Bronny’s Bookshelf: Fourth Pick

Welcome to the Fourth edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf. In these posts I’ll be picking a handful of children’s books from my home bookshelf and sharing my thoughts on them. Today I’ll be discussing three books, a couple of which are very near and dear to mine an my child’s heart.

Horton Hears a Who! – Dr. Seuss

Horton Hears a Who! is a story about an elephant named Horton who overhears the echo of voices on a little red clover. Upon closer inspection he discovers that there is a whole town of Who’s, human-like creatures small almost to the point of being invisible, and who live on this particular clover. Horton then makes it his mission to protect the clover and its inhabitants, particularly from the threat of other animals in the jungle who mock him and disbelieve in the existence of the Who’s before stealing the clover and trying to hide it.

At the end of the book, after a great deal of anguish and persistence, Horton manages to save the red clover as well as the Who’s which live upon it. The core message of the book is repeated like a mantra throughout it: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” This is a theme which teaches children the importance of treating and respecting others equally despite their size or appearance.

What is most distinctive about Horton Hears a Who! is, like most Dr. Seuss books, both the imagination of the world created and the style of the language. From the rhyming couplets of the words to the kooky cartoon animals, Horton Hears a Who! is sure to leave you and your child entertained.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – By Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a story which follows a little caterpillar from its life as an egg, its brief life as a caterpillar devouring whatever food it can find, its even briefer life in a cocoon and right through to its emergence as a beautiful butterfly at the end.

Since its publication in 1969 The Very Hungry Caterpillar has sold over 30 million copies, becoming a staple for children’s early reading all around the world. The story is accentuated with little pop up flaps on some pages which can be pulled aside to reveal holes in the fruit which the caterpillar has eaten on different days of the week, and these particular illustrations of food serve as very lush and appetizing pictures and include cakes, ice creams, cheeses, sausages, cupcakes, a slice of watermelon and a lollipop – each with little holes. This creates the sense that the caterpillar has eaten through your own book. On the whole it’s a particularly short though thoroughly enjoyable read.

Mr. Happy – by Roger Hargreaves

Mr. Happy is just one of over 40 books in the Mr. Men series which began in the 1970’s. The story of Mr. Happy takes place in Happyland – where the sun shines hotter and the trees are a hundred feet tall. Everything from all the flowers and all the animals and even the worms smile in this land. It is in a small cottage by a lake in this serene paradise that Mr. Happy lives.

One day during one of his walks Mr. Happy explores an underground house and finds a man. This man is very similar to Mr. Happy, he is small and round and yellow, but unlike Mr. Happy, this man is miserable, in fact his name is Mr. Miserable.

After escorting his new friend out of his tree home and up into Happyland, Mr. Miserable finds himself unable to fend off the simmering happiness that burns in the cores of all who dwell in Happyland, and his frown quickly turns into a smile. This segues into the final message of the story which addresses the reader, it states: if you ever feel as miserable as Mr. Miserable, all you need to do is turn your mouth up at the corners and smile.

These books are available at:

Horton Hears a Who!:

Hungry Caterpillar:

Mr. Happy:

Bronny’s Bookshelf: Third Pick

Welcome to the Third edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf. In these posts I’ll be picking a handful of children’s books from my home bookshelf and sharing my thoughts on them. Today I’ll be discussing three books, a couple of which are very near and dear to mine an my child’s heart.

May We Sleep Here Tonight – Written by Tan Koide & illustrated by Yasuko Koide

May We Sleep Here Tonight

May We Sleep Here Tonight is a story that begins with three mice who are hiking in the woods and get lost in the developing fog around nightfall. They soon come upon a cabin, and after wondering if it would be okay to seek shelter there, they step inside to find it uninhabited and settle in. Soon after, while the three mice are tucked into bed, two rabbits who had similarly gotten lost in the fog drop in to join them. Furthermore, this little group is soon added to by the presence of three lost raccoons who knock on the cabin door. The story hits its peak when a big scary monster descends from the fog and enters into the cabin, frightening all of the animals who are cozy in bed, but it happily turns out to be Mr. Bear, the friendly bear who lives in the cabin and often hosts lost animals before feeding them hearty stew. Unlike a lot of other children’s books which are illustrated in water colour, this one is drawn in pencil which some great use of shading and soft colouring. This book was quite scary as the bear entered, however, the happy ending ultimately teaches our children about perception and how our minds can play tricks on us.

