Anstey recommends: ANZAC Biscuits by Phil Cummings

To commemorate ANZAC Day, Anstey the Library’s resident mascot thought it might be fitting to review the children’s picture book ANZAC Biscuits, by South Australian children’s author Phil Cummings.

Anzac Biscuits by Phil Cummings

Anzac Biscuits by Phil Cummings

This touching story is about an Australian family torn apart by war. Set during the time of World War I, Rachel and her mother are at home on their farm in their warm and safe kitchen, while a young soldier is miles away across the ocean in the trenches of a cold dark battlefield.

“Let’s make some biscuits for Dad,” suggests Rachel’s mother, and she and her daughter begin to mix ingredients and set about baking biscuits.

With each turn of the page the story moves back and forth, from the warm family kitchen where Rachel and her mum are baking the special biscuits, to the cold bleak battlefield where the young soldier is struggling to stay warm.

Illustrator Owen Swan has done an amazing job with his pictures. The kitchen scenes are painted in warm yellow hues which contrast with the grey illustrations of the soldier’s world. As the scenes flit back and forth some clues are given to the identity of the young soldier. The final pages reveal the young soldier to be Rachel’s father and how he is very grateful for a gift from home.

“These are the best biscuits ever … Daddy will love them, won’t he?” said Rachel. And he did.

You can borrow Anzac Biscuits from the library here. There are lots of other books on ANZAC Day as well.

Thanks Tea Tree Gully, for giving the Gift of Reading

You can change a child’s whole life with the gift of a book. This year the Tea Tree Gully Library received 62 children’s books donated by members of our community – a great show of kindness and goodwill. All of the books have been presented to the Tea Tree Gully Salvation Army and will be distributed to children in need within our community. For some children, this will be the first book they have ever owned.

The books our patrons donated at the base of the Tea Tree Gully Library's Christmas tree!

The books our patrons donated at the base of the Tea Tree Gully Library’s Christmas tree

The ‘Give the Gift of Reading’ program encourages members of our community to purchase a new children’s book and donate it to the Library, to pass on to children from needy families. The initiative was first developed and implemented by the City of Playford Library in 2012 to address shortfalls in literacy skills within their community. This year, over 24 public libraries participated in South Australia.

Eleanor and Jenifer from the Tea Tree Gully Salvation Army receiving our books. They will be distributed to needy children

Eleanor and Jenifer from the Tea Tree Gully Salvation Army receiving our books. They will be distributed to needy children

A room full of toys for kids this Christmas....the donated books are on the left

A room full of toys for kids this Christmas….the donated books are on the left

To recognise our appreciation of our patron’s generous donations, the Library asked participants to fill out a ‘wish tag’ to be in the draw to win a $100 ABC Shop gift voucher. This year our winner was awarded to William Ireton, age 13.

William the winner

William the winner

A book is a gift that can open again, and again. The early years in a child’s life are an important time as they develop literacy skills that will be used over a lifetime.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to purchase a children’s book and come into the library to put it under the Christmas tree. We were overwhelmed by your kindness and are happy to see the community spirit is alive and strong in Tea Tree Gully. Merry Christmas and happy festivities to all.

New Early Learning Kits to help our kids

After being inspired by results from the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI), the Library has added more than 50 new early learning kits to its collection.

Julie, our Children's Librarian with some of our new early learning kits.

Julie, our Children’s Librarian with some of our new early learning kits.

With a focus on emotional maturity and social competence, the new kits contain material that can help children to learn, manage their feelings, make friends, and solve problems  by covering topics like:

  • Starting school
  • Friendships
  • Learning new things
  • Feelings
  • Sharing
  • Visiting the dentist or optician
  • Plus many more

These kits are a valuable teaching aid for parents and carers of young children, as well as professionals.. They have been created on The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia principles – Belonging, Being and Becoming.

Each themed kit is categorised into age groups – 0-2 years; 2-3 years and 4-5 years – so selecting the appropriate material for your child is easy. The kits contain books, activity toys and include Parenting SA Easy Guides that are appropriate to the theme.

Early learning kits have been in our collection for a couple of years and are very popular. They are available to loan for 2 weeks.

Anstey’s Favourite Read: Bridie’s Boots

Anstey, the Tea Tree Gully Library’s resident echidna, would like to recommend the new children’s book ‘Bridie’s Boots’, to little readers.

Bridie's Boots - the latest picture book written by SA Children's writer Phil Cummings

Bridie’s Boots – the latest picture book written by SA Children’s writer Phil Cummings

Written by Phil Cummings and illustrated by Sara Acton, this is a story about a little girl who learns to let go of treasured belongings, as she begins to grows up.

 When Bridie turned five she received a pair of gumboots, they were wrapped in rainbow paper and were the best boots ever. They kept her feet dry when it rained and when the sun came out she twirled on tiptoes in her boots. Bridie dreamed of all sorts of adventures in her boots in fact she could do anything in her boots. But when Bridie turned six her boots no longer fit her. ‘You’ve grown, Bridie,’ said her mum.

Bridie decides to give her boots away to charity so that someone else can wear them.  On the other side of the world the boots find a new owner who loves them as much as Bridie did.

