Category Archives: Picture books

Linking Science and Literacy with Picture Books – #readilearn

Last month, I was invited by the Science Teachers Association of Queensland (STAQ) to present a talk about using picture books in science lessons as part of their Growing Science webinars in the lead up to Science Week. What a great opportunity — picture books and science. What’s to not like? Picture books are one of the best ways I know of turning young children onto two of my favourite things — reading and learning.

You can find out more about the webinar series and access recordings and free resources on the STAQ website here.

Below is a brief version of the article I wrote as the basis of my presentation.

You can access the entire article in the zip folder Using Picture Books in Science Lessons, which also includes other handouts I provided to support my talk.

You can listen to the talk via this link or watch it below.

Linking science and literacy

Language is as important to the science curriculum as it is to the English curriculum. Science is another context in which language is used and must be learned.

In this article I’m going to show you some ways of including picture books in your science lessons.

Many of the skills required by science are also literacy skills; skills such as:

 

Continue reading: Linking Science and Literacy with Picture Books – readilearn

The Winners! — Environment Award for Children’s Lit, 2021 – #readilearn

The winners of 2021 ENVIRONMENT AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE have been announced!

Recently, I shared with you the shortlist for the Environment Award for Children’s Literature. Today it is my pleasure to let you know the winners in each of the three categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction and Picture Fiction.

Over to the Wilderness Society for their announcement:

The winners for this year’s Environment Award for Children’s Literature have been announced by the Wilderness Society during Nature Book Week, which runs between 6 – 12 September.

Now in its 27th year, the Wilderness Society shortlists the best children’s nature books before a panel of judges crowns a winner for three categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Picture Fiction. The award showcases and celebrates some of the best writers and illustrators working in children’s literature.

Continue reading: The Winners! — Environment Award for Children’s Lit, 2021 – readilearn

The Environment Awards for Children’s Literature — Shortlist 2021 – #readilearn

When I was recently approached by the Wilderness Society to Share information about this year’s Environment Award for Children’s Literature, I didn’t hesitate. I have previously interviewed two authors whose books have won Environment Awards: Rebecca Johnson and Aleesah Darlison. I have also published a list of picture books with environmental themes and am keen to promote the environment and what we can do to preserve and protect it. Picture books and the environment — what’s not to love?

Now, over to the Wilderness Society — the following information was provided by them.

Every year, the Wilderness Society celebrates Australia’s finest children’s nature authors through their “The Environment Award for Children’s Literature.”

2021 shortlist is now out, with 13 books ranging from the fiction, non-fiction and picture fiction genres.

These books tell stories that encourage children to appreciate nature, take action and feel proud in understanding the great movement they all are a part of.  Each author in this shortlist has crafted unique stories that celebrate their love for children, the environment, country, space, wildlife, and story-telling!

Continue reading: The Environment Awards for Children’s Literature — Shortlist 2021 – readilearn

Finding ‘Home’ — a new picture book by Karen Hendriks – #readilearn

Today I am delighted to share with you Karen Hendriks’s recent picture book Home as part of a Books On Tour promotion.

Home, published by Daisy Lane Publishing, is a story of hope for a brighter future.

I previously introduced Karen to you when we explored how creativity was celebrated in her picture book Go Away, Foxy, Foxy. I am also pleased to say that, in some way, Karen and I are writing buddies. We both have stories in last year’s anthology Tell ‘em They’re Dreaming as well as in this year’s anthology to be released next week Once Upon a Whoops!

About Karen Hendriks

Karen Hendriks is a children’s author who lives in a small seaside village in Shellharbour, New South Wales. Picture books are her favourite kind of books. Karen adores how words and pictures join together to create story magic in picture books. Karen is very passionate about writing quality stories for children.

About Home — the blub

War ends, yet its dark shadow remains.

A family is forced to flee their home.

As they journey through hunger, long cold nights, and homelessness,

a heart locket whispers words of hope.

And a country that’s far away,

calls for those that are no longer wanted.

It offers new beginnings and a precious place, once more to call home.

As explained in an interview with Romi Sharp on the Just Kids’ Lit blog, the book was inspired by a journey taken by Hendriks’s own family after the Second World War. It is a slice of history of which many are unaware.

Hendriks writes:

Between 1945 and 1946, three million Sudeten Germans were expelled from the Sudeten Mountains to Germany, Austria and the Soviet Zone. It was the largest forced refugee movement of a single population in the 20th century. I always felt the deep sadness inside my Oma about the loss of her family home. This pulled at me to write about losing home. When researching for Home I discovered that my Mum, Oma and great Oma and Opa were Sudeten Germans.  My Mum was a baby when they were forced to leave their mountain village called Wunschendorf, in Czech. It is now known as Srbska. My great Opa was in still in a concentration camp for opposing Hitler. So it was my Mum as a baby, Oma and Great Oma and they walked from their village to East Germany. This story is so important to me because the plight of the Sudeten Germans is not really known and their story is my story, too.

