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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Because Amelia Smiled: how a little girl's smiles went round the world and back

Because Amelia Smiled: how a little girl's smiles went round the world and back

This is a wonderfully circular book. Amelia smiles, her smile is contagious and spreads all around the world and finally finds its way back to her - and she smiles again!

I love a book that shows (but doesn’t preach about) the interconnectedness of people around the world – this book manages exactly that.

And I think the key is the joyfulness of the illustrations. There’s a fuzziness* to them that invites the reader into the edges of the world each character inhabits. 

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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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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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exploring the delights of home, the blessing of a natural environment, and the strength in compromise

exploring the delights of home, the blessing of a natural environment, and the strength in compromise

ages 0 to 8 years
Books about happy homes speak to our need for security, love, generosity and kindness. Books about happy homes that are different to our own also offer the comforting idea that in the midst of tremendous diversity, there is more that connects us than separates us.

The Tree does all of that while extending those same ideas, thoughts and feelings 

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a tender ode to the mutual 'ownership' that comes from unhurried and uncomplicated friendships

a tender ode to the mutual 'ownership' that comes from unhurried and uncomplicated friendships

ages 2 to 8 years
Ownership is one of childhood’s most profound experiences. Ownership of treasures found, gifts, emotions, and relationships all contribute to a growing sense of self and a sense of interconnectedness.

Jose Saramago*, Portugese novelist, anarcho-communist and political agitator, wrote “Liking is probably the best form of ownership, and ownership is probably the worst form of liking.” That strikes a familiar chord when thinking about children and 

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