Tales of Snug Bend is an educational and life lesson tool.
It helps children in your care to understand themselves and others, believe in their own ability, follow their dreams and reach their full potential.
The book helps share emotions and discuss feelings-by using the animals as examples children may break the barriers and talk freely. It may indeed become a bonding tool for some.
My belief is young children have a deep knowledge and because they are less conditioned than adults, have no barriers or preconceived ideas on fear of failure or fear to dream. This belief is the strong motivator for me as an author.
We as parents, family and educators create a fear, making tasks hard, giving the view that dreams are impossible and life’s not that easy!
To help the young to gain and believe in their dreams early, to respect their society, friends and family and to have a positive outlook is an objective whilst providing fun reading.
By reading this book to the children, adults may also be touched along the way!
From the Educational perspective, Tales of Snug Bend is an important resource to accompany, stimulate or encourage the philosophical thoughts and discussions that are becoming increasingly more prevalent in the curriculum, beginning in Early Childhood.
By moving forward through the age levels, discussions may become more detailed and more introspective in relation to the age of the children involved.
After the stories, Tales of Snug Bend contains activity ideas covering the range of educational areas.
Tales of Snug Bend
Layout: The book consists of an introduction and philosophy behind the book, 7 chapters, activity suggestions covering creative thought, language/artistic area, mathematical, science, environmental explorations and philosophical discussions plus ‘Snug - A Real Place!’
Eight hand painted illustrations, one for each chapter plus the activity ideas, enhance the story concepts and bring the animals to life.
Now for the story.
Snug Bend is a cosy little hollow surrounded by hills and a slow winding river. The bush-land comes alive with the rustling of gum leaves and the call of the birds, the shuffle of undergrowth as the small creatures scurry about their daily lives. There is a constant chatter floating on the breeze, a hum of a land alive and happy with itself. It is the home of many Australian wildlife friends who are learning life’s lessons as they help and support each other.
Sometimes adventures teach the lessons.
Sometimes it is a quiet time alone that brings an awareness, which helps the creature to think, act and speak with love and respect to others and self. Whatever the way, these friends want to help us on our Life’s journey.
Chapter 1: Simon Echidna with his blonde tips takes off on an adventure by himself! Simon’s story begins.
Simon Echidna is always in trouble at school. If Teacher Kanga is constantly interrupted during important lessons you can be sure it Simon is responsible.
Whenever there is squawking or crying in the playground, Simon is in the middle of it.
“It wasn’t my fault,” he always explains. “I was just minding my own business when…”
Read what happens to Simon to make him say?
“I’m responsible for my actions,” he says. “No-one else. Just me.”
The story was inspired by a child in one of my classes who always blamed someone else for his actions. Simon has to learn he is responsible for his actions.
Chapter 2: Kim Koala with his baggy shorts is quiet and reserved and is easily hurt. He learns that when he hides away from friends and family he hurts others too. Watching a child being alone in the playground and feeling apart from others inspired the story.
Chapter 3: Karen Kookaburra, who loves her red nail polish, is loud and noisy and hurts friends with her teasing. She has an adventure that shows her how to laugh with friends and not at them. This story was inspired by listening to the kookaburras in my backyard.
Chapter 4: Ty Platypus is a shy little fellow who loves wearing his “save the world badge”. He has very big plans in his head and becomes frustrated that he is not going anywhere. He learns that he is able to help his environment and friends. My son is the inspiration behind this story
Chapter 5: Cooky Cockatoo with his yellow bow-tie and Gareth Galah, proud of his natural colours, want to know what is over the hills in the distance. Away they fly to experