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

    Fashion History

    Different Like Coco – Elizabeth Matthews Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel was always different; poor, skinny and an orphan and she turned that difference to an advantage. Creative with sewing skills she began making clothes that suited her figure, and soon a new generation of independent working women craved her sleek, comfortable designs.  She revolutionised the fashion industry.  An excellent picture biography, fascinating.  4 Star Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea – Tony Johnston What’s a Californian Miner to do when gold dust sifts right out of his holey pockets? Good thing Levi Strauss heads out west with his needle and full of bright ideas. Levi keeps all the gold rush miners in…

  • 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 - Faith Other,  Books - Picture

    Muslim Picture Book

    Ramadan Moon – Na’ima B Robert “Ramadan, the month of fasting, doesn’t begin all at once. It begins with a whisper and a prayer and a wish. Muslims all over the world celebrate Ramadan and the joyful days of Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of the month of fasting as the most special time of year.” This book follows the waxing of the moon to the new crescent, to full moon and waning, weaving in Muslim traditions throughout the month of Ramadan.   Written and illustrated by Muslims, for Muslim children and those wanting to know more about the Muslim faith. Obviously we are not of Muslim faith but it was…

  • 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…

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

    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…

  • Blog,  Book Reviews,  Books - Nature,  Books - Picture

    Nature Picture Books for Little Ones

    Whilst discovering a lovely selection of nature picture books for the older child recently we also discovered some treasures for the under 5s. In the Pond – Anna Milbourne The storyline follows a tadpole as it grows into a frog, encountering other pond life along the way; a fish, ducklings and dragonflies.  Text is simple but plenty of information for little ones.  Lovely, bright pictures. Recommend. In the Nest – Anna Milbourne The book captures the first days and weeks of a nest of baby birds. The parents build a nest, lay eggs, eat seeds and bugs and the babies grow feathers, learn to fly, feed themselves and gain independence Informative…

  • Blog,  Book Reviews,  Books - Nature,  Books - Picture

    Nature Picture Books for the 5 to 10s

    As part of our Leap into Literature focus we recently discovered a whole slew of Nature picture titles, books of sufficient depth and interest for our 5-9yr olds. A Butterfly is Patient – Diana Hutts Ashton Charlotte’s alert had me checking our library and we were thrilled with this book.  Lots of informative information about butterflies accompanied by gorgeous illustrations!!  The children were so inspired they went outside butterfly hunting immediately, using the internet for identification, as sadly as the book is American it didn’t help us identify our butterflies.  Still it inspired an awareness and interest.  Highly recommended. An Egg is Quiet- Diana Hutts Ashton Again plenty of information with incredible illustrations,…