Today’s read – The Boy and His Toy (with teachers notes)

The Boy and the Toy
by Sonya Hartnett (illustrated by Masciullo Lucia)

One day a man invented the best toy in the world.

He gave the toy to his son. The boy thought the toy was marvellous. It could do anything!

But as time passed, the boy started to wonder about the toy. Was it really the best toy in the world?

You can buy the book here =>

Download teachers notes here =>

Always a great book to share – Spot

Spot’s Birthday Balloon

by Eric Hill

Spot and his friends are going to Grandma’s birthday party and Spot is taking her a special balloon. But a strong gust of wind whisks the balloon away and Spot, Tom and Helen have quite a chase before help comes from an unexpected quarter. This book has gatefolds on every spread which open out to reveal the next stage in Spot’s balloon hunt. Young children will love lifting the page flaps to discover how the story progresses.

Coming soon – Let’s count goats by Mem Fox and Jan Thomas

Let’s Count Goats
By Fox Mem, Thomas Jan

This wonderful picture book by acclaimed author Mem Fox has a wonderful, rollicking, rhyming text reminiscent of Where is the Green Sheep? And just like the super successful Green Sheep, early readers will be memorising the simple text – as well as honing their numeracy skills with all the crazy goats to count!

Shaun Tan’s “Lost thing” now on DVD

In a world of rivets and drabness, a boy befriends a fantastical red creature that appears to be totally lost: based on the writer-director Tan’s prize-winning children’s book.

Here is a trailer to tempt you …

Directed by Shaun Tan. This film is part of the Sydney Film Festival. June 2-14 2010.

About the DVD

The Lost Thing
A boy discovers a bizarre looking creature while out collecting bottle tops at the beach. Having guessed it is lost, he tries to find its owner or where it belongs, but is met with mute indifference from everyone else, who barely notice its presence, each unwilling to entertain this interruption to their daily lives. For reasons he does not explain, the boy empathises with the creature, and sets out to find a ‘place’ for it.

DVD Extras include: Deleted scenes, pre-production artwork, notes and commentaries, mini-features on animation development, plus an extensive interview. The package also includes a 48-page field guide, ‘What Miscellaneous Abnormality Is That?’, a rare publication from the mysterious Federal Department of Odds. At last you will be able to correctly identify a lost thing when you see one. Check here for more details.

Remember the book?

A kid finds a lost ‘thing’ on the beach where he’s scavenging for his bottle top collection. The thing is a large, freakish creature but no one except the kid really notices it, it’s simply not part of their familiar day-to-day reality.

Buy the book here =>

You can download
Teachers Notes
Resource Sheet: Imagination: The Lost Thing
Discussion module
Language Stimulation Guide

Page Turners. Fostering A Child’s Love Of Books Starts With Making Storytime Engaging. Here, 7 Tips For Reading To Young Kids

By Karen Levine and Cori Cohen

AWAKEN THE ACTOR WITHIN: A boring reader makes a boring story! Don’t be afraid to act out stories and use as many funny voices, expressions and emotions as you can. Aside from having fun while bonding with your child, you will be amazed at how much this helps broaden your child’s vocabulary and use of language and emotion.

HOLD YOUR CHILD CLOSE: Reading is a great opportunity to cuddle with your child. If they are not yet sitting up, make sure your child is on your lap with their back against your chest. They will be able to turn the pages and have control over their experience. As they grow older, keep them close to you and enjoy looking at illustrations together.

ASK QUESTIONS: Once your child is able to speak, ask them questions about the book. Asking them to point to an object helps them to increase their vocabulary and facilitates language development and comprehension skills.

MAKE READING TIME A ROUTINE: Set aside a special time to read to your child everyday. Whether it is before bedtime or in the middle of the day, if reading becomes part of their routine, they will learn to get excited about it and look forward to reading time as they grow.

CONSIDER YOUR OWN READING HABITS: Monkey see, monkey do! If your child observes how much you read, and the joy you experience from books, they will model themselves after you and develop similar reading habits. This may also be a time to hide the clicker and minimize TV time.

MAKE SURE BOOKS ARE EASILY ACCESSIBLE: The old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind,” also applies to your child’s books. Make sure they have access both visually and physically to their reading material. For smaller children, store books in accessible containers, such as a basket, bucket or even a shoebox.

ATTEND A STORY HOUR: It is important for a child to learn that a book can be shared and enjoyed with others in a group. In addition, the child learns about group participation and the various interpretations a book can suggest. This will lead to interest in book clubs and encourage them to voice their opinions.

*Karen Levine and Cori Cohen are owners of StoryTime By Design, Inc., an educational, musical and magical story hour program. For more info, visit

Book Trailer for Once by Morris Gleitzman

Once I escaped from an orphanage to find my Mum and Dad.

Once I saved a girl called Zelda from a burning house.

Once I made a Nazi with toothache laugh.

My name is Felix.

This is my story.

This is a touching, beautiful book that is perfect to read to grade 5/6 children, as I have done. This book was the springboard to some of the deepest, most meaningful discussions I’ve had with schoolkids about youth, prejudice, war, Hitler, family and friends. I highly recommend “Once” and the sequel, “Then”.

Teachers Notes here =>
Hear the author read from Chapter One as you read along with the text =>
The real life stories that inspired the book =>

Buy the book here =>

Maurice Sendak reads his book “Where the wild things are”

More about the book and the movie here (and watch President Obama reading the book out loud) =>

Today’s read: a new fairy tale from Graeme Base

The Legend of the Golden Snail

by Graeme Base

Wilbur’s favorite story is about a snail that takes the shape of a golden galleon when it sails through the Magical Realm. Captured by the Grand Enchanter, the Golden Snail must obey his commands for 100 years, after which it is banished to the Ends of the Earth until a new master can claim it by reciting the magical spell. Wilbur decides to find the Golden Snail, and, packing an odd assortment of things, he and his faithful cat set off in a small sailboat. The story follows the pattern of many traditional folktales. As Wilbur travels, he comes upon creatures in need of help. Though he feels he is being distracted from his mission, his kind heart prevails, and each of those odd items proves to be just what’s needed. His watering can helps quench the thirst of the wilting blossoming butterfly bush, etc. In turn, each rescued creature comes to Wilbur’s aid when he is in trouble. With his mission finally accomplished, Wilbur decides it is better to be a Gallant Captain than a Grand Enchanter. While the story is nothing new, the telling is fresh, with many original and inventive touches, and Base’s writing is well-paced and lively. The real standout is the artwork: well-composed, large paintings that are rich in detail but never look cluttered. As is usual with Base, there is a game to be played, this time finding a golden snail and crossbones in each picture. This beautiful book is sure to be a hit with the author’s fans and cultivate new ones.

Bookaneers – Pirates who love to read


Watch it here =>

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