Showing posts with label Children's Literature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Children's Literature. Show all posts

Thursday, June 30, 2016


 8 years old.  

I can't quite believe it has been 8 years.  Although, it's closer to 9 if I think about the day that we went to Bondi Junction for the 18-20 week ultrasound and the sonographer asked us if we wanted to know your gender, oh I know I replied, it's a little boy.  I was right.    I have been wrong about so many things, but not about you!

At 8 years old you are a true delight. You always have been though. Your love of being outdoors continues.  You have moved on from birds.  Currently you are obsessed with sport.  Specifically soccer, cricket, athletics, cross country running, skiing, surfing and cycling.  When you grow up you are going to be a "champion ski racer and jumper" (actual quote).  

You are quite a character.  You have cut your own hair more times than I can count.   Most children grow out of this in the toddler years or don't attempt it at all!  Not you, I think that the photo above is an attempt to photograph the latest haircut.  You were trying to cut a line in, "like all the soccer players have in their hair." 

You prefer to be outside at all times.  Even if it is pouring with rain and freezing cold I will find you outside, either bowling over and over again at the wickets, kicking a soccer ball into "franklin", playing hand ball against the side of the house or jumping on the trampoline.  You are thrilled when someone agrees to play outside with you, sadly this doesn't always work well with your brother.  It almost always ends in tears and a howling protest of some sort from you.

You play the viola and are in the string orchestra at school, I hope you continue to play the viola for years to come, and that it gives you as much pleasure as it has given me watching you learn to play.  I am so proud of how much you have achieved musically.   

Your best friends at school are Elijah, Scott and Hugh.  Your favourite foods are pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, sushi, sweet potato and vanilla ice cream.  You loathe cauliflower.  I can manage to make you eat almost anything, even mushrooms and eggplant, both of which you are lukewarm about, but the performance you put on  about cauliflower is worthy of an Oscar.  You are a talented athlete and can bowl better than kids much older than you, even better than many adults.  Your current favourite reads are the Harry Potter books,  Deltora Quest, the How to Train Your Dragon books, anything by Graeme Base and your perennially adored, very well thumbed Berenstain Bears books, almost all of which you know off by heart.  You will watch BTN, Top Gear and any sport that takes your fancy on TV but that is quite literally it.  Although, you do also love the Harry Potter movies and drive us all mad, with them.  For when it is your turn to choose a movie for family movie night you invariably choose a Harry Potter.  This is starting to wear a bit thin with the entire family.

You still adore lions and Big and Little will always be your adored side kicks.  I can't even imagine the heartbreak if we lost one of them again.  They truly are part of our family now.  

You are a special boy, little one.  Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Harry Potter vs the various Landrover Publications

Really.... I don't know why I was worried.  Saturday morning a quick trip to the library and a bunch of new books were borrowed for distraction purposes.

He slowly made his way through them as I wandered through the shops.

He is quite a good shopping companion really.

By Saturday night however all the new library books (and Harry Potter) had been abandoned for the Landrover Discovery 4 Brochure and the new Landrover Onelife Magazine.

This morning on the way to school it was still the current favourite.  I foresee a future with Top Gear in it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Captain and Harry Potter

 So has anyone actually read past book 3?  Anyone over the age of 25 that is?  He read books 1 and 2 last week and is halfway through book 3 now.  At this rate he will have finished them all in a few weeks time.  Apparently some of the later books have themes for an older audience and I have had a number of well meaning people suggest that I stop him from reading the rest of the series.  (He is 7 turning 8 at the end of October).  I am loath to interfere in his reading interests though.  Considering that I put up with his previous obsession with Beast Quest when I have spent a lifetime amassing a collection like this:

And that, my fellow collectors isn't even a quarter of it ( just some of my favourites!), which he could have worked his way through instead but has shown only a fleeting interest in.  Sniff.  Anyone with any thoughts on this?  Am I going to end up with a child having nightmares about you know who?  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

There's a mad scientist in the house and he is seven!

 Happy Birthday Captain.  At seven you are quite the artist, your art teacher asked to buy one of your art works.  I said no, I wanted it.  You are the fastest runner in your class.  You love reading and read prolifically, well thumbed books are Beast Quest, Zac Power, James and the Giant Peach and the Famous Five. Your favourite toys are Lego and Playmobil Top Agents.  You can climb any tree, rope or pole like a monkey.  I frequently have to reassure people as you wave to us from the top of a lamp post that you are fine.  Your favourite foods are pizza, pink lady apples and those revolting cheese and bacon rolls from Baker's Delight.  You still skip your way around a soccer field and daydream instead of following the ball, I will be so sad when you stop doing this.  You love science club and fencing at school, skiing is another favourite.  At school you still love to play BB's vs Fairy House and construct elaborate cubby houses out of sticks and stones.  I love that your school allows you to do this.  When you grow up you want to be a paleontologist or a policeman.  You are going to marry Bronte.  I hope you always have a Bronte in your life.   Your Dad and I love your style, your Dad thinks you have an element of Ferris Bueller about you.

Sometimes I can see it!

Happy Birthday Captain!  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The apple didn't fall far from the tree after all.

 This is how I found him as we were about to walk out the door this morning.  Can you make out the cover?  I am beyond delighted.  (Apologies for the rubbish photo, I had to capture the moment quickly and get said child to school before the first bell at 8.25).

Friday, August 17, 2012


  The boys have never seen an episode of Batman, Superman, Spiderman or even Ben 10.  Nor have they seen any of the movies, nor have I bought them a single Superhero toy.   Yet somehow, (perhaps by osmosis in the playground?), they know each and every Superhero.   Wandering into the Converse shop, I had only been intending to purchase them a new pair each of the classic grey slip ons they both love.  I did walk out of the Converse shop with grey slips on, but I also walked out with these:

I succumbed to pester power.

For the first time ever I bought them a "licensed" product. The little guy got Batman Converse and the big one got Superman Converse.  In my defence, at least they are vintage prints.   They now wear them constantly, even with their pyjamas.

Oh please, please Mummy can I have these?  Even if they are so big that I can wear them as a hat?

Speaking of Superheroes, the King of the Superheroes made a reappearance this week:

This time he was escorted by his trusty sidekick, Super Little:

Together they embarked on an adventure inspired by a true Superhero...  Eliot jones, of course.

Yes indeed,  that would be a "Meteor-Busting Rocket Launcher"  that The King is sitting on!  It is sort of like the one Eliot has to save the world with...

Reader, please be aware that today you were saved by...  

The King of the Super Heroes and his confidant Super Little!  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Enid Blyton vs Beast Quest

Well, despite my best efforts it appears Enid Blyton hasn't quite made the cut for this one.  I know it is... a great disappointment.  The many years I have devoted to collecting First Edition Blytons, with the view to one day sharing them with my own children... has possibly been in vain, sniff.  He has become obsessed with something else.  The obsession part is all too familiar, the staying up and reading under the covers long after the rest of the house is asleep, the dreams about the characters and the nose continually stuck in a book.  Meal times, in the car, walking around, you name it, there is a book in his hand!  All of which is of course fabulous and I am delighted that he loves to read.  Curious, I picked up a copy of one of his Beast Quest books and was intrigued.  The author is Adam Blade (real name? not sure...) and he is prolific, there are 60 books in the series and counting.  We have 40 of them.  Hmmm, sound familiar?  Blyton wrote around 800 books over a 40 year period.  As Blade is only in his 20s there should be plenty of time for him to churn out some more.

Each book features a quest that the protagonist Tom (12 years old) and Elenna (his best friend) need to complete to help save the Kingdom of Avantia.  There are lots of dragons, weapons, wizards and beasts to keep things interesting.  The Captain clearly adores them and so I would recommend them to anyone looking for a series of books to engage a little boy starting out on their reading journey.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


 My big boy is sick.  I needed to wash his sheets so I relocated him to the back deck.  The natural healing properties of fresh air and sunshine must have helped.

He rallied and asked for some Tintin comics to read. Crossing my fingers and toes that the rest of us don't catch it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The old boat sand pit or as it's being called on Pinterest, the sand box!

After writing the guest post for Carolyn I have received numerous emails asking about the boat sand pit/box.  The photo I posted of the boat is apparently very popular on Pinterest...

Before I even had children I had daydreamed about creating a play area that involved an old wooden boat.  As a child I adored many books that involved boats:

 "there is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats" (Ratty, The Wind in the Willows) or sailing to the end of the earth with Reepicheep and Prince Caspian in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (my favourite of all the Narnia series), or  playing pirates with the Walker and Blackett children in Swallows and Amazons and who wouldn't have wanted to run row away to The Secret Island?  One of Enid Blytons' first and possibly best books.

This early love stemming from children's books combined with my love for anything vintage and nautical and well, it is just simply something that I have always wanted to do.

So where did we get the boat from? Well, my aunt (technically my ex-aunt but she is still very much part of our family) and her husband live on the water.  Their garden is lovely green rolling lawns that wind down to a private sandy beach. After storms all sorts of debris washes up onto their little beach and they are then responsible for disposing of it. Often they find old tenders (or small row boats) washed up.  Naturally as soon as I wanted one there were none to be found.  However, the universe provided, one washed up on a nearby beach after a storm and remained unclaimed.  After waiting several weeks for an owner to materialise we nabbed it.  It was definitely not sea worthy anymore, so perfect to be re-purposed into a sand pit for my little pirates.  If you don't have access to a beach where boats might randomly wash up, try ebay and also the tip.  I have often seen old boats at our local tip, we do live near the sea though.

Do they play in it often?  In winter, yes.  In summer, not so much.  We have a pool though and in summer they spend a lot of time in the water.  In winter though they use it a lot.  Not just as a general sandpit for digging, trucks and the construction of elaborate waterways and dams. But also to play pirates and sailing around the world type imaginative games.

It is unique and I adore it.  I find the standard sanitised backyard play items available for children these days so boring.  An old boat, surrounded by sand, in a ring of old sandstone pavers truly is an enchanting and wondrous place for a child (or childlike grown ups!).


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