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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Tiny The Invisible World of Microbes: a s.t.e.m. story full of gasping moments

Tiny The Invisible World of Microbes: a s.t.e.m. story full of gasping moments

This is a book full of gasping moments, the sort that deliver a sense of wonder and an appreciation for the grandeur of the natural world. And perhaps best of all, it’s lyrical to read aloud and beautiful to look at.

Ages 3 - 12

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The New Small Person: welcoming a new baby can be a tricky business!

The New Small Person: welcoming a new baby can be a tricky business!

Three-year-old Ivy is excitedly awaiting the arrival of a baby brother in a couple of months. She’s looking for things that will be the same and different for them. 

He’ll be little and she’ll be big. But, after a bath: ‘he’ll have a naked bottom just like me’.  Both true. 

Ivy is pretty keen for this baby to arrive. (So am I, truth be told.) Still, there’s bound to be some adjusting to do. 

The New Small Person is all about the adjustment – and the process.

Ages 2 to 8

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What's Your Favorite Bug?: inspiring a love of art and reading

What's Your Favorite Bug?: inspiring a love of art and reading

When I think of picture books my thoughts always go to the story, which is funny considering we call them ‘picture’ books. But the artwork has a huge impact on our emotions and impressions when reading a picture book, adding depth and feeling. Talking about the artwork is so useful for developing emotional intelligence

ages 2 to 10

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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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Emma And The Whale: life is full when we have a respectful connection with nature

Emma And The Whale: life is full when we have a respectful connection with nature

Jesse gave us Emma And The Whale by Julie Case when we first moved here and it perfectly matches our new found reverence for the ocean.

Emma is a young girl who lives in an old crooked house, but she doesn’t mind because it’s near the ocean, and that is her favourite place to be.

‘After school, Emma always took her dog, Nemo, to play at the beach. They combed the shore for shells and stones and sea glass. At low tide, that’s when they found the best treasures.

Sometimes Emma saw whales in the water. Sometimes she saw dolphins, and once a loggerhead turtle. She liked to picture an ocean teeming with life, with no balloons or bottles spit to shore.’

The magic and mystery of the ocean solidifies one foggy day when Emma discovers a beached baby whale.

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