Lists! What is not to love? Lists make me feel calm and organised, especially at this time of year when chaos is more my daily reality! I’ve spent several weeks creating book gift lists for different age groups, which I hope will make your Christmas book shopping easier this year. Most titles on the lists…

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Can you believe that it is time to turn our minds to Christmas gifts? As you can imagine, I am a very loud advocate for buying book gifts for young and old alike. The books may be cast aside in favour of toy gifts at the actual time of unwrapping but they will be loved…

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I’ve been collecting books for tweens and teens on *all of the things* for many years now – for the various schools I have worked at and for my own children. I am not a doctor, psychologist or high school teacher (definitely no expert) but between a shelf full of books with *all of the…

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It would be easy to assume that with several teacher librarians and a few academics in the family, my journey with reading within my extended family has been *seamless* and full of success.  But actually we have a number of family members across the generations for whom reading has been incredibly difficult. My own daughters…

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Few would argue that environmental concerns, sustainable living and the disconnect children of today have with nature are issues we need to address at individual, family and community level.  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…

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For starters – can we just all pause and take a moment to take in the glory that is the cover of ‘The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling’? It contains all of my favourite colours and one of my favourite foods (dumplings) and the thing with the chopsticks and the noodle? GENIUS. I love…

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Term Three is always a wonderful celebration of Australian children’s literature in schools, early education centres, libraries and bookstores around the country. The theme for CBCA Book Week 2019 is ‘Reading is my Secret Power’ and reading does indeed give us secret powers: the power to walk in the shoes of others through their stories;…

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You will find my video review of Lisa Nicol’s latest book on my Youtube channel, but in a nutshell, ‘Vincent and the Grandest Hotel on Earth’ is for readers 8-88 who want to escape into a fantastical world where pocket dogs are standard companions for all and where chocolate fountains, ostrich rides, flying and are…

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I first came across the ‘Maxi the Lifeguard’ books when my dear friend Mel waved them under my nose, astonished at how they had totally engaged her  9 year old ‘reluctant’ reader. Mel then discovered he was coming to speak at a local library, whipped her kids off  to see him and his business partner…

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The latest book collaboration between Tony Flowers and Nick Falk is ‘Vognox the Viking’ and readers from 7+ are so going to enjoy this funny, clever and rollicking tale of a Viking who really doesn’t want to be in a book! As an illustrator, Tony Flowers embeds so many visual literacy elements in his books…

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I have enjoyed running my Year Six ‘Girl Zone Book Club’ for many years now. The school I work at is all girls, hence ‘Girl Zone’, but I have run similar styles of book clubs at boys schools and co-ed schools. I even had a stint running a book club for high school International students,…

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A tale so tall you will pinch yourself. Get set for one shell of a story, as this crabby crustacean grabs life by the claws! I’ve always wanted to be minimalist. One of those people that shows restraint in all things, most especially in food, accessories and words. Not a single person who knows me…

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High quality contemporary picture books are works of art and the best way I know to teach visual literacy and dive deeply into critical thinking and discussion with both the very young, and with tweens and teens.  The language in quality picture books is often complex and the storylines sophisticated and thought-provoking. The illustrations extend…

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Two years is such a very short time in #grieftown. When my brother died unexpectedly in 2012 I spoke about feeling like I was in a place, far from everyone else and I affectionately hashtagged it #grieftown. When my favourite aunt died unexpectedly in 2017 I remember posting online about how I was back in…

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There’s that old saying, ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’. But you know what? We all do – yes even teacher librarians like myself. Unless we are hunting down a specific title, it is often the cover of a book which will first attract our attention. Young children, especially pre-readers, choose books almost…

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This Tuesday marks 5 weeks until my book, ‘Raising Readers’ is officially out in the world. This realisation is exciting and terrifying in equal measure; somehow I have written a book, an actual book with a cover and endpapers and an ISBN. I’ve always wanted an ISBN. ‘How Did ‘Raising Readers’ Come to Be?’ I…

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you will know that I love a local online jewellery store by the name of Oh My Giddy Aunt – this is not a sponsored post just a personal recommendation. I have all manner of bling from Oh My Giddy Aunt but what I love…

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‘Travelling Book Club’ week in Shanghai. Literature, inspiration, conversation, authentic cuisine and truly absorbing explorations of old and new China. This post is not sponsored in any way, I just had to share the details because this is my kind of holiday and one day I’ll go! I have been to Shanghai, but I always…

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