Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Harry Potter Night Celebrations 2021


Fifty young wizards and witches from Year 4 to Year 8 had plenty of magical fun at our big HP Night event yesterday afternoon. On arrival the kids all got a sealed envelope containing their Hogwarts letter, a laminated house themed bookmark (which neatly gave me the groups for the activity rotations) and a temporary tattoo of a lightning bolt.

Our activities:

Making butterbeer and decorating HP-themed biscuits

Winged Keys

Wand making/decorating and also completing wand permits

Potions brewing (colour changing tea plus mini-potion bottles)

Papercrafts such as Cubees (Harry Potter & Voldemort), I Spy, Harry Potter ABC, House colour bows and rosettes,

Mini-Quidditch game and chocolate leapfrog game

Trivia and photo ops

Lucky door prizes – every student got a prize, from pencils to figurines, lanyards to badges, loads of bits and pieces I had accumulated during the year from various sources, and then one final draw for a copy of HP and the Half-Blood Prince which I had spare.

We had 3 tables of collectibles most of which belonged to myself, my junior school t-l and my library tech but one of our IT staff also lent us his Lego Diagon Alley for display. My own Lego group had already built the Great Hall during the term to form part of our display – we had some of our new HP books for perusal and a couple of static displays – Flourish & Blotts – with an amazing moving wizard photo of Gilderoy Lockhart (created by my library tech) as well as a Gringotts table.

It was exhausting, noisy, chaotic but hugely fun and exciting for all the kiddos.

Harry Potter Christmas Bliss!


Well didn’t I feel so special when the lovely Bloomsbury Australia folk sent me these – knowing full well my HP obsession! And they will make the most highly-sought after Christmas gifts for any PotterHead in your circle too!!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: MinaLima edition

By J.K. Rowling
Illustrator: MinaLima

Imprint:Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Even the Kid (not a HP fan – where have I failed???) thinks this is just superb! It’s the Philosopher’s Stone as you’ve never seen it before with simply stunning papercraft embellishments throughout as well as stylish bordered pages, full colour illustrations and arguably the most handsome binding I’ve ever encountered.

My able assistant agreed to show you just a couple of the enchanting surprises. First the entry to the Grynffindor common room – swing the Fat Lady’s portrait out to reveal the interior of the cosy room we all wish we could visit.

Next up this amazing fold out of Diagon Alley – have you got your sickles and galleons ready to spend? Just tap the right brick – away you go!

I suppose you could buy it for a child of your acquaintance – but really I think it will be we adults who will revel in this the most!

Christmas at Hogwarts: a movie scrapbook – Warner Bros

Bloomsbury Children’s Books

November 2020

ISBN: 9781526628244

RRP: A$29.99 NZ $32.99

Another perfect Christmas gift filled with not only glorious stills from the movies including Harry’s first Christmas at Hogwarts, in The Burrow and the holiday spent in Grimmauld Place but with the most delightful inserts of various kinds: stickers, bookmarks, sketch designs of costumes, concept illustrations as well as other insights.

There are reflections from both the actors and film makers along with special informational pieces on decorating and festive traditions in the magical sphere. Christmas as celebrated by the witches and wizards we’ve come to love like family is a bright and beautiful experience and it would be a very hard-to-please recipient who wouldn’t treasure this for their HP collection.

Needless to say these are staying right on my HP shelf which is fast becoming fuller and fuller – and very likely will continue to do so!!!

But do rush out and buy these for someone you love – trust me, they will be so filled with joy! Thank you again to the lovely Sonia from Bloomsbury who knows me so well!! What a fabulous gift with which to end a year of reviewing for this wonderful publishing company!!

PS – I’m already planning our Harry Potter Night event for the start of Term 1 2021! Let the magic continue to sparkle!

Harry Potter Knitting Magic: The Official Harry Potter Knitting Pattern Book – Tanis Gray


Harper Collins Australia

y648 (8)

January 2020

ISBN: 9781911641926

ISBN 10: 1911641921

Imprint: Pavilion – GB

List Price: 39.99 AUD

I hadn’t done any knitting for about eight years but these holidays (of stay-at-home instead of the planned week in Thailand) I have been knitting some ANZAC Day poppies as a little project. This sumptuous book is inspiring me further. I’d love to make my own Hedwig! And certainly a Hufflepuff scarf would be a simple and relaxing creation for coming winter days.

Whether you are an experienced knitter or a beginner you will find something here to tackle and add to your vast (or is that just me?) collection of Harry Potter items.

Each project is gloriously photographed and instructions are set out in a very easy to follow manner. For us in Australia, it will take a bit of research to convert the given yarns etc to our standards but I don’t envisage that to be a huge issue.

The book also includes bonus material such as fun facts, behind-the-scenes information, original costume sketches and movie stills all adding to its entirely wonderful content.

Given the parlous times we now find ourselves in and so many outside the home pursuits severely curtailed this is a perfect opportunity to work on some of the older style handcrafts and knitting, which has experienced such a resurgence in recent years, is one of the most soothing and satisfying to be had.


Crafty Creatures:
 patterns for Hedwig; Cornish Pixies; Fluffy the Three-Headed Dog
Wizarding Wardrobe: patterns for Mrs Weasley’s Home-Knit Christmas jumpers; Hogwarts House Scarves; and Hogwarts’ house scarves.
Inspired Apparel: clothes and accessories inspired by characters, artefacts and themes from the films such as a Expecto Patronum! mittens and Quidditch socks.
Delightful Decor: Dress your home with Harry Potter decorative accessories such as Hogwarts House mug cosies and Seven Horcruxes tea towels.

