Publishing positive education information for parents & teachers since 2000

Enjoy summer Holiday Reading

 plus games - just for lots of fun!

You will find more books on these pages...

Books & Games for Children  (K-Yr 12)

Test Match

Board game by Crown & Andrews

Test Match was first made in 1977 and several updates have been made.

The  latest version was reviewed by 10 year old Daniel and his dad Laurence



10 year old Daniel's review: It's a good fun cricket game for a rainy day to play with all the family.  I was surprised by how realistic the game was and how involved we got while playing it. As a result of playing the game, I wanted to play real cricket with dad and I did. Dad reckons it's a good game because it kept me off the electronics. It will be a great game to be playing over summer with the family while watching the cricket on TV.


Laurence,  Daniel's dad, says: I was very impressed by the Test Match Game. When my son and I first opened it up we were surprised by the size of the field and the quality of the playing figurines. The design is very clever for the bowler and batsman and within a short time of practice we both became quite proficient at being the bowler and batsman. One of the things I like about the game, is that it can entertain two people on a rainy afternoon, or it can be the centre-piece of a fun afternoon with a larger group of friends. What's also great about this game is it is quick and easy to set up and can be played for thirty minutes while dinner is being prepared or for the more serious match can be played over a couple of days as "Fair Dinkum" Test Match. I'd definitely recommend it to be added to the shopping list for Christmas whether you are an avid fan or cricket or a "sometimes watch it on TV" person! It will be enjoyed by all who play it!


Editor's note:

We played Test Match over the holidays and loved it. It doesn't take long to get the idea of what to do and to get into the game. If you enjoy cricket, you are sure to love playing this game, suitable for children and adults,  whether adults only are  playing or a mix of kids and adults or just kids. Test Match is sure to be a  game we keep for quite a few years!





Pokemon Trainer Guess

by Crown & Andrews

Kanto Edition

Electronic Game


Ideal for younger children over the age of 6 who are into Pokemon to test their knowledge. Just think of a Pokemon and answer the questions - imagine Trainer Guess will work out the answer and tell Pokemon what you are thinking! Just read the field guide first that comes with the game so you can play along and tick off the Pokemon characters that have been guessed. Play on your own or with a friend or in a group. Lots of fun!




Pass the Pen

by Crown & Andrews

The World's Fastest Drawing Game

For ages 8+ and 3 or more players


Provided with a rule book, a note pad and a pen thats on a 10 second timer, clues and a dice -  things could rather exciting playing this game. Pick up a clue and quickly draw before the pen tip disappears...  the other players have to guess what you've drawn and they could start guessing as you're drawing!  A great game for birthday parties and after all the feasting on Christmas Day.




Super Sand

by Crown & Andrews

Modelling Sand

For ages 6+


A fun alternative to modelling clay and its made from natural ingredients. It is easy to use, children just need to wash their hands before use, but no water is required or recommended to use with the sand. Its like having a mini sandpit which children can play with indoors and outdoors, so great for those  rainy days too or to play with friends. Four shapes are provided plus the main container, so little imaginations can be explored as they create castles and all sorts of other things. Get ready for some good fun!




The Slime Book

All you need to know how to make the perfect slime

ISBN 9780241336618
Published by DK / Penguin Random House


Looking for more fun these holidays? Does your child like the idea of playing with slime, but you'd like to make your own at home? We think they will love this book! There are 30 recipes of how to make that squishy, stretchy and goey slime. Everything from slime to glow in the dark, things to make their friends say, "gross", snot slime and even edible slime! Read about  the science behind slime, then learn how to make it with easy step by step directions and photos. Find out  how to colour your slime in different ways and make that edible slime too!




Granny's Place

by Allison Paterson and Shane McGrath

ISBN 9781925275636
Published by Big Sky Publishing


Granny and Pa's farm was the best place in the world. Just imagine a home brimming with treasures from their past. Delightfully illustrated this book brings to life the fun of cousins gathering in a country kitchen and planning adventures amongst the beauty of living in rural Australia in the 1960's.  A glimpse of the past told through charming story and  illustrations for younger readers.



