Need to inspire your young family? Or students?
Want to teach your children about other countries? amazing animals and how they can be activists even under the age of ten?
Check out the Global Guardian Project, a great monthly subscription that allows you to walk through different topics with your children or class by reading, drawing, writing, viewing and meditating.
If you want to join use my discount code: GGPVanessa for a 10% discount.
Here are some reviews I have done of some excellent modules.
I love bees and was very excited when I came across this module written by Global Guardian Project – Protect our bees.
The module is full of colour and facts and really engaged my children (6 and 3)
We learnt about a young girl who helps her family to make honey, we learnt about the anatomy of a bee and we learnt how important they are to us.
We grabbed all our bee books out and shared a few stories over the week (check them out here —-
And then we read the suggestion in the e-capsule to get outside so we decided – let’s go on a bee hunt! Armed with the knowledge we had learnt from the e-capsule we knew what to look for and where to look for it.
We wrote down which bees we thought we might find and went hunting so we could record the numbers.
As we wandered around our garden we discovered three types of bees, worked out where they liked to be and talked about why they went where they did.
We then drew some maps, coloured in the bee from the e-capsule and talked about how we can get more bees into our garden.
This e-capsule is inspiring and enlightening – without bees we would not have many of the fruit and vegetables we eat every day.
The Global Guardian Project is an inspiring group to join and one for children of all ages.
Head over to The Global Guardian Project page and quote GGPVanessa for a 10% discount.
I heard somewhere once that a sign of a good book is one that can make you cry, make you laugh, warm your soul and make you question the world you live in – this book has done just that.
I’m not the best wordsmith around and I do not think I can’t express how much this book resonated with me.
The History of Bees, told by Maja Lunde is a story told through the eyes of three parents in three different time periods.
Tao lives in 2098, China, George in 2007, USA and William in 1851, England. Each of these characters have children of their own and each of these parents are trying to create the best world that they can for their children – the way they think they should be.
Listening to a recent podcast on parenting, this book made so many links. Research shows that as parents we all have set ideals on how our children should act in the world and we believe that by acting a certain way or saying certain things that we are going to shape our children the way we see best. But as you read on in this story you can see that despite every parent’s effort to make their children a certain way – each child chooses their own path and explores the world they want to.
BUT – don’t despair, the children are influenced by the good actions of their parents, just in a different way they expected.
The children in this story are strong, smart and determined. The encompass free thinking, risk taking and problem solving. They show how much love parents have for their children despite the path they take.
The History of bees explores Bees through story. You will learn about one of the first beehives that was created to carefully extract honey without disturbing the bees, a farmer who experiences Colony Collapse Disorder on all of his hives and a mother who lives in futuristic China where people are the pollinators of flowers as all the bees have died.
I cried as I finished the last few chapters. I cried with happiness, sadness and concern. If the world means anything to you and if you have children – this book will mean so much more.
We need bees and one of the key messages in this book is how important it is for us to keep bees in a more sustainable way, stop the mass production of honey or crops and learn to live in more harmony with the world.
Maja Lunde has written many wonderful books but this is one you must read today.
What else can you do with this book?
Buy local honey (we love this honey!!)
Look at Save the bees website and support what they are trying to do in Australia.
Check out my other posts on bees! :
Welcome Karen, and thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I hope that these questions will give my readers some more insight into how you have developed the characters in Song Bird , how music inspires and how we can all take better care of the world we live in.
Song Bird 2 The Battle of Bug World
What inspired you to write the Song Bird series?
Two life changing events.
Fan girls of my Super Space Kids series requested I write a new series with a girl superhero as the main character, especially written for adventurous girls.
Songbird Superhero, AKA Rosella Ava Bird character is based on my experiences as a 11-year-old geeky, bullied girl. Each night, I dreamt I could fly, to escape my bullies. Later, I joined the choir and learnt how singing boosted my self-esteem and self-confidence. The following year, I started high school where I discovered my love of science and maths. I wanted Songbird to represent the powerful and free spirit I aspired to be.
Music is so important to all of us and can give us strength. How does music play a role in your life and why did you think your superhero needed music to help her?
Music plays a key role in empowering me in tough times. As a bullied 11-year-old girl, I joined the choir and learnt to sing. My voice was something no bully could defeat.
When I was a bullied teacher, music comforted me when I developed PTSD and anxiety. My student and his parents bullied me to breaking point. Music gave me joy and certainty, a place where I drew confidence and peace.
