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READ WRITE INSPIRE. Welcome to my Words, a place devoted to making Reading and Writing for children more Inspired.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Empowering Change Through Education - Highlights from Holyrood Lane and Think Equal

From the second I heard Founder and President of Think Equal, Leslee Unwin utter the words of Socrates, 'education of the head without education of the heart is no education at all' I knew this lady was so much more than just an advocate for change.

Helming the mighty force that is Think Equal, Leslee truly believes that through the process of narration, young people have the opportunity to develop their empathetic abilities - through stories, reading, conversations and experimental learning, change is made.

We share a similar conviction, that books and story mediate empathy and create emotionally intelligent, sympathetic human beings who become critical thinkers able to self-regulate. It is why I embrace picture books with difficult subject matter.

It is why Leslee supports the intent behind At The End of Holyrood Lane.

Today I thank Leslee for her generous words of endorsement and applaud her and all that she does to empower communities across the globe to nurture mindsets through education.

I think…the poetry and vivid use of language is exciting and will encourage creativity and love of language in young children. Above all, Dimity’s skills in and focus on mediating social and emotional skills and competencies to children, will encourage them to see help in dark times and help them to navigate through stormy weather and understand that it pass. Leslee Unwin Think Equal


Monday, 20 August 2018

Preventing and Treating Child Abuse - Highlights from Holyrood Lane with Act For Kids

All children are entitled to an abuse-free, safe and happy childhood.

No one believes this more fiercely than Act for Kids, an Australian charity providing free therapy and support services to children and families who have experienced, or are at risk of child abuse and neglect.
Registered psychologist and SE Queensland Regional Director of Act of Kids, Gary Poole not only embraces At The End of Holyrood Lane and its intent, but acknowledges the importance of books like this in initiating understanding, awareness and action among those who are primary victims and also those who are not directly affected by abuse.

Thank you Gary et al at Act for Kids for endeavouring to make children's worlds better more beautiful places to grow in.

In subtle ways, children’s books have long had a powerful impact in helping generations understand and make sense of the sometimes baffling and frightening aspects of life experienced in growing up. Themes of being lost in a dark forest and finding the way out, of small heroes overcoming big adversities, and of inspiring tales of courage and discovery have all been part of our common cultural legacies.

Congratulations to Dimity Powell and Nicky Johnston for creating
At the End of Holyrood Lane, as it is timely in sending a message of hope to a child witnessing the scourge of domestic violence in their family. Only in recent years has the scientific literature turned long overdue attention to the potential long-term trauma and adverse effects for little people who survive in homes where family violence is happening. At last, attitudes are changing and the tide is starting to turn against family violence. Part of this change will include children seeking help directly when the adults in their life are unable or unwilling to protect them.

The increased awareness of domestic and family violence is already having a powerful effect in which victims and entire communities are now taking action to call it out and end it. The idea of instilling within children a sense of self-empowerment through teaching protective behaviours is also gaining traction. Children’s books such as this have a role to play in the process of helping a child, through metaphor and subtle example, to gain some understanding and in encouraging them to seek help at an early stage.

Best wishes to Dimity Powell and Nicky Johnston in publishing this book.

Gary E. Poole SE QLD Regional Director Act for Kids
Gary E. Poole is a registered psychologist with 30+ years experience in leadership of child health services in five countries. Since 2015 Gary has served as Southern Queensland Regional Director for Act for Kids, and for ten years prior was CEO of RASNZ, the specialist trauma refugee health agency receiving all UNHCR quota arrivals at the National Refugee Centre at Auckland, From 2004-2006 Gary led the development of child health services and commissioning of hospitals in Badhakshan and Baglan Provinces in Afghanistan in UN funded initiatives.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Educate Empower End - Highlights from Holyrood Lane and RizeUp Australia

'RizeUp Australia is a community-driven organisation of passionate men and women, dedicated to supporting the many families affected by domestic and family violence.'


Rizeup Founder and CEO, Nicolle Edwards works tirelessly to re-home, re-educate and assist those affected by abuse with special emphasis on the children involved in home violence and the associated upheaval. She actively seeks news ways to reach out and touch victims hoping to connect with them and support them in positive ways.

I am gratified beyond measure that she regards my picture book, At The End of Holyrood Lane a useful way of reaching out to those in need. Thank you Nicolle and RizeUp for your unqualified support and selfless work. Here is what she has to say.
At The End of Holyrood Lane illustrations by Nicky Johnston
'At The End of Holyrood Lane is a beautiful story about a little girl who is terrified by the storm that chases and scares her but when Flick reaches out for help she finally becomes safe and the sunshine comes out. Dimity Powell should be commended for the gentle way in which she approaches the challenges faced by so many children growing up in a house of violence. RizeUp is proud to support Dimity and her beautiful story and we are sure it will touch the lives of so many children and their parents in a positive way.'

Those coming along to the official book launch of Holyrood Lane in Brisbane next month will be fortunate enough to hear Nicolle speak. Entry is free.


Thursday, 9 August 2018

Repost Kids' Book Review: Video: Oliver Jeffers Picture Book Maker

I adore Oliver Jeffers' work. His wit. His panache. His story. Respect.

Enjoy this repost from Kids' Book Review by Sarah Steed.

 I did.

Which comes first, the words or the pictures? Oliver Jeffers, the illustrator of much-loved picture books like The Day the Crayons Quit , Imaginary Fred and The Hueys series, tells us about his creative process.

Oliver Jeffers has sold over 10 million picture books and won
numerous awards, including The Ragazzi Award for Fiction, The New York
Times Best Illustrated Books, Smarties Award, Irish Book of the Year,
The Red House Book Award, British Book Design Award, and The Blue
Peter Book of the Year.

Kindergo- Screen Time You Can Feel Good About

It's funny coz well you know, some days, it's true.
Proud to be part of this creation, delivering stories in accessible, educational ways that enhance reading experiences and compliment books.
For the love of story.

Have You Seen My Spots? - available to download today


Monday, 6 August 2018

Healing the Heartache - With Paradise Kids and At The End of Holyrood Lane

Feeling unsafe in your own home is a bleak reality for many children, with family violence putting kids at risk of psychological as well as physical harm. Writing a picture book addressing this repugnant social issue is therefore no light matter.

That so many in the industries of child welfare, psycho-education and counselling have gainfully supported and applauded this story, is almost something I cannot comprehend.

Over the next few weeks, preceding the launch of my new picture book, At The End of Holyrood Lane, I hope to highlight some of the touching sentiments given so generously by those dealing with the fall out of domestic violence on the front line.

Here is the first from the woman who inspired Flick's story, Deirdre Hanna.

Paradise Kids has helped heal the heartache of children’s grief for over 20 years. Many children coming to Paradise Kids have experienced the trauma and loss of innocence of childhood from domestic violence. Children feel helpless in the face of wrath and stormy emotions and have no safe place in which feel their many strong feelings.

Dimity again dares to touch on what is normally a forbidden subject for children: the devastation of domestic violence. Children are often silent witnesses to this rampant abuse. Their little lives are traumatised and they live with a continual fight and flight response present in them which is detrimental to their body, mind and spirit health.

With delicacy, and ultimately hope, Dimity’s lyrical words and Nicky’s evocative illustrations touch on hope in the midst of terror. With beautiful metaphors and symbolism this book brings to light awareness of children who suffer and who are vulnerable in our society.

Paradise Kids helps children emotionally regulate, even though they can’t change what is happening around them. We can help them ‘heal the heartache’ through psycho-education about the trauma process through art, story-telling, movement, nature, music and literature. We are excited to add this deeply touching story to our Paradise Kids Library.

Deirdre Hanna
Hopewell Hospice Services Inc. and Paradise Kids
Accept Reality, Feel Feelings, Adjust to a new Life, Relocate memories    

Links for further information about Domestic Violence Prevention and Support

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Have You Seen My Spots? - Printed Version

If I had a tail, I'd be wagging it.

This month not only did the Kindergo Reading App officially (re)launch its exciting new website and app and a library of sensationally stimulating new books for little kids to discover empowering reading and learning experiences, it simultaneously released a selection of online stories as printed story books.

Now youngsters from the age of 2 - 7 years can book shelf their favourites after visiting them on their favourite Story Islands.

I'm so excited about this concept of curative online learning that embraces traditional story telling by enhancing it with tap and hear technology and innovative interactive story experiences.

Children learn faster in safe productive environments, which is why GoGo (the Kindergo Reading Buddy) and the team behind Kindergo are 100% dedicated to providing entertaining, fun, educational creative content.

I feel much the same way. You can download one of my stories, Have You Seen My Spots? on the Kindergo app, here.

If you would like to complement this with the printed version, visit my Amazon Author Page to order your own paperback copy.

Stay tuned for more stories from me and Kindergo in the months to come. I can't wait to discover more Islands with you...