Grace and Katie

by Susanne Merritt and Liz Anelli

ISBN 978140528720
Published by EK Books


Another book by the author of "Don't Think of Purple Elephants". Grace and Katie are twins and they both love to draw. They may be twins, but they have very different ideas of how their pictures should look. Grace likes drawing orderly pictures with her favourite black pens, whereas her sister Katie loves to draw with lots of colour and unstructured. One day they decide to draw pictures of where they lives and they soon discover that the best pictures are the ones they draw together. This book embraces their creative differences and shows the reader it's okay to have your own style. Fun illustrations by Liz Anelli.



The Night Box

by Louise Greig and Ashling Lindsay

ISBN 9781405287203

Published by Hardie Egmont


An enchanting story for younger children  about the night.  As day ends a whole new world of night time begins. Max learns that  there are all sorts of animals that are busy and running around during the night. Charming illustrations help the reader to see the wonders and magical natural world at night. Would make an ideal story book for young readers.



Sarah and the Steep Slope

by Danny Parker and Matt Ottley

ISBN 9781742974675

Published by Little Hare Books


For children that have difficulties in facing some of life's hurdles this illustrated short story may help show them that with a little help these obstacles can be overcome.  Sarah's friends help her, after Dr Slope helps Sarah to see the slope is not so great after all.



Stitches and Stuffing

by Carrie Gallasch and Sara Acton

ISBN 9781760127787

Published by Little Hare Books


A lovely story of a little girl's realisation that her favourite Bunnybear isn't just about the stitches and stuffing, it's about the love, memories and relationships. Charming illustrations compliment the story.  A lovely book for younger children.



Finn and Puss

by Robert Vescio and Melissa Mackie

ISBN 978192533507

Published by EK Books


Young boy Finn, is rather lonely and cat called Puss is lost. Things change when  Finn and Puss meet and Finn isn’t lonely anymore, and Puss likes being  with Finn. But then one day  Finn sees a "Lost" poster put up by Puss’s owners. Now Finn is he’s with a tough decision. Will he do the right thing?  This story, simply explores themes of hope, despair, loneliness, and friendship and most of all dealing with and exploring  how to make tough choices in life. Finn learns  that ‘doing the right thing’ can bring  rewards. Simply written with lovely  illustrations, this book is a good choice for holiday reading for and with younger children.



The Chalk Rainbow

by Deborah Kelly and Gwynneth Jones

ISBN 978192533453

Published by EK Books


A  caring and loving sister tells the story of her brother who is different to other children. He absolutely hates the colour black,  makes up his own language, he lines things up and his father gets frustrated with his behaviour and his mum try to explain why Zane scrunches himself into a ball in the corner of the room.  One day his big sister tries something different, they draw a chalk rainbow at the top of their stairs outside the front door and what they do from their onwards makes a huge difference to Zane. This is a loving story of living with someone who has Autism.



Reena's Rainbow

by Dee white & Tracie Grimwood

ISBN 9781925335491

Published by EK Books

For ages 4+

A heartwarming story about Reena who cannot hear, but sees everything and is very observant and Dog who is homeless. Reena get annoyed that she doesn't always fit in , she longs to be the same as other children, but she soon finds out that she can and so can Dog. Charmingly illustrated, it is an ideal read for children who are different for whatever reason and who long to be part of the popular crowd.



Ginger Green Play Date Queen

The Cute Friend

by Kim Kane & Jon Davis

ISBN 9781760129613

Published by Hardie Egmont Books

For ages 4+


Play dates are fun, but what happens when Daya and Ginger get it all wrong?  What will happen, will Ginger get upset? Play dates are a fabulous way to explore friendships and social etiquette in a way young readers will love. In this fun series for young readers, the clever Ginger Green navigates a range of tricky social situations with  gentle humour. This book is ideal  for any child who is making their way from picture books into chapter books.





Bear Grylls Adventures

The Blizzard Challenge

Published by Allen & Unwin



Written to inspire young survival experts. Would be survival expert Olly is not enjoying camp, what with his rucksack trying to kill him and when building a shelter he's getting splinters!  Things  do change - one night when a mysterious compass transports Olly onto a glacier where his guide Bear Grylls is waiting for him. Olly's only way home is to trek across frozen lakes and through deep snow drifts... brrr... and Bear can see there's a blizzard coming. A good fun and thrilling read for younger children.



