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Ok, most of the suggestions people made were for books we already have (and love). Here is my final list of new purchases. In the end I decided not to get the picture book classics – they’re easy to get in libraries and they’re likely to get a run at kinder and school – I tend to favour books that fill some thematic gaps in my kid’s collection or will give my neices and nephews something new to think about. That said, both of the older kids will be getting classics. The books about festivals are for us to get out at appropriate times of year with the kid.

Suki’s Kimono, By Chieri Uegaki

Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year, By Joan Holub

Ramadan, By Jonny Zucker

Lighting a Lamp, By Jonny Zucker

Dr. Dog, By Babette Cole

Monkey and Me, By Emily Gravett

Cleversticks, By Bernard Ashley

The Secret Garden, By Frances Hodgson Burnett

Eight Candles to Light, By Jonny Zucker

Huck Finn – audio book

Princess Smartypants, By Babette Cole

Once There Was a Boy …, By Oliver Jeffers

Princess Smartypants Breaks the Rules!, By Babette Cole

April Underhill, Tooth Fairy, By Bob Graham

Iggy Peck, Architect, By Andrea Beaty

Lost Thing, By Shaun Tan

What else have I been looking at? Well I’d like some books with a greater diversity of family types, I’d like to see books that represent families with two mums or two dads or Mum and Granny or parents living apart or whatever without it being the main focus of the story. I’d like my kid to see a wide variety of families represented in the context of a story that’s interesting or fun, not Now Son It’s Time To Talk About Diversity. Because kids don’t want to read stories in title case. Nor do they particularly want to be the topic of a Social Issues special feature. One of the things I love about Bob Graham books is the scruffiness of the families. There are parents in ill-fitting op shop clothes, they have mess, they have trouble putting up the tent, they have an old couch on the porch. It’s nice to see ourselves represented sympathetically. I’d like some books that do the same sort of thing for other families. I’ve made a few suggestions for my local library and added a few more things to my shopping list for the future. Sick days are so productive.

Mommy, Mama and Me (Board book)
by Leslea Newman

King and King (Hardback)
by Linda De Haan

The Boy Who Cried Fabulous (Paperback)
by Leslea Newman

And Tango Makes Three (Paperback)
by Justin Richardson


I’ve just done a fair whack of my Christmas shopping. I’ve done it from the comfort of my bed, while my toddler napped and I don’t even have to feel bad about the working conditions of the people who made the gifts. There are kid’s toys that are gender neutral, there are no trademarked characters on anything, it’s not a heap of plastic, and they also sell wine.

It’s also cheap, and they home deliver, which is the best kind of Christmas shopping.

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