Walker Books education newsletter March 2014
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Welcome to the Bear Necessities for March 2014. With the school year well and truly underway, I've got some great new books to show you and a fantastic school and library book bonus offer to help you get more books for your buck!

Big books
Check out our collection of big books here. Big books are great for studying a book as a class or as a companion to a class set of books.

School and library book bonus (Australia only)
From now until June 2014, when you order $500 of Walker Books Australia or Black Dog Books titles, you will receive a book bonus donation to the value of $500. See the 2014 School and Library Book Bonus order form for full details. Terms and conditions apply.

Happy reading!
Steve Spargo
Walker Books Education
Dianne Wolfer tells us about her experience writing Annie's Snails, part of the Walker Stories series:

Annie’s Snails is all about a young girl finding pleasure in the little things in life. Do you think it’s important for children to be adventurous and discover interesting things (like snails) on their own?

Yes, adventurous play is so important, and sadly not something many children are allowed to do. No one wants a child to have a serious accident, but I believe (loosely) unsupervised play fosters creativity and imagination. Children need space to test their bravery and learn to set personal limits. I loved making cubbies as a child; in long grass in the neighbouring paddock, in backyard trees, under sheets drying between chairs. Part of the attraction was that I was in a private space of my own, where I could make up the rules and daydream. As adults I think we need to respect that. Children who aren’t allowed to take risks have no opportunity to learn resilience and this is such an important life skill. During school visits when I show early drafts of stories, I always tell students that technology is great, but that my "ideas" arrive when I’m away from screens, usually when I’m out in nature, often walking our dog in the bush or at the beach. I’m fortunate to live in a regional town, but small microsystems with great creatures can be found in small parks, alongside footpaths, even in the back of some kitchen cupboards!

Read the full interview here.

Walker Stories: Annie's Snails

Dianne Wolfer and Gabriel Evans (illus)

Annie loves her pet snails. They have lots of adventures together. She even makes them a special home in an ice-cream container. She thinks they'll be very happy. But will they?

Walker Stories support beginner readers making the transition from picture books in an engaging, entertaining and accessible way. Annie's Snails features three highly illustrated, individual short stories linked by one character, so readers can build familiarity and confidence.

Illustrated fiction
Lower Primary
Classroom ideas available

Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done

Stephan Pastis

The clueless, comically self-confident kid detective returns in a sequel to the New York Times bestseller Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made.

This is a hilarious series that is great for fans of Wimpy Kid and Big Nate. The heavily illustrated pages and spaced out text also make this a great book for reluctant readers.

Check out the fantastic Timmy Failure website that has some great teacher resources.

Illustrated Fiction
Middle primary/Upper primary

Nature Storybooks: Bilby Secrets

Edel Wignell and Mark Jackson (illus)

The sun beats down on the red earth of the Australian desert. It is a hostile place to live in. But deep underground, a mother bilby and her baby share the secrets of surviving in this harsh environment.

In 2012 Bilby Secrets was short-listed for the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books in the CBCA awards and short-listed for the Environment Award for Children's Literature. New paperback edition. The Nature Storybooks series also includes Big Red Kangaroo, Flight of the Honey Bee and Python.

Narrative non-fiction picture book
Lower Primary/Middle Primary
Classroom ideas available

Do Not Forget Australia

Sally Murphy and Sonia Kretschmar (illus)

Henri lives in the French village of Villers-Bretonneux. Billy lives in Melbourne, Australia. These two little boys, who live thousands of miles away from each other, share one story that unites Villers-Bretonneux and Melbourne in history. A moving and inspiring story of World War One. New paperback edition.

Picture Book
Lower Primary/Middle Primary
Classroom ideas available

Shhh! We Have a Plan

Chris Haughton

From award-winning illustrator Chris Haughton, one of the most exciting new voices in children's literature and author/illustrator of A Bit Lost and Oh No George!, comes a brand-new picture book about a beautiful bird, an unquenchable desire and plans gone awry...

Check out the trailer here and a behind-the-scenes blog post here.

Picture book
Lower Primary
Classroom ideas available

We're Going on a Bear Hunt 25th Anniversary Edition

Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury (illus)

We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one. Will you come too? For a quarter of a century, readers have been swishy-swashying and splash-sploshing through this award-winning favourite. A must for every library.

Picture book
Lower Primary

Wild Boy

Rob Lloyd Jones

A boy covered in hair, known only as Wild Boy, must race to clear his name from a murder he didn't commit. A fiendishly pacy mystery-adventure story for 9+ readers, set in the seamy, smoggy underworld of Victorian London. This book is great for leading discussions on what it means to be an outcast and what happens when you judge a person based on their appearance. New paperback edition.

Junior Fiction
Upper primary
Classroom ideas available

Now available as eBooks


Win a set of the first two books in the Timmy Failure series.

I've got five sets of Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made and Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done to give away! To enter, send me an email telling me the name of Timmy's 1500-pound partner at Total Failure, Inc (hint: visit the Timmy Failure website and read the Total Failure, Inc page).

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