leon james wisewould

Chatting and learning: TBYL Event No. 1

Yesterday I was pretty nervous. I prepped and preened, anxiously awaiting the very first TBYL Event, Making Tough Times Easier.

Late in the afternoon I took my lists, my notes and myself into the Wheeler Centre. Setting up, I waited with baited breath to see what others would make of TBYL’s grand plan to bring bookish people together, in real life.

I’m pleased to report that it was an amazing evening, complete with revealing insights, great conversations and new connections.

Making Tough Times Easier 1

Making Tough Times Easier was an opportunity to explore how picture books can be used to help parents, carers and educators coach kids through challenges, helping them to become resilent and happier kids.

Sometimes little people have to deal with big challenges.

I was thrilled to be joined by four talented and passionate storytellers; Nicky Johnston (Go Away Mr Worrythoughts), Leon James Wisewould and Paul Nash (Mitchell the Pixel) and Bambi Gordon (Oodlies Kids) all of whom shared a little bit about how their books came about, how they hoped to see them help kids and the positive impacts they’ve seen their work have on the readers around them.

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A common theme across the panel was that of their books being ‘conversation starters’ and this really seemed to resonate with the audience. These important picture books don’t just offer a small lesson in and of themselves, but further encourage children and adults to talk about worries and troubles. They help kids work out ways in which they can overcome challenges, with help and encouragement.

Making Tough Times Easier 4I absolutely loved the questions from the audience, as they teased out more about the process of writing and illustrating, as well as giving rise to a little more information on the issues that kids might face in this day and age. We had some great conversations about recognising anxiety in kids and assisting kids to recognise their troubles and ‘find their own magic.’

Making Tough Times Easier 5I’d hoped to keep the session pretty informal, and at times I really felt that we were just having a good chat about picture books. After the sit-down session there was a chance for everyone to catch up, share their own experiences and ask questions of the authors themselves.

In short, today I’m on cloud nine, and I can’t wait to hold the next TBYL Event. I’ve got some big ideas, and I can’t wait to tell you all about them!

I’ve got to say  a great big thank-you to Nicky, Leon, Paul and Bambi. I would also like to thank Joan and Linda for their help on the night, it’s greatly appreciated, I couldn’t have done it without you.

Making Tough Times Easier 2

If you’d like to purchase any of these author’s books, they’re all available now in the TBYL Store, click below for individual titles…

Go Away Mr Worrythoughts, Nicky Johnston $16.95
Happythoughts are Everywhere, Nicky Johnston $16.95
Mitchell the Pixel, Leon James Wisewould and Paul Nash $16.95
If a Smile Should Lose Its Mouth, Bambi Gordon and Joi Murugavell $15.00
What You Do Is Not Your Who, Bambi Gordon and Joi Murugavell $15.00
I Think I’ve Lost The Magic, Bambi Gordon and Joi Murugavell $15.00

And for a short time only, you can get all 6 books for just $85.85 (saving of $10.00)

Thanks again to everyone who got involved in our first event, you made it a resounding success! Stay tuned for more TBYL Events: book it in… coming soon!

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Helping kids: Mitchell the Pixel

When kids start school, creche or kinder, it’s of course fascinating to watch them learn about colours and numbers, shapes and letters. It’s amazing how quickly they learn and how much delight they get out of showing off their new skills.

Interestingly though, the part of this early school experience that can be the most challenging is often learning about friendships. I remember it from my own childhood, and now I’m seeing it with my own kids.

Leon James Wisewould’s Mitchell the Pixel (Ashworth Publishing) is a helpful picture book that addresses friendship, self assurance and bullying…

Mitchell the Pixel is a digital square. He lives in  your computer and doesn’t have hair. Join him as he explores what it is to have friendship, face up to bullies and find forgiveness. While all along, staying true to his unique self.

Mitchell is little, much smaller than his messy friend Perry Paint. Perry Paint isn’t happy, upset about being pushed around by a gang of other messy paint spots, and he takes this out on poor Mitchell.

What Mitchell does next is a wonderful illustration for kids, about how friendship can sometimes be tough, how bullying can make you sad, but that by expressing yourself and standing up for who you are and what you can do, you can make a major difference to a difficult situation.

The brillant and bright illustration of this book (by Paul Nash) makes the book instantly attractive, and the characters will be especially fun for those techy kids out there (of which mine are two).

The thing that I really like about this book is that it’s not just about dealing with bullies. Rather, it’s about all the different factors that come into play when dealing with other people. It’s about learning what friendship is all about, and how to deal when things become difficult.

If you’d like to find out more about this book, you can check out their website here. Buy a copy from the TBYL Store here.

How do you help your kids form working friendships? Have you had to talk to them about bullying?

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

Subscribe to TBYL News: All Things Bookish… out monthly!