My Little Story Corner

For the love of picture books


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My Little Story Corner Thanks You!

IMG_5280When I founded My Little Story Corner around the beginning of 2014, I had a goal in mind. I wanted to share my passion for children’s literature, and be able to advocate a love of books and a love of reading.  

As a qualified early childhood and primary teacher on leave to raise my two babies, I wanted to stay afloat of current education and industry trends and be able to continue to contribute to society. During this time, I have had a blast researching and discovering new books, and developing resources that I can only hope some teachers and children have benefitted from. I have also been so blessed to have learnt a fountain of knowledge about the writing and book creating world, attending special literary events and meeting and communicating with many wonderful, talented and brilliant authors and illustrators. What a priveledge!        

And you know what?! It wouldn’t be as rewarding without an audience to share and interact with, and read (and hopefully enjoy and learn) all about my adventures, interests, discoveries, insights and achievements. So, THANK YOU!       

I would love to hear your feedback or suggestions for the website or the type of services that I can offer to assist your needs.
Please feel free to drop me a line at: mylittlestorycorner@gmail.com.           

Thanks again! For a special ‘little’ literacy PDF, please download and enjoy the My Little Story Corner Friends Pack, including colour-in bookmarks, printable story cubes and some fun activities from Mr. Men and Little Miss!  

With Kind Regards,

Romi 🙂                             


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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).
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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?
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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


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Foxtrot: Teaching Notes

Foxtrot, Becka Moor (author, illus.), The Five Mile Press, 2015.  

Review.

imageFoxtrot is a born dancer. He simply can’t get enough of the sport. But when his trotting and tripping feet cause pandemonium in the town, his friends step in to bring Foxtrot’s chaos to a screeching halt. Tying his shoelaces and sticking his feet to the floor make Foxtrot unhappy, as do his own attempts to expand his creative repertoire. In a satisfying finale, Foxtrot and his friends band together to refurnish and re-open his former dance teacher, Mrs Flamenco’s dance school. Of course, it is a huge success!

imageI love the endearing language that so defines this naive but gentle and considerate soul who only has the best of intentions. There are some terrific dancing terms thrown in, too, like ‘boogied’, ‘jived’, ‘tangoed’ and ‘mamboed’ that arouse interest and charm. Together with this humorous, fun-loving and charismatic storyline are the equally vibrant and animated cartoon illustrations that allow for plenty of discussion.

‘Foxtrot’ is a book that undeniably brings a pop of energy and a burst of spirit in this tale of rhythm, blues, teamwork and friendship. Tango-rrific for preschoolers.  

Available for purchase here.

Discussion.

Before Reading:
Put on some music and enjoy a boogie and a jive! Teach children the ‘foxtrot’ dance.
Make a list of words that mean ‘dance’. Eg. Dance names such as Mambo, Tango, Tap, Ballet, etc, and dance moves such as jive, prance, wiggle, spin, twirl, etc.
Look at the cover. What or who do you think ‘Foxtrot’ is? What do you think might happen in the story? Do you think everyone likes to dance?  

During Reading:
Why do you think Foxtrot likes to dance so much? Why didn’t Foxtrot realise that he was causing all these calamities? Do you think his friends are being nice by stopping him from dancing? Do you think Foxtrot should try not to dance? Why or why not?  

After Reading:
What kinds of things did Foxtrot’s friends do to help him? What were unhelpful gestures? Why didn’t his friends think that his plan to open a dance school would work? What made them change their minds? Do you think that Foxtrot will always be the best dancer?
What new dance words did you learn from the book? Add these to your previous list.  
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Literacy.

