Dust Echoes – fantastic news from the ABC

Dust Echoes has been a wonderful resource to support secondary studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures. Recently the interactive online version was archived and no longer available. I followed up via the ABC contact form and have just hear back that they have preserved this resource in a digibook format so it is still available.


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Latest news on ‘JB on not Just Books’

I’ve been away for a while and have spent a wet and windy day doing some critical updates on my site. First up, I have downsized to just one work focus – with the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University.  And…. I have been most fortunate this session to be the subject coordinator for Literature Across the Curriculum – so feeding my passion and earning some income at the same time. This means a change in focus in what I cover in my blog news.

It is this teaching that has prompted me to do some critical updates, particularly with my @WWW page which curated an increasingly large collection of digital literature. It had become so unwieldy that it took forever+ to load. Today I have learnt how to create subpages and drop down menus so that there is less information (and links to videos) on each page which means less to load and therefore faster viewing.

There are sub-pages now for digital literature that supports
English & Literature
Cross-Curriculum Priorities & General Capabilities
Celebrations & Collections

Readers do need to keep in mind that many resources cross over curriculum areas so make sure you browse on each page and check out the contents of the various collections provided.

Hope you like the changes and enjoy the reading and new additions.

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Materials in My Makerspace

This lively and engaging series is similar in design to the highly successful and popular Simple Machines in My Makerspace.

Children will enjoy this fascinating series, which uses the principles of Makerspace to Simple text describes the observable properties of materials, and gives readers the tools they need to compare and contrast those properties. Readers are then provided with strategies to start their own creative projects using the ideas they have learned. Along the way, tips and helpful hints guide children on how to brainstorm and solve problems working as a team.


Changing Matter in my Makerspace explores the properties of liquids and solids, and how these properties change between states of matter.
Exploring Materials in my Makerspace introduces the properties of different materials, such as wood, paper, and plastic.
Testing Materials in my Makerspace describes how the properties of materials, such as transparency and buoyancy, relate to their uses.

Discover how mixing and separating can result in new states of matter, substances, and materials with differing properties in Mixing and Separating Materials in my Makerspace.
Joining Materials in my Makerspace explores how objects made of many pieces can be disassembled to make new objects, and how the properties of those objects can be observed.
Shaping Materials in my Makerspace examines how natural and human-made materials are shaped for their purposes, and how the properties of those materials support their purpose.

Text, illustrations, content and project difficulty targets middle primary students to encourage both independent and collaborative scientific investigations. Content addresses the primary levels of the Australian Science Curriculum to specifically explore the Chemical Sciences strand.

Available from INT Books for schools and libraries across Australia.



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Eon. The Story of the Fossils

Eon is a stunning visual creation, crafted by Aviva Reed, that explores Earth’s evolution.

EON an illustrated adventure in Time by Aviva Reed from Selena de Carvalho on Vimeo.

Aviva Reed is an author and illustrator and describes herself as a visual ecologist. This beautifully designed hardback book combines exquisite and minutely detailed illustrations with descriptive, evocative, and scientifically accurate prose to stimulate thinking about the evolution of our planet and how the various ecosystems evolved and interconnect.

As deep time passed,
the ocean was slowly filled with
molecules, cells, compounds and shells.

Life was thriving, all microbial and gooey,
slowly becoming skeletal and pooey!

Edited by Professor John Buckeridge (RMIT), a prominent paleontologist and ethicist, Eon. The story of the Fossils is sure to be a contender for the CBCA Eve Pownall Awards in 2019 for quality, inspiring and original non-fiction. Suitable for all ages – don’t miss out on this treasure!


Available from INT Books for schools and libraries across Australia.


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On Our Street: Our First Talk About Poverty

OnOurStreetOn Our Street: Our First Talk About Poverty is written by Dr Jillian Roberts and Jaime Casap, and sensitively illustrated by Jane Heinrichs. The authors present carefully considered text  in a combination of formats to present simple and straightforward answers to complex issues around poverty. Large font introduces a question on each double page and answers are explored in clear font and occasional text boxes to add further information and definitions of terminology. Heinrichs has combined photographs and watercolour illustrations to sensitively represent each topic with a diverse range of children asking the questions and reflected in the photographs.

On Our Street explores the realities of people living with inadequate resources. The questions and answers address homelessness, mental health, poverty, child abuse and neglect, access to education and health care, and refugees.  Organizations such as UNICEF are represented and  add alternative perspectives on the issue. The book concludes with a section on how kids can help help make a difference through positive action.

The World Around Us series introduces children to complex cultural and social issues in a straightforward and accessible way. These illustrated nonfiction picture books tackle global concerns and initiate conversations about subjects that are difficult, sad or overwhelming with school-aged children who are just beginning to observe the world around them.