This delightful story about goodwill, sharing and adventure is written by local author Phil Cummings. The Little Big Book Club recommends this book for children aged between 4 and 5 years.

Read more about this book here:

It’s Book Week! Saturday 16 to Friday 22 August

CBCAThe Children’s Book Council of Australia has announced this year’s Children’s Books of the Year.

rules of summerPicture Book of the Year:
Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan – A story about two boys, one older and one younger, and the kind of ‘rules’ that might govern any relationship between close friends or siblings. Rules that are often so strange or arbitrary, they seem impossible to understand from the outside…

the-swapEarly Childhood Book of the Year:
The Swap by Jan Ormerod – Caroline Crocodile’s baby brother dribbles. But all Mama crocodile Ever says is how Gorgeous he is. Caroline is very jealous. So she goes to the Baby shop and tries to swap her dribbly brother for a new baby. The trouble is, there’s just something not quite right with any of them…

very unusual pursuitYounger Readers Book of the Year:
City of Orphans: A very unusual pursuit by Catherine Jinks –  Monsters have been infesting London’s dark places for centuries, eating every child who gets too close. That’s why ten-year-old Birdie McAdam works for Alfred Bunce, the bogler. With her beautiful voice and dainty looks, Birdie is the bait that draws bogles from their lairs. One  day, Alfred and Birdie are approached by two very different women. Both of them threaten the only life Birdie’s ever known.

wildifeOlder Readers Book of the Year:
Wildlife by Fiona Wood – In the holidays before the dreaded term at Crowthorne Grammar’s outdoor education camp two things out of the ordinary happened. A picture of me was plastered all over a twenty-metre billboard. And I kissed Ben Capaldi… Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program – but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They’re extra-curricula.

jeremyEve Pownall Award for Information Books:
Jeremy by Christopher Faille – A tiny kookaburra, only a few days old, falls out of his nest and is brought home by the family cat; the family name him “Jeremy”. Luckily, Jeremy is a fighter and as the weeks go by he grows stronger and stronger, until the time comes when he must say goodbye.

All of the CBCA winners are available from the Library, you can find them on our catalogue.






Why Linda loves the Library

This month Tea Tree Gully Library farewells Linda, our latest Work Experience student, who deserves a big thanks for her hard work and enthusiasm.

The lovely Linda, our latest work experience student at the Library.

The lovely Linda, our latest work experience student at the Library.

During her time here, Linda authored a post for the blog – it seems she’s a big fan of libraries, including the Tea Tree Gully Library!

In Linda’s words:
The first impression I took away from Tea Tree Gully Library is the strong commitment staff bring to ensuring visitors to the library have what they need and enjoy their experience in the library. Fostering an environment where people feel welcome, valued and important is obviously core business in this library.

One of the areas where the library is preparing a fertile ground for the readers and learners of the future is their children’s program. The Storytime, Toddler Time and Baby Bounce sessions in the library are hugely popular. Parents and children arrive well before the session times and are clearly excited to be there. The children love being in the library and these regular visits to the library encourage a confident attitude to reading and the development of important relationships with library staff.

One of my favourites:
One of my current favourites for reading aloud with younger readers is “I’m a Dirty Dinosaur” written by Adelaide author Janeen Brian.

The illustrator, Ann James, used mud from the dam near her home to create the fabulous illustrations for this book. This video shows her creativity at work.

The cheeky little dinosaur in this story reminds me of people I know and the rhyming text leads the reader through an action-packed journey filled with the joys of stomping, splashing, sliding and rolling in glorious mud. This book is a real joy to read aloud and younger listeners can’t help but join in by chanting the refrains and miming the actions.

Children and adults alike will relate to the fun that just oozes from this book. “I’m a Dirty Dinosaur” has been shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Award in the Early Childhood category.

Libraries make our lives better:
Libraries enrich our lives in so many ways, and Tea Tree Gully Library is a fine example of this.

It’s not just the wide range of resources and programs available that makes Tea Tree Gully Library such an important part of life for the local community. The friendly library team consistently foster a positive and welcoming atmosphere that reaches out to all. Thank you for the time and efforts devoted to ensuring I thoroughly enjoyed my placement and gained a greater understanding of the role of librarians in public libraries.

Ed’s note:
We’d also like to say a big thank you for bringing in two amazing cakes today to celebrate and share with staff. You’re the best Linda!

The amazing Fig Cake Linda brought in to share!

And then there was the lemon and ricotta one...

And then there was the lemon and ricotta…

In car entertainment for your driving holiday

If you and the family are heading off on a driving holiday this summer, or even a day out, and want to ward off boredom and endless games of ‘I Spy’, take a look at the audio book collections in the Library.

Books on CD and MP3 are available for kids and adults, with titles ranging from Storytime with Peppa Pig to My Sporting Life: Sir Jackie Stewart. They can be borrowed for up to 4 weeks, so grab a few to have in the car and keep everyone amused.

audio booksAnd if you run out, you could always borrow more from the public library at your holiday destination, if they are part of the One Card network, and return them here when you get home!