a three eyed, long eared alien child reminds us to be welcoming and inclusive

a three eyed, long eared alien child reminds us to be welcoming and inclusive

ages 2 to 8 years
Feeling lost, unwelcome or out of place is one of childhood’s certainties. They’re feelings that will come to every child in one measure or another. Teens, of course, continue to have those feelings, and so do adults. For displaced people, regardless of age, those feelings are frequently more than an emotional reaction—they can be the cold hard facts of life. Beegu is a displaced alien child who....

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3 fabulous stories about authority

3 fabulous stories about authority

ages 2 to 10 years
These three books are all about authority—they let us question who should have it and how it should be used. Those are important questions, as evidenced by the number of times, every day when I was working in junior kindy, that I answered the question: “Why?”.

1)  DON'T CROSS THE LINE!
2)  MY UNCLE'S DONKEY
3)  KING PIG

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new year, new thoughts: thanks for your wisdom, Maya Angelou

 
 

Are there some books that your kids just LOVE but that you really don’t?

A few in that category have made their way onto our shelves (who knows how that happened, it’s a mischief!) and my kids keep asking me to read them over and over again. I hold my nose and do it, but I truly feel like I’m wasting my breath and my time, and can’t see how I’m doing any good to anyone.

Well, this week, I read a quote by Maya Angelou that made me think. She said:

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.
— Maya Angelou

Thank you Ms Angelou, for sharing your wonderfulness and wisdom. I’m taking it on board and I’ve resolved to stop trying to smuggle those books out of the house and cringing as I read them for the 10th time in the one day (!).

Instead, I will embrace the joy of children who want me to read to them and be grateful, immensely grateful, that they are forming a habit of and a passion for reading.

Do you have a quote that has inspired you and helped with the everyday? I’d really love to hear about it.

5 classic Christmas stories to read aloud and linger over

THE GIFT OF THE MAGI  - This is the classic O Henry story of the poor young couple who each sell the thing most dear to them to buy the other a Christmas present – this version is illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger making it especially beautiful.


THE GIFT OF THE MAGI - This is the classic O Henry story of the poor young couple who each sell the thing most dear to them to buy the other a Christmas present – this version is illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger making it especially beautiful.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL  - Perhaps the most famous of all Christmas stories aside from the nativity - this one is illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake


A CHRISTMAS CAROL - Perhaps the most famous of all Christmas stories aside from the nativity - this one is illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake

 
CHRISTMAS STORIES  - my all time favourite author to read aloud, Michael Morpurgo's words are always perfect. Here, they're combined with amazingly beautiful artwork from some of Britain’s best illustrators. There are four stories and they’ll take up to an hour each to read aloud, so perfect for a car trip or plane ride.


CHRISTMAS STORIES - my all time favourite author to read aloud, Michael Morpurgo's words are always perfect. Here, they're combined with amazingly beautiful artwork from some of Britain’s best illustrators. There are four stories and they’ll take up to an hour each to read aloud, so perfect for a car trip or plane ride.

 
AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS  - This is the picture book version of the children’s opera. It’s long and detailed but wonderful to read aloud either before or after watching the opera itself. We saw it live many years ago and have had a jar of licorice out every year at Christmas time since – you’ll see why if you read the book


AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS - This is the picture book version of the children’s opera. It’s long and detailed but wonderful to read aloud either before or after watching the opera itself. We saw it live many years ago and have had a jar of licorice out every year at Christmas time since – you’ll see why if you read the book

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS DVD  - Watching the DVD has become a favourite Christmas Monday night tradition.


AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS DVD - Watching the DVD has become a favourite Christmas Monday night tradition.

 
THE FAMILY UNDER THE BRIDGE  - This one isn't a Christmas story as such, but it is set around Christmas time, it’s heartwarming and it’s set in Paris - the story of children who become family to a man who didn’t know he wanted a family.


THE FAMILY UNDER THE BRIDGE - This one isn't a Christmas story as such, but it is set around Christmas time, it’s heartwarming and it’s set in Paris - the story of children who become family to a man who didn’t know he wanted a family.

 

Christmas for me is all about long days, warm nights, outside play in the dark, a bath or a swim and then a chapter or two of a story read aloud to the whole family. Then there's the summer camping trip where a read-aloud book after dinner is essential!

Or, rainy days when it’s thundering and pouring for a whole day which require a play in the rain and an ice-block and still leave time for a few more pages.

All of which means that Christmas stories full of snow and fur lined coats feel almost surreal. But we love them anyway and today's selection are good for both hemispheres.

Names in this post: Amahl

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.