Tag Archives: Picture books

Let’s Celebrate Queensland Day 2022 – #readilearn

Next Monday 6 June is Queensland Day, and, since I am a Queenslander, I thought I’d share a little about my home state, including Queensland authors and illustrators I have interviewed over the years.

12 Facts about Queensland

  1. Queensland is in north-eastern Australia. It is the second-largest state by area (after Western Australia) and the third-largest in population (after New South Wales and Victoria).
Image courtesy of Hidesy’s Clipart https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Hidesys-Clipart

2. Queensland is bordered by New South Wales, Northern Territory and South Australia. The Pacific Ocean is along its eastern coastline.

3. The most northern part of Australia, Cape York, is in Queensland. Though I am told it is very beautiful and is a popular camping and four-wheel drive destination, I’ve never been there. (I’m not a camper or a four-wheel driver.)

4. One of the seven wonders of the natural world, the Great Barrier Reef, is located along Queensland’s coastline.

5. The world’s three largest sand islands, Fraser, Bribie and Stradbroke, are also located on Queensland’s coast.

6. The capital of Queensland, Brisbane (where I live), is located in the south-east corner of the state.

7. Queensland Day celebrates the day in 1859 that Queensland separated from New South Wales to become an independent colony.

8. Queensland’s state fauna emblem is the koala. The koala is a marsupial (mammal with a pouch) that is native only to Australia and lives mainly along the east and south coasts.

Image used courtesy of The Painted Crow https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Australian-Plants-Clip-Art-Emblems-4686986

9. Queensland’s state floral emblem is the Cooktown Orchid. It is native to northern Queensland and was named after a town there.

10. Queensland’s state bird emblem is the brolga, a tall bird which is noted for its graceful mating dance.

11. Queensland’s state gem is the sapphire, and the aquatic symbol is the anemone fish from the Great Barrier Reef.

12. Anyone in Australia who follows sport, probably doesn’t need to be told that our state colour is maroon.

Continue reading: Let’s Celebrate Queensland Day 2022 – readilearn

Make Time for families in National Simultaneous Storytime 2022 – #readilearn

Next week, on Wednesday 25 May at 11:00am AEST, we will be celebrating the 22nd National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS). Are you ready?

The event

National Simultaneous Storytime is an annual event organised by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) with the aim of promoting the value of reading and literacy.

Each year an Australian picture book is chosen to be read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the nations on either side of the Tasman Sea. Selected books explore age-appropriate themes and address key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Foundation to Year 6.

It is free to register for the event. If you do, on Monday 23 May you will receive various free downloadable material, including a PDF of the book, to support your own event. You can register right up until the event begins. There are also many other free teaching resources available on the website, including resources from Learn From Play, Clever Patch, and Clever Bean.

The book

The book selected for this year’s simultaneous story time is Family Tree written by Josh Pyke, illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh and published by Scholastic Australia. Family Tree is a celebration of family, community and the circle of life. It begins with the planting of a seed and is told from the tree’s point of view. As the tree grows, so does the family.

‘It started with a seed,

and that seed was me.

And, over time, laughter filled my garden…

A heartfelt celebration of family, community and the seasons of life, to cherish and to share.’

Visit Scholastic Australia’s website to purchase your copy of the book.

To help build your enthusiasm, here is a video of Josh talking about his book Family Tree.

I hope you and your children enjoy this exciting event. I’d love to know how you celebrate. I’ll be joining in, reading along with my own copy or perhaps joining in with the event organised at my local library. There’s so much fun to be had in books and libraries.

What I like about Family Tree

I love the way this book is told from the point of view of the tree, the way it notices changes in the family and the community through the

Continue reading: Make Time for families in National Simultaneous Storytime 2022 – readilearn

The Precious Plum ― an original fairytale by Jennifer Horn – #readilearn

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Jennifer Horn, author and illustrator of a delightfully nostalgic but contemporary fairytale The Precious Plum.

