Parenting and Children's Books

Kirsten Bell's Text Me Merry Christmas: A new Christmas classic?

Rachel Clun Ever wondered what those Christmas classics might have sounded like if Bing Crosby and Bobby Helms were around today? Well wonder no more.

Should publishers do more to red-flag explicit content on their back covers?

J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter cross-over series.

Linda Morris The lines between adult and teenager reading matter have blurred.

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5 lessons from classic children's books I want my son to learn

Books offer kids countless lessons.

Arianne Beeston One of the best things about being a parent is sharing my love of words and stories with my son and the special, fictional characters that shaped my childhood.

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Enid Blyton's The Faraway Tree to hit the screen in latest bid to aim fantasy at grown-ups

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Dimitra Fimi Children’s fantasy has become a lucrative global industry, and duly producers are plumbing all kinds of magical authors. Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree is only the latest children’s classic destined for the silver screen, with a live action film currently in production.

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A book with no pictures is a hit with kids

Title page from <i>The Book With No Pictures</i>, by B.J. Novak.

Rachel Clun An author who has never written a children's book before has written a kid's book with no pictures - and it's a best seller.

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New 'Harry Potter' book released on Dolores Umbridge

Harry Potter's nemesis Dolores Umbridge will get her own say in a new short story by JK Rowling.

A new Potter story set to be released on the Pottermore website on October 31.

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Books for kids become a healing tool

<i>The Fault in Our Stars</i> has connected with teens.

Linda Morris Fictional books can help children cope with their problems and face their fears.

Harry Potter has a new literary rival

Illustration of Poppy Pym.

Rachel Clun A competition in England has unearthed what could be the next Harry Potter, after a PHD candidate won for her children's story about a circus girl turned detective.

ABC's James O'Loghlin wins Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award

Radio host and author James O'Loghlin.

Rachel Clun James O'Loghlin has won the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award for 2014, for his debut children's novel 'The Adventures of Sir Roderick the Not-Very Brave'.

Thor's female identity remains a mystery

Comic cover image of the all-new Thor.

Josh Dickey Thor is becoming a woman this week, and the comic book horde hath questions.

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Andy Griffiths, what really makes kids' laugh

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Livia Gamble "Kids’ have a vast appetite for the mayhem and the dark side of life," says Andy Griffiths, who at 53 knows exactly what kids' find funny.

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'Mothers Grimm', a collection of stories about mothers of the imperfect kind

Riffing on fairy tales: Danielle Wood and her dog Scout.

Linda Morris Remember the story of Hansel and Gretel? Author Danielle Wood transforms the dark woods into a childcare centre in her stories about the heartache of motherhood.

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's missing chapter revealed

Charlie and the chocolate factory by Roald Dahl book cover

A chapter of children's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which was cut from the final version has been published for the first time.

Aldi pulls classic Roald Dahl book from its shelves after customer complaint

Dahl Revolting Rhymes

Saffron Howden Roald Dahl’s iconic children’s book, Revolting Rhymes, has been removed from the Aldi supermarket chain’s shelves after customer complaints over the use of the word “slut”.

J.K. Rowling publishes story about enchanting 'Harry Potter' character

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Neha Prakash Seven years after the release of the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, we're meeting a magical character barely mentioned in the wizarding world thus far - Celestina Warbeck.

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20 terrific kids books you didn't grow up with

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Gabe McGrath The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Green Eggs and Ham, The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Magic Faraway Tree are just a tiny sample of classic kids' books. But what about more recent books for children?

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Winners of the 2014 Children's Book Council of Australia awards

Never eat the last olive at a party: from Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan.

Angie Schiavone The Children's Book Council of Australia awards feature a crowd-pleasing mix of new and established authors.

'Creepy' new Roald Dahl cover sexualising girls?

Willy Wonka - Gene Wilder.

Anita Singh Publisher has been slammed for their cover redesign of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with readers claiming the new look is sexualising girls in an attempt to appeal to an adult audience.

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JK Rowling's Dumbledore writes to teen massacre survivor

Michael Gambon as Professor Albus Dumbledore in the <i>Harry Potter</i> films.

