Drama · English · History · Uncategorized · visual arts

Book Review: A Child of Books

a child of books

Book review: A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston

A Child of Books is a wondeful book about the importance of stories and imagination. As the child moves through the pages and explores her imagination and the different stories she encounters we get an insight into the way a child, or adult for that matter, can be transported through the words of stories.

The clever illustrations support the books message as the artist uses actual words to create the images. The pathways, seas, creatures and sky are often made up of letters and words that convey more stories. This is actually a really hard thing to do well in artmaking and it has been done to perfection in the pages of this book.

This book promotes reading, story telling, imagination, invention and more. A truely lovely book to add to your library at home or at school that will help to build a culture of creativity.

To extend the learning from this book you could:

  • Discuss the importance of story telling in fictional and non-fictional forms.
  • Have you ever felt like the words you are reading in a book become pictures in your head and you are transported into the story?
  • Can you create an artwork or image using letters and words like in the book?

For more creativity inspiring book suggestions, visit our library.

Like our Facebook page for inspiring content.

English · History · music · Uncategorized · visual arts

Book Review: Mamie

Maime

Book review: Mamie by Tania McCartney

Where do I start with this beautiful illustrated story about the childhood of Australia’s sweetheart, May Gibbs (aka Mamie)!

Tania McCartney has brought the little girl ‘Mamie’ to life in this book filled with references to May Gibbs’ original stories and illustrations.

I highly recommend this book for homes and schools that want to encourage a creative culture for two main reasons. Firstly, this book gives children access to the history of an iconic Australian artist and author, which is great for English, history and Art subjects, in a way that children will enjoy. Secondly, the book describes Gibbs’ inspirational creative way of seeing the world. She spends plenty of time playing in nature, using her imagination and practicing her artistic skills. We get to see Mamie sing, draw, paint, dance, play, bake, sew, explore, observe, imagine and dream. These words and images will make the creative types feel like they’ve made a new, kindred friend.

An adorable, whimsy tale of an inspirational Australian child.

To extend the learning from this book you could:

  • Read a May Gibbs book and discuss the similarities and references in Mamie.
  • Explore the other wonderful Australian works by Tania McCartney.
  • Find some gum blossoms and leaves to paint or draw. Perhaps you could turn some of your illustrations into characters.
  • Visit the original home of Mamie, May Gibbs’ Nutcote. 

For more creativity inspiring book suggestions, visit our library.

Like our Facebook page for inspiring content.

English · PDHPE · Uncategorized · visual arts

Book review: The Dot

the dot

Book review: The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

The Dot is the story of Vashti, who somewhere along the line has lost her confidence in her drawing abilities. Thankfully, she has an understanding art teacher, who has most likely taught many students with this same view.

(As an art teacher, I have taught many students who have announced that they couldn’t draw. One of those students went on to become a recognised artist for their drawing ability!)

Vashti, in frustration, jabs the paper and creates “The Dot”. With encouragement and determination, she goes on to explore the basic shape as an artmaking theme and creates bigger and more exciting artworks each time she creates. Her confidence grows and she encourages others with their drawing as well.

This is a beautiful book about not giving up, keeping it simple, developing skills, having a go, growing in confidence and encouraging others. We are dedicated fans of author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds and highly recommend his books, particularly the others in this set, Ish and Sky Color.

To extend the learning from this book you could have a read of the following activities.

  • Discussion: Do you sometimes feel like drawing is difficult like Vashti did? Do you have a go anyway?
  • What artworks could you create using just dots?
  • How important is encouragement to you and do you like to encourage others?
  • Yayoi Kusama is a popular artist who uses dots in her work. Have a look at this white room in a gallery that visitors were able to stick coloured dot stickers onto the walls, floors and furniture!*

For more creativity inspiring book suggestions, visit our library.

Like our Facebook page for inspiring content.

*Note: We do our best to make sure any external links are suitable but a supervising adult will need to do the research first to check that the content is suitable for students. Many artists have a wide range of artworks and although some artworks may be suitable for children and families, other artworks may not be. Supervising adults are responsible for ensuring that the content is appropriate.

English · Science and Technology · Uncategorized · visual arts

Book Review: Australian Birds

Australian birds

Book review: Australian Birds by Matt Chun

This gorgeous book is by artist Matt Chun. I’ve included this book in my recommendations as not only is it a wonderful gathering of beautiful artworks but it is also a fantastic introduction to facts about Australian birds that is great for children. This would be a valuable book for any library.

The illustrations are so lovely and really capture the personality of each Australian bird. Opposite each artwork is a few paragraphs describing the life, habitat, diet and nests unique to each bird family. It is written in a way that is easy to understand and yet still interesting.

To extend the learning from this book, here are some more suggestions for activities.

  • Take notice of the birds around your home and see if you recognise any of them from the book.
  • Find some photos of native birds and create your own illustrations.
  • What other birds are native to your area? Write a short description about their nest, habitat and diet.

This is a great book for art and science.

For more creative learning book suggestions, visit our library.

Like our Facebook page for inspiring content.

 

Drama · English · Uncategorized · visual arts

Book Review: Recipe for a Story

recipe for a story

Book Review: Recipe for a Story, written and illustrated by Ella Burfoot

Ella Burfoot has been writing and illustrating since she was a child. That alone, should be an inspiration to many children who fill blank notebooks with lots of imaginative stories and illustrations. I am a parent to a child who does exactly this and being able to show them an example of a writer/illustrator who has published their work is wonderful.

Not only is the author a creative inspiration but so is this book. It is a fun story about how to write a story! Children can go through each page and think about whether they have included all the ingredients in their own writing to create a story.

To extend the learning from this book, here are some more suggestions for activities.

  • Read the book again and write a list of the ingredients for a story.
  • Write a story that includes those ingredients.
  • Illustrate the story!

For more creativity inspiring book suggestions, visit our library.

Like our Facebook page for inspiring content.

English · PDHPE · Uncategorized · visual arts

Book Review: The Book of Mistakes

book of mistakes

Book Review: The Book of Mistakes, written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken

Goodness, this book is a gorgeous gathering of images and messages all bundled up into one wonderful book.

Artist Corinna Luyken has shared her vulnerable artmaking approach in this whimsical story about how sometimes the mistakes we make (in art or life) can be the inspiration for something even better. This book won me over with it’s celebration of genuine creativity and it’s clever incorporation of the artmaking process into the story. The drawings are full of personality and character and as the story evolves we get to see how those characters and mistakes fit into the big picture.

To extend the learning from this book, here are some more suggestions for activities.

  • Have a chat about how sometimes our mistakes can be really frustrating but maybe we could look at them as inspiration instead. Mistakes are part of the artmaking process and the more we accept that, the more we will learn about art.
  • Draw a character, but as you make mistakes, turn those mistakes into unique characteristics for your drawing.
  • In pairs, draw 4-5 lines and/or shapes on a piece of paper. Swap the paper with the other person and try to turn the lines and shapes into a picture.

For more creativity inspiring book suggestions, visit our library.

Like our Facebook page for inspiring content.

English · Geography · History · Uncategorized · visual arts

Book Review: Australia Illustrated

Australia

Book Review: Australia Illustrated by Tania McCartney

Tania McCartney is an Australian artist who has illustrated many books. Her journey also includes a lot of other creative ventures, including encouraging others to draw and illustrate. Anyone who helps promote creativity in Australia gets a big thumbs up from us!

Australia Illustrated is a beautifully illustrated book dedicated to bringing the character of Australia to life through McCartney’s whimsy, watercolour images and digital art. Each section of this vast and varied country is explored, from the iconic places we know and love to the quirkier details that make us want to explore it more. From major cities to iconic foods, animals to historic details, Australia Illustrated is a visual feast of learning.

This book is a perfect way to introduce kids to the geography and diversity of this big land. The illustrations are an ideal way to communicate all of the amazing details and both kids and adults will be inspired. It would also be the perfect companion to anyone who is exploring Australia or planning a trip!

Tania McCartney’s website has links to teaching notes that explain all of the ways her book relates to different subject areas. It has quite a few ideas for activities in those different subject areas too.

To extend the learning from this book, here are some extra suggestions for activities.

  • On a map of Australia, plan a trip based on the things from the book you would like to visit.
  • Draw some of your own illustrations of things you think are important for people to know about Australia or another country that is significant to you.
  • Using the illustrations you have drawn from the previous task, create a poster/brochure for your chosen country.
  • Give watercolour painting a go!

For more creativity inspiring book suggestions, visit our library.

Like our Facebook page for inspiring content.