Michelle Worthington is an award-winning children's author and international guest speaker on the power of storytelling. Michelle is dedicated to encouraging a strong love of reading and writing in young children and supports the vision of empowering youth through education and working on books that are purposeful, innovative and inspirational.
Monday, 26 October 2020
Friday, 23 October 2020
Reading to premature babies for brain development
Reading to premature babies every day supports development, not only in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), but also going into early infancy and childhood. Babies enjoy hearing their parent’s voice over any other sound, but what’s more important is that it’s an activity that parents can do every day for their baby during a time where many can feel helpless in an intense and stressful environment. International children’s book author, Michelle Worthington, is mother to three premature babies and knows what it’s like to go through NICU not being able to touch or take home your baby. Sometimes premmie baby may be sleepy or lethargic due to medications or illness. If the baby is awake and making eye contact with you, that’s the best time to read to them. Reading is also linked to improved language and writing abilities at school age, so it’s never too early to start.
Support Life's Little Treasures Foundation
Tuesday, 20 October 2020
Why kids need authors as much as they need sporting stars
Our role models play an important role in shaping our dreams and ambitions. For many kids, the under-representation of the arts as a viable employment pathway, together with a lack of exposure to creative business owners from across diverse fields, makes it difficult for children who aren’t into sport to see themselves reflected in the people living their dream. Author and illustrator visits to schools play a large part in inspiring young children to not only believe in themselves, but to dare to expand their possibilities and take forward action on what they dream of doing. Until people in power respect the contributions and invest in the arts, the non-sporty kids will continue to miss out on finding their own heroes.
Book Week is 17 -23 October
Thursday, 15 October 2020
How to write a book for today’s children
Book Week is 17 - 23 October 2020
Wednesday, 14 October 2020
Easy hacks for amazing Book Week costumes
Book Week is often the highlight of the school year for children. It's a week full of excitement, imagination, and of course, amazing costumes. In a world full of technology, it's a fantastic way to capture the attention of young minds, showing them how to explore the universe of books. But for parents, the problem of finding the perfect Book Week character costume can be exhausting. Some books that fit with this year’s theme Curious Creatures, Wild Minds, lend themself to easier costume ideas. A magnifying glass for the Wild Minds of Enola or Sherlock Holmes and Curious Creatures can wear their pjs to school from Pugs Don’t Wear Pyjamas. A red ribbon for Matilda, feelers for Glitch or wearing all orange for The Lorax, it only takes a bit of imagination for kids to have fun and celebrate books, because that’s what it’s all about.
Book Week is 17 - 23 October 2020
Tuesday, 6 October 2020
Reading to babies from birth to fight post-natal depression
Saturday, 3 October 2020
Book Review: All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton
It's 2.23am. I have just finished reading All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton and my first thoughts are, 'What. Just. Happened?'
After not responding to knocks at doors, scrapes on knees and fire alarms at dinner time, I thought it was safer to finish reading it after the boys had gone to bed. My head was filled with white butterflies, white bones, hope, hate, love, life and death. Just as I became Eli Bell in Boy Swallows Universe, growing up as a too smart kid in a shut your mouth Brisbane suburb, so was I Molly Hook, head full of words and infallibly optimistic, no matter what life threw at me. Only Trent Dalton can make you loose yourself in a book like that.
I hate snot. The hardest page of the book for me to read wasn't when the gravedigger's daughter hid with her mother's bones in an open grave, got the beating or saw the rape, it was page 173. It was also the most incredibly moving and mind blowing piece of descriptive writing that I have ever read in my life. In that moment, snot was poetic and graceful. Only Trent Dalton can create characters like that.
The same suffocating pang that squeezed the tears from my eyes when I relived my childhood in Boy Swallows Universe were shed for Molly and Violet Hook. I talked to oceans instead of skies. I spat out pills instead of seeds. I had the monsters in my bed, after I had fed and cared for them all day until they became twisted by drink and darkness. I have carried all I owned and owned all I carried. Only Trent Dalton can see inside my soul like that.
Now, as I check on my sleeping children under the dark sky, I speak softly to it. 'Please don't let anything happen to me so my kids don't end up like a character in a Trent Dalton novel.'
When the blue sky returns, I will ask politely if one day I could write a book as honest and beautiful as a Trent Dalton novel, and I wouldn't even care if it lied.
Friday, 2 October 2020
Guest Blog - Leo's Story by Megan Firster
Thursday, 1 October 2020
Is imagination an endangered species?
Modern children are very good at mimicry and mirroring instruction, but with the current curriculum’s focus on learning outcomes more so than learning pathways, are they losing the ability to think independently and inventively? The important role that imagination plays in creating engagement is being lost and forced literacy ignores the essence of critical and creative thinking: the need for questioning, exploration, and extended discussion around issues that are important to children. Without imagination, are our children equipped to be the leaders of tomorrow?
Thursday, 24 September 2020
Putting the 'home' into home reading
With lockdowns and restrictions continuing across the country, it can feel as if we’ve had enough 'family time'. But are we actually spending quality time with our children or just going through the motions of home learning? When we sit to share a book, we’re creating a space to be together, to be available for our child and not distracted by anything else that's going on around us. The agreement to share a book allows us to tune in to what really catches their attention, their emotions, their sense of humour, even what they don't particularly respond to. We can, through the book sharing experience, get to know our children better. Taking only five minutes a day to share a book with your child can go a long way towards facilitating and nurturing your relationship and improving their mental health, as well as your own.
Wednesday, 9 September 2020
Kids, change, and the power of picture books
Kids, change, and the power of picture books
Picture Books can be great tools for you to use to help your child understand change and new or frightening events, and also the strong emotions that can go along with them. When children are able to think about the text and make connections between the new information presented in the story and their store of background experiences, it allows them to be active and thoughtful about their own anxiety. Children can use picture books to make connections between familiar knowledge and incoming information in order to make predictions and inferences about characters, their motives and actions, as well as story events in order to learn that change is a natural and normal part of life.
Wednesday, 2 September 2020
Friday, 28 August 2020
Thursday, 27 August 2020
Reading to Your Child Doesn't Have to be at Bedtime
Reading to your child doesn’t have to be at bedtime
Often when we wait until the end of the day, both parent and child are too tired to actively engage. Reading while playing builds a foundation of communication and word structure for your child by helping them to become familiar with common sounds, words and language that you use throughout the day. The time of day doesn’t matter, it’s the connection that counts.
Wednesday, 26 August 2020
Wednesday, 19 August 2020
Tuesday, 18 August 2020
Reading is Reading, No Matter the Medium
Waging a war to get your child to read can never be won; the only true victory happens when you lay down your arms and befriend the fact that for some children, reading is like having to eat their vegetables...they only do it because a parent says it’s good for them or a teacher makes them do it before they can move on to something 'fun'. The more we treat reading like a chore or homework, the more children are going to become disengaged from the true purpose of books; to give the gift of another world, a new friend or a mirror to celebrate what makes us all truly unique. Fun online reading games, reading apps and read along with animations on YouTube videos all have their place in modern literacy. Books have always come in all shapes and sizes, so reading is reading, no matter the medium.