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Kids & YA

Small Town Secrets: Start Reading If I Tell You by Alicia Tuckerman now!

March 16, 2018

Start reading now “And I feel the anger deep inside of me as I begin to understand the notion – the idea of being proud of who you are in a world that tells you to be ashamed; brave enough to be seen when people wish you were invisible.” Our Review: If I Tell You […] - Read more

Imagine, If You Can: Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush by Zanni Louise & Gillian Flint

Author Zanni Louise has created a charming, bright and imaginative new junior fiction series perfect for young people who have recently started school. Aimed at 5-8 year olds, Tiggy and The Magic Paintbrush follows young Tiggy, a friendly and bubbly young girl who is not always as brave as she would like to be. Perfect […] - Read more

Not Just a Tomboy: Alicia Tuckerman on why representation in YA literature matters.

March 15, 2018

Words || Alicia Tuckerman I grew up on a farm about twenty kilometres from a town called Gulgong in the New South Wales Central Tablelands. I had the type of childhood that might come to mind when glamorising the good old days, when the world was perceived to be a safe and uncomplicated place. It […] - Read more

To Infinity and Beyond! George’s Secret Key to the Universe by Stephen and Lucy Hawking

  If you ever visited a planetarium or observatory as a child or adult, you are probably familiar with that overwhelming sense of wonder that came upon you when you first experienced the concept of the universe as a whole. George’s Secret Key to the Universe, written by eminent physicist Stephen Hawking, and his daughter […] - Read more

Philip Pullman on Children’s Right to Culture

On the 10th Anniversary of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, prior recipients were asked to reflect on the award, and share their thoughts on the importance of children’s literature. Here is what Philip Pullman (recipient in 2005) had to say on young people’s right to culture: Words || Philip Pullman Children need art and stories […] - Read more

Love, Courage and Isolation: If I Tell You by Alicia Tuckerman

March 13, 2018

“And I feel the anger deep inside of me as I begin to understand the notion – the idea of being proud of who you are in a world that tells you to be ashamed; brave enough to be seen when people wish you were invisible.” If I Tell You tells the story of Seventeen-year-old […] - Read more

Friendship and Sparkly Shoes: Go Go and the Silver Shoes by Jane Godwin & Anna Walker

“Shoes in fairy tales often have some kind of magical, transformative power.  Sometimes they help a character find grounding in the world, and change a character’s life in some way.  They also have a contradictory aspect to them – shoes restrict/ bind our feet, but they also protect our feet as they help us to […] - Read more

The Dark is Rising: Author Amie Kaufman on why Susan Cooper’s classic is her favourite book of all time

March 8, 2018

When New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman came to visit us at the Better Reading offices recently, we found ourselves on the topic of our favourite books of all time – Amie spoke about her favourite with such passion and conviction that we asked her if she would write the review down and send […] - Read more

The Battle Between Ice and Fire: Elementals, Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman

March 6, 2018

Growing up on the streets of Vallen, a land caught between the battles of two feared shapeshifting clans – the Ice Wolves and the Scorch Dragons – twelve-year-old twins Anders and Rayna survive by picking the pockets of the rich tourists who visit their town. When their own, unexpected shapeshifting abilities reveal themselves, Anders becomes […] - Read more

Funny, Romantic and Moving: Read a sample chapter of Tin Heart by Shivaun Plozza!

March 2, 2018

Start reading now Click the above link to read a sample chapter from the brilliant new YA novel from Shivaun Plozza. You can read our review of this wonderful novel below: Funny, romantic, moving novel about a teenage girl who has to piece together a new identity after a major upheaval. Born with a congenital […] - Read more

Children’s Laureate Spotlight: Revisit Morris Gleitzman’s stunning 2016 CBCA acceptance speech

March 1, 2018

Recently, national treasure Morris Gleitzman was announced as the new Australian Children’s Laureate. The Laureate’s role is to “promote the importance of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians” and we think Morris is more than up to the task. This announcement reminded the Better Reading Kids staff of the wonderful and […] - Read more

Hot off the Press! The first chapter of Kensy and Max: Breaking News has been leaked!

  Start reading now Delve into the exciting world of 11-year-old twins, Kensy and Max! This special edition of newspaper, The Beacon is jam-packed with an author profile, the first chapter of the brilliant new novel AND a fun crossword to complete, this special edition of newspaper, The Beacon will introduce you to through the thrills […] - Read more

Author and Educator Jacqueline Harvey’s Tips on Engaging Young Readers

February 28, 2018

Words || Jacqueline Harvey Engaging Young Readers It’s never too early to introduce books into your child’s daily routine. Reading for pleasure – for the joy of the story is not only great fun, there are huge benefits for your child’s development too. Children learn about rhythm and rhyme and language through those interactions and […] - Read more

Second Chance: Tin Heart by Shivaun Plozza

February 27, 2018

Funny, romantic, moving novel about a teenage girl who has to piece together a new identity after a major upheaval. Born with a congenital heart defect, Marlowe Jensen has been known as the “Dying Girl” her whole life. Being alive for her 18th birthday was remarkable enough, but actually winning the organ donor lottery was […] - Read more

Double Trouble: Kensy and Max by Jacqueline Harvey

Meet twins Kensy and Max, amateur sleuths who set out to solve a very big mystery in a terrific new series from Jacqueline Harvey. As one of Australia’s most successful and beloved authors for children, Jacqueline Harvey is no stranger to what engages young readers. Her Clementine Rose and Alice-Miranda series are in thousands of […] - Read more

A Remarkable and Authentic Exploration of Grief: Read a sample chapter from Eliza Henry Jones’ P is for Pearl

February 25, 2018

Start reading here Although Eliza Henry Jones has published two novels for adult readership – Into the Quiet (2015) and Ache (2017) – P is for Pearl is her first foray into capturing the internal and external worlds of teenagers, which is remarkably and authentically captured in this novel, most likely because she wrote it while still in high school. Distinctly […] - Read more

“There is Something Quite Luminous About Being a Teenager”: A Q&A with Eliza Henry Jones

February 23, 2018

Better Reading spoke with Eliza Henry Jones, the author of the moving new young adult novel P is for Pearl, about her teen years, first love and how writing P is for Pearl was a cathartic experience that helped her get through the worst years of her life. This is your first young adult novel, has […] - Read more

Pulled from the Page and Given Life: Why author Lynette Noni loves Fan Art

February 21, 2018

Words || Lynette Noni If you’d told me five years ago that I would soon be offered a publishing deal for a six-book young adult fantasy series that would one day receive bestseller status, I never would have believed you. I never would have believed that I would have readers—that I would have fans, who […] - Read more

Remarkable, Authentic, and Distinctly Aussie: P is for Pearl by Eliza Henry Jones

February 20, 2018

Although Eliza Henry Jones has published two novels for adult readership – Into the Quiet (2015) and Ache (2017) – P is for Pearl is her first foray into capturing the internal and external worlds of teenagers, which is remarkably and authentically captured in this novel, most likely because she wrote it while still in […] - Read more

A World Rich With Magic: Start reading Arkanae by Lynette Noni now!

February 16, 2018

Start reading now In Akarnae, the first instalment of The Medoran Chronicles, talented Australian author Lynette Noni has created a wonderful, dark, new fantasy world perfect for fans of The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter. Feeling nothing but dread at starting a new boarding school, Alex is astounded to discover that her new school is far from normal. Walking through […] - Read more

The Wacky and Grubby World of Danny Best: A Q&A With Illustrator Mitch Vane

February 15, 2018

Recectly, Better Reading chatted to illustrator extraordinaire about her latest book, Danny Best: Me First!. We covered world domination, her Danny Best partner-in-crime Jen Storer and that her inclination towards a messy workspace. How would you describe the illustrative style of the Danny Best books? Loose, wacky, and dare I say a bit on the grubby side. […] - Read more

A Magical Journey: The Medoran Chronicles by Lynette Noni

February 14, 2018

In Akarnae, the first instalment of The Medoran Chronicles, talented Australian author Lynette Noni has created a wonderful, dark, new fantasy world perfect for fans of the The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter. Feeling nothing but dread at starting a new boarding school, Alex is astounded to discover that her new school is far […] - Read more

The Total Package: Read our Q&A with Jen Storer, author of Danny Best: Me First!

February 9, 2018

Better Reading was fortunate enough to sit down with Jen Storer, author of Danny Best: Me First. Who IS Danny Best? I’m shocked you have to ask such a question! Danny Best is a legend. Everyone knows that. Personally, I don’t know how a boy his age (8 ¾) copes with such fame. But, then again, he […] - Read more

Belly Laughs All Around: Danny Best: Me First! by Jen Storer and Mitch Vane

February 7, 2018

Danny Best: Me First! is the latest in Jen Storer’s brilliant series for younger fans of Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates, and with this third instalment she has proven herself to be a master of energetic and engaging fiction for readers aged 6-10. She is worthy of being counted amongst our children’s fiction luminaries such […] - Read more

Enter At Your Own Risk: Quark’s Academy by Catherine Pelosi

January 31, 2018

“No pets, parents, soft toys, snacks or electronic devices allowed. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!” When junior scientific geniuses, Augustine, Celeste and Oscar are invited to attend the secretive and exclusive summer camp run by the mysterious Inventor Quark, they are over the moon. They will each be spending an entire week being exposed to […] - Read more

Winners of the 2017 Laugh Out Loud Award Announced!

January 25, 2018

The Lollies (Laugh Out Loud) Awards for 2018 have been announced! Voted BY children, FOR children in the UK, The Lollies celebrates books that tickle your funny bone. Below we have listed the winners from each category: Oi Dog – Kes & Clare Gray The follow up to the hugely successful Oi Frog, only this […] - Read more

Five Reasons Primary School Teachers Should Read Aloud in the Classroom

December 19, 2017

Words || Tim Harris If you asked twenty primary school teachers how they implement shared reading in the classroom, you would likely get twenty different responses. Primary education is one of the rare professions that allows scope for personal influence. By this, teachers can promote their own favourite reads and genres, controlling – to an […] - Read more

Unrequited by Emma Grey

December 12, 2017

17-year-old Kat Hartland is deeply unimpressed when her mum insists she take her younger sisters to an Unrequited concert. Her sisters are die-hard fans of the world’s most popular boy band, but Kat is miserable at the thought of enduring two hours of music she considers to be overly produced and without substance. Reluctantly setting […] - Read more

Escaping Loss: The Last Days of Us by Beck Nicholas

Emotional, raw, captivating. The Last Days of Us is a coming-of-age story that is hard to put down and impossible to forget. A book that crosses from the YA genre to speak directly to the heart of anyone who has ever been shattered by the loss of a loved one and has no idea how […] - Read more

Unforgettable Road Trip: start reading The Last Days of Us by Beck Nicholas here

Start reading here Emotional, raw, captivating. The Last Days of Us is a coming of age story that is hard to put down and impossible to forget. A book that crosses from the YA genre to speak directly to the heart of anyone who has ever been shattered by the loss of a loved one and has […] - Read more

Why I Write YA by Beck Nicholas

Words || Beck Nicholas ‘Because I like it,’ was my initial answer. I have written other things, and loved some of them, but always come back to reading and writing books for children and young adults. I read them simply for enjoyment. These make up so many of my favourite stories. But that doesn’t really […] - Read more

Funny Kid: Stand Up by Matt Stanton

December 5, 2017

Max Walburt was always the kid who made everybody laugh until his arch-nemesis, Abby Purcel, decided to name him ‘the unfunny kid.’ Following the huge success of Funny Kid For President in which we met the hilariously goofy Max whose shenanigans never failed to put a smile on our faces, Australian children’s author and illustrator, […] - Read more

Accidental Heroes: The Rogues by Lian Tanner

When Duckling agrees to help her devious grandfather one last time, she ends up entangled in a plot which will decide the fate of her city, a place called Berren. Lian Tanner returns to the wondrously imaginative world she created in The Keepers series with her new book The Rogues: Accidental Heroes. In Accidental Heroes, […] - Read more

Kids’ Book of the Week: The Empress by S.J. Kincaid

November 22, 2017

Did you read The Diabolic in 2016? No? Well, after hearing about The Empress, you’re going to want to rush out and settle in for the long haul… The Diabolic series is a much-needed addition to the dearth of YA fiction right now. Red Queen meets Hunger Games, The Diabolic explores femininity, humanity, and power – with some pretty awesome […] - Read more

The Caldera by John Flanagan

November 14, 2017

Hal, Stig, Thorn and the rest of the Herons have returned, and this time they face their most difficult, and perhaps most unexpected challenge yet. After the huge success of his Ranger’s Apprentice books, John Flanagan has returned with the companion Brotherband series set also in Skandia. Those who, like many, adore the detailed and ethereal world […] - Read more

Kids’ Book of the Week: The Book of Dust (La Belle Sauvage) by Philip Pullman

November 8, 2017

Fans of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy have been eagerly awaiting this since 2005. The first in The Book of Dust trilogy, La Belle Sauvage, was published 22 years to the day since Northern Lights came out in 1995. For those of you who haven’t read His Dark Materials, La Belle Sauvage is an exciting opportunity to dive into the expansive, magical, […] - Read more

The Very Noisy Baby by Alison Lester

November 7, 2017

Alison Lester has returned to shelves to enchant little minds with her playful allegories, and spark joy with her frolicsome rhymes. Even the oldest of readers may find themselves charmed by The Very Noisy Baby, Lester’s most recent tale, marking her continued success in the genre. The Very Noisy Baby tells of a baby who is […] - Read more

Congratulations: the Top 50 Kids Books winners!

