Monthly Archives: January 2022

The Wish Penny #99WordStories

As many of you know, for the past several years, I have been participating in the weekly flash fiction challenges at the Carrot Ranch. The challenges have begun again with a few changes for 2022. I intend to continue responding to the prompts as often as I can. I hope many of you will join in too. Charli Mills, writer-extraordinaire and convener of the challenges, explains the new format in her first prompt post for 2022. Head over there to check out the details if you are interested in joining in future prompts.  

Charli’s prompt for this week was to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about “the wish I made.” Whose wish is it and how does it fit into the story? What kind of wish? Go where the prompt leads!

You can read all responses to the prompt in the collection at the Carrot Ranch when they are published each Wednesday. This week’s collection will be published next Wednesday 2 February.

For me, the prompt is an interesting coincidence as I’ve been working on a couple of stories about wish fairies (when I should be writing about a sorcerer’s apprentice — just can’t seem to get these prompts right). This story is nothing like the other stories I’m working on but relates to the warning ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ Spoiler alert — it doesn’t have a happy ending. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

The Wish Penny

Patsy was always wishing for something.

I wish I had a smaller nose.

— luxurious curls.

— a rainbow tutu.

And her wishes always came true. After all, she was a wish fairy.

As soon as one wish was fulfilled, she wished another.

I wish I had pearly white teeth.

— dainty feet.

— a diamond tiara.

I wish, I wish, I wish …

One day, Patsy found a shiny, round, brown object on the ground. She examined it, reading the word engraved, ‘Penny’.

I wish I was a Penny rather than a Patsy, she said; and rolled away silently in the dirt.

Okay. Didn’t like that one? What about this one?

The Wish Penny V2

Patsy was always wishing for something.

I wish I had a smaller nose.

— a warm coat.

— a pair of shoes.

But her wishes never came true. Why would they? There’s no such thing as magic.

But she never stopped wishing and hoping.

I wish I had clean clothes.

— something to eat.

— someone to love me.

One day, Patsy found a shiny, round, brown object on the ground. She examined it, reading the word engraved, ‘Penny’. As she rubbed it, she whispered, I wish I had someone to play with. Suddenly, she heard the children calling, ‘Patsy! Come and play!’

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 #ReadYourWorld – #readilearn

Today, Friday 28 January 2022, the last Friday in January, is Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD), a day for celebrating diversity in children’s books. I am pleased to be a MCBD reviewer for the fourth time this year; and was delighted to receive a copy of Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs from author Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrator Courtenay Fletcher to review.

About Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs

From the website:

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs is an award-winning picture book with a simple but powerful message: love lasts forever.

Lyrical writing and delightful illustrations provide perfect bedtime reading for any child. Kids love finding the Xs, Os and hearts hidden in the illustrations.

The book is also ideal for supporting children through grief, separation anxiety, parent deployment, foster care, divorce, illness or other traumatic situations, by wrapping them in a warm and comforting emotional security blanket and opening a dialogue on the nature of love.

Even when loved ones cannot be with us, we can feel their presence through our deep connections to the natural world.

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs has received glowing testimonials from parents, pre-schools, Child Life specialists, librarians, social workers, teachers, hospice caregivers…and most importantly, kids.

Gold medal winner of the International Publishers Association Awards and a featured title in the LeVar Burton Kids Skybrary app.

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs was selected as a Child’s Grief Awareness Day book-of-the-month, and also featured two years in a row for Children’s Multicultural Book Day.

Hugs by moon, kisses by sun, I’ll always love you, Little One.

From author Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrator Courtenay Fletcher:

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs is a lyrical picture book created to reassure children they are always connected to the ones they love. We’re so grateful that the book is fulfilling its purpose and being used by families, schools, and organizations around the country as a soothing bedtime story and also a powerful resource to help children coping with challenges such as divorce, grief, foster care, immigration separation, deployed parents, incarcerated parents, and more.

Teachers and parents can find free downloadable activities to go with our books on our website at

What I like about Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs

I was immediately captivated by the book’s delightful title which gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling and I knew this book was going to be special. I wasn’t disappointed. The combination of Bernardo’s lyrical rhyming text with the warmth of Fletcher’s colourful yet soothing illustrations makes Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs a very satisfying book to read aloud to and with young children.

From cover to cover, and on all the pages between, there are soothing messages in both words and images to reassure a young one that they are always loved.

The text opens with the words ‘No matter how far apart we are, I’ll always find ways to tell you I love you.’

Continue reading: Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 #ReadYourWorld – readilearn

There’s Something Fishy Going On – #readilearn

Since this year is the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture, I thought I’d begin with a post about fish. Learning about fish is relevant to the biological sciences curriculum when we explore living things, their features, where they live, what they need and how they grow.

I decided to jot down some of my questions and write answers to them. We all know what fish are, right? There’s nothing difficult about describing a fish. But when I really started to think about what I know about fish, I realised I had more questions than answers and that explaining what a fish is, isn’t as easy as I thought.

These are some of the questions raised when I thought about fish. Perhaps you have others. If so, please list them in the comments so I can research the answers. Note: While I know answers to some of my questions, as I’m sure you do too, I’m not sharing answers in this post as I have more research to do. The answers will have to wait for another time.

25 Fishy questions

  • What is a fish?
  • How do fish swim?
  • Where do fish live?
  • How do fish breathe under water?

Continue reading: There’s Something Fishy Going On – readilearn

And so, to begin — another school year – #readilearn

The beginning of a school year is usually filled with anticipation and expectations: new books, new stationery, new friends, new activities, new things to learn. The excitement may be tinged with a little anxiety: will they like me? will I like them? will I be able to do what’s expected of me? what will I do if (insert any likely or unlikely event) occurs? These questions are shared by students and teachers alike.

In addition to all the usual anxieties, with the beginning of this school year occurring at the peak of the Omicron outbreak, many more questions are raised: will school begin as usual? will it be delayed? will lessons be online or face-to-face? will teachers and students’ health be affected and impact attendance? how safe will we/I be if everyone is not vaccinated?

While I am unable to give you any answers about the impact of coronavirus on the school year, I know that whether you are teaching online or in the classroom, or a combination of both, readilearn resources will help reduce your workload with lessons that are ready to teach and activities that can be done at school or at home. The resources now number over 500 and all are for use by teachers with children in the first three years of school. You know when you come to readilearn, you don’t have to wade through lessons for other year levels as well.

Interactive Lessons

Over 100 of the lessons in literacy, maths, science and HASS are ready for you to teach on the interactive whiteboard. They can be used in the classroom or delivered to students if teaching online using screen-sharing as I explain in this video.

Days to Celebrate

When planning the school year, in addition to the ongoing curriculum program, it is good to have some special days and events to celebrate.

A Year of Days and Events to Celebrate in the Classroom lists suggestions for celebrations throughout the year.

A list for each individual months includes more information about each date and provides teaching suggestions and lesson ideas. Each of these documents is available to download free in the Days and Events/Calendars section of Classroom Management resources.

Continue reading: And so, to begin — another school year – readilearn

Getting Ready for the 2022 School Year – #readilearn

Welcome to the first post for 2022. Although, globally, we are all still confronted with the ‘inconveniences’ caused by the pandemic, I hope you will find much joy and many successes to celebrate throughout the year.

This year has been designated as:

  • International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • International Year of Glass
  • International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development
  • International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development

all of which have relevance to our classroom programs and the Sustainable Development Goals. While I give but a brief introduction to each in this post, I hope to bring you additional lessons and teaching ideas throughout the year.

Continue reading: Getting Ready for the 2022 School Year – readilearn