Bluey’s Big Play The Stage Show

The smallest bee (5 years old) and I had a #kiddate at QPAC last night, to see ‘Bluey’s Big Play The Stage Show’. Me: So Bluey on the stage is going to be a puppet show with a ‘real life’ Bluey and Bingo puppets that are super big! Smallest Bee (quizzical look on face): The…

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Mother’s Day

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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Secrets of the Honey Bee

Many of you will know that I have long loved bees – one of my very first posts on this blog was ‘Books About Bees’ and I have done a plethora of posts and reviews since. I have an entire shelf dedicated to books about bees, I am ‘the beekeeper’ for our native bees at…

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Picture Books for All

The other day I received an email from a reader, expressing her disappointment that her Year Three daughter had been told that she can no longer borrow picture books from the school library, only novels. Clearly, this sent me off the deep end as there is no age limit on picture books… High quality contemporary…

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Books to Support Earth Hour

For some years now, the girls and I have taken part in WWF’s Earth Hour. Earth Hour began in 2007 in Sydney and has become a global movement to protect our planet. It is the responsibility of us all to care for our planet and while I know I could do so much more, here…

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Tristan Bancks Young Writers’ StorySchool

Tristan Bancks has written some of my favourite books for middle primary students, tweens and teens, including ‘Two Wolves’ , ‘The Fall’ , ‘Detention’, the ‘Tom Weekly’ series and ‘Nit Boy’. His author visits are some of the most memorable I have hosted and they are always followed by a huge spike in borrowing of…

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Theatre People: Nelle Lee

Shake & stir is one of the country’s leading contemporary theatre companies touring Australia and New Zealand since 2006. They tour as in-school and mainstage productions and are well known for their book to stage adaptions, making them one of my favourite theatre companies, because clearly, I love seeing books come to life! Adaptations have…

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Book People: Kirli Saunders

I interviewed Kirli Saunders in 2018 when her first book, ‘The Incredible Freedom Machines‘ was released (see here for that interview) and I have followed her work with interest ever since. Her latest book is ‘Bindi’ (illustrated by the incomparable Dub Leffler) and was the winner of the Daisy Utemorrah Award. I adore verse novels…

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And then there was six…

Since Dan’s death, the girls and I have been a team of three. A team of three surrounded by family and a village of people who have supported us online and offline in ways that continue to astound me – we have truly experienced the best of people. And now the strangest thing has happened.…

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Personalised kids’ books teaching the value of vulnerability

There are some moments in life which are calling out for a personalised book experience – even though I could count on one hand the number of such books I’ve ‘approved of’ over the years! I recently came across the My Big Moments personalised books and they blow all stereotypes of personalised books out of…

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Gifts Which are Literary & Lovely

The lovely bits and pieces in this post are gift ideas for colleagues, friends, family and teachers – a bit of a mash up of all the things I love and I think you will also love. They are not sponsored ideas,  though some links are affiliate links (which cost the buyer nothing) and which…

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Book People: Ted Prior

It is hard to imagine a time when ‘Grug’ did not exist. I feel like I grew up reading about the funny little character who began his life as the top of a Burrawang tree books and the first was written in 1979 so they are absolutely my vintage! It is testament to the writing…

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The lifespan of a good book

We often read stories about well-loved teddy bears or dolls and the imagined adventures they have had over their lifespan. It’s somehow comforting to see an old toy loved again – the ones who have been repaired and patched and given new life. But have you ever thought about well-loved children’s books and the stories…

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Book People: Kate Gordon

Kate Gordon’s writing in ‘Aster’s Good, Right Things’ is at times so authentic that it makes you wince with the pain and anguish of it all but ultimately wraps you up in immense beauty and goodness. This is one of my favourite middle grade reads in a long time and I’m recommending it to all…

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You can be anything. Be your own man…

When I first read ‘Love Your Body’ by Jessica Saunders, I felt so very grateful to be living in an age where my girls had access to a book like this. This week I have read her latest book ‘Be Your Own Man’ and this time I thought ‘my glory how far we have come…

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Best ‘lap armchair’ books for boddlers

When you employ someone do you go by their resume or by the feel of the interview and referee comments? I’m definitely on the ‘gut feeling’ side of things and when Lana came on board to replace Justine (on maternity leave) as my VA, she came highly recommended by someone I greatly respect and when…

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Book People: Renee Treml

Hi! This is ChickPea here. Taking over from mummy on this Book People interview because … well … I love the Sherlock Bones books and I knew I would do a better job of asking Renee Treml the questions. If you like graphic novels, laughing and taxidermy … you should really read Sherlock Bones. They…

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Mashed Potato Reads for Troubled Times

This year has been the pits hasn’t it? I’ve felt like I’ve been sinking all year and my head is only just above water (and sometimes not even above to be honest!). I’ve absolutely lost my reading mojo and at times have been reduced to my ultimate comfort read – cook books heavy on story.…

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#YKNRGiveaway: Win a HUGE Puffin book pack!

Children’s book publisher Puffin is having a BIG birthday and YKNR members have the chance to win ALL the presents! From the publisher: This September, iconic children’s book publisher Puffin commemorates its milestone 80th anniversary. To celebrate, we’re offering a blockbuster giveaway including 17 books, from old favourites to new classics, as well as an exclusive…

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New Aussie Series to Read After the Treehouse Books

Too often adults dismiss ‘the funny books’ like the Treehouse series by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton as not quite as worthy as more ‘highbrow’ literary choices.  A balanced literary diet is great but, so too is page after page of laughter over witty writing and words which make young souls smile from the inside…

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