Rose Powell A grieving teenage orphan received a letter she will never forget from a world-famous author.

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Books

The picture book promoting guns to children

Guns are fun: The Strong family love to show off their weapons.

Nick Galvin A new "wholesome" picture book by two Michigan-based authors aims to show children the benefits of having parents who openly carry handguns.

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Should books be replaced with digital versions?

What is lost when you have no pages to turn.

Alison Bradshaw What would our children really be losing if we replaced all books with digital versions in schools and the library became a thing of the past?

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12 young adult fiction books to read this winter

Escape with a good book this winter.

As long as you have a good book you need never be bored. Here are 12 young adult books that teens (and parents - who are we kidding?) can get their teeth into this winter.

John Green on the experience that enabled him to write 'The Fault In Our Stars'

John Green

Celia Walden John Green's bestseller - a teen romance between cancer sufferers - is credited with launching 'sick lit'. Here he talks about why that label frustrates him and his genuine surprise at the book's success.

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Why reading the classics with your children matters

Nova Weetman Children are spoilt for choice when it comes to contemporary books but there is something special to be gained from reading that can only be found in the classics.

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How this young adult fiction book helped me bond with my teens

The power of a good book.

Sarah Wayland A good book has the capacity to draw you in and keep you close long after the last words are read but Sarah Wayland discovered it can also bring you closer to your teenager.

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Teenagers stop reading for pleasure as they age

Why do teens read less for pleasure as they age?

Livia Gamble Once children reach their teenage years the amount of time they spend reading for pleasure decreases sharply, study finds. Is technology to blame?

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Captain Underpants' toilet humour encourages reluctant readers

(L TO R) Max Atkinson 9, Will Atkinson 7 and Tommy Atkinson 5 reading 'Captain Underpants' novels at their home in Waverton. 24th April, 2014. Photo: Kate Geraghty

Amy McNeilage The Tales of Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants books include wicked wedgies, talking toilets, snotty noses and a scantily clad superhero, an unsavoury recipe that has seduced millions of young boys into reading.

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Movie trilogy for Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts

Harry Potter with a hippogriff called Buckbeak.

Three Harry Potter spin-off movies based on the magical beasts from the books are being penned by JK Rowling.

8 Parenting books that are worth reading

Books every parent should read ...

The Daily Muse There are plenty of brilliant, articulate parents out there who have penned books that will shape your conception of parenthood for the better. Here are eight of them.

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Why Flowers in the Attic still haunts us

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Tammy Oler Reading Flowers in the Attic was a rite of passage for teenage girls. The novel recognised a deep and abiding fear that has shaped the women of a generation: the fear of turning becoming our mothers.

Books we read as kids make us who we are today

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Diana Elliott Take advice from Australia's richest woman and buy a child a book for Christmas.

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Get the kids reading this summer

How to get kids reading this summer.

June Factor The popular author and academic, June Factor, guides parents in encouraging their kids to read.

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The great cookbook roadtest

Cookbooks review for Christmas.

From novices to kitchen know-it-alls, there's a cookbook for every Christmas stocking this year.

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World's most inspirational female role models in one book

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Eliza Sarlos Eliza Sarlos wanted her son to grow up respecting and admiring the capabilities of women, spurred on by a lack of resources she created Amazing Babes, a must-read book for children full of some of the world’s most inspirational female role models.

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McDonald's publishes children's books as part of Happy Meal giveaways

Happy Meals in the US will come with books published by McDonald's.

Nick Galvin Fast food giant McDonald's is set to become one of America's largest publishers of children's books when it distributes 20 million paperbacks next month.

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The kids are All Right, Vegemite

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Geoff Maslen The tradition of children's play has survived despite increased use of television and video games.

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Taking risks with Andy Griffiths

Children's Author Andy Griffiths.

Nick Galvin A willingness to take risks with gross-out humour has made the children's author a hero to younger readers - and a villain to some parents.

Opinion

Banned book should be taught in schools

Christopher Bantick.

