Category Archives: Picture Book Month

Stories for Simon – Lisa Miranda Sarzin & Lauren Briggs

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storiesforsimon

Random House Australia Children’s

May 2015

RRP $24.99

ISBN 9780857987440

We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and CelebrateNAIDOC theme 2015

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Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generations in February 2008 was momentous for all Australians – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. And it is critically important that we teach our children the significance of this in order to nurture the healing in a meaningful way and to promote a positive future for all our people.

This beautifully written and illustrated book is destined to be a key title in this educative process for younger children as the collaborators (and long-time friends) transform the huge issues surrounding this acknowledgement of a dark time in our nation’s history into a story that even small children can readily grasp.

Simon collects many beautiful things such as shells and feathers and fossils. When he is sent a boomerang as a gift to start a new collection, he immediately takes it to school to show everyone. The old newspaper in which it is wrapped becomes the focus of many questions as the teacher spots these words “For the pain, suffering and hurt, we say SORRY”.  After the class’ discussion about this tragic history, Simon’s thoughts and dreams reflect his new knowledge. A dream of raining ‘sorry’ stones becomes a reality and the beginning of a new friendship, a new ‘collection’ of special stories and a new appreciation of First Australians’ past.

Sarzin and Briggs were mentored throughout the creative process by Indigenous Elder Vic Simms, ensuring that both text and illustrations were sensitively handled with all due respect.  He says ‘I believe this book will generate interest, understanding and reconciliation for the future, starting with the minds of children and by telling a story that is seen through their innocent eyes.’

Suzy Wilson, founder of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, states ‘This book is a welcome and important addition to school libraries and bookshelves everywhere. It will provoke important conversations between parents and children, in classrooms and throughout the community’.

Australian of the Year, Adam Goodes, Michael O’Loughlin and the Goodes O’Loughlin (GO) Foundatio endorse the book and all royalties  will be donated to the Foundation.

Find teaching notes here.

Highly recommended for all readers, particularly younger Primary students, this is a must have for your collection to continue developing cross-cultural understandings.

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Baby Days- Alison Lester

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ISBN: 9781760111724
Australian Pub. December 2014
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Suitable for ages: 1-4

RRP $16.99

Is there a new baby or a toddler in your circle? If so, the inimitable Alison Lester has once again created a beautiful book that would make a perfect first-book gift.

Combining four stories, previously available as board books, into an exquisite single volume with a lovely padded cover, Baby Days is a delightful collection for small humans ‘discovering the world of things they love to do’.

Bibs and Boots

Bumping and Bouncing

Crashing and Splashing

Happy and Sad

Each double page spread is like a snapshot framed in a border, with the signature Alison Lester style, displaying activities that tiny people will recognise and to which they will respond.

Little details abound – such as the rather shocked faces of toys who are being speedily pulled along in a wagon attached to a billy cart or the baby eating sand in the sandpit, rather than digging in it.  Scenes from the backyard, the playroom, the beach, the park, the farm, the kitchen, Grandma’s place and more will resonate with the small audience and provide much conversation as little ones explore language.

In sunshine and rain, whether happy or sad, babies will recognise much that corresponds with their own families and homes.

Pop one into the Santa sack of your favourite little human this Christmas!

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Welcome to Picture Book Month!

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It’s international Picture Book Month, when all of us who adore picture books and recognise their value in entertaining and educating our children can revel in the vast array of talent that abounds around the world.

You can check out the Picture Month site here where you will find information about the initiative, ambassadors, daily posts of interviews with authors and illustrators, teaching notes and activities …and more.

During November, my aim is to post either a review or an interview each day to join the celebrations of this genre. Coming up is a week of marvellous Indigenous picture books, Favourite Classics plus some terrific interviews with folk like Christopher Cheng, a Picture Book Month ambassador, Michael Salmon and more – including some terrific locally produced picture books from my very own Redcliffe area!

Take another look at winning picture books at CBCA or the Caldecott Awards or the Golden Kite winners.

You can find other links to award winning books of all kinds here.

Hope you all enjoy it!