The Whirlpool: a book to scaffold language about emotions

The Whirlpool: a book to scaffold language about emotions

It can happen that, in the midst of crisis, children need explicit words to help them give structure to fears and thoughts and hopes. The Whirlpool is a book for those times.

I’ve seen the power of read-it-before-you-need-it books many times and, with that solid foundation, a book that gives words to feelings can be the next piece in the puzzle that is emotional resilience.

In The Whirlpool, we see ourselves in the everyday life of a sweet polar bear who is full of confidence and brimming with happiness while he is  '… a mastermind. A storyteller. A traveller and adventurer.”

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classic literature isn't just for grownups

classic literature isn't just for grownups

ages 0 to 3 years
One-year-old Angus’s favourite book at the moment is A Christmas Carol from the BabyLit series. 

If you’re not familiar with BabyLit, they're board book primers (covering things like animals, counting, sounds, flowers and much, much more) that are a sweet introduction to classic literature. The words are simple and each page connects an object to a story via engaging artwork. For example, in A Christmas Carol:

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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.

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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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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 brilliance of Dr Seuss in rap video and political satire

the brilliance of Dr Seuss in rap video and political satire

How many Dr Seuss books can (or could) you recite by heart? There was a time when I could rattle off the whole of Green Eggs and Ham while driving—Thomas would sit in his car seat behind me, flipping the pages at the appropriate moment while his two younger siblings looked on. I could give Fox in Socks a good crack too, though I did sometimes have to agree with Mr Knox:

I hate this game, Sir. This game makes my tongue quite lame, Sir.

All the Dr Seuss rhymes are brilliant for little kids who are learning to read, as that great-fun video points out.

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freedom of speech in the shape of storytelling changes lives

freedom of speech in the shape of storytelling changes lives

Writers are still imprisoned for the very act of telling stories; sometimes factual stories, sometimes fiction. This is the telling of their collective story – and of the people they write for. Beautiful, thought provoking and inspiring.
ages 6 years to adult

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