Available from INT Books for schools and libraries across Australia.

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Books to support WWD: Big cats: Predators under threat

bigcatsTo highlight and educate people across the world the United Nations World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. March 3 is THE day each year and 2018 the spotlight is on “Big cats: Predators under threat”

Here are some titles that may help you to celebrate these beautiful felines and raise awareness of their vulnerability in an overcrowded, deforested and polluted world.

From the Searchlight Predators series:
(17x 23 cm, 32 pages, colour photographs, suits Years 3 to 6)
LionsontheHuntLions on the Hunt. How do lions hunt? How do they interact with other lions? Discover the answers to these questions and learn other fascinating facts about lions. From their habitat to their physical characteristics and behavior, explore the incredible lives of these top predators!
TigersontheHuntTigers on the Hunt. Why do tigers have stripes? How do their claws help them hunt? Discover the answers to these questions and learn other fascinating facts about tigers. From their habitat to their physical characteristics and behavior, explore the incredible lives of these top predators!
From the Camouflaged Hunting Mammals series:siberian tiger
(18 x 23 cm), 32 pages, colour photographs, suits Years  2 to 5
Siberian Tigers. Learn what a Siberian tiger has in common with an elk. Discover what sets a Siberian tiger apart from a Tasmanian devil. Readers will compare and contrast key traits of Siberian tigers—their appearance, behavior, habitat, and life cycle—to traits of other mammals.

ItsAJaguar_bumbaFrom the Rainforest Animals Bumba Books series:
(22 cm square, bold simple text, colour photographs, suits Years K – 2
It’s a Jaguar. Enter the world of one of the coolest cats in the rain forest. Jaguars prowl the forest floor in the vivid photos of this carefully leveled text. Critical thinking questions and a photo glossary supply readers with the basic building blocks for reading nonfiction.

meetababylionFrom the Baby African Animals Lightning Bolt Booksbabylions_index
(bold simple text, colour illustrations and photos, suits Years 1 to 3)
Meet a Baby Lion. African lions are powerful hunters. Newborn cubs are born with their eyes tightly closed. Their eyes open at about a week old. Lion cubs grow up in a group called a pride. Cubs learn how to hunt by watching the adults. How do baby lions grow and change?

cheetahleopardFrom the Animal Look-Alike Lightning Bolt Bookscheetahleopard_inside
(bold simple text, colour illustrations and photos, suits Years 1 to 3)
Can You Tell a Cheetah from a Leopard?
A huge tan cat with black spots on its fur crouches in the grass.  Its long tail twitches as it hunts for food.

Did you just see a cheetah? Or was it a leopard? These animals look very similar, but they are different. Read this book to become an expert at telling these look-alikes apart.


From the Start to Finish series.
(22.5 x 19 cm, colour photographs, Years K to 3)
From Cub to Tiger. How do tigers grow? Follow each step in the life cycle—from tiny, newborn cubs to large, majestic tigers—in this intriguing book!

Available from INT Books for schools and libraries across Australia.

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Erinne Paisley – Pop Activist

Erinne Paisley is a young American who has harnessed technology to promote social activism and to encourage young adults to become proactive in addressing local and global issue to facilitate positive change. Visit popactivism to find out more.

SmartphoneCan Your Smartphone Change the World?
was inspired by Erinne’s decision to wear a home made dress constructed from school work papers to the school prom. The money she saved was donated to the Malala Fund that supports education for girls. Media reactions to this inspired Erinne to investigate how she can harness her smart phone for positive action. This readable and highly engaging how-to manual looks at specific ways you can initiate social change through the tap of a screen. As well as sharing her own story there are a number of examples of successful hashtag campaigns from other young people that address issues such as bullying and gender differences. The book offers practical advice for using your smartphone as a tool for social justice. A note of caution for readers to check the authenticity of various campaigns is a missing component – but the book does provide the stimulus for exploring this aspect in the classroom to add to digital literacy programs.

The bOutfitook is attractively designed to engage teen readers with a mix male and female voices, presented via text, photography, fact boxes, summary points and visually eye-catching use of colour and contemporary layout.

Aimed at secondary students Erinne Paisley’ books provide practical and inspirational support for projects that focus on social responsibility and living in a global community and that model the use of social media and technology in positive and productive ways. Also available: Can  Your Outfit Change the World? and still to be published: Can Your Conversations Change the World?

Australian Curriculum connections:

  • General Capabilities:-
    • Personal and Social Capability
    • Intercultural Understanding and Information
    • Communication Capability.

Available from INT Books for schools and libraries across Australia.

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