It’s important to Bluey that she be better at things than Bingo and Judo, but when Mum says she should run her own race, Bluey doesn’t understand what she means. And so Mum tells her of the race she thought she was in when Bluey was learning to crawl and walk and Judo was don’t them first. Mum learned lots of important lessons during that time about letting Bluey, and later, Bingo, do things in their own way at their own time, because despite her self-doubt, it was neither a race nor a competition.
Based on the episode of the ABC series of the same name, this is another is this very popular collection of stories in print format that allows young readers to return to the story time and again, cementing in their minds the value of print as a medium as well as learning some of life’s necessary lessons.
Little ones always compare themselves to others, seemingly having a need to be better or the best, perhaps a trait learned from their proud parents even in those early months, and so learning to “run your own race” and accept yourself for who you are and what you can do at the time is a difficult concept to grasp. But it is a critical one because if our children are going to be mentally and emotionally healthy, they need to know that who they are right now is enough. If they are doing all they can, and the best they can with what they know and have available to them, as Mum was, then that is all that can be expected. While it is natural and healthy to have aspirations and goals to strive for, they need to learn the meaning of “walk before you run” so they are building a solid foundation on which to move forward.
So while this is an abstract philosophical concept for minds still working at the here-and-now level, stories like this can help parents teach them in a way they can understand. “Remember the story about Bluey and…” is a common refrain heard in early childhood circles and this is another example of that.
“About 500 million years ago, long before dinosaurs roamed, primitive plants crept across this barren rock called Earth. Tiny mosses and liverworts hugged the ground, creating the first soil and pumping oxygen into the atmosphere. This planet became a Green Planet…”
Now, Earth is dominated by plants, which outweigh all other life – from tiny duckweed floating in our ponds to giant sequoia trees towering above us. It’s easy to take plants for granted, but we depend on these light-eaters, oxygen-generators, and rain-makers for every breath of air and mouthful of food we take. Plants that can care for other plants and can smell, taste, touch, hear and even ‘talk’.
In collaboration with BBC Earth, this illustrated non-fiction book captures the intrigue, drama, and beauty of the groundbreaking new BBC TV series: The Green Planet. opening up a world of natural history that is often overlooked or deemed not as dynamic as the animal kingdom. Each double-page spread explores a different aspect from the battle for light in the tropical world so surviving in the sands and the desert to the secret gardens of the sea using full-colour illustrations, and text presented in accessible chunks that offer the most intriguing information. Did you know there is a “wood wide web” of fungi roots kilometres long that share nutrients with other plants, including those in distress?
Sir David Attenborough, who narrated the television series says, ” We can all work with plants to help make our world greener and a little wilder. If we do this…our future on this planet will be safer and healthier- and my own experience tells me that we will also be happier.” There are suggestions for how each of us can help make this happen and this book is the ideal starting point becasus the more we know the more we understand, appreciate and value.
Thirty years ago, if you wanted to capture the kids’ attention, particularly boys, through books, no teacher was without a copy of one of the latest Paul Jennings short story collections. Unreal, Uncanny, Unmentionable, Un-anything – pull it out at any time and you immediately had their undivided attention. Here, in a few short pages, was someone who mentioned the unmentionable and who brought a blush to the face of many a sensitive teacher (part of the appeal of the stories).
And then Jennings invented the Twist family, fourteen-year-old twins Pete and Linda, eight-year-old son Bronson, and father Tony, a widowed artist who makes sculptures. They live in an old lighthouse on a rugged part of the Victorian coastline and their madcap adventures became one of the most popular on television at the time, and which is now enjoying a resurgence on streaming services. Beginning in print form first (the new release has the original cover) Jennings agreed to work on the television series in partnership with Esben Storm and this gave him the unique insight into how the series was made that is included in this latest release which includes three of the original stories.
Because of the popularity of both Jennings himself, and the series which ran for 11 years, there is a generation of Australians who not only know his name but can attribute their reading success to his works and so they will be delighted that such a significant part of their childhood is now opening up for their own children – if, indeed, it ever disappeared. Fun for fun’s sake!
Peppa Pig and her family are on holiday in Australia visiting her friend Kylie Kangaroo and they are all off to visit the Australian rainforest. To guide their explorations, they have a scavenger hunt to complete and so each page has a lift-the-flap experience to discover.
As with her other Australian adventures , this is a novel way to introduce our youngest readers to environments and the creatures that live in them that they may not be familiar with. Combining familiar characters and the interactivity of the lift-the-flap format, preschoolers can start to develop conceptual ideas and vocabulary about Australian landscapes and habitats they are likely to encounter in other stories. It also offers the opportunity to introduce atlases and other non fiction texts if the astute adult asks questions such as “If we wanted to visit the rainforest, where would we have to go?” or “What other things might they have found in the rainforest?’ or even, “Why does it rain so much in the rainforest?” There is always the opportunity to model questions that start new investigations.
