Posted in Recommended reading, school holidays

TOP READS September 2017

Spring brings the school holidays for most of our readers — though some states and territories are about to head into Term 4 already. Whether you are just finishing your holidays, or just starting them, it’s always a good time for some more reading. And you’re in luck, because the last day of the month means it’s time for our Top Reads team* to recommend some brilliant books!

You’ll find a recommended list from our Top Reads Team on the last day of every month (February to November). If you’d like even more recommendations, browse all through all our Top Reads ever!

*All our Top Readers are kids aged 13 and under. No grownups allowed!


Posted in poetry, school holidays

Write 31 poems in 31 days!

Month of Poetry is run by children’s writer Kathryn Apel and is open to anyone — children and adults — anywhere in the world. Aim to write one poem per day during January and at the end of the month you’ll have a drawer full of new poems.

If you register at the Month of Poetry site (it’s free to register), Kathryn will send you a password. The poem pages are not open to the public, so only participants with the password will be able to see poems, post their own poems, and add comments. Once a week there will be a specific poetry challenge (e.g. a theme or an image) posted to the site. If you have registered, you can use the password to post your poem for that day onto the locked pages, and you can read other participant’s poems … and comment on them if you like.

Of course, you don’t need to sign up to the website to write a poem a day … you can just quietly (or loudly) write a poem every day in January anyway. But if you’d like a bit of encouragement, then the Month of Poetry site is a great way to get your writing kickstarted for 2015.

To find out more about the Month of Poetry, (or to sign up) head over to the Month of Poetry website!

But BEWARE: THE LAST DAY YOU CAN REGISTER is Tuesday 30th December 2014. That’s TODAY! (Children who want to take part will need an adult to register them. Happy writing!)

Posted in Events, school holidays

Upcoming School Holiday Events (NSW)

The next school holidays aren’t far away. If you live in NSW, we’ve heard that The Children’s Bookshop will be hosting some fabulous school holiday workshops for young readers, writers and actors.

grimsdonWorkshop 1: Deborah Abela — The Secret to Writing Great Stories (For students in Years 3–6)
Join Deb for a morning of writing fun as she reveals the secret to creating your own great stories. Then stay to celebrate the launch of New City, the sequel to her bestselling book, Grimsdon. Food and drink provided!
Monday 29 September 2014,  9–12-30pm
Cost: $50 per student . All materials are provided. Book early!


Phyllis Wong Book 2Workshop 2: Geoffrey McSkimming — Character Building (for children in Grades 5–8)
Join Geoffrey McSkimming, author of the Cairo Jim chronicles and the new Phyllis Wong mysteries, for a fun morning looking at how to create and flesh-out characters.
Tuesday 30 September 2014, 9–12-30pm
$50 per student. All materials provided. Book early!


Workshop 3: (Where’s) Wally Comes to Beecroft!(For Children Ages 5-7)
Share the stories and adventures of Wally from the Where’s Wally series. Lots of craft and art activities for the kids and a Where’s Wally show bag! Wally will be visiting and the kids will be asked to find Wally in Beecroft at the end of the workshop. 
When: Wednesday, 1 October 2014, 9–11am, then a Search for Wally between 11–11-30am with prizes!
$30 per student. All materials provided. Book early.

Work 4: The Tangled Tricks of Twelfth Night (For Students in Years 3–7)
Run by our resident drama teacher and Shakespeare enthusiast! A drama workshop full of fun and creativity — come and play with one of Shakespeare’s great comedies and discover Disguise, Fools, Forgery and Yellow Stockings. A hands-on and FUN workshop!
When: Thursday 2 October 204,  9–12-30pm

RSVP for any of these workshops: to The Children’s Bookshop, 6 Hannah Street, Beecroft. Ph. 9481 8811

Posted in school holidays

July school holiday activities (NSW)

A Magic Midwinter at The Children’s Bookshop!


In the July 2014 School holidays, The Children’s Bookshop is offering workshops for kids.

Midsummer Magic Midwinter — Monday 7 July, 9am –12.30pm ($50)
A drama workshop for 8-12 year olds, focusing on the comedy and whimsy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Wishing Chair Comes to Beecroft — Wednesday 9 July ($30)
A workshop for younger readers: Ages 4-6.

Animal Heroes — Thursday 10 July, 9am — 12.30pm ($50)
A Writing and illustration workshop with the fabulous award-winning picture book team: Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac

Creating Kooky Comics with Illustrator/Writer James Foley — Friday July 11, 9 — 12-30 ($50).
Creating kooky comics.

E-mail The Children’s Bookshop to request a full brochure.

Posted in school holidays

We’re back! (A note from our editor)

Most of you will be back at school by the time you read this. I hope you have lots of exciting plans for 2014.

