Tag Archives: Grandmothers

The Dream Bird –  Aleesah Darlinson/Emma Middleton

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dreambirdes

Wombat Books

ISBN: 9781925563337

Release: 1 April 2018

Price: $19.99 Hardback

 

For a family of insomniacs no explanation is needed about the difficulties sometimes of going to sleep – no matter how busy the day, or the level of tiredness. Young and old in my crew this is something we deal with constantly.

Over the years I’ve dealt with this problem from both a personal and a professional aspect. Many children have a real difficulty with calming down from their busyness of the day and sadly, I have seen some medicated to do so.

George is a child who finds it incredibly hard to switch off from his days and even though his family have strategies to offer, none seems to work for him. But Gran has the solution (as so often we Grans do!). She tells him a beautifully lyrical and soothing story about the Dream Bird who takes children on magical dream journeys to the places that are just right for each.

This is not just a story about getting children to sleep. It is an affirmation of the joy and comfort of bedtime stories, the power of imagination and of course, family love and tenderness.

Aleesah’s text is so beautifully wrapped in an almost ethereal swirl of illustrations which evoke the cross-over between reality and fantasy. Whether it’s leaping with leopards, swimming with mermaids or visiting a land of lollies and other yummy treats, every child deserves a Dream Bird to lullaby them to sleep.

Enjoy some insight into Emma’s illustrative process here.

Highly recommended for your little people whether as an addition to library shelves or as a charming gift to a special child.

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Oma’s Buttons – Tania Ingram/Jennifer Harrison

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oma

Penguin Australia

9780143786573

April 2, 2018

Viking Imprint

RRP$24.99

 

We grandmothers know there is a special bond between us and our grandchildren – some of us even more so than others.  Tania and Jennifer have produced a beautiful book which encapsulates just one aspect of this relationship.

 

So many of us would have experienced the joy of rummaging through the ‘button tin’ – my mother had one and I had one (and still have some of those buttons squirreled away). And it’s quite true that these humble little artefacts can evoke such powerful memories. To share those memories with a special child is one of the greatest gifts an older person can impart particularly when those we love are no longer with us.

 

Essentially a simple narrative about Ruthie spending time with her Oma and the discovery of the button tin of memories, this demonstrates so beautifully the importance of reminiscing and remembering especially in families. More importantly in my opinion it reminds us that sharing our time with our little ones is not always about outings and treats, that often it is the simplest of pastimes that have the most impact.

 

This is a delightful book to share and would be perfect for discussing special family traditions, memories and histories. The stunning realistic illustrations are just a perfect match for the story.

Highly recommended for readers from little ones as a read aloud to older newly independent readers.

Nanna’s Button Tin – Dianne Wolfer & Heather Potter

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buttons

Walker Books

ISBN: 9781922077677

June 1, 2017

Australian RRP: $24.99
New Zealand RRP: $27.99
This is an absolutely charming story for young readers and a beautiful gentle lead in to the idea of memories, keepsakes and family story telling.  When a special little girl needs a very specific button to repair a much loved teddy, Nanna’s button tin is the perfect place in which to search.  As Nanna and the little one spread out the buttons and examine each carefully, they share the stories of the origin of each.

Such seemingly prosaic objects become a focus of special remembrances and happy loving thoughts. Finally exactly the right button is found and Teddy has a special operation to restore him to perfect health.

The illustrations in soft pastels with fabulous use of white space provide a soothing and peaceful feel to the story which will be felt by those who read it.

I wonder how many children have the joy of this special activity these days. I do hope some have grannies and great-grannies that keep those special buttons and are able to tell the old stories about them.

Highly recommended for little readers from around five years upwards.

Grandparents are the Bomb!

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Random House Australia

Of course I can be a little smug since Small so often tells me  lovingly that I am ‘the best Gran in the whole world’. This little person and I have always had such a close bond and that was made even closer when Mummy became so critically ill and K came to stay with me. Since we lost Mummy the bond just gets deeper and deeper, closer and closer. Not only do I strive to make her as happy, settled and secure as possible but I actively encourage her natural curiosity and imagination, her innate desire to explore and observe and her acute intuition regarding life and people.

