Category Archives: Language

Shakespeare’s Globe Dvds

Do you know about the “Shakespeare’s Globe” dvds?

I recently stumbled upon them

and have to share.

We purchased a box set

to start our collection

(that seemed the most economical way)

and hoped we were onto a good thing.

Then, last week, we sat down to watch “Twelfth Night”,

the first in our collection

(and a play we would also see performed on stage).

Well, let me tell you,

it was the very best Shakespeare performance

we had EVER seen!

(And we’ve seen a few now – on dvd and performed live).

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The dvd is a professional video of a live performance

from the Globe in London.

So, of course, the performers were the very best.

While you are watching, you also get to see the Globe

in all its glory.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to attend a live performance.

I think I’d pay for a seated ticket though.

The “Twelfth Night” was three hours long!

I couldn’t imagine standing in one place for that long.

Thankfully, we were watching on dvd,

and could choose to spread the play over three nights.

This particular play uses male actors for the female roles.

At first, it was a bit awkward,

but, once we got used to it, we loved it!

The male ‘females’  added to the hilarity of the play.

Gosh, we laughed hard throughout this play.

A simple gesture or a look from the actors had us in stitches.

And don’t worry about being confused by the Shakespearean language.

The dvds have captions, which is a brilliant idea,

and the actors are so talented that you just fall into the story

and become engrossed.

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After watching the “Twelfth Night”,

I order another box set that included the play “As You Like It”

(the next play we’ll see performed live

– even with a brilliant dvd,

there is still something special and not-to-be-missed about a live performance).

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But, then, after talking to Hubby about the brilliance of these “Shakespeare’s Globe” dvds,

we found an even bigger collection of “Shakespeare’s Globe” dvds.

This collection includes 19 plays

for a fraction of the price of ordering 19 plays.

So we jumped and bought it.

(Shop around.  Prices really vary.  We found ours on Fishpond.)

We’re excitedly waiting for their delivery.

The plan is to watch our way through the plays we’ve already attended on stage.

Then we’ll wait until live performance opportunities arise, before watching the others.

Watching these dvds is an excellent way to prepare for a live performance.

And if you can’t attend a live performance,

these are an excellent substitute.

I’m just amazed that it took us so long to hear about these dvds.

(And, no, this isn’t a compensated review.

We just love these dvds and didn’t want you to miss them.)


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Posted by on September 3, 2016 in Language


Snugglepot and Cuddlepie

Have you ever read “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie”?

Okay, well my overseas readers probably haven’t

but what about my aussie readers?

I hadn’t read it

…until this week.

It just didn’t seem like the kind of book I’d like

and as a kid it just never crossed my path.

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But since we are off to see a performance of it,

we had to pick up the book and read it.

Well, let me tell you…

I loved this story

(and the boys enjoy it too).

It is such a lovely, sweet story.

It’s a not-to-be-missed story.

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Snugglepot and Cuddlepie actually have three adventures

in three separate stories

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but our book has all of them in the same gorgeous volume.

We’ve only read the first story so far

but are eager to dive into the other two.

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If you are planning to read these stories

you need to get hold of a copy that has illustrations.

The story without the illustrations

would lose a huge chunk of its appeal.

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Just look at these darling pictures.

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Even the villains are appealing!

(This is a Banksia Man.)

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At the end of our book version,

there is a section all about May Gibbs,

her life and work.

We’ve already had a flick through

because we couldn’t help ourselves.

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After this book,

I might need to acquire a copy of some of the other Australian classics

that I never read as a child and consequently my boys haven’t read either

– books like “Blinky Bill” and “Dot and the Kangaroo”.

Any recommendations on which to read first?

Are there any others?

Goodness, so many big glaring literature gaps to fill

but what a glorious way to fill the coming years

– reading Australian classics.



Posted by on June 11, 2016 in Language, My Library


Reading Activities

When we read aloud, we read a lot.

This was one morning’s pile of reading.

We read a chapter of each.

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During the first half of our read aloud session,

(Yes, I read it to the boys so we all have common ground for discussions),

the boys sit quietly and listen to our more difficult books.

Then, about half way through,

once we have reached the books that require a little less attention,

I allow the boys to occupy their hands with quiet activities.

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Over the years I’ve varied my approach to this read aloud activity.

At first I did what most do and allowed any activity provided it was quiet.

The children could answer my questions and give narrations so I thought all was well.

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However, not long back, I discovered that the quality of the children’s narrations

improved dramatically when certain activities were avoided

(and even better when there is no activity).

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For us, those things were activities that included any element of imaginative play,

or too much cognition

i.e. Lego, matchbox cars, action figures, some drawing etc.

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So what works for us then?

Well for some books I don’t allow any activity –

any book that is challenging, new, or overflowing with important details.

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For books that are a little easier to comprehend or books that we’ve already fallen in love with,

I can allow things like playdough, kinetic sand, colouring or pattern making,

without affecting the children’s narrations too much.

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What do others allow?

How do you feel about narrations?

Do you use the strategy?

What are your thoughts on reading aloud?

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Reading aloud is our absolute favourite thing!


Posted by on May 31, 2016 in Language


The Right Word – Roget and His Thesaurus

I love picture books.  You are never too old for a good quality picture book.

There are so many beautiful ones to choose from.

Last week I found a new treasure – “The Right Word: Roger and His Thesaurus”.

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It tells the story of shy Peter Mark Roger and how he came to compile his thesaurus.

You’d think that such a task would be terribly boring and that the book that wrote about it would be worse

– but you’d be wrong.

It was fascinating.

List makers will love this story and this book.  People who crave order will understand Roget’s passion.  And those who are neither will still appreciate the life work of this man.

In this book, I particularly loved the collaged illustrations of Peter’s notebook of lists.  The boys and I read through each and every list, taking time to pore over every page.

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I always find that a good picture book biography, that gives you just a fleeting glimpse into a life, tempts you to want to find out more.  Such is the beauty of enjoying picture books at all ages.

This book was amazing, brilliant, excellent, fabulous, outstanding, remarkable, superb and wonderful.

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I will look at thesauruses with new respect now.

And I may have to buy a Roget Theasurus as we only have boring old Macquaries and Oxfords on our shelves.  The boys were so disappointed.

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Posted by on April 9, 2015 in Language, My Library