Title: The Brothers Quibble
Title: The Brothers Quibble
because ministry is more than faith by numbers...
Penguin Publishing Group 2012
The controversially titled book, The People Smuggler pro a fascinating insight into the asylum seeker experience. This story explores the life of Ali Al Jenabi, an Iraqi man who endures the brutal regime of Sadaam Hussein and is forced to flee for his life. It tells the story through his eyes, from a lost childhood in Iraq in the 1970s, to the terror of Abu Ghraib prison and life fighting against the regime, to fleeing to neighbouring Iran and his perilous journey to get his family to safety in Australia. Ali’s story is compellingly told, and forces readers to consider a radical new perspective on the experiences of asylum seekers when United Nations processes fail. This book is an absorbing and unique account of the Howard government’s advent of People Smuggling laws in 2002 and their broader consequences. It presents an insider account of detention centre process, visa applications and the pain of losing families and friends in a desperate search for freedom and safety. This story evokes a radical re-thinking of the rhetoric in Australian public debate about ‘people smuggling’ and ‘boat people’ and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to see the human side of this issue.
Three Questions this book raised for me:
Written by Holly Wright
Title: Noah’s Ark (Originally titled “Caleb’s Ride on Noah’s Ark”)
Author: Dick Bruna
Illustrator: Dick Bruna
Publisher: Mercis Publishing
Themes: Noah, Ark, Flood, Promise, Animals, Creation, Covenant, God, New Start, Obedience, Journey
Noah’s Ark, recently published for the first time in Australia show’s off Dick Bruna’s simple, colourful and beautiful designs alongside a well told story of a promise, a flood & a new start.
Caleb the Caterpillar is on his journey to become a butterfly, but before he can transform he has to join Noah and a lot of animals onboard a remarkably big boat with no windows. Join Caleb and Noah as they each go on a journey full of promise & hope.
I love the way that this book tells the story with a clear understanding of simplicity, it’s this awareness of simplicity and the use of shapes & colour in design that makes this such a beautiful book.
Obviously the word of today is “simplicity,” but don’t be fooled, it takes a lot of talent and work to be this simple…
Beautiful, well designed, creative…
DIY Paper Nativity by Joel Henriques (Free to Download)
A new and beautifully simple paper nativity by Joel Henriques, two pdf files makes up the entire kit. While you’re there check out some of his other craft ideas, paper cities and his book (I can highly recommend)
“Silent Night” DIY Black & White Illustrated Nativity (cost $12 to download template)
“Silent Night” by Melanie Burk is a beautiful nativity template, ready for pasting on a block or printing on cardboard this is an original nativity that gives a magically older style to it’s illustration. This nativity was designed with children in mind, so it is ready for little hands to treasure and love it. Use the paper dolls to color, paint, cut out and teach about the christmas story. Mount on flannel, magnets, or whatever you can think. Or, for a more durable collection to last the years, follow our detailed instructions and create a lasting, wooden block nativity to outlast anything those little hands can put it through. Simply use rubonz to mount the designs onto the wood- and fear not- it only involves your printer, scissors, the rubonz film, and wood.
Probably one of the more professional looking DIY printable sets, and one of my favourites. An 8 page printable booklet that you can create into a beautiful paper nativity theatre. A fun project you can print from your home computer and assemble yourself.
A simple and beautiful 24 piece printable Advent Calendar with nativity characters
A simple and beautifully designed paper craft Nativity set by Marloes de Vries. This set comes as a pre-coloured kit and a black and white colour in kit. Includes Wise men, Shepherd, Donkey, Mary, Joseph, Baby, Angel & Cow.
A very simple paper craft nativity set, invite kids or others to colour in the characters and then create the scene by cutting each part out and gluing them together.
A very simple Christmas craft, a nativity christmas tree ornament set, not the best of the collection but simple and easy to create.
Very simple printable colour-in nativity craft, print out, colour in, cut and bob’s you uncle.
A more traditional nativity scene with a stained glass backdrop.
a much more complex project this kit creates a full 3D paper craft nativity with individual characters to cut, fold and assemble. This particular set would probably require adult help, or create as a congregational or family project
Similar to the flatpack kit above this Advent Nativity set by Si Smith is a set of 25 characters that form together to create a nativity that spans from the announcement of the pregnancy of Elizabeth through to the escape to Egypt. I love this particular kit and have created it a number of times over the years.
