Early Childhood Learning Hub
make early childhood learning effortless
Teaching guides and resources to use with our beautiful Willow the Wonderer picture books
Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to
teach and inspire
Make Learning Fun: Words and Numbers
Teachers and early childhood educators who have recently bought or were gifted our new book, Willow the Wonderer, are telling us they love using it in class!
Encouraged by their feedback we are developing a series of teaching aids to accompany the book. These will cover the basics like developing literacy and numeracy skills to more advanced subjects such as creative writing, art, folk literature, poetic rhythm and meter, and of course explore the philosophy and wisdom of happiness.
This first guide focuses on using the book to develop literacy and numeracy skills - the good news is that there isn't much 'teaching' involved at all!
Willow the Wonderer can be used as a case study to explore and examine the creative writing process: What inspires a story and the choices that writers make to tell it.
Introduce Poetic Metre to Young Children
Not all poems rhyme but every poem is written to a rhythm - getting the rhythm right is rather important when writing in verse.
Willow the Wonderer's consistent and structured rhythmic pattern makes it perfect to introduce the concept of poetic metre (i.e. writing to a rhythm) to young children.
Learn About the Fabulous Tradition of Fables
Willow the Wonderer is an 'accidental' fable.
In this blog we explore this most enduring form of folk literature, providing a brief overview of the history of fables and our modern day interpretation of this literary form.
An informative and thought provoking read for students and educators of literature.
Cook Up a
'Wise As' Story
The tale of Willow the Wonderer as you read today was born through a series of deliberate actions, fortuitous accidents, past influences and creative choices.
In this blog author, Reeta Dhar, provide a retrospective on the different factors that came together to shape what we now refer to as 'wise as stories'.
An interesting insight into the creative writing process - and no, it's never a straight line. Lots in here for students and educators of narratives to unpack.
Art of Illustration
Darren Pryce is highly awarded illustrator and artist, recognised amongst the world's best, with a career spanning over thirty years.
In this blog he shares his inspiration and approach for developing the unique and beautiful illustration style for Willow the Wonderer.
An intriguing insight into the creative process, this is a great read for all art, graphics and design students and educators.
What is the 'right' age to talk about happiness to young children?
Willow the Wonderer is an enchanting picture book about the search for happiness. A question that has come up a number of times in reviews and conversations though is 'what is the right age to talk about happiness with children? Is it too deep and philosophical a subject for the young ones?'
These question goes to the heart of why Darren and I decided to pick up our pens and pencils and produce the Willow the Wonderer picture books.
We share our thoughts on happiness and the impact of the narratives we grow up with in this blog.
An ode to books I studied at school that shaped me
I grew up in the Fiji Islands - and yes, it was as idyllic as it sounds. Balmy climate, ripe mangoes straight off the trees, fresh fish, prawns and lobster ... I could go on. But if I had to choose, my best childhood memories revolve around the time when school holidays were ending and it was time to return back to school.
Why? Because that was the only time in the years when we'd receive new (well newish) books.
Here's a nostalgic look back at those wonderful times and an ode to the wonderful books that I studied for English Literature classes that went onto shape me. Hope it inspires others to love 'back to school' times as much as I did!
Author & Artist Visits
enrich the learning experience
Reeta & Darren
When we can, we love to get out and spend time with our readers. It ends up being an educational and memorable experience for both our readers and us.
We prepare for each session by working with teachers and educators to develop a tailored program for their students that is engaging and also delivers to key learning outcomes.
We are happy to volunteer our time for not-for-profits working with children coming from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. We request to be compensated for our time and efforts with all other organisations.
Get in touch to organise a visit to your early education and childcare centre or school.
What Educators Say
I loved your picture book. Mel brought a copy for me and I will be reading it to my class at the beginning of the year :)
Primary School Teacher
The book reading was so lovely. Would love to have you in our daycare.
Early Childhood Educator
It's perfect for little children and big ones too - has rhyming, counting and philosophy.
“The human species thinks in metaphors and learns through stories.”