November 6, 2017

We are super excited to announce the winners for the Top 50 Kids Books 2017 prize competition! Many congratulations to the following people, who have each won a FULL set of the Top 50 Kids books as voted by YOU! Louise King Lorraine Cormack Gail Wood Maree Smyth Hanadi Nasser Esther Lam Amy Lamotte Check […] - Read more

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

October 31, 2017

Emily Suvada’s debut novel This Mortal Coil unleashes upon young readers a world of science and fantasy, combined perfectly to teach them wondrous things about their world, simultaneously allowing them to enter a whole new one. An enchanting, dystopian story for ages 12+, This Mortal Coil follows Caterina Agatta, whose technological know-how and volatile experiences […] - Read more

Kids’ Book of the Week: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

This one is big. Trust us, you’re going to want to run out and start reading Nevermoor:The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend as soon as possible. Why is it so special? A debut Aussie book, Jessica Townsend had eight publishers fighting for the rights to work with the book. 20th Century Fox bought the film rights […] - Read more

The Creakers by Tom Fletcher

October 24, 2017

Are you scared? You should be . . . The Creakers are here! Tom Fletcher, bestselling children’s author of The Christmasaurus, is back with a hair-raising, spooky tale that will make you shiver and shake . . . A fantastic, uncanny tale for middle grade readers illustrated by Shane Devries, The Creakers follows Lucy Dungston: a girl with short hair, brown […] - Read more

Kids’ Book of the Week: Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

John Green, author of bestsellers Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars, needs no introduction. Turtles All The Way Down more than lives up to the standard of writing and soul we’ve come to expect. This book is heartfelt and moving. It is at times darker than some of his previous novels and Green is never […] - Read more

How To Write Romance for Young Adults

October 20, 2017

With the young adult literature scene blowing up around the world, it’s inevitable that the age old question will crop up in discussions around YA fiction: sex – should it be discussed in books? Views of this issue are endlessly divided. Some think it’s a travesty, that young people are being exposed to endless messages […] - Read more

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7 Reasons Reading YA Books Will Change Your Life

Words || Pip Harry I read young adult books voraciously, particularly our incredible local Australian #LoveOzYA books. At any given time, I’ll have 5-6 YA books on the go – from fantastical otherworldly tales, to gritty realism and light escapism. They all have something to teach me, not just as a writer, but as a […] - Read more

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Q&A with Brian Falkner, author of That Stubborn Seed of Hope

A boy helps his sister disguise her birthmark on her first day of school. A seventeen-year-old awakens to find himself trapped in an elderly body. A teenage girl discovers her boyfriend has a life-threatening virus the day after they share their first kiss. A high school student tries to communicate to his hospitalised brother who […] - Read more

Kids Book of the Week: Crush Catastrophe by Rachel Renée Russell

October 17, 2017

As Nikki Maxwell and her friends count down the days till summer break, drama in the form of a French exchange student named André begins to ensue. Rachel Renée Russell returns to her endearing Dork Diaries series with Crush Catastrophe. For those who don’t know, Nikki is a self-confessed dork, whose diary, filled with funny illustrations and clever side notes, gives […] - Read more

The Feelings Series by Trace Moroney

October 11, 2017

Carefully and thoughtfully created, the Feelings series explains gently and intelligently to young children what to do when their emotions overwhelm them. With over eight books in the series, author-illustrator Trace Moroney has created these picture books aimed at reading between parents and children, equipping them with strategies to deal with different emotions that they will […] - Read more

Kids Book of the Week: The Wonderling by Mira Bartók

October 4, 2017

Every now and again there comes a book which defies all description. The Wonderling, debut novel from award winning memoir writer Mira Bartók is one of those books. It falls under many descriptions. It’s a middle grade novel for ages ten and over. It’s an illustrated book. It’s fantasy, it’s steampunk, and it’s a coming of age […] - Read more

Q&A with Mira Bartók, author of the Wonderling

Every now and again there comes a book which defies all description. The Wonderling, debut novel from award winning memoir writer Mira Bartók is one of those books. Where did the idea for the story of The Wonderling begin? Like most projects I do, The Wonderling came out of a confluence of ideas, experiences, dreams, and memories. […] - Read more

A Plea to Young Writers from Tonya Alexandra

September 26, 2017

Words || Tonya Alexandra There’s a writer inside you. You’re not sure how you know it – you just do. Be kind to that small part of you. Don’t judge or label it. Don’t demand it prove itself. Be gentle with it. Give it time to reveal itself. Feed it with experience. Lap up life […] - Read more

Kids Book of the Week: The Potion Diaries: Going Viral by Amy Alward

September 19, 2017

Smart, charming, and funny, the final instalment of the bestselling Potion Diaries series will keep young readers on the edge of their seats. The Potion Diaries series follows Samantha Kemi. She’s an ordinary girl. She goes to school, has a best friend, and loves social media. There’s just one difference – she’s also an alchemist living in […] - Read more

It’s Dork Day 2017!

September 12, 2017

It’s time to party! Dork Day is a celebration of all things Dork! The Dork Diaries series by Rachel Renee Russell is the #1 girl’s brand in Australia and the next book – Dork Diaries 12: Crush Catastrophe – is out on October 19. To celebrate ahead of the release, bookstores and libraries in Australia and New […] - Read more

It’s Roald Dahl Day 2017!

September 13th is Roald Dahl Day! You have been cordially invited to celebrate the wonderful world of Roald Dahl. Every Roald Dahl story has a sprinkling of magic, from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory to the BFG’s dream jars, and this year fans everywhere are waiting with glittering eyes to see Billy and the Minpins, illustrated […] - Read more

Maybe by Morris Gleitzman

September 5, 2017

Once is, by this point, an absolute classic of children’s literature. Maybe absolutely follows on in this tradition. The sixth in Felix’s tales, Morris Gleitzman weaves a tale of hope, terror, war, and love in an intelligent and graceful manner. Published first in 2005, Gleitzman has been following Felix through the past, present, and future, and […] - Read more

Series of the Week: Play Like A Girl by Jo Stanley

“You play like a girl.” It used to be such a negative phrase. Boys taunting boys. As if playing like a girl was such a bad thing, an indication of them being lesser. Lately, though, playing like a girl has become something to be celebrated, and Jo Stanley’s new series Play Like A Girl celebrates the […] - Read more

The Big Hug Books by Shona Innes

August 22, 2017

Some picture books have a purpose or a message they want to get across. They do this subtly, gently, and you’re left with an echo of a lesson you’ve learnt by the end of the book. The Big Hug Book  series doesn’t do this. Each of the books, of which there are currently seven, has a […] - Read more

The Answer to the Crowded Curriculum?

August 15, 2017

Words || Rebecca Johnson According to the latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), by the time a child is nine, they have made up their mind whether or not they are good at maths or science. If this fact alone is not enough to scare us all into seeing the importance of […] - Read more

A Little Fairy Book by Anna Pignataro

August 8, 2017

Early childhood is a time of magic, whimsy, discovery, and excitement, and Pignataro has represented these feelings perfectly in her new educational board books, A Little Fairy Book. With wonderful colours and illustration, there are currently two wonderful board books in the A Little Fairy Book series aimed at ages three and up. They’re set in a […] - Read more

Kids’ Series of the Week: Super Moopers by Fiona Harris and Scott Edgar

August 1, 2017

  In Moopertown, everyone is special – in their own special way! Super Moopers is a loveable, hilarious new series from Sally Rippins Presents, written by Fiona Harris and illustrated by Scott Edgar. Reminiscent of Dr Seuss and the Mr Men series, Super Moopers is the perfect bridge between a picture book and junior fiction, and will […] - Read more

Kids’ Book of the Week: The Shop at Hooper’s Bend by Emily Rodda

July 25, 2017

Emily Rodda needs no introduction. She is one of Australia’s most loved children’s authors, enthralling children all across the country and internationally with her Deltora Quest and Rowan of Rin series. She’s woven stories of intriguing high fantasy for young people, and she’s back with a new book – and this one is a little different. We’re used […] - Read more

The Elephant by Peter Carnavas

July 18, 2017

At the heart of a great children’s book is a great story. But sometimes, it’s about more than the story. Sometimes it’s about what the story teaches you. This is incredibly important at a young age, as this is when ideals and values are formed. There are books for kids out there about living as […] - Read more

Silly Lily by Jedda Robaard

July 11, 2017

Earlier this year we were lucky enough to meet Monsieur Chat, as Jedda Robaard introduced us to him. Now, we’re just as thrilled to be meeting our new favourite character, Silly Lily! Silly Lily is lots of things. She’s creative and resourceful, smart and adventurous, cheeky and sometimes a little bit naughty, but most of […] - Read more

That Stubborn Seed of Hope by Brian Falkner

July 4, 2017

That Stubborn Seed of Hope is something beautifully strange in the YA literature market: a collection of short stories that deal with fear. It seems strange that Brian Falkner, award winning, bestselling author of seventeen books for young adults, should write a collection for teenagers about fear. Young adult literature is so often about overcoming […] - Read more

Read an extract of Telophy by Wanda Wiltshire now!

June 27, 2017

Read an extract here! When we spoke to YA author Wanda Wiltshire at Supanova, she asked, “who doesn’t want wings?” After reading the Betrothed series, we can promise you that you too will be wishing for wings and to be a part of the magical world of Faera that Wiltshire has created. The Betrothed series begins […] - Read more

Kids’ Book of the Week: Telophy by Wanda Wiltshire

When we spoke to YA author Wanda Wiltshire at Supanova, she asked, “who doesn’t want wings?” After reading the Betrothed series, we can promise you that you too will be wishing for wings and to be a part of the magical world of Faera that Wiltshire has created. The Betrothed series begins with the eponymous […] - Read more

Why Is Fantasy Important For Teenagers?

June 20, 2017

Better Reading was recently invited to the Supanova Expo 2017. For those who are unfamiliar, Supanova is a fantasy and sci-fi convention. While it covers all mediums (such as video games, anime, and film) Better Reading was especially excited to attend all of the many panels on writing and reading. With guests such as Brandon […] - Read more

Kids’ Book of the Week: The Misadventures of Max Crumbly (Middle School Mayhem) by Rachel Renée Russell

June 13, 2017

Rule #1: A superhero must always be prepared. We have to say Max Crumbly does not follow his own advice. The second in The Misadventures of Max Crumbly, we follow Max’s adventures in the new book Middle School Mayhem  – and mayhem is definitely the right word for Max’s life. From the beloved Rachel Renée Russell, author […] - Read more

Q&A with Vikki Wakefield, author of Ballad For A Mad Girl

June 8, 2017

Vikki Wakefield needs no introduction. A master of the YA genre and Australian native, Ballad For A Mad Girl is her fourth book, and it does not disappoint. Just a hint of advice before diving into it, though – you might want to read it with the lights on. Better Reading Kids spoke to Vikki about young […] - Read more

Q&A with Stephanie Smee, Translator of The Adventures of Pelle No-Tail

June 7, 2017

If you and your kids love cute little animals, we promise you’ll become addicted to The Adventures of Pelle No-Tail! We spoke to translator Stephanie Smee about Pelle No-Tail, working with her mother, and just how she learnt so many languages! Better Reading Kids: Congratulations on your new translation, The Adventures of Pelle No-Tail! Tell us […] - Read more

Ballad For A Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield

June 6, 2017

Vikki Wakefield needs no introduction. A master of the YA genre and Australian native, Ballad For A Mad Girl is her fourth book, and it does not disappoint. Just a hint of advice before diving into it, though – you might want to read it with the lights on. Seventeen year old Grace Foley is well […] - Read more

Kids’ Book of the Week: The Adventures of Pelle No-Tail by Gösta Knutsson

If you and your kids love cute little animals, we promise you’ll become addicted to The Adventures of Pelle No-Tail! Pelle No-Tail had a hard start to life. Living in the Swedish countryside, he was brought up on a farm with lots of other cats who made fun of him. They’d take each others’ hands, dance […] - Read more

Kids’ Book of the Week: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

May 30, 2017

Cassandra Clare has taken the world by storm, and she only captures even more readers with each and every book. The Mortal Instruments were an internationally bestselling series, spawning an entire world featuring the Shadowhunters: three novel series, two short story collections, four graphic novels, a movie and a television series. The Mortal Instruments and the follow […] - Read more

Should we keep teaching the Holocaust in schools?

May 29, 2017

Written by Nicola Cayless I remember first learning about the Holocaust in Year 5. It wasn’t really called the Holocaust, then, but rather we learnt about its history through The Diary of Anne Frank. We read the book one chapter at a time, aloud in class, and would each read a paragraph as we went. At […] - Read more

Start reading Hamish and the Gravityburp here!

May 16, 2017

  Read A Chapter Here Hamish and the Gravityburp might look like a completely ordinary book. But it’s not. It’s a book that knows things. It knows who you are, that you had cake not too long ago, that your birthday is in less than a year, and even moreso, that you’re not going to be […] - Read more

Kids’ Book of the Week: Hamish and the Gravityburp by Danny Wallace

Hamish and the Gravityburp might look like a completely ordinary book. But it’s not. It’s a book that knows things. It knows who you are, that you had cake not too long ago, that your birthday is in less than a year, and even moreso, that you’re not going to be able to resist picking it […] - Read more

Kids Book of the Week: Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

May 2, 2017

Raymie Clarke has a plan. It involves good deeds, a cat who is maybe a dog, bunny hair clips, baton twirling, and two very different girls. Raymie Nightingale is the new book from award winning author Kate DiCamillo, author of well-loved The Tale of Desperaux  and The Tiger Rising. The New York Times has said “DiCamillo is a star […] - Read more

Aquatica by Lance Balchin

April 24, 2017

It’s a very different world in Lance Balchin’s Aquatica and Mechanica, but it’s not an unbelievable one. The year is 2250, and all biological species have been wiped out. Corporations became out of control through the twenty first century, and irresponsible governments did nothing, blinded by greed and capitalism. The use of fossil fuels ruined the earth as […] - Read more

Olive Tells Us About Boys…

April 18, 2017

Okay. So I’m Olive and I’ve been told to give you some advice on getting a guy – which is pretty dumb because I mean, hello, it shouldn’t be that hard. Boys are desperate. They’ll date anything that pokes them enough times. Hey! You’ll have to forgive my friend, Felix. He insisted on coming. He’s […] - Read more

Olive Is Impossibly In Love…

“Shakespeare was an idiot. Love is not blind. Love is being seen.” Tonya Alexandra’s debut novel The Impossible Story of Olive in Love is heartbreaking and beautiful, a story for anyone who has ever felt invisible. Olive is invisible. Yes, literally invisible. Her family was cursed by a gypsy two generations ago, and that means Olive is […] - Read more

Meet Max Crumbly and Nikki Maxwell!