A great collection of nativity-based ideas including 3 Part Cards, Beginning Sounds, Matching Cards, Read Write the Room, Pocket Cards, Which One Is Different, What Comes Next, Pre Writing Practice, Pattern Cards, 10 Piece Puzzles, 4 Piece Puzzles, Size Sorting, Coloring Pages, Writing Pages, Dot Marker Pages, Picture to help tell the story, Small Book, and more.
A fantastic collection of Nativity themed ideas including patterns, puzzles, story timeline, maze, spelling book and more
a beautiful craft idea for home or sunday school or worship, the project would probably involve some homework as you’d need to pre-cut the silhouette before you kick off.
These Nativity printables will give your preschooler hours of fun and exposure to early learning skills like ABCs, counting, early reading, shapes, colors and more!
Themes: Beauty, Perfection, Self Image, Narcissism, Fear, Choice, Change, Imperfections, Growth, Control, Loss of Control
Oooh oooh oooh ooooooooh, I think I just had a bookgasm…
Was that too much?
Aaron Blabey, creator of Stanley Paste, Pearl Barley, Charlie Parsley, Sunday Chutney and Annabel Spoon has a new book out, and it’s a gross, pink, horror story about a perfect princess who’s belly button lint goes on an evil rampage and gobbles up her family.
Yes, let me write that again, the story is about Serenity Strainer, a perfect perfect perfect girl who seems to have an affinity with pink and her battle against her own evil belly button lint monster as it turns her perfect life upside down and challenges her to be happy with becoming imperfect. How does the belly button lint monster do this? Well, he does it by gobbling up her entire family, effectively destroying her perfect world (it IS an evil BBL monster afterall) until Serenity decides to take control of her life and face the challenge, to stop being a victim and to transform her life.
Even though this book is very very pink and about a young girl you will probably find that boys will love this book, after all it has a BELLY BUTTON LINT MONSTER, probably one of the most beautifully creative, gross, ludicrous and hilarious monsters to grace a picture book. The themes are a tad darker than Sunday Chutney or Pearl Barley but that only allows the story to take on a number of levels, the deeper you look the more you’ll find.
Aaron writes about his thoughts behind this book on his blog
This book is markedly and obviously the beginning of a new chapter for me as an author and as an illustrator.
On the one hand it’s a ridiculous (and hopefully funny) book about a completely absurd monster. On the other hand though, it was inspired to some of the darkest days of my life. The lesson I learnt on Sunday Chutney – to take a personal experience and transform it with imagination – finally and deeply took hold on, of all things, a book with the ludicrous title of The Dreadful Fluff.
Without going into to too much gory detail, my family and I suffered a trauma a couple of years back that mercifully resolved with everyone still in one piece. But the scar tissue it left runs very, very deeply. The sudden and complete realisation that the universe can sneak up behind you and change your life in an instant, has left a profound impact on me. Life transformations can arrive in the form of an illness or an accident or a stroke of bad luck or, in the case of this book…
A monster. Link
He goes on, and in doing so opens up our own understanding of what this book could ultimately be about, is it about accepting one’s self, about standing up to challenges, taking control of your life, what happens when your world is turned upside down or is it about learning to live with our imperfections? And it’s this complexity that makes this such an exciting release.
Whatever the case is for you you’ll fall in love with Aaron’s humorous illustrations, his funny story and his addictive writing style that’s full of honesty, fun and reckless & creative abandon.
Absolutely gross and beautiful.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to go and clean out my belly button (just in case)
Over the last few years I’ve collected a number of Christmas books.
Unfortunately, while there are hundreds of books available there aren’t many quality Christmas Picture Books out there. Books that inspire wondering, awe and the re-imagining of the Christmas story and what it might mean for us today are few and far between.
Many of the Christmas books are merely rehashing old Christmas songs, giving cute little pictures to go with the lyrics, or a retelling of the same old story with images that look like they’ve been stolen from a 1950’s bible story book, the type that inspire yawns not the deep wondering that can be inspired by a great image.
