Star of Anise

Star of Anise written by Jane Jolly, illustrated by Di Wu and published by National Library of Australia Publishing is a 2022 CBCA Notable book in the Picture Book of the Year category and brings to life a slice of Australian history from the 1850s that is lesser known. This gentle story is set in […]

Read Aloud Books for Children in Upper Primary School

The following books are ones I have read aloud to my children and some of our favourites from the past two years. This collection is by no means exhaustive. As always, please read the books yourself to assess suitability for the children you intend to share the book with. The personal experiences and histories of […]

We Run Tomorrow

We Run Tomorrow by Nat Amoore with art by Mike Barry and published by Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia is brimming with adventure and suspense as well as a (mostly) likeable cast of diverse characters. These are the types of characters you can’t help but cheer on; celebrate their wins with […]

Books for Anzac Day – Part 2

Books for Anzac Day (first blog post containing seventeen books can be found on the Reading Opens Doors blog here). One way for children to learn about Anzac day, in a way that is accessible for them is through books that sensitively tell stories about the men and women who served – stories about their […]

Eyes that Speak to the Stars

Eyes that Speak to the Stars written by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Dung Ho is a stunning companion book to Eyes that Kiss in the Corners. This is a powerful picture book and moving lyrical story about acknowledging and appreciating differences and family history as well as embracing what makes you unique. It is […]

Our Country : Ancient Wonders

Our Country : Ancient wonders by Mark Greenwood and illustrated by Frané Lessac is a stunning picture book that inspires readers to immerse themselves in the world of a diverse group of curious explorers who travel around Australia to all states and territories and experience the remarkable ancient wonders. This book is the first in […]

Saving the Butterfly

Saving the Butterfly by Helen Cooper and illustrated by Gill Smith sensitively explores, through the eyes of two children, the different responses and emotions refugee children may experience as well as the trauma and barriers they endure when seeking safety in their new homeland. In this picture book a brother and sister are the only […]


Refugees by Brian Bilston and illustrated by José Sanabria is a  picture book containing Brian Bilston’s powerful poem, titled, ‘Refugees’, which can be read from top to bottom and then read backwards,  from the last line to the top of the poem to convey two opposing points of view about refugees. It contains two voices. […]

The Rat-Catcher’s Apprentice – New Release Book from MidnightSun Publishing

Title: The Rat-Catcher’s Apprentice Author: Maggie Jankuloska Publisher: MidnightSun Publishing Publication date: March 2022 Themes: family – including non-traditional families, belonging, resilience, the plague in France in 1665 and class structure. The Rat-Catcher’s Apprentice, a historical novel for upper primary and lower secondary school students by debut author Maggie Jankuloska is a gripping novel that […]