Tag Archives: John Williamson

Happy Father’s Day!


Whether you are celebrating a dad, step-dad, grandfather or the person who takes on the important role of a father figure – there are so many beautiful books which will add joy to your family’s or class’ marking of this special day. Here are some fabulous titles that will fit the bill perfectly!

I love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle

Penguin Australia

  • Published: 31 July 2017
  • ISBN: 9780141374376
  • Imprint: Picture Puffin
  • RRP: $12.99

It’s not just that I have an absolute passion for Eric Carle’s work but these little gift books are just so darling! Even though I am now in a secondary library these little sweeties make regular appearances on my special little ‘sacred space’ table for inspiration or reminders.

This little kaleidoscope of colour expresses all the wonderful feelings that little people have for their dads’ special attributes. My clear favourite is the beautiful seahorse pair with their stunning rainbow-like shimmers.

This little charmer makes a perfect gift particularly for the littlest people and their daddies.

Peppa Pig: My Daddy

Penguin Australia

  • Published: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409309062
  • Imprint: Ladybird
  • RRP: $9.99

This favourite has a delightful new look as Daddy Pig takes on that all important role of being the barbecue chef (or if you’re like my family – Tong Master!).

Everyone knows just how important Daddy is in the Pig family and how much Peppa loves him. Just like all dads Daddy Pig is not really perfect. Along with his many wonderful attributes he’s also a tiny bit clumsy at times and not really very good as a handyman for home projects but this just makes him all the more loveable – and no doubt for many littlies, more relatable!

We all know for little people, you just can’t go wrong with Peppa Pig so this one is a must-have!

My Dad Snores – John Williamson. Illustrated by Peter Carnavas.

Penguin Australia

  • Published: 6 August 2019
  • ISBN: 9780143793793
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $19.99

I got excited about this one when I got John’s latest Gumleaf newsletter a week or so ago and he had shared his video clip. I have to say – John is one of the very nicest people I’ve ever met and just saying, so is Peter Carnavas!

What an inspired pairing of creators this is and what an absolutely cracking gift for any family with a ‘snorer’ dad! This version of John’s song (which got many airings with my girls – we all loved John’s work) includes a new verse – increasing the hilarity even further.

If you are looking for a Father’s Day read to share with your minion troops this week – you can’t go wrong with this one. They will be falling about laughing and I am sure will be keen to share their own family ‘snorer’ stories!!

What do You Call Your Grandpa? Ashleigh Barton and Martina Heiduczek

Harper Collins Australia

  • ISBN: 9780733340864
  • ISBN 10: 0733340865
  • Imprint: ABC Books – AU
  • On Sale: 22/07/2020
  • List Price: 17.99 AUD

My final offering for your Father’s Day pleasure is this stunning new book that is not only a letter of love to all grandfathers but is inclusive and subtly informative. Little readers will be treated to an ‘around the world’ virtual visit to grandpas all over and learn their special titles in their own language. Given we have our own resident Nonno, this is one that appeals tremendously and in addition, in particular if your school like mine is a veritable melting pot of cultures and nationalities this will be a super exploration as well as lovely read-aloud.

Each beautiful double spread has a small rhyming verse to introduce the grandchild and grandparent and the book concludes with a list of the ‘grandfather’ names and a short explanation of their country of origin. Especially of note is the inclusion of one nomenclature in an Aboriginal language (Gurindji from the NT’s Victoria River region) and Maori as well as those from Europe, Africa, South America and languages such as Hebrew.

This is not only a superb inclusion for your Father’s Day collection but also for your HASS studies as it gives children an insight into cultural differences and similarities.

Highly recommended for readers from around 4 years upwards.

Christmas in Australia – John Williamson/Mitch Vane


On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me…………………



Format:Hardback, 32 pages





Publisher:Penguin Aus.


First of all, let me start with my favourite John Williamson story. A long time ago, probably around 1987 or so, I was the leader of a very enthusiastic Brownie Pack in Brisbane and the Save the Koala campaign was kicking in. These little girls and I were committed to highlighting the plight of the koala and were planning a presentation for our usual Christmas activity of presenting at our local nursing home and other functions. In those days before my teacher-librarian research skills (indeed teaching skills) were even thought of and certainly before the ease of internet research, I was struggling to find the sheet music & lyrics for John’s Goodbye Blinky Bill song. The music teacher at my local primary school said she knew John and had a contact address for him so I duly wrote and explained my dilemma.  This wonderful and generous human responded with not only an autographed copy of the sheet music but the 45 record (yes! It was that long ago!) also autographed, with a lovely handwritten note telling me to keep up the good work with these little Australians.

About seven years later, I was teaching in my first post in the South Burnett and John came to Kingaroy – I took my daughter, Mum and stepfather to the concert and after the show, John came out the front of the hall and chatted, signed posters etc and proved himself what I had already known – a top bloke!

After all that it gives me the greatest pleasure to review this book as my ‘2nd day of Christmas’ offering on Just So Stories.

Many people will already know the Christmas Photo song but this concept of putting the lyrics into a picture book format with the superb illustrations of Mitch Vane was an inspiration!

This is quintessentially Australian Christmas time: cricket and camping, family, food and fun, Santa in a ute and nicknames all around as one Aussie family tries to get everybody into the annual photo. Mitch Vane’s illustrations are perfectly suited to the rambunctiousness of the whole production with much detail for observant readers to discover and compare with their own experiences.

A terrific book for exploring family traditions at this festive time of year!

By the way, if you enter the ISBN of the book at John Williamson’s website, you can download the mp3 of the song for free (which sadly wouldn’t embed here!)

Enjoy the magic of our absolutely incomparable Aussie ‘bush’ troubadour and share with your family. Don’t forget to make sure everyone is in the Xmas Day photo!!!