Every adult knows that the tween years are delightfully, horribly awkward. From the ages of eleven to fourteen, we undergo a pretty radical change. We start getting interested in crushes, friendships shake themselves up, hobbies change, and often people change schools, and have to go over the whole process of making friends all over again! […] - Read more

Q&A With Rachel Renee Russell, Author of Dork Diaries and The Misadventures of Max Crumbly

Read the Q&A here! Every adult knows that the tween years are delightfully, horribly awkward. From the ages of eleven to fourteen, we undergo a pretty radical change. We start getting interested in crushes, friendships shake themselves up, hobbies change, and often people change schools, and have to go over the whole process of making […] - Read more

Get Your Dork Diaries Activities Here!

Get your Dork Diaries activities here! Every adult knows that the tween years are delightfully, horribly awkward. From the ages of eleven to fourteen, we undergo a pretty radical change. We start getting interested in crushes, friendships shake themselves up, hobbies change, and often people change schools, and have to go over the whole process […] - Read more

Start Reading Mammoth Mistake: Starring Olive Black by Alex Miles!

April 11, 2017

Start reading here! An astronaut, a doctor, a zookeeper… When you’re a kid, you spend a lot of time dreaming about just what it is you want to be when you grow up. We come up with all sorts of fantastical ideas about what we want to be one day, but for Olive Black, she doesn’t […] - Read more

Starring Olive Black: ten year old superstar!

An astronaut, a doctor, a zookeeper… When you’re a kid, you spend a lot of time dreaming about just what it is you want to be when you grow up. We come up with all sorts of fantastical ideas about what we want to be one day, but for Olive Black, she doesn’t have to wait. […] - Read more

Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz

The Diary of Anne Frank is a classic amongst teachers tackling the history of World War Two in schools. Most of us can remember the first time we picked that book up; the devastatingly true diary haunted many of us for years. What was so special about it was undoubtedly its truthfulness. We were there […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Keep Busy In The Easter Holidays With This Pack From Bloomsbury!

April 6, 2017

Kids bored in the Easter holidays? Rolling around the house with nothing to do? Are you getting antsy, looking for something for them to delve into and give you a few moments peace and quiet? Well, don’t worry, because Better Reading, with help from our friends at Bloomsbury, had THREE PACKS of THREE BOOKS to […] - Read more

How Many Words Rhyme With G’nu? Jimmy Barnes’ new poetry collection for kids

April 4, 2017

Have you ever wondered how many words rhyme with g’nu? Jimmy Barnes seems to have found every single rhyming word in his wonderful new venture into children’s entertainment, The Recorded Poems of Och Aye the G’nu. Part book, part album, Barnes has collaborated with long-time partner and founder of The Wiggles, Anthony Field (the blue Wiggle!). […] - Read more

Q&A: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

April 3, 2017

  Adam Silvera’s new book, History Is All You Left Me, is a beautiful meditation for teenagers on love, loss, and friendship. It follows Griffin through the history and the present, as he deals with the sudden accidental death of his best friend and ex-boyfriend, Theo. He remembers the good and bad times, and deals with […] - Read more

Relatable… Maisy Goes To The Bookshop!

March 28, 2017

Everyone knows and loves Maisy. After all, Lucy Cousins’ Maisy series has sold over 21 million copies worldwide, and been translated into 29 different languages. Who doesn’t love Maisy? She’s quirky and fun. She wears bright fun clothes, and always has a new adventure with her friends. Even though she’s a mouse, she’s friends with […] - Read more

Kids Book of the Week: Mr Romanov’s Garden in the Sky by Robert Newton

Much like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Robert Newton’s Mr Romanov’s Garden in the Sky opens with a murder. It’s a grisly scene: someone has taken a local dog and thrown it off the roof of the housing commission. We’re left with the mourning and grief of the slow, shuffling Mr Romanov, and the […] - Read more

Behind the Scenes: Congratulations to Jan Richards, the Regional Librarian Honoured for Her Services

March 23, 2017

In a regular new series on Better Reading – Behind the Scenes – we put the spotlight on the people who bring you the best stories. We will talk to the publishers, the librarians, the booksellers, the people with a passion for books, about working behind the scenes with books. (If you know someone who loves and works with […] - Read more

Kids Book of the Week: The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

March 21, 2017

Reviewed by Nicola Cayless To be honest, if you haven’t heard of the fantasy series by Samantha Shannon taking the world by storm, you’ve been living under a rock. The three book series, comprising The Bone Season, The Mime Order, and now The Song Rising, has taken the world by storm and captured the hearts […] - Read more

1, 2, Pirate Stew: One cardboard box and two imaginative kids…

1, 2, round up the crew. 3, 4, now grab an oar. 1, 2, Pirate Stew is a delightful new picture book hitting the stands this month by Kylie Howarth. Anyone with small children should already know and have read her books. She was author-illustrator of Fish Jam, shortlisted for the 2015 CBCA Crichton Award and […] - Read more

Where’s Wally … Again?

March 14, 2017

Thirty years later and Wally is still hiding. Flicking through the thirteen tableaus filled with all kinds of strange and wonderful people, we’re still searching for Wally, looking for that characteristic red and white striped jumper and jam-packed hiking pack. As the years have gone on, we’ve met his friends and enemies – his girlfriend […] - Read more

How To Do Romance for Young Adults

March 7, 2017

Written by Nicola Cayless With the young adult literature scene blowing up around the world, it’s inevitable that the age old question will crop up in discussions around YA fiction: sex – should it be discussed in books? Views of this issue are endlessly divided. Some think it’s a travesty, that young people are being […] - Read more

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Q&A: Gwyn Perkins on his new picture book, A Walk in the Bush

Interviewed by Nicola Cayless Better Reading spoke with author-illustrator Gwyn Perkins about his first foray into both writing and illustrating a children’s book. A Walk in the Bush is funny, heartfelt, and celebrates Australian flora and fauna, all through the eyes of Iggy and his Granddad. Better Reading: Congratulations on the release of A Walk in the […] - Read more

Book of the Week: Family and the Wonders of Nature in Gwyn Perkin’s A Walk in the Bush

Reviewed by Nicola Cayless Granddad is looking for Iggy. Have you seen him? He’s about this tall, brown and furry, with a tail. Iggy never speaks; just looks silently. Iggy is his grandson. Iggy, whatever he is, is not human. Is he a cat? A dog? A possum? Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because Iggy is, above […] - Read more

Two Very Lonely People and The Cat That Saves Them in Jedda Robaard’s New Picture Book Monsieur Chat

February 28, 2017

Jedda Robaard needs no introduction as the author-illustrator of the best-selling Little Creatures series. Her soft watercolour illustrations have captured warmth and light effortlessly, and she continues this illustrious tradition in her wonderful new book, Monsieur Chat. A thoughtful and gentle book, Robaard has put heart and soul into this venture, and it shows. As adults, we […] - Read more

Author Q&A: Alison Evans

February 6, 2017

Alison Evans is the Australian author of Ida, a novel about choice, regret, and the infinite possibilities in between. It’s a fascinating concept. Ida can travel in time – but only through her own past. She can press undo on any action she takes, whether it’s accidentally breaking a plate or saying something she wishes she […] - Read more

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February New Releases

January 31, 2017

Are you and the kids looking to get some reading action in this month? Check out a list of New Releases for kids and young adults that will be sure to have something for everyone this February! Whether it’s going on a new and emotional adventure with Jeff Giles’ YA debut The Edge of Everything, […] - Read more

Celebrate our feathered friends in Lucy Cousins’ Hooray for Birds

Many will know and love Lucy Cousins as the artist and author behind the bestselling Maisy series, and she’s as bright and fun as ever in her newest picture book Hooray for Birds! The book lets kids imagine what it would be like to be a bird for a day, whether it’s flying high in the sky, swimming along […] - Read more

Book of the Week: The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

Why we love it:  Jeff Giles has created a unique blend of dark fantasy and romance in a compelling YA tale that will leave you craving more. Zoe has had a tough year. Her father died in a caving accident and the police refuse to retrieve his body, not to mention that her elderly neighbours, […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Hogwarts Classics

January 26, 2017

**Giveaway posted 26th January, enter by 29th January 2017.**   Okay Harry Potter fans, this <<GIVEAWAY>> is for you. Complete your Hogwarts Library collection with brand new editions of Hogwarts classics Quidditch Through the Ages and The Tales of Beedle the Bard! A perennial bestseller in the wizarding world and one of the most popular books in the Hogwarts […] - Read more

Author Q&A: Len Vlahos

January 16, 2017

Len Vlahos’ newest YA novel Life in a Fishbowl was like nothing we’d ever read before – and we loved every minute. It’s dark, it’s funny, and it’s achingly, painfully true to life, so we were thrilled to chat with Len from his home in Colorado about the inspiration behind the book, his experience writing it, and […] - Read more

Book of the Week: Life in a Fishbowl

Every so often a YA book comes along and really stands out – maybe because of its characters, its unique concept, a great sense of humour, some especially good writing, or a gripping plot. Well, Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos has all that and more. Told in third person, the book focus on Jackie […] - Read more

Our Favourite Kids’ Books of 2016 for All Ages

December 20, 2016

There have been so many wonderful books released this year! It was a challenge, but here are our picks for:   Picture Books  Primary School Readers Teens         Was there a book you loved that we missed? Let us know in the comments, and here’s to another great year of reading from […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: A Child of Books

December 7, 2016

**Giveaway posted 8th December, enter by 11th December 2016.** One of our favourite picture book authors, Oliver Jeffers, is back again with the stunning A Child of Books – and we have 5 copies to <<GIVEAWAY>>! It’s all about beautiful typography, including some from classic children’s books, is a testament to the magic of reading, and would […] - Read more

Series Spotlight: The Hidden by Lian Tanner

December 6, 2016

Here at Better Reading Kids, we know that when children come across one book they love reading, they’ll often seek out others by the same author or in the same series, and if you’re a parent or a librarian, that makes choosing a book for a young reader a little simpler. So when we find […] - Read more

Book of the Week: The Song From Somewhere Else

November 25, 2016

We loved A.F. Harrold’s The Imaginary, and we excited to learn he had a new book on the way. This time Harrold has teamed up with illustrator Levi Pinfold and the result, The Song From Somewhere Else, is a breathtaking novel for ages 8-12. When we first meet Frank, she is feeling concerned. In her […] - Read more

Author Q&A: A.F. Harrold

“Don’t believe everything I tell you…” We interviewed A.F. Harrold, author of two illustrated novels for older readers that we love. His clever and imaginative style will appeal to fans of Roald Dahl or Neil Gaiman, and we spoke to him about music, bullies, books…and biscuits. BRK: Congratulations on The Song From Somewhere Else! What […] - Read more

Illustrator Q&A: Levi Pinfold

One of the many reasons we loved the stunning new book The Song From Somewhere Else (read more here) was the exquisite drawings by artist Levi Pinfold. We spoke to Levi about his process, style, and inspiration. BRK: How long was your process for The Song From Somewhere Else? LP: About four months, give or take. BRK: […] - Read more

Better Reading Kids: the new home of children’s book recommendations

November 22, 2016

Better Reading, the home of book recommendations for Australian readers, also offers children’s book news, information and insights! Better Reading Director Cheryl Akle says, ‘So many of Better Reading’s followers are keen to share the joy of reading with their kids. For some time, we’ve been receiving requests for recommendations and advice about children’s books […] - Read more

Seven Reasons to Read a Ranger

November 21, 2016

How Australian writer John Flanagan‘s Ranger’s Apprentice series went from being stories he wrote to encourage his son to read to a global bestsellers, with two spinoffs and a movie on the way, is one for the ages. It can be challenging to get young boys enthusiastic about reading. This was the problem Flanagan faced with his […] - Read more

Author Q&A: John Flanagan

We love John Flanagan‘s Ranger’s Apprentice series – you can read why here (we’ve even put it in a list for you)! We spoke to John about why he chose to delve into the past of his main characters, what readers can expect from the newest prequel, and what’s up next for the Rangers…   Congratulations […] - Read more

Get your kids reading with one of Australia’s Favourite Series

November 14, 2016

When we asked Australia to choose their Top 50 Favourite Kids’ books, many selected titles from popular series, and with good reason. When a young reader is hooked on a series, they’re encouraged and motivated to keep reading, to find out what happens next. Here are some of the reasons why series are so great […] - Read more

Authors Inspire Teens on NSW Roadtrip

Australian YA author Will Kostakis writes about the importance of connecting with young readers in person, and his time on the road with fellow writers in rural NSW. As a teenager, I was exceptionally lucky to attend a school that could not only afford authors visits, but that hosted a literature festival every two years. […] - Read more

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Prime Minister’s Literary Award Winners for Kids and YA

November 11, 2016

For 2016, the award for Children’s Fiction went to Sister Heart by Sally Morgan. A young Aboriginal girl is taken from the north of Australia and sent to an institution in the distant south. There, she slowly makes a new life for herself and, in the face of tragedy, finds strength in new friendships. Poignantly told […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell pack

November 10, 2016

**Giveaway posted 10th November, enter by 16th November 2016.** Neil Gaiman is a masterful storyteller, and together with illustrator Chris Riddell, they’ve created two beautiful, magical books: and one lucky reader can win a pack containing them both! The Sleeper and the Spindle is a fairytale, with a twist. The story has been inspired a little […] - Read more

Meet Count Olaf in the new trailer for Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events!

