Books with current issues, eco living, Environmental books, literacy, picture books, Picture books that address current issues, Teacher tips and resources

101 Collective Nouns by Jennifer Cossins

Have you ever wondered what to call a group of seals?otters? cows?

Well wonder no more – this is the book for you!


101 Collective Nouns by Jennifer Cossins is a highly engaging and educational book that teaches the reader the different group names given to different types of animals – well 101 of them!

Who thought of calling a group of cranes a siege? or a group of goldfish troubling?

The background behind each group name isn’t given but it sparked our interest  – which is something I love about this book. Being able to spark an interest or some extra imagination is a wonderful characteristic of a great book.

Jennifer Cossins illustrations are delightful and show the diversity of size, shape and colour within each animal group.

101 Collective nouns is a great way to start teaching  others about not only the amazing animals we have living on our planet but also the creativity of the English language!

So what can you do at home?

 – Find out why the different group names are given to each animal.

– If you could change any of these group names what would you change them to?

– Are any of these animals endangered?

Check out some more of Jennifer Cossins designs

Published by Lothian Children’s books (Hachette Childrens)

 

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Books with current issues, Environmental books, Parent tips, picture books, Picture books that address current issues, Teacher tips and resources

The family hour By Tai Snaith

The Family Hour by Tai Snaith. Published by Thames and Hudson

How does your family breakfast time look?

How do you keep your family cool those hot summery days?

Can you imagine living with your family underground?

 

Perhaps you have pondered on these questions…perhaps you have wondered what the animal families might do in their family time too?

The family hour by Tai Snaith explores how different Australian animals spend time together – frog dads sing, seadragon dads carry their babies in their pouch, echidna mothers feed their babies pink milk and Tasmanian devil families love to be noisy!

As we read through this book we had a laugh at some of the  family antics, a hint of jealousy at some and a feeling of wonder with others. The animal world is so intricate and it is wonderful to read books like this one to make these facts much more fun for children.

Tai’s illustrations bring warmth to each family’s activity and just shows that any type of family – no matter which type – are all important to the happiness of each other.

So what can you do?

Learn more about Australian animals, choose one that you do not know much about and find out how they live in Australia.

Learn more about the different types of human families there are and why they are all so different – yet amongst that difference still so important.

Draw an animal family doing something that animals don’t normally do (or perhaps do whilst we aren’t looking….)

 

 

 

So how can you use this book at home?

 

Another wonderful aspect of this story are the extra facts at the back of the book which also include if this animal is endangered – a great place to start a discussion on how we can help them out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On the way to Nana’s by Frances and Lindsay Haji-Ali.

On the way to Nana’s is another fantastic book published by Magabala books and written by Frances and Lindsay Haji-Ali and illustrated by David Hardy.

Have you ever been on a road trip that was around 1000km long? Frances and Lindsay Haji-Ali have – with four children as well!


On the way to Nana’s house is a vividly illustrated counting book that incorporates magnificent Australian scenery through the eyes of a small child on a long journey through the top end of Australia. As soon as the first page is opened your senses are filled with warm, fresh air, adventure and a visual delight!  Counting from 15-1 the reader hops into the car alongside the family and visits waterfalls, termite mounds, outback schools, wildlife and the ever changing landscape.

As children read this story they are introduced to the concept of counting backwards from 15-1 through the road signs and the different amounts of objects on the page. The concept of counting backwards can be quite difficult but this book brings this to life in a fantastic mix through numbers, words and illustrations.

 

I’m on the way to Nana’s house. What will I see?

 

David Hardy’s illustrations are striking as he musters up pigments that truly remind any outback adventurer of the red hue of the desert, the contrast of a storm against the red mountains and the vivid blue of the fresh running waterfalls.

The trip from Broome to Wyndham is on our to do list after spending some time around Broome many years ago and after reading this book I am inspired to start thinking more seriously about when we can take some time to make the journey – perhaps taking at least a week or two!

This book is a must for anyone embarking on a long road trip as not only will it entertain it will also teach the young reader!

 

So how else can you use this book at home?

 

  • Take out the map of Australia and find out where these places are.
  • Where could you drive from your house in 1000km?
  • Learn more about the town’s along this pathway and how people live in these remote places.
  • Practise counting backwards from bigger numbers – create some extra pages in the book so you can count from 20 after learning more about the area.

 

 

 

Books with current issues, eco living, Environmental books, nature play, Parent tips, water

Crabbing with Dad by Paul Seden

Have you ever been crabbing? Or perhaps fishing out at sea? 


Crabbing with Dad
is a beautiful children’s picture book from author and illustrator, Paul Seden.

Crabbing with Dad takes you on an adventure through the eyes of two small children as they explore their neighborhood and go out on a boat with their Dad to set up crab pots in an idyllic, serene and stunning location!

The illustrations take you away to this location, you can feel the warmth of the sun, the smell of the salt air and the sound of the waves and sea birds.

Younger children will love reading this story and the idea of finding a secret spot to go and hang out. The illustrations are eye catching and the story is easy to follow – my children had a giggle at the name of the shellfish the children in the story saw along the way  – long bum – now who wouldn’t?

The ideal childhood – zooming along the creek, saying hello to fellow fishermen and catching your own dinner! Many children may not have experienced something like this so reading this book will allow your child to see different things they can do by the water and perhaps gain more of an appreciation of where their seafood comes from. This book also shows us that the simple activities with our loved ones can be the most wonderful experiences.

Crabbing with Dad is a must read – it might inspire your next weekend or holiday?

So how does this work towards a sustainable world?

Empathy: Looking at how others live. Look at the jobs other people do to make a living and what they do with their days.

Where does your seafood come from? Check out this great resources for the next time you are at the seafood shop.

How much seafood should we be eating?

Mapping: Where might this be set? Explore this region on the map and through websites.

 

Just don’t get nipped! 

 

 

Books with current issues, refugees, Teacher tips and resources

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

Do you really know what happens to refugees once they arrive in camps?

Have you ever considered how long some of these people live in these camps?

 

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Frailly is a must read for every Australian across all ages from 10 and up.

It is confronting – this takes place in most developed countries who sprout how peaceful and caring we are.

It is full of hope – Friendships blossom, dreams are big and stories are told.

It has sadness – too many times throughout the story we hear about loved ones left overseas, lost in war or on the journey to a seemingly better life.

Through the eyes of young Subhi we see what life is like within these refugee camps. Subhi is a storyteller, a reader and a dreamer, He knows nothing apart from life within a camp – it was where he was born so he doesn’t know any different except for the stories he is told by his mother, sister and friends.

We follow Subhi and his daily encounters  in the camp and understand what life is like and the unrest felt by those within. We dream with him and see the night see bring him gifts from a far off land.

But things change once he meets Jimmie – an unexpected friend who comes from outside of the fence. Together they go on a journey through a story written down by someone Jimmie has lost. Over hot chocolate and jokes they share secrets and slowly mend each other’s wounds.

The bone Sparrow is a powerful story. Your heart will break, you will cry and you will laugh. You will live alongside Subhi as he dreams his life on the other side of the fence. This book is a must read for everyone. 

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The Dream Walker by Victoria Carless – Young Adult Fiction

As soon as I started this novel i couldn’t put it down. This story stirred so many emotions – it brought tears to my eyes, made my stomach flutter with the memories of young love, I felt anger at the town bullies and joy at the beautiful friendships.

The Dream Walker by Victoria Carless is a story about a young girl living in a small Australian coastal town where most people rely on fishing as their income. As in many small towns rumours abound, opportunities dry up and the young people want to leave.


Our strong, fierce and brave character – Lucy – is dealing with the very raw death of her mother, the departure of a close friend and the discovery that she can walk into other people’s dreams.

Dream walker will bring your imagination to life and make you wonder about dreams and how powerful they can be.

A powerful story that delves into issues of suicide, alcoholism, bullying, grief and violence is a must read for any young adult who is pondering where they are in their lives, the harm secrets can bring to us and the importance of friendship and family.

The Dream Walker by Victoria Carless is one of those books that will stay with you long after you have finished. A must read!

Books with current issues, Creativity, eco living, Environmental books, Parent tips, picture books, Picture books that address current issues, plastic free July, Teacher tips and resources

Plastic Free July

 July is Plastic Free July and throughout this month we all need to try and make an effort to make our lives full of less plastic!

Why do we need to start using less plastic?

Plastic has been an amazing invention and has so many wonderful uses but the problem today is that we are overusing it in places where we don’t need to.

Do we really need plastic bags for our fruit and vegetables at the supermarket?

At the checkout?

Do we really need all that pre packaged food when we can make our own?

Does everything really need to be wrapped in plastic before we take it home? Especially when home isn’t that far away? 

The simple answer is no and although it may seem hard to make these changes, you can – slow and steady if that is what it takes.

But how? Try this module out – Only $2.99  – an inspiring start to getting rid of the plastic in your pantry! 


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You can also just start with some simple swaps.

Not sure how to empower or educate yourself or your child? The following books are excellent reads to help encourage the use of less plastic——- check them out:

Ada’s Violin – True story picture book – Paraguay’s recycled orchestra. Discussion: Why is there so much in landfill and how can we reduce this?

Out of the Blue by Alison Jay – Wordless picture book. Story of looking after the ocean. Why is there rubbish in the ocean? What can you change in your life so you make less of an impact on sea creatures? (what do you flush down the drain that is harmful?)

10 little rubber ducks – Based on the true story of a shipping container which broke in open sea and unloaded thousands of rubber ducks. Where might they be now? How is this an environmental disaster?

My Green Day – Simple tips on how you can have a greener day.

The Seagull – A seagull is tangled up in fishing wire and a young boy rescues him. Why is there discarded fishing wire on the beach and other rubbish entangled in it? How can we use less single use plastic?

The Lorax by Dr Seuss –  

This book looks at how greed can cause us to waste materials and cause damage to the earth. By thinking about what our plastic does after we use it we can start to see why we should use less.

Compost Stew by Mary McKenna

By using materials that can be composted – not thrown into landfill we are creating a better place and creating better soil for future food and plants!

The tomorrow book by Jackie French

With imagination, creative thinking, problem solving and open minds, tomorrow can be a wonderful day where we harness the sun’s energy, we repair things instead of throwing them away, we each have our own veggie patch and wind power is just another form of easy to use energy. This book looks at how children can make a difference in the world they live in – not just rely on the adults!!

Whatcha Building by Andrew Daddo

Have you ever thought about reusing something instead of throwing it away? This is a wonderful story to get your creative side into gear.

 

Let me know how you go – can you maintain your plastic free ways? 

Books with current issues, Parent tips, Picture books that address current issues, Teacher tips and resources

Books can open your mind

Have you ever thought about how a book has changed your perspective on things? Has meeting a character in a story made you think twice about how you think about someone you know or see in the news? Have you ever read a book which tested your belief system?


Reading books opens our minds to new and exciting things. As parents and teachers, even though it is wonderful when we see our children enjoying a particular genre or author style, we should encourage our children to seek out different types of books to read when borrowing from the library.  

How can you do this? Talk to your child about what they are borrowing and reading and ask them what they think of the book and the characters within. Go to the local library together after school or on the weekend and instead of going to the same type of book or author –  suggest something just slightly different.

When we seek out different books we can open magical lands that we may have never stumbled across. We can see how others, whom we might not always relate to persevere to achieve their dreams…or perhaps the opposite. Seeking out books that make us think stretches our mind and help us to realise what else is outside of our own little bubble – something we should encourage in all of our children

Angela May George, Books with current issues, loveozya, Parent tips, picture books, Picture books that address current issues, refugees

Refugee week 2017

This week is Refugee week ( 18th June – 24th June) and there is no better way to bring about awareness about this terrible issue than through a book.

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Refugees are a real, current and terrible problem that we have in our world and possibly one that will get worse if war continues, water rises in low lying islands of the world and famine ravages nations.

We need to help educate our children so that they feel empathy towards these people who just seek safety in a new land where they too can live a peaceful and happy life.

However – many of these picture books and Young adult fiction are confronting so tread with care as you read. Be prepared to talk about what happens in the story so your child feels hope  that something can be done to help the future.

Here are a few great books that I have come across:

Out by Angela May George

Out

Out by Angela May George (Published by Scholastic Australia)  is a sad yet heartwarming story about a young refugee girl who has settled in a new country with her mother.
This beautiful story follows how the girls feels in her new home and the fears she still faces because of what she has been through.

Flight by Nadia Wheatley

Flight is a confronting story about a young family fleeing from their home in search of refuge.

Flight

Drawn in shades of black and brown the images add to the feelings of unknown these travelers must be experiencing. It is dark and fearful but throughout the pages we see hope.
The story begins like that of the Christian Christmas story – a small family leaving there home town in search of safety: following the stars and riding on a donkey,  but as we read along we discover this is a small Muslim family who are escaping their war torn home.
This book is one that needs to be read to older children with reflection and questioning.

I’m Australian too by Mem Fox and Rhonojoy Ghosh 
I'm Australian Too

Throughout the story we hear about families from Ireland, Italy, China and Syria. We meet the ancestors of  the first people of Australia and also the refugees who are still waiting to be a part of Australia.
Mem Fox celebrates the diversity of Australia and the friendliness of the community through children’s eyes. Rhyme is used along with the thought provoking repetitive question:

Book reviews to come

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillion
The Bone Sparrow

Home and Away by John Marsden
Home and Away (Lothian Australian Favourites)

And some books I would love to review when I have the time!

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Refugees by David Miller

Four feet two sandals

The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Great resources from the Refugee week page are available from this link

 Lonely Planet

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Items available to help you to educate and empower your family and/or classrooms.

Start up sale – All modules are $2.99. Delivery straight to your inbox within 2 working days.

  1. Where are my clothes from?

Do you want to learn more about where your clothing comes from? This small module helps you and your family to understand what the clothing in your house is made of, where it has come from and if the companies care for their workers. This is a hands on, practical and educational module for families and classrooms.
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2. How much plastic is in our pantry?

This module will help you and your family to take a look at how much plastic waste you are creating through your daily food choices. Take some time together to look at what you eat and consider making some swaps on your path to becoming a greener household.

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3. Refugees in our world

This module will help you to talk about who refugees are, where they come from, how we can help them in our country and what life can be like for these people.


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