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Our wonderful children's book creators are finding lots of creative ways to share their books and reading fun online with YOU their readers.

Here are this week's suggestions of bookish fun to help you get wild about books @ home...

Author Hangout with Adrian Beck

Tune into crazy bookish fun daily at lunchtime at the Author Hangout with Adrian Beck as he live streams chats with Aussie children's book creators. You can watch live on Adrian's Facebook page  (check with your parents) or subscribe to Adrian's YouTube channel from the video below. There are segments like Ready Set Draw where illustrators create pictures out of scribbles (think Mr Squiggle), Story Starters, Boredom Busters and a game of Book or Chook (think Hangman) where the loser has to do the Chicken Dance. There isn't a dull moment on this show!

These are the talented book creators Adrian is chatting with this week.

Book 'N' Boogie with Nat Amoore

Did you ever think you could combine books, fitness and fun? Super talented, energetic author and dancer extraordinaire, Nat Amoore has you covered with Book 'N' Boogie! Join Nat each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10am to boogie along to her fun and slightly wacky book-inspired dances. Subscribe to Nat's YouTube Channel to dance along with her.

Here's Nat's first Book 'N' Boogie dance video inspired by Adrian Beck's new book Derek Dool Supercool

Gabrielle Wang's SPARK 

If you like to draw and/or write stories then Gabrielle Wang's SPARK might inspire your creativity.

Every Saturday Gabrielle will be putting up a new illustration to SPARK your imagination. Gabrielle hopes that children from around the world will upload their work to her SPARK page to share with us all.

For her first SPARK, Gabrielle has drawn flying bears and she asks you to draw or paint a picture or write a poem or paragraph inspired by her illustration and upload it to her SPARK page.

Felice Arena - The Besties World 

This is a great time to be learning new skills!

One of the readers of this blog is planning to learn how to play the ukulele and I recommended Felice Arena's  The Besties World website. Click HERE for the chord and lyric sheets for some of the songs from The Besties Ukulele Album. You can also download some pictures from The Besties books to colour.


Bedtime Stories Podcast with R.A. Spratt

This is a weekly podcast of funny stories for kids by R.A. Spratt the author of Nanny Piggins, Friday Barnes and The Peski Kids. Tune into Bedtime Stories for fun stories, laughs and silly voices.


Macca the Alpaca and Celeste the Giraffe Easter activities

Matt Cosgrove has created fabulous Easter activities for you to do with with Macca the Alpaca and Celeste the Giraffe, including a gorgeous Macca the Alpaca Easter egg basket. Lots of Easter goodness here to fuel your creativity!

Harry Potter At Home hub

For the Harry Potter fans, you will be excited to learn that The Wizarding World Team have created The Harry Potter At Home hub to banish boredom while everyone is keeping safe at home. Read the news about The Harry Potter At Home hub and register for the newsletter HERE.

Click HERE to enter the Harry Potter At Home hub and just like Hogwarts and its staircases, this page will be changing all the time...

Happy reading!


Magnolia Moon is very good at keeping secrets. She knows just what to do with them, and has a way of talking to the jumpy ones to stop them causing trouble. Which is why people are always leaning in and whispering: "Can I tell you a secret?"

Magnolia Moon is a curious nine year old with springy, beetle-black curls filled with feathers and twigs. Magnolia likes Greek mythology, her cat Atlas and writing her name backwards (NOOM AILONGAM). Her best friend is Imogen May and they like hanging upside down from the Wishing Tree, inventing new animals like peliphants and buffadillos and guessing what type of fruit they would be.

What type of fruit would you choose to be?

During the year there are lots of changes for Magnolia, beginning with Imogen May moving away and ending with the arrival of her baby brother Finnegan. Each chapter holds a secret. They are the type of secrets that help people feel braver, less alone, and more loved. There are new friendships, a secret escape, a secret spook, a secret identity, a secret sky, and a mysterious angel boy. In the final 'Chapter Almost 10', Magnolia reveals a secret of her own. 

In the story, I like the way Magnolia Moon describes time by comparing it to things. 

Three minutes is a lifetime if you are a piece of toast or a soft-poached egg
An hour is a lifetime if you are a cake in the oven or a storm cloud
Three weeks is a lifetime if you are a bar of soap
Six months is a lifetime if you are a bedbug
A year is a lifetime if you are a giant jellyfish

What interesting ways would you describe time?

The Secrets of Magnolia Moon by Edwina Wyatt is perfect if you like gentle stories about friendship and families and enjoy solving problems. It is a 'just the right size' hardcover book with a stunning front cover, gorgeous nature-filled endpapers and whimsical illustrations by Katherine Quinn. I hope there will be more secrets and adventures for Magnolia Moon.