Reading:

Verbs and Nouns.
Find and make word cards with terms from the book. Sort them into ‘verbs’ (doing words) and ‘nouns’ (name of things).
Verbs include: danced, boogied, twirled, brushed, combed, jumped, jived, swung, swayed, and so on.
Nouns include: mayhem, calamities, customers, chaos, pandemonium, shoelaces, honey, and so on.
Use of alliteration / phonics.
Find and write sentences with alliterations. Illustrate.
For example, ‘He danced as he dressed and did splits as he put on socks.’,
‘He jumped and jived and swung and swayed,
‘He tangoed with his toast and mamboed with his marmalade.  

Writing.

Innovate a story.
Here are some sentence starters to begin.
‘Foxtrot’s dancing feet caused…’
‘Foxtrot tried rock climbing, and…’
‘Foxtrot held a huge opening ceremony for his new dance school, but…’
Persuasive Text. Advertisements.
Write an advert and create a poster inviting people to join your new dance school.
What is the title? Catch phrase? Price? Other details? Pictures? Colours used? Is it effective? What’s different about your dance school as opposed to others?  

Numeracy.

Measurement / Number. Time your Rhythm.
Make up a dance routine for you and your friends. Count how many repeats for each move. How many moves in total? Time your dance against the clock. Can you stay in beat with the music?
Extension: How many times can you jump / twirl / leap in one minute? Count and record.  

Science.

States of Matter: Dancing Raisins Experiment
Raisins can dance, too! I wonder if they prefer the Tango or the Mambo? Explore the matter of gas as the raisins interact with the carbon dioxide bubbles.
From Gift of Curiosity  
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Arts / Crafts.

Make your own dancing Foxtrot marionette puppet!
Check out this gorgeous toilet roll craft adapted from Duitang and get your Foxtrot boogying all over town.

imageMaterials:
Coloured paper (white, orange, green)
Cardboard (such as cereal box)
Pens / pencils / textas (assorted colours)
Toilet roll tube
String (allow for 1.5 metres)
Two (2) small bottle lids
Straw
Sticky tape
Scissors
Glue

——————–

Directions:
1. Cut to fit and cover toilet roll tube (body) with green paper.
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2. Draw a fox head shape and tail shape on to the cardboard. Cut.
Use as a template to trace onto white and orange papers. Cut each piece, use the white head to draw inner ears and eyes. Cut a tip of white for the tail.
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3.Paste all pieces on top of each other, with the cardboard at the bottom.
Stick head and tail onto the body and add details with pens. We added a little hat!
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4. Adult to pierce two small holes in each side of the body for the arms. Cut a piece of string and thread through the holes, tying each end in double knots. Trim excess.
5. Adult to pierce two holes at the bottom for the legs. Attach string to each of the bottle lids. Thread each leg string through a hole and tape down inside the tube. Make sure they are the same length.
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6. Cut three equal lengths of string (approx. 25-30cm). Attach one end to each foot (bottle lid), and attach the other end to each end of the straw. Attach the third piece of string to the back of the head.
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7. Hold the string in one hand and the straw in the other. Make your fox dance!
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Straw Blown Paintings.
Make your paint dance across the paper with this fun activity from The Imagination Tree.
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Dance School Diorama.
Design and construct your own Dance School diorama with character puppets / figures.  

Lessons by Romi Sharp.
© 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 not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links. This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.
 

Information about the author illustrator of Foxtrot, Becka Moor can be found here.        


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Fearless with Dad: Teaching Notes

Fearless With Dad, Cori Brooke (author), Giuseppe Poli (illus.), New Frontier Publishing, 2015.

Review.

imageWhat a joyous celebration of the relationship between a boy and his Dad. Whether they’re real or imagined, the possibilities for adventure are unlimited. Enthusiastic, optimistic and brave, this little boy doesn’t hold back, as long as his dad is with him. Riding big waves, kicking goals, moon travel and fast cars, discovering how to be a builder, chef, rock star and superhero, through good times and bad, Dad is always there.

I love the heartwarming and positive feel of the text along with the variety and vivacious illustrations that make this book so endearing. The subtle humour and cheekiness, sense of spirit and obvious affection amongst the softly painted spreads allows for a wonderfully sensory experience. I hope Dads are ready for a wild ride this Father’s Day!

