Mirror- and other reads



by Jeannie Baker

published by Walker Books in 2010

2011 Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year

2011 Australian Indie Award Best children’s book

2011 The English Assoc and the UK Literary Assoc 4-11 Award Best Children’s          Illustrated Book (non fiction)

Highly unusual wordless picture book- with flip out pages which simultaneously show intimate scenes of family life from the valley of Roses in Southern Morocco- contrasted with life in Sydney, Australia.

This book is very different and I will do my best to describe it- however it really deserves to be checked out and enjoyed on your own- please do try and find a copy to look at or purchase one.

Taken from inside- written by the author :

The idea for this book came from my delight travelling in a country very different from my own.  At the time, in my own country, there was much political poisoning of attitudes towards foreigners and foreignness.  But travelling alone in remote Morocco, a woman “stranger” myself, I was met with much friendliness and generosity from “strangers”.  The idea for the book was right there:  that outward appearances may be very different but the inner person of a “stranger” may not be a stranger at all.  Like each other, we live to be loved by family and friends, and be part of a larger family, a community.  Inwardly we are so alike, it could be other we see when we look in a mirror.


scenes of a family in Sydney, Australia

daily life in morocco

daily life in morocco


the side by side “books” open out- so a child/parent can compare and contrast

This wonder filled book include so many talking points for parents/teachers to cover-

  • how do families live in remote locations
  • global perspectives on faith/family/consumerism
  • creativity- the beauty of this book and the detail of the gorgeous mixed media collages are inspiring….and beg to be recreated (think glue, scissors and fabric)

Here’s a link to a youtube video- sharing the book-


This would also work well for sunday school- guiding prayer points for praying for people living in different parts of the world.

Ottoline at Sea

by Chris Riddell

published by Macmillan Children’s Books in 2010


  • Quick and Easy- Bright and Breezy fun chapter book- ideal for readers just graduating into progressively challenging text-  Fountas and Pinnel level P (you can read more about their system of grading/leveling books at their website located here
  • Charming illustrations- and humorous text make this fantasy zip alongIMG_5929 IMG_5930
  • Ottoline is an adventurous little girl and meets several unusual but friendly characters on her sea voyage- including- a talking  Polar Bear called Libby as she ventures to Norway in a submarine
  • Enjoy- this is a fun one

The Elephant from Baghdad

by Mary Tavener Holmes and John Harris

illustrated by Jon Cannell

published by Marshall Cavendish Children in 2012


Excellent Biography/Informational Picture Book-  based on the true story of Charlemagne and the unusual and beautiful white elephant who was gifted to him.  This book follows the travels they undertook together- it is a fascinating amalgamation of photographs of relics, illustrations, and maps which will engage non- fiction lovers.  What makes this book memorable is the touching and warm relationship between the great emperor and his exotic “pet”.  IMG_5935 IMG_5936

I was recommended this book through the excellent blog- Gathering Books-link  lots of interesting articles- and packed with book recommendations, and reviews-  I’m grateful for all of the information provided there.

My Heart Christ’s Home 

retold for Children

by Robert Boyd Munger with Carolyn Nystrom and illustrated by Kristen Funkhouser


This book is an absolute treasure!!!!!  Suitable for any child- but particularly appropriate for age 6 and above- ideal book to share as a family and discuss.  This is a book I will be giving away as a gift to my godchildren and nephews and nieces.


Jesus put his arm on my shoulder and looked all around my room.  “I like your room, ” he said.  “It looks like you.”

Just then I noticed a small wooden box peeking out from under the bed.  I tapped it with my heel and pushed it further underneath.  I hoped Jesus didn’t see it.


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