Happy reading!

Meet two very best friends.
One is a girl and one is a dog.
And everyone knows them as Evie and Pog.

Evie and Pog are two quirky very best friends who live in a tree-house in a beautiful silver ash tree with pink leaves in Granny's backyard. The tree-house has a reading nook, a hanging chair and a slide with soft daisy-spot grass to land on - I could happily live there too!

Image by Goran Horvat: Pixabay

Evie and Pog love to have fun and in this book you can join them on three adventures.

Puppy School Mess

Granny Gladys constantly cleans and gets carried away tidying the grass by snipping the heads off Evie's precious daisies! Evie and Pog try to make her stop. Whoops-a-daisy! Granny Gladys ends up wearing a chocolate cake and poor Pog has to go to dreaded Puppy School, where it turns out Evie is better at the Puppy Challenge than the puppies!

School Play Drama

Evie is so excited to be the Butterfly Queen for the school play. Pog is not about happy being a fairy pug. When Granny Gladys tries to tidy Evie's wings, there's chaos as threads get tangled and the stage becomes a big woolly spider web. How can an enormous sneeze and a flying friend save Pog and the play?

Cake Stall Chaos

To raise money for the Puppy School at the annual Fair, Evie decides to have a cupcake stall. In Granny's shiny kitchen they all dance and bake and wipe and sing as they make 100 cupcakes -  kids' cupcakes, doggy cupcakes and spinach cupcakes (for Pog). Whoops-a-daisy! What are the chances of the cupcakes getting mixed up? Anyone for a caramel kidney cupcake??

Look out for Evie and Pog: Puppy Playtime too!

In her first junior fiction series, Tania McCartney has created two delightful characters for you to meet. Evie is a full of energy, often accident-prone and sometimes dog-like. Pog takes life a little more seriously and would rather drink tea and read the newspaper than learn to sit, beg and speak. They have lots of zany fun together and are good at solving problems in creative ways. Tania's gorgeous illustrations are a highlight as they bring Evie and Pog's adventures to life.

Happy reading!



The second book in the Toffle Towers series by Tim Harris will have you laughing out loud once again.

Thanks to ten-year-old Chegwin's creativity, Toffle Towers is filling up fast with guests and even more are expected for the annual Great River Race. All is going smoothly until some of Chegwin's staff are 'reverse mugged' by two mysterious men in black. The hotel is thrown into chaos as Chegwin tries to find a solution and work out who is behind the attacks. 

When Chegwin discovers that Brontessa Braxton (owner of the rival Braxton Hotel) is the mastermind, his attempt to be kind to her backfires. Chegwin finds himself competing in the Great River Race to save both Toffle Towers and its staff from her greedy clutches. Underpants, yes underpants, will help decide the race winner!

Will you find out who is in Room 49? I'm not going to say, but you will get to explore secret tunnels hidden in Toffle Towers. There's also fun to be had at the upside-down check-in, dancing on the musical staircase and your mouth will water as you read about the newly upgraded Room 1 that is now The Lolly Room where everything is edible - yum! 

Once again James Foley's fun illustrations bring the story to life. His illustrations of nasty Brontessa Braxton are some of my favourites, especially her eyebrows!

If you enjoy funny books and taking your imagination for a walk, the Toffle Towers series is for you and great way to start your year. Fully Booked is the first book in the series and you can read more about it here.  

Watch out for Book 3 - Order in the Court that will be coming soon.

Happy reading!

The Grandest Hotel on Earth is perched high on the snowy slopes of the Mabombo Ranges. It's wilder than any African savanna, more fantastical than Disneyland and more magical than Shangri-la.

Warning: This book contains cute Pocket Dogs, travelling by llama or jet pack, chocolate fountains and flashing boots that play Bach!

Eleven year old Vincent lives a life that is not very grand in the ordinary town of Barry with his parents, seven year old sister, Rose who wants to be an actress and little brother, Thom who won't stop screaming and only eats eggs. When his grandfather leaves him his magical shoe-shine kit, Vincent's life changes forever in THAT MOMENT when Florence spots him and offers Vincent a job shining shoes at The Grandest Hotel on Earth

The Grandest Hotel on Earth is a fantastical and wondrous place beyond Vincent's wildest dreams. It is more beautiful, more majestic and more splendid than Vincent could have imagined. It has sixteen storeys of the most amazing themed rooms. Would you choose to stay in the Baby Memories Room, the Roller coaster Room, Sparkles Room, the Edible Room (with a never-melting chocolate couch), the Room of the Unexpected or maybe the Virtuoso Room where you can pick up any instrument and play it like a master? I think I would have chosen the Puppy Room so I could snuggle with all the Pocket Dogs! 

