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.

Read More

'cause Christmas is different (and the same) everywhere

'cause Christmas is different (and the same) everywhere

ages 3 to grownup
I’ve been a John Williamson fan since childhood and a few months ago we were lucky enough to go to one of his concerts as a family. Amazing. There's really nothing quite like a live performance.

During intermission, I came across Christmas in Australia. I had no idea John Williamson had written a children’s book and just had to buy it—my only regret was that the kids were so exhausted by the end of the show we couldn't wait in the line to get it

Read More

a one-of-a-kind book of elephant sized opposites—and surprises!

a one-of-a-kind book of elephant sized opposites—and surprises!

a lovely book for all ages
'Opposites' books are pretty great—and not uncommon. They're wonderful for building kids' vocabularies and usually simple enough to keep even the little ones interested. Elephant Elements is a book of opposites, but it's not the common variety—more like one-of-a-kind.

Read More

imagining kindness, sharing, abundance, and equality

imagining kindness, sharing, abundance, and equality

ages 2 years to adult
In The Power and The Glory, Graham Greene wrote: “Hate is a lack of imagination.” Perhaps it follows that love is an abundance of imagination. There’s plenty of both to go around in the world just now, so I suppose the thing to do is notice imagination, encourage it, and let it build.

Sometimes we think of imagination as the stuff of fantasy worlds—The Lord of The Rings scaled down to everyday life, if you like. And that’s a wonderful way to imagine. But John Lennon’s Imagine reminds us that there’s more to imagination.

Read More

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

Read More

come inside the world of QAGOMA’s collection artists and learn some great new ways to make art

come inside the world of QAGOMA’s collection artists and learn some great new ways to make art

ages 4 to infinity
Everything leading up to our moving was, as it always is, hectic and messy. We didn’t get to do everything we'd have liked before we left, but we did get to visit GOMA’s 10 year anniversary exhibit.  

GOMA is one of Ivy’s and my favourite places, we miss it. On our last (final) visit, we bought this fantastic book, 10 Ways to Make Art, from the shop:

Read More

a heart tugging look at how it feels to be different and a call to be more accomodating

a heart tugging look at how it feels to be different and a call to be more accomodating

ages 6 years to grownup
Everyone knows what it is to feel different or misunderstood. It's part of modern life—we meet many people in many circumstances and we don’t always ‘click’. And that’s fine, mostly we just do what needs to be done and move on until we come to a place we really do fit. But, for some people, being different or misunderstood is a constant. Ivan is such a child and he tells us that he is, in fact, a crocodile:

I look like a boy but, inside, I am a crocodile. It’s not something you can see, of course, because it’s inside.

Read More