Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge: a loving look at memory loss and friendship

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge: a loving look at memory loss and friendship

That’s a major gap in a child’s life and one we tried to fill with elderly friends from church and other grandparents and great-grandparents of friends. 

I think that one of the reasons we realised this was so important was that we had both read Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge dozens and dozens of times.  

Read More

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

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

Petra: an endearing tale of optimism

Petra: an endearing tale of optimism

ages 2 to 8 My kids have a thing for rocks. Our house is full of ‘cool rocks’ that have been picked up nearly every time we go outside. They use them as a phone, a pet, a magic crystal and everything in between. I’m still trying to work out what exactly it is that makes some rocks ‘cool’ and others just a rock. I think in the end it comes down to perception – the potential the kids see in each rock, and there’s an important life lesson in that.

It’s a lesson that is taught in a gentle way in Petra by Marianna Coppo.

Petra may be a rock, but she’s not ‘just’ a rock.

Read More