Books light up our world

The Children’s Book Council of Australia celebrates it’s 70th anniversary in 2015, with Children’s Book Week on again from 22-28 August. The theme this year is Books Light Up Our World.


We hosted a performance of The Book Show by Splash Theatre Company at the Golden Grove Arts Centre today, for over 300 local school students.

The books they brought to life included:

The Book with No Pictures by B.J.Novak (one of our favourites!)

Wolves by Emily Gravett

The Pointless Leopard by Colas Gutman

The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon by Aaron Blabey,

Redback on the Toilet Seat by Slim Newton.

The actors also held a Q&A session after the performance, answering some great questions about how the show was written, how long it took to rehearse and what other books they would have liked to include in the show.

Thanks to Splash Theatre Company’s Andrew, Ezra and Mariana for a great show!

Happy Book Week everyone!


Why reading to your preschooler is important.

Literacy is a vital skill in our society yet it is a struggle for many children and adults. Reading with your children from birth gives them the best start for their brain development, early language and literacy skills.

Preschooler reading

Parents who regularly read to their preschool aged children are laying the foundations for significant cognitive and learning benefits in their child for schooling and education.

Many studies have shown that reading to children before they start school makes a significant difference in how well they learn at school, protects them from later reading problems, supports their vocabulary and cognitive development, and facilitates bonds between adults and children.

Parental reading to children at age 4 to 5 has positive and significant effects on reading skills and the cognitive skills of children aged at least up to age 10 or 11. So a small investment of 3 books a day now can make a big different for many years!
But what books should you read to your child?

Preschoolers love books that have humour, adventure and characters they relate to. Your preschooler is growing up and stories will help them understand new experiences and feelings. Be guided by their interests. Stories or factual books are all valid reading material. Books are a great way to discover the world. All children love predictable books, books that have a pattern, a predictable plot and lots of repetition.

Preschoolers playing

Preschoolers love patterns, rhythms and predictability.

When you read to your child, run your finger under the words from time to time as you read them. This will teach them that you read from top to bottom and left to right.

What do preschoolers need to know to help them learn to read?
Early literacy skills include:

  • Being able to recognise and name letters of the alphabet.
  • General knowledge about print, for example, which is the front of the book and which is the back, how to turn pages of the book.
  • The ability to identify and manipulate sounds.

Parents may also stimulate reading by their children through

  • buying children’s books
  • taking them to public libraries
  • talking about reading through the day and in everything you do
  • giving the example of reading yourself.

Some tips for when you are reading aloud:

  • Think about the words the author has chosen, and the rhythm, repetition or fun they have built into the story. Try to emphasise those elements.
  • Sound words – make them ‘sound like the sound’ so “clickety-clack” is sharp and short, emphasising the consonants, or ‘whoooosh’ is a long dynamic word.
  • Take your time, ensure each word is separated and easy to understand. Compared to when a child hears a song and learns the rhythm but can’t always distinguish each word, a child being read to should be able to hear each word in the story.
  • Follow cues from the words ie ‘up’ or ‘down’, ‘quiet’ or ‘loud’. Have your voice do the same.
  • Have fun and enjoy the special time with your child!


More online resources:

Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life? Guyonne Kalb and Jan C. von Ours, Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series, Working Paper No. 17/13, 2013 as First Teachers

Environmental Care Show

One of the many school holiday activities this spring is the Environmental Care Show. Of course here at City of Tea Tree Gully we encourage everyone to recycle, reuse and be sustainable, but this show will present the messages in a fun and entertaining way to the youngest generation.

The show is put on by COOL 4 KIDS, an innovative children’s entertainment service developed by teacher and musician Tony Genovese and will feature Bella Butterfly and Digger Dog characters. Suitable for kids up to 12 years, the show will be interactive and tailored to the audience on the day.

The show is free to attend, but you will need to book a spot for each family member attending as places are limited. It all happens on Wednesday 8 October at 10.30-11.15am. Bookings open on Monday 15 September for this and all our Home Grown theme school holiday activites so click here on the 15th!

Free mags to read in Spring

Spring is here, it’s time to get out in the garden, get growing and get crafty. There are a number of magazines relating to gardening and crafts that you can access for free online via the library.

gardening australia coverABC Gardening Australia is our nation’s number one monthly gardening resource, relating back to the popular TV program. The September edition is a bulb special – to lift or not to lift, that is the question! Experts also discuss the top 10 vegies to plant, how to lay turf, grow tasty tomatoes and gorgeous grevilleas.

Backyard and Garden Design Ideas is a good one to read if you are planning a backyard makeover. You can access back issues of this and other magazines so you are sure to find projects and ideas that will suit your needs.

good orgWhen are you ready to get your hands dirty, Good Organic Gardening is an earthy read, all about productive gardening, from seed to table. Find out what to plant when, explore new plant varieties, even learn about pesky pests and useful gardening tools.


homespunAustralian Homespun is a local craft magazine covering quiliting, knitting, sewing and all things stitching that come complete with patterns. A great read for some homegrown time with your sewing machine or needles.



You can read all these magazines using Zinio, via the Online Resources page on our website.


There are also gardening magazines in hard copy to borrow, of course, including Better Homes and Gardens, Your Garden, Australian House and Garden.

Recipe book review – Deceptively Delicious

Most kids don’t like eating vegetables, and there are a number of recipe books out there with ideas of how to hide vegies in food. Jessica Seinfeld’s book Deceptively Delicious is one of them, and it was recommended to me by a few other mums.

While it’s not a new book, and it is American so does have some different ingredients to how I would normally cook, but the basic principle is quite nifty. Jessica recommends pureeing batches of vegies and have them in the freezer, ready to add the purees to a range of yummy recipes. There is a range of main meals and treats to choose from.

I found a few recipies that would work for our family and photocopied them at the Library. I have since written on the pages to convert to metric measurements and Celsius, and my son has written some scribble on there to leave his own mark.

My early attempts at cauliflower puree in choc chip muffins went down well, and the carrot, banana and peanut butter muffins (below) have been eaten too.


Pretty sure these will be staples in our house for a while, and I will try a few more recipes.

Thrill Me! Kiss Me! Kill Me!

New Kindle and Kobo e-readers to come and try

New Kindle and Kobo e-readers to come and try

Come to the Library next week to keep warm, feel loved, get informed, have fun, cuddle up and act out!

Feel Loved…I Love You storytimes for 3-7 year olds on Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 10.15am

Feel loved … Romance authors share their stories Monday 6.30pm and a glass of wine

Get informed…get a feel for the latest e-readers and how to access e-books on Tuesday at 11am or Thursday 2pm

Get informed and have fun…kids can learn how to solve crimes like a CSI on Wednesday at 10.15 or 11.30am

Have fun and cuddle up…bring your family to the Dad’s Read Bedtime Storytime Wednesday at 5pm

Act out…play a part in a Murder Mystery, become a teen vampire or live to tell the tale from 6pm Thursday.

All this and more is happening for our Readers Festival… call 8397 7333 or go to our website for more information or to book.

Junior detective solves the case!

Science-for-kids_Fingerprint-forensics-3If your 7-12 year old is curious and wants to know how things work, (and don’t they all?) book them in to our free Forensic Science workshop these school holidays. They will learn about footprints and fingerprints, microscopes, soil analysis and even ballistics. They will love to show off their knowledge of crime solving techniques.

The kids will work in pairs so invite a friend!

Two workshops will be held on Wednesday 9 July, at 10.15 or 11.30am. Book now online by clicking on the time of your preferred session or call 8397 7333.