My Little Story Corner

For the love of picture books


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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

Scissors

Ribbon

Craft glue

Pipe Cleaner

Pom pom

Goggly eyes or black marker

Directions:

  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!

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Craft idea adapted from Glue Dots Blog.

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

© My Little Story Corner 2016.

www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner

www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner

 


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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.

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GIVEAWAY

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

TO ENTER

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

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

‘I know!’.

It’s that easy!

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS

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! 😀


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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!

Click

on the book

for details. 

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🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁

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

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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


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Adelaide’s Secret World: Teaching Notes

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

Review. 

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.

Discussion.

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?  

Literacy.

Writing.

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.”  

Reading.

Comprehension.
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:
‘brooding’,
‘unravelled’,
‘bustling’,
‘scurried’.

Synonyms.
These are a few carefully chosen verbs from the story. Find words with similar meanings:
‘scattered’,
‘scooped’,
‘restless’,
‘burst’,
‘tumbled’.

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

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.
7F609B9E-9D9F-4D47-B2ED3C2911B3E0FD_article  

Art / Craft.
– Adelaide took a little bit of the world and made it her own. Make your own little Terrarium World (Botany).
Materials:
Glass or plastic jar / container, top quality soil, gravel / pebbles, small plant (succulents work well), figurines, water.
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Directions:
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!
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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.
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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.
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Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner
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.  


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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.  

Review.  

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!  

Discussion.  

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?  

Literacy.  

Writing.

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).  

Reading.

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

Numeracy.

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.
Directions:
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

Science.  

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

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.
Directions:
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.
2015-11-17-14-01-49-1275738551

Patterned Birds on a Wire.
Found on Flickr.  
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Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner
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.


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Puddles are for Jumping: Teaching Notes

puddles-are-for-jumpingPuddles are for Jumping, Kylie Dunstan (author, illus.), Windy Hollow Books, 2015.  
2015 Speech Pathology Australia Shortlisted Book of the Year (0-3 years)

Review. 

The first thing you’ll notice upon picking up this book are the awesome illustrations. Each spread is entirely created with bright, cut and pasted paper characters and scenes in primary colours, suiting its wet weather theme and straightforward storyline. Kylie Dunstan cleverly takes her early primary-aged audience on this rainy adventure through the park, market, the neighbourhood and back home again to bed, simply by stating the actions in the words and demonstrating them in the pictures. Written in present tense, the short sentences are relatable and encourage readers to focus on how different objects can be utilised in the most enjoyable way possible.

“Bottoms are for wriggling, Sisters are for laughing!”
“Beds are for BOUNCING, Books are for sharing”.

‘Puddles are for Jumping’ is both visually and actively entertaining. This truly playful and joyous book is perfect for promoting experiences in the creative arts and movement areas, as well as supporting themes of friendship and citizenship.  

This review appeared first on the Boomerang Books Blog.  

Discussion.  

Before Reading:

Look at the cover. Ask, Do you like to jump in puddles? What words can you use to describe different puddles? (small, big, shallow, deep, watery, muddy, etc).
Stand up and pretend to jump in puddles. Don’t forget to put your boots on!
What other things do you like to do in rainy weather? What else would you wear and take with you?  

During Reading:

Can you tell where the mum has taken the sisters? What can you see in the pictures?  

After Reading:

What were the places the characters in the story visited? How did they get there? Have you been to any of those places?
Do you remember some of the words used to describe the way they walked? Ate? Greeted people?
What did you notice about the illustrations?  

Literacy.  

Reading.
Identifying nouns and verbs.
Write the nouns (things, places, names) and verbs (doing words) found in the book in two separate columns.
Complete the Puddles are for Jumping Match Up sheet.
Puddles are for jumping match up

Play Puddle Jumping Game.
Use high frequency words, such as ‘are’, ‘for’, or a list of Magic Words.
For extension, make up your own verbs to follow on ‘Puddles are for…’, and have child jump on the word they say (eg. jumping, splashing, kicking, flicking, tapping, etc).
IMG_7819
See the Bridie’s Boots Teaching Notes for these instructions and more weather-themed activities.

Read other books by Kylie Dunstan.
What are the similarities and differences between her writing style and illustrations?
image  

Writing.

Comprehension: Finish the sentence.
Use your own ‘verbs’ to complete, ‘Puddles are for…’, ‘Shops are for…’, ‘Skirts / Boots are for…’, ‘Beds are for…’, and so on.
Illustrate your sentence/s. (see Art / Craft Paper Collage activity).