Discussion.

Before Reading:

What kinds of activities do you enjoy doing with your Dad?

Look at the cover. What does the word ‘fearless’ mean? What does this tell you about the kind of story this might be?

During Reading:

Do you think they really travelled to the moon and back?

What is ‘daggy’? What makes them ‘cool’?

What do you notice about the illustrations (colours, interpretations, media)?

After Reading:

What words can you use to describe the boy? Words to describe Dad? Are there any activities in the book that you have done with your Dad / special person?

What was your favourite part? Why?

What have you realised about the role of Dads? Are they always fun? Do they also teach important lessons? Do you think the boy could be brave without his Dad? Why or why not?

Educational Activities.

Science.

“Build a sturdy, wide bridge.”

Get your engineering hats on! It’s time to build!

Check out these awesome bridge ideas on pinterest and learn the physics of force and different kinds of structures.

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Technology.

“Travel to the moon and back.”

Get imaginative with a cardboard box! The possibilites are endless!

Check out these amazing box inventions from Tip Junkie.

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Numeracy.

“I can be a farmer.”

1. Get your beans out! Play an addition game of ‘Magic Beans’.

Outcomes: Know and count numbers up to 10. Add numbers to make 10.

Directions:

  1. Paint / texta any colour on one side of each of the 10 beans (dried lima beans or butter beans).
  2. Take turns to toss the beans in the air.
  3. Count and record the number of beans fallen on the plain side, and the number of beans fallen on the painted side. Example, 4 and 6 is 10, 7 and 3 is 10, and so on.
  4. Ask, what is the equation when they are all the same?
  5. Extension: Make equations for subtraction, by taking away the smaller amount of colour beans. Example, 10 take away 2 is 8, and so on.

Find a sorting and counting bean activity at The Imagination Tree.

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2. Get your rulers out! Measure your growing plant.

Outcomes: Observe growth by marking the heights of a plant over time.

Directions:

  1. In your garden bed or a jar, plant a seed or bulb.
  2. Place a measuring stick (strip of wood) next to your plant with the starting height and date.
  3. Continue to mark the growth at chosen intervals (every few days).
  4. Extension: Look for patterns in growth, race your plants against each other.

Check out this great article from Parents that explains these concepts.

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Literacy.

“A mighty and fearless superhero.”

Phonological Awareness: Ss words.

Find and write words and pictures in the text beginning with Ss on a Superhero Dad chart. Eg. Superhero, sunflowers, scarecrow, sturdy, star, serious, silly, sunglasses, sad.

Illustrate each word.

Write each word in a sentence.

Art.

“With my Dad… I can do anything. I can be anything.”

Colour in these awesome Fearless with Dad Activity Sheets from the story with your Dad. Experiment with different media including pencil, watercolour, crayons, etc.
IMG_9486 Fearless with Dad Activity Sheet 2

Thank you to Katie and Giuseppe Poli for providing these activity sheets to My Little Story Corner!

 

 

More Father’s Day book reviews can be found here.

Purchase Fearless with Dad from Boomerang Books.

Lessons by Romi Sharp.

© My Little Story Corner 2015.

www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner

www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner

All sourced resources have been credited. These lessons are for personal or classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written permission.


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Books for Dad 2015

What makes your Dad / Granddad (or other special person) so special? What are your favourite things to do together? What important life lessons has he taught you? These are just a few picture books (trust me, there are heaps more!) that are perfect to celebrate all the special fathers and grandfathers this Father’s Day.

imageFearless With Dad, Cori Brooke (author), Giuseppe Poli (illus.), New Frontier Publishing, 2015.