George is looking for Mr Dinosaur but he can’t find him anywhere and he’s distressed. So Mummy Pig suggests they retrace their steps through the day, but no matter how promising things look, what’s revealed under the flap is not Mr Dinosaur.
In a book reminiscent of the advertisement for a particular brand of car in which a family retraces their steps in search of Gonzo the missing toy rabbit, little ones can not only follow George’s search as they resonate with his rising distress but they learn that there can be a logical sequence of events to follow rather than throwing a tantrum. So that when they misplace something, parents can draw on George’s experience to guide them in theirs.
Again, the use of a familiar plot, favourite characters and a lift-the-flap technique mean the book will engage even our youngest readers and those crucial concepts about the value of print will continue to develop. There’s something special about quietly observing Mr Nearly 3 taking himself off to a quiet spot and retelling himself the story using his own vocabulary as he recounts George’s adventures. But there was also something disconcerting when at the conclusion he said, “I bet his mum put it there out of her bag,” suggesting that maybe he had been exposed to that advertisement once too often!
When Peppa and her family land in Australia for Christmas, Mr and Mrs Kangaroo are surprised to see them – clearly there has been a communication breakdown – but nevertheless they all pile into the Kangaroos’ Kombi and head for the beach. This is a surprise for Peppa because she is used to a cold Christmas and so are all the activities which are so different to what she is used to. Santa surfing in on a surfboard is something to behold!
Even though the day is far removed from what Peppa is used to, young readers will recognise and relate to it as we experience summer – although perhaps like Kylie Kangaroo they yearn for snow!
It’s Christmas Day and it’s the perfect weather for a family swim! Bartlebee is Bluey’s new toy – how will he cope with his first Heeler Christmas? He finds them a bit rough and ready and wants to go home but a few words from Aunt Frisky, also new to the family, reassures him.
Based on the television episode of the same name, this is another adaptation of the adventures of these much-loved characters that will appeal to our youngest readers and help them understand that there is fun and joy in books as they meet characters with whom they are familiar and to whom they can return time and again, unlike their fleeting screen counterparts.
They are also more likely to be familiar with the fun and games of Bluey’s family as they celebrate in the typical Australian style, sparking conversations about how different places celebrate differently and how in some countries, the landscape is covered with ice and snow rather than the sunshine we are used to.
Bluey is always a favourite and this is one to add to the collection.
It’s bedtime in the Heeler household and while Bluey is fast asleep, Mum finishes off the final story with Bingo. As she turns out the light, she reminds Bingo that she is always there if Bingo needs her but Bingo really wants to do a Big Girl sleep and wake up in her own bed. But will she?
Based on the television episode of the same name, this is a story that will resonate so deeply with the adult sharing it as the familiarity of children waking in the night, moving into their bed, wanting water, hogging the blankets, having good dreams and not-so that it will seem like there has been a camera in their own bedroom.
Using a large format including foldout pages, now our young readers can return to their favourite bedtime episode time and again now it is in print format, while parents can use it to remind them that they are going to have a Big Kid night and stay in their own bed. And those that wish can also take their child on a journey through the night sky .
The connection between print and audiovisual versions of the same stories with their familiar characters and settings already in place is strong as children build their knowledge about what to expect from both formats. To have such a superb series such as Bluey available whenever the child wants to return to it is such a bonus.
Mummy has gone to a baby shower and Daddy has been left to put Bluey and Bingo to bed. But Bluey is very concerned because it won’t be the same. No matter what ideas Daddy has, she longs for her mum to be home. Until she has an idea…
Based on the highly successful television series, this new release strengthens the link between screen and media, a critical one as they learn about the value of being able to take their time with print, examine the illustrations and read it again and again whenever they want – all vital concepts about print. They easily relate to characters they know which as well as adding another dimension to them by offering a behind-the-scenes look at their lives and loves, they can also focus on the story more deeply.
Peppa and her friends are learning about caring for the planet at playgroup and Madame Gazelle asks them each to make a scrapbook that shows the everyday things they do at home to help the planet. So from walking to school to recycling bottles to using scrap card for their scrapbooks, Peppa and George embrace the task enthusiastically learning that even little changes can make a difference.
This would be an excellent story to share with our youngest readers, particularly at this time when so many are not able to attend school because they, too, could create a Love Our Planet scrapbook and share photos and explanations of what they are doing each day. Keeping students engaged in their learning could be tricky for parents who are not used to taking on the teacher’s role so having an authentic task such as this and featuring such well-known characters who are already role models will be most welcome. And sharing new ideas can expand both the task and the learning.
Here’s today’s contribution to my scrapbook – providing our local crimson rosella population with water to drink and bathe in.