November 8, 2016

Finally, we come face to face with the evil Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), in the new trailer for Netflix’s series based on Lemony Snicket’s series of bestselling novels for older readers: “A Series of Unfortunate Events recounts the tragic tale of the Baudelaire orphans — Violet, Klaus, and Sunny – whose evil guardian Count […] - Read more

The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems

November 7, 2016

A little while ago, Beth from Better Reading Kids visited an exhibit of Mo Willem’s artwork in New York City. Mo is the author and illustrator behind hilarious picture books like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Knuffle Bunny and Elephant and Piggie! The exhibit had early drafts and sketches from his works, with information on his […] - Read more

November New Releases for All Ages

November 3, 2016

Looking for a new read for your child or teen this month? There are ducks, a polite panda, a metafictional octopus, a wimpy kid, some snot chocolate, mysterious music, a dancing zoo, friends and frenemies, an embattled empire – and more! Here are some of the new picture books we’re excited for, and here are […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: The Bear Who Stared

**Giveaway posted 3rd November, enter by 9th November 2016.** Our GIVEAWAY this week is a picture book about a curious bear who learns an important lesson. The Bear Who Stared by Duncan Beedie is fun, colourful, and even introduces children to manners! There once was a bear who liked to STARE. Bear doesn’t mean to be rude, he’s […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Illustrated Harry Potters

October 27, 2016

**Giveaway posted 27th October, enter by 2nd November 2016.** To celebrate the release of the stunningly beautiful illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, one lucky reader will win a prize containing illustrated, hardcover editions of both Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, as well as a special tote bag. These new […] - Read more

How Music Can Help Your Child’s Reading

October 24, 2016

There are so many advantages to fostering a love of music in children. A recent article by Louise Lederman in the Huffington Post draws on research by the National Literacy Trust in the UK, and showed that music can help children learn in a variety of ways, including: • Cultivating social skills • Building their self-esteem and […] - Read more

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Read Your Child to Sleep with The Little Elephant

October 21, 2016

If you’ve ever tried to put a little one to bed, you know it can be a real challenge. Whether it’s that one last story, a sudden desperate need for a glass of water or just a wriggling reluctance to go to sleep, bedtime can take awhile. Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin wants to help. He’s the […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Agatha and the Dark

October 20, 2016

*Giveaway posted 20th October, enter by 26th October 2016* Our <<GIVEAWAY>> this week is a sweet picture book about learning to face your fears: Agatha and the Dark by award winning author/illustrator Anna Pignataro.   Agatha is scared of the dark, and George is just making things worse. When Agatha is accidently locked in a dark […] - Read more

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Author Q&A: Danielle Paige on Stealing Snow

October 17, 2016

In her bestselling YA series Dorothy Must Die, author Danielle Paige took Dorothy and the Oz we thought we knew and gave it a big twist. Now she’s done the same for Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen in the first book of her new series, Stealing Snow, for ages 12+. We spoke to Danielle about her […] - Read more

Book of the Week: Holding Up the Universe

October 10, 2016

We loved Jennifer Niven’s emotional first YA novel All the Bright Places and now she’s back with Holding Up the Universe. Fans of John Green should pay attention: we may just have found your new favourite author. When we meet Libby Strout, she’s preparing for her first day back at school after a rough few […] - Read more

Australia’s Top 50 Kids Lists

October 7, 2016

Australia, we love your Top 50 Kids’ List! Over the last few months, we’ve been exploring all the titles you voted as your favourites. You can check out the full Top 50 Kids’ list here, or download a printable pdf guide. Head here for some of our Australian favourites, Or here to see our picks for […] - Read more

The sweet Sisters Saint-Claire star in a new picture book

October 4, 2016

In this delightful, hardcover picture book for ages 4 and up, a set of five mouse sisters learn about the importance of supporting each other, dreaming big, and enjoying delicious food. Cecile is the littlest of The Sisters Saint-Claire, and has a passion for baking. Usually she stays home to prepare perfect pies while her […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Throne of Glass book pack!

September 29, 2016

*Giveaway posted 29th September, enter by 5th October 2016* This week we have a huge prize for one lucky reader – all the novels that have been released so far in Sarah J. Maas’ bestselling YA fantasy series ‘Throne of Glass,’ PLUS the brand new colouring book! That’s 6 books!  If you’re new to the […] - Read more

Author Q&A: Karen Foxlee

September 27, 2016

“I love the idea of someone with wonderful magic inside them but unaware of how to use it or even if they believe it…” We had a lovely time delving into a magical, Victorian London in Karen Foxlee‘s newest novel for young readers, A Most Magical Girl. We spoke to Karen about writing the novel, balancing […] - Read more

Book of the Week: A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee

Karen Foxlee’s A Most Magical Girl will sweep you away to Victorian-era London, and settle you in a world where visions come in puddles, brooms need to be treated politely, and little girls are capable of being very brave indeed. We meet young Annabel Grey as she is being dumped somewhat unceremoniously at the doorstep […] - Read more

(Future) Author Q&As with Wallis (11) and Briana (15)

September 20, 2016

Sydney Story Factory is a not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people in Redfern, and we spoke to two of their upcoming young writers, Wallis and Briana. The girls told us about their favourite books and authors, why they love to write, what they’re working on for the inaugural Pen to Paper Challenge (learn more […] - Read more

Book of the Week: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

September 19, 2016

Massive worldwide bestseller Sarah J. Maas is back with Empire of Storms, the latest instalment in her smash-hit YA fantasy series, ‘Throne of Glass.’ But be warned – the fifth book is full of nail-biting action, heart-pounding romance, and shocking twists that will have you reading until the early hours of the morning! After defeating the king […] - Read more

Delve into the world of Mechanica – start reading now!

September 12, 2016

Start reading here! Mechanica by Lance Balchin is a peek into a possible future, where all wildlife are extinct, and the only things left are technological creature we can’t control – known as Mechanica. Although shaped like a picture book, it’s a great pick for inquisitive older readers as Balchin tells a tale of a dystopian […] - Read more

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On Mechanica and the magic of machines with Lance Balchin

Mechanica by Lance Balchin was a kind of book we’d ever seen before – although shaped like a picture book, it’s a great pick for inquisitive older readers as Balchin tells a tale of a dystopian world devoid of wildlife through a field guide to all its new, technological creatures, known as Mechanica. You can […] - Read more

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Book of the Week: Mechanica by Lance Balchin

Mechanica by Lance Balchin is quite a unique book. The subtitle is ‘A Beginner’s Field Guide,’ and it has an intriguing story, information on new kinds of technology, beautiful illustrations and an important warning about protecting the planet. Set at the end of the 22nd century, Mechanica imagines a world without wildlife. Humans have near […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: There’s Not One

September 8, 2016

*Giveaway posted 8th September, enter by 14th September 2016* Our <<GIVEAWAY>> this week is an incredibly eye-catching picture book that celebrates diversity, with bright pages inspired by the artwork of Matisse. There’s Not One is Jennifer Higgie’s first book, and it’s lots of fun! In kaleidoscopic colour, Higgie takes young readers on a journey from some […] - Read more

Q&A with Jacqueline Harvey

September 5, 2016

“There are so many places I’d love to take her and loads more adventures to write, so who knows where she might go next…” We are big fans of the wonderful Alice-Miranda series, and loved chatting with their author, Jacqueline Harvey, before she releases #14: Alice-Miranda in China! You can learn more about what we thought of Alice-Miranda’s […] - Read more

Book of the Week: Alice-Miranda in China

Why kids (and parents) love it: Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennington-Jones and her friends are off on another overseas trip! Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy has organised a school exchange with Bright Star Academy in Beijing, and the students are very excited. All the girls are going – Alice-Miranda, Millie, Jacinta, even Caprice. Some of the boys from Fayle are on-board too, […] - Read more

September New Releases

August 30, 2016

There’s plenty of great books for kids out this month! From Oliver Jeffers to Dav Pilkey, Jacqueline Harvey to Sarah J. Maas, lots of big name authors have new releases hitting the shelves, and there are some wonderful new surprises too. Head here for picture book releases, or here for older readers. If you missed […] - Read more

Leigh Hobbs and Jackie French at the Canberra Writers Festival

Better Reading Kids headed to Canberra last weekend to see two wonderful Australian authors: Leigh Hobbs and Jackie French! It was the first ever Canberra Writers Festival, and everyone was excited to be there and get involved at beautiful locations across Canberra, including The National Library and the Museum of Australian Democracy. Jackie French was the […] - Read more

Alison Lester on indigenous literacy and how reading opens doors

Ahead of Indigenous Literacy Day on September 7th, we spoke to Alison Lester, one of Australia’s most loved picture book authors and an Indigenous Literacy Foundation ambassador, about her work with the ILF and why what they do is so crucial. Alison has been an ambassador since 2012, and says she was really thrilled when […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Counting on You

August 25, 2016

*Giveaway posted 25th August, enter by 31st August 2016* This week’s <<GIVEAWAY>> is a special picture book about love, family, and always being there for the ones you care about. Counting on You is by Corinne Fenton with beautiful watercolour illustrations by Robin Cowcher, and is “a celebration of the strength that love can provide through […] - Read more

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Challenge yourself to get writing this September and help out a wonderful cause!

August 18, 2016

Ever felt like you have a novel in you? Or maybe it’s a screenplay, a short story, a song, or a poem? This September, Sydney Story Factory‘s inaugural Pen to Paper Challenge is encouraging everyone across Australia to get their creative juices flowing and just write. Commit yourself to a writing project for the month, whatever it […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Little Mouse

*Giveaway posted 18th August, enter by 24th August 2016* Our <<GIVEAWAY>> this week is Little Mouse, a sweet, hardcover story that is a pleasure to read-aloud, all about one young mouse, his mother, and the highs and lows of everyday life. A day in the life of a toddler is a busy one – as all parents […] - Read more

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Book of the Week: Toad Delight by Morris Gleitzman

August 15, 2016

It’s been eight long years since we last had a new talking-cane-toad-adventure from Australia’s Morris Gleitzman. After his first story featuring cane toads, the aptly named Toad Rage, we have loved keeping up with Limpy’s antics and were very excited to hear that the gang are all back in Gleitzman’s newest book, Toad Delight! Limpy is worried. […] - Read more

Talking about toads with Morris Gleitzman

“Just goes to show we shouldn’t judge people, or amphibians, until we get to know them…” We chatted to one of Australia’s funniest and most loved children’s writers, Morris Gleitzman, ahead of the release of his newest book Toad Delight! You can learn more about the book here, and read on to find out why he […] - Read more

Celebrate Dork Day!

August 10, 2016

Celebrate Dork Day 2016! The Better Reading team love any event that supports reading, especially if it encourages kids. On September 10, it’s time to let your inner dork shine through and celebrate Dork Day! The bestselling Dork Diaries series is by Rachel Renée Russell, and stars Nikki Maxwell. It’s great for readers aged 9+, and because Dork […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Petunia Paris’s Parrot

July 14, 2016

*Giveaway posted 14th July, enter by Tuesday 19th July 2016* Our <<GIVEAWAY>> this week is a lot of fun to say (and read) – it’s Petunia Paris’s Parrot by Katie Haworth and Jo Williamson! It’s a picture book with wonderful illustrations and a witty story that will surprise you, just as the parrot is about to surprise Petunia… […] - Read more

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Author Q&A: Zana Fraillon

July 11, 2016

  Zana Fraillon‘s first novel for older children, The Bone Sparrow, is told from the eyes of young refugee Subhi, who has spent his entire life inside a immigration detention centre in rural Australia. While it deals with sensitive and upsetting topics, the novel manages to be full of hope, joy and bravery. You can read […] - Read more

Book of the Week: The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

Every so often a book comes along that will stay with you. They have a character whose voice and story ring so clear, and you feel just a little bit different after having read it. Zana Fraillon’s novel for older readers, The Bone Sparrow, is one of these. Nine year old Subhi’s voice comes through […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: When Michael Met Mina

July 7, 2016

*Giveaway posted 7th July, enter by 13th July 2016* Randa Abdel-Fattah is the author of several Australian novels for teenage readers that we loved, including Does My Head Look Big in This? and No Sex In the City, and we’re excited to be giving away copies of her newest book – ‘a novel for everyone who wants […] - Read more

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July New Releases for Kids of All Ages

July 4, 2016

For a lot of the country, it has gotten extra cold recently. That means it’s a perfect excuse to curl up, stay warm and read a good book! If you have a little one, check out our list of new picture books. Not only are these well told stories with lovely pictures, some of them […] - Read more

Our Picks for the Most Wondercump Dahl Words

July 1, 2016

We think everyone should adopt more Dahl words in their day-to-day conversation. If you’re running late, you better daddle! Maybe someone in the office is being a grump – why not call them a grunion instead? Those few-day-old-leftovers you heated up aren’t looking so good – maybe it’s glubbage… Here are some of our all-time […] - Read more

Book of the Week: the new whoppsy-whiffling Roald Dahl Dictionary

Not since Shakespeare has one man invented so many words. And yes, so we may not use poppyrot and wondercrump in casual conversation all that often – but we should! Roald Dahl invented a variety of words that are just simply fun to say, and now there’s a handy resource to working out what they […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Introducing Teddy

June 30, 2016

*Giveaway posted 30th June, enter by 6th July 2016* We had a great response to picture book Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton and Dougal MacPherson as our Book of the Week last week, and if you haven’t read it yet – here’s your chance, as we have 5 copies to GIVEAWAY! Jessica Walton was looking for a […] - Read more

Meet Ivy Pocket – the girl everyone is trying to avoid

June 23, 2016

A great many people have said things about the 12 year old maid known as Ivy Pocket. Some believe she’s ‘a foolish girl,’ ‘a devil,’ or even a ‘public menace!’ Of course, people have also been known to call her ‘a lady’s maid of the highest quality,’ and remark that she is, as a rule, […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Basket Cat

*Giveaway posted 23rd June, enter by 29th June 2016* This week’s GIVEAWAY is a cute board book for little ones. Basket Cat is, quite simply, a cat who loves baskets. A new title from illustrator Katie Abey, who says her work  ‘features puns and crazy animals from my brain’. Works for us! Basket Cat loves baskets […] - Read more

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Author Q&A: Jessica Walton, Author of Introducing Teddy

June 17, 2016

“I wanted to communicate that friendship, or in my case the relationship between a parent and their child, should not be changed or damaged because a person reveals more to us about who they are. Love is based on something deeper and stronger than a person’s gender identity, name or clothing.”  Introducing Teddy is a new […] - Read more

Book of the Week: Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton and Dougal MacPherson

Why kids (and parents!) love it: Jessica Walton was looking for a book to help explain her dad’s transition to her young son. After struggling to find options that featured transgender or gender diverse characters she decided she’d just have to write it herself. The result is Introducing Teddy, a new Australian picture book all […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Ivy Pocket Sets

June 16, 2016

*Giveaway posted 16th June, enter by 22nd June 2016* We adored Caleb Krisp’s wickedly funny Anyone But Ivy Pocket (you can read our interview with him here – but that isn’t even his real name! How sneaky), and now there’s a sequel: Somebody Stop Ivy Pocket! We’re reading and loving it so far, and we think you […] - Read more

Locker Hero: Read About The Misadventures of Max Crumbly

June 9, 2016

Meet Max Crumbly. Things he likes: superheroes, comics, writing wicked raps, drawing – and maybe Erin Madison. Things he hates: Doug ‘Thug’ Thurston, panic attacks, his ‘socially dysfunctional bladder’ (yup, it’s the worst) and dark, enclosed spaces – so imagine how terrible it is that Thug STUFFED HIM IN A LOCKER. Oh, and he also […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Who’s Next? Guess Who?

*Giveaway posted 9th June, enter by 15th June 2016* Our GIVEAWAY this week is a little different – it’s a picture book and an activity book rolled into one! Who’s Next? Guess Who? has ‘a cast of quirky animals on each spread, children are prompted by questions to guess who will appear on the next page […] - Read more

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June New Releases for All Ages

June 2, 2016

Stuck for a new read for a kid or teen this month? We’ve compiled Book Lists to round up just a few of the many great books hitting the shelves this June! Click here for the list of picture books, there’s new titles from Julia Donaldson, Jeannie Baker and more! If you have older readers, […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: The Detective Dog

*Giveaway posted 2nd June, enter by 8th June 2016* Julia Donaldson has done it again! We have copies of  her brand new picture book The Detective Dog to giveaway. With witty words by Julia and cheery illustrations by Sara Ogilvie, this one will find a place in any child’s collection.   Peter’s dog Nell has an […] - Read more

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Australia’s Most Borrowed Library Books for Children and Young Adults

June 1, 2016

Last week Civica, Australia’s leading provider of library information, collection, management and library staffing solutions, partnering with the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), released their lists of the books young Australians across the country have been requesting and devouring from our libraries for the first quarter of 2016. You can check out the list of children’s […] - Read more

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Kids Top 50: And the winners are…

May 27, 2016

This year Better Reading asked you to choose your all-time, favourite kids’ book- and you guys delivered! While we are still tallying up all your votes, we want to thank everyone wholeheartedly for getting involved. The list will be announced soon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, we want to congratulate the winners of our […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: How to Capture an Invisible Cat

May 24, 2016

*Giveaway opens 26th May, enter by 1st June 2016* We’re always excited for wacky new book series that can engage cheeky, fun-loving young readers. This week’s giveaway does just that, as Paul Tobin (author of the Angry Birds comics and cartoon shorts) starts the ‘Genius Factor’ series with How to Capture an Invisible Cat! Every […] - Read more

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ABIA Children’s and YA Winners

May 23, 2016

The Australian Book Industry Awards are decided by a panel of industry experts, who get together to celebrate (and assess) some of the fantastic titles that are published in Australia each and every year. In 2015 the top overall award for Book of the Year went to a kids book: The 52-Storey Treehouse by Andy […] - Read more

Need a new book for a young reader but can’t make it to the library today? We might have the solution…

May 18, 2016

  Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE the feel of going into the local library – checking out the new books, making a pile so big we can’t actually carry it, marking the day the books are due so we don’t get overdue fines. Regular library visits are also a great way to help kids […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Bird and Bear and the Special Day

*Giveaway opens 19th May, enter by 25th May 2016* This week we have a very sweet little picture book to giveaway. Bird and Bear and the Special Day is the second book to feature Bird and Bear by award-winning illustrator Ann James. It looks at opposites, shadow play, and especially friendship. Bird and Bear are the best […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: A Court of Thorns and Roses Packs

May 12, 2016

*Giveaway posted 12th May, enter by 18th May 2016* This week’s giveaway is exciting for any fans of bestselling YA fantasy author Sarah J Maas! To celebrate the release of A Court of Mist and Fury, the sequel to the huge bestseller A Court of Thorns and Roses, we have packs containing BOTH books to giveaway! You may […] - Read more

YA Author Tommy Wallach tours Australia

Hailing from Brooklyn, Tommy Wallach is the bestselling author of two young adult novels that we at Better Reading absolutely loved! You can read more about New York Times bestseller, We All Looked Up here, but there’s an asteroid, an End of the World Party, and characters and events that feel genuine and raw. His second novel is Thanks for […] - Read more

Talking about hats, humour and home with bestselling author Jon Klassen

May 6, 2016

“It is a really special thing when you find out that something you thought was funny or sad or scary does the same thing to people you haven’t ever met.” Better Reading Kids was very excited to chat to bestselling and award-winning author/illustrator Jon Klassen ahead of his first ever visit to Australia this May. […] - Read more

Meet Milo the Dog in a Stunning Picture Book by Tohby Riddle

May 5, 2016

Milo is a beautifully illustrated picture book that brought a smile to our faces, as we followed Milo on his journey of discovery. Milo is an ordinary dog, living an ordinary life. He has a perfectly acceptable kennel (and it isn’t even on the rough side of town), a part-time job as a messenger, and […] - Read more


*Giveaway posted 5th May, enter by 11th May 2016* This week’s giveaway is a beautiful Australian picture book from two award-winning creators. Mrs Dog is a farm dog at the end of her working life. She spends her days shadowing the steps of Tall-One — the farmer. When the pair discover an abandoned lamb one day, Mrs […] - Read more

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The Importance of Choice and Why You Should Keep Reading Aloud: Findings from Scholastic Australia’s Inaugural Reading Report.

May 4, 2016

Here at Better Reading Kids, we are always interested in new research about how and why kids read, and how to help encourage a lifelong love of books.   This year Scholastic Australia prepared their inaugural Kids & Family Reading Report to study ‘Australian children’s and parent’s attitudes and behaviours towards reading for pleasure’. You […] - Read more

May New Release Picture Books and Novels for Kids

We know it can be overwhelming to walk into a bookstore or library each month and be bombarded with so many great new releases, so every month Better Reading Kids does a round-up of books hitting the shelves that we are excited to share with kids we know.   There are plenty of animals in […] - Read more

Author Mick Elliott on creating the crazy, shape-shifting world of The Turners

May 3, 2016

  There’s a lot of fun to be had in the world of The Turners. You can read more about why we love the first book and think this series will be great for all primary and early high school readers here, even those who are hesitant and might need some encouragement! We got a glimpse […] - Read more

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Book of the Week: The Turners

Why kids (and parents!) love it: For too long, there has been a hole in the children’s book market – where are the novels about genetically modified hamsters? About villains who are half man, half snake? A how-to on handling the awkwardness that comes with shape shifting in the middle of your school library? Never […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Are You Sitting Comfortably?

April 28, 2016

*Giveaway posted 28th April, enter by 4th May 2016* This week’s picture book giveaway is all about finding that perfect spot to read, so before you read this post – Are YOU sitting comfortably?! Have you found the perfect snuggle-up-and-lose-yourself-in-a-book place? Somewhere comfy, NOT itchy-fuzzy? Somewhere quiet, NOT buzz-buzzy?..You have? Great!..Unfortunately the little chap in […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: I Am Doodle Cat

April 21, 2016

*Giveaway posted 21st April, enter by 27th April 2016* This week we have copies of a hilariously adorable picture book to giveaway! Meet Doodle Cat: “I am red like a really ripe tomato. Sometimes I find it hard to choose between dancing and clawing the rug so I just do both at the same time. I make […] - Read more

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The UK’s Favourite Heroes, Villains, and Modern Children’s Classics

April 20, 2016

At Better Reading we’re asking Australia what their all-time favourite kids book is, so to inspire you, here are some of the United Kingdom’s picks! You can read about who they chose as the best heroes from children’s literature here, the most evil of villains here, and what they voted as future kids’ classics. What […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Colours of Madeleine Pack

April 14, 2016

*Giveaway posted 14th April, enter by 20th April 2016* The Colours of Madeleine by Jaclyn Moriarty is a breathtakingly original young-adult series from one of Australia’s favourite writers for teens, and you could win the whole trilogy! Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England, the World – a city of spires, Isaac Newton and Auntie’s Tea Shop. Elliot […] - Read more

Watch the new trailer for J.K Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!

April 11, 2016

Well, we are looking forward to this one! In cinemas November, Fanastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he arrives at a magical congress in New York. Things go awry when one of the creatures in his magical briefcase escapes, turning the city and Newt’s own world upside down. Set in […] - Read more

Young Adult author Teri Terry on writing page-turning plots, multiple perspectives and characters that keep you guessing.

April 7, 2016

‘No surprises here: I like making things up. The crazier the more fun!’ Teri Terry (yes, that is her real name) writes gripping reads for teens, and is the author of Slated (and its sequels Fractured and Shattered), Mind Games, Dangerous Games and now Book of Lies. She chatted to Better Reading Kids about crafting her novels, balancing truth and fantasy, […] - Read more

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Read the First Chapter of Squishy Taylor and the Bonus Sisters!

Don’t just take our word for how fun Squishy’s adventures are – download the first chapter and start reading more about Squishy’s adventures in Book #1, ‘Squishy Taylor and the Bonus Sisters!’ Why we love it: The Squishy stories are fresh and lively, with a realistic inner-city Australian setting; an engaging blend of intrigue, problem […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Squishy Taylor Book Packs

*Giveaway posted 7th April, enter by 13th April 2016*   We love the Squishy Taylor series and we think you will too – and we have Squishy Taylor book packs to giveaway! They are great for kids around the same reading level as the ‘Lulu Bell’, ‘EJ12’ and ‘WeirDo’ series. In Book #1, Squishy Taylor and the […] - Read more

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April New Releases for Kids of All Ages

April 4, 2016

Another month, another great set of new reads for kids! Here at Better Reading Kids we like to stay up to date with what’s new, and share some of our favourites with you. Quirky fun awaits in a few of our new April picture books, including more lively interactivity in the world of Hervé Tullet […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: It’s a Little Baby

March 31, 2016

*Giveaway posted 31st March, enter by 6th April 2016* Our prize this week is an adorable new board book from bestseller Julia Donaldson, this time with illustrator Rebecca Cobb. It’s a Little Baby has flaps to lift and a song to sing, we think it’ll be a hit with babies and toddlers. Somebody’s hiding. I wonder who. It’s […] - Read more

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Indie Book Awards’ Winners for Kids and YA

March 24, 2016

Huge congratulations to Aaron Blabey and Fiona Wood for being voted by independent booksellers as the Children and Young Adult category winners in the 2016 Indie Book Awards! For 2016, the Children’s Winner was Aaron Blabey’s The Bad Guys: Episode 1. Aaron Blabey is the bestselling picture book author of the Pig the Pug series, as well as […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Stanley the Amazing Knitting Cat

*Giveaway posted 24th March, enter by 30th March 2016* Calling all crafty kids! This week we are excited to have copies of a new picture book about a very special feline: Stanley the Amazing Knitting Cat by Emily Mackenzie! Stanley LOVES to knit. He knocks up pom-poms at breakfast time, whips up bobble hats at bath time. He […] - Read more

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Rocking the Rhyme: the Importance of Poetry for Kids

March 23, 2016

We have written extensively on the advantages of reading aloud to children, but to celebrate World Poetry Day we wanted to focus on the particular benefits of sharing poetry with young ones. First of all, it’s fun. Many adults have fond memories of having rhyming classics by Dr Seuss, Roald Dahl or A.A. Milne read […] - Read more

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Sharing a book you love, finding a new favourite and donating to an important charity: why you should host a Great Book Swap!