I promise if I manage to control the poor stiff arthritic fingers and complete something I will share the result!

A must for all HP fans – and really, if you don’t knit (and can’t/won’t learn via YouTube or elsewhere) perhaps you could recruit a handy friend to undertake your choice.

Love it!!!! Get one for your collection and get those needles clicking!

Harry Potter – Creatures: a paper scene book




November 2018

ISBN: 9781526605849
Imprint: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

RRP:  $45.00

It is quite difficult to describe this book – except of course to say I’m in love with it and being the dedicated Potterhead that I am it’s NOT leaving my shelves!

However I will attempt to convey the sheer delight of it by saying that if you think of something very visual in the books – let’s say the dragons in the forest – you will find a magical 3D paper image of that scene followed by a glorious double spread with loads of information about these amazing animals. Others you will relish are the The Black Lake, the Forbidden Forest and Dark Creatures.

Rather than try to elaborate further take a look at this clip and you will soon get the idea –and the glory of it 😊

Naturally I cannot recommend this highly enough for your own HP devotee…….it’s brilliant!

Harry Potter 20 years on



So last night I took time out from review books to re-read HP & the Philosopher’s Stone – my brand new beautiful Hufflepuff edition. Yes, I’m proud to be a Hufflepuff and yes I do mentally say ‘Alohomora’ every time I unlock a door. I also mentally release my Tonkinese cat patronus when the need arises as one does and tell people to ‘Budge up yer great lump’.

When I finished reading it as I was going to sleep some various thoughts were running through my head. Like many others in the past week and those leading up to anniversary, I’ve read, heard and watched interviews and commentaries from various folks. So I thought why not share my own?

Now the first thing I thought about was the very fundamentalist RE teacher at one state school who wanted the books banned from the library. I’ve worked in many church schools and I do understand if a particular faith objects to magic/witchcraft/etc although I don’t agree with the reasoning. But I do have a real problem indeed quandary about some that allow all other books with witches, wizards, magic and more yet won’t have HP on the shelves. Why is that? I’ll come back to that but it makes me wonder if it’s more like the  Enid Blyton blitz back in the day more than the spiritual objection – that somehow because of its popularity there must be something inherently wrong with it.

I thought about that time when my middle daughter and I had been first in the door to buy HP & the Half-blood Prince, binge read it and the next day at a family dinner proceeded to have a very vigorous discussion about our opposing viewpoints on Snape (me maintaining his good guy status, she not and wanting to curse him herself). My dear late mother looked up with great bewilderment and asked, ‘Aren’t these book characters you’re arguing about?’  Hmmm, well yes but they’re like real people you know. This made me think about just how many animated discussions I’ve  had over the years with both kids and adults about our favourite characters, incidents etc. Just how many books/series can you say completely and utterly leap the chasm between all ages of readers with such gusto?  I know there are critics who claim it is not ‘great literature’. Personally, I’ve seen many books awarded Book of the Year for their literary merit that remain on shelves to gather dust unread until their pages yellow and crumble. I rest my case on those points.

Then I considered the positive values that are so evident throughout the whole series: unconditional friendship, love, loyalty, courage, resilience, initiative, determination, inclusivity, kindness, honesty/truth, self sacrifice, generosity, and compassion – what have I left out here?  This compared to the vices which are thwarted at every turn:  deceit, treachery, greed, lust for and abuse of power, spite, cowardice, bullying, cruelty, bigotry and callousness.  At the very heart of the series is the eternal battle of Good against Evil and the concept that no matter how dark the times, or how overwhelming the enemy or how apparently futile the resistance, the only way to overcome Evil is for each one of us to face up to it. This theme is demonstrated in stories from David and Goliath through to the Narnia stories and Tolkien’s overthrowing of Sauron by two little hobbits. How can this not be pertinent in church school libraries or indeed anywhere we are trying to raise decent human beings who will stand up to be counted against blatant injustice and abuse of position?

The last thing I thought about was JKR’s skill with foreshadowing. I have read some of her ‘back story’ notes made before and during the writing of the books and am so impressed with this seemingly effortless technique. Particularly last night I thought about Neville. Who would have thought that the little round-faced clumsy boy who was always losing his toad and was almost afraid of his own shadow would become the bloody and beaten young man who defiantly challenged Voldemort with nothing more than the Sorting Hat? In this very first book the support and encouragement of his friends to ‘stand up for himself’ (even to their detriment almost!) was the start of the growth and development of Neville’s confidence and self-belief.

All in all, yes I am a dedicated Potterphile and proud to say so for many reasons not just those above and perhaps that as well as these reflections it is pure good fun and every time I re-read I am transported to a magical world that I love – ‘always’.









Our school finishes this term at the end of next week and as the official anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone falls in our holidays, we decided that the library should celebrate for the last two weeks of term.

We wanted our displays to be as interactive as possible so created a Potions class, Charms class, Gringotts bank, SPEW – free the house elves campaign, Quibblers and Daily Prophets to read, a Guess Who game and more. I thank my amazing tech Vilma for her assistance with this (she is just as big a HP fan as I am!).  Hope you enjoy our photos from the past week.  Most popular are Charms class – with many students practising their wand movements, having their tea leaves ‘read’ (You will have veggies with your dinner tonight” “You will have a bath and put your pyjamas on” etc” and counting the gold in Gringotts Bank!