My Little Story Corner

For the love of picture books

Leave a comment

Hello! I Have Something New to Share!

Hello Subscribers!

Hope you’ve all been doing well. You might be wondering why you haven’t seen anything here for a while? Well, over the past couple of months I have been transferring and updating much of the content from here onto a BRAND NEW website! In my attempt to organise reviews, teaching notes and interviews in a more systematic manner, I am hopeful that this will serve my readers well.

Whilst the new site is still, and always will be, in progress, I invite you to take a look around and hope you will stay!

So without further ado, here is the new address:

Thanks, hope to see you on the other side!

X Romi 😘


Leave a comment

DIY Easter Cone Basket

Cute Bunny or Chick Easter Cone Basket

With Easter and holidays around the corner I know I’m going to plan some activities to keep the kids busy! A trip to the library is also on the agenda (of course!), so the perfect combination of books and crafts should tie us over for the next couple of weeks! Check out my Pinterest Easter board for more ideas.

One essential Easter item on the cards is the trusty basket for all your sugary needs. And yes, there are a zillion different ways to make one… here’s one that is so easy to make, and looks so sweet too!

Materials (to make a bunny):

imageColoured or patterned paper 12″

Sticky tape

Hole punch



Craft glue

Pipe Cleaner

Pom pom

Goggly eyes or black marker


  1. Fold your paper in half diagonally to form two triangles. Cut on the fold.
  2. Face your triangle with the point at the top. Take the left corner, curl under and line up the straight edge to the top right straight edge, ensuring the two corners meet at the top. Tape in place.image
  3. Cut off a small section of the right side of the triangle to use for ears.image
  4. Roll the remaining paper around the cone and tape into place.
  5. Use the hole punch to make two holes, one on either side of the cone. Tie a piece of ribbon to each hole to form a handle.image
  6. Cut out two long ears with your spare paper. Cut your pipe cleaner into six small pieces.image
  7. Arrange the ears, eyes, nose and whiskers in place on the front of the cone to make the bunny. Enjoy your egg hunting! 🐇image
  8. Alternatively, make a chick cone basket using a feather and an orange beak.image

Finally, here are some gorgeous Easter books to check out these holidays!



Craft idea adapted from Glue Dots Blog.

Photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).

© My Little Story Corner 2016.


Leave a comment

WIN a copy of ‘This & That’ by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek – CLOSED

This recent release is utterly adorable and delightful.This & That, with its lively, adventurous goodness will literally take your breath away!

Aimed at young children ready to explore the world, you’ll be pleasantly satisfied with the linguistics, interactions and illustrations that take us on this wild ride with the most gorgeous of characters.

This & That, written by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek, published by Scholastic Australia, October 2015.



My Little Story Corner has ONE copy of This &That to give away.


Find out the secret that everybody misses by reading the following conversation with Judy Horacek on Twitter:



Now either head over to the pinned post on our Facebook page or type in the comments below:

‘I know!’.

It’s that easy!



1. The winner will be drawn at random by Romi Sharp of My Little Story Corner.
2. Only ONE entry per person will be accepted.
3. Prize only open to Australian residents.
4. Entries must be received by 9pm (DST) on Sunday 13th March 2016.
5. Winner will be notified via Facebook or email. Please provide your postal address within 3 days of competition close. A non-response will result in a redraw.
6. This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter or any other entity, other than My Little Story Corner.

Thanks for your entry! Good luck! 😀


Leave a comment

Mr Chicken Lands on London: Teaching Notes


Mr Chicken Lands on London by Leigh Hobbs (author, illustrator), Allen&Unwin, 2014.