March 18, 2016

“The Great Book Swap is a win-win. Not only does it help raise money to improve literacy levels in remote communities, but the excitement and fun that a book swap generates will help improve literacy levels in your community or organisation as well!” Andy Griffiths, ILF Ambassador.   When you find a book that means […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Olive the Alien

March 17, 2016

*Giveaway posted 17th March,  enter by 23rd March 2016* This week we are excited to giveaway five (5) copies of Olive the Alien by Katie Saunders, a picture book that is ideal for any young siblings struggling with a new arrival.   Archie loves his little sister very much. But he doesn’t always understand Olive’s strange behaviour. […] - Read more

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Picture Books for Easter

March 10, 2016

With Easter coming up, we think it’s nice to consider non-chocolate gifts for young ones and have compiled a list of eight Easter themed picture books. Click on the link above, and visit the ‘Book Lists’ section of this website to find dozens of themed lists of books for both children and adults. - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Signed Maisy Pack

*Giveaway posted 10th March, enter by 16th March 2016* We have an extra special prize to giveaway this week – to celebrate the wonderful Lucy Cousins’ recent trip to Australia we have one pack of three Maisy books SIGNED by Lucy herself! Cousins’ books have over 20 millions copies all over the world. Her best-known creation, Maisy, has […] - Read more

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A wacky other world-y adventure awaits in Hamish and the Neverpeople

March 8, 2016

The earth is in danger. Seriously dangerous danger. Luckily Hamish Ellerby and his friends in the PDF (that’s the Pause Defence Force, who you may remember saved the world once already in Hamish and the Worldstoppers) are on the case! If you’re a kid aged 8-12 you should get ready to read this book (it’s by […] - Read more

A New Australian: Meet Teresa, the plucky new heroine in a historical book for primary readers

March 7, 2016

Teresa Fontana doesn’t fully understand why her beloved country of Malta keeps getting bombed. She just knows when she has to go into the shelters it will be dark and scary, and she needs to keep her hanky over her mouth and breathe real slow. At least her Nanna is there, and her Mama, and […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Knightley and Son Pack

March 3, 2016

*Giveaway posted 3rd March, enter by 9th March 2016* This week we’d like to introduce you to Knightley and Son – two great detectives for the price of one! This series by Rohan Gavin, perfect for kids aged 9 and up, feature an unlikely hero and a brilliant comic cast, perfect for fans of Sherlock and […] - Read more

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New Picture Books, Chapter Books and Teenage Reads This Month

February 26, 2016

At Better Reading Kids we’re getting excited about the news books for all ages hitting this shelves this March. We’ve put together a list of the newest picture books we’re most looking forward to sharing, including an energetic sloth, a chip-obsessed pigeon, an incognito owl and more! For older readers, we’ve selected some of our favourite new […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: George the Bilby Chef

February 25, 2016

*Giveaway posted 25th February, enter by 3rd March 2016* This week we are excited to giveaway five (5) copies of George the Bilby Chef  and the Raspberry Muffin Surprise by Jedda Robaard, a picture book about the adorable George, a little bilby who just loves to cook. Join George and his friends on their baking adventures! It’s Betty Echidna’s birthday, […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Anyone But Ivy Pocket

February 18, 2016

*Giveaway posted 18th February, enter by 24th February 2016* This week we are thrilled to giveaway five (5) copies of Anyone But Ivy Pocket  by Caleb Krisp! This ghoulishly great novel will delight fans of Lemony Snicket as it sweeps you up into Ivy’s adventures. Ivy Pocket is a twelve-year-old maid with all the natural instincts of […] - Read more

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Our Favourite Detective Stories

February 11, 2016

If you’ve got a young reader who can’t get enough of a good mystery, then we have just the thing for you! From Nancy Drew and Ruby Redfort to Tintin and Freddy the Pig, we put together our list of some classic and surprising detective novels for mid to late primary school readers.  Many of […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Arthur and the Curiosity

*Giveaway posted 11th February, enter by 17th February 2016* This week we are excited to giveaway five (5) copies of Arthur and the Curiosity, the first picture book from Lucinda Gifford, winner of the inaugural Five Mile Press Illustrator Prize. In this picture book, ideal for a curious young child, Arthur and his friends are on a […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Little Lunch Triple the Treats

February 4, 2016

*Giveaway posted 4th February, enter by 11th February 2016* ‘Funny, gross and dashingly illustrated…What more could an eight-year-old ask for?’ – The Age This week, we’re excited to be giving away copies of the latest tie-in edition of ‘Little Lunch’ stories. The ‘Little Lunch’ series features irresistibly hilarious short stories about everything that can happen […] - Read more

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Books of the Week: The Squishy Taylor series

February 3, 2016

‘Squishy Taylor’ is a brand new Australian series for early readers. We can’t wait to share it with some of the kids we know! Why we love it: The Squishy stories are fresh and lively, with a realistic inner-city Australian setting; an engaging blend of intrigue, problem solving and family dynamics; and – best of […] - Read more

Maisy Creator Lucy Cousins on Favourite Characters, the Importance of Fun in Kids’ Books and How Her Own Family Influenced Her Work

February 1, 2016

‘The most important thing is having fun. There’s so much children can learn from books through fun.’ Cousins’ books have sold many millions of copies, in over 29 languages. Her best-known creation, Maisy, has been around for over 25 years, and is still having new adventures! And her other delightful books include Jazzy in the Jungle, […] - Read more

Picture Book Recommendations: Bedtime Stories, Books About Books and the Latest Releases

January 29, 2016

The team at Better Reading Kids regularly compile lists of books by theme, age group or release date. Our recent lists include: favourite picture books about bedtime, lively stories which celebrate the joy of books and reading, and a round-up of the brand new (February 2016) picture books we’re most looking forward to sharing with the […] - Read more

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New novels, chapter books and series

At Better Reading Kids we’ve been checking out some of the very latest releases on the shelves. We’ve put together a list of the new (January and February 2016) novels and chapter books we’re most looking forward to sharing with kids we know. And, we’ve created a round-up of some of the best new and recent […] - Read more

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Squishy Taylor author Ailsa Wild on Circus Performance, Mystery Stories, and Writing for Today’s Kids.

‘Most Australian kids live in the city…I was writing for all of us, so we can start to really notice that this is what normal looks like in Australia.’ Ailsa Wild is a circus performer, actor, writing-workshop facilitator – and the author of the wonderful Squishy Taylor series! (Read our Squishy Taylor review here) We […] - Read more

Bunkbed Acrobatics and Sweeping Kids Away with a Story: Ailsa Wild and Ben Wood introduce Squishy Taylor

‘I hope young readers see little bits of themselves reflected in the characters and it gives them a sense that they belong in the world.’ ‘Squishy Taylor’ is a new Australian series for early readers. The Squishy stories are fresh and lively, with a realistic inner-city Australian setting; an engaging blend of intrigue, problem solving […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Cheeky Monkey Manners books

January 27, 2016

*Giveaway posted 28th January, enter by 3rd February 2016* This week, we’re delighted to be giving away sets of two ‘Cheeky Monkey Manners’ books. Suitable for quite young kids (18 months and up), these bright, fun stories follow Monkey as he goes to a birthday party, inadvertently upsetting the host and learning to say ‘Sorry’, […] - Read more

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Caleb Krisp on His Character, Ivy Pocket, and the Value of Books and Reading

January 25, 2016

Books ‘are a refuge and a wonderland…they thrill and comfort…break hearts and kindle hope.’ Caleb Krisp (not his real name) is an Australian author and the creator of unstoppable – and hilarious – heroine, Ivy Pocket. His first Ivy book has been translated into 23 languages and rights have also been sold to Paramount Studios, to make […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Witch Wars book packs

January 21, 2016

*Giveaway posted 21st January, enter by 27th January 2016* This week, we’re excited to be giving away sets of the first two books in the Witch Wars series. If your 7-10 year old is looking for a new series to get hooked on, Witch Wars could be it! Witch Wars is a little bit reminiscent of The […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Please, Open this Book!

January 14, 2016

*Giveaway posted 14th January 2016. Enter by 20th January 2016.* This week, we’re delighted to be giving away copies of Please, Open this Book!, a clever and sharply humorous riff on the question of what happens to the characters when you close a book. Opening the book is the only way to save the group of monkeys who […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Toilet Time with Flush Button

January 6, 2016

*Giveaway posted 7th January. Enter by 13th January 2016* If your New Year’s resolution is to tackle toilet training, then this week’s giveaway could help! Toilet Time for Girls and Toilet Time for Boys are board books packed with bright and friendly illustrations to introduce the idea (and benefits) of using the toilet to your kids. […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Wordburger by David Astle

December 30, 2015

*GIVEAWAY Posted 31 Dec 2015. Enter By 6th Jan 2016.* This week, we’re excited to be giving away copies of Wordburger – the perfect holiday book for word-loving kids! David Astle – known to many kids from his appearances on SBS’s Letters and Numbers and to their parents as ‘DA’, the king of cryptic crosswords […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: The Anti-Princess Club

December 16, 2015

*Giveaway posted 17th December, enter by 22nd December 2015 This week, we’re giving away copies of the latest book in the Anti-Princess Club series. This series follows the lives of 10-year-old best friends who thumb their noses at helpless fairytale princesses and form a club with the motto: ‘we don’t need rescuing’. ‘Finally! An engaging […] - Read more

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What Will Your Kids be Reading This Summer? (Novels, Non-Fiction, Picture Books …)

December 15, 2015

What will your kids be reading this Summer? We asked this question of several parents we know and came up with some wonderfully varied lists of great reads! If you’re searching for some Summer inspiration, try these: 42 Novels and Chapter Books for Summer Reading (you might also be interested in our article about Fantasy […] - Read more

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Beautiful Books: Classics and Non-Fiction

The Better Reading Kids’ team regularly compile lists of great children’s books on popular themes or topics. Recently, we turned our focus to beautiful books, suitable for special keepsakes or gifts. We reviewed some treasured, timeless classics and spectacular and intriguing non-fiction (WAY more lovely to look at than Wikipedia!) To view these lists, click on the direct links […] - Read more

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The Stories Behind the PM’s Literary Award Winners: One Minute’s Silence and The Protected

Congratulations to David Metzenthen, Michael Camilleri and Claire Zorn, who have received Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for 2015! Metzenthen and Camilleri won the Children’s Fiction Award for One Minute’s Silence.  The theme of war is increasingly being explored in children’s books (an extraordinary nineteen different books on the theme were entered in the Picture Book […] - Read more

Screen Time and Reading Time: Never the twain shall meet?

December 14, 2015

With reports that screen time can impact everything from academic results to physical activity and health, it’s generally agreed that there needs to be a limit on how much time kids spend ‘on screens’. Exactly what that figure is – how many hours per day – still seems to be up for debate. More complex […] - Read more

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Reaching Out with Books: How Some Inspiring Kids are Sharing Stories with Others Around the World

December 11, 2015

At Better Reading Kids we know how much pleasure books can bring to kids, and what an enormous impact reading can have on children’s academic, emotional and social development. Books can provide a window into other people’s lives. Creating their own stories to share with other children can also be a wonderful experience for kids. […] - Read more

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The Meaning of Giving and Christmas Traditions – Book Recommendations

December 10, 2015

The Better Reading Kids team regularly pull together themed lists of book recommendations. With Christmas approaching, many of the kids we know are a little obsessed about presents! So we’ve created a list of 8 picture books about giving and receiving – you can celebrate the joy of opening a gift, talk about the real […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Little Creatures Flap Books

*Giveaway posted 10th December, enter by 15th December 2015* This week we’re thrilled to have some gorgeous little flap books to give away. The Little Koala who Lost His Tree and The Little Joey who Lost Her Bounce are new in the ‘Little Creatures’ series. Charmingly illustrated in watercolour and with gentle humour throughout, they […] - Read more

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Listening to a ‘Great Read’: Reasons to Enjoy Audio Books With Your Kids

December 4, 2015

Do you and your kids ever listen to audio books? With a long summer (and perhaps a car trip or two) ahead, this might be the perfect time to try one. Several families we know have shared enjoyable hours in the car listening to audio readings of favourite novels.  They create fewer squabbles than trying […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Alma Classics ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘The Selfish Giant’

December 3, 2015

*Giveaway posted 3rd December, enter by 8th December* This week, we’re giving away sets of two books from the Alma Children’s Classics series: The Complete Peter Pan and The Selfish Giant and other Stories. Every child’s library should include a selection of classics, and these would also make lovely keepsake gifts. They’re paperback editions, with scattered black […] - Read more

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Click Through For Inspiration! Stories and Images About Kids’ Reading That Have Warmed Our Hearts This Week

November 27, 2015

From an author reflecting on the power of reading to a love letter to bookshops and a clever literacy program, we’ve been inspired by some truly heartwarming stories and images of reading recently. An author reflects on the power of reading aloud: Author Kate diCamillo is currently the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: The Cleo Stories: A Friend and a Pet

November 26, 2015

*Giveaway posted 26th November, enter by 1st December* This week, we’re excited to have copies of the gorgeous The Cleo Stories: A Friend and a Pet to give away. This is the second book about imaginative little Cleo and her wonderful family, created by much-loved and award-winning collaborators Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood. There are two stories […] - Read more

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Picture Book Recommendations: Funny stories and Princesses with Attitude

November 23, 2015

The Better Reading Kids’ team regularly compile lists of great children’s books on popular themes or topics. Recently, we gathered some of the best picture books to make kids (and parents) giggle – so much fun for bedtime reading! And, we reviewed some favourite stories about princesses with a difference – these girls are resourceful, […] - Read more

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Favourite authors and new discoveries: November picture books and novels we’ll be sharing with kids

It’s a busy time of year in bookshops, with shelves just groaning with brand new titles published ahead of the Christmas and summer reading seasons. Whether your looking for something for your child’s home library or a gift which the recipient is unlikely to already own, new releases are a good choice. Our Kids’ team […] - Read more

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Studies of Kids and Reading We’ve Been Catching Up On This Week

November 20, 2015

What exactly is it that reading does for us, and how does reading as a child change us as adults? At Better Reading Kids, we’re big readers and we love sharing the joy of reading with kids. We also know that reading has academic, emotional and social benefits for kids and we’re always interested to […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Colour, Snap, App!

