You’ll know, if you’ve been reading my musings for a while now, that I often talk about the wonders of audio books and podcasts – especially for car rides. For more on the power of audio books see Chapter 9 of my book ‘Raising Readers’. As an educator, I’m going to tell you that words…

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A few short weeks ago, author Allison Rushby, a member of the Your Kid’s Next Read admin team, mentioned she was about to start reading Thomas Taylor’s ‘Gargantis’.  Well. What a flurry of excitement there was!  There were definitely a lot of people in the YKNR community who’d adored ‘Malamander’ as much as Allison had…

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June is Pride month for the LGBTGI+ community and across the world the community celebrates in all manner of different ways. I celebrate most occasions with books (and cake), so I’m celebrating Pride month with 50+ books which I believe are important additions to your home and school libraries.  Diverse texts play a crucial role…

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Books are one of the best ways I know for children to learn about nature, issues of the environment, and sustainability in general. While there is much to be said about learning and exploring in nature, there is also much to be gained from exploring words, images and ideas in worthy non-fiction and fiction texts. The Environment Award…

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Isn’t it lovely when you meet a ‘celebrity’ in real life and they are exactly as you imagined them? ChickPea and I were fortunate enough to meet Costa Georgiadis, host of ABC’s ‘Gardening Australia’  and the garden gnome on ‘Get Grubby TV’, when he came to my mum’s school recently. Costa Georgiadis is a landscape…

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Books which inspire young people to dream big and aim high with sport are always going to capture attention, and so it is with ‘Victress’ – a truly beautiful collection of stories and images about 35 female sporting identities which will serve as inspiration for young readers and sporting fans from 8 – 80. I…

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With the weather cooling, and with more time spent at home right now, it is the perfect time to get out in the garden and plant winter crops…or read a book in the sun! This week the girls and I have planted sunflowers, separated succulents, and placed and planted a beautiful native plant gifted to…

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Each year, we have had Dr Tobias Smith from Bee Aware Kids come to school to talk all things native bees and split our native bee hives. Native stingless bee hives are a brilliant addition to the kindergarten or school environment and while the curriculum based learning that can take place is wonderful, for me…

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One of PudStar’s (12 years old) favourite books of the last few years has been ‘The Mulberry Tree’ by Allison Rushby. She’s read it a few times now and went on to read (and love) Rushby’s Turnkey series set in WWII – which of course then sent her down path of reading all the WWII…

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I think (hope!) that one of the thing readers of my appreciate about Children’s Books Daily is that I rarely recommend a product or service and I don’t do paid advertising. And so it is with Optimise Learning – individualised online tutoring for primary and secondary students. It’s a service I have used and have…

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I’m well aware that mindfulness is a buzzword and I’m generally not a fan of such things. However, my dad (AKA Geoff Dean) has been espousing the virtues of being mindful and training your brain for as long as I can remember. While I’ve never successfully calmed because #WIRED, he’s helped me endlessly with my…

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With the move to blended learning/home-based learning in Term Two, I have been adapting some of what I do in library lessons to deliver it in such a way that students are still reading and responding to quality literature during this time. School libraries have been adapting to changing learning environments for some years now…

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now you’ll know that I have a propensity to change up our bedrooms a little too regularly. I’ve been doing this since I was quite young and I vividly remember moving furniture around my bedroom and swapping bedlinen and bedroom trinkets with my siblings. Like then,…

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All families are different and I try very hard to feature books here on my blog for all families. Mother’s Day can be a beautiful day of honouring your mum or mother figure, or it may be a really tricky or fraught day for you….I so understand this.  My own mum is superb and I know…

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Last week was PudStar’s 12th birthday and she was meant to have a few close friends for a wood fired DIY pizza party, backyard firepit and sleepover. Clearly with coronavirus hitting Australia (mid March 2020) and talk of social distancing, the party needed to be cancelled. When the world is in chaos, it feels like…

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Zanni and I met at Children’s Book Council of Australia conference, where we walked around the garden of Jackie French together, and let me tell you, that is a wonderful place to start a friendship! I have followed the rise and rise of Zanni Louise since this time and continue to be astonished by her…

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I don’t know if every family does this but in my family it’s always been books, new pyjamas and eggs for Easter – as well as an Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday which significantly adds to the Easter egg haul. This year, the girls and I will be in Tasmania for Easter, along with…

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The Rouges trilogy by Lian Tanner is showing all the signs of being as popular as her previous trilogy, The Keepers, and is rarely on the shelves in the school library. The melding of high risk adventure and magic works brilliantly in the hands of a skilled writer, such as Tanner, and readers from 9+…

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For Christmas this year, both my children (8 and 11) received Kobo Clara eReaders. Perhaps a controversial gift from a librarian mother, but I like to think I embrace all forms of reading and I know that my own eReader and my audio book ‘habit’ greatly increases the amount of books I can churn through…and…

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“Moving on, as a concept, is for stupid people, because any sensible person knows grief is a long-term project. I refuse to rush. Max Porter ‘Grief is the Thing With Feathers’ Crappy grief week but please no pity. The light and the dark co-exist and I think I do a good job of sharing both,…

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