About Author-Illustrator Jennifer Horn

Jennifer Horn is a Brisbane-based freelance illustrator and budding children’s writer. Her debut picture book “The Precious Plum” was released in October 2021 amongst some very musical live book launches. She illustrated the cover of Anthology Angels’ children’s fundraising anthology, Once Upon a Whoops!: Fractured Fairytales and Ridiculous Rhymes (2021). Her short stories have appeared in each of Anthology Angels’ annual publications since 2018: It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (2018), Spooktacular Stories (2019) and Tell ‘Em They’re Dreaming (2020). Her first Young Adult short story, Faulty Connection, was published in Rhiza Edge’s dystopian and sci-fi anthology, Crossed Spaces earlier this year. She was awarded a Highly Commended for her submission of middle grade illustrations at the 2020 CYA Conference.

With a background in Architecture, Jen draws on her love of stories and adventure to create whimsical illustrations in a Quentin-Blake-inspired squiggle style. She enjoys reading books over local community station Reading Radio, and playing keys, including the piano accordion.  She has also been part of Art Department teams on several Brisbane-based films, including Romance on the Menu on Netflix and The Umbrella on Amazon Prime.

About The Precious Plum

When a baker of magical goods for her village attempts to help her good friend the Gentleman, she finds an important ingredient goes missing in the process.

A tale for all who have unwittingly left a piece of themselves behind, The Precious Plum is a whimsical fairytale about finding that sometimes the things we are looking for are right where we left them.

What I like about The Precious Plum

The Precious Plum is a beautiful fable about love and kindness that will appeal to adults as well as to children, or to children as well as to adults.

I have read this book a number of times, and each time, I have been left with a sense of peace and contentment. It makes me want to pause and breathe in all of nature’s beauty, all the joys of the world. It is like a brief interlude stopping to smell the roses but through the words of a book.

Continue reading: The Precious Plum ― an original fairytale by Jennifer Horn – readilearn

Let’s Get Ready, Mama! with Sharon Giltrow and Arielle Li – #readilearn

Today it is my pleasure to review a beautiful new picture book Get Ready, Mama! written by Sharon Giltrow, illustrated by Arielle Li and published by EK Books. This post is part of a Books on Tour promotion.

About author Sharon Giltrow

Sharon Giltrow is an Authorcator, an Author Educator, based in Western Australia. She writes humorous picture books and middle grade speculative fiction. Her humorous debut picture book Bedtime Daddy, released in May 2020, is a companion book to this new release Get Ready, Mama!

Sharon has worked with children for all of her career, formerly as a teacher of children who are hearing impaired and Deaf-Blind, and now as an Early Childhood Educator and Teacher Education Support working with Young Children with Developmental Language Disorder.

Sharon is an enthusiastic and inspirational speaker with a passion for developing children’s oral, visual, and written literacy. She has experience presenting to children from zero- to ten-year-olds. Through Sharon’s author talks students, inspired by a real-life author, will discover the joy of literacy and unlock their hidden creativity.

Find out more about Sharon Giltrow on her website.

About Get Ready, Mama!

Even the most reluctant risers will find the fun in the morning routine with this lively role-reversal story about a mama who just doesn’t want to get ready!

Getting ready in the morning is a mission for many families with young children, but this inventive, tongue-in-cheek story provides a fun way of speeding things along. Full of heart and humour, Get Ready, Mama! is for anyone who has heard enough of “5 more minutes”.

What I like about Get Ready, Mama!

Get Ready, Mama! is a fun role-reversal picture book in which an enthusiastic child attempts to motive a reluctant mother to get up and going in the morning. What a hilariously non-threatening way to discuss those very same avoidance tactics used by many children, and even more, a fun way for parents to play-act reluctance in order to motivate their own children to take responsibility for getting up and getting ready in the mornings.

