Krys Saclier was inspired by her daughter when she came up with her first picture book, Super Nova, which was written to show children they all have the ability to be heroes in their own way. Krys believes that children’s literature has the power to shape the future and devotes much of her life to promoting this. She trained as a primary school teacher, and has written for a variety of media. The fabulous Kids Only podcast features snappy stories for kids aged 6 and over, with a warning that the material is classified as ‘not suitable for adults’. All stories on the podcast are written by Krys Saclier and feature relatable snapshots of everyday life.
There’s a story in every moment of our everyday life. Find out what little incidents and moments inspire Krys and feed her ideas when you read her answers to our five questions below.
Where do you get your inspiration and ideas for your writing?
Lots of ideas just pop into my head and turn into little stories. I’m also inspired by the mad little incidents of everyday life.
What are your tips for children and young writers who may be struggling with the blank page?
Ask yourself, ‘What if…?’
What if I could read people’s minds? What if I could turn into jelly? What if my little brother was a werewolf? What if teachers were replaced with robots? (Yikes!)
Take a story you already know and muck around with the characters. Make the bad guys into the good guys and vice versa. Completely change the ending. Most of the stories on my Kids Only Podcast start this way.
What do you love about your picture book, Super Nova?
I love that it has a strong girl who is also supported by a male character – usually it’s the other way around. It’s also inspired by my daughter, Nova, so it’s ‘super’ special. Bec Timmis’ illustrations bring Super Nova to life. She’s a girl on a mission!
Which of your characters is your favourite? Why?
That would be Super Nova again, because she’s strong and independent. I also have another book coming out later this year (2020). I don’t know if I can talk about too much, but it has a character called Farrel who I quite like. Farrel’s the popular kid in class but he doesn’t have the usual characteristics of a popular kid (he has glasses, is chubby and is not white). Again, Farrel’s story comes alive with thanks to illustrations by a very amazing cartoonist (who I’m not sure I can mention either, but I am very proud to have her illustrate this book).
When you think about children reading your books, how does this make you feel? What do you want their ‘take-aways’ to be?
I hope it offers them an escape. That’s what reading was for me, so I want kids to imagine themselves in the story and live another life. Then they take that life with them when they close the book.
Are all picture books just for little kids?
Definitely not! Vote 4 Me is all about Australia’s preferential voting system but not in a dry, boring way. It’s perfect for students in Years 5 and 6 and a great way to hook into a Civics and Citizenship unit or to read before or after an excursion to Parliament House (old or new).
From the National Gallery of Australia to Questacon, you can travel around Canberra with the students from Mount Mayhem Primary as they explore all the sites in Australia’s capital city. Camp Canberra is perfect for kids (and adults) visiting Canberra, anyone who lives in Canberra (because we don’t always explore our own backyard) and classes learning about Canberra.
For more information about the gorgeous Krys Saclier or to book her to come to your school, visit her website. Don’t forget to look out for the Kids Only Podcast, and you may even want to check out the teacher notes she’s written for Super Nova.
Remember not to limit yourself to only using picture books for the younger children. Stories like Super Nova are a great way to begin exploring the concepts of self-worth with older children as well.
Need some great teacher’s notes?
If you’re an author, and you want some fantastic curriculum-aligned teacher notes for your book, contact Kellie to discuss how she can help you.