Laurence’s Water Wings – Written by Leone Peguero & illustrated by David Pearson

laurences Water Wings










Laurence’s Water Wings is a story about children and their individuality. It begins with Laurence waking up and realizing that he is on school holidays. As his two brothers, sister and parents begin to pack their things to go on a family holiday, Laurence puts on a pair of water wings despite being politely told that they are going to the bush and he will therefore not be requiring them. Throughout their entire trip, despite suggestions from his brothers and sister to remove the water wings, he keeps them on. When they arrive home his parents surprise him with the swimming pool they had constructed while on holiday, and still wearing his water wings, Laurence is the first one in the pool. I like this book not just because of the soft water colour illustrations in which colours smoothly bleed into each other, but because it teaches our children that it’s okay to be different. If Laurence wants to wear water wings, let him wear water wings.

Paddington Bear: In the Garden – By Michael Bond & illustrated by Michael Bond

Paddington Bear in the Garden
Paddington’s Garden in one of the many stories in the Paddington Bear series. This particular story was published in 2002, but various Paddington Bear stories date as far back as the early 1950’s, and the longevity of this character is testament to the strength of stories such as this. Paddington’s Garden is set in an affluent residence in London, and after Mrs. Brown, the mother of the house, spies Mr. Brown working very hard to maintain their large garden, she suggests that he delegate sections of the garden to their two children and Paddington. After feeling a little tired and overwhelmed with the initial gardening, Paddington uses his allowance to purchase some gardening supplies. However, on his way home he leaves his jar of marmalade at a construction site and after returning he finds that in its place rests a large pile of concrete. After, convincing the site manage to dig up the concrete and recover his jar, they find it was not there but rather on a wooden platform that had been elevated. Unhappy that his now dried concrete is wasted, Paddington saves the day by buying the dried pieces of concrete off him and using them in his garden display.

What I love about this book in particular is that there is lots of text that guides the story, and it doesn’t just rely on the images to look nice and engage your child. This particular edition of Paddington Bear teaches children about being creative in order to solve problems, and is a story best suited to children who have mastered basic reading and are ready to move onto more in depth stories.

Stay tuned for the fourth edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf!

You can purchase these books at:

May We Sleep Here Tonight –

Paddington’s Garden –

Bronny’s Bookshelf: Second Pick

Welcome to the Second edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf. In these posts I’ll be picking a handful of children’s books from my home bookshelf and sharing my thoughts on them. Today I’ll be discussing three books, a couple of which are very near and dear to mine and my child’s heart.

Where the Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak

Earning itself classic status, Where the Wild Things Are is a beautiful book which continues to find a place in children’s bookshelves around the world. Since first being published in 1963, it has sold over 19 million copies – wow. The story follows young Max dressed in his white wolf suit, who is sent to his room without supper. Later that night a forest begins to grow in his room, and soon after he takes a ride in a small boat to the land where the wild things live. The wild things are a group of large, hairy though smiling creatures who crown Max their king before joining him in a celebratory rumpus of dancing, jumping and tree climbing. When fatigue overcomes the wild things, Max orders them to bed before leaving again on his boat and returning to his own bedroom where supper awaits him. The artistry of the illustrations and the depiction of the wild things is one that will leave a lasting, almost archetypal impression on yours and your child’s imagination.

Hairy Maclary’s Caterwaul Caper: Written & Illustrated by Lynley Dodd

Coming out of New Zealand, the Hairy Maclary children’s book series is definitely one you don’t want to miss reading to your child. The series follows the adventures of Hairy Maclary, a little black Affenpinscher, who gets himself into all kinds of mischief with the other pet dogs and cats in the neighborhood. What really stands out about this series of books is the variety of other animal characters, each with their own distinct names and personalities, including: Scarface Claw the cat, Bottomley Potts the Dalmatian, Muffin McLay an old English sheepdog and of course Schnitzel von Krumm the sausage dog. What also stands out is the style of the language. The story is narrated poetically and employs rhyming and alliteration, lending it a very musical flow. In this story the neighborhood dogs gather around a tree in which Scarface Claw is stuck:

“Puffing and panting, impatient to see, together they came to the foot of the tree. They sniffed and they snuffled, they bustled around, and they saw what was making the terrible sound.”

Hairy Maclary stars as the protagonist in twelve books in the series, while a further nine have been written about the other neighborhood animals.