Any parent who has ever had to coax a child to get ready in the morning, and I think that’s probably most of us, will identify with Mum’s

Continue reading: Let’s Get Ready, Mama! with Sharon Giltrow and Arielle Li – readilearn

For the Love of Books – #readilearn

Next Monday 14 February is a day with much to celebrate. As well as Valentine’s Day, it’s Library Lovers’ Day and International Book Giving Day.

It’s not difficult for me to talk about love and books in the same sentence as I have loved books for as long as I can remember. Although my reading habits have changed over the years, I have always been an avid reader and was a dedicated borrower of books from the library as I was growing up.

As an adult, I tend/ed to purchase rather than borrow for my own reading and could never pass a book shop without purchasing something for me, a family member or friend, and a picture book or three for my classroom collection. Books borrowed from the school library filled out the classroom library.

A birthday, Christmas or other occasion never passed without giving and receiving books. So, being able to combine the celebration of love, books and an appreciation for libraries is a treat. Nothing could be easier. Simply take someone you love to the library and gift them a book.

About Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day probably needs no introduction. In many parts of the world, it is a day for celebrating love and romance. Gifts of chocolates, flowers and verses in cards are often given.

Of course, in the classroom, our discussions aren’t about romantic love, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about those important people in our lives whom we do love.

Children can write their own “I love” poem by innovating on the traditional camping song I love the mountains.

Continue reading: For the Love of Books – readilearn

Interview with Author Rory H. Mather: Monster School Rules – #readilearn

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Rory H Mather, author of Monster School Rules —a perfect book for initiating those ever-so important discussions about class and school rules that occur at the beginning of every school year and are probably revisited with frequency throughout the year. Children will laugh at the antics of the monsters and the rules that must be enforced while developing an understanding of the importance of those rules. I am certain you and your children will enjoy this book as much as I do.

About the author Rory H. Mather

Rory is a 31-year-old who is completely and utterly addicted to reading and writing picture books…but it’s an addiction he is fully leaning into. He lives in a street that is lined with trees, in a house that is filled with picture books and in his head which is filled with ideas.

About Monster School Rules

Welcome to Monster School! Yes, it’s quite a sight. Listen up, cause there are rules: the first one is … don’t bite!

The Interview

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Continue reading: Interview with Author Rory H. Mather: Monster School Rules – readilearn

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 https://www.innerflowerchild.com/collections/activities.

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

2021 — a Year of Books and Reading – #readilearn

Books and reading are two of my favourite things. Or should they be combined into just one favourite thing? If so, it’s a mammoth favourite thing.

I have loved books and reading for as long as I can remember and turning others on to a love of books and reading gives me great joy. Finding that joy is one of the reasons I interview authors and illustrators and review their books. I hope my interviews and reviews have encouraged you to read some of the beautiful books I’ve brought to you this year.

Just in case you may have forgotten some of them and are thinking of last minute gifts for those young children in your lives, look no further. Books make great presents for persons of any age, and any of these books will give long-lasting pleasure.

I this post, I remind you of the books I’ve reviewed and authors and illustrators I’ve interviewed throughout the year. It’s been a bumper year. Just follow the link to find out more about a book you are interested in.

January

We’re All in This Together by Skye Hughes and Alice Coates

School friends – Kiana, Amin, Roshan, Casey, Ming, and Tyler all have one thing in common — they can’t go to school. The world changed very quickly and now they have to stay home to keep themselves and their families and friends safe. They discover that even apart, they can find new and fun ways to be together.

Go Away, Worry Monster by Brooke Graham and Robin Tatlow-Lord

Worry Monster loves ‘helping’ Archie worry, especially on the night before he starts at a new school. Archie feels so anxious that his head hurts, his tummy flutters and his heart pounds. He soon realizes that the only way to feel better is to make Worry Monster go away. He does his belly breaths and challenges his inner fears by facing facts, and Worry Monster is forced to leave Archie alone! Go Away, Worry Monster! gives children useful strategies to cope with their anxieties and stress, showing them how to make their own Worry Monsters leave, even in highly stressful times.

Continue reading: 2021 — a Year of Books and Reading – readilearn

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

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