Posts Tagged ‘books’

Read to Your Children!

January 23, 2013

Possum is 6 years and 8 months

Bandicoot is 4 years and 6 months

Little Princess is 2 years

I have a confession to make.  I don’t read to my kids all that much.  It is a terrible thing to say, considering I am a complete bibliophile and a homeschooler.  But I don’t.

Oh, they get read to, lots.  But I don’t do it anywhere near as much as I would like.

Things have happened along the way to make this habit develop.  Firstly, when Possum was an itty-bitty thing, we heard of the advantages of having Daddy read to kids.  Apparently it has a lot to do with the timbre of the voice assisting in their language development or something.  At any rate, DH does bedtime stories.  It grew into a routine that they all loved.  (I loved it, too, because it was one of the few moments of the day or night that I had to myself.  I say “had” because I now sit in for stories.)

The other thing that happened was that not long after I started to recover my sanity and enjoy being a Mum to Possum, I became pregnant with Bandicoot.  And likewise with Little Princess.  I don’t do pregnancy well.  I spend a lot of time utterly, utterly exhausted (as in can hardly stumble to the loo, let alone look after myself, a family, a job, a house or anything else).  If I tried to read to the kids during these times, much as when I have a little Little One, I would fall asleep during the story.  Hmm.

So it was, that when ever someone would offer to help out I would beg them to read and read and read to the kids.

But it wasn’t me.

It isn’t that I don’t like, or even didn’t like doing it.  In fact I LOVE it.  The problem is that now, the kids just don’t see any point in snuggly up with me for a story.  Not even with bribery (Seriously.  We have a reward chart.)  What is the point?  They get their stories elsewhere.

So I feel guilty that I don’t read to them enough.  I feel sad that I can’t get them to enjoy it.  There are so many books I would love to share with them, but it doesn’t happen.  (In fact, there is a particular book that I loved as a child.  I searched high and low and eventually got a second hand copy of it.  I am sure that they would love it, but DH hates it.  He read it to them once, declared it a pretty awful story and it has remained on the bookshelf since.)  There are so many fantastic curricula for little kids that are completely literature based.  But oh so out of my reach.


Who knows, it may change.  Bandicoot lets me read to him sometimes.  Not every day, but sometimes.  Sometimes, Possum even comes by to listen, but not close enough that I am supposed to know that is what he is doing.  Little Princess still likes me read to her, and it seems she will only be challenged by older siblings, not younger. 

Maybe I’ll end up with one out of three.


Easter Bookshelf

May 20, 2012

Possum is 6 years

Bandicoot is 3 years 10 months

Little Princess is 1 year 2 months (16 months)


Today at Church we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension.  The Ascension?  How did that happen?  That means next week will be Pentecost already and the end of the Easter season.

Well, oops.  I had best get this post posted!  I have had it sitting in draft form since way back in Lent.  How time flies.


As you probably guessed from the title, these are the books that we have had to read during the Easter season.

The Bible for Me series are a bit of a favourite around here.  You might remember that we have the Christmas one, too.  The story is divided up into chapters of one or two double page spreads, which makes it perfect for devouring in bite sized chunks.  And, personally I love the pictures!



This is another Easter Bible that we have.  It has more detail in it, and is slightly more hard core (Easter isn’t really G rated).  It is very good, ‘though.  I especially like that some extra topics, like the story of Judas, are given their own billing.

CCF06042012_00000(This book is Jillian Harker and illustrated by Jane Swift.  I haven’t been able to find it in print anywhere (Paragon), but Amazon do have a few second hand ones listed.)

image I bought this one to use with our Resurrection Eggs.  It is a great story of a little boy living in Jerusalem at the time of the first Easter.  I liked the idea of telling the story from a child’s point of view.  Unfortunately, the story is long and I left it too late to start.  Next year I will start this book a week or two before Easter and read a story a day from it.

image Have you read any of the “Parable of…” series?  They are beautiful stories!  I cried when I read this one.  The story can stand alone, or you can use it as a Bible study with the passages on each page.

Little Kids’ Books

This one is a real favourite, especially with the littlest ones:



And this one?  Well I actually bought it for my baby nephew, but it never made it.  Little Princess is just mad about it.



More Bunnies…. and a Bilby

These books are not Easter books, but someone has to bring the chocolate…

image image

 image  image

Oh, all right, the Bilby one IS an Easter book!


