I’m always thrilled when people buy books as gifts for my children. There is nothing better than a great book to spark a child’s imagination and boost their love of reading. Here are some of our new favourites from Walker Books Australia.
My Mama || Annemarie van Haeringen || $16.99
A naughty elephant tells all about his mother in this lovingly drawn story. Parents and children will both delight in and recognise this gorgeous mother–child relationship—if not for the same reasons.
Since reviewing their first novel ‘Being Brave’ I have been following Sema & Hester’s journey and sharing their 1st book with all my friends who have daughters. I got to chat to the ‘Being Brave Girls’ this week, and asked them for their advice on how we can encourage our daughters to be brave during these uncertain times.
The Being Brave Girls
Hester Leung and Sema Musson are the co-authors of Being Brave and Being Brave Too, middle grade novels and personal development guides for girls on being brave. These books are inspired by their friendship and their daughters’ friendships.
The inception of our series began through the many years of talking about everything and anything. Our daughters are friends, and so we became friends! We have shared our life stories and struggles, from parenting to being working mothers, from stressors when we were growing up to relationships now. Therefore, our friendship led to the creation of Being Brave.
At the time of writing our second book Being Brave Too we find ourselves in quite unusual times. It’s like a parallel universe. We are in a world of social distancing. We are all at home. We are working from home. Our daughters have been schooled from home. We have replaced our weekend catch-ups with virtual coffees and lots of phone calls and messages. When before we looked forward to seeing each other on Saturdays at our daughters’ sports, we now look forward to connecting in a totally new way, more than ever needing to support each other in a most unusual year.
Social media becomes more pronounced as we think about what our new normal will be – one where we interact more online, where social media has an increased role for connecting with friends. We want to equip girls to manage the use of these tools positively. Our second book focuses more on this theme.
During this time we discovered that we need to remain soft and strong. We need to remain kind to others and be confident that everything is going to be okay. We need to stop the negative self-talk, that little voice inside that tells us we can’t do something or that we will fail if we try.
Here are our top five tips to help all the mums and daughters who need a little support on being B-R-A-V-E at this time.
Breathe — Breathing helps calms your mind and is a good way to relax. Try this simple exercise. Place one hand on your upper chest and one hand below your rib cage. Breathe in and count to 4, hold for 4 and breathe out for 4. Feel your tummy expand as you breathe in and shrink as you breathe out.
Relationships — Family and friendships are so important. They support and encourage you in times of joy and distress. They can give you a little confidence boost when you need it most. Give someone special a call today or send them a message to check in with them.
Affirm — Positive affirmations are statements that can overcome that little negative voice on your shoulder. When you repeat them and believe in them they can help you to make a productive change. Try these — I am kind, I am capable and I am worthy.
Visualise — What is the best thing that could happen? How would it feel? How would it sound? Using positive visualisation makes it easier to achieve your goals. In your mind it will be as if you’ve done it before! It makes your goals much more familiar and achievable.
Energise — Do what you love. For each of us, there are things that bring you energy and those things that zap your energy away. Find those things that fuel you and bring them into your day.
Sending you a little bit of hope and motivation at this time. We see you and we’re here for each other.
The Being Brave Book: A novel & guide about finding courage and strength by Sema Musson and Hester Leung.
I have recently enjoyed this delightful book with my 11-year-old daughter, who herself has moved schools and walked, in many ways, in the shoes of the main characters. Not only did it encourage us to discuss the power of positive thinking, but also started conversations on the importance of being determined, brave, honest, imaginative, and best of all, kind. Lessons that we could all take on board and talk to our children about a little more frequently.
‘Ellie and Alyssa have been best friends since pre-school. One chatty, one shy, one adventurous, the other considered, one Australian, one with Chinese heritage, both supportive and giving. It’s easy together. Then they change schools.’
Being Brave is a novel and personal development guide for young girls with themes on self-esteem and resilience. It’s the first novel/guide we have read and I’m glad we did!
We are all aware of the challenges children face while growing up, but it’s stories like this that teach us all how to put one foot in front of the other regardless of how big the climb! It’s an important read for youngsters as it confirms their feelings are not out of the ordinary, and therefore they’re not alone.
Please grab a copy and join Ellie and Alyssa on this important journey through the everyday pressures of school and family life in this all-Australian girls’ adventure story, where girls triumph and the main characters reflect Australia’s wonderful ethnic diversity.
Get a copy, cuddle up with your girl, and take some time out to enjoy the togetherness whilst learning some positive personal development tips!
No matter how hard to try to ignore it, there’s no denying that Christmas is well and truly on it’s way. It’s time to stop pretending you have ages to get sorted. The kids are almost down from their much hated Halloween high, and I for one am totally ready to get the tree up and start singing “Do they know it’s Christmas” at anyone who walks past.