What a joyous celebration of the relationship between a boy and his Dad. Whether they’re real or imagined, the possibilities for adventure are unlimited. Enthusiastic, optimistic and brave, this little boy doesn’t hold back, as long as his dad is with him. Riding big waves, kicking goals, moon travel and fast cars, discovering how to be a builder, chef, rock star and superhero, through good times and bad, Dad is always there. I love the heartwarming and positive feel of the text along with the variety and vivacious illustrations that make this book so endearing.

imageTime for Bed, Daddy, Dave Hackett (author, illus.), UQP, 2015.

It’s a role reversal of the hilarious kind. Coercing Daddy in to the bedtime routine is no easy feat for one little girl. She manages to help Daddy take a bath, put pyjamas on, and clean his teeth, but that’s when the fun and games start. In typical child-like behaviour, Daddy prolongs bedtime with a few more requests; horsey rides, checking for monsters, a story and songs, and finally one last snuggle. It’s enough to exhaust any little person! Extremely sweet, completely comical, utterly eye-catching cartoonesque pictures…it’s a winner.

imageDaddy, You’re Awesome, Laine Mitchell (author), Renée Treml (illus.), Scholastic Australia, 2015.

A gorgeous line up of baby animals forming special bonds with their daddies in playful ventures. Puppies chasing balls, bunnies building treehouses, owls spying bugs and monkeys racing bikes with their fathers, just to name a few. Written in fun rhyming couplets, each completed with the phrase, ‘Daddy, you’re awesome to me.’, and complimented with vibrant and adorable illustrations. Too sweet!

imageFly-In Fly-Out Dad, Sally Murphy (author), Janine Dawson (illus.), The Five Mile Press, 2015.

Dads can be superheroes in whatever shape or form, even if only to their children. For this young boy, life with dad may only be seldom, but when he’s home it is never boring. Dad is a Fly-in Fly-out dad, with a truck full of adventure stories to tell. But the little boy has his own stories to tell, too. When he’s home, we see a hands-on Dad helping with routines, involved in sporting events and taking the kids to the playground. I love all the little details, both in the text and the illustrations, that give this Dad and his family unique qualities. A very special, heartwarming story, particularly significant for those living with a FIFO Dad.

imageDaddy Cuddle, Kate Mayes (author), Sara Acton (illus.), ABC Books, 2015.

This is truly a book to treasure. It’s such a sweet story of an over-zealous early riser eager to wake Daddy for a play. In typical toddler language, the little bunny suggests every toy and accessory found to its blissfully unaware, snoring father. After a small outburst, bunny finally gets the affection and attention required. The ending is completely adorable; definitely a photo-worthy moment.

imageDaddies Are Great!, Meredith Costain (author), Polona Lovsin (illus.), Scholastic Australia, 2015.

Dog lovers will adore this book with its range of breeds enjoying quality moments with their pups; licking, swinging, climbing, digging, and cuddling. Special relationships are formed when daddies are caring, thoughtful, and loving. With beautifully soft and playful illustrations, this book is perfect for sharing intimate moments with your own pup on Father’s Day.

imageLucas and Jack, Ellie Royce (author), Andrew McLean (illus.), Working Title Press, 2014.

Powerful, evocative and intriguing. Jack, an elderly resident at the aged care home, inspires young Lucas to conceptualise the rich pasts of other people in the facility. Lucas always believed visiting his Great Grandpop was boring, but with a newfound glimpse into his childhood, Lucas becomes keen to bond with his great-grandfather and discover more about his fascinating story. With beautifully gentle and nostalgic illustrations, this book represents the importance of encouraging and celebrating meaningful memories and connections with our ageing relatives.
Interview with author Ellie Royce here.

imageMy Dad Thinks He’s Funny (2012), and My Dad Still Thinks He’s Funny (2013), Katrina Germein (author), Tom Jellett (illus.), Black Dog Books.

A hilarious, eye-rolling, side-splitting collection of ‘Dad jokes’ told from the perspective of the son, with bold, comical, retro-style illustrations.

