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How To Make a Fairytale Terrarium

I’ve been coveting terrariums for some time now (These ones from Frog, Goose and Bear and Pollyposs are particularly beautiful), but I’ve been far too afraid to try one myself. You see, I am NO green thumb. But I just knew they’d make perfect gifts for my mum and mother-in-law who both love their gardens. [...]

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BOOKS LIGHT UP OUR WORLD- Simple Book Week Ideas for Homes and Classrooms

There are so many ways to interpret the theme or Book Week 2015, Books Light Up Our World.


  • Read under moonlight
  • Read under the stars
  • Read by torchlight
  • Read at sunrise
  • Read by the fire or by candlelight
  • Read under fairy lights



Trio of book-themed paper bag lanterns. My Little Bookcase celebrates Book Week 2015,


~Start with books that make YOU light up with joy!

…and CBCA award-winning and shortlisted books

Books Light Up Our World_My Little Bookcase

~Books about Light

Boris Sees the Light by Andrew Joyner (Penguin Books Australia)

The Extraordinary Mr Qwerty by Karla Strambini (Walker Books)

The Bush Book Club by Margaret Wild and Ben Wood (Omnibus Books) ~‘He switched on the lamp and looked around for something to do.’

The Light by Jo Oliver (New Frontier Publishing) ~‘The Light shines from dusk until dawn to protect those at sea.’

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch

Follow the Firefly by Bernardo Carvalho (Book Island) ~ ‘Excuse me, have you seen a flashing light?’

EJ Spy School- Lights Out by  Susannah McFarlane (Scholastic)

Shadow by Suzy Lee (Chronicle Books)

~Books about the Moon

Moomin and the Moonlight Adventure by Tove Jansson (Penguin)

Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon (Viking Penguin Group)

Maudie and Bear by Jan Ormerod and Freya Blackwood (Little Hare)~‘Then they rumbaed and jived and salsaed by the light of the moon.’

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Puffin Books) ~‘In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf.’

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichenheld

The Very Noisy Bear by Nick Bland (Scholastic Press) ~Then when the show was over and the moon had settled in, when everyone was fast asleep…he tried the violin.’

Milo and the Moon Kangaroo by Dan Taylor (Simon and Schuster)~ ‘Milo danced over moon rocks and around craters, until he reached a moon cave.’

Waiting for Later by (Walker Books)~ ‘And she could hear the moon… Now here’s a funny story. I’m fat, then I’m thing, then I’m gone.’

A Surprise for Dingo by Rina A Foti and Sandra Kendell (Windy Hollow Books)~ ‘One moon bright night, under a star speckled sky, at the edge of the Great Sandy desert…A dingo howled.’

Kissed by the Moon by Alison Lester (Viking Penguin Group)~ ‘And may you baby, be kissed by the moon.’

The Cow Tripped over the Moon by Tony Wilson and Laura Wood (Scholastic Press)~ ‘Hey diddle diddle. You all know the riddle, A cow jumps over the moon. It happened, all right, On a crisp, cloudless night on the second-last Friday in June.’

Can I Cuddle the Moon? by Kerry Brown and Lisa Stewart (Scholastic)

Ladder to the Moon by Maya Soetoro-Ng and Yuyi Morales (Walker Books)~ ‘The moon is a grey place, it’s true, but the songs of the moon are many.’

~Books about Stars

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Books)~ ‘He thought he could fly up in his spaceship and just grab a star. But his spaceship had run out of petrol last Tuesday when he flew to the moon.’

Twinkle by Nick Bland (Schoalstic Press)~ ‘Penny Pasketti stared into space and pretended the stars were her friends. She imagined that every twinkle was a smile or a secret or some such wonderful thing.’

Bushland Lullaby by Sally Odgers and Lisa Stewart (Scholastic Press)~ ‘Under sparkling skies, by friendly seas. In your own backyard by the rivers and trees. Think of this when it’s time for bed…You’re not the only sleepy head.’

Time for Bed by Mem Fox and Jane Dyer (Scholastic) ~‘It’s time for bed, little goose, little goose. The stars are out and on the loose.’

Shine by Trace Balla (Allen & Unwin)~ ‘This was their daddy’s star, looking down on them, shining its bright, golden light onto them and into their hearts, for ever and ever.’

Stars by Mary Lyn Ray and Maria Frazee(Simon and Schuster)

~Books about the Sun

How the Sun got to Coco’s House by Bob Graham (Walker Books)

First Flight by David Miller (Penguin)

~Books that have a message that dark days will pass

Mr Huff by Anna Walker (Viking-Penguin Books)~ ‘The day was cloudy with a chance of sunshine.’

Chasing Shadows by Corinne Fenton and Hannah Sommerville (Ford Street Publishing)~ ‘One yellow morning when the sun is new and shadows long a puppy comes to live at Beth’s house.`

Duck and the Darklings by Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King (Allen & Unwin)

Coming Home by Sharon McGuinness and Sharon Melville (Wombat Books)~’The sun shines on the garden, but her father pulls his jacket tighter round his body.’

Winter’s Blanket by Phil Cummings and Donna Gynell (Windy Hollow Books)~ ‘No matter how long winter lingers, spring will always come.’

