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What Harry Potter Means to The Kids' Bookshop

29 June 2017 - Author: Jackie Small

Can you believe that it has been 20 years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was first published?  It might come as a rude surprise for some, especially if you discovered the series' in its early years, but we believe it is a true gift that children (and adults) can continue to enjoy the wizarding world of Harry Potter. 

We're sure you'll agree that Harry Potter, in some shape or form, has found his way into every reader's heart). Keep reading to find out what the series means to the staff at The Kids' Bookshop

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You Choose 12Hugely popular, especially with our schools, is George Ivanoff’s You Choose series of books. There are currently 12 stories in the series, in addition to some ‘Flip Me’ bind-up editions. Each story is reminiscent of the original Choose Your Own Adventure books, in which readers are regularly faced with a choice that will inevitably lead them down a different story path.

Taking just one story path is never satisfying for the reader, making them highly addictive. We were keen to ask George a little more about how he sets about writing these, and we encourage your students or children to have a go at writing one on their own!

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Under the Love Umbrella- Metaphors, Families and Colour

14 March 2017 - Author: Jackie Small

Under the Love UmbrellaUnder the Love Umbrella is a new picture book by Davina Bell and Alison Colpoys, featuring vivid pops of colour and families of all structures, sizes and backgrounds.

Completely smitten by this book with a heart-warming message of love and protection, we were keen to interviewed author, Davina Bell, on the inspiration behind the book. I’m sure you’ll agree that Davina Bell is a thoughtful and reflective author to look out for when searching for books to share with your family.

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Inside Florette's Garden with Anna Walker

07 March 2017 - Author: Jackie Small

As the official bookseller on the evening and as friends of Anna Walker, it was an absolute pleasure to be a part of Anna’s night last week as she officially launched her newest book, Florette.

Florette Cover


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14 February 2017 - Author: Jackie Small

History Mysteries by Mark Greenwood


‘If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.’Rudyard Kipling.


I love this quote. It reminds me of the importance of sharing stories – especially the wonderful tales from the past. I’m a history hunter. I enjoy searching for lost explorers and glittering treasure, delving into mysteries and solving famous cold cases – and most of all, I love sharing the amazing stories that I find.

In my new History Mysteries series, I have selected some of the wildest, coolest stories from Australian history to intrigue and inspire curious young readers. To me, writing about the past is like time travelling. I enjoy delving into stories that have been lost or forgotten, and I often find inspiration in little known slices of history.

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06 February 2017 - Author: Jackie Small

Finding the Right Book for Your childWhile teachers have diagnostic tests available to help them find books that meet a child’s reading level, finding books that engage both avid and reluctant readers continues to be a challenge for many parents and teachers.

We believe there are five factors to consider when helping your child to find a book that is right for them. These factors inform the recommendations we provide to parents and teachers who visit our store and are also embedded in our book search filter.

Ask yourself the following questions when trying to find, or help your child find, the right book for them:


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The History of Diary of a Wimpy Kid

13 December 2016 - Author: Jackie Small

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 11

 by Laura Harris, Penguin Children's Book Publisher

You see, when Jeff Kinney was working as a game developer for educational publisher Pearson, he started publishing daily entries from Greg Heffley’s fictional diary on Pearson’s Fun Brain website. That was back in 2004. Penguin was part of the Pearson Group then and one of our very gifted editors had alerted me to that part of the Pearson website … many of us were reading those entries and laughing out loud …they were hilarious and subversive and truthful and had wonderful drawings accompanying each days event - and we weren’t the only ones hooked.

With comical sketches and a light-hearted tone, Kinney found an enthusiastic audience; by the end of that first year, the site had 12 million unique visitors. Within a year-and-a-half, the figure reached 20 million.

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The Smuggler's Curse by Norman Jorgensen

 Red Read’s life takes a surprising – and alarming – turn when his mother sells him to an infamous smuggler plying his trade off the north-west coast of Australia in the closing days of the 19th century. From terrifying encounters with cut-throat pirates to battling the forces of nature in a tropical typhoon, from dining with head-hunting guerrillas to making meals of monkey stew, Red is in for a hair-raising adventure that may cost him his life.

At The Kids’ Bookshop, we have always been fascinated by the tales conjured by Norman Jorgensen, who has a penchant and a talent for writing historical fiction for children that is rich in historical content, imagery and adventure.

Keep reading this guest post from Norman to find out more about the inspiration and research Norman undertook to write his latest book, The Smuggler’s Curse, which we recommend for lovers of adventure stories aged 10-14.

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08 November 2016 - Author: Jackie Small

Kaz Cooke is a journalist and cartoonist but most Australian women, mothers and girls will know her for her highly-acclaimed, very informative but quirky and amusing information books covering women’s health and wellbeing issues.

We’re excited to have her here to chat about her latest and much anticipated book for pre-teen girls, Girl Stuff 8-12. 

Kaz Cooke 

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25 October 2016 - Author: Jackie Small

‘I hate writing.’

‘I don’t know what to write.’

‘My writing is not good enough.’

‘I don’t know how to start.'

There are many reasons that contribute to children feeling overwhelmed when it comes to writing, especially creative writing. But, getting kids to put pen to paper doesn’t have to be a hard task. In fact, by following a few simple tips, kids can soon learn that creative writing is fun:


  • Keep writing tasks simple; don’t ask too much of children.
  • Less thinking/More writing: Encourage kids to write down every thought that comes to mind regardless of relevance or quality (they can review and edit later).
  • Encourage mistakes and imperfect handwriting.
  • Think outside the square: Find different ways for children to record stories (E.g.  using audio, video or illustrations).
  • Find inspiration everywhere. Every experience and thing around you can become an idea for writing.    
  • Use prompts to get kids started (see below for prompt ideas)


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