Here are some of mine:

  • launch our new website (which will incorporate this blog — stay tuned)
  • share heaps of book reviews, artwork and fabulous writing by young writers (that’s you!)
  • read lots of books (OK that’s the plan every year)

Even though the blog has had a holiday during January, we’ve been working away gathering bookish news, reviews and interviews. And I know quite a few of you love entering writing and art competitions, so you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve also updated the Kids’ Writing Comps page with the first of the writing competitions for 2014.

Did you read any good books over the school holidays? (Send us your review!)

Posted in school holidays

July School Holiday activities (NSW)

Here are some fabulous-looking workshops for young writers and illustrators in NSW. (We wish we could go!)

1.       Writing with Deborah Abela

A Transylvanian Tale by Deborah Abela
Ghost Club: A Transylvanian Tale by Deborah Abela

Author Deborah Abela will be leading a writing workshop for students in Years 3-6  at The Children’s Bookshop as their Writer in Residence.

Explore the writing process, focusing on creating charismatic characters and sensational settings!

Activities will be hands-on and fun!

When: Thursday 11 July 2013,  9–12.30pm

Where: The Children’s Bookshop, 6 Hannah St, Beecroft NSW

Cost: check with the bookshop—by email or phone 9481 8811


2.       Creating Spooking Houses with Sarah Davis

Sounds Spooky (cover)
Sounds Spooky: illustrated by Sarah Davis

In this hands-on workshop for children in grades 3–6, you will make a paper diorama of a haunted house with Sarah Davis, illustrator of Sounds Spooky. Design character cutouts and set up and photograph little dioramas with spooky lighting. Go home with a photo print, and your house and characters.

When: Tuesday 9 July 2013, 9–12.30pm

Cost: $50 per student. All materials provided. Book early!

Where: The Children’s Bookshop, 6 Hannah St, Beecroft NSW

How to Book: check with the bookshop—by email or phone 9481 8811

3.       Let’s Go to the Circus

Share the stories and adventures of the world of the Circus, enjoying craft and art activities based around this theme. And there is a prize for the best dressed Circus participant!

Workshop Leader : Jocelyn Shute is a talented Infants Teacher and a great friend of The Children’s Bookshop.

 When: Wednesday, 10 July 10 2013 , 9–11am For Children Ages 5-7

Where: The Children’s Bookshop, 6 Hannah St, Beecroft NSW

Cost: $30 per student. All materials provided. Book early!

How to Book: check with the bookshop—by email or phone 9481 8811

Posted in illustrator, school holidays

July Cartooning workshop (WA)

 Cartooning Around with James Foley

In the Lion (cover)Join cartoonist James Foley for an introduction to creating your own kooky comic strips. James drew the cartoons in the Quokka for many years. He also illustrated The Last Viking, and wrote and illustrated In The Lion.  While you are at the Arts Centre, you can check out James’s illustrations from In the Lion in the heARTlines exhibition.

When: 1pm – 4pm, Tue 9 July 2013

Where: Mundaring Arts Centre, 7190 Great Eastern Highway, Mundaring WA 6073

Ages: 9 – 13

Cost: $20 (or $15 members of Mundaring Arts Centre)

Bookings essential, places are limited. To book, ring Mundaring Arts Centre on 9295 3991.

To download the full HeARTlines program for 2013, go to the Mundaring Arts Centre website.

Posted in book reviews, school holidays

Book Review: The Holiday Creativity Book

The Holiday Creativity Book by Mandy Archer, ill. Jennie Poh & Elle Ward, ISBN 9781922077394, Walker Books Australia

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher

Holiday Creativity Book (cover)

It’s the second week of the school holidays here in WA.**  Picture this: you’ve used up all your screen time. You’ve finished all the books you borrowed from the library and you’re taking a break from all that story-writing …

When you’re looking around for something to do, this spiral-bound book is bursting with ideas to keep your fingers busy and your brain entertained.

Activities include old favourites like ‘spot the difference’, and ‘spot what’s wrong’, plus there are mazes, stencils, art and craft projects, games and stickers. (We really love the map challenge.)

Grab some scissors, glue and a pencil and get started. Happy holidays!**

** If you don’t live in WA and you’re already into term 2, we’re sure this book would be just as entertaining after school, or on weekends — or, of course, there’s always the next school holidays …

© April 2013 “Review of The Holiday Creativity Book” by Rebecca Newman (
Posted in school holidays

Writing classes for kids (Perth WA)

We recently had an email from a family wanting to know about creative writing classes/workshops for kids in Perth. WritingWA have published a list of classes on offer for Young Writers in Perth — the list includes classes running in term-time and in the school holidays.

Visit the WritingWA site and check out the list for a class near you.

If you can’t get to a class, you might like a website called Writing Classes for Kids that offers downloadable lessons.

Happy writing!