The Last Viking Returns

Leave a comment

The Last Beserker?


I was just send this fabulous photo of Toby by his proud grandmother, Margaret Eaton. Toby is the five year old son of multi-award winning author of stacks of great novels, Tony Eaton, and his lovely wife Imogin. Margaret  is a curator at  the Fremantle Literature Centre who have been fabulous supporters of me from when my first book was launched there twenty years ago, and of James and I and The Last Viking from way before the day it was launched at the centre during the wildest storm anyone can remember. James is even away in the Kimberley region at this very moment  on a Literature Centre sponsored  tour of schools in remote areas.

Below is Margaret’s charming note that came with photo.

Hi Norm,

 Thought you would like to meet the latest Viking to join the band. It is our grandson Toby, Tony and Imogen’s wee one. He has the book read to him each night and he made this great costume with mummy over the weekend. Tony’s contribution was the head wear! He does not seem fussed that it was Wolverine and not Josh thus attired, I shall let him wear the real deal when he visits later this year. He is very proud of the fact that the shield says ‘Toby’  in Viking.

Roll on the sequel!


And as for the sequel that Margaret mentions,  let me tell you, IT LOOKS FABULOUS. All the sketches are in place, and even the words have got past our eagle-eyed editor, Cate Sutherland, without too much slashing and burning.  James has let his imagination really rip and has come up with some stunning images, and I can hardly wait to see it in its full glory. Onward to Viking World.



Make-your-own Viking god or goddess

One of the best parts of school visits is seeing the great ideas that schoolkids come up with. Here’s a bunch of viking god and goddesses, designed by students during children’s book week this year. God of Wind, by Tom Isabella the Goddess of Patterns, by Maddy Bothgolong, God of Fire, by Rohan A portrait of Thor that also folds up into a paper plane, by Christian This guy looks familiar… The God of Literature, by Catherine And finally, Optimus Prime, by Brayden. It’s not a viking god but it looks really cool.


Prepare your classroom for a Viking invasion

Viking boat display at heARTlines Festival 2011

Display by Gidgegannup Primary School students at heARTlines Festival 2011. Teacher: Trevor Dent.

It’s August, which means Children’s Book Week is fast approaching. If you’re a teacher, maybe you’d like to use The Last Viking for one of your classroom displays. Here’s some examples that Norm and I have seen since the book came out.

In the example above, teacher Trevor Dent guided his students from Gidgegannup Primary in making a Viking ship display for the heARTlines Children’s Literature Festival 2011. The centrepiece is a ship painted on to card with a cloth sail. Students have illustrated characters from the book and their own original Viking warriors.

The picture below is a display from Year 1/2 H at Penrith, NSW. They coloured viking ships, swords and shields, and translated their names into runes along the bottom of the display.

Viking artwork display by year 1 and 2 students at Penrith NSW

Below are two photos from a year 3 classroom at Rosalie Primary School. I visited them for their biennial writers’ festival and contributed some drawings. The foam lettering and cardboard viking ship were used in their assembly item (seen playing on the smartboard), in which they acted out the entire book! They performed an inspired closing number- ‘One-Eyed, One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater’. Odin and Thor would be proud of their stellar efforts.

Rosalie Primary School display

Rosalie classroom display 2

Rosalie Primary School display- detail of their cardboard Viking ship

And finally, here are some illustrations by the same talented Rosalie Primary School year 3s. These are pasted to the front and inside of a thank you card the students presented to me. Norm got one too. We were gobsmacked at the creativity in this classroom (which probably has a lot to do with their fantastic teacher, Mrs Goods).

Rosalie Primary students artwork 1

Rosalie artwork 2

One other activity I like to do with students is Viking character design. I talk a little about the Viking gods and what each god or goddess was in charge of. Then I ask the students to imagine that if they were a Viking god or goddess, what would they be in charge of? Then I ask them to draw that character.

There’s more Viking-themed classroom resources on our Resources page. There’s blackline masters for colouring in, a ‘How To Read Runes’ worksheet, and links to activities on the web.

The Teachers page gives you some ideas about how to link The Last Viking in with curriculum, and provides a handy overview of this blog and sorts some useful posts into ready-made lists for you.
Norm and I love seeing the work that students make in response to The Last Viking. If you have any pictures of your own Viking displays or artwork and would like to share them with us via your blog, we’d love to see them- send us a link!