Tag Archives: Paul Seden

Aussie Kids series – Books #5 & #6

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Penguin Australia

July 2020

Get your little newly independent readers excited when you add these two new volumes to the Aussie Kids books! This is just a truly charming series as children take a vicarious trip around our beautiful country, learning a little about kids from other spaces, cultures and backgrounds as well as information about the particular locale.

Meet Mia by the Jetty – Janeen Brian and Danny Snell

  • ISBN: 9781760893668
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $12.99

Visit South Australia in this episode and meet Mia, who fancies herself a tour guide especially when visitor Jim is coming to stay. Mia knows her bossy older sister, Alice, will want to take over but she is very determined to take the lead in showing Jim the local sights of Victor Harbour, like the jetty, the island and the beach.

A delightful ride on a horse-drawn tram (the only one in Australia we learn) is a real highlight but building sandcastles and exploring the beach, including fairy penguin burrows, as well as whale spotting are also huge moments in Mia’s deluxe tour.

By the end of the day even Alice has to admit that Mia has been a pretty successful tourist guide and this is only the first day of Jim’s visit!

Meet Sam at the Mangrove Creek – Paul Seden & Brenton McKenna

  • ISBN: 9781760894122
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $12.99

This one is particularly special for me as we visit the Top End and go fishing with Sam and his cuz Peter among the mangroves. Sam has a brand new throw net and can’t wait to try it out. He’s really hoping to catch a big juicy barra but really needs a bit of tuition in using his net properly. Luckily for the boys an old-timer quietly sitting nearby knows just the right technique for success and while the barra eludes the pair, they do manage a nice little haul of good sized whiting. Pretty chuffed with their catch they plan to take them home until they notice that the old man seems to be ‘camped’ in the park with just a bag of clothes and a blanket. The boys show their gratitude by gifting their fish to the old Uncle and go home happily planning their next great fishing adventure.

This one not only allows some virtual exploration of a landscape which will be very different to that most children know but also an insight into First Australian culture. As it’s written and illustrated by two Indigenous creators, one knows that the language, actions and attitudes of the characters is completely authentic. Definitely a winner!

I’d be surprised if primary libraries haven’t yet taken up this series but if you haven’t, I’d strongly urge you to do so. I know that particularly for those units of inquiry that focus on Australia – landscapes and diversity (around Year 2 for me) would benefit hugely from the inclusion of this series with the narratives, maps and additional facts.

There are two more volumes to come so pick up the first six now if you have not yet done so. Naturally they would also make a superb addition to your own home library for children from around 5 years upwards.

Don’t forget to check out the activity pack and there is also a Teach at Home lesson.

Crabbing with Dad – Paul Seden

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Magabala Books

April 2016

ISBN:9781925360158

RRP $17.95

 

As our summer merges into autumn with no abate to the warm weather seemingly, this will be a great read aloud for your smaller humans especially those who live near the water. Paul Seden’s picture book is chockfull of colour and activity as a family goes up the creek to try some crabbing.

With both Indigenous and non-Indigenous characters this is a truly inclusive story for children to celebrate this quintessentially Australian pastime of water recreation. Paul is Darwin-based and descended from the Wuthathi and Muralag people of North Queensland. His first successful foray into picture books, writing and illustrating, is based on his own experiences spending time with his family having adventures and fishing the creeks around Darwin.

One particularly enjoyable feature is the use of creative font to emphasise the onomatopoeia used throughout story which could easily take this book into a teachable moment. The story also lends itself well to writing and sharing children’s own recounts of their own family recreational adventures.

Two double-page spreads stand out for me. The first: a split view of Dad and the kids in the tinny and the variety of creatures under the surface of the creek – it is just gorgeous and so evocative of similar locations. The second: a highly annoyed captured crab – readers will love shouting out the ‘big angry crab’ text!

This really is a must have for your picture book collection and I highly recommend it for readers from Prep up to around Year 3/4.

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