School Holiday Survival Kit

To avoid the continuous loop of telling your children to turn something off this school holidays, here’s a selection of books to inject moments of quiet-time into the glorious chaos.


Activity Books:

maisy***Doodle With Maisy* by Lucy Cousins**

A gorgeous, bright doodle book containing plenty of prompts - draw the food on Maisy’s plate, or the passengers on the bus - that’s great fun to do as a team or on a solo mission for those with new reading skills.

Make Your Own Clay Animation Movies

Perfect for a small group of children to work on together, this pack contains step-by-step instructions as well as clay and backgrounds. They can put their iPods to great use with this creative project.

501 Things For The Quick-Draw Kid

This has been a huge hit in my house and is regularly used by the 6 and 9 year old. Good value, user-friendly and full of the stuff that kids love to draw.

Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Activity Book by Johanna Basford

This is the most beautiful colouring book we’ve seen for ages. Not just for children, but a treat for those who love detail and flora.

star-paws-super-heroes-978144723311401***Star Paws Super Heroes***

This might not be to everyone’s taste but I’m completely sold on the idea of dress-up stickers on cute animal photos. I’m not usually a fan of guinea pigs but look how awesome they look as superheroes!

Once Upon A Slime by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

Children will literally trample over you to get to a new Andy Griffiths / Terry Denton book, and this one is perfect for those who, like me, would very much like to be Andy or Terry. How do they create such brilliant, funny stories? All is revealed in Once Upon A Slime, which is not just for children but for anyone who is interested in creative writing.


Song For A Scarlet Runner by Julie Hunt

I can’t say enough about this brand new release from Tasmanian writer Julie Hunt. It’s an adventure story that will suit confident readers. Captivating and layered, with a very strong female main character (don’t let that put the boys off - she’s called Peat and she could take Harry Potter on any day of the week), this is good, honest Middle Fiction and I loved it.

Elephant and Piggy: There’s A Bird On Your Head by Mo Willems

If you haven’t discovered Elephant and Piggy yet, you’re in for a treat. Here’s how to make early reading fun for both child and adult supervisor. Short and simple, but genuinely funny and charming.

alisonashley***Hating Alison Ashley* by Robin Klein**

Sometimes the re-release of a classic is like the past coming back to haunt us, and not in a good way. But this gorgeous cloth-bound hardback series is well-worth revisiting. Confident readers will love the time-slip in Playing Beattie Bow, while my daughter stated this morning that Hating Alison Ashley (1984), which she’s currently reading, is “brilliant”. I get to read it next…

Older readers might like to know that Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Princess is finally with us. For a really fun holiday read, for younger teens, there’s Lili Wilkinson’s The Zigzag Effect, All This Could End by Steph Bowe, or for slightly older teens perhaps the darker but beautifully written Girl Defective by Simmone Howell.

The final book in the hugely popular Gone series by Michael Grant, Light, is also just out, along with the seventh Henderson Boys book, Scorched Earth by Robert Muchamore.

Visit one of our stores for more school holiday recommendations.

Emily Gale is a Children’s & YA Specialist at Readings Carlton, and a Children’s & YA writer the rest of the time. Her other title is ‘Mum’, or more accurately ‘Muuuuuuuuum!’

My Funny Family On Holiday

My Funny Family On Holiday

Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish

$14.99Buy now

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