Here are two wonderful picture books that both celebrate the special-ness of grandparents. Long may we reign1

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Miss Mae’s Saturday – Justine Flynn/J.Yi

ISBN: 9780857988584

Published: 28/03/2016

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

RRP $16.99

 

Every Saturday Mae has the boundless joy of adventures with her Grandma – the ballet, the zoo or the park. Everything is a new exciting experience.

 

But what to do when Saturday is dreary and rainy? Miss Mae is initially dubious when Grandma produces a huge cardboard box – with NOTHING in it! But is very quickly convinced once the epic adventures start – a safari jeep and being confronted by lions, a plane soaring through the blossoms in Korea or zooming through space  – this is the best Saturday ever!

 

This is a book which will be very special to both grandmothers and grandchildren and will promote the often overlooked simple imaginative play which children all love.

 

Check out the teaching notes here.

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Wild Pa – Claire Saxby – Connah Brecon

ISBN: 9780857988003

Published: 01/08/2016

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

 

RRP $24.99

 

This lucky child also has a grandparent with pizzazz! No boring balding grandfathers here with their tidy garden obsessions or cups of tea with the newspapers.

The Wild Pa chases through the house, is groovy and groomed, prefers exciting food to beans and sausages and never minds when the house gets messy. Well, eventually he decides it’s time to clean up a bit but even that’s fun and then – the next adventure begins!

Claire Saxby’s delightful rhyming text and Dylan Thomas portrait like descriptors are always a joy to read aloud and Brecon’s illustrations jump off the pages with vibrancy and humour.

 

Both of these are bound to be great hits in your collection. I’m just a bit disappointed that we have already had our Grandparents Day for this year but will definitely keeping both in mind for next year’s fun.
Highly recommended for readers from Prep upwards.

 

The First Third – Will Kostakis

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firsthird

Penguin Australia

Published:24/07/2013

Format:Paperback, 248 pages

RRP:$17.99

price:AUD $17.99

ISBN-13:9780143568179

ISBN-10:0143568175

Yes, ok, I admit it. I may well be one of the last few teacher-librarians in Australia who hadn’t read The First Third – until the past couple of weeks.  I knew, from all the glowing recommendations and recognitions that it must be a brilliant read and so I knew I must put it on the Premier’s Reading Challenge list I was compiling, but I hadn’t yet read it.

And now I have. And I laughed and empathised and cringed all the way through it.  What a marvellous storyteller Kostakis is! This vibrant story of contemporary Australian family life interlaced with Greek culture is so well-written and so genuinely engaging. Throughout, I was reminded of every Greek person I have ever known from Sophie, my Community Officer at Marrickville Public Library, to my current library cleaner, Kathy, as I recognised expressions and attitudes and the warm wonderful humour.

Of course, the setting resonated with me – as a Sutherland Shire girl – suburb names like Brighton-le-Sands and Rockdale send a pang right to my heart.  But it was the people – the characters who are not really characters at all – but real people who might have been my neighbours that bring this story to life with such vivid clarity.

Billy (Bill) Tsiolkas is your pretty average 17 year old boy with a fiercely Greek yiayia (aren’t they all?) and a moderately dysfunctional family – single mum and two brothers at odds with themselves and the rest of the clan. He falls in love fairly regularly, he loves his family despite their oddities, he wants his Mum to be happy and he doesn’t want to lose his yiayia. When his grandmother gives him what is essentially her ‘bucket list’, Bill finds himself battling all the quirks of his family life to realise the list and in the process discovers much about himself, his family circle and life.

This is such a warm, funny and endearing book that it will no doubt remain on my bookshelf for re-visiting. It has such a ‘feel good’ vibe to it and as one who has often been the ‘glue’ in the family I can completely relate to it.

Of course, you already have it on your shelves but if you haven’t yet taken time to read it – YOU MUST!!!