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Enjoy Your Local Library Visit to the Fullest

Libraries offer much more than just rows of books. There are so many wonderful reasons why a trip to the library can be memorable each time for you and your little ones. It’ll be their new favourite place!

Discover Hidden Gems

The library houses so many great books, it’s impossible not to find something that excites your young readers. Don’t limit yourself to familiar genres. Wander through the aisles of historical fiction, delve into biographies, or give science fiction a chance. Your children may just surprise you as to what catches their interest.

Talk to Librarians

Librarians offer a wealth of knowledge when it comes to finding your next read. Once they get to know you and your interests, they can offer recommendations that you otherwise may have never come across.

Check the Display Stands

This is one of my favourite things to do at the library, especially since the display stands are changed frequently. Libraries often showcase themed collections, new arrivals, or award-winning titles. Next time you step foot into your local library, be sure to stop by the display stand.

Attend Events

Local libraries often have lots of fun events lined up for the year, especially during the school holidays. Look out for author signings, literary discussions, story time sessions, workshops, and other events hosted by the library. The best way to stay in the loop is to sign up to their mailing list and follow their social media pages.

Support Your Local Authors

Did you know that you can request for books to be stocked at your local library? You can speak to a librarian about the process or hop on their website and there should be a section to request books. What better way to support a local author than to request for their titles to be stocked in the library? This will make their books more accessible to the general public and helps to get their name out. If you’d like to request any of my books, I’d be forever grateful. You can find my titles by clicking here.

Make Your Next Library Visit Memorable

Hopefully this blog encourages you to venture into your local library with your young ones. Perhaps even explore libraries in other areas. It’s always great fun seeing different layouts and displays as well as getting to know librarians across different locations. And one more little note – your young ones aren’t expected to remain quiet, so that’s one less thing to be anxious about. In fact, libraries encourage children to be there and they are very understanding with knowing children love to explore and vocally express their excitement.

FAQs

Q: What are the best ways to find new books at the library?

A: Browse staff picks, join a library-run book club, or ask for a reading suggestion based on your favourite books.

Q: How can I access library resources from home?

A: Many libraries offer online catalogues and digital resources. Simply use your library card to log in via their website.

Q: Are there any free workshops or classes at the library?

A: Yes, libraries typically offer a range of free or affordable educational opportunities, especially during the school holidays. To stay informed, follow your library’s social media pages for any upcoming events.

Q: How can I volunteer or get involved with my local library?

A: Speak to library staff about volunteer opportunities, or check the library’s website for information.

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A Book a Day Keeps Reality Away

As a children’s book author, I’m often asked what inspires me to write. The list could be endless, but there’s a definite highlight when I see a child’s imagination take flight. It’s the anticipation in their eyes as they turn the page, eager to see what happens next – if their guesses are correct. Getting lost in a book, especially a children’s book, can be a magical and exciting adventure.

The Power of Picture Books

The best children’s book do more than just tell a story. They leave a long-lasting emotion, leaving the reader eager to discover more books in many different worlds. From animals talking, soaring through space, seeing images that are a reflection of themselves, to made-up characters – there’s always new worlds to explore.

Bringing Worlds Beyond the Ordinary to Life

As a writer, there’s so much to write about but keeping my young audience at the forefront of my thinking is how my stories are shaped. Creating worlds, even those that are realistic, can still be a wonder for the imagination. I want children to be able to relate to the main characters and see themselves as the heroes of their own stories. It’s definitely a challenge, but an exciting one at that, to string words together that not only entertain the reader, but educate with valuable life lessons.

A Daily Escape

So, a book a day keeps reality away – you’ve probably come across this expression before. I thought I’d share this phrase as a daily dose of storytelling provides an internal escape from the mundane. It’s a chance for children (and adults too, of course!) to take a break from the routines of life to embark on a little adventure in the comfort of their own reading space.

The Best Children’s Books

What are the best children’s books? That is the question. What shapes one? Is it the thoughtfully curated manuscript,? The artistry in the illustrations? Or a combination? In my personal opinion, I think it’s bringing both to life.

Some of my favourite children’s books, or classics that have stood the test of time, have many things in common:

  1. Timeless themes: Love, friendship, adventure, and discovery. All of which are universal and enduring.
  2. Relatable characters: Characters that children can see themselves in, who experience the same emotions and challenges they do.
  3. Captivating Illustrations: Artwork that complements the story and adds a visual layer to the narrative, encouraging children to linger on each page.
  4. Engaging narratives: Stories that are both fun to read aloud and captivating to the listener. Some of which has a rhythm or rhyme that enchants the ear.
  5. Interactive elements: Questions, hidden details, or prompts that engage children beyond the text, fostering interactive reading.

The Role of Picture Books in Today’s World

In a world where children are growing up fast, where technology often dictates the pace of life, picture books offer a return to simplicity. They remind us of the power of the imagination and the importance of pausing to take delight in a story.

I wonder what children’s picture book you’ll explore next with your little ones. Remember, within the pages of a book, every day is an adventure waiting to happen. Don’t forget to explore our children’s books as one (or more!) may just peak your interest. We also have a pre-loved books section where you may just find an old title you’ve been searching for.

Happy reading!

FAQs

Q: What is the number 1 selling children’s book of all time?

A: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (published in 1943) is the best-selling children’s book of all time, selling over 200 million copies. I personally love this story!

Q: How do I choose a good children’s book?

A: The definition of “good” is subjective, however here are a few things to look out for to help find your next great read:

  1. Books that have characters that are easy to relate to. 
  2. Stories that teach kids important life lessons or navigating emotions.
  3. Books that are not too difficult to read with your kids.
  4. Books with bright and captivating illustrations.
  5. Books that are fun to read aloud.

Q: What type of children’s book sells best?

A: It’s no surprise that middle-grade books (for ages 9 to 12) are receiving the highest gains in sales, especially as the range become greater. Popular authors in this series include Dav Pilkey (Dog Man series) and Jeff Kinney (Wimpey Kid)

 

 

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The Inspiration Behind My Children’s Books

If you’ve been following my writing journey on social media you may already have an inkling on the inspirations behind my books. If not, I hope you enjoy reading the “why’s”… After all, every story has it’s humble beginnings. I’ll take you back to those moments of inspiration that allowed me to bring my stories to life.

Mummy, I Can’t Find My Loud Voice

Let’s travel back in time to the year 2021 and begin with my debut children’s book, Mummy, I Can’t Find My Loud Voice. The inspiration for this story emerged from a heartfelt conversation I had with my eldest daughter, Abigail. She started kindergarten in the midst of a global pandemic, so let’s just say it wasn’t an ordinary start to her school years. On top of her already anxious nature, the instability of school (who remembers homeschooling for a while?) impacted her social interaction and being able to talk to her school friends. 

One day, she came home from school with tears streaming down her face. As she leaned her head against my chest, she wept, “Mummy, I can’t find my loud voice. It goes super quiet when I talk to my friends. No-one can hear me, not even me.” To say my heart crushed is an understatement.

I reflected on the words that came directly from her mouth, thinking and thinking, how can I help my daughter navigate her deep emotions? We both had a love of reading bedtime stories together, and I have always loved writing. It was something I’d do in my spare quiet moments – nestled away, writing my thoughts onto pages.

So I decided to do the same with Abigail’s thoughts. That very same night, I wrote my first draft of the book. After reading it to Abigail, I could see the sparkle in her eyes, and she was the one who encouraged me to turn it into a real book to help other kids experiencing the same emotions and struggles as her.

And the rest is history.

How grateful I am  that I took my then 5-year-old daughter’s advice. Who would have known my dream of becoming a published author would finally become a reality with the encouragement and support of a young child?

Daisy’s Not-So-Ordinary Ordinary Day

2 years after publishing my debut novel, I released my second book, Daisy’s Not-So-Ordinary Day dedicated to my daughter, Daisy.

Daisy is another bookworm in our household, inspiring me daily to read my treasured books and to keep writing. So it didn’t take very long at all for me to find inspiration for this book.

Observing Daisy’s sense of ‘boredom’ when everyone in the family were too busy to play with her led me to write a story that celebrates the power of imagination. My observations revealed that Daisy was never truly bored or alone – her imagination was her constant companion during those times, bringing everything within the four walls surrounding her to life. It reiterates that there is always time to spend together as a family by the end of each day.

When I wrote the first draft, I included her favourite toy, Pandy, in the story – she absolutely loved that it! Reading line after line, I could see the excitement in her eyes, the big curve in her smile.

I always test my manuscripts with my kids before choosing ‘the one’ and I knew after reading this to Daisy, that there would be no other story that would be perfectly for her. Daisy’s endless imagination inspired the words for Daisy’s Not-So’Ordinary Ordinary Day making it a fun and engaging read for many young children.

With this book, I knew it would be best told in rhyme. Writing in rhyme isn’t as easy as 1,2,3. There is so much involved, so it took a while to finetune the manuscript.

It makes my heart glow each time I read this book to other children, and they have the same excitement in their eyes.

A Bucketful of Tears

And finally, my most recently published book, A Bucketful of Tears dedicated to my youngest child, Jeremy. It was a little different this time around. I had several ideas in mind for his book. Sometimes, the inspiration comes right away, but for this one, I went back and forth on several concepts. I read each drafted manuscript to Jeremy every night, observing which story touched his heart the most. He said he loved them all (which made it harder for me to decide) until one evening, he made a firm decision on the manuscript he wanted me to bring to life.

And so A Bucketful of Tears came to be. Jeremy was 3 years old when I wrote it, centered around the theme of a young child trying to be independent, and the frustration and tears that come with trying and not getting the desired outcome. The story reminds children alike that even when things don’t go as planned, their best efforts are always enough. It beautifully illustrates the power of perseverance and importance of embracing kindness in our daily lives.

Now, a once constantly frustrated little Jeremy isn’t always upset when things don’t go as planned. The story has helped him to feel encouraged, inspired, and ready to face any challenge that comes his way – no matter the outcome.

I’m excited for this book to make its way to the bookshelves of many homes – hopefully bringing the same smile it brings to my son.

What’s Next?

As you’ve read, inspiration can come from anywhere, at any time. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to the ‘why’ behind each story. If you’ve ever wanted to write your own, just take a look around you and see what sparks an idea.

My next children’s book is still in the very early stages as my focus is firstly on my debut novel and continuing to share my most recent children’s book. All I can say is, it will be a very special story from the core of my heart.

Stay up to date on my latest works by following me on social media. You’ll get all the BTS there!

FAQs

Q: What’s the best way to find inspiration to write a book?

A: Read widely. Explore different genres and authors to expose yourself to various writing styles and ideas. The act of reading can often spark inspiration and ignite your creativity. If you’re writing a children’s book, make sure you read lots that are in trend, as well as classics. Understand writing in prose vs. rhyme and do your research.

Besides reading, make sure to engage with your surroundings – pay attention to the world around you. Draw inspiration from real-life experiences, conversations, and the emotions they evoke.

Q: What happens if you get writer’s block?

A: Firstly, understand that writer’s block is a common challenge that many writers face. One strategy to overcome it is to simply take a break. Step away from your writing for a short time. Engage in activities that you enjoy, and allow your mind to relax.

You can also change your environment. Switch up your writing space or find a new location to work in. A change of scenery can provide fresh inspiration and help break through mental blocks.

And lastly, you can try breaking down your writing into manageable tasks. Set specific, achievable goals for each writing session, such as writing a certain number of words or completing a scene. Focusing on smaller milestones can make the writing process less overwhelming and more motivating.

Q: How long does it take to write a book?

A: The time it takes to write a book can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the genre, complexity of the story, personal writing process, and available time for writing. Writing a book is a highly individualised process, and there is no fixed timeline.

Some authors may complete a first draft in a matter of months, while others may take years to finish a book. After the initial draft, additional time is typically required for revising, editing, and polishing the manuscript, especially for novels.

It’s important to set realistic expectations and understand that writing a book is a journey that requires dedication, persistence, and patience. Focus on establishing a consistent writing routine and making steady progress, rather than being solely fixated on the timeframe.

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What I’ve Learned from My Author Visits at Daycare Centres and Schools

As an author, visiting daycare centres and schools has been an enlightening journey, filled with unexpected lessons and gratifying moments. These visits have not only given me the opportunity to engage with my youngest readers but also provided me with invaluable insights into the world of early education and child development. Here are some of the key takeaways from my experiences.

A Glimpse into Young Minds

The Power of Storytelling
Children’s love for stories has been evident in every classroom I’ve visited. Storytelling is a way for kids to explore emotions, understand complex concepts, and connect with the world around them.

Questions That Spark Creativity
During Q&A sessions, the questions children ask are a testament to their boundless imagination. They often surprise me with their insightful questions. They view stories through a lens of pure curiosity. Their fresh perspectives on things have taught me to see the world through their eyes – a place where every little detail can spark wonder.

The Role of Books in Early Education

A Tool for Learning
Educators use books as versatile tools for teaching language, but also for topics like kindness and empathy. I’ve seen first-hand how a well-told story can make learning engaging and memorable.

Diversity and Representation Matter
When I read one of my books with a character from a diverse cultural background, I witness the excitement of children seeing themselves reflected in the pages. It’s a powerful reminder that representation in children’s literature is crucial for fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging, especially in Australia where different backgrounds shape our country.

The Ripple Effect of Author Visits

Igniting Imagination
One of the most rewarding aspects of my visits is watching young eyes light up with the realisation that they, too, could create their own stories. It’s a privilege to plant seeds of creativity that could one day grow into their own books. I’ve had several children approach me in excitement as they share their goal of publishing their very own book one day.

Bridging Gaps
Each visit reaffirms the importance of personal connection between authors and readers. In a digital age, the human element of a live reading or a face-to-face conversation is irreplaceable and can be the bridge that connects a child to the love of reading.

The Joy of Shared Reading
Group readings have shown me the collective joy that comes from experiencing a story together. This shared joy is a powerful tool in not only encouraging individual readers but in building a community of book lovers.

The Bigger Picture

Supporting Educators
Through conversations with teachers and staff, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the role authors can play in supporting educators. Whether it’s providing resources or crafting stories that align with curricular goals, there is much we can do to contribute.

The Lasting Impact
Perhaps the most profound lesson has been recognising the lasting impact these visits can have. Long after the day’s excitement fades, the stories and discussions often linger in children’s minds, shaping their perceptions and understanding of the world.

The Takeaway: A Shared Journey

Each visit to a daycare centre or school is a reminder that books are just the beginning of the story. The real magic happens in the interaction—between author and reader, story and listener, imagination and reality. As I continue this journey, I am grateful for the lessons learned and excited for the stories yet to be told, both by me and by the future authors sitting cross-legged before me, eyes wide with wonder.

If you’re an educator or teacher looking to spark a love of reading in your classroom, I invite you to reach out and book an author visit. Simply email hello@myreadingbubble.com.au and we’ll go from there! Let’s embark on this literary adventure together, fostering the next generation of readers and thinkers.

FAQs

Q: How can I arrange a local author visit?

A: We provide free local author visits if your school or daycare centre is in Western Sydney (select suburbs). Please email hello@myreadingbubble.com.au for more information on available dates and requirements. We recommend booking at least 2 weeks in advance of your desired date.

Q: What are the benefits of hosting a local author visit?

A: Hosting a local author visit has several benefits. It provides an opportunity for the community to engage with a local literary figure, fostering a sense of connection and inspiration. Author visits can also promote a love for reading, especially among young readers.

Q:  Do you sell signed copies of your books during an author visit?

A: Yes, selling books during an author visit is a common practice and can be an excellent opportunity to promote reading. However, instead of selling copies on the day of the visit, we send out an order form in advance so parents can pre-order ahead of time. The purchased copies are then provided on the day of the visit.