~Books about the World

On a Beam of Light- Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne and Vladimir Radunsky (Hardie grant Egmont)~’ Albert’s ideas helped build spaceships and satellites that travel to the moon and beyond. His thinking helped us understand the universe as no one ever had before.’

Visit The Kids’ Bookshop for books that will help you learn about the world.

Childhood 101 takes you Around the World in 40 Books.


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DIY Story Props for Scary Night by Lesley Gibbes and Stephen Michael King

DIY Scary Night Story Props_ My Little Bookcase

For Reading Hour last year, my children and I dressed up and re-enacted a new book we had recently purchased, Scary Night by Lesley Gibbes and Stephen Michael King along with other fantastic read-alouds. After an adventurous and fun-filled night of stories, I tucked my children into bed and realised Australia had its very own version of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

Once upon a scary night, three friends set out on a journey.

Hare with a hat, Cat with a cake, Pig with a parcel.

Just like We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Scary Night is a wonderfully captivating story for young children. Its clever use of exciting verbs and prepositions makes it wonderful for re-enactment but there are also many opportunities for children to join in with the repetitive phrases and SCREAMS as three likeable characters wander through the night to a secret destination!

But where were they going in the dead of the night, tip-toe creeping in the pale moonlight?

It was a mystery!

Given how much my children have enjoyed the story and our re-enactments, I’m not surprised this book has been shortlisted for the 2015 Early Childhood Book of the Year. I hope this becomes a book that you can find in every Australian home, kindergarten, preschool, early learning centre and classroom.

Over hill and over dale, through the woods and down the trail.

Across the creek, watch your paws, crocodiles have snapping jaws!

Using standard supplies, I’ve got some ideas to help you make simple costumes and props for re-enacting Scary Night. Make them to use during Book Week 2015 or enjoy the story for many years to come. With the help of an adult, these props are definitely easy enough to be made by young children!

Were they scared? You bet they were!

Did they shake? You bet they did!

Did they give up? Of course they didn’t!

scary night characters_My Little Bookcase

On they went.

Hare with a hat, Cat with a cake, Pig with a parcel.


Scary Night by Lesley Gibbes and Stephen Michael KingScary Night

Author: Lesley Gibbes

Illustrator: Stephen Michael King

Publisher: Working Title Press, 2014

RRP: $24.99  Available through The Kids’ Bookshop


Have fun with your little people preparing, creating and using your Scary Night props with these simple instructions.


DIY Hare with a Hat_My Little Bookcase

You will need:

  • Blue or purple cardboard party hat
  • Purple or blue sticky-backed felt stars
  • Brown cardstock
  • Split pins (optional)

1. Decorate your party hat with star-shaped stickers.

2. Cut ears out of the brown cardstock and attach them to the hat with split pins (the split pins allow you to lift Hare’s ears when he is scared or surprised. Otherwise the ears can simply be stapled to the hat).


DIY Cat with a Cake_ My Little Bookcase

You will need:

  • 1  egg carton cup
  • Black Paint
  • 6 short, black pipe cleaners
  • Elastic
  • Purple (or black) cardstock
  • Household sponges
  • Glue
  • White paint or felt
  • Glitter
  • Pom poms

1. Paint the egg carton cup black and stick the pipe cleaners to the inside of the cup to look like whiskers. Then make holes in each side of the egg carton cup before threading and tying the elastic to create a cat’s nose and whiskers.

2. Cut two cat’s ears from the purple cardstock and staple them to the front of a purple cardstock headband (Measure around your child’s head before stapling/securing the band).

3. Turn your household sponges into a cake and decorate with glitter and pom poms using these Easy Peasy Glitter Sponge Cake instructions from Kate Grono of The Craft Train.


DIY Pig with a Parcel Costume_My Little Bookcase

You will need:

  • 1 egg carton cup
  • Pink paint
  • Elastic
  • Pink cardstock
  • A box (if you don’t already have a box available simply wrap a cube shaped item in wrapping paper)

1. Paint the egg carton cup pink and draw two nostrils on the front before threading and tying the elastic to it.

2. Cut two pig’s ears from the pink card stock and staple them to a pink-cardboard headband (measure your child’s head before stapling/securing the band in place).

pig, cat and hare_ My Little Bookcase

Feel free to use these ear templates as a guide for your animal headbands. Simply download and print the templates then trace onto the coloured cardstock.

SCARY NIGHT CHARACTER EARS_Template at My Little Bookcase


Once you’ve prepared your props, set up an obstacle course to represent these parts of the story

  • Over hill and over dale
  • Through the woods and down the trail
  • Across the creek
  • Past the cool and rocky cave
  • Climb the mountain
  • Along the path and up the stairs

And don’t forget to finish your re-enactment with some party poppers and cake!

scary night obstacle course_My Little Bookcase

And hold onto your props (maybe in a story basket) because I can guarantee your kids will want to re-enact this story over and over again!

scary night story basket_My Little Bookcase

Like this post? You might also like our other Book Week ideas.

Light and Shadow Story Play. Books Light Up Our World_175 scavenger hunt and camera_175

Stay connected:

Be sure to join one of our communities for more literacy-based inspiration, or subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss out on future posts.

About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase