Parenting and Children's Books

Harry Potter has a new literary rival

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.


Andy Griffiths, what really makes kids' laugh


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.


'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.


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


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.


20 terrific kids books you didn't grow up with


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.


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.



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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


Why Flowers in the Attic still haunts us

FLowers in the attic

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


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


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.


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.


World's most inspirational female role models in one book


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.


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.


The kids are All Right, Vegemite


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


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.


Banned book should be taught in schools

Christopher Bantick.

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


Plenty of kidding around


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?


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


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


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


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.


Mother of boys tells of lessons learned


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


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

Inspiring books for girls


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


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


JK Rowling leaves 'Door ajar' for Potter world

JK RowlingRowling.jpg

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


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.


A childhood full of books


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


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


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


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


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


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.

The rules of attachment


Carmen Michael A new book has criticised hands-on parenting techniques, but are they simply a rational response to a rapidly changing and competitive world?

Cool characters

Stay in the good books

Full page illustration from A Bus Called Heaven

FRANCES ATKINSON We up some summer children's titles from top Australian and international talent.

I should be so plucky


Stephanie Peatling No damsels in distress, the adventurous girls in children's books inspired the first flush of feminism in Stephanie Peatling.

Welcome to your child’s brain


Lakshmi Singh The authors of a new book "Welcome To Your Child’s Brain – From in Utero to Uni" have one message for parents who wallow in guilt about their style of parenting - “Take a deep breath and relax.” Fretting over small aspects of parenting or over scheduling kids with activities aimed to “improve” them will not necessarily make them more successful.

Super tips to uncover your supermum persona

frustrated mum

Katie Carlin For everyone who feels their supermum title is hanging by a thread, that is to assume it ever existed in the first place, there is still hope.

Down time

Why lazy parents make happy families

Generic pic of a woman asleep in a hammock, holiday, vacation, relaxation, sleeping, sleep.

A new book advocates hands-off parenting for the entire family's sake.

For kids or not for kids - that is the question

Nicki Greenberg

Carolyn Webb The winner of one of Australia's top children's book awards says her book is not for young children.

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Movie review: The Boxtrolls

Alan Snow’s bestselling novel, Here Be Monsters, offered the creators of Coraline and ParaNorman the perfect tale for their latest stop-motion animation film about a family of box-dwelling trolls who live under the streets of Cheesebridge.

'Lah-Lah's Adventures' a musical treat for young and old

Sydney-siders with tiny tots have been loyal followers of the Lah-Lah band for many years but the boisterous children’s music group from the inner-west continue to grow their following with their own television series.

Wise words from kids movies

The movies we watched as kids had a lot more to offer than just entertainment. Here's ten wise quotes from kids movies.

31 iconic family films from the 1980s

If you grew up in the 1980s there will be a number of films that are close to your heart. Here are 31 of the most iconic for you to watch with your own kids.

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