Here’s my top ten Christmas picture books, (in no particular order)
Keep an eye out as I’ve got more Christmas books to add to the site during Advent 2015
The Star by Roddy Hamilton (this isn’t a picture book, but it’s still a beautiful story – worthy of pictures)
Title: Empty Fridge
Author: Gaetan Doremus
Illustrator: Gaetan Doremus
Publisher: Wilkins Farago
Teacher’s Notes by Jaclyn Small: Notes for Teachers and Parents
Advance Information Sheet: Advance Information Sheet
Look inside the book: Empty Fridge
Themes: Food, Friendship, Community, Sharing, Neighbour, Neighbourhood, Inclusion, Generosity, Dreams, Recipes, Imagination, Business, Slowing Down, Cooking, Miracle, Scarcity, Abundance
Winner, 2010 Grauoilly Children’s Choice Prize (France)
I love Wilkins Farago, they’ve brought a number of brilliant overseas artists and authors to an Australian audience, without WF I’d never has heard of David Cali, or read the beautiful books of Serge Bloch.
And now we can add the work of Gaetan Doremus to the list of beautiful, intelligent, inspiring author/artists to the list with the book “Empty Fridge” which has been translated from French and recently added to Australian bookshelves.
When I saw this book on the shelf I had to grab it, a rustic cardboard hard cover full of bright colours and various levels of characters in a building, the cover screamed out to me and as I read through it for the first time I was amazed at how simple yet complex and beautiful this joyous book was.
Empty Fridge tells the tale of busy people who get the chance to slow down and share their lives (or at least their food) with each other. Everyone is busy, too busy infact to check to see what food they still have in their pantries or fridges, for example, Andrew opens his fridge and realises that all he has on him is a fresh bunch of carrots, not much at all to eat for one person’s dinner.
Andrew’s predicament leads him upstairs to see if his neighbours can help out, but as he soon finds out that Nabil, Lucy, Sandro, Julie, Lilia, Claire & Rose are all in a similar predicament, each with only a few items of food on hand, but what if they decided to mix ans share all their ingredients, what could they make together, would it feed everyone?
There’s a great scene in the book where Andrew looks out the window to see the entire world deciding to eat together, everyone sharing what they own, laughing and talking together and asking why they don’t do this every day. This scene alone begs us all to ask a similar question, what if… what would the world look like if…
Bright colours adorn the pages of the story, each floor of the house taking on a different colour, green, yellow, red, orange, white and each colour represented in their final recipe (wouldn’t you know what they end up cooking together?) invites us to see our own communities in a similar way, this is a food book with a difference, a recipe book with hope, a picture book with a simple story well told.
Of course, as this is an international release, noone seems to have vegemite and bread on hand…
Themes: morals, stealing, revenge, anger, excuses, moralising, ethics
“This is Not My Hat” is a perfect sequel to Jon’s previous, beautiful and hilarious “This is Not My Hat.” Where the previous release told a story from the viewpoint of the Bear who had lost his hat, “This is Not My Hat” tells a similar tale, but from the perspective of one who has stolen a hat from someone else.
Where “I Want My Hat Back” asked the reader how they might respond to either someone stealing their hat or being asked to help someone find something that had been lost “This is Not My Hat” is a moral story about what excuses one might make in order to steal something and what we might think would be a suitable punishment for a thief, or how we might seek revenge if we were to have something stolen to us.
Jon’s stuck to:
And in doing so has created a perfect sequel & a beautiful and witty stand-alone picture book.
There was recently a “Blog Tour” where various literature blogs interviewed Jon Klassen about his work, check out the posts here:
Themes: Community, responsibility, Lost things, crime, theft, forgiveness
I’m going to have to stop saying things like “I’ve found a new favourite illustrator” or “this has got to be one of my favourite books from the last year” it’s either becoming cliche or there’s been a huge line of fantastic authors & illustrators entering the picture book scene.
Jon Klassen has burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion, in the last year I’ve added his name to my bookshelf 4 times, there’s an earthy simplicity in his illustrations and, the simplicity crosses over into his written work. Both “I Want My Hat Back” and the newly released “This Is Not My Hat” have a simplicity in their story telling that could have you thinking that there’s not much to them, but as some people have written you’d be mistaken if you did.
I Want My Hat Back made me laugh…
Join Jon’s Bear, searching for his lost hat, possibly stolen by someone in his forrest, possibly lost. As you wander the forrest you’ll meet a lot of characters who could have stolen the hat but didn’t, but unlike many books of this nature what you won’t see is any of the forrest helping the bear out on his hunt. Many stories like this might have a team, a community of friends who help each other out on the hunt, but this story leaves the bereaved bear alone on his mission.
And the final page of the story will probably remind you why it wasn’t a story of a community looking for a friend’s hat… he’s a Bear!
If you want to read more into the story can I point you towards Jackie Small’s review.
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (Animated)https://vimeo.com/32627519
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (Read Out)