Treasures from the library

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything about what the girls and I have been reading together.  I’m always on the hunt for really great children’s books both for their enjoyment and for my own.  Despite the fact that we have quite an impressive collection of picture books in our own bookshelves, joining the local library was one of the first things I did after moving to Ballarat.  We’ve since made weekly trips to explore, find new authors, characters and stories and for story-telling, songs and craft.

There are a number of things at this particular library that Miss Four and Miss Two adore.  Firstly they have a little set of toadstool table and chairs that they love to sit at and look through the books they’ve selected (culling a few of the less interesting ones along the way).  Secondly, there’s a water fountain that they insist on getting a drink at every visit – I must remember to bring our own cups.  It’s one of those fountains that you put the barrel of water on and then pull a little tab down to fill the cup.  They love it because it makes these big bubbly gulping sounds as the water comes out.  And lastly Miss Four absolutely ADORES getting books off the hold shelf with our name on the ticket.  I try to make sure I put holds on books for her regularly so she gets a thrill (that doesn’t cost me a cent).

Some of the best books we’ve discovered recently include…..

The Brambly Hedge series, by Jill Barklem, is absolutely gorgeous, thank you Brydie from City Hippy Farm Girl for introducing us to such sweet stories.  Miss Four is in love with Summer Story because of the wedding – my sister is getting married soon and she is just so excited about the whole thing.  We’ve had all four in the series (Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring) as well as the DVD over the last few weeks, though I believe there are more – such joy.

Queen Victoria’s Underpants, by Jackie French and Bruce Whately, is a favourite of mine.  It’s historic fiction for kids.  Jackie French has written some wonderful historic fiction for young readers, I’ve read quite a few with my Year 7 English classes over the years I would highly recommend them for tweens.  This one though is for the younger set and it’s about knickers which automatically means it’s a giggle fest.

The Ladybug girl (and Bumblebee boy) books, by Jackie Davis and David Soman was recommended by a Facebook page I follow called A Mighty Girl which is all about helping parents raise intelligent, confident and courageous girls.  They have heaps of books, movies and toys on their site aimed at helping do this, and Ladybug girl was among them.  We’ve only borrowed one so far, Ladybug Girl and the bug squad, but it was great.  Ladybug girl is feisty and far from perfect.  She has a wonderful imagination, loads of energy and a good moral compass.

Lightning Jack by Glenda Millard, is a poetic, mythical and beautiful story about a wild black stallion brumby, lightning Jack and the kids determined to ride him, Sam Tully.  Jack and Sam find themselves chasing runaway cattle, in a confrontation with Ned Kelly and winning a race against Phar Lap.  But is Jack real or just in Sam’s head?  The illustrations are stunning, and the words are even better.

Cinnamon Baby by Nicola Winstanely is an adorable book bout Miriam, a baker who always leaves the cinnamon bread til last and Sebastian who falls in love with both Miriam and her bread.  They have a baby, a beautiful boy with cinnamon skin, who doesn’t stop crying (we parents can all relate to that to a certain extent, can’t we) until they work out what is making the baby so unhappy.

Now in order to keep the system of putting books on hold for Miss Four, I need recommendations.  Who has got a suggestion, a great book, author or series we should discover on our next adventure to the library?


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6 Responses to Treasures from the library

  1. amkael says:

    I am just wondering what Jackie French books you loved for your Year 7’s? I’m always on the lookout for more for my non-love-of-reading Year 7 girl. Thanks!

  2. The books look gorgeous. Although I haven’t read a children’s book in years, I’m not surprised that Brydie’s recommendation was a good one! 😀

    • Barbara Good says:

      There are just so many great children’s books Lorraine and the ones Brydie recommended are gorgeous. I love when I can find a great children’s book that’s also about food or gardening… combining two great loves.

  3. Jenny Pearson says:

    Hi Barbara, as a seasoned grandma, two of my favourite authors are Alison Lester of “Magic Beach” fame and other stories that are a reflection of her and her children’s Australian lives. I just love the words and the illustrations – there appears to be so much going on in them. My other favourite is Jeannie Baker of “From the Forest to the Sea” fame and “The Window”, both books being wordless, so you have to use a bit of imagination, however, the collages that make up the illustrations are just fantastic, and once again, there is so much going on in each picture, together with a strong environmental message, although each of her books can just be enjoyed as a beautiful story in itself. I too love nothing better than to snuggle up to the little person I am reading to, who as it turns out, is an avid book lover as well. I’m sure the new person will be in this category as well – or we will all do our best to make sure they are won’t we!!!

    • Barbara Good says:

      Yes we enjoy Alison Lester too, though I don’t think we’ve read Magic Beach. I loved The Window as a kid myself, I had forgotten about that. I think Miss Four would really appreciate the wordless concept, she loves making up her own stories.

      I think the new little person (ooh it’s so close now!) is going to have his work cut out trying to NOT be a book lover with the family he’s entering.

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