Andrew Keese

Web designer, web developer and online marketing consultant. Co-owner of Silver Vine, a web design agency located in Melbourne and specialising in Squarespace.

teens recommend: Savannah

Welcome, Savannah! By way of introduction, would you please tell us about your family?
I’m the oldest of 6 children. There are three boys and three girls and the youngest just turned five. I was born in Adelaide and we moved to Queensland as a family in 2008 when I was 8-years-old. 

And school?
At school, my favourite subjects are History, Legal Studies and English. I'm also doing one subject at Uni this semester as a part of a scholarship. It’s from the Justice degree and it’s called Justice and Society. So far we've studied several groups of society and their interaction with justice. I love it, but it is pretty crazy doing Grade 12 and a Uni subject at the same time.

Did you have a favourite picture book as a child?
I had quite a few picture books that I loved as a child, but Mem Fox’s books were by far my favourites. I particularly loved Possum Magic and 10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes.

Which books do you recommend?
My two favourite books: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. They're both set during World War Two in Europe, one in Germany and one in France. Both books are thought-provoking as well as entertaining. Also, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell which is speculative fiction.

And, just quickly, what are you currently:

Listening to 
Ed Sheeran’s new album ‘Divide’.

Eating 
Not sugar! We have a family challenge to eat no sugar for a year, I'm missing chocolate, it's pretty hard.

Reading 
A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray.

Practicing 
Driving. I have my driver's licence test soon!

Thank you so much for sharing and being on WTBA, Savannah. Power to you for the no-chocolate year!


P.S. The books are linked to Book Depository—they have free postage anywhere in the world and great pricing—but Amazon might be cheaper for North American readers. 

a delightful exploration of the nuances of family life, friendship and school

a delightful exploration of the nuances of family life, friendship and school

ages 3 to 8 years
Henrietta is a ‘great go-getter’ with an ‘adventurous spirit’ and ‘great determination’.
She’s also ‘an explorer of life, and that includes trees, bugs, animals and all mysteries.’ She’s waiting for a new baby—and hoping for a sister. She’s also starting school, making new friends, having her first sleepover and doing all the things that lucky children do at that age.

There are disappointments of course

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famous people reading: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

famous people reading: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

This looks like a great way to spend a birthday—reading and sunbathing on a car bonnet in Martha’s Vineyard. The pic is from New York Jackie: Pictures from Her Life in the City and was taken on her 60th birthday.

She’s reading The Most Beautiful House in the World, which I gather is a bit like a cerebral version of Grand Designs! The author is architect and prolific author, Witold Ryczynski—a man of forthright and strongly held opinion, including:

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a tender hearted look at dementia and the beauty of a life lived with simple pleasures

a tender hearted look at dementia and the beauty of a life lived with simple pleasures

ages 4 to 12 years
Angela—who gets up before daybreak—waits for a special visitor. As she waits she bakes shortbread cookies, the ‘lovely sweet smell’ reminding her of her childhood. ‘That’s why she makes them so often.’

She becomes anxious as she waits and, with ‘her heart lurching in all directions’, she tries playing along to a quiz game on television. ‘That’s when she hears a small voice behind her 

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a heart tugging look at how it feels to be different and a call to be more accomodating

a heart tugging look at how it feels to be different and a call to be more accomodating

ages 6 years to grownup
Everyone knows what it is to feel different or misunderstood. It's part of modern life—we meet many people in many circumstances and we don’t always ‘click’. And that’s fine, mostly we just do what needs to be done and move on until we come to a place we really do fit. But, for some people, being different or misunderstood is a constant. Ivan is such a child and he tells us that he is, in fact, a crocodile:

I look like a boy but, inside, I am a crocodile. It’s not something you can see, of course, because it’s inside.

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a lyric look at life’s unexpected moments, friends, rescuers, and the wonders of finding beauty

a lyric look at life’s unexpected moments, friends, rescuers, and the wonders of finding beauty

ages 2 to 8 years
If there is one certainty over the course of a lifetime, any lifetime, it's that there will always be something unexpected coming. Sometimes it’s a storm and sometimes it’s the ‘most beautiful sound’ we’ve ever heard. Alfred Fiddleduckling experiences both.

Alfred is a soon-to-hatch-egg when the story begins, safely nestled in a fiddle case on a sweet little boat loaded with new ducks for the Captain’s home

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the brilliance of Dr Seuss in rap video and political satire

the brilliance of Dr Seuss in rap video and political satire

How many Dr Seuss books can (or could) you recite by heart? There was a time when I could rattle off the whole of Green Eggs and Ham while driving—Thomas would sit in his car seat behind me, flipping the pages at the appropriate moment while his two younger siblings looked on. I could give Fox in Socks a good crack too, though I did sometimes have to agree with Mr Knox:

I hate this game, Sir. This game makes my tongue quite lame, Sir.

All the Dr Seuss rhymes are brilliant for little kids who are learning to read, as that great-fun video points out.

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