Vincent loves his new job and takes great pride blending the exact shoe polish colour for each customer's shoes and inventing ways to make them more comfortable. Vincent notices there is more to The Grand than meets the eye as he sees the behaviour of guests like the D'Silva family transforming during their stay. Vincent's friendship with Florence grows as he helps her run the hotel while her parents are away working on their projects. However, Vincent's dream life comes crashing down when he can't resist the Mirrors of the Future Room. As Vincent desperately tries to save Florence from a tragedy, he learns the value of friendship and family, to hold on to his dreams and that good things can come from bad. You never know what the future has in store...

The Grandest Hotel on Earth will sweep you up from the first page and transport you to a fantabulous destination! If you're looking for a grand adventure...this is it!

At the end of the book Lisa Nicol reveals her mysterious co-narrator who is at the heart of this story and whose wonderful imagination contributed to many of the fantastical rooms in The Grandest Hotel on Earth.

If you haven't read Lisa's other fabulous book Dr Boogaloo and the Girl Who Lost Her Laughter, make sure you do!

Everybody needs a little 'grand' in their life...and a Pocket Dog!

Pexels / Pixabay

Happy reading!


What would you do if you inherited a hotel?

Chegwin Toffle is a ten year old whose wild blond hair is almost as wild as his imagination and he is regularly in trouble at school for daydreaming. When he unexpectedly inherits the Toffle Towers hotel from his long lost uncle, Chegwin will need to unleash his imagination to help save the hotel and its loyal staff.

Chegwin and his eccentric parents arrive in the town of Alandale to discover Toffle Towers hasn’t had any bookings for two years and they only have three months to save the hotel. Chegwin believes it's time to think like kids to save Toffle Towers because "Adults only ever think of restraints, but kids think of the possibilities. There are always new ideas waiting to be imagined. You just have to come up with them”. 

It’s not easy learning to run a hotel and there are challenges and disasters along the way, especially when Chegwin accidentally orders sixty thousand litres of fresh milk instead of sixty litres! However, Chegwin’s daydreams start turning into reality with help from wacky head groundskeeper, Barry Rake. The beaten up hotel shuttle bus is given a boost in more ways than one and the Grazing Room is transformed into the Gazing Room with an out of this world dining experience that I would love to try! The rooms at Toffle Towers are filling fast as Chegwin's clever ideas put the hotel back on the map as an exciting holiday destination for kids and their families. 

Along the way, Tim Harris encourages you to be creative too. What you would add to ‘Strange Things People Might Inherit’ and ‘Uses for Sixty Thousand Litres of Milk’? There are also mysteries to solve and I really want to know why the door to Room 49 in Toffle Towers is locked and who might be in there. 

It's great to see the dynamic duo of Tim Harris and James Foley bringing their creativity and humour to Toffle Towers. You can find out more about the zany Toffle Towers characters and see some of James' original sketches on his Instagram page. (Am I the only one who thinks Barry Rake looks like James Foley?)

If you enjoyed Tim Harris' fabulous Mr Bambuckle series and you’re looking for a new fun series and an opportunity to take your imagination for a walk then Toffle Towers is for you!

Happy reading! 

Teacher notes


This year is the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing when man walked on the Moon for the first time.

"It was one small step for a man…and one giant leap for mankind.’

When Apollo 11 blasts off for the Moon, the whole world is watching. On the other side of the planet, Billy, Mickey and Buzz decide to be astronauts too...

In a sheep paddock near Billy's house stood 'The Dish', one of the largest telescopes on Earth that astronomers use to track space missions and faraway galaxies. Billy  loves space and wishes he could fly to the Moon like the astronauts on Apollo 11. As it gets closer to the Moon Landing, Billy builds models of  the Saturn V rocket and Command and Lunar Modules. He teaches Mickey and Buzz how to be astronauts and they have fun making shiny foil space suits, collecting 'moon rocks' and practising lunar gravity in the bath! 

In their very own Command Module they eat chocolate pudding and astronaut ice-cream as they blast off into space...

It felt like the stars were whizzing by.

The moon hung
like a silver ball,
glowing and growing
bigger and brighter...
Closer and closer.

and Billy, Mickey and Buzz go Moonwalking and bouncing and leaping as they explore the Moon until they drift off safely into astronaut dreams. 

What a fabulous team effort by Mark Greenwood and Terry Denton to create Moonwalkers! The Apollo 11 mission captured the world's imagination and Mark and Terry have delightfully captured Billy and his siblings' imagination, creativity and fun being Moonwalkers.

At the end of the book, Terry has also illustrated the successful Apollo 11 Mission - to put humans on the Moon and return them safely to Earth.

The whole world was watching on July 16, 1969 as Apollo 11 blasted off into space carrying three astronauts headed for the Moon. Three days later on July 20, (July 21 in Australia) an estimated 600 million people watched Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon. I had just turned five and can still remember all the students from my little country school in Guyra, NSW all excitedly squashed into a little room in front of a small black and white television to watch the Moon Landing and history in the making.

Ian Sutton [CC BY 2.0 (]

Australia had a special part to play in the Moon Landing with our large radio telescope in Parkes, NSW nick named 'The Dish' and the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station in Canberra. 'The Dish' helped to beam photos of the moon walk around the world. In fact, Australian audiences saw Neil Armstrong's historic first step 0.3 seconds before the rest of the world. You can read about it HERE

Happy reading!

Teacher notes

Let Me Sleep, Sheep! by Meg McKinlay is so much fun to read! 

Do you lay in bed counting sheep to help you drift off to sleep? What would you do if two of those sheep landed in your bedroom with a THUD?

Amos is counting sheep when two annoyed sheep land in his bedroom. Felix and Walter as they prefer to be called (Not 'One' and 'Two'), are not happy about being dragged away from their dinner and wool clipping. They insist the only way they will leave is if Amos builds a fence for them to jump over...

"If you want to count us, you need a fence. It's in the rules." 

Felix and Walter are VERY fussy about their fence. It can't be too low, too high, too wobbly, too hard and definitely not boring! The mess in Amos' room grows as he tries to build a perfect fence and the two wily sheep keep adding more crazy demands for drinks, a finish line and even a dance party.

"You'll have to test it, of course.
We have to save our energy for the big jump."

Will his fence pass the test so Amos can finally get to sleep?

suju / Pixabay

Leila Rudge's pencil illustrations brilliantly capture the hilarious chaos as Felix and Walter take over Amos' bedroom and turn the tables on him.

If you were Amos what would you have done?

What does the final illustration reveal?

How would you continue the story?

It might be time to design a fence for Felix and Walter and their sheep friends in case they land in your bedroom one night...

Happy reading!

Teacher notes

Every Saturday morning Lottie goes to her swimming class, but she is afraid to go into the water. Lottie watches the other children swimming and having fun, but Lottie has a secret. Only Lottie knows there is a shark hiding in the swimming pool that wants to eat her! 

One day Walter appears at the pool and Lottie discovers her secret friend loves books and  bubbles, eating fish fingers and playing hide-and-seek too. Most of all Walter loves to sing! When Lottie feels scared of the dark Walter quietly sings her to sleep...

Humbelly doo,
Lumbelly la,
Loopy loo!

Can her friend Walter help Lottie find her courage to jump in the pool so she can enjoy the pool party with her friends?

I was lucky to hear Anna Walker talk about Lottie and Walter. Anna's idea for her story came from when she was little and her cousin told her there was a shark in her grandparent's pool. When Anna was young she had lots of secret companions and decided a walrus was a perfect secret friend for Lottie. Anna wanted her walrus to sing and Walter's song is one of her son Sam's funny poems.

Anna's ideas for stories come from her everyday life, travelling, her pets or even feelings and she paints or draws them in her visual diary. You can read more about how Anna created Walter and Lottie HERE.

Anna loves to bring her characters to life by making and knitting them and using them in stop motion videos. She is very talented, patient and humble.

Walter is wearing his party hat!

Can you tell that Anna loves drawing walruses?

Download your own Lottie and Walter activity pack and have fun creating Walter in different ways!

Thank you Anna, Lottie and Walter for reminding us that even though we might be scared at times, we all have the courage we need inside...

Happy reading! 

It all begins with an idea...

Roald Dahl's stories often began as tiny ideas scribbled into his 'Ideas Book' before they became his much loved stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches and The BFG.

Roald Dahl's Imaginormous Challenge is looking for creative and exciting story ideas from 5-12 year olds across Australia

Could it be YOU?

Submit your BEST story IDEA in under 100 words
You can only enter once
16 April 2019

CHOOSE which major prize you want to apply for
Your story idea turned into a book
Your story idea turned into a theatre creation
Your story idea turned into a Minecraft world

Roving reporter and reviewing the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory play

There are also FIVE libraries of Roald Dahl books to be won

All the information you need is at
Roald Dahl's Imaginormous Challenge Australia

fly high

stuart anthony via Compfight
Let your imagination take flight...

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