Children’s Books to Support Dental Health Week

Children’s Books to Support Dental Health Week

(and you’ll also need a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and a dentist!)

It’s Australian Dental Association’s Dental Health Week 2014  in Australia very soon (August 4-10) so it’s timely that we should have Dr Amy Daley of East Brisbane Dentists to talk to us about a few oral health related issues! The Australian Dental Association website has some great resources for parents and teachers here.

#dentalhealthweek and #sugarbandits are the official hashtags of Dental Week and I do so love a hashtag!

Princess with Cavities

Cleaning your teeth before bed is as important as reading your books before bed in this house. The girls have had a variety of fab toothbrushes (mostly courtesy of Aunty Amy – who also buys the best dresses under the sun) and their current favourites are the ones which sing a song for the time they are to brush for. In the bathroom we also have PudStar’s ‘Princess with Cavities’ painting (above) which I do rather love. What child paints a princess then adds cavities?

Dr Amy Daley has been kind enough to write blog posts on the following topics for us. Click on each title to see her posts.

Top Tips for Teeth Cleaning

Preparing Your Child for a Trip to the Dentist


and I have a post all about tooth fairy related books…cause everyone loves the tooth fairy!

Top Books About the Tooth Fairy


How will you be celebrating Dental Health Week 2014 in your home, school, kindergarten or dental surgery?

And this is NOT one for Dental Health Week and encouraging your child to go to the dentist AT ALL…but jeepers creepers it’s funny…the dentists out there may (or may not!) enjoy this one! Click on cover to see details and purchase.




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Book Party: Dinosaur Party!

Book Party: Dinosaur Party!

Warning: Photo Fest

As mentioned in my post last week about dinosaur books (here), The Wild Thing AKA ChickPea loves a dinosaur book or twenty. We’ve been reading ‘How to Grow a Dinosaur’ every night for a year now, and ‘Edwina: The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct’ has been a recent favourite. So there was no other choice for her third birthday but a party based on her favourite dinosaur books. Invites were from Vistaprint as always…inexpensive and fast.

dinosaur invite 2

When I say ‘party’ I mean family come around for a few hours and it’s all pretty low key (with lots of food). I’ve thus far managed to avoid friend parties until Year One with PudStar so I’m doing well. We have enough cousins to make it feel like a party in my opinion!

Despite it being low key – PudStar insisted we needed party bags and we decided on jellybeans as there are Jellybean Trees in ‘How to Grow a Dinosaur’ as well as ‘Dinosaur Seeds’ – photocopied the pages of the book with the seed packets and used these on the party bags and packets of Cornflowers. All black jellybeans were dutifully picked out and put into a special bag for Nonna.

Party Bags

PudStar and ChickPea painted mud dinosaurs inspired by ‘I’m a Dirty Dinosaur’ for decorations.

dirty dino page

I'm a Dirty Dinosaur

Aunty Amy is the dress buyer in the family and does an amazing job…check out PudStar’s ‘Rock Your Kid’ dress here. For ChickPea she and I chose ‘Roman Holiday’ from ‘Rock Your Kid’ a) because that happens to be the name of my favourite Audrey Hepburn movie and b) because Edwina the dinosaur is green and pink and this is who ChickPea wanted to be for her birthday. Win all round. Dino tail is by Noa Cakes.


The Wild Thing Turns Three

The cupcakes for kindy and the party were chocolate spelt with edible rocks and gravel.

Cupcake Prep

The birthday cake was a chocolate spelt mudcake and was just a slab with some cupcakes mountains and a volcano. PudStar thought it looked more like a tropical paradise than land of the dinosaurs but ChickPea was happy with it! The rocks and gravel were all edible. I didn’t actually get a photo of the whole cake…must remember to do this in future!

cakes cake Dinosaur Cupcakes Dinosaur Cake Pops

We also had dinosaur sandwiches, dinosaur print biscuits and dino egg scones (thank you Aunty Amy), nan’s quiche (which we have at EVERY family event…just because it’s full of bacon and cheese), mum’s sausage rolls, grandma’s finger sandwiches and cake pops and fruit cups. Pretty simple but lots of it – although I could have done with some leftover sausage rolls.