Press Here: Herve Tullet

Press Here is a fantastically unique and interactive book for you to enjoy with your child. The book is almost solely composed of dots of different patterns and colours, with a brief amount of text at the bottom of each page.  The text gives you instructions such as, “press the button and turn the page,” and, “rub the dot on the left gently.” After such instructions, the dot your child rubbed will have turned red on the following page. Likewise, after being told to tilt the book to the left or right, on the next page all the dots will have ‘rolled over’ onto that side of the page your child tilted them to. What I love about this book is that you and your child are the characters, and you are helping move the story forward. Along the way you learn about colours, direction and movement, and it really feels more like an engaging activity for your child as opposed to being passively read a book. Furthermore this book offers a new way of telling a story and learning through book reading, making the learning process exciting and enjoyable.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf!

You can purchase these books at:

Where the Wild Things Are –

Hairy Maclary –

Press Here –

Bronny’s Bookshelf: First Pick

Welcome to the first edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf. In these posts I’ll be picking a handful of children’s books from my home bookshelf and sharing my thoughts on them. Today I’ll be discussing three books of which are very near and dear to mine and my child’s heart.

Felix and Alexander: Written & Illustrated by Terry Denton

Felix & Alexander is a fantastic and cute children’s book from Australia. It follows two characters which give the books its title. Alexander is a young boy who lives in the city with his talking and walking stuffed toy dog named Felix. The story begins with Alexander leaving for his regular afternoon walk, but once he fails to return by nightfall, loyal little Felix goes out looking for him with a torchlight. One of the features of this story that really stands out is the two or three panes of illustration when Felix is wandering around in the dark, and the houses of the urban streetscape are personified as grim, scary faces with eyes and mouths. A happy ending ensues when the two are re-united, and find their way home by following the stuffing that leaked out of a tear in Felix’s stitching.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea: Written & Illustrated by Judith Kerr

The Tiger Who Came to Tea is a classic English children’s book about a tiger who drops in on a mother and her daughter Sophie as they are about to drink tea. The tiger is harmless and no-body seems concerned by its tiger-ness as it knocks on the door and asks if it can join them for tea as it is quite hungry. The friendly tiger then proceeds to clean out the family’s supply of fresh baked goods, tea from the pot, the dinner cooking on the stove as well as food in the cupboards and water in the bath tub. At the end the mother and daughter buy more food at the shops including some tiger food in case their orange friend decides to drop in again…

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch: Written & Illustrated by Ronda and David Armitage

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch is a great and different children’s story, particularly because it doesn’t feature any children. The characters include Mr. Grinling – the lighthouse keeper – his wife Mrs. Grinling and a flock of a hungry seagulls. Each day Mrs. Grinling fills a basket with her husband’s lunch and sets it on a cable from a window by their house on the coast, and sends it over the water to Mr. Grinling in the lighthouse. However, the scrumptious meal is soon raided by the flock of hungry seagulls en route! Some unique traits of this book that make it particularly special are the water colour artwork which creates a very warm blend of colour and compliments the oceanic scenery, as well as the speech bubbles of the hungry seagulls which are very humorous.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf!

You can purchase these books at:

Felix & Alexander –

The Tiger Who Came to Tea –

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch –

My Super Family going to the London Book Fair!

There is some exciting news on the horizon for the My Super Family book series… We are going back to the London Book Fair! Second only to the Frankfurt Book Fair, the London Book Fair is considered something of a mecca for the who’s who of the European book world. This is our second time at the Fair, and last time we were picked up by the Mundt Agency! Clearly My Super Single Mum, My Two Super Dads, and My Super Groovy Gran have lots to offer!

Spanning three days, the Earls Court location for the Fair becomes home to publishers, booksellers, literary agents, wholesalers, distributors, media, online service providers – the list goes on. The venue is transformed into a miniature global marketplace. The Fair hosts international business professionals, with 25,000+ attendees in 2012 from 113 countries, and over 1,500 exhibiting companies! It is the place to be for networking and learning from global industry professionals, and the My Super Family books (My Super Single Mum, My Two Super Dads, My Super Groovy Gran) are going to be right in the middle of it!

We are so exited to be bringing My Super Family to the London Book Fair, and to be sharing the values of love, safety and security that are communicated in the books. We very much hope to make useful contacts at the Fair, and extend the reach of our My Super Family books, so that even more alternate family situations can have children’s books that help promote healthy relationships in their family, so the children grow up feeling that no matter what makeup their family is, they were loved in safety and security.

