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

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

in overcoming fears we become free to reach dreams about who we want to be

in overcoming fears we become free to reach dreams about who we want to be

ages 4 to 10 years
Chris Hadfield (astronaut, musician, author, celebrity crush for stem-loving women around the world) has said: "Every single thing that you learn really just gives you more comfort.”

He was talking about taking the opportunity to learn any skill, any idea, at any time—embracing the notion that knowledge is power and that with knowledge comes freedom. And one of the freedoms most everyone seeks for their children is freedom from fear, real or imagined. The Darkest Dark is about just that: overcoming fear. It's also a love story, a promise, an inspiration.

It's the story of a boy, his love for space, and how that love overcomes his deepest fear: fear of the dark.

Read More

a beautifully illustrated call to be wary of first impressions—and to seek out the best in life

a beautifully illustrated call to be wary of first impressions—and to seek out the best in life

ages 2—8 years
There’s a scene in Emma (by Jane Austen), where Emma is talking to her friend (or plaything depending on your viewpoint) Harriet about a proposal. Emma says, ‘You must be the judge of your own happiness.’—and then proceeds to tell her how to judge her happiness!

Most of us are spared an Emma in our lives—we mostly judge our own happiness and find our own way. But sometimes we can be so secure in our current happiness that it becomes difficult to envision a different happiness.Children are prone to this too.

Read More

a lyric look at life’s unexpected moments, friends, rescuers, and the wonders of finding beauty

a lyric look at life’s unexpected moments, friends, rescuers, and the wonders of finding beauty

ages 2 to 8 years
If there is one certainty over the course of a lifetime, any lifetime, it's that there will always be something unexpected coming. Sometimes it’s a storm and sometimes it’s the ‘most beautiful sound’ we’ve ever heard. Alfred Fiddleduckling experiences both.

Alfred is a soon-to-hatch-egg when the story begins, safely nestled in a fiddle case on a sweet little boat loaded with new ducks for the Captain’s home

Read More

an empowering story of friendship, fairness and a vote for hope

an empowering story of friendship, fairness and a vote for hope

ages 6 to grownup
It seems almost dystopian that there was a time when Aboriginal people were not counted in the population statistics. And when the laws and powers that were held by each State government resulted in segregation and broad discrimination...

Read More