Ducks and an Emu…

image      image

image    image


And while we are looking at New Life in the garden…



 image (This book seems to be out of stock everywhere, but Amazon do have a few second hand ones listed.)



Activity Books

image Oh the boys loved this one!  It is just what you would expect- lots of sticker fun from Lois Rock.

image I really like the look of this one, but to be honest, the kids didn’t get around to it this year at all.  I might pull it out as new next Easter.  This one has a “split page”.  Approximately the top 2/3 to 3/4 of the page has a scene and part of the Easter story on it.  You need to complete the picture with the stickers.  The lower portion of the page has other sticker activities related to the story or picture on the top of the page.

image This is a more complex puzzle book – probably for ~ 7 year olds.  When I received it, I had intended to put it away until next year, but Possum found it and loved doing all the mazes in it.  The word puzzles were still beyond his abilities.

image We have had this one going for a couple of years now.  Possum and I really enjoy it, and Bandicoot had a bit of fun this year, too.  It has the Easter story written in chapters, but certain words are missing from the story.  You need to put in the picture stickers to complete the stories.



*phew*!  That is quite a few of them.  I love being able to pull out books on a theme like this!  I hope you have enjoyed some Easter books, too.

I’m a Pout Pout Fish

May 20, 2012

‘I’m a Pout Pout fish, with a pout-pout face

and I spread the dreary wearies all over the place…

Blub, Bluuub, Bluuuuuuuubbbb!’

image image

Possum is 6 years

Bandicoot is 3 years and 10 months

Little Princess is 1 year and 2 months (16 months)

I love this book.  I thought it looked cute when I saw it in the Aquarium bookshop, but it took me a few visits before I handed over the money for it.  (DH seems to think I have a bit of a book problem.  I don’t know… just because I would love to have a library in our home with wall to ceiling compacter shelves for storing my favourites…)

Anyway, eventually I did.  And I am glad I did.  It is really a wonderful book for me just now.

In this story, the poor Pout-Pout fish is a bit of a misery-guts.  All his friends offer the kind of trite advice that people give you when you are depressed, but just makes you feel worse.  Until…

Along comes a special fish that gives him a kiss and no advice.

And he feels so much better.

It is all done with beautiful pictures and with gorgeous rhymes and in such a warm manner.  I love it.  And the boys love it when I do my special Pout-Pout Fish voice when I am reading it, too.


It is nice to remind myself when I am having a really bad day (too many of those just now!) that I am not really a Pout Pout Fish, I am a Kiss-Kiss Fish in need of a bit of gentleness.

Thanks, Mr Fish!


Purim 2012

March 8, 2012

Possum is 5 years 10 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 8 months

Little Princess is 1 year 2 months (14 months)


Today is the Biblical Feast of Purim.  It is the celebration of the deliverance of God’s People from the hands of the evil Haman.

I love this feast.  I find the story fascinating and inspiring.  Really, they could make a modern book or movie of it and it would get audiences in.  Of course, no need for that.  It is right there in the Book of Esther.

This year I read the story from “the oral tradition handed down through the sages” on – it has details not recorded on the Megillah/in the Bible Book.  It is a really fascinating story – so full of intrigue, with so many twists and turns.  I really enjoyed the read.

I will read it again from the Bible tonight.

We also have a few other ways to experience the story around here.  Of course, we have this gem:

imageNothing like the threat of being sent to the Island of Perpetual Tickling!

We also have this little book that Little Princess was given at her Baptism:

imageIt is really beautiful.  It is a word book – a concept book about the story of Esther!


And finally, this year I found this one:

imageI thought with a learning-to-reader in the house and two more to follow, we might get some use out of it.


One of the mitzvahs of Purim is to feast.  However, this is the middle of Lent, and I have enough trouble engaging DH in festivals he knows about, let alone new ones.  It the past I have made hamantashen and I fully intended to do so again today (pity they are only for Purim, because they really are SO good).  It was, however, one of those days, so there are none for tonight.  I also decided to cook up a Persian dinner.  It went a bit pear-shaped when I discovered that the ingredients I thought I had, I didn’t have, and, worse still, forgot Bandicoot had a swimming lesson tonight.  I have made this

~~tantalising link to yummy Persian chicken dish~~

but whether or not it gets eaten will be an entirely different matter.

Either way, it is a feast worth remembering.  Each year I add a little more to our celebrations of the Feast.  Each year the kids understand a little more.


Happy Purim!!

Halloween Part 2 – The Books

October 31, 2011

Possum is 5 years 5 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 3 months

Little Princess is 9 months

Of course, we did have some books to go along with all the food.  The first one is this:

Five Little Pumpkins

I really enjoyed this.  It is the American rhyme about the Five Little Pumpkins.  DH had never heard of it before, so he thought the book was a little silly – looking for the story – until we got to the end.  He then re-read it to the kids and it was lots more fun.

I managed to pick this book up in a $5- sale, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have bothered with a Halloween book otherwise, but I do like it.

Night Animals: Level 1

We read this book again, too.  (I haven’t been able to find it available at any of my usual sources.  I bought it second hand on a home-schooling swap site.)

This book is more Northern Hemisphere oriented (aren’t they all?) but we included discussion about some of our local nocturnal animals (we have two different kinds of possums, a bandicoot, bats etc that visit our yard in the night time.  Not bad for a city, eh?)  Halloween always seems like a good time to talk about these critters.


However, I think that our absolute favourite is this one:

The Pumpkin Patch Parable: The Parable Series

This was one of those books that I had read about other families using, but I had never actually seen it myself.  I wasn’t sure what it would be like, but when it arrived via the postman, I was pleasantly surprised.

Like the previous book, it is not a Halloween book, but it fits nicely with the season, even if pumpkins aren’t really in season here!  It is a lovely story, and each double page spread includes a Bible quotation.  I will definitely be looking at the other books in this series.

What my child is reading…. 26 June

June 26, 2011

Possum is 5 years 1 months

Bandicoot is 2 years 11 months

Little Princess is 6 months

This book has made a big renaissance in our house this week.

110730 Peak a Poo

It really is a great book – a lift the flap and find the poo book.  Unfortunately, by the time I am reading it for the second time in the day, I start to feel queasy, and three times is absolutely my limit.

It is, however, lots of fun to watch Nana read it to the kids 😉

110626 Tugboat This is a book that DH doesn’t like.  He tries to read the story.  But the words are not the point of this book, it is the story told in pictures of increasingly chaotic life on board the tugboat.

110626 Diary of a Wombat  I love this one!  Life with human neighbours, told humourously from the perspective of the Wombat.

And these two are constant companions:

110626 Devotions     110626 Classic Stories


Mortimer’s First Garden

November 7, 2010

Possum is 4 years and 6 months

Bandicoot is 2 years and 4 months


Sorting seeds…


Tallying seeds…


IMG_9224 Counting seeds…

Counting seeds into pots…  IMG_9222


A really great fun game of feeding sunflower seeds to the Crow (oh no!)


Flowers and bees colour match game.  Always a favourite.


Planting seeds…

IMG_9111 IMG_9102 IMG_9103 IMG_9104 IMG_9105    IMG_9109 IMG_9110


And just ‘cos it is pretty darn cute!


Some books that we used on holidays…

October 18, 2010

Possum is 4 years 5 months

Bandicoot is 2 years 3 months

It is always good to have some fresh books to read on holidays (especially ones that rain!), so I was pleased to borrow some books from sister.

"Imagine" by Alison Lester

I asked her to bring this one, although I had really meant to ask her to bring Magic Beach by the same author.  Never mind, Bandicoot was totally inthralled with this book (so much so that he is getting his own copy for Christmas).  AND he especially loved the page with all the undersea animals on it!

"Seashore" by Henry Pluckrose (Walkabout Books)

This book didn’t work so much for me, but gee, Possum loved it.  He got his Aunty to read it to him over and over again.  And when she wasn’t available, he would sit "reading" it to himself.  (Maybe he sensed I didn’t enjoy reading it so much!)

This book isn’t just about the beach, it includes ports and lighthouses etc, as well.  It certainly sparked a LOT of interesting conversations when we went out for walks.  I loved it for that!

This, however, was my favourite:

"Me and My Holiday" by Denise Burt

This one was published in 1974 so both my sisters and I had a nice giggle at the fashions, remembering our childhood holidays.

But more to the point, it is a really nicely told story of a boy and his sister going on holidays to the beach with their parents.  It starts from packing at home, goes through various activities – walks, playing on the sand, rockpools, fishing, swimming – and ends with him saying goodbye to the beach when it is time for the holiday to end.  I especially loved that at the end of the book, the waves licked his toes as the beach said goodbye to him, as well.

And that is how we said goodbye to the beach on the last day of our holidays, too.