How to Hypnotise a Droid

By Joshie Lefers

Published by Hardie Grant Egmont

ISBN 9781760128005



Joshie Lefers may be a grown up, but he still acts a lot like a kid - so  he's now writing for kids. Like Joshie Hectic, the cheeky protagonist in Hectic Electric, Joshie-the-author has never had a dull day in his life.Joshie-the-author has never had a dull day in his life. One day, Joshie is eating breakfast when a fancy robot thingy arrives in a box. The cool thing? It’s actually an incredibly sophisticated droid. The not-so-cool thing? It’s programmed to babysit Joshie while his mum is at work, which just happens to be quite a lot of the time.  It's a fun read with quite a few comic illustrations, it's hectic while also heartwarming and ridiculously funny.



Undercover Princess

by Connie  Glynn

Published by Penguin UK

ISBN 978014137567



The story of a two girls, one longs to be a princess, she is a student at Rosewood Hall, she gets her wish as she swaps places with her friend a real Princess so that her friend can live the normal teenager life!  Lottie, the would-be princess suddenly enters   into the real world of royalty, a life  filled with secrets, intrigue and betrayal.

Lottie must do everything she can to help Ellie keep her secret, but with school, the looming Maradovian ball and the mysterious new boy Jamie, she'll soon discover that reality doesn't always have the happily ever after.


A thrilling book for teenage girls with a  world of parties, politics and not-so-good princesses, this is the first book in the brand new series The Rosewood Chronicles.



My Life as a Hashtag

by Gabrielle Williams

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN 9781760113681




If you have ever written and sent an email  you regretted a few moments or minutes later,  you'll understand how a 17 year old girl called  MC  felt. She's dealing with her parents who have split up and embarrassingly for her,  her mum is trawling through Tinder and one of her best friends hasn't invited her to the biggest party of the year, which she is watching unfold on social media! So what does she do, she gets mad... She soon finds out what the power of social media as her private rant unfolds and snowballs in the most public way possible.

Easy to read, it is shows the power of social media when not used in a positive way and what can happen, serving as  a good read for mid to older teens and young adults, or  for that matter - adults!




Exchange of Heart

by Darren Groth

Published by Penguin

ISBN 978143781578




The death of Munro Maddux's sister Evie has had a profound effect on him and he's stuck. It was Evie's wish to go on exchange to Australia, but since she died Munro decides to go in her place. Unable to get onto one of the exchange programs he would have preferred (they took one look at this school results and rejected his application) he goes with a group called YOLO because he thinks with a name like that they won't be too fussy who joins - and his suspicions are confirmed at the airport. It struck me that Munro is a bit of cynic, but then he has recently lost his sister and he is a teen! His host family do their best to welcome him and he is pleasant to them. Once he get to his new school Sussex High he find he has to join a volunteer program, finds out about Fair Go an assisted living residence with a coterie of residents. Munro idea of being on exchange is not what he expected but could it mend his heart.

A lively and well written book that is quite easy to read. Great for high school students.



Hello Goodbye

by Emily Brewin

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN 9781925575101


The story of 17 year old May Callahan, whose mother follows her religion devoutly and who father although gentle is damaged. May's brother Sam has already left their rural home for the bright lights of Melbourne.


May takes the train to go and visit her brother Sam who lives in a share house with his housemates, Clancy an indigenous university students, Ruby who is a bit of a wild bohemian. When May meets them she realises this everything that her parents warned her about, their liberal thinking, their opposition to the Vietnam War. She knows what effect war can have,  it had a profound affect on her father. At first all seems wonderful, she has a good, in fact bright future in front of her, but then things change....



The Choke

by Sophie Laguna

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN 9781760297244




This is 2015 Miles Franklin Award winning author, Sophie Laguna's third novel. Raised by her Pop, a man tormented by visions of the Burma Railway, Justine finds sanctuary in Pop's chooks and The Choke, the place where the Murray River is so narrow that the banks almost touch. While it is a beautiful place can the river protect Justine from her criminal father who seeks to expose her to a lethal world?


