Month: October 2014

The Flitlit Concept

The Flitlit Concept features entertaining, educational concepts combined with delightful stories, videos and apps designed to engage young readers aged to 11 years.

The Flitlit Package includes:

  • a series of digital apps that feature English, Welsh and U.S.English versions of the text and narration/ first language.
  • a pending series of print books. The first book in the series is due for publication by John Catt Educational Ltd as versions that complement the language versions featured in the apps.  Additionally, second language editions will be available.
  • printed images
  • educational classroom resources.  

As an educator, I find this very exciting. I love the idea of weaving learning concepts through narrative and the visual arts. It was how I structured my classroom units when I was a full-time teacher.  Children love it and work enthusiastically within the frameworks established.  It is a challenging and fun way in which to teach and learn.

I recommend you check out the website The Flitlits.  I believe parents and educators will find it most interesting,



The Joy of Libraries

When I was a kid, the library was my home away from home.

Mum had made sure that I had a library card as soon as I could toddle, and we visited our local library very two weeks.

I loved it.  I just loved it. I loved the smell of the books, much borrowed, thumbed and handled. it was the smell of adventure and unknown places. Places that I could only dream of ever visiting, adventures I longed to have.

I loved the sound of the stamp that the librarian used to place a red ink date on the borrowing slip of each book, (no computer systems then). Our librarian would sometimes allow me to stamp my chosen books myself.  Bliss!  

I loved how the library was set up.  The children’s books were way over in the back corner. You had to navigate a maze of high shelves to reach it, but it was worth the journey. There, the shelves were half-sized so as to allow small people to reach the top where the most exciting books were on display.  There were none of the beanbags or soft toys or colourful posters that I see when I visit my library today, just shelves…shelves and shelves of treasures.

The library that I remember was a place of mystery. One had to search through card catalogues, trail one’s fingers along cover after uninspiring cover, sift through returns trolleys to find the newest book in a series or the one book from a particular author that one had yet to read.

I would search out The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.  I read The Swiss Family Robinson, Heidi, Anne of Green Gables.  I would read them over and over. I would borrow books about places mentioned in those books of adventure. I learned about smugglers in Cornwall, the Revolutionary War and places like New England and the South Sea islands. Worlds of wonder were opened to me. I have several of those old favourites on my bookshelf still.

So, today., when I received an order from a library supply company for two dozen of my books, I was delighted. My books are going to be in libraries across Australia.  How exciting is that?!

Hopefully, I can, through those books, bring some of the joy and adventure I associate with libraries to a new generation of readers.

What books did you borrow from your library?  Are any of them still on your bookshelf?


By the way, Taya Bayliss – Dog Sitter is free on Kindle this week October 13 -17.  If you download it, please leave a review. It would be much appreciated.


Spring has Sprung

When I was a kid, my father would greet us at the breakfast table on the first day of Spring with ‘Spring has sprung, the grass is riz. I wonder where the birdies is.’ This would be delivered with a comical face and funny voice.  We would respond with the expected gales of laughter and the season would officially begin.

Spring in Brisbane is usually delightful. We have lovely warm days and nights that are still cool enough to require blankets (Doonas were unheard of when I was a kid.) on the bed. My mother would remove the heavy eiderdowns from the bedrooms and hang them over the clothes line for a good airing and thorough belting with a large wooden spoon.

Whilst my Nanna had a clothes line slung between two trees and held in place by a wooden prop, we were one of the modern families lucky enough to own a Hills Hoist Rotary clothes line. It was a terrific thing to play on. Just like the little girl in the picture, we would swing around and around hanging on to one corner. This was a two person game because someone had to keep the line turning by pushing it with a broom handle. Mum didn’t like us playing on the line because it would eventually become bent out of shape. She also maintained that we would overstretch our spines which couldn’t possibly do us any good.


The aired and well-thumped eiderdowns were packed away for the summer months along with our flannelette winter pyjamas and winter dressing gowns. On the first day of Spring we were issued with cotton pjs, usually new since we had grown out of the previous summer’s set. I had sets like these ones mad from soft cotton and edged with lace thanks to my aunty, who was a dab hand with the sewing machine.


But, the worst was yet to come.  On the first day of Spring, just as on the first day of each season, Mum gave us a dose (one teaspoon) of castor oil to ‘clean our systems’.  Oh boy! Did it ever clean our systems!  If there was any way to ditch the evil stuff without Mum noticing, I did so. Here are some tips to avoid ingesting it.

1. Always stand close to the kitchen sink when supposedly drinking the castor oil. Wait until Mum is checking little brother’s mouth to see if he has swallowed his dose, and ditch yours.

2. Upend medicine glass against closed lips and then quickly wash the glass out. When Mum checks, your mouth will be empty.

3. Have glass of water standing by. Tip oil into mouth but do not swallow. Pretend to follow with a swig of water but actually spit oil back into water glass, Then quickly rinse out.

If none of these methods are effective, I extend my sympathies to you.

Spring is a great season. The weather is fabulous and the schools are on holidays for a couple of weeks before the final term of the year. I loved then and I love it now.

Spring is sprung, the grass is riz. I wonder where the birdies is.