Waddle Giggle Gargle!: an Australian Springtime survival guide


Spring is beautiful in Australians. Beautiful and terrifying! You can be happily walking down the street, a street you walk down every day, and then suddenly silent black and white wings of death attack you from above! That’s right, Magpie Season!

 Some magpies become aggressive during breeding season and will swoop passers by in an attempt to defend their nest. It can be quite intimidating and dangerous for the unaware.

Waddle Giggle Gargle! by Pamela Allen is an essential springtime survivor’s manual. It’s the story of Jonathon, Grandma and Grandpa who live together at the end of the street.  

“At the other end of the street is a tall gum tree. Sitting in the tall gum tree is a black and white magpie. ‘Waddle giggle gargle paddle poodle,’ the magpie shouts.”

Every day the magpie shouts ‘waddle giggle gargle paddle poodle’ as they pass by. One day the magpie is silent and it is no longer safe to walk up the street. Jonathon, Grandma and Grandpa can’t go about their day so they must work together to create a safe way to get past the magpie. Their solution is creative and I love that it isn’t about moving or hurting the bird, but just a safe way for them to get past.

Waddle Giggle Gargle! is a fun book that every Australian can relate to. It’s also great for discussion around:

-       sharing habitats

-       how animals behave and what they are trying to say

-       preparing kids for that sometimes frightening time of spring

Waddle Giggle Gargle!
by Pamela Allen – Penguin Group (Australia), 1996
ages 2 to 9 years / australia + funny

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Moonwalkers: a fun family space adventure


Ivy loves the moon. She likes to tell me about how it only looks like some of it is missing, that it controls the ocean and that it moves around the earth. ‘Not like the sun, the sun just sits there and does nothing. The sun is boring’. The kids get so excited when they are up late enough to see it.

At the moment they are fascinated with the book Moonwalkers by Matthew Greenwood and Terry Denton. It’s quite a long book but the story and illustrations keep them interested time after time.

Moonwalkers is the story of the Apollo 11 moon landing told by a small boy (Billy) who lives near ‘The Dish’ in Parkes NSW. The Dish is a Radio Telescope that was used to track space missions including the Apollo 11. Billy is mesmerised by space and the mission to the moon.

Billy and his younger sister and brother eagerly follow the Apollo 11 mission, incorporating it into every aspect of life:

 ‘For three days, while Apollo 11 journeyed to the Moon, Billy taught Mickey and Buzz how to be astronauts.

He wrapped them in shiny foil spacesuits and painted their helmets silver and gold.

They collected ‘moon rocks’ from the garden… and Buzz floated in the bath to practise lunar gravity.

They cuddled up in the Command Module and ate chocolate pudding and astronaut ice-cream.’

Moonwalkers also has some really beautiful messages like the joy of shared achievement and that amazing things are accomplished by small things working together. I love the relationship of cooperation and inclusion that the siblings have.

It’s a fun and informative book full of equal parts imagination and fact. It provides information about the Apollo 11 mission in a way that young kids can relate to and opens up a million other questions that will be great fun to investigate.

Moonwalkers is a wonderful book for any space enthusiast (and will create many more) and would make a wonderful gift.

by Mark Greenwood Illustrated by Terry Denton – Puffin Books, 2019
ages 3 to 10 years / S.T.E.M + Imagination

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Book Week 2019: an Alison Lester inspired Cowgirl


CBCA Book Week 2019 is in full swing and Ivy was so excited to get ready for her school Book Week Parade.

She decided to go as Rosie from Alison Lester’s Rosie Sips Spiders. It’s a simple and charming story of a group of friends who the things they like.

Favourite Food: Clive eats fried rice. Nicky loves spaghetti. Celeste enjoys Lemon-meringue pie. Earnie likes roast beef. Tessa has Bombe Alaska. Frank eats space rations.

But Rosie sips spiders.

It covers all kinds of things like what they do for work, where they live and what they do for fun.

Rosie Sips Spiders is a fun book that the kids find endlessly interesting as they learn about each of the friends and who they are. It’s a beautiful celebration of individuality and differences.


Ivy loves it and she was delighted to dress up as Rosie.

Rosie Sips Spiders By Alsion Lester – Hachette Children's Books, 1989
ages 2 to 8 years | Australia + Diversity

Book Week 2019: Reading is My Secret Power

2019 Book Week web banner 1200x500.jpg

Book Week 2019 is here and there is loads of excitement in our house.

Each year across Australia, the CBCA brings children and books together celebrating CBCA Book Week. During this time schools, libraries, booksellers, authors, illustrators and children celebrate Australian children's literature.

This years theme is ‘Reading is my Secret Power’ and we have had fun discussing what the theme means. There has also been lots of discussion about the best costumes to go with the theme.

The kids insisted that Theodore had to go to the parade at Playgroup as the Avocado Baby. All we had to do was give him an avocado to hold (which at 6 months is rather difficult). I’m not sure if it count’s as a costume but it sure was cute.


We love Book Week and the kids are eagerly awaiting their parades at School and Playgroup.

Hungry Planet: a beautiful way to think about food, abundance and responsibility

Hungry Planet: a beautiful way to think about food, abundance and responsibility

Food waste is becoming a global concern. Economists, environmentalists and human rights advocates are all on the same page: we have to stop wasting, start sharing, and get fresh food to people who need it. They’re the sort of goals everyone can get behind.

Ages 3 - Grown Ups

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Don't Cross the Line: the limits of authority—and how we choose

Don't Cross the Line: the limits of authority—and how we choose

Power flows from perceived external authority, and freedom flows from claiming personal authority. Sometimes, anyway. Life is complex!

In this story the arbitrary exercise of power is set in clear and absurd relief against obvious freedoms.

Ages 2 - 8

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