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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a story to encourage new perspectives and herald the blessings of difference

a story to encourage new perspectives and herald the blessings of difference

ages 2 to 8 years
Sometimes our own little quirks or difficulties can be a blessing. To us and to others.

In this tremendously fun story a cute little cat with a crick in his back walks through a town, surprising people everywhere and causing them to tilt their heads as he walks past.

That simple act leads to changes in perspective, new lifestyles, decisions and even new architecture.

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a meditation on the realities of war, enemies, and the profound value of seeking understanding

a meditation on the realities of war, enemies, and the profound value of seeking understanding

ages 4 to adult
Having an enemy doesn’t always require a war, but always (always!) requires separate camps! Those camps could be foxholes, but they could also be duct tape lines across a shared bedroom floor, places to sit during lunch at school, or even a divided family.

In this book, 'There’s a war on.', and two soldiers are facing each other from holes in the ground. Just one soldier speaks to us, but we see both

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a beautifully illustrated call to be wary of first impressions—and to seek out the best in life

a beautifully illustrated call to be wary of first impressions—and to seek out the best in life

ages 2—8 years
There’s a scene in Emma (by Jane Austen), where Emma is talking to her friend (or plaything depending on your viewpoint) Harriet about a proposal. Emma says, ‘You must be the judge of your own happiness.’—and then proceeds to tell her how to judge her happiness!

Most of us are spared an Emma in our lives—we mostly judge our own happiness and find our own way. But sometimes we can be so secure in our current happiness that it becomes difficult to envision a different happiness.Children are prone to this too.

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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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an empowering story of friendship, fairness and a vote for hope

an empowering story of friendship, fairness and a vote for hope

ages 6 to grownup
It seems almost dystopian that there was a time when Aboriginal people were not counted in the population statistics. And when the laws and powers that were held by each State government resulted in segregation and broad discrimination...

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the life-changing value of speaking up—for yourself or for someone else

the life-changing value of speaking up—for yourself or for someone else

ages 2 to 8 years
When I read this book to four-year-old Ivy, she sat in silence, then, at the last page, said, “Let’s read that again.”

Twig is that sort of book—beautiful to look at, with a story that's relatable and full of interesting ideas to process. 

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how empathy changes the way a young girl thinks about a kitten

how empathy changes the way a young girl thinks about a kitten

ages 2 to 8 years
In the story of The Lost Kitten, a little girl, Hina, and her mother are met by a mother cat who seems to ask them to care for her sickly kitten. Hina is hesitant, she was hoping for ‘a cute one from the pet shop’....

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