'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Friday, 15 August 2014

Meet Susan Stephenson of The Book Chook

KBR is fortunate to know and work with a proliferation of wonderful industry players many of whom have become good friends. We'll be featuring these people and introducing you to the wonderful things they're doing for the children's book industry.

This month, we welcome Susan Stephenson, aka The Book Chook--who consistently provides teachers, parents and kids priceless bookish resources and inspiration. Enjoy these Ten Things About Susan.


1. I am not actually a chicken.

2. I love Story in all its forms: books, anecdotes, dance, movies, art, sculpture, music, poetry, jokes, Facebook. Okay, I lied about Facebook.

3. Sharing wonderful children’s books with kids is one of my chief pleasures. The children’s delight and excitement when a story takes off for them makes my heart sing. As a teacher, I believe the very best way to engage kids in literacy is through their love of story, and desire to create and share their own stories.

4. My heroes are Librarians and Teacher Librarians. They are the Keepers of the Keys to Story Kingdom. They are the ones I believe can best help our kids navigate their way through the age of information. They provide a hub for learning and a haven for those who need it. We need libraries and librarians now more than ever! Plus, they’re a wonderful group of people.

5. Each Wednesday at The Book Chook, I review a children’s book I’ve read. Mondays and Fridays I publish articles I’ve written on extending the literature experience, developing literacy skills, activities to help celebrate Children’s Book Week, advice for young writers, encouraging kids to think creatively - in fact, whatever takes my fancy. My audience at The Book Chook tends to be parents, teachers,  librarians and anyone else who’s passionate about children’s literature, literacy and learning.

6. I cannot choose any one author or book to hold up above others. The best book is the one that works for a particular child at a particular time. While as an adult I am not too struck on pink sparkly book covers, I know little girls who run stubby fingers over the glitter and get a dreamy far-away look in their eyes. If that book helps one little princess to love reading, I will keep my inner book snob leashed.

7. I once swallowed fire.

8. Fact: Australian authors and illustrators are among the best in the world. How lucky we are they are driven to share their creativity with us!

9. Let’s not debate about print over digital books and the like, but strive to make our libraries vibrant places of learning where print AND digital resources are matched to people’s needs. Let’s encourage our communities to have maker spaces, library and community gardens, book clubs, and green screens. Let’s tell our elected politicians we want funding for our libraries to make them the learning hubs they should be. Let’s make our voices heard, and support librarians everywhere. For our children’s sakes.

10. I tweet a lot about children’s literature, literacy and learning, and you can find me on other social media platforms too. If you’re interested, check out the home page on my website (www.susanstephenson.com.au) that has a ThingLink embedded - just hover your mouse over my avatar to find various places you can follow me online. Even Facebook.

The Book Chook blog brings tips to parents about encouraging their kids to read, write, create and learn. You'll find book reviews of wonderful children's literature, educational software reviews, explanations of how to use great online resources with your kids, and answers to letters from parents. The Book Chook is the blog of Susan Stephenson, an Australian teacher and writer, who is fascinated by technology and what it can do to motivate kids and help them learn.

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