November 19, 2015

*Giveaway posted 19th November, enter by 24th November* This week, we’re giving away copies of an activity book with a real difference. Once you’ve coloured in the sixteen pictures in Colour, Snap, App!, you can download an app (free on the App store or google play), take photos of your work – and create animated […] - Read more

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‘Maybe We’re Just Big Kids’: Tim Miller and Matt Stanton on Creating Hilarious Stories Boys Want to Read

November 13, 2015

‘We’ll do pretty much anything to engage with kids’ Young picture book creators Tim Miller and Matt Stanton have worked together on four hilarious books, including the bestselling There’s a Monster Under My Bed Who Farts. Their new book is Dinosaur Dump – a gross but hilarious dinosaurs-and-poo story which three and four year old […] - Read more

Asking ‘What If?’ and Zooming Round on Dirt Bikes: The Story Behind Ryan Graudin’s Enthralling YA Novel ‘Wolf by Wolf’

‘As a writer, I try to examine all facets of life through a single question: What if? This question tends to lead to more questions, which lead to more questions …’ – Ryan Graudin Ryan Graudin’s second YA novel, Wolf by Wolf, has just been released to enormous acclaim. It’s garnering wonderful endorsements from fellow […] - Read more

One of the Most Intriguing and Heart-Stoppingly Exciting YA Books We’ve Read in a Long Time: ‘Wolf by Wolf’

When we saw that reviewers were comparing Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf to both Hunger Games and The Book Thief, we were intrigued! And when we spotted the glowing endorsements from Graudin’s fellow authors including Amie Kaufman, we knew it was a must read! (‘Wolf by Wolf completely immerses the reader in a story they’ll never […] - Read more

Never Too Old: The Joy – and Benefits – of Reading Aloud With Older Kids

Do you read aloud with your kids, now they’re capable of reading on their own? The other day, the Better Reading team got talking about how much some of us love being read to, even as adults: just lying on the couch and listening to a wonderful, transporting story. One couple we know drove around Australia, […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: The Tapper Twins

November 12, 2015

*Giveaway posted 12th November, enter by 17th November* This week, we’re giving away sets of the first two books in the brand new Tapper Twins series. Funny and very clever, these books were created by the screenwriter behind Daddy Day Care, and feature 12 year old twins, Claudia and Reese. The twins couldn’t be more different – […] - Read more

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Remembrance Day: The Story Behind the Evocative, Beautiful ‘One Minute’s Silence’

November 6, 2015

The theme of war is increasingly being explored in children’s books. In fact, an extraordinary nineteen different books on the theme were entered in the Picture Book category of the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards for 2015 (this category incorporates illustrated books for a wide age range, from little ones to teens). We think One Minute’s […] - Read more

Can Eating Dinner Together Boost Your Kids’ Reading?

With everyone’s work and after-school commitments, it can be so hard to squeeze a family dinner – the sort that happens at a table, with family members actually talking to each other – into our evenings! But we certainly have fond memories of the family dinners of our childhoods, with conversations that connected us and taught us […] - Read more

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A whimsical (and deliciously scary) adventure about the power of friendship and imagination

November 5, 2015

What happens to childhood imaginary friends when their real-life children grow up and forget about them? We adored The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold and Emily Gravett: a whimsical – and sometimes scary – adventure about the power of imagination and friendship! And we’re thrilled to be sharing some of the illustrations and quotes from the […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Christmas Cooking and Craft for Kids

*Giveaway posted 5th November, enter by 10th November* It’s November already and the school term is racing away from us: time to think Christmas preparation! We’re excited to have five copies of Christmas Cooking and Craft for Kids to give away this week. It provides loads of inspiration for end of term fun, gifts to […] - Read more

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Books of the Week: The Kaboom Kid series by David Warner

October 30, 2015

This month sees the release of two new books in cricketer David Warner’s ‘The Kaboom Kid’ series. The series is already hugely popular with the kids we know of around 8, 9 and 10 and it’s gaining new fans all the time. Why they (and we) love it! Focusing on a group of Year Six […] - Read more

Why reading that same, favourite book at bedtime is doing your preschooler good

October 29, 2015

Does your little one ask for the same book over and over again at bedtime? It turns out that re-reading books, and reading at bedtime, have clear benefits for preschoolers. Last year, Sophie E. Williams and Jessica S. Horst from the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex in the UK undertook a study […] - Read more

New novels and picture books to add to your child’s library, or give as gifts (October 15)

As we race towards the end of the year and the Christmas season, there are even more brand-new reads than usual arriving in bookshops. New releases are especially appealing for prolific young readers, who like to discover new authors and series. And if you’re choosing a book as a gift, it’s often safest to go for something ‘brand new’, […] - Read more

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Dinosaur Stories to Delight Little Ones and Scary, Spooky Thrills for Primary Schoolers

Our Kids’ team regularly create lists of great books for kids, curated by theme or age group. Recently we put together a round-up of fourteen wonderful books for little dinosaur lovers, from storybooks to concepts (counting and opposites), to flap books and guide books. And for primary-school kids, we’ve gathered a dozen of our favourite scary, spooky […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Olive of Groves

*Giveaway posted 29th October, enter by 3rd November* This week, we’re excited to have special signed copies of Katrina Nannestad’s new children’s novel, Olive of Groves, to give away. Fellow author Judith Rossell describes this book as ‘Exciting, charming and very, very funny.’ When Olive arrives at Mrs Groves’ Boarding School for Naughty Boys, Talking […] - Read more

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Which picture books would YOU take into space?

October 28, 2015

Have you heard of Storytime from Space? The International Space Station has a range of picture books onboard (five in orbit now; and seven more to be delivered soon). The astronauts are filming videos of themselves reading aloud, which will be streamed online. You can find two recordings on now and three more are being […] - Read more

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Reading aloud with Missy Higgins, Brian Nankervis and Nick Cave: We Talk to the Founder of Story Box Library

October 23, 2015

Imagine having Jane Kennedy (Frontline) read you a classic Bob Graham picture book; Missy Higgins share a quirky Australian read, or Brian Nankervis (Rockwiz) introduce you to a new author! That’s the experience offered by Story Box Library – an online resource offering video read-alouds (with at least one new reading added to the collection every […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Peter and the Wolf

October 22, 2015

* Giveaway posted 22nd October, enter by 27th October** This week, we’re thrilled to have five beautiful hardcover copies of a new picture-book adaptation of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf to give away. The simple adaptation has a modern twist about showing respect for each other, so that everyone can enjoy a happy ending. And, as […] - Read more

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Celebrating Ladybird Books – And Would You Buy a Ladybird Book on Hangovers or Mindfulness?

October 19, 2015

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of Ladybird Books. The Anniversary is being celebrated with an exhibition touring the UK, publication of a book called  Ladybird by Design which traces some of the history and – even more fun – the launch of a range of brand new, ‘official’ Ladybird adult books on topics like hangovers […] - Read more

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Even More Reasons to Make Time for Reading: Self-Esteem, Creativity, Friendship and Good Sleep!

October 15, 2015

Love a good book? Here are even more reasons to give yourself time to read – and to encourage your kids to build the reading habit! A recent UK study found that reading for pleasure for 30 minutes a week can have huge life benefits, including: Heightened creativity Improved state of mind (non-readers are 28% more likely […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Harry Potter illustrated edition

**Giveaway posted 15th October, enter by 20th October 2015.** This week, we’re very excited to have two copies of the stunning new illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to give away. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone needs little introduction! Kay’s dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and Rowling’s characters will captivate fans and new […] - Read more

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The Children’s Books that Inspired Writers

October 13, 2015

Where does the inspiration to be a writer come from? Often, it begins with the books we read and love. Our Kids’ team regularly pull together lists of recommended books for specific age groups, or about popular themes. Recently we created a slightly different list, by asking six children’s authors – some with long careers behind them, […] - Read more

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More Primary Reading Recommendations: Books for Animal-Lovers and Books for 8, 9 and 10 year olds

The Book Lists section of this website is home to dozens of curated lists of books for both kids and adults. You’ll find books arranged by theme and age group. There’s nothing more motivating for young readers than reading about a topic they love. For all those kids who love animals, adore their pets or […] - Read more

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Our Facebook Photo: Created By the Amazing, Much-Loved Graeme Base!

The “awesome” reading-themed cartoon which currently adorns our facebook page was generously created for Better Reading by Graeme Base. We’re thrilled! Graeme was voted one of Australia’s favourite authors in a recent survey by our friends at Booktopia. He’s the author-illustrator of many iconic books including the beautifully detailed alphabet book Animalia, which has been in print […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Grug Gets Lost and Grug Meets a Dinosaur

October 8, 2015

**Giveaway posted 8th October, enter by 13th October 2015.** This week, we’re excited to be giving away copies of the irresistible new Grug adventures, great for sharing with kids of around 2 and up. Where will Grug go next: will it be to your house? Whether he’s on his way home from shopping or heading […] - Read more

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How Richard Scarry, Lord of the Rings and Hans Holbein influenced Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay

October 6, 2015

Today is publication day for the first-ever fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter and artist Jim Kay has given an interview about the process of illustrating the book.   We’re enthralled by the delicate colour and dream-like quality of Jim Kay’s pictures! And J.K. Rowling has said: ‘Seeing Jim Kay’s illustrations moved me profoundly. I love […] - Read more

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‘Hand-shaking pressure’: the huge challenge of illustrating the much-loved Harry Potter books

October 2, 2015

What does it take to visually re-imagine one of the most-loved stories of recent times: a story that literally millions of people have read, been enthralled by and ‘pictured’ in their own heads, and which has already been turned into one of the most successful film franchises of all time? That’s the task that faced Jim […] - Read more

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Do dads read aloud differently? And why it’s important that fathers tell stories.

October 1, 2015

Do you remember your father reading to you? Or if you’re a dad now, do you enjoy reading time with the kids? This week, we caught up on some fascinating research by Dr Elisabeth Duursma. While at Harvard University (she’s now based at the University of Wollongong), Dr Duursma looked at the benefits associated with fathers reading to […] - Read more

Books of the Week: ‘Grug Gets Lost’ and ‘Grug Meets a Dinosaur’

Do you remember the Grug stories from your childhood? We’re long-time fans, so we’re very excited that two brand new adventures have just been released: Grug Gets Lost and Grug Meets a Dinosaur.   The first Grug books were published in the late 1970s and there are now over thirty stories available! Each book is […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Timmy Failure 1-4 (includes signed copies)

**Giveaway posted 1st October, enter by 6th October 2015** Have your kids discovered Timmy Failure? We’re thrilled to have 10 special sets of the series to give away. Each set includes the brand new, fourth book Sanitised for Your Protection and SIGNED copies of Books 1-3! Take eleven-year-old Timmy Failure — the comically self-confident CEO […] - Read more

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A powerful memoir for teens, their families and teachers: Sophie Hardcastle’s story of mental illness

September 25, 2015

Sophie Hardcastle was a teenager when she was first struck by mental illness. At sixteen she was misdiagnosed with major depression and she was admitted to hospital four times over the next two years. She completed her HSC while in hospital, achieving an ATAR of 98.25, and receiving a Premier’s Award for All-Round Excellence. She […] - Read more

Our Latest Infants and Primary Reading Recommendations

Our Kids’ team regularly pull together lists of recommended books for specific age groups, or about popular themes. Recently we spoke to the kids we know, to pull together a list of tried-and-tested series that Years 1-3 children will love. Friends and friendship groups are an incredibly important part of any primary-schooler’s life. And it’s […] - Read more

The Library using Lego for Literacy

Broome Public Library has launched the ‘Build Up Lego Club’ to encourage children to improve their literacy and comprehension. Lego building serves a number of purposes. One is training the brain to build cohesive concepts out of components. Club co-ordinator Ian McLean told ABC Kimberley Local Radio that: “Literacy and mathematics are based on units. In […] - Read more

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The magic of pop-ups, universally appealing doggy picture books and some swashbuckling pirate stories

Our Kids’ team regularly curate lists of great books on popular themes. We love novelty books and especially pop-ups, which give us a special twinge of nostalgia for our own childhoods and a tingle of wonder at how flat paper can become a magical, 3-D structure with the addition of a few folds and cuts. Recently […] - Read more

Book-related activities to fend off the ‘I’m Bored!’s

Looking for something to keep the kids occupied? How about making their own little books? Or doing some printing, making a lantern or colouring-in? Make a Book Write a story or collect some drawings and words about either your holiday adventures or your favourite hobby. To make a traditional ‘book’ with a spine: Take 3 sheets […] - Read more

Books That Celebrate Dads

Recently our Kids’ team reviewed some of the best picture books about dads, from Kisses for Daddy to My Dad Thinks He’s Funny, and more. We also celebrated a dozen of the most memorable fathers in children’s books, from Fantastic Mr Fox to Arthur Weasley and Jack, Nim’s father in the Nim’s Island stories. Please click […] - Read more

‘Numbers are in everything’: the inspiration behind Lauren Child’s delightful new Charlie and Lola picture book

Lauren Child’s multi-award winning, bestselling children’s books have sold over 3 million books in 19 languages. She is the creator of much-loved characters Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort as well as Charlie and Lola. Her new book Charlie and Lola: One Thing is the first new Charlie and Lola story in five years. And we’re […] - Read more

Book of the Week: ‘Charlie and Lola: One Thing’ by Lauren Child

Why we love it! This new Charlie and Lola book, the first in five years, will be a real treat for existing fans and a wonderful introduction for kids who are now just old enough to enjoy them. Charlie and his little sister Lola are going for a walk to the shops. They’ve been told […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Signed Copies ‘Being Agatha’

September 24, 2015

**Giveaway posted 24th September, enter by 29th September** We’re thrilled to have three signed copies of Being Agatha by Anna Pignataro to give away. Pignataro is the illustrator of Too Busy Sleeping, Brave Little Penguin and many others. In Being Agatha she has created a sweet and reassuring picture book for sensitive little ones of […] - Read more

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Timeless Treats: Why The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Picture Books Continue to Delight New Generations

September 18, 2015

The Very Hungry Caterpillar book is now over 45 years old (first published in 1969) and has sold over 37 million copies worldwide: it has literally entertained and intrigued generations of children! And as well as a puppet show, it’s spawned all sorts of adaptations, some of which are probably more ‘official’ than others. A […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: The New ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ book

September 17, 2015

*Giveaway posted 17th September, enter by 22nd September* Have your kids discovered the ‘How to Train Your Dragon series’ yet? A great choice for both confident and reluctant readers, they’re funny, exciting and imaginative, with the kind of humour that boys of around 7 or 8 find irresistible. Set in the Viking world, they follow the adventures […] - Read more

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How Ancient Greece and Rome influence today’s kids’ books

September 11, 2015

The recent release of Rick Riordan’s new book Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes is a reminder of the appeal of the rich stories, images and ideas of the classical world. In fact, many children’s books are inspired in some way by Ancient Greece and Rome. Just think of all the wise owl characters in […] - Read more

