Yesterday I read Colin Thompson’s THE PARADISE GARDEN at our “Gathering”. This is the special time when students gather for a story, awards, saying out motto etc-our motivational and inspirational time.

It is a marvellous book-all about our need to escape and find secret places of the heart. What really struck me as I read it and searched the faces of the very mixed age 20 or so children in front of me-they had all fallen into the story. Their eyes were shining and they were THERE! These kids were PP-Yr 10 and they all got it and wanted to explore the idea of a secret place, discuss, draw and write about the book.

Powerful picture books such as this have such a transformative effect on children and lift our teaching programs to new heights. I love the stillness and wonder that descends when children enter this secondary world. I think the trick is to enter with them-to get out our child’s eyes again and allow ourselves to wonder and delight in the huge possibilities¬†opened up by inspirational authors such as Colin Thompson.


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