Check out teaching notes / Father’s Day activities for My Dad Still Thinks He’s Funny on the website and on Pinterest

imageWhat’s Dad Doing?, Susan Hall (author), Cheryl Westerberg (illus.), National Library of Australia, 2013.

Gloriously interactive with its page-turning story, energetic illustrations and lift-the-flap fun, this book will keep you entertained. Pat Possum is looking for his Dad. When assuming he is involved in a typically-male oriented activity, we are pleasantly surprised when under the flap Dad is doing ‘motherly’ things. Rather than watching TV, Dad is bottle feeding the baby. He’s not mending something in the shed, he’s having a cuppa with Grandma. Some more housekeeping chores are done before Pat can finally play a rough-and-tumble game of footy with Dad. Complete with some possum facts in the back, this is an interesting look at parenting roles that families can relate to.

imageMy Dad’s the Coolest, Rosie Smith (author), Bruce Whatley (illus.), Scholastic Press, 2012.

This one’s a classic simply because how totally adorable and relatable it is. A range of animal babies tell us why their dad is the coolest. The author has used child-friendly language and human behaviours, which have brilliantly been matched to an animal. “…makes me laugh.” identifies with a clown nose-wearing puffer fish. “…and clever too.” represents a Einstein-like owl with glasses. There are strong rhinos, sandpit-digging moles, and hide-and-seek expert chameleons. Each spread beautifully illustrated and dedicated to each father, this book is humorous, lively and heartwarming.

imageMy Aussie Dad, Yvonne Morrison (author), Gus Gordon (illus.), Scholastic Australia, 2010.

Containing all the wonderful nuances that make Dad, the typical Aussie Dad. Different fathers are featured doing culturally appropriate dad things, even though they don’t do them quite so well. We see a Dad as a classy bloke in his stubby shorts and thongs, belting out songs in the supermarket. One Dad plays cricket on the beach, only to have the ball whack him on the nose. There are Dads who burn snags on the barbie, embarrassing Dads at footy matches, and Dads with very ordinary handyman skills. Hilariously entertaining, both in the text and the illustrations. But totally loveable!

imageI Love My Dad, Anna Walker (author, illus.), Scholastic Press, 2009.

Typically gorgeous gentle, watercolour illustrations by Anna Walker, with an equally tender rhyming story of Ollie and his loving relationship with his dad. A bit of baking, and some outdoor play, wrapping up with a piggyback ride to bed. This is one to keep; a must read for all the special days spent with dad.

Find some other Dad titles in the image grids below!
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Happy Father’s Day!

All books listed here can be purchased through Australia’s leading online bookstore, Boomerang Books. My Little Story Corner is not sponsored by Boomerang Books, only endorsed for a small percentage through affiliate links. These assist with the up-keep of the website and being able to provide free educational resources by a qualified teacher. Thanks!


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Fire: Teaching Notes

Fire, Jackie French (author), Bruce Whatley (illus.), Scholastic Press, 2014.  

Review.

fireHarsh weather conditions are terrifying enough at the best of times, but what about when Mother Nature plays a hand in the wild and extreme that gamble with actual lives?
Award-winning author and Australian Laureate, Jackie French, together with the unequivocally talented illustrator, Bruce Whatley, have joined forces in producing a gripping and stunningly haunting book of adversity; ‘Fire’. Just like their previous book, ‘Flood’; depicting the horrendous Queensland floods in 2011, ‘Fire’ is another efficacious story of courage and strength in the face of a natural disaster.

Throughout the book are amazing, succinct verses that take your breath away with every word. The story begins with a serene outback set amongst golden hills and limp gum tree leaves. Upon turning the page, we are faced with the sudden impact of ferocious orange flames and black smoke, sending a once peaceful cockatoo fleeing for its life. Ramifications advance, affecting the people who live amongst the burning trees as the fire engulfs the land in a thunderous, cackling roar. Pretty soon, whole page spreads bleed with blood-red paint across the atmosphere, and thick grey ash that forces inhabitants to quickly escape the “gulping smoke and singed debris.”
Fire book imageNext, a gut-wrenching image of the oven swallowing houses, trees, the land. What about the aftermath? Loss, grief, disbelief. But the bravery of the firefighters and the safety of loved ones is what is appreciated most. From pain comes the strength of the Australian spirit, as we see the CFA tending to sick animals, and read of those friends who give love and help rebuild a world burnt bare. And eventually, the Earth is reborn once again.  