Truly great reading aloud and storytelling

We’ve written a lot about the joy and benefits of reading aloud with kids. But what makes ‘good’ reading aloud? And how do you handle tricky situations like reading to a wriggly, jiggly child who can’t keep still, or reading to more than one child at once? Earlier this year, Melissa of Honey Bee Books […] - Read more

Children’s fantasy series from Australia that are loved around the world

This week (16th September) a new book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series will be released. The Tournament at Gorlan: The Early Years Book One is an ‘origin’ story, set before the events of The Ruins of Gorlan. John Flanagan’s series has been phenomenally popular not only in Australia but around the world. In fact, the world […] - Read more

GIVEAWAY: Maisy’s Pirate Ship pop-up book

September 10, 2015

*Giveaway posted 10th September, enter by 15th September, 2015*   We love pop-up books. And we’re big fans of the sweetly engaging, adventurous Maisy the mouse and her friends. So we’re excited to have eight copies of Maisy’s Pirate Ship to give away! Ahoy, me hearties! Are you ready for some swashbuckling fun? Brush up on your […] - Read more

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Three Heart-Warming Stories about Kids and Librarians

September 4, 2015

In a sea of celebrity scandal and cat memes, we love it when stories about kids and books rise to the top on social media! Here are three heartwarming kids-and-librarians stories that have hit our facebook and twitter feeds recently. We spotted a story on twitter about Alicia Tapia, a school librarian in San Francisco who […] - Read more

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Yasmeen Ismail on gender stereotypes, joyful illustrations and her inspiring ‘firecracker’ sister

I’m supposed to be made of sugar and spice and all things nice. But I’m sweet and sour not a little flower. Much has been written recently about gender stereotypes in children’s books. In her new picture book I’m a Girl!, former animator and talented children’s book creator Yasmeen Ismael tackles these stereotypes head-on. I’m a Girl! is also […] - Read more

The power of reading: how books help develop children’s empathy and boost their emotional development

‘There is strong evidence that reading for pleasure can increase empathy, improve relationships with others, reduce the symptoms of depression and the risk of dementia, and improve wellbeing throughout life.’ Reading picture books and fiction can have a very powerful influence on children, and not only in terms of functional literacy and academic achievement. Reading […] - Read more

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GIVEAWAY: Animal picture book pack

September 2, 2015

*giveaway posted 3rd Sept, enter by 8th Sept, 2015* We have a pack of 4 adorable animal-character picture books to give away. The pack includes one copy each of Ruby and Leonard and the Great Big Surprise and Too Tight, Bento!, both of which are charmingly illustrated by Judith Rossell. Ruby and Leonard is a delightful story about baking […] - Read more

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Rhyming read alouds, classic dog stories and more

August 28, 2015

Recently the Better Reading Kids team put together lists of great rhyming read aloud books to share with kids and classic dog characters we think all young children should meet. We’ve also taken a look back at 10 years of the CBCA Books of the Year for Younger Readers and the 12 books UK teachers […] - Read more

A Wimpy Kid in Latin? Imagine that!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid was released in a Latin translation (titled Commentarii de Inepto Puero) earlier this month. So, what was the biggest challenge for translator Monsignor Daniel Gallagher? It wasn’t finding a phrase for “cheese touch”. In fact, it was making the text fit in the speech bubbles in the illustrations, which cannot […] - Read more

Would these work here? Three U.S. initiatives encouraging kids to read

We were fascinated to read about three initiatives, both large- and small-scale, underway in America at the moment. Read and Ride The Read and Ride program encourages kids to sit on exercise bikes while reading at school. The program is currently running in more than 30 schools and has garnered media coverage around the US, and […] - Read more

What’s all the fuss about ‘that sleepy rabbit book’?

A self-published picture book which claims to lull children to sleep in minutes has become an international sales sensation. “Author Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin is a Swedish behavioural psychologist. He told The Independent (UK) that the language patterns and complementary images in The Rabbit that wants to fall asleep make it the “verbal equivalent of rocking […] - Read more

Friday Freebie: Mum, Dad, Nanna and Pop picture book pack

*freebie posted 28th August, enter by 2nd September 2015* This week we have something slightly different on offer for our freebie: we’re giving away ONE pack of four picture books celebrating families. The pack includes one copy each of the funny and warm celebrations of modern grandparents, My Nanna is a Ninja and My Pop is […] - Read more

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The stories behind this year’s Children’s Books of the Year

August 24, 2015

What’s involved in creating an award-winning children’s book? We’ve taken a look at the stories behind some of the moving, beautiful and inspiring winners and Honour Books from this year’s CBCA Book of the Year list.  Record breakers The big ‘story’ from the CBCA Awards this year (and the one that received most media coverage) […] - Read more

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Friday Freebies: Marsh Road Mysteries

August 21, 2015

*freebie posted Friday 21st August, enter by 27th August 2015* If you know a young reader who likes exciting stories focused on friendship, or loves solving mysteries, then ‘Marsh Road Mysteries’ is for them. These funny, thrilling stories feature 3 pretty ordinary kids who’ve been friends since playgroup. Minnie, Piotr and Andrew spend their time […] - Read more

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Three intriguing studies about reading aloud to kids

Regular readers of our articles will know we love sharing great stories with children, not in the least because it’s fun! And there’s nothing like passing on our passion for reading. Three recent studies have given us even more reasons to read aloud: What happens to kids’ brains when they listen to a story? There are […] - Read more

Friday Freebies: Ugly by Robert Hoge

August 14, 2015

*freebie posted 14th August, enter by 20th August 2015* A beaut story about one very ugly kid. Robert Hoge has told his inspiring story on ABC’s Australian Story, to other media and in a successful memoir for adults, Ugly. In this new book he writes about his childhood and early teen years, especially for children. We have 10 […] - Read more

How reading to pets can boost kids’ confidence

If your child is struggling a little with reading or lacks the confidence to read aloud to you or others at school, have you considered having them read to the family pet? Pets are non-judgmental and loving listeners. Kids often enjoy ‘looking after’ their pets in all sorts of ways and telling the family dog a […] - Read more

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Ed Muston on running a School Book Club and discovering great reads

Ed Muston is a booklover from Sydney’s inner west who runs a book club for his son’s school. We spoke to him about how the book club works, where his family discover new books, and some of his recent ‘picks’ for both kids and adults. When the parents at Taverners Hill Infants School wanted to […] - Read more

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Combined genius: much-loved author-illustrator teams, and how they work together

August 7, 2015

Many of our favourite children’s books – be they current bestselling ‘chapter books’ like the ‘Treehouse’ series, or classic picture books like ‘The Gruffalo’ – are the product of collaboration between an author (or authors) and illustrator. So, how exactly do authors and illustrators work together? Here, we look at six wonderful partnerships: 1. Andy […] - Read more

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Friday Freebies: Fuzzy Mud and Holes by Louis Sachar

*freebie posted 7th August, enter by 13th August, 2015* Louis Sachar’s Holes is one of our all-time favourite novels for young people, so we’re really excited to be offering both Holes and Sachar’s brand new book, Fuzzy Mud, this week! About Fuzzy Mud This brand new story has a big heart, lots of intrigue and […] - Read more

Three interesting facts about kids and books we learned in the last week

July 31, 2015

At Better Reading Kids we love sharing great stories with children. Reading together is chilling out and bonding time, when you get to explore imaginary worlds and play with words. We’re passionate readers ourselves, and there’s nothing like passing your own passion on to kids. We also understand that reading with kids gives them a great […] - Read more

Friday Freebies at Better Reading Kids: A Work in Progress

*Freebie posted 31st July, enter by 6th August 2015* This week, we’re excited to be giving away 10 copies of a memoir/guide to life for teens: A Work in Progress by Connor Franta. You might not have heard of Connor Franta, but the teenagers in your life almost certainly have. He has over 4 million […] - Read more

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Books about sport, animal characters and fresh reading recommendations for 10-12 year olds

July 30, 2015

The Better Reading Kids team have been putting together more lists of reading recommendations for kids, including: page-turning reads to motivate young sport fans (because there’s nothing more motivating for kids than reading about a topic they love) our favourite stories with Australian animal characters, including Wombat Stew, Blinky Bill, Edward the Emu and more reading […] - Read more

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A new Dr Seuss! And the Seuss books that have meant the most to us.

July 25, 2015

In case you missed it, in 2015 a never-before-published Dr Seuss book, What Pet Should I Get? hit the shelves. It got us talking about what it would take to get a ‘discovered’ manuscript ready for the bookshelves. We’ve been reminiscing about Seuss’ legacy, and some of our all-time favourite Seuss books. And we’ve spoken to a high […] - Read more

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Heroism, tragedy, and fascinating other worlds: Why historical fiction is great for kids

July 21, 2015

Have you noticed a lot of historical novels for kids on the bookshop and library shelves lately? With the new Australian Curriculum requiring that students read historical fiction and narratives, as well as recent and upcoming anniversaries of key events such as WWI and Gallipoli, book publishers have been enthusiastically commissioning and releasing historical stories. […] - Read more

‘What to read next’ and some favourite Australian stories

July 15, 2015

The Better Reading Kids team have been putting together lists of great stories to keep your child reading. For fans of Tom Gates and WeirDo, we have a round-up of some other humorous illustrated fiction series. And as part of our celebration of Australian authors, we have lists of a dozen must-have books for any child’s […] - Read more

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Recommendations for 0-4, 4-8, 8-12 and YA readers

July 2, 2015

Better Reading asked some of our authors and other friends to tell us about their favourite book recommendations for kids of all ages. A technical quirk on our website means that lists of recommendations like these appear over on our ‘Book Lists’ page. Please head over there to check out our array of wonderful lists for both […] - Read more

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Five reasons kids love a good series

July 1, 2015

So many kids are hooked on book series! Right now, the Tom Gates, WeirDo and Treehouse books are dominating the children’s bestseller charts. And this month we can expect new instalments in a number of hit series including Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus and James Patterson’s Middle School, as well as the launch of some […] - Read more

Spells and adventure for fashionable younger readers

June 26, 2015

If your 8-9 year old girl is looking for a new series to get hooked on, try Witch Wars. Tiga Whicabim is very surprised to be told that she is a witch (despite her name being an anagram of I AM A BIG WITCH). And even more surprised to find she has been nominated to […] - Read more

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Friday Freebies!

June 25, 2015

Look out for our regular competitions every Friday on the Better Reading Facebook page for a chance to win free books or movie tickets. This week, we have ten lovely copies of Just the Way We Are to give away. Meet Anna, Chiara, Henry, Izzy and Jack. Their families might not look like your family, […] - Read more

N.J. Gemmell on Getting Kids off Screen and Reading

You may know N.J. Gemmell as Nikki Gemmell, author of seven novels and four works of non-fiction for adults, and a regular columnist for The Weekend Australian’s ‘Saturday’ magazine. Under the name of N.J. Gemmell, she has also written books for children, including The Kensington Reptilarium, her first book for children, and The Icicle Illuminarium, which continues the […] - Read more

Peek-a-boo! The joy of lift-the-flap books for kids

Whenever we visit a bookshop we stop by the children’s novelty shelf, to discover the ingenious books that have been transformed into interactive objects through paper engineering or the addition of scanimation, holographs or textured elements to ‘touch-and-feel’. One of the most simple and appealing examples of paper engineering is lift-the-flap books, in which a […] - Read more

‘Can I read this book, Mum?’ Helping your child choose age-appropriate reads

This article was inspired by a question posted on our facebook page by Lizzie D. Lizzie’s dilemma is a common one, so we asked our Children’s Specialist Liz Bray to talk us through some of the issues. Lizzie’s question: My 11-year-old daughter (Year 5) seems to have jumped from enjoying younger books like Tensy Farlow […] - Read more

Withering-by-Sea Writer and Illustrator Judith Rossell Talks about Her Work and Influences

June 24, 2015

Judith Rossell is the inspirational author and illustrator behind the popular children’s book Withering-by-Sea (an Honour Book in the 2015 CBCA Awards). She talked to Better Reading Kids about where she works, the books that inspired her as a child, and the role of illustrations in children’s books. BR: Your novel Withering-by-Sea has so many fans, and was […] - Read more

Comic superheroes for young readers

June 23, 2015

If you have a young reader in your life who loves superheroes and humour, Superhero School: The Revenge of the Green Meanie is for them. The first in a series, it’s about an ordinary boy who has always dreamed of becoming a superhero. Then one day a letter arrives inviting him to Mighty High School, […] - Read more

Bestselling Children’s Author Jackie French Talks Books with Better Reading Kids

June 22, 2015

Bestselling children’s author Jackie French is also an historian, ecologist, dyslexic, and a passionate advocate for literacy, the right of all children to be able to read, and the power of books. Her writing career spans 25 years – Hitler’s Daughter spent a decade on most of Australia’s kid’s choice award shortlists; Diary of a Wombat is one of Australia’s best-loved […] - Read more

Questions About Kids Books?

June 19, 2015

As part of Better Reading Kids Week, we’re giving you the opportunity to ask our resident Children’s Expert, Liz Bray, your questions about selecting the right book for your child. Do you struggle to find age-appropriate books for your children or wonder how to make the right selections for your child? If so, Liz may be […] - Read more

7 Great Reasons To Read With Your Kids

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” – Emilie Buchwald Reading with your kids can be a real treat, for so many reasons, says Better Reading’s Children’s specialist, Liz Bray. Here are a few: 1. Reading time is about chilling out and bonding, whether you’re reading aloud with a little one on […] - Read more

How to Get Them Hooked! Motivating Reluctant Readers

One of the frequent issues we hear from parents is about children who can read well but have ‘switched off’ from reading. Parents often ask how they can encourage their children to get back into reading. Liz Bray, Better Reading’s Children’s Expert, has some tips for parents in this situation: Don’t panic: reading’s really important, […] - Read more