Wednesday 4 September 2013

WELCOME TO THE LITERACY LADDER by Australian author Donna Smith

Good morning Di, thank you for inviting me along today.

Q. What is the Literacy Ladder reading series?

Donna: Literacy Ladder is a reading program by the Victorian College of Literacy Arts, that I am delighted to be apart of.  The Literacy Ladder program has several facets to it including The Literacy Ladder Reader Series© consisting of  ‘Ready’ (Yellow: Prep- Grade 1), ‘Set’ (Green: Grade 1-3) and ‘Go (Gold Star: Grade 3-5) readers for children within the normal range of reading and comprehension development.  


The Literacy Ladder Enhanced Reading Program© is especially designed for children in Prep to Grade 3 who are participating in a literacy intervention program.   The program focuses on specific areas of literacy development, speech and sound and comprehension to develop solid foundation skills to enhance their literacy abilities.  The roll out phase is currently underway and will continue over the next three years.   The Literacy Ladder Reader series has several contracted titles by various authors within the Ready, Set, Go levels.


Q: Can you tell the readers about your book Jazmine Montgomery Toy Detective: The Magic Glasses? Is it a part of the Literacy Ladder series?


Donna: Jazmine Montgomery – Toy Detective ‘The Magic Glasses’ is the first in this exciting new series.  Yes, the Literacy Ladder ‘Green’ box is located on the back cover of the book.  The target audience is Grade 1-3.


Q: Where did you get the idea for the Jazmine Montgomery story?


Donna: Jazmine Montgomery, the character is based on my daughter Jazmine (who is twelve in a couple of weeks), Jazmine has a wonderful ability to see the magic in everything around her. I just love that.  Jazmine also loves games, puzzles and mystery challenges, the toy detective just happened to come to me one day when she was going a puzzle.  At the time Jaz was young, as I write the story a few years ago.


Q: Who designs and illustrates your books?

Donna: My books have been illustrated by various artists.  Matthew Shires painted the beautiful cover of Delightfully Haiku, Aaron Pocock illustrated A Christmas Tail, a picture book co-authored with Helen Ross and released earlier this year and Sharyn Madder illustrated Jazmine Montgomery – Toy Detective ‘The Magic Glasses.’ 


Artists have their own style and different styles are suited to different projects.  Matthew Shires was chosen for Delightfully Haiku because he had recently spent time living in Japan and captured the essence of Japanese culture in his painting.  Aaron Pocock was chosen by Helen and I because we wanted a timeless, English feel to the illustrations and Aaron’s samples showed that quality.  


Sharyn was chosen for the Jazmine Montgomery series due to her ability to produce illustrations which matched my vision so accurately.  I loved her samples and found they were very detailed.


Q: What is Sally Odger’s role in your publishing house?


Donna:  Sally has been my writing mentor for some years and provides MS assessments for all of my stories followed by editing.  Sally is wonderful to work with, she is very patient with my ‘backward sentences’, generously shares her writing knowledge with me and genuinely has a love to help others in their writing ability and is very easy to approach for advice.  Sally plays a big role in the Jelli- Beanz Publishing house!


Jazmine Montgomery and Yapps will be sharing their next case file mid 2014, keep your eyes out for that. 


You can follow along all of the updates at the Jelli-Beanz Publishing blog site  and


I post lots of updates and specials on my blog.  There are also details of my other books there too.


Thank you Di for inviting me along today.






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