Category Archives: author

Dandelion Fire – 2nd book in 100 Cupboards series by ND Wilson

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Dandelion Fire (100 Cupboards, #2)Dandelion Fire by N.D. Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Henry York's life threatening adventures continue from his bedroom with the 100 doors that lead to different lands. He really doesn't want to go back to his 'parents' particularly now he knows they are not his real parents. But it seems there is no choice, unless he goes through one of the doors....and he wants to know where he has come from, who his family are. Following that trail leads him into all sorts of trouble, and cousin Henrietta goes off as well, leaving her dad behind to work out what to do and how to find these 2 lost children.

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The Book Whisperer

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Recently I have read ‘Reading in the Wild’ by Donalyn Miller,  a reading expert who talks about the 5 key reading habits that cultivate a life long love of reading – or a wild reader – as Miller calls them. As a teacher /librarian whose bread an butter is matching kids to perfect books that will encourage them to become life long readers, this book gave me many ah-ha moments, one of which was to start following her Book Whisperer blog. So here ’tis!

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Book trailers – a great way to hook readers into books

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Book trailers – showing and creating your own, or letting your students make them is a succinct way of letting readers know what the featured book is about and why they should read it. There are many great and some not-so great examples of book trailers on YouTube. There are even children’s book publishers that have entire channels on YouTube devoted to book trailers of their books.


A very popular series at school and this trailer gives the flavour of the series. But usually whne I am creating book trailers with students, we work out that about 1 minute is the optimal length. At over 2 minutes, this one is a bit long.


This is one of the best book trailers that I have seen. It captures the atmosphere of tension and horror of this book – really gets you in!!!


This trailer’s narration, image and soundtrack combination makes it just like a movie trailer.


Picture books are ironically quite tricky to make trailers for, as the simpler the storyline, the more difficult it is to distill its essence. In this book trailer, they have played with the plot from the book. In the book, the reader is looking for the green sheep. In the trailer, the green sheep is looking for the books’ author, Mem Fox.

Creating book trailers with students is another thing altogether. When I have got a class involved in this in the past, the first thing you do is watch lots of book trailers and create your own rubric as to what makes a good book trailer – one that ‘hooks’ you in, is the way we explain it. Is it the images, the soundtrack, voices, colours, speed of transition from one image to another, choice of image that makes the biggest impact. Why? is it different for different people? Then students start creating by drawing up a storyboard so they think through their trailer before they start making it. This is particularly important when you are working in a team – there must be a shared vision, otherwise there will be no end product. Then they can begin the process. It is interesting to see all the many ways that a ‘book hook’ can be created – some are fantastic, others pretty ordinary. But the process is an important part and going through the steps leads you closer to making your own book trailer.

National Simultaneous Storytime – May 21, 2014

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Here in Australia, the Australian Library and Information Association organizes NATIONAL SIMULTANEOUS STORYTIME, which involves participating school, public, early childhood centres and playgroups all reading the same book at the same time on May 21st. Last year, it was the hilarious book ‘The Wrong Book’ by Nick Bland. This year it is the ‘very funny also’ book ‘Too Many Elephants’ by Ursula Duborsarksy. She is a bit of a crazy lady and I came across this interview with her talking about the book. Gives you an incite into an important Australian author.

The Kid Should See This – an amazing blog!

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I loved the reason this website is put together. Its a Kid-friendly. STEAM-focused. Not-made-for-kids, but perfect for them. Watch the best videos on the internet with your kids, curated by Rion Nakaya with her 3 & 5 year olds. Videos cover an amazing range of topics from SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, SPACE, ANIMALS, FOOD, DIY, MUSIC, ART […]