Dinosaur Fruit Cups

Dinosaur SandwichesDino Biscuits

The cousins dug for fossils in buckets of sand, played with ChickPea’s new dinosaur garden, crafted and the danced to the dinosaur stomp song – though the birthday girl thought the music far too loud.

FossilsDinosaur Craft with NonnaDinosaur CraftIMG_1486Dinosaur GardenDigging for Fossils

Found my nan in the kitchen doing the dishes. Our nan is a trooper! She also took home Dan’s ironing…not mine mind you.

Nan Cleaning Up

Then I set the cousins to work picking our cumquats and gave my sister the washing to hang out. If family come around I say put them to work.

Jas Picking Fruit

And then she had a cuddle with daddy.

dan and GW

And then she collapsed and everyone had to leave.

so tired

Happy Birthday ChickPea!

ChickPeas previous birthday parties can be seen here:

First Birthday: Very Grumpy Ladybird Party

Second Birthday: Where the Wild Things Are Party

Roar like a dinosaur

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Must-Have Dinosaur Books for All Ages

Must-Have Dinosaur Books for All Ages

Very few children skip the ‘I LOVE Dinosaurs’ phase – in fact it’s probably a development phase which should be included in textbooks on child development. The Wild Thing AKA ChickPea has been going through this phase for exactly one year now; it started this day 12 months ago on her second birthday. Nonna and Papa gave her ‘How to Grow a Dinosaur’ for her birthday and having read this book nearly every night for a year now, Dan and I can both recite it…and we now KNOW not to try and skip a page. ChickPea talks to the main character, ‘Albie’ in the book and all dinosaur role play involves phrases from this book. Her second favourite is ‘Edwina: The Dinosaur who Didn’t Know she was Extinct’, and under her bed ChickPea has a baking tray, oven mitt, dinosaur placemat (thanks Jo, Eloise and Patrick!) and a number of magnets which are ‘cookies’ which she bakes each night for Edwina.

must have dinosaut books for all ages

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Review of ‘Sleep Tight, Digger Dan’

Review of ‘Sleep Tight, Digger Dan’

‘Sleep Tight, Digger Dan: A Goodnight Story from the Construction Site’

Written by Dorte Horn. Illustrated by Philipp Stampe.

Publisher: New Black Press

Age Range: Early Childhood

Themes: diggers, trucks, cranes, dump trucks, compactors, construction site, bedtime, day care, sandman

Website: and Facebook.

Sleep Tight Digger Dan

I have written many times before about why I love bedtime reading. My top ten reasons are here but I could list at least another ten very easily. Fortunately our children love bedtime books as much as we do and no matter how late, there is never a night without two books, which often pushes out to four books. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ten Great Young Adult Fiction Titles for Boys

Young Adult Fiction for Boys

I’ve had two emails in the last week from people asking for suggestions for books for their senior school aged boys. One said: “I’m just wondering if you have any ideas for my 16 year old son who has been a reluctant but okay reader for many years. My daughters were so easy to find books for…but there seems to be no qaulity reads for boys in this upper secondary age group” (email reproduced with permission).

I love book questions…so here are some suggestions…the covers link to reviews which myself or Trish Buckley (boy TL extraordinaire) have written and can be purchased by clicking through to Booktopia.

YA Fiction for Boys

the-simple-giftman-made-boythe-first-thirdtwo-wolveswise-young-fool mortal-enginesyou-don-t-even-knowthe-spook-s-apprenticeenders-game-young-adult-edliving-with-jackie-chan


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Book Party: EJ12 Rocks!

Book Party: EJ12 Rocks!

As you may have gathered, I’m rather a fan of book parties. Seriously what’s not to love? The theming is done for you, often there are enough food mentions in books that the catering ideas are done, and the dress-up ideas are organised.

So far we’ve had a Possum Magic party, a Miffy party, a Bad-Tempered Ladybird party, a Where the Wild Things Are party, a Belle and Boo birthday afternoon tea and a Pearlie in the Park party. I’m gunning for a Faraway Tree party like the one Anna organised – but so far I can’t convince PudStar. Read the rest of this entry »

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Book Gifts for Girls: ‘Truly Tan’ Spy Kit

Book Gifts for Girls: ‘Truly Tan’ Spy Kit

I asked my soon-to-be-nine niece what she would like for her birthday somewhat dreading the answer. She replied that she knew I would get her books (clearly I am the Book Aunty) and that she also really wanted a spy kit. I nearly fainted with excitement and couldn’t get out of the house fast enough to put together the perfect spy kit to go with the books I had already purchased for her; my most favourite series for girls age 7+, ‘Truly Tan’ – WHO IS AN EXCELLENT SPY. It was TOO perfect. Too perfect. I admit I was over-excited. My full review of the ‘Truly Tan’ series is here.

