reading with grandchildren who live far away – Imogene’s Antlers

reading with grandchildren who live far away – Imogene’s Antlers

ages toddler to 5-years
Ridiculously, 4 of our grandchildren (including newborn Ezra) live in Cairns and 2 are in Tasmania. That’s pretty much opposite ends of the country and at least a two hour flight each way.  So weekly or even monthly visits just aren’t an option. But Samantha suggested this great app—Marco Polo. It’s probably not the original intention, but it works really well for reading stories.

I record a story (dodgy lighting and shuffling pages are no big deal), it uploads, and the grandkids look at it whenever their parents are ready to give up their phones for a few minutes.

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the growth of a baby from conception to birth carefully explained; perfect for soon-to-be older siblings

the growth of a baby from conception to birth carefully explained; perfect for soon-to-be older siblings

ages 2 to 10 years
There’s quite a collection of pregnancy/new baby books on my shelves (favourites: this one  and this one) and I’m forever on the lookout for others with a fresh and interesting approach.

This one, 9 Months, is great:

Each month of a pregnancy—from conception to birth—is given a two-page spread that clearly sets out the stages of a baby’s growth.

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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 favourite book to explore night, independence and family life

a favourite book to explore night, independence and family life

ages 0 to 8 years
Have you ever heard the patter of little feet in the night and found toys and books scattered around the house in the morning? It used to be an almost nightly routine at our place.
In this tender story Hannah wakes and, ‘surprised to find that it was still dark’, discovers that her family is soundly asleep.
She gently finds her way around, pouring milk for her cat, eating cherries without permission, and borrowing some of her sister’s precious possessions.

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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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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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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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a delicious new treat for lovers of Madeline

a delicious new treat for lovers of Madeline

ages 4 to 10 years
If you have a child who is a fan of Madeline and delicious food (perhaps that's you, too!) then The Sisters Saint-Claire is a must. The sisters Saint-Claire are five fabulous French mice with gourmet tastes. And each Sunday they head to the market to select the next week’s delicacies. All of them that is,

“Except for Cecile, who stayed home instead

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a touching story of recovery, remembering and resilience

a touching story of recovery, remembering and resilience

ages 4 to 12 years
An asylum seeker is someone who is seeking protection as a refugee but hasn’t yet been granted recognised refugee status. So in this story, Ziba and her mother—who have left their own country after war and oppression came to their village—are both asylum seekers and refugees. They're traveling by boat to a new country where they hope to find ‘azadi’—freedom

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