Leigh Hobbs is the author and illustrator of over 20 books for children. Some of his iconic characters include Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Fiona the Pig, Mr Chicken and Mr Badger. Leigh has always had a passion for art, history and culture, and his books certainly reflect these with his own distinctive flair and rousing sense of humour. On February 8th 2016 it was announced that Leigh is to follow on Jackie French’s position of Australian Children’s Laureate; a well-deserved, prestigious role to “promote the importance of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians.”(

Mr Chicken Lands on London REVIEW:

Following on from Mr Chicken’s grand adventures in Paris, in flies this zippy character once again. This time he’s visiting his (and Leigh’s) favourite city in the world – London.
imageWithout hesitation, Mr Chicken grabs his camera and his parachute and makes a splashing entrance into the River Thames. His extremely busy schedule waits for no chicken as the yellow bird escapades gallantly around the city. From the fancy Savoy Hotel and dining on a full English breakfast, Mr Chicken makes good use of his time in London. His first port of call is to visit the Queen (well, excuse me!) before exploring attractions like St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. He also takes charge by driving double-decker buses, topping a tall column at Trafalgar Square, circling the London Eye and becoming one with the beating heart of London – Big Ben. His stay is only short-lived, but my guess is, this traveling chook will be back again soon!

Humorous, entertaining, and a delightful kind of sensory overload, Mr Chicken Lands on London will tickle the fancy of all readers, big and small. Leigh Hobbs’ intricate and distinctive style of art in this wonderful array of events is sure to create plenty of memorable, shared experiences for readers and viewers, alike.


1. Name three (3) other (not mentioned above) London attractions that Mr Chicken visited.

2. What is the name of the building where the Queen lives?

3. What game does Mr Chicken play on the London Eye?

4. Which city will Mr Chicken be heading to next?



Look at the map of London on the endpapers. Name and discuss the different attractions and landmarks. Have you been there before? What do you know about them? What is the significance of each of them?


Look at and discuss a real map of London. Pick one attraction or landmark for research and create a poster or Slideshow presentation to explain your findings.

image Image:


What can you tell about Mr Chicken’s personality? What are some behaviours that showed his kindness? What are some cheeky things that Mr Chicken did? How do you think Mr Chicken felt about London? How do you know?


Name and list some adjectives to describe Mr Chicken, or write a personality profile listing his likes, dislikes, traits, quirks, etc.



Choose a page spread to explore. What do you notice in these illustrations? What clues can you see that tell you more about the location? How has Leigh Hobbs depicted the atmosphere of the city and the nature of the people? What kinds of visual media has he used and how does it suit its purpose?

Where does Mr Chicken visit to see art? What famous works and artists might you find there? Have a look at and discuss some of these and their history.


Create your own line, watercolour and collage picture showcasing your favourite part of London (or your own favourite place).



See if you can spot the clock on Big Ben at several points in the book (towards the end). What do you notice about the different times? Mr Chicken wanted to be inside Big Ben (the beating heart of London) at a quarter past nine. Why do you think he chose that time? Did he achieve what he set out to do?


Create a timeline showing Mr Chicken at several locations throughout the day, from morning til midnight. Be sure to include standing inside Big Ben at 9.15pm.


Make your own Mr Chicken clock with yellow paper for the face, cardstock and a split pin for the hands. Practise understanding of quarter past, quarter to, half past and o’clock. For more advanced students extend their knowledge to five minute intervals (eg. 9.05pm), then one minute intervals (eg. 9.16pm).



How does Mr Chicken enter and exit London? Why does he choose these modes of transport? Looking at the way he enters – what does ‘air resistance’ mean? How does it work?


Test air resistance and make your own parachute using a bag, paper plate and string. Find an explanation and instructions at Kids Activities Blog.




FREE download can be found at the Australian Children’s Laureate website.


Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).

© My Little Story Corner 2016.

All sourced resources have been credited.

These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.

This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.

This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.

Purchase Mr Chicken Lands on London.

Information about the author illustrator, Leigh Hobbs can be found here.

Leave a comment

Christmas Favourites for all your Festive Needs

YoU woN’T BE poOr fOR CHoIcE tHiS CHriStMAs!

The Festive Season is here! With the holidays upon us, your little jolly jumpers will certainly need some inspiration and a touch of magic to enjoy this special time with loved ones. Below are some beautiful picture books you might like to share together, and plenty of craft activities to reinforce these magical traditions. Enjoy!


on the book

for details. 

imageimage image

image image image

image image image image image



Click on the image to find an assortment of craft goodies for Christmas and Chanukah!

image image


image image

Have yourself a booktacular Christmas, Chanukah and New Year!

Look forward to sharing more bookish fun and new ideas in 2016!

love Romi

x 🎅🎄🎁 x


Adelaide’s Secret World: Teaching Notes

Adelaide’s Secret World, Elise Hurst (author, illus.), Allen&Unwin, 2015.  


imageShe lives a solitary existence. A life once full of delight and wonders, now, a world confined in glass jars, hidden within a cloak and a red curtain. The town in which Adelaide lives is bustling with movement, but it seems the townsfolk are simply, and privately, just passing through each day. Longing for a connection, a serendipitous moment finds Adelaide at the door that opens her heart and soul to a whole new world full of possibilities. As she finds her inner calm, it is that very red curtain that once blocked her vision that she courageously uses as the missing link. By connecting the torn thread amongst the townsfolk, those who were once lonely and silent, including Adelaide, have now found a voice, and each other.

imageWith her stunning collection of dreamy oil paintings and evocative words, Elise Hurst takes her readers on a soul-searching journey that touches a little piece of all of us. Feeling lost and isolated is not uncommon, particularly in a world of chaos. But Adelaide reminds us that friendship, humanity and self expression can always be celebrated with a little bit of courage and an open heart. The exquisite mixture of colour, movement, emotion, and poetic softness in both text and illustrations work flawlessly together to evoke feelings of angst, peace, turmoil and calm. Pale yellows and greens in the beginning and end shed light on a world that is safe and comfortable, and becomes brighter even more so as Adelaide’s world is suddenly flooded with energy and an inner peace. The mid-section carries deep greens, blues and greys, signifying this spinning, chaotic whirlwind inside her mind. And throughout the book, pops of red burst with visual warmth, power and imagination.

Adelaide’s Secret World’ is undeniably uplifting and visually rousing, a perfect choice for early primary children to revisit over and over again. This book has potential to win awards and would make a gorgeous film. Highly recommended.  

This review appeared first at Boomerang Books.


Before Reading:

Look at the cover. What do you think this story is about? Why do you think Adelaide lives in a ‘secret world’? What is a secret world?
Read the blurb. What does it tell you about Adelaide’s life? How do you think it changes?
Look at the colours of the endpapers. What do you think the red represents? What might the blue represent?  

During Reading:

Do you think she likes the quiet?
What do you notice in the illustrations?
How might she be feeling at this moment? (Ask over several pages).
Why do you think Adelaide couldn’t talk to the Fox at the door?  

After Reading:

What aspects did Adelaide like and dislike about the quiet stillness?
In the beginning, why do you think Adelaide enjoyed watching the still and quiet ones? What thoughts might she have been telling herself?
What discovery did she make when she peered in to Fox’s world? How did this change her view on herself?
What did she use to connect the creatures? How is this item significant?
What did Adelaide learn about herself and the other creatures? Do you ever feel the same way? What ways can you ‘reach out’ to others you don’t know so well?  



Creative Writing.
Choose an image from the book and describe what’s happening using carefully chosen verbs and adjectives.
For example, “Every night she listened to the hum of the setting sun and the soft pure song of the evening star.”  


Discuss and write your interpretation of the following sentences.
“…the quiet stillness crept into her heart and stayed.”
“…taking a little bit of the world and making it her own.”
“…though her heart called out she could make no sound.”
“…found their voices.”

Vocabulary: Word Study.
Use a dictionary to find and write the meanings of the following words:

These are a few carefully chosen verbs from the story. Find words with similar meanings:

“The rain soaked windows glittered like a jewellery box.”
Discuss and write your own analogy of a wet window / the setting sun / a brooding sky and rising buildings, and so on.

Book Study
Read and discuss the similarities and differences between other books by Elise Hurst.  


Number: Subtraction.
“But there was always something missing.”
Play ‘What’s Missing?’ Number Games and Stories.
Depending on your focus number, write equations and stories with a missing addend.
For example, ‘Adelaide once had 20 paintbrushes, but after 8 of them broke, how many did she have left?’

8 and ___ makes 20 / 8 + ___ = 20.

Use materials to solve the equations.
Download What’s Missing in Adelaide’s World. Draw and write the equations on the red string.
Make your own red string with beads to add and subtract number equations.
Adelaide What's Missing 1 Adelaide What's Missing 2

Number: Doubles.
“Ones became twos. Twos became fours.”
Play the Bunny Doubles Spinner Game.
Spin the spinner and find the double. Cover or mark the double with a counter or pencil on the bunny’s jacket. The first player to cover all their doubles wins!
Doubles include two sets: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.    
Adelaide's Bunny Doubles 1 Adelaide's Bunny Doubles 2

Science / Technology.

– The townsfolk connected via a piece of string. Make your own String Telephone to talk to your friends.
Activity from Scientific American.

Art / Craft.
– Adelaide took a little bit of the world and made it her own. Make your own little Terrarium World (Botany).
Glass or plastic jar / container, top quality soil, gravel / pebbles, small plant (succulents work well), figurines, water.
1. Make sure your jar is clean. Fill the bottom with gravel about a third of the way up.
2. Add a thin layer of soil, then place your plants in position.
3. Fill in more soil surrounding the plants, holding them in place. Sprinkle water to moisten the soil.
4. Place your figurines in the terrarium to finish off. We also added a few flowers and a ladybird to pretty it up!
image image

Idea adapted from Babble Dabble Do and Make and Takes.  

Play Dough / Clay Sculptures.
Make your own sculptures to put in your Terrarium World. Use Play Dough or Air Drying Clay.
Clay art ideas from Wonderful DIY.

Design and make other kinds of sculptures.
Terrific ideas at Artful Parent.

Oil Paintings.
Recreate your favourite scene from the book, experimenting with oil paints or oil pastels. Try different techniques such as blending and bold strokes.

Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.
This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.  

Purchase Adelaide’s Secret World.

Information about the author illustrator, Elise Hurst can be found here.  

Leave a comment

Two Birds on a Wire: Teaching Notes

two-birds-on-a-wireTwo Birds on a Wire, Coral Vass (author), Heidi Cooper Smith (illus.), Scholastic Australia, 2015.  


In an utterly amusing and entertaining tale, two birds; Black and Blue, pick a squabble up high on a wire. When the pair refuse to share, pandemonium strikes and the snapping, snorting, pushing, shoving, hassling and heckling battle breaks loose. Some puffing and panting later, the bickering birds turn tail and decide to rather sit together and enjoy the view.  

The fun rhyming verses, together with the characters’ exuberance and cheekiness brings out plenty of laughable, yet thought-provoking moments. The illustrations are eye-catching to say the least, but I also love the softness of the autumn colours in the background that remind us to enjoy the tranquility that is right in front of us (or below if you were a bird on a wire).  

So, let’s get some perspective here! The story takes place above a country town, overlooking trees, farm houses and animals. The unique angle that Heidi Cooper Smith has so cleverly introduced is highly effective. But from another clever angle is Coral Vass’s underlying theme of valuing cooperation and unity. It’s about ‘seeing’ the bigger picture, and not getting tangled in pettiness.  

‘Two Birds on a Wire’ is a perfect read aloud book for early childhood readers with a vision to learn the importance of sharing and problem solving, and have a giggle at a pair of silly birds at the same time!  


Before Reading:
Put one chair out for two people. Ask two children to try and sit on it. How did they react when they both wanted to sit on the chair? Did they argue about who was there first, or who was bigger, or louder?
What would be the best solution? What are some kind and friendly ways to solve the problem?
Look at the front cover. Do you think these birds are happy with each other? What does their body language tell you about what they’re thinking? What do you think they’re upset about?  

During Reading:
Do you think Bird Blue should’ve shouted at Little Black to go? Do you think Little Black reacted well? Do you think one of the birds will be the winner?  

After Reading:
When Bird Blue first shouted at Little Black, what are some things that he could’ve said so that they didn’t argue? What might you do if someone was angry at you?
What do you think the birds learned from their squabble? How did they solve the problem in the end? Do you think they will always share from now on?
Do you ever have times when you don’t want to share? What are some things you can share and what are things you can’t share?  



Creative writing. Write a story about a pair (of animals or humans) who fight over an object. How did they argue? How did they resolve the issue?

(Check out Anna Kang’s ‘You are (Not) Small’ and ‘That’s (Not) Mine’ about disagreements).  


Rhyming Words, Rhyming Birds.
Find the rhyming words in the story. Some may not have the same rime spelling (eg. ‘at’ in cat, hat, sat), but the sounds are the same.
Download, laminate (optional) and cut out the Rhyming Words, Rhyming Birds to play a rhyming game.
Separate each bird so that the matching pair can be re-found by stating the two rhyming words.
(To make it easier for less advanced students, cut a different pattern inbetween each bird so that they will easily be able to match the birds back together. Eg. Wiggly line, wavy line, zigzag, etc.)  
Two Birds on a Wire Rhyming Birds1 Two Birds on a Wire Rhyming Birds2

Angry Bird Verbs.
Write some verbs (doing words) around the angry birds to describe their silly actions. Eg. snapped, snorted, pushed, shoved, hassled, heckled, scowled, etc).
Download the Angry Birds Verbs sheet here.  
Two Birds on a Wire Angry Birds Verbs


Number. Less Than, Greater Than.
The birds argued that they were bigger, louder, better than one another.
Play this fun game to extend your counting and comparing skills.
Materials: Greater Than, Less Than print outs, bundle of toys / real life materials.
Objectives: Practise skills in counting, comparing, estimating, place value and fractions.
1. Count out 2 piles of toys (upto 20 objects depending on level). Ask, which is larger? Smaller? Equal? Use the print outs to show each answer. If student is unsure they can use the numbers on the number line to see how they ascend.
2. Read the sentence. Eg. ’15 is greater than 5′, ’12 is less than 18′, ‘6 is equal to 6’.
3. Extension. Play the same game using fractions – use parts of whole items and/or pictures. Eg. ‘1/2 is greater than 1/4’.  
Two Birds on a Wire Greater Than Less Than Two Birds on a Wire Equal To2

Space / Location.
Mapping Coordinates – Bird’s Eye View: Map a Farm.
The birds overlooked a little farm from their wire. Complete the grid as per the key and state the coordinates for each item.
Download Bird’s Eye View Map a Farm.
Extension. On your own grid, use unifix blocks to build a city. Working in pairs, have each person take turns to build a tower and state the coordinates. Eg. ‘The blue tower is in A4.’  
Two Birds on a Wire Map a Farm


– Explore flight and propulsion with this fun whirlybird!
See instructions for craft from Minieco.

Art / Craft.  

Create some gorgeous birdy artwork with these ideas:  

Black Silhouette Birds on a Wire
Materials: watercolour paints, paper, paint brush, black paper, scissors, white crayon, glue.
1. Create an abstract painting with your chosen colours and with water, blend together. Tip: once painted, tilt your paper side to side to blend the colours further.
Birds on a wire art2
2. With your white crayon, draw your bird shapes onto black paper. Cut out.
3. Cut a thin black strip for the wire.
4. Paste the wire first, then the black birds onto the paper in position.     
Birds on a wire art

Paper Plate Birds on a Garland.
From Pysselbolaget.

Patterned Birds on a Wire.
Found on Flickr.  

Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.
This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.

Purchase Two Birds on a Wire.

Information about the author, Coral Vass can be found here.
Information about the illustrator, Heidi Cooper Smith can be found here.