Let’s take a moment to think about what Christmas entails. The frantic search for this years most popular toy, the dash round the shops to get the precious ingredient that Jamie Oliver absolutely insists you have with your turkey this year, not forgetting the outdoor Christmas show in 42 degrees of heat…(down under anyway).
Buy the tree, sort the gifts, hunt wildly for the sticky tape, wrap the gifts, try and find out which bloody bulb is broken and stopping the Christmas tree lights from working.. Oh, and did you really forget to send Aunty Marg a card??????
However Christmas rolls in your house, I’m here to take a bit of the pressure off!
I have done a really clever thing, and put together a list of totally awesome books that you absolutely must buy for your kiddos this year.
Buying your child a book, not only makes you feel like an awesome parent who positively encourages reading, but it also gives your child an experience which can be shared with others, time and time again. Reading not only creates a strong bond between parent and child, it also has many benefits including building confidence, and enhancing a child’s imagination. You see why buying a book this Christmas is a great idea. It’s the gift that really does keep on giving!
Nearly nine in 10 children say they love being read aloud to a lot, with the main reason being that it is a special time with their parents. – Scholastic
The Wilson’s Top Christmas Books
Judy Moody and the right Royal Tea Party by Megan McDonald
Another day. Another mood. Meet Judy Moody at her moodiest-best, in this laugh-a-minute fourteenth adventure in the international bestselling series. If you have fans of Jacqueline Wilson then this is a great book to add to the bookshelf. It’s funny, a little bit silly, and a great easy reader (7+) for bedtime giggles.
Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies: The Giant Moth Mummy (Book 2) by Andrew Hansen & Jessica Roberts
Can Bab and his smelly friends defeat this ancient evil? You what?? My thought’s entirely… This doesn’t sound like the most delightful book, but let me tell you, it’s worth a read! If your little readers love comics, gross stuff, and insanely wacky characters then add this to Santa’s list. *super Santa award heading your way!
Where’s Wally? The Spectacular Spotlight Search by Martin Handford
We love ‘Where’s Wally’ in our house, I have been known to flick through these on my own! This is Wally like you’ve never seen him before! Use the paper spotlight searcher as a magic torch to illuminate the six spectacular scenes in this book, and there are bonus games on every page! That means hours of entertainment! Kids get to turn the pages and search six spectacular darkened scenes! By using the paper spotlight searcher inside as a magic torch they will reveal Wally and his friends. Each scene contains all five classic characters plus bonus hidden content. This is a great book for old and new Wally fans!
**All light-up magic is designed from paper, and extra spotlight searchers are available to print from online, no batteries necessary.
Dragon Post by Emma Yarlett
Who wouldn’t want their child to read a fiery story about friendship and asking for help? And as if that’s not enough, this is being hailed at ‘The Jolly Postman’ for a new generation! Hurrah! The JP was one of my all time favourites which I have handed down to my little ones. I’m hoping Dragon Post will join the bookshelf that my kids hand down to theirs. Love the little letters!!
One day Alex finds a dragon living under his stairs. He isn’t sure what to do – but luckily he knows just who to ask for help. Open the envelopes and read the hilarious letters Alex receives from the fire brigade, the butcher and more as he tries to take care of his new friend. Who would have thought having a dragon for a pet would be so tricky? – Walker Books
Among kids aged 6–8 whose parents have stopped reading aloud to them, half wish their parents had continued – Scholastic
Discovery Globe- Build Your Own Globe Kit – Leon Gray
For all of you parents out there with kids who love to build things, here’s a kit to make your own spinning globe! How awesome does that sound! This is the ultimate gift for families who love to travel, and who’s children have all sorts of questions about the world! This kit comes with everything you need to build your own spinning globe plus plus an illustrated explorer’s guide packed with information, providing a unique introduction to our world.
Make your own globe and discover more about the people and places on it with this stylish kit, containing all the pieces for an easy-to-make spinning model plus a highly-illustrated explorer’s guide. The sturdy card globe features icons labelling everything from natural wonders to famous faces, topics which can then be explored in more detail in the explorer’s guide. As well as referring closely to the model globe, the explorer’s guide covers a variety of themes including the Earth’s biomes, animals and World Heritage sites, providing a fascinating introduction to the world, its people and places – Walker Books
•Publisher’s note: adult assistance recommended when building globe.
Reading is so great for your kids because amongst other great benefits it:
Enhances their imagination
Improves their grammar
Improves their writing skills
Leads to academic success
Helps them build their self confidence
Expands their vocabulary
Discipline and increased concentration
Go on, buy a book this Christmas and give the gift of reading to a child you love!