Book Club for Kids and The Bush Book Club

Teaching children to love literature is one of my passions. Allowing children to form a book club could be such a fun way to enthuse young readers to delve more into literature.

I have often spoken about my fondness for my book club. Meeting with those girls is always one of the highlights of my month. Not only do we discuss literature, we eat, drink (normally tea, but on occasion we have been known to have a little tipple of something stronger!) and discuss so much more than the book. We have really reached a level where we just share life with one another.

Scholastic sent me a book (published in March) called “The Bush Book Club” by award winning Australian children’s author, Margaret Wild and illustrated by Ben Wood. Let me tell you. I LOVED this book. Scholastic regularly sends me books to review, and I do choose my favourites to share with you. But this one, it’s my absolute favourite! I think because Margaret Wild and Ben Wood have really captured what it means to love books along with that magical moment when you first fall in love with reading independently.

I can remember that moment for me. My mother was reading aloud an Enid Blyton book, “The Children of the Cherry Tree Farm” to my sister and I while she breastfed my brother. All of a sudden she stopped mid story. I don’t know why. Maybe she stopped breastfeeding, got too busy or just thought the story was a little bit too old, which in fact it was. However, I just really wanted to hear the ending. (It’s a weakness of mine, wanting to know the ending. I’ve had many a late night waiting to see the end of a film or staying up late to finish a book.) I took the book and finished reading it to myself. I was only in year one, and it wasn’t a particularly easy book to read – not at all like Amelia Jane or the Faraway Tree. In fact, the story wasn’t really that interesting and I had to skip quite a few hard words, but I did read it. After I finished I knew I could read anything, and I did. In our family, I was often the kid with the nose stuck in a book.

In “The Bush Book Club” all the animals belong to The Bush Book Club. All except Bilby. He can’t stay still long enough to read. (And oh how I recognised Bilby. I have taught him before, I’m sure of that.) Bilby is quite happy to not belong to the book club, it’s obvious that Bilby thinks reading is boring. It takes being locked in the book club overnight by accident for Bilby to discover the joys of reading. Mind you, Bilby has a series of very inventive ways of using books before he actually opens the page and starts reading.

I’ve been planning on writing this post for absolutely ages because as soon as I read this story, I immediately wanted to have the children belonging to my book club Mums around for our very own children’s book club, in the style of The Bush Book Club. We did try very hard to organise this, but they are all very busy ladies and this is a very busy time of year, and we just couldn’t pull it off – yet. When we do, I will be sure to write another blog post about it.

Following the format of The Bush Book Club, I was going to read the story to the children first, then the children would play with the books like Bilby did before sharing with each other their favourite books. Of course we would need to end with some food and playtime.

My children have not discovered the joys of independent reading yet, so it could be any book they enjoy. My son in year 2 really struggles with reading, despite the fact that he was read aloud to in the womb and every day of his life. He has moments where he will be interested, but I’m trusting that one day something will just ignite for him. In the meantime, he would still be very keen to join in book club because he does love literature and loves story time. At the moment he’s obsessing on non-fiction books particularly about farming. I think he’s just about got every book possible out of the school library.

If you are a book lover or belong to a book club, this will be a book I guarantee you will enjoy reading to your child. It’s a great one for teacher’s also. I know I would use it in a classroom to enthuse children before setting a book report task.

And here’s the exciting news! Scholastic are giving five copies away to Caitlin’s Happy Heart readers.

To win a copy, please answer the following question below AND leave your contact details. I would also feel honoured if you ‘liked’ my Facebook page. The winner will be chosen on Sunday May 4th at 8pm. The winners will be chosen according to the story they tell when answering.

When did you develop a love of reading and what were you reading when this happened? 

I’m linking up with Essentially Jess and the very fabulous IBOT.

Aussie Giveaway Linky
Great Aussie Giveaway Link Hosted by Kellie O’Brien Media

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  1. I can’t really recall when I developed a love of reading; I am a huge bookworm!
    But I do remember getting a few dollars from mum and buying my very own book from the school book fair.
    It was a book called When The Snake Bites The Sun, an Aboriginal story.
    Believe it or not, I still have the book and I now read it to my three daughters, who thankfully all love reading and books as much as I do!

  2. I used to get my mum to read ” each peach pear plum” and “boney legs” over and over until I knew the words off by heart, then I would read it myself. I can still quote some of the book to this day.

  3. I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure that my parents had anything to do with it though as I don’t really remember them reading to me much when I was little. I think I must have been a dream to look after as a child as I would often disappear for an entire day to read a book that I had borrowed from the library.