You can read more about Hendriks’s family and the illustrator in this post on Just Write for Kids.

What I like about Home

Continue reading: Finding ‘Home’ — a new picture book by Karen Hendriks – Readilearn

I Wonder… a book for our planet by Allison Paterson – #readilearn

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Allison Paterson and her delightful new picture book I Wonder with illustrations by Nancy Bevington and published by Big Sky Publishing. This post is part of a Books On Tour promotion.

I previously introduced you to Allison when I interviewed her about her non-fiction book Australia Remembers: Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and War Memorials.

About Allison Paterson

Allison Marlow Paterson is an Australian Author who writes stories for children and adults.

Allison’s writing reflects her passion for the past. In addition to creating books for adults and picture books about growing up on the farm, she is the author of the ABIA and CBCA notable title Anzac Sons: Five Brothers on the Western Front.

Her 2018 release Australia Remembers: Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and War Memorials heralded a new non-fiction series, with the next – Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force – arriving in 2021. Allison’s first novel for young adults – Follow After Me – was created while undertaking a May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Fellowship.

I Wonder is Allison’s latest picture book for children and is inspired by Australia’s beautiful beaches and her concern for the environment

The Sunshine Coast is where Allison enjoys life as a writer, presenter and publishing consultant.

About I Wonder

The little wooden boat has been left behind in the sand dunes. Odd things pass it by, tumbling and floating into the ocean – a chip packet, a takeaway cup and a plastic bag. The little wooden boat wonders and worries … Is it a forgotten thing? Is it just rubbish now? Will it ever find a home again? This delightful tale will inspire readers to take the small steps needed to care for their world – no matter how young they are!

What I like about I Wonder

Continue reading: I Wonder… a book for our planet by Allison Paterson – Readilearn

Let’s meet courageous, creative Claudette by Helene Magisson – #readilearn

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Claudette, the beautiful new picture book written and illustrated by Helene Magisson, published by Red Paper Kite. While Helene has illustrated many other picture books, this is the first that she has both written and illustrated.

I have previously introduced you to Helene’s gorgeous artwork when interviewing her about Magic Fish Dreaming, a collection of poems by June Perkins and Sarah’s Two Nativities by Janine M Fraser. Please refer back to those posts to find out more about her beautiful artwork.

About Helene Magisson

Helene Magisson is an award-winning illustrator. She started her artistic career as a painting restorer in Paris, where she was also trained in the art of medieval illumination.
Helene has lived in Africa, France and India. She is now settled down in Australia with her family. She has illustrated more than 15 books and has collaborated with major Australian publishers.
Recent awards include:
• Claudette, her first book as an author-illustrator, has been longlisted in the Australia Books Industry Awards 2021
• Little Puggle’s Song written by Vikki Conley, CBCA 2020 Notable Picture Book of the Year
• Slowly! Slowly! written by T.M. Clark, CBCA 2018 Notable Picture Book of the Year

About Claudette 

Loutka is a brilliant puppet maker. All of his creations work perfectly, just as he expects them to. Except for Claudette. She is a rickety misfit who longs for freedom and adventure. What can be done with such a puppet? Loutka doesn’t know.
So Claudette stays on the shelf. Until one incredible day…

Claudette takes the reader on a courageous and magical adventure beyond the clouds, discovering the power of beauty, possibility and self-worth along the way.

‘A book infused with magic!’ – Megan Daley, Children’s Books Daily

Longlisted in the Australia Books Industry Awards 2021

The Interview

Helene, we’ve met you before as an illustrator of beautiful picture books. Now we are talking to you as an author-illustrator.

What gave you the idea for this delightful story of the extraordinary puppet Claudette?

Continue reading: Let’s meet courageous, creative Claudette by Helene Magisson – Readilearn

Meet Oswald Messweather a delightful new picture book by Dimity Powell – #readilearn

Today I am delighted to reintroduce you to Dimity Powell as she introduces us to Oswald Messweather, the star of her latest picture book. I have previously talked with Dimity about her earlier books At the End of Holyrood Lane  and Pippa. She also wrote a wonderful guest post for us about the importance of libraries, Libraries: A Wondrous Universe to Explore.

About Dimity Powell

Award winning children’s author, Dimity Powell writes exclusively for children with over 30 published stories including Oswald Messweather (2021), Pippa (2019), critically acclaimed, The Fix-It Man (2017) and At The End of Holyrood Lane (2018), winner of the 2019 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award.

Dimity believes kids and great stories are life-essentials, like ice-cream. She fills her spare time reviewing the ones she loves (stories that is, not ice-cream flavours) at DIM’S re VIEWS and Kids Book Review for whom she is the Managing Editor. She is also a Books in Homes Australia Role Model, an accredited Write Like an Author facilitator and online and in-school presenter for G.A.T.E.WAYS Education.

Dimity is an experienced presenter at writing festivals, conferences and schools both in Australia and overseas who is represented by Speakers Ink and Creative Kids’ Tales Speakers Agency. She loves eating cake with ice cream, sailing on the beam and writing in her diary although combining all three at once makes her nauseous.

Dimity lives on the Gold Coast, Australia where dreams sparkle and superheros surf. Discover more at http://www.dimitypowell.com.

About Oswald Messweather

Mess and disorder upset Oswald. Even the complexity of his own name is enough to set Oswald’s legs jiggling and his palms itching with anxiety. To combat his unease, Oswald obsessively counts his take-everywhere pocket pals – his crayons. It is a compulsion he finds comforting but also extremely exhausting.

Oswald’s obsessive preoccupations distract him from everything and everyone else around him, until one day Oswald is encouraged to use his penchant for perfection and eye for detail in a class project. With the help of his crayons, Oswald’s classmates create something spectacular, which helps Oswald realise just how valuable he is in spite of his anxieties.

Oswald Messweather is not a picture book that focuses intently on the educational perspectives of children with OCD but rather more on the emotional aspects associated with this debilitating condition.

The Interview

Thank you so much for visiting us at readilearn again, Dimity. It’s a pleasure to have you here to talk about your new book. Please tell us, what gave you the idea for Oswald Messweather?

Continue reading: Meet Oswald Messweather a delightful new picture book by Dimity Powell – readilearn

Rollo’s Wet Surprise by Penny Macoun — a review – #readilearn

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to the delightful new picture book Rollo’s Wet Surprise by Penny Macoun as part of a Books on Tour promotion.

About Penny Macoun

Penny Macoun was born in Sydney, Australia. She has been writing since 1993 when her story about a funnel web spider was printed in a school newsletter. Ever since, Penny has loved the ‘other worlds’ that words create, and hopes to continue to create these worlds for many years to come. Rollo’s Wet Surprise is her second book. When she is not writing or editing, Penny dabbles in various forms of visual arts and enjoys being in the garden.

About Rollo’s Wet Surprise

Rollo is a dog who loves to go to work with his owner, Jim. Jim is a builder, and when he is working, Rollo loves to explore all the different homes Jim and his team of builders work at.

One day, the builders are moving lots of big, heavy windows to a safe area. Rollo begins to explore this new part of the garden, and sniffs around.

While Rollo is exploring, he gets a very wet surprise!

What I like about this book

Continue reading: Rollo’s Wet Surprise by Penny Macoun — a review – readilearn

Ocean Devotion by Elizabeth Cummings — a review – #readilearn

Earlier this month on 8 June, we celebrated World Oceans Day, so I was delighted to be invited to participate in the Books on Tour promotion of the new book Ocean Devotion written by Elizabeth Mary Cummings and illustrated by Melissa Salvarani.

World Oceans Day is a day for celebrating, protecting and conserving the world’s oceans. ‘The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.’

The theme for 2021 is One Ocean, One Climate, One Future — Together’

The book Ocean Devotion helps to spread that message in an empowering story which urges us to take action to care for the ocean and life in and beneath its waves.

The message begins with the dedications:

“Our oceans are precious. Let us join together to build a cleaner, greener future for all. With love and thanks to you Dad for your example.” E.C.

“In a few years we have created a sixth continent made of plastic, a practically indestructible material. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle are the three magic words that can change the world.” M.S.

About Ocean Devotion

Continue reading: Ocean Devotion by Elizabeth Cummings — a review – readilearn

Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room – New books on the shelves – Let’s Move and Wombat Digs In by Norah Colvin

I am delighted to find that my two little books from the Library For All collection are featured in Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room.
Library For All is an Australian not for profit organisation with a mission to “make knowledge accessible to all, equally” through a digital library of books that is available free to anyone anywhere in the world.
Sally is a wonderful supporter of readers and writers everywhere and I am very appreciative of the support she offers me and am grateful to her for sharing news of these books and of Library for All.
Please pop over to Sally’s to read her post. While you are there, if you haven’t already, take some time to explore the richness of what Sally has to offer on her site.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to add two books and their recent reviews to the Reading Room by Norah Colvin published by Library for All

About Let’s Move

How does a fish move? How does a snake move? How do you move? This is a beautifully illustrated book for 4-8 year old readers. Proceeds from this sale benefit nonprofit organisation Library For All, helping children around the world learn to read.

A recent review for the book

Robbie Cheadle5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful book for very young children  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 June 2021

This is a delightful little book for teaching very young children about animals and movement. The illustrations are adorable and I particularly liked the snails that slide and the snakes that slither.  

Head over to buy the book: Amazon Australia – Amazon US  – Amazon UK

About Wombat Digs In

Wombat…

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