Friday, 13 December 2013

Twas the Night of Book Talk Thursday Linky

Please scroll down to continue participating in the Aussie Christmas - Santa Down Under Blog Hop...It is a couple of posts below this one. If you would like to participate in the blog hop, you are more than welcome to and pick up some freebies or learn more about Christmas in Australia...It starts here :)

I am linking up again with my international literacy friends to share our favourite Christmas Eve picture books, hosted by Andrea at Reading Toward the Stars.  Hop over to Andrea's blog to check out other favourite picture books for the night before Christmas.

If you scroll down my blog, you can read about some of my other favourite picture books for Christmas in Australia (and a freebie or two).

For the night before Christmas, two of my favourite Australian titles are new to me.  

"An Aussie Night Before Christmas" by Yvonne Morrison is the first one, which is a gorgeous innovation on the original "Night Before Christmas" poem by Clement C. Moore, but includes Aussie colloquialisms, strine and slang, for example leaving Santa "tucker and beer" and Santa arrives in his ute, instead of a sleigh, which is led by eight kangaroos (and one of them just happens to be called "Kylie")!
This text is great for exploring Australianisms, rhyming words and also for critically analysing the Australian content in the illustrations (e.g. lamingtons, saos, gum trees, water tanks, wattle, fairy bread, a keplie pup...).

The other text I have ordered but it is set on the night before Christmas, after a bushfire.  It is called, "Applesauce and the Christmas Miracle" by Glenda Millard, illustrated by Stephen Michael King.  Applesauce just happens to be a pig - does anyone else see the irony of that on Christmas Eve?
I really love the theme of this picture book, that Christmas does not need to be about decorations, fancy food or expensive presents, that it comes from the heart.  You can browse inside this title at the publisher's website - I just had to purchase this one as on first glance I thought it would be awesome for teaching figurative language in addition to theme.  If you browse the title on the publisher's website, just looking at the first page gives you a glimpse of the beautiful language used in this text.

This picture book was shortlisted by the Children's Book Council of Australia and I can see why.  Free teaching notes for it and other fantastic Australian titles can be found here at the PETAA website (Primary English Teaching Association of Australia).  How exciting - there are lots of other free teaching notes for great Aussie picture books in this link as well :)  There is a lovely review here from Barbara Braxton that mentions that this book gives hope to survivors of any disaster...I can't wait for it to come into my hands so I can review it properly, as I only had a quick skim in the library.  

I would love to hear from anyone who has used these two picture books - please leave a comment below.

The USQ Springfield library staff have done a really special Christmas display based on an advent calendar and each day another Christmas picture book is "unwrapped".  It is such a neat idea!

Please scroll down to read about other Aussie Christmas books, some resources I have made for teachers using them and also a couple of freebies along the way.

Wishing you the very best for the festive season...


  1. Thanks for linking up! I love all of the different Night Before Christmas because it really does help better understand Christmas in different cultures! One day I will travel to Australia to see the beauty of it all!

    Reading Toward the Stars

  2. Thanks Andrea - there are some gorgeous Christmas in Australia picture books available now :) Thanks so much for leaving feedback! Kylie