a peaceful Nullabor Christmas - full of delight and excitement

a peaceful Nullabor Christmas - full of delight and excitement

ages 2 to 12 years
A perfect Australian Christmas picture book, it’s the story of Kathleen – a little girl who lives along Australia’s Nullarbor Plain – and of the Tea and Sugar Train which used to travel across the Plain each week. A charming balance to the OTT commercialism that sometimes surrounds Christmas.

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love dinosaurs? love books? love cuddly blankets? here you go ...

 

I’m so in love with this adorable Book Dinosaurs throw blanket from Society 6. It’s absolutely adorable and I’ve had my eye on it for a while, but it was a bit hard to justify.

Thankfully ‘little baby boots’ (the kids’ current nickname for our baby boy due in Feb ’19) is the perfect excuse. Every baby needs a new blanket, right?

If there’s a new baby on your horizon or a current babe, toddler or child who loves dinosaurs, books and cuddles, you might like to check it out.

P.S. At the time of writing, it’s on sale.

Outback Pets: a fun 'real people' book that may lead to a request for a pet crocodile!

Outback Pets: a fun 'real people' book that may lead to a request for a pet crocodile!

ages 2 to 8 years
As you can see, this is a fun, beautifully illustrated book. Great for ages 2 to 8 years. Which makes it perfect for Ivy and Angus.

They’re both pet-obsessed. We have a dog, but there is always another pet we should get. So far this year the list has included a horse, lamb, little dog with a curly tail, guinea pig, rabbit, hamster, pig and a big dog that can be friends with our dog… but NOT a snake! Thankfully.

In all this discussion and dreaming of pets, ‘Outback Pets’ by Therese Hall and Geoff Cook has become an all-round favourite in our house

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"the book was better"—you hear that a lot after a movie :)

 
 

They tell me I say it every time. So yes, I’d love this tote bag!

Unfortunately it doesn’t ship to Australia, but for our north American readers, what a great gift for yourself or a reading friend.

It would be perfect for shopping (for books or anything at all) or an everyday handbag (for carrying books or anything at all).

3 minutes with Kate DiCamillo: the magic of reading aloud

I stare at him, open-mouthed. I’m struck with a sudden knowledge that this boy that I’m so afraid of is in fact just like me. He’s a kid who likes a story.

This just in! Four hours ago, on the PBS News Hour, Kate DiCamillo talked about the magic and power of reading aloud. It was a short but wonderful segment.

I know you’re busy, I really do, so I hope you can find a little time to listen or read the transcript. Spoiler: the kid in the top quote was the school bully :-).

Here’s another small excerpt:

We humans long not just for story, not just for the flow of language, but for the connection that comes when words are read aloud. That connection provides illumination. It lets us see each other.

You might also like this post and this very special book, or a whole host of Kate DiCamillo books.

Bruno: a brilliant book for embracing differences in people and in life

Bruno: a brilliant book for embracing differences in people and in life

ages 2 to 8 years
Most everyone has had almost-perfect days, stupid days, rainy days, peculiar days and uninteresting days. It’s the mix that makes life interesting. Bruno is a cat who tells the story of six very different days in his life.

They’re the sort of days we’ve all had—with surprising, quirky twists. Among those days, there are totally relatable moments, like this one:

That day, the power went out on my street, At night, so as not to be in the dark, I lit candles. It was very pretty. Since they don’t happen very often, I really like days when the power goes out.

And totally fantastic days, like when Bruno and his friend Ringo, a horse, find that they can breathe underwater and end up in a backwards swimming race with their new friend Bup, a fish. Bruno muses:

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Mark & Rowan Sommerset: It's not a book, but it's something we made!

Mark & Rowan Sommerset: It's not a book, but it's something we made!

We’ve long been fans of the the uber-talented, uber-funny, author/illustrator duo Mark and Rowan Sommerset so, when the email came to say they’re selling their home, I immediately checked it out. Well, my oh my! Their publishing arm is worthily called Dreamboat Books and their house is all of that. I couldn’t wait to share it with you! Video below, but first click here for a gorgeous slide show (there’s a luxury yurt!)

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