Truly Tan Spy Kit Read the rest of this entry »

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Mystery Fiction: Truly Tan

Mystery Fiction: Truly Tan

‘Truly Tan’ series written by Jen Storer and illustrated by Claire Robertson.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Age Range: 8 years+

Themes: family, friends, siblings, sibling rivalry, family dynamics, mystery, spies, spying, moving house, moving school, food fabulous food (!), pets.

Teachers’ notes by Robyn Sheahan-Bright are here.


Read the rest of this entry »

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Review of ‘Intruder’

Review of ‘Intruder’

Written by Christine Bongers

Publisher: Random House

Age Range: Upper Primary – Lower Secondary – YA

(I’m struggling to place ‘Intruder’ into an age bracket, but I know these are required. There are some slightly mature themes but I feel Bongers has partly written this book for young people about to enter their teen years and as an adult reader I greatly enjoyed the insight into this age group. This is a long winded way to say – check suitability for your child or student but pass this book around to as many young people as you can)

Themes: coming-of-age; teenagers; grief; family; friendship; conflict; trust; dogs/pets; suspense; mystery; vulnerability; Brisbane.

Teachers Notes: Random House and more on Christine Bongers blog. Read the rest of this entry »

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Book-ish DVD’s for Kids and Teens

Book-ish DVD’s for Kids and Teens

Our children don’t watch a heap of television, for no other reason than we’re not home that much! But do not fear I’m not against television, and we have most definitely gone through stages where the television has been relied on too much. I’ve also been known to start a cooking activitiy with the girls, then end up a frazzled mess and suggest they go and watch television while I finish off for them, because cooking with kids can be fabulous, or it can be hell.

I did a ‘Real Life Wednesday’ post here, linking up with Picklebums a while back and I love this photo below from that post. I think it sums up television and my kids…they don’t watch a heap, but when they do, oh my glory they are glued to the screen.


I’m a big fan of DVDs as they have a finish time (as opposed to ABC2 which I could be tempted to keep on for hours!) and naturally, I really like programs and movies with a literary or book theme. So below are my favourites in different age ranges.

The Australian Curriculum: English has a focus on multimodal text types with conent descriptors such as this one from Year Six woven throughout: Compare texts including media texts that represent ideas and events in different ways, explaining the effects of the different approaches (ACELY1708) and this one from Year Seven: Analyse and explain the effect of technological innovations on texts, particularly media texts (ACELY1765)We live in a digital world and it is impossible to ignore digital stories such as those below – it’s all about balance…screen time and page time.

To add any of these digital stories to your home, school or library collection please click on images.

Early Childhood

the-lorax-1972-horton-hears-a-who-1970-the-best-of-dr-seuss-1972-3-discs- the-little-prince room-on-the-broom peter-rabbit pearlie my-fair mr-men miffy-and-friends lost-and-found guess-how-much-i-love-you charlie-lolawinnie-the-pooh bookaboo

Lower Primary – Middle Primary – Upper Primary

(check for suitability for your child)

the-gruffalo-s-childthe-wind-in-the-willows the-tale-of-despereaux the-little-prince the-enid-blyton-adventure-series the-chronicles-of-narnia the-adventures-of-tintin-remastered storm-boy-anniversary-edition- matilda-collector-s-edition- mary-poppins james-and-the-giant-peach famous-five charlotte-s-web-1973-



Lower Secondary – Young Adult



the-chronicles-of-narnia the-adventures-of-tintin-remastered percy-jackson-and-the-lightning-thief inkheart holes diary-of-a-wimpy-kid bridge-to-terabithia harry-potter-and-the-philosopher-s-stone-3-disc-collector-s-edition- anne-of-green-gablestwilight(don’t judge me – I loved the ‘Twilight’ movie!


And I had to throw this one in for the ADULTS (R Rating). Did you even KNOW that ‘Game of Thrones’ was a book series?


literary dvds

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