    It’s still one of my favourite things to do! My husband and I went away for a weekend recently and when asked what I wanted to do I replied “eat, sleep and read.” It’s one of my core requirements *G*.

  4. I’ve loved reading from a very young age, but the book that sticks out in my mind that I read as a young girl was “Mister God, This is Anna” by Sydney Hopkins…an incredibly beautiful story about a little runaway girl whom at age 5 knew absolutely the purpose of being, knew the meaning of love and was a personal friend and helper of Mister God. Her caretaker, Fynn, finds God through the testimony of her short but immensely beautiful life. Makes you cry for weeks but left an incredible mark on my life…I would love for my children to share this love of books, but a book like The Bush Book club with all its lovely Australian critters might be a better one to start with πŸ™‚

  5. I don’t quite remember existing without books. Not only have they been a part of the fabric that has made up my childhood, I planted a book into the tiny little hands of my boys as soon as they were born. Little boards books to stare at the beautiful colours and now cherished stories I hope they share with their children one day x Josefa #teamIBOT

  6. I’m not entirely sure when my love for reading and books began, but I can only conclude it was when I was quite young based on the somewhat embarassing story my parents have great delight in sharing at countless gatherings of family & friends; that from the time I was toilet trained I would take a handful of Golden Books with me to the toilet and sit there reading aloud to myself (or to anyone that would listen as the passed the bathroom) until I had worked my way through the pile with me (shameful I know) πŸ™‚
    There are many books from both my husband & my childhoods that we still have or have found copies of and have begun to read & share with our son (even before he was born) – needless to say our son already had a large collection of classic Golden Books πŸ˜‰

  7. When i was little ,we use to have quite reading time in our home for one hour where my dad use to read his book and everyone else is also asked to read there books at that time. My brother use to read ” Too Many Pears ” very frequently and i use to look at the pictures and laugh at the funny things in there. That book was my first love toward books . Now i feel that my dad was using ” lead by example ” theory as everyone in our home has love for books.

  8. I developed my love of reading when I started reading those Choose Your Own Adventure books. They were awesome!

  9. Yes, I would spend many hours on holidays on my bed with a good book. And, like you, when my husband and I escape overnight from the kids, books are always on my agenda, which works well because sleeping is always on his!

  10. I’m the same with a book called “Snow”, it’s a Dr. Suess book that wasn’t written by Dr. Seuss. My old copy was worn out that I bought a replacement copy before I had children so I could read it to my children, and thankfully they love it also, although not quite as much as I did, but their library is far more extensive then mine ever was, and they are boys and tend to favour non-fiction.

  11. When I was 6 I discovered The Famous Five and within two months I’d read all 21 of them – I was a voracious reader! My own kids love books too and I reckon they got it from me. πŸ™‚

  12. The Magic Faraway Tree and The Enchanted Wood and any other magical story really made life so exciting for me. Reading is just The Best Thing Ever!

  13. Tick, tick, tick! You loved all the same books as I did! I was a HUGE Trixie Belden fan! I wanted to marry a guy like Brian, and I kind of did, dark, handsome and reliable. It’s just mine is an accountant rather than doctor. Close. (Kind of.)

  14. I hated reading until Year 4 – I had an amazing Year 4 teacher! AND I’m not sure if I want to admit this but it was “The Babysitting Club” series that made me believe that I could be a reader. Now I read all the time!!

  15. I enjoyed reading as a young girl with books like The Twins of St Claire’s but I didn’t develop a real love of reading until my adulthood and that was when I read the book Nine Parts of Desire, a book about the hidden world of Islamic women. It was fascinating and got me hooked!!

  16. I was four, and it was Sparkle the Pony. I still have it now, and it’s now my daughters favourite book. I can’t go a day without reading, it’s my stress reliever!

  17. Having 3 older sisters I was always trying to keep up with them! They could read, and so I needed to be able to as well. So I practised and practised until I could ‘read’ Bears in the Night. I knew it off by heart (and still do!) It was this achievement of being able to read that gave me the reading bug.

  18. Because I was overly protected as a child, I was a little restricted in where I could go and what I could do independently. I lived vicariously through the Trixie Belden series, and Trixie’s adventures became my own. I’ve read voraciously every since, and thankfully no longer have to live vicariously through others!

  19. I am one of 5 children and my Mum raised us mostly by herself. I remembering find some old cassette tapes which had her recorded reading storybooks – I guess it was hard to keep up reading to us all. Though I don’t remember listening to those tapes (though I’m sure I did) I think it was definitely Mum who instilled the love of reading in my life. I don’t have a favourite childhood book but I do remember reading LIttle Golden Books and Roald Dahl.

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