Like me, Rosella Ava Bird joined the school choir discovered her superpowers lived within herself.
Rosie is such a strong and confident character, even when she doubts herself. Is your character Rosie based on anyone you know?
Rosie is a mix of me and the girl I dreamt to be. I would love to sing and to fly… And use my superpowers for good, to save and protect others.
I really love that you have included children with disabilities in The Battle of Bug World and portrayed them as strong, clever, brave and very able – what inspired you to do this when most books do not?
Two important reasons.
I have a mental illness that’s invisible. Many people label my illness as a disability. I don’t. My illness is part of me. I’ve found writing lets me express my struggles and successes in ways that empower myself, and help others. I want to encourage kids to connect with their inner superhero and live strong.
I once taught a boy-genius who was smart and brave, and an incredible maths science whizz. He also happened to move about in a wheelchair. In Songbird, I wanted to shatter the disabilitry stereotype. Like the boy I knew, Amy Hillcrest, is quite the hero.
How do you think teachers and parents can inspire young children to step up and think for themselves when it comes to looking after our planet?
Children should read and learn about their environment. Realise, they are a part of it and can make a difference to it.
My message: We can all lend a hand to care for our environment. Many hands make light work.
Did you research to learn more about how bees and insects function in our world?
YES. I studied how insects and bees behave, especially the bee’s waggle dance. I spoke to beekeepers of honey bees and Australian stingless bees. I spoke to the director of Bee Aware at the Logan LEAF eco festival.
How do you look after bees in your life? Do you have any tips for our young readers as to what they can do?
I do simple things like plant brightly coloured flowers and fresh herbs in my garden. I grow purple agapanthus and native grevilleas to attract bees. I put out clean dishes of water for the bees to drink. I’m careful not to spray pesticides on the grass or the garden. That would poison the bees. Instead, I pull out weeds.
How do you think children can make a difference in our world in relation to the degradation of the environment without having to always rely on adults?
Kids can plant and nurture their own garden, pick up litter especially in parks and waterways, pack their own lunches without plastic, turn off lights and taps, sort out family rubbish into glass, paper and cans ready for recycling bins.
What is in store for us in Book 3?
Song Bird returns to save the lost rainforest, revealing an ancient mystery.
Thank you Karen for taking the time to answer all of my questions. Such honest responses and really drawn on your own life experiences and those who you have come across that show their own super powers. I am really looking forward to reading more of your inspiring and adventure filled stories.
Make sure you get your copy of Songbird Superhero and The Battle of Bug World here:
Discover the secret life of bees from queens to the waggle dance, hives and honey.
Have you ever wondered about how your flowers grow so brightly or perhaps how tomatoes grow so rapidly or even how weeds seem to appear all over your garden without the slightest hint of a breeze?
In this lively book children will love learning about bees. They will be introduced to the delightful queen bee and then shown how the babies are fed and grown in the hive alongside where honey is kept for safekeeping.
We learn how and why bees to a waggle dance and how important it is for them to work together as a team.
The section on beekeeping was eye opening and helped us to really appreciate the tub of honey we have sitting in our cupboard.
The flat design illustrations abound with green and yellow and flashes of colourful flowers – which without bees would be no more.
Being a bee is a great way to introduce your young reader to the importance of bees and the valuable role they play in our society. There is a lot of news in the media at the moment about the need to bring bees back.
So what can you do at home or at school with this book?
- Have a look around your home and see what would entice any type of insect to your area? all insects are beneficial and attracting them to something they can live off or eat is important. It’s better they live off the plants than things in your house!
- PROJECT: How can we provide the best home for attracting bees? Investigate what the bees (local to your area) need. Draw up a plan of what the hive would look like, where it should be placed, what conditions it needs to attract bees and to survive. (This project includes outcome links to mathematics, literacy, science and geography)
- Herbs are an easy plant to start with as they can be grown in small planter boxes on windowsills – give rosemary, thyme or mint a go.
- It is important that you find out about the beneficial flowers that help bees in your area too. Australian stingless bees love:
|Abelia x grandiflora||Abelia|
|Buddleja *||Butterfly Bush|
- See my older posts about bees and link in some of those ideas to this book.
- Find some more books that have bees in them – you’ll bee surprised! Do these stories all have a similar message to tell?
- Compare scientific literature to children books that are on the topic of bees. Why do we need both types of literature out there to understand the need for bees in our world? Create your own bee themed picture book based on some scientific literature.
- Create your own story about your adventure with a bee. Which flowers would you like to visit? Divide a page into four sections and draw a series of pictures that show what you would like to do with a bee to make sure there are enough flowers, fruits and vegetables in the world.
Where are bees located? What type of environment do they need to thrive? Create a honey bee and a stingless bee map of Australia.
Why are honey bee hives made out of hexagonal shapes?
Why do stingless bee hives spiral shaped?
Investigate the different shapes of bee hives across the globe and why they are this shape. Could they be another shape? Investigate if there is a better way to keep honey in a hive.
Superstorms destroying back gardens, Disappearing bees, record temperatures causing heat waves across the country and a strange looking tornado forming above the house next door. Who can save the earth from doom and destruction?
That’s where our superhero, young Rosie comes in!
I have not read the previous song bird book so it took a little while for me to get into the story and the characters, perhaps a chapter dedicated to getting me in the zone would have been handy but I figured it out and once I did, I really enjoyed this novel written for 7-12 year olds. (To tell you the truth I read most of the book in one evening as I just couldn’t put it down!!)
Rosie is the hidden eco hero in all of us. She is normal girl, just going to school and hanging out with her friends, but she has worries about the state of the planet and the total disregard so many people seem to have.
As the story begins we discover that Rosie’s sister, Raven, is missing and it is up to her to find out where she is and save her! The Battle of Bug world is jammed full of non-stop adventure which makes it a difficult book to put down as you just need to find out if Rosie and her friends can save planet Earth!
Songbird, The Battle of Bug World really brings up the issues of how complacent many of us are in terms of looking after the world we live in. Many of us just assume we can keep going on with our daily lives without any consideration for the future. We can’t, and through this story it is only the superheroes who can save the day – but I’m sure many of us can be superheroes and start to make small differences now, before the bees disappear, the weather becomes erratic and natural life is just inside a bubble.
Songbird, The battle of Bug world is written from Rosie’s perspective and in her youthful language so young children will find it easy to identify. Many children will also enjoy the constant references to songs that Rosie has to sing in order to unleash her powers.
Songbird, the battle of Bug world is an inspiring story for young readers. They will see that they can make a difference in the world they live in and don’t always have to rely on the adults to solve problems or to take action.
Inspire your little eco warrior today!
So what can you do at home?
Karen Tyrrell has some excellent resources here http://www.karentyrrell.com/free-teacher-resources-free-kids-activities/
This is a very real problem and one book that made me shudder with the possibility of being real.
Meet tough, smart and vibrant Peony, an ten year old farm girl who works in the Goulburn Valley of NSW, Australia. Peony works hard on the farm, manually removing bugs from crops as pesticides have been banned – however becoming a Bee is what she dreams of. Being a Bee is one of the most important roles in this futuristic society as the young and nimble need to do the job the bees once did – pollinating flowers.
Peony lives with her grandfather and sister but the community around them and the bond they all have is amazing and something to aspire due despite the poverty they live in. Peony’s mother wants more than farm life and takes Peony off to the city to earn real money. Despite her utter dislike for city life, huge disparity being rich and poor and still the utter disregard for the hard work of farmers, Peony learns about the importance of friendship, family and kind acts.
How to Bee brought a tear to my eye and although it may seem like a bleak outlook from the start it shows how strong the human spirit is and the need we all have to belong and live in harmony.
Perhaps if the big supermarkets and chemical companies read this story they would start to change how they see the world and start to think more about the impact we are having on the future.
There are some areas of the world where this form of pollination is already happening today – I’m not sure if we want this to spread to all areas of the world. http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/humans-bees-china_us_570404b3e4b083f5c6092ba9?section=australia
So what can you do?
- Visit Bren MacDibble’s website: http://www.macdibble.com/
- Investigate ways you can get rid of bugs from your vegetables at home. We have used a simple soap and water spray. Oil and water spray and also an oil, soap and water spray. All do a great job and still leave the vegetables intact and chemical free! Can you make your own?
- Look at the different chemicals you spray around your house – how are they effecting the air quality?
- Where is your honey from? Buying from farmers who support no spray means the bee populations are healthier and happier.
- What other insects pollinate our fruits?
- How do stingless bees help us?
- Teacher notes: https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/childrens/childrens-fiction/How-to-Bee-Bren-MacDibble-9781760294335
- Read these books