a beautiful story of friendship, love, hope, joy and newfound strength—perfect reading for a new year

a beautiful story of friendship, love, hope, joy and newfound strength—perfect reading for a new year

ages 0 to 8 years
Summer is in full swing in Tasmania and everywhere we look trees are laden with fruit. We're closely watching our plum and nectarine trees, eagerly awaiting the first ripe fruit, and I think this is what drew us to Together Always when we saw it in the library. That and the wonderfulness of friendship for the start of a new year.

The opening line is:


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honouring the simple, unconditional (sometimes intense!) childhood love of fabric-friends

honouring the simple, unconditional (sometimes intense!) childhood love of fabric-friends

ages 2 to 6 years
When Ivy was a newborn, some ladies from Church gave her a cuddly pink bunny blanket with her name on it. She was never the best sleeper, so ‘bunny’ became a wonderful tool for comforting/settling—we couldn't (wouldn’t) go anywhere without her.

Ivy is now 4-years-old, but bunny still means the world to her. She doesn’t need her for comfort now, but the friend who helped her through so many difficult times still holds immense value. I think that’s why she loves Guff

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some terrific hints for moments when anger threatens to take over—from a mouse!

some terrific hints for moments when anger threatens to take over—from a mouse!

ages 2 to 8 years
Learning to express anger appropriately is a lifelong process (or at least that’s how it feels for me) and Ivy has been experiencing a lot of the stomp, slam and scream kind lately. I can feel it coming over her in waves—and the fear in her eyes as it picks her up and sweeps her away in a flood of feelings she can’t get under control breaks my heart. (It’s really not easy being 3!)

A book that has been exceptionally helpful for us is Mouse Was Mad

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life lessons about tipping points and the need for balance

life lessons about tipping points and the need for balance

ages 0 to 8 years
It’s like ...who sank the boat!' That’s how my family often describes an overwhelming day, too much of something, or a time when we've gone one step too far.

In this story, there’s ‘a cow, a donkey, a sheep, a pig and a tiny little mouse’ who decide to go for a row on the bay. One by one, they gingerly climb in the rowboat and restore the equilibrium before the next passenger. Finally it’s the tiny little mouse’s turn and so in it jumps. You can guess what happens next I’m sure!

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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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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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5 books that comfort and prepare for a move away from much-loved people and places

5 books that comfort and prepare for a move away from much-loved people and places

ages 3 to around 8 years
Change in any form can be hard (not just for children!) but moving to somewhere new and leaving people you love can be particularly difficult for little ones. Our move to Tasmania is happening next week...

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how friendship and courage bring hope to a community

how friendship and courage bring hope to a community

ages 12 years and up
Hotaka is the tale of the town of Omori-wan, one of the Japanese villages devastated by the 2011 Tsunami and the people who are trying to learn to live after everything is swept away—it's told through the eyes of a young boy, Hotaka....

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a lovely book for kids going through 'hard to find friends' times

a lovely book for kids going through 'hard to find friends' times

ages 2 to 8 years
Do your little ones have imaginary friends? Some of mine did. It was cute to hear them chatting away to someone invisible—less cute when I once had to wait in the rain because an imaginary friend called Minga had to get in the car first and then took her own sweet time about buckling up her seatbelt! There are lots of good reasons to enjoy the imaginary friend stage, one being...

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a poetic reminder to make time for fun!

a poetic reminder to make time for fun!

ages 0 to 7 years
I love it when Ivy says something like ‘remember when we went to that park, that was so cool!’ I love it because we're usually just driving away from the park at the time! She re-tells all the wonderful things that happened, even though I was there the whole time and it was only 20 minutes ago. The talking is lovely and draws us closer together...

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