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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one to make you laugh—a clever take on before and after

one to make you laugh—a clever take on before and after

ages 2 to 8 years
Before and after photos are something of a modern obsession—weight loss, home renovations, teeth, hair, even cars (think Pimp My Ride)! We just seem to love looking at change.

My Pictures After The Storm feeds that innate human fascination in a way that is laugh out loud funny. It's fundamentally cheerful and offers such a clever and witty look at life. This is a book that's full of humour, bursting with life and colour, and terrific for thinking about change

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a book to grow skills in spotting fake news—and to fuel a love of history

a book to grow skills in spotting fake news—and to fuel a love of history

ages 4 to 12 years (and older!)
Fake news is such a fraught and difficult topic! No matter which side of politics (or life in general) we align with, fake news can lead us astray.

It’s an issue for kids too, making skills like critical reading, viewing and listening increasingly important. But no one wants to overburden them or take the joy out of learning—and this book is a terrific help. It teaches critical thinking and watching skills and it’s heaps of fun for kids and adults to work on together.

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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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mistakes (oops!) = opportunities to make something beautiful

mistakes (oops!) = opportunities to make something beautiful

ages 3 to 10 years
Do your kids ever get frustrated or angry when they make a mistake? Mine do all the time. It’s the end of the world when they're trying and trying to do something but just can’t manage it. And, if I’m going to be completely honest, it’s the same for me more often than not. The need to get things ‘right’ all the time can be difficult and stressful, leading to a multitude of negative feelings.

Beautiful Oops! has been a wonderful comfort

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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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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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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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a poignant look at the precariousness of refugee life

a poignant look at the precariousness of refugee life

ages 8 years and up
The reality of life in a refugee camp is no longer hidden—it permeates news cycles and images— and writings are readily available and plentiful. It's generally understood that a refugee's life is one of fear, heightened emotions, constant change. Still, the individual humanity of the refugees themselves remains hidden....

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