The Case for Supervised Play in Early Childhood and Primary School – Essay

“Boys will be boys” is a catch-phrase tossed up by over-worked and under-resourced early childhood educators when concerned parents query playground etiquette. But when children as young as four years old are playing games that involve “shooting all the girls in the heart”, capturing and “killing” each other, and targeting any children who do not actively choose to play with this group, a radical reassessment is required.Read More »The Case for Supervised Play in Early Childhood and Primary School – Essay

10 Reasons Ant-Man and the Wasp is a Fun, Feminist-Friendly Family Film – SPOILERS

SPOILER WARNING

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a Marvel Studios movie that was released in 2018. The movie stars Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hannah John-Kamen, Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Laurence Fishburne.

Here are ten refreshingly feminist details and plot points the writers of Ant-Man and the Wasp got right.Read More »10 Reasons Ant-Man and the Wasp is a Fun, Feminist-Friendly Family Film – SPOILERS

Herman Parrish – Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book Series

The Amelia Bedelia chapter book series is a spin off written by Herman Parrish based on the character created by his aunt Peggy Parrish in the 1960s. While the original features Amelia Bedelia as an adult, Herman Parrish’s series places an approximately 10-year-old Amelia Bedelia in a current-day setting and explores school and small-town life in general through her eyes. Amelia Bedelia might not be one of the “cool” kids, but she always somehow manages to pull off the most spectacular wins when it counts. As the child who takes everything literally, hilarity ensues whenever she comes up against an idiom she hasn’t met before (and with a father who peppers his conversation with them, there is plenty of confusion to add to the laughs).Read More »Herman Parrish – Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book Series

Denise Kirby – 88 Lime Street : The Way In

This review contains SPOILERS and is intended for parents.

The Way In is a great start to what will presumably continue as an 88 Lime Street series, although there is very little information on any follow up books. Beginning as a standard-fare haunted house story, the plot twists into more of a time-slip adventure with some big scares unsuitable for young or sensitive readers. It’s a bit Indiana(s)-Jones-for-teens with booby traps and hazards.Read More »Denise Kirby – 88 Lime Street : The Way In

Jessica Day George – Tuesdays at the Castle

This review contains SPOILERS and is intended for parents.

There have been a slew of sentient-building stories recently and Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George is easily one of the best of them (followed narrowly by 88 Lime Street and The Inn Between, which I’ll review soon).

Don’t be misled by the cute cover or even the fun-sounding concept of a castle that changes its rooms around once a week. Tuesdays at the Castle is excellent for older readers and features a truly awesome female protagonist. It’s ideal for anyone who thinks they’re growing out of “princess books”.Read More »Jessica Day George – Tuesdays at the Castle

Elizabeth Pulford – Sanspell : Book 1 of The BloodTree Chronicles

This review contains SPOILERS and is intended for parents.

Sanspell, the first book in Elizabeth Pulford’s BloodTree Chronicles, is a strange piece of metafiction that has some familiar echoes in the race to fulfil a quest before the last leaves fall from the cursed and dying Bloodtree. This book takes itself seriously with none of the tongue-in-cheek self-mockery that usually takes the edge off stories of this type.Read More »Elizabeth Pulford – Sanspell : Book 1 of The BloodTree Chronicles

Play Like a Girl Chapter Book Series

Jo Stanley’s Play Like a Girl Chapter Book Series (in collaboration with AFLW*) is my surprise find for the year. Each of the four books follows a different protagonist with a minor issue to overcome while playing (Australian Rules) footy for the Millsborough West Girls’ Under 12 Football Team (The Flyers). Sarah has just moved to a new area and a new school; Hanh is jealous of her best friend; Rainbow is the “weird” kid who doesn’t fit in at school; Lucy is shy and not just because she wears hearing aids. They are all coached by Shawna, a tough, sporty woman with a loud voice and spiky blue hair. The books are simple and the story problems are very brief and easy to resolve, but the characterisation is great with a broad range of different personalities and motivations. Finding out how these girls are going to cope and succeed is rather compelling.Read More »Play Like a Girl Chapter Book Series