Latest reviews of I Love You Book and Sawdust

This week we feature the latest reviews of our titles I Love You Book by Libby Hathorn and Heath McKenzie and Sawdust by Deborah Kay with Barry Levy.

I Love You Book is a charming picture book about the reasons why children (and adults!) love reading stories in books. It was inspired by a play that Hathorn’s adult students in PNG put on to celebrate their excitement over learning to read for the first time. A great Christmas present for young children!

Sawdust is a moving memoir of child abuse that ends not with a broken victim but with a brave woman who has transcended her past and now urges us to protect future generations. It was launched by Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale for National Child Protection Week (October). A gift to make you think.

I Love You Book:

“The inspiration for this book could have been the sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning which begins “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…” because it is an ode to the pleasures and delights of the book – its sights, sounds, smells and the remarkable places it encourages our imagination to visit and the amazing creatures we meet when we get there.

From the “rustle-bustle” of the pages to the “dots and commas, question marks Performing every page” to the “happily-ever-afters, packed-to-the-rafters”, this is an enthusiastic, energetic romp that reaffirms the joy that reading provides and why books are here to stay because they are the perfect format. On each page, illustrator Heath McKenzie has created fantastic artworks (hand-drawn using a digital tablet) which match the energy of the text and help us recall some of the most magic moments in our reading lives. And even if we haven’t yet met the centipede being rude or visited those lands at the top of the tree, it inspires us to find those books so we can.

We ask our students to express why they love books, not just as an exploration of the senses but also as a way of having them recommend books to others. Which books make you “dreamy and sometimes quiet and slow”, and which books make you want to “go, get up and go!”? Similarly, how do those “short-long words” make the story move, and what role do those dots and commas have?

If you’re planning to start 2014 off with a focus on reading and books and the pleasures the children are going to be in for as the year with you progresses, this is a must-have.”
– Barbara BraxtonThe Bottom Shelf, OZTLNet (Australian Teacher Librarian Network)


“This book is an excellent read – such a tough and terrible subject told with such optimism and hope. It helped me to understand how a young child normalises this situation. Deborah Kay is an amazing woman and so brave to tell her story. Her own children should be very proud of her. Well done!”
– Judy White, reader

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