a three eyed, long eared alien child reminds us to be welcoming and inclusive

a three eyed, long eared alien child reminds us to be welcoming and inclusive

ages 2 to 8 years
Feeling lost, unwelcome or out of place is one of childhood’s certainties. They’re feelings that will come to every child in one measure or another. Teens, of course, continue to have those feelings, and so do adults. For displaced people, regardless of age, those feelings are frequently more than an emotional reaction—they can be the cold hard facts of life. Beegu is a displaced alien child who....

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3 fabulous stories about authority

3 fabulous stories about authority

ages 2 to 10 years
These three books are all about authority—they let us question who should have it and how it should be used. Those are important questions, as evidenced by the number of times, every day when I was working in junior kindy, that I answered the question: “Why?”.

1)  DON'T CROSS THE LINE!
2)  MY UNCLE'S DONKEY
3)  KING PIG

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a peaceful Nullabor Christmas - full of delight and excitement

a peaceful Nullabor Christmas - full of delight and excitement

ages 2 to 12 years
A perfect Australian Christmas picture book, it’s the story of Kathleen – a little girl who lives along Australia’s Nullarbor Plain – and of the Tea and Sugar Train which used to travel across the Plain each week. A charming balance to the OTT commercialism that sometimes surrounds Christmas.

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Outback Pets: a fun 'real people' book that may lead to a request for a pet crocodile!

Outback Pets: a fun 'real people' book that may lead to a request for a pet crocodile!

ages 2 to 8 years
As you can see, this is a fun, beautifully illustrated book. Great for ages 2 to 8 years. Which makes it perfect for Ivy and Angus.

They’re both pet-obsessed. We have a dog, but there is always another pet we should get. So far this year the list has included a horse, lamb, little dog with a curly tail, guinea pig, rabbit, hamster, pig and a big dog that can be friends with our dog… but NOT a snake! Thankfully.

In all this discussion and dreaming of pets, ‘Outback Pets’ by Therese Hall and Geoff Cook has become an all-round favourite in our house

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Bruno: a brilliant book for embracing differences in people and in life

Bruno: a brilliant book for embracing differences in people and in life

ages 2 to 8 years
Most everyone has had almost-perfect days, stupid days, rainy days, peculiar days and uninteresting days. It’s the mix that makes life interesting. Bruno is a cat who tells the story of six very different days in his life.

They’re the sort of days we’ve all had—with surprising, quirky twists. Among those days, there are totally relatable moments, like this one:

That day, the power went out on my street, At night, so as not to be in the dark, I lit candles. It was very pretty. Since they don’t happen very often, I really like days when the power goes out.

And totally fantastic days, like when Bruno and his friend Ringo, a horse, find that they can breathe underwater and end up in a backwards swimming race with their new friend Bup, a fish. Bruno muses:

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Mark & Rowan Sommerset: It's not a book, but it's something we made!

Mark & Rowan Sommerset: It's not a book, but it's something we made!

We’ve long been fans of the the uber-talented, uber-funny, author/illustrator duo Mark and Rowan Sommerset so, when the email came to say they’re selling their home, I immediately checked it out. Well, my oh my! Their publishing arm is worthily called Dreamboat Books and their house is all of that. I couldn’t wait to share it with you! Video below, but first click here for a gorgeous slide show (there’s a luxury yurt!)

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The Huge Bag of Worries: a comforting tale for little or big worriers

The Huge Bag of Worries: a comforting tale for little or big worriers

ages 3 to 10 years
My Ivy is a worrier; she comes from a long line of worriers on my side so there was really no escaping it. She worries that she will miss out, that someone might speak unkindly and that she won’t get to hug me when I’m in hospital having the baby. Nearly every day there is a new worry or 10. I wasn’t really sure how to help her because it’s something I only learned to deal with in adulthood, and those methods don’t really work for a 5 year old.

Talking to a friend, she recommended The Huge Bag of Worries (she uses in her speech pathology practise) and it has been a game changer!

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