Christopher Bantick The story of sex between a teacher and her student is worth discussing.

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Plenty of kidding around

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Stephanie Owen Reeder enjoys some seriously funny picture books.

The darker side of children's books

Catcing Fire

Sarah Macdonald When should parents start introducing concepts of cruelty, poverty, death and disaster in literature?

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Who should teach our kids to read?

Make reading a daily ritual with your kids ...

Josefa Pete The responsibility is often put on teachers but parents play a vital role in fostering a love of reading in their kids long before they walk through the school gates.

Out the gate and off like a rocket

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Tom Hunt Hairy Maclary - the one from Donaldson's Dairy - lay for years as no more than a sketch in a book of ideas.

Goonies inspired Columbus' first novel

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Katie Carlin Kids don’t have to travel far for an action packed adventure these school holidays; they simply have to open up Chris Columbus’ first novel, House of Secrets.

Gwyneth's ingredients for the good life

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Elaine Lipworth Gwyneth Paltrow talks to Elaine Lipworth about the health scare that prompted her latest cookbook, her young family, and why she has scaled back her acting career.

Turning children in to readers

Children's Book Festival

Amy Gray With the Children's Book Festival underway this weekend, we find out what books famous authors read to their own children.

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Mother of boys tells of lessons learned

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Lisa Salmon Hannah Evans is a MOB three times over. And as a MOB - Mother of Boys - she has come to the conclusion that bringing up boys "is like dealing with dogs".

Books to chase kids' worries away

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Stephanie Owen Reeder delves into picture books that deal with childhood fear.

Inspiring books for girls

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Amy Gray With Christmas around the corner, there are a host of present types we all dread for our girls but there is one gift that gives more than the others.

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How not to be the perfect mother

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Sandy Smith Put away your Gina Ford and Dr Spock - there's a sh*tty mum side to us all.

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JK Rowling leaves 'Door ajar' for Potter world

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Robert Dex JK Rowling has left "the door ajar" for a return to the world of Harry Potter but said there would be no more books about the young wizard.

Stories that go 'bump' in the night

Nightmare.

Linda Morris One night, while drawing the curtains on her apartment windows, Deborah Abela saw her one and only ghost. In the pitch black, kneeling on her bed, she saw a face. Her beloved but frail nanna had died five or so years before but there she was, younger and watchful.

Harry Potter banned by Christian school

Harry Potter

Alison Branley Medowie Christian School has defended a decision to ban witches and warlocks from its annual book week parade and the Harry Potter series from the school library.

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A childhood full of books

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Cynthia Banham What a perplexing time to become a new parent. The latest popular books on the subject say that unless you are French you probably are bringing up your child to be a lazy, selfish brat.

Top five tips to get your child reading

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Whether your children are just starting to engage with books or you're struggling to find a book to interest your older child Dymocks has some tips on how to foster a love for reading in your kids.

Finding her way through the fog

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Katie Carlin There are some stories that stay with you long after you finish reading them. They are usually the ones that make you stop and take stock of your life. My Life in a Pea Soup by Lisa Nops is one such story.

Discovery and adventure in your own backyard

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Katie Carlin Do you have an inquisitive nature lover in your household? Well the Australian Backyard Naturalist is the book for them. Full of interesting facts, stories and projects to help kids learn and engage with the animals, birds and insects living in their own backyard.

Building bonds that won't break

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Emily Anderson Many a parent has lamented the fact that children don't arrive with manuals but building a relationship with your child that encourages, secures and guides them in the right direction is possible.

'Wild Things' writer dies at 83

Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak didn't think of himself as a children's author, but as an author who told the truth about childhood.

Top EK reads

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Today is national Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R) day and to celebrate the Essential Kids team took a trip down memory lane to bring you our favourite childhood books.

Girls have been hungry for this revolutionary heroine

Dannielle Miller

Dannielle Miller If sales of the books and early movie tickets for the new teen fiction series The Hunger Games are anything to go by, it seems teen girls are starved for a heroine with real fire.

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If Disney princesses had realistic waists

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