Author Archives: backyardbooks

About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!

Child and wild animal – food for thought

“During nearly all the history of our species man has lived in association with large, often terrifying, but always exciting animals. Models of the survivors, toy elephants, giraffes and pandas, are an integral part of contemporary childhood. If all these … Continue reading

Posted in ecological literacy, social and political contexts, The effect of multimedia on children/childhood | Leave a comment

Just a couple of interesting quotes from Jack Zipes’s book, sticks and stones: “The more we invest in children, the more we destroy their future. There is no way out of the paradox that we have created, unless we reconsider … Continue reading

Posted in What is quality literature? | Leave a comment

Kids need food

Advocating a healthier, low-sugar diet for kids, Sarah Wilson writes: “Kids need food every 3-4 hours. Kids need to eat regularly to maintain a blood glucose concentration high enough to support the activity of their brain and nervous system. The … Continue reading

Posted in education around food and meals | Leave a comment

The surprisingly logical mind of babies

Another fantastic TED talk…

Posted in early years education, Neuroscience | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh fantastic

Posted in Images of Parent Child and Expert, play | Leave a comment

When children have agency in their play

“When children have agency in their play, they learn to have agency in their lives.” ~ Cas Holman Just reading a particularly interesting article, ‘The Case For Letting Kids Design Their Own Play’ – by Cas Holman She writes: … Continue reading

Posted in early years education, Gendering, play, Teaching excellence | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cell Biology

Just an aside – this is a good little book: Cell Biology, by Aubrey Stimola (Rosen Publishing, New York, 2011, part of the Science Made Simple series). It works many metaphors into the discussion, but they are all common to … Continue reading

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It’s a good question

Many moons ago, but in an influential piece of writing, R Bishop and T Glynn write: “Whose interests and agendas is the education system established to promote? In New Zealand Maori people have been denied participation in the decision-making systems … Continue reading

Posted in Maori learners and education, Mono- Bi- and Multi-culturalism | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A good question – the image of the child

“Make a list of five materials that you regularly provide to children. What values and images of children do these materials suggest?” (P.57) “Choose a typical material in your room and observe how the children use it. Draw on the … Continue reading

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How many today live in a language that is not their own? 

“How many today live in a language that is not their own? Or no longer, or not yet, even know their own and know poorly the major language that they are forced to serve? This is the problem of immigrants, … Continue reading

Posted in Mono- Bi- and Multi-culturalism, social and political contexts | Leave a comment