The final page details Jackie French‘s personal experiences with fighting bushfires and its effects on the land, and how best to manage its dangers. Bruce Whatley also gives appreciation for the courage of those dealing with these terrors, and his account of his illustration process. It is fascinating that he felt the erratic nature of the fire was the hardest thing to capture, because looking at his daubs, flicks, bleeding outlines, reds and yellows amongst their surrounding darks certainly creates intensely evocative and impactful imagery in my eyes.  

‘Fire’ is a powerful, poignant and moving story of real life truths; a devastingly beautiful, poetic rendition of a tough facet of nature. It is a book about life, love, friendship, hope and the human spirit that is so brilliantly captured in its words and images. ‘Fire’ is suited to primary school children, and is deservingly shortlisted in the CBCA’s 2015 Picture Book of the Year awards. Just phenomenal.

This review appeared first on Boomerang Books.

Discussion.

Before reading:

Ask, what do you know about bushfires? How do you think they start?
Have you seen stories about bushfires on the news? Have you or do you know anyone who has experienced this tragedy?
Look at the cover. What can you see? What does it tell us about this bushfire?

During reading:

What do you notice about the language used? What is a metaphor? How is a fire like a black snake?
What do you think the animals do to escape bushfire? How do the people need to act?
Discuss the illustrations in the book. How effective are they in making such a huge impact on the reader?

After reading:

What people / jobs might you see around the bushfire? What would their roles be?
What happened to the land during and after the bushfire? What could we do to help people who lost their homes in a bushfire? What ways can people protect themselves and their homes when living in the bush?

Curriculum Activities.

Literacy / Writing: Bushfire Poems
Objectives: Discuss language used in the book, including rhyming words, metaphors, symbolism. Discuss the order of events.

Acrostic Poem.
You may choose to write your own style of poem. My Prep daughter wrote an acrostic poem with the word BUSHFIRE.

imageBurning
Unsafe
Save yourself
Help animals
Firefighters are brave
I feel sad
Regrowth
Earth re-born.

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Technology / Craft: Firefighter and Burning Tree Construction.
Objectives: Understand the role and uniform of the CFA volunteers, and the effects of bushfires on the land, people and animals, and strategies to deal with its adversity.

Paper Roll Firefighter
Materials:
Paper roll, coloured paper (red, yellow, black or brown), goggle eyes (optional), pencil, glue, scissors, sticky tape, pipe cleaner.
image
Directions:
1. Cut a strip of yellow paper for the body and attach to the paper roll. Cut a yellow hat / helmet shape and attach to the top of the roll.
image
2. Pierce two holes in each side of the body and thread through the pipe cleaner (cut to size).
3. Decorate the firefighter as desired, with details on the uniform, goggle eyes and face.
image
Paper Roll Burning Tree.
Materials:
Paper roll, choice of tissue paper / coloured paper / streamer, etc in fire colours (red, orange, yellow), sticky tape, scissors.
image
Directions:
1. Cut large piece of tissue paper and stuff into top of paper roll.
2. Cut out flame shapes with another colour and stick in to tissue paper inside roll.
3. Cut out more flames with the third colour and stick into roll.
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4. Use your firefighter to put out the fire in the tree. We added a little pipe cleaner hose for the firefighter to hold.
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Science.
Learn about fire facts and its impact on humans, animals and land. Science Kids has some interesting information.

Lessons by Romi Sharp.
My Little Story Corner 2015
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal or classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.