She is often underestimated and overlooked, she is shy and silently observes the chaotic world around her. She needs to survive and so has to finds ways to do so. This is a rather haunting novel about a child navigating an often uncaring and a dark world of male power and violence in which adults often can't be trusted. The nature of human spirit breaks through to find compassion through the claustrophobic  vision of a child.



Australian Bush Rangers

Captain Moonlite

by Jane Smith

Published by Big Sky Publishing

ISBN 9781922132581



Andrew George Scott, as a lay preacher in the town of Mt Egerton in Victoria took everyone by surprise when they found out that he was in fact the masked villain and armed bank robber, who was known as Captain Moonlight.


This book in the series of Australian Bushrangers once again shows the sympathies for bushrangers at the time who they believed were hard done by and rather victims of the system.


Captain Moonlight upon release from prison led a rag tag bunch of young desperate men who staged a siege that would end in a shoot-out and the death of a policeman. A rather interesting read.


This series of books by Jane Halls,  Australian Bushrangers is very interesting to read, although mostly books for primary age school students they are generally interesting to read, especially with the replication of official documents, photos and drawings.



Australian Bush Rangers

Captain Frank Gardiner

by Jane Smith

Published by Big Sky Publishing

ISBN 9781922132673



Frank Gardiner must be one of the most famous or infamous bushrangers who yielded great influence as a charismatic, clever and handsome looking fellow. Somehow he inspired many young men to abandon their honest work and the drudgery of their lives to turn to highway robbery instead.


He led the infamous Gold Escort Robbert at Eugowra Rocks and almost got away with the crime. He managed to escape to Queensland where he ran a public house until he was eventually and controversially arrested. The public petitioned on his behalf for an early release from prison which was granted amidst the storm of controversy.


This series of books by Jane Halls,  Australian Bushrangers is very interesting to read, although mostly books for primary age school students they are generally interesting to read, especially with the replication of official documents, photos and drawings.



Australian Bush Rangers

Ben Hall

by Jane Smith

Published by Big Sky Publishing

ISBN 9781922132697



This book tells the story of Ben Hall's life and his notorious exploits as a bushranger and the events that lead to his ultimate betrayal and death.  He started out in life with good prospects but then met up with the notorious bushranger Frank Gardiner by whom he was heavily influenced.  Hall was a bushranger for three years  and his gang committed hundreds of  often violent robberies. For a while he was respected for his daring and courageous ways of outwitting the police. To some he was a hero  while to others he was a brutal criminal.


This series of books by Jane Halls,  Australian Bushrangers is very interesting to read, although mostly books for primary age school students they are generally interesting to read, especially with the replication of official documents, photos and drawings.



Paddy O'Melon

by Julia Cooper

Illustrated by Daryl Dickson

Published by EK Books

ISBN 9781925335637



An Irish family who live in the rainforest and often help wildlife on their adventures one day come across a young joey who has been separated from it's mum after falling asleep while hiding in some bushes from some black dogs that were chasing them. The family, the O'Melons look after and raise the young kangaroo along with their menagerie of other wildlife Paddy as he is named by dad O'Melon,  is keen to learn more about his human family, but also wants to know who he really is. Is he an Irish kangaroo?

A lovely book, beautifully written and illustrated.


Julia Cooper the author, from the UK but moved to Queensland and worked in wildlife education and rehabilitation. With her partner, Martin Cohen she was always busy caring for native animals from flying foxes to pademelons. Julia's passion included educating people, especially children about the wonders  of the natural world and for us to look after native wildlife.  In 2011 Julie sadly passed away from an auto-immune disease and has left this story as part of her legacy.



Through the Gate

by Sally Fawcett


Published by EK Books

ISBN:  9781925335415


Change can be difficult, challenging, even exciting, confusing and inspiring, but we can't avoid change and one things for certain, time changes all.


The story of change told through the eyes of a child who has moved house and struggling to cope with this big change. All she sees at first is this run down broken house, it's not a home, or the one she was used to. Gradually day by day as she arrives home from school and walks through the gate, she notices little changes happening, until one day she realises that it has become a lovely home with a beautiful garden, one to look forward to seeing every day after school. Life takes on a happier new meaning.


Ideal for playing the spot the differences as each page is turned to increase awareness of observation and showing that a little done step by step can bring good results. We loved the illustrations as well as the story.



Ella Saw the Tree

by Robert Vescio

illustrated by Cheri Hughes

Publishedby Big Sky Publishing



A delightful and entertaining book for young readers. Ella's mum helps her to realise all the good things happening around in her in their backyard, centred but she hasn't really noticed the big tree yet.


On a windy day the tree loses some of it's leaves and Ella is convinced it means the tree is crying and she wonders why she hadn't noticed the big tree before. She takes  time to smell, listen, feel and look - that she discovers the tree in her backyard, as if for the very first time. Ella slows down and explores more to appreciate the world around her.


A good book to sit down and read with younger children and explore the lovely illustrations



Stripes in the Forest

The Story of the Last Wild Thylacine

by Aleesah Darlison

Illustrated by Shane McGrath

ISBN 9781925275711



A very moving story about the last Tasmanian tiger or wild thylacine that once mainland Australian and New Guinea and Tasmania, eventually confined Tasmania.


The story is told through the courageous mother thylacine about the past and  to protect them in the future, just as she protects her cubs from humans and other predators.


 An interesting way to teach children about protecting vulnerable species and respecting nature. Be aware it is also rather a sad story.




Being You is Enough and other important stuff

written and illustrated by Josh Langley

Published by Big Sky Publishing

ISBN: 9781925275827

Being different is OK, not all everyone is perfect, people do make mistakes and what's perfect anyway?

A fun illustrated book, divided into chapters, well or sections, to help children through school life with 11 essential life affirming messages.

Superpowers abound, it's good to listen, daydream, have awesome thoughts, learn to change how you think instead of getting angry, make yourself a better person.

A good addition for home or school library.




The Mozzie with a Sharp Snozzie

by Irina Goundortseva

Published by Big Sky Publishing

ISBN:  9781925275964




A mozzie (mosquito) sees all the beautiful butterflies and admires them from afar. She wants to join them but they don't want her to because she's not pretty like them.


Not willing to include the Mozzie with the A Sharp Snozzie in their group, the Mozzie becomes creative, but then finds out being a butterfly is not necessarily always so good!


Without wishing to spoil the story, let's just say the Mozzie with a Sharp Snozzie saves the day and realises  that just being your natural self is best.




Tommy Bell - The Horse Thief

by Jane Smith

Published by
Big Sky Publishing

ISBN: 9781925520064



All is going well for Tommy, he is popular, but now there's a new kid at school and he wants Tommy to join his gang, turns out it's not such a good idea because his friend is  trouble.


That's until he meet the bushranger while on holiday with his family. Tommy finds himself in the middle of a horse robbery, police chase and even an escape from prison.  While they're on holiday, Tommy asks his mum about the local bushranger, she vaguely remembers him and  looks up more information about him using her phone. Tommy becomes quite interested and it pleases his mum that he wants to know more about it.



Tommy Bell - Bushranger Boy

by Jane Smith

Published by
Big Sky Publishing

ISBN: 9781925275940

A bit of an adventure awaits as Tommy Bell, he's been told that he is going to his grandparents who live on a farm for the school holidays. He thinks its punishment for his bad behaviour, but it is not that at all.


The boy who thinks that history is sooo boring (just as school was closing for the holidays he got his history test results -  2 out 10). When he finds a cave from an old bushranger he soon finds out that history is anything but boring. Before long he is back in the days of the gold rush and find meets the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt and then, what is adventurous at first, becomes...



© 2001 - 2018


Disclaimer: All information in is provided for educational purposes only and is not the recommendation of the publishers. When assessing author's recommendations or suggestions the reader should conduct their own investigations as to whether this information is suitable for their needs. All information on this site is subject to copyright.  If any information is copied we know you are doing it. Some education institutions may be permitted to copy some information, please contact the publisher first.

Privacy Policy & Cookies

Publishing positive education information for parents & teachers since 2000

Being You is Enough and other important stuff

ISBN: 9781925275827

The Mozzie with a Sharp Snozzie

Publishing positive education information for parents & teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents & teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents & teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents & teachers since 2000