All About Bronny’s St Kilda Library Picture Book Writing Workshop

BronnyAndMuntsa's St Kilda Library Picture Book Writing Workshop album on Photobucket

As those of you who are keeping up-to-date with our blogs about the My Super Family children’s book series will know, Bronny recently gave a workshop at the St Kilda Library about writing children’s books and self publishing. The same day the 25 tickets became available, the event was sold out, and even then an extra 5 people came in! Plus it was so popular that it ran 20 minutes over the 1 hour and 30 minutes allotted! We are very pleased to see such interest in the books (My Super Single Mum, My Two Super Dads, and My Super Groovy Gran), as well as what Bronny had to say! Bronny also talked about marketing and how promoting your books are so important to the self-publishing process.

Bronny opened with a reading of My Super Single Mum that was well received, with positive comments on both the words and illustrations.  Participants also appreciated the important messages key to the My Super Family series: values of love, safety and security in families. She also tailored her discussion to the needs of the participants – who were budding authors and illustrators as well as those with books already published. She hoped to better help them with their own writing by asking everyone to introduce themselves and to chat about their own ideas and goals. Creating a network of like minded individuals is so important in the creative process for brainstorming and industry contacts.

The workshop also covered writing conventions, and Bronny provided a writing exercise that helped the participants figure out where they wanted to go with their ideas, as well as stimulating networking between the participants. This exercise was simple and effective and provided every participant with their very own children’s book idea and skeleton to go home and work on.

Bronny gave useful insights into self publishing, and the importance of finding an illustrator for children’s books, as well as how she came to find Muntsa (they met at the online artistic community Lost at E Minor when Bronny was creating As a successful self published author, Bronny also gave the participants realistic estimates on the costs of self publishing, and how much it would cost for a first run; information that is crucial for any author considering the self publishing path.

During the workshop Bronny also provided useful tips and information on the importance of marketing, and how to utilize the internet; teaching the participants how to set up their own websites and online stores, as well as how to make use of social media. At the end of the workshop, Bronny conducted a Q&A session with the participants to ensure that they went away with a clear understanding of her discussion, as well as to give them a chance to find out useful information specific to their own needs.

The event was a complete success; the workshop receiving really good feedback – with everyone rating it either 8, 9 or 10 out of 10! Hopefully this workshop is the first of many more to come for the My Super Family series!

As a direct result from this we will be putting self publishing and writing tips on our Facebook page regularly. So make sure you like us so you can get all the latest information!

For more information on Bronny’s Picture Book Writing and Self Publishing workshops send an email to Melissa at Bronny is available to present for your Library, Community Group or Event.

St Kilda Library – Children’s Book Writing Workshop

This coming March, children’s book Author, Bronny Fallens will be taking a workshop at the St Kilda Library. 25 lucky people have already made their booking and the session is now booked out! Bronny will talk all things children’s book writing and plans on making it an informative session on not just about writing children’s books but also on how to go about getting self published. Watch this space for photos from this exciting workshop. PLUS – our books are off to the London Book Fair again this year. We can’t wait to take all our books – My Super Single Mum, My Two Super Dads and My Super Groovy Gran. Plus coming soon – My Super Single Dad.

Beijing Book Fair 2012 Here We Come!

We are so excited to be a part of the Beijing Book Fair for 2012!! This year it is being held at the 19th Beijing International Book Fair will be held at the China International Exhibition Center (CIEC) from August 29 to September 2, 2012. The exhibition area will cover 53,600 square meters, and the Netherlands will take part as the Country of Honor.

Our books My Super Single Mum, My Two Super Dads and My Super Groovy Gran will be a part of the children’s book zone. The fair will this year expand on last year’s innovative Digital Publishing Zone and will continue to run the Children’s Book, Cartoons & Animation Zone, Periodical Zone, Publishing on Demand Zone and the Rights Center.

This is an exciting opportunity for us as the Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) has clearly become an important fair to be seen at, particularly if wishing to break ground in the Asia marketplace. We can’t wait to see what happens and share any wonderful outcomes with you.

My Super Single Mum Book Launch Sydney

Before we held our gorgeous book launch in Melbourne we had a smaller soiree at the Hughenden Hotel in Sydney which was divine! A bunch of yummy single and not so single mummy’s attended with their bubba’s as well as the Scribo Group and much fun was had by all!

My Super Single Mum creates a stir!

Thanks for the fabulous Milkk PR we have been getting amazing publicity for My Super Single Mum including this article in the Herald Sun, a Melbourne (Australia) newspaper. According to the family expert (when asked about the book) children don’t need to learn about minorities such as these! I think every single mother was insulted universally with that comment. You might like to read the full article here. We for one, think that children of all ages should be exposed to our books, if only to stop ignorant comments such as that one! Read the article here.