Creative Writing.
Write your own story or class book about going on an outing. Using similar language and short sentences, what are the things you see on the way and how can it be used.
For example, going to school might include; “Bikes are for peddling, bags are for unpacking, friends are for giggling, teachers are for admiring ;), pencils are for sharpening, paths are for racing, books are for loving, and beds are for snoozing.”  

Numeracy.

Graphs and Data. Outdoor Tallies.
Make a list of things you will see on your outing, things that can be counted. For example, number of puddles jumped in, number of trees climbed, number of dogs spotted, number of apples bought, etc.
Record the tally as you encounter each item on the list.
Formulate the results by graphing them as a picture graph. Item against number.
Discuss the results. Which had the most, least, same, how many more…, etc.  
Puddles are for Jumping Graph

Science.

Make a Fizzy Puddle.
Watch the puddle react with baking soda for an awesome fizzy effect!
From Simple Fun For Kids
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The Water Cycle.
Choose from a cool selection of water cycle experiments, including evaporation, transpiration, precipitation, condensation!
From E is for Explore  
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Art / Craft.

Rainbow Puddle Splash.
Use sidewalk chalk and puddle water to create a work of art!
From Lemon Lime Adventures
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Winter Rain Watercolour Resist Painting.
Using white crayon and watercolours, create a stunning rainy day piece of art!
From Elementary Art Fun
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Paper Collage Cut and Paste.
Choose different-coloured papers to create your own collage picture. Choose a scene from the book or make your own rainy day fun!  
Puddles are for jumping collage pic

Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip. Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner
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 Puddles are for Jumping.
Information about the author / illustrator of ‘Puddles are for Jumping’, Kylie Dunstan can be found here.


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What Do You Wish For? Book Launch

imageWhat Do You Wish For?, Jane Godwin (author), Anna Walker (illus.), Penguin Random House, October 2015.
Book Launch October 11, 2015 at Readings Hawthorn.

“All the children in the street are writing down a special Christmas wish.
But What is Ruby’s wish? What does she wish for at Christmas time?
Ruby thinks of all the things that make Christmas special…”

“From this much-loved creative partnership comes a sparkling and beautiful story, full of the wonder of Christmas, the magic of wishing, and the timeless dreams of a child.”

I chose well considering it was the first book launch that I’ve attended! Although, in the company of two of Australia’s most elite book creators I was slightly overwhelmed. It’s true, I have met the superlative Anna Walker previously at her Mr Huff Exhibition (read about it here), and she is utterly divine, but still…

From the beginning of the event, the mood at Readings Hawthorn was spirited and amiable, as people mingled and nibbled on the gorgeous, handmade Christmas-themed cupcakes and shortbread bikkies.
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Miss 5 enjoying a cupcake.

Miss 5 enjoying a cupcake.

Then came the speeches. Launching the book was author and friend to Jane Godwin, Davina Bell. With the already jovial atmosphere present, Davina’s speech set off even more warm and fuzzies with her beautifully heartfelt words about what the story, and her own little Christmassy moments, meant to her. She was also engaging and funny; a perfect combination.

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Jane’s emotional presentation stole the crowd’s hearts from the get-go. She, too, spoke about the meaning behind the story – that a ‘wish’ signifies more of a statement or fear of loss, and her intention is for readers to understand that this time of year is, and should be, one of gratitude. She proceeded with some special thank-you’s; fitting, considering the nature of the book.

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Anna relayed the loving message by expressing her own fond feelings at Christmas time. She quoted a couple of lines from the book – “Ruby looked up, and the whole world was sparkling. She heard the paper wishes rustle in the warm, night-time breeze.” She reminisced about listening to cicadas and enjoying the tree, and complimented Jane’s words for making her heart glow.

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A story and question time by Jane gave the children in the audience opportunities to share their own special wishes, and the event concluded with book signing and a valuable, brief moment to converse with the extraordinary pair.
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So, a successful book launch! Jane Godwin and Anna Walker truly are champions in their field. Together they have created five sublime picture books, but today, they masterfully worked the crowd! There was so much love and warmth in the air that it felt like everyone’s Christmases had come at once.

What Do You Wish For? available for purchase here.

More photos:

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Written and photographed by Romi Sharp.
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner