Books - Geography

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    Ponny the Penguin

    How can it be six months since I last shared a book review! Rest assured that we love books as much as ever, so many books I’ve intended on sharing but alas when you don’t ‘seize the moment’ the momentum is lost.  Trying also to ‘tone it down’ a little for my readers who weren’t keen on too many book reviews. Today I’d love to share Ponny the Penguin by Veronica Basser with you, Ponny has long been a part of our family culture. I first read this gem to our adult children over a decade ago, enjoyed it with our ‘middle set’ several years later and now have delighted in introducing Ponny to another…

  • Blog,  Book Reviews,  Books - Geography,  Books - History,  Books - Picture

    The Emperor Who Built the Great Wall of China

    When Jillian Lin asked me if I would like to review a copy of her new book The Emperor Who Built the Great Wall of China, I was intrigued by the subject matter, and highly honoured as is the first time I’ve been approached by an author to review her book. (Though I have been asked previously on behalf of two authors.) A fascinating picture book that introduces children to the first Chinese emperor, whilst easily understood, the book is packed with information. We learn how the seven kingdoms became one, of the unity Emperor Qin Shihuang bought to China through the use of one coinage and one writing system, of…

  • Blog,  Book Reviews,  Books - Geography,  Books - History,  Books - Picture

    A True Story From Afghanistan

    Nasreen’s Secret School – Jeanette Winter Based on a true story, set in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime, in 1996-2001.  Nasreen’s parents are taken away by the Taliban and she stops speaking. Her grandmother desperately enrolls her in a secret school for girls.  A new friend, a devoted teacher and the world of books finally encourages Nasreen to talk.   Excellent text, lovely illustrations. This book opened up a totally new world to my children and there was much to discuss, the Taliban, persecution, the importance of education, Afghanistan history and achievements, people’s determination to overcome adversity.  5 Star

  • Blog,  Book Reviews,  Books - Geography,  Books - History,  Books - Picture

    Migrant/Refugee Picture Books

    Ziba Came on a Boat – Liz Lofthouse Based on actual events, a moving story of a little girl whose family has lost everything.  Ziba, her mother and other women and children from her tiny village escape the war in Afghanistan by travelling on an overcrowded fishing boat to a new land, a new life and freedom. Ziba dreams of what she is leaving behind and hopes for the future. Generated discussions with our children about refuges, what prompts them to flee their land to another.  Hopefully they understand how blessed we are in Australia and how brave the refugees are. Suitable for 5 – 9 yr olds. 4 Star Old…

  • Blog,  Book Reviews,  Books - Geography,  Books - History,  Books - Picture

    Chinese Picture Books

    As we ‘toured the world‘ during the past fortnight we discovered some new Chinese picture books, and re-visted some previously shared. Peeking Ducks – Krista Bell A sweet story about inquisitive duck siblings who didn’t listen to their parents advice and wandered down their stream to the Big River. Many dangers nearly befall them but they luckily advert all dangers and make it down to the River and back home again safely. Cute. 3 Star The Magic Pillow – Demi  A poor boy named Ping is give a magic pillow and dreams of what a lifetime of wealth and power would be like, he concludes the riches of family and…

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    African Picture Books

    During the past fortnight as we ‘toured the world‘ we discovered some new African picture books, we also enjoyed a few shared previously. Handsome Hog – Mweney Hadithi An African animal tale; on the grassy African Plain, Handsome Hog had a beautiful smooth coat and an extremely elegant tail, he was exceptionally vain.  The tale unfolds as to how Handsome Hog lost his looks and became a Warthog.  An easily understood moral. Text is easy to follow and pictures are bright. Recommend Lila and the Secret of Rain – David Conway For months the sun has burned down on the Kenyan village. It is too hot to gather firewood, to weed…

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    Native Americans, Book Collection

    Princess has long had an interest in Native Americans. Last year with the help of her brothers she built a tepee and presents for her eighth birthday included of a number Native American books. Her interest has still not abated, so whilst the older children are enjoying SOTW4,  Princess and I are reading our way through a growing pile of books.  We have discovered some real treasures, so thought we’d share. In our search for titles the following sites were most helpful; Embracing the Child – Native American, S-Collection – Native American Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Cynthia Leitich Smith- Native American Indians Authors and Illustrators Crazy Horses’ Vision –…

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    Braving the Antarctica/Arctic Regions

    A few months ago we borrowed a stack of Antarctica/Arctic books from our local library. Sharing titles for any who are hardy enough to brave the Poles. Perky Little Penguins – Troy Mitton Bright pictures, simple text following the antics of little penguins as they slide and jump and waddle. Sydney of the Antarctic – Coral Tulloch The journey of Sydney, a stuffed rabbit, who visits the Antarctic, mildly informative with a sweet story line. The Last Polar Bears – Harry Horse Grandfather is on an expedition to the North Pole in search of the last polar bears. He is accompanied by Roo, a dog of character and strong views,…

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    Africa – Book Finds

    Several weeks ago we had a brief ‘sojourn’ in Africa. Thought I’d share some titles. I have added them over at Aussie Book Threads. Picture Books Enormous Elephant – Mwenye Hadithi & Adrienne Kennaway In the days before the Big Rains many of the animals looked very different.  This story tells how Enormous Elephant’s trunk was stretched. The children enjoyed this one. A Mam for Owen – Marian Dane Bauer Owen the baby hippo and his mama were best friends.  That was before the tsunami(2004) came. Owen is adopted by a tortoise.  A true story, I was near tears.  Beautiful pictures, moving text. Highly recommend. Catch that Goat- Polly Alakija…