic changes to the Chinese Government’s policy on receiving recycled goods, and the decision by major Australian retail outlets to ban single-use plastic bags, it seems fitting that my latest Books on Tour guest has written, illustrated and self-published a picture book that introduces the concepts of reducing waste, recycling and environmental sustainability.

Anne Donnelly’s book, Ori’s Clean-Up, reveals its vital messages through the eponymous Ori the Octopus, a character certain to inspire and delight young readers and help them learn that if we join together to reduce, reuse and recycle, we can undo some of the damage already done to our environment, and minimise the impact of waste on the world and its wildlife. The book has been endorsed by the folk at Clean Up Australia.

As part of the Books on Tour blog series, Anne has answered my Shelf Aware questions, and shared some photos of her book shelves at home, along with details of the books that have special meaning to her.

You can follow the rest of the Ori’s Clean-Up Books on Tour series via this link, with Anne — and Ori — making an appearance on several bookish blogs.

Q. How would you describe the work that you do and how you do it?
A. A labour of love, a creative outlet and a passion as for most authors, illustrators and creators.

Q. What can you tell us about your latest writing project/book release?
A. My latest book release is a hardcover 32-page picture book entitled Ori’s Clean-Up. It introduces concepts such as recycling, re-using, using fabric bags instead of plastic, composting and giving things away instead of throwing them out. It has been endorsed by Clean Up Australia due to its clear environmental message.

Q. Where are the main bookcases in your home or office? Do you also keep books in other places at home (or elsewhere)?
A. Books are everywhere at home. We are a family of four readers. The two offices and my two kids’ bedrooms have significant book shelf space, but there are pretty much books everywhere, and magazines and papers.

Q. How are your books organised/arranged?
A. Our books are only casually organised. Most of the children’s books are in the kids’ rooms, while textbooks and adult fiction are in the other two main book areas. We’re always using them so they are in and out and we go through them regularly and update.

Q. What sorts of books predominate?
A. Children’s fiction (picture books the most) and reference books predominate. Then adult fiction (high proportion science fiction) and adult non-fiction biographies /autobiographies, cookbooks etc.

Q. Describe your favourite reading place.
A. In the winter, in bed with the electric blanket on. Otherwise on the lounge.

Q. What book/s are you reading right now? Why did you choose that book/those books and what do you think of it/them so far?
A. I am reading two Terry Pratchett books. One is a compilation of short stories and the other is a Disk World novel that I am enjoying immensely.

Q. What are your favourite books and/or who are your favourite authors?
A. Terry Pratchett is my favourite author. He is so clever in the way he pokes fun at us all, truly the best satirical reflective works. But I did go through a phase of reading lots of biographies, autobiographies and general such as A Very Short History of the World.

Q. In the event of an emergency, if you could save just three books from your collection, which books would they be – and why would you choose them?
A. Tough one. The Pratchett Portfolio by Paul Kidby (limited edition collectors I believe), What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey and maybe my folder with all my favourite recipes of all time.

Q. If you could sit down for afternoon tea with your three favourite characters or authors, who would they be, what would you serve them, and what would like to talk to them about?
A. Winston Churchill – I imagine he would like tea and scones. I would ask him how he honestly felt about not being re-elected after he did the toughest job in the world. Moist Von Lipwig (Disk World character) – a sausage in a bun (Disk World joke). I would plead with him to teach me how to mould people to your way of thinking. And…maybe…future me when I am a famous author (ha!) – I would love Cristoli biscuits with tea. I would ask myself what the secret of unlocking my big break was!

You can find out more about Anne Donnelly, Ori’s Clean-Up and other Ori the Octopus books here.

More details of the Books on Tour blog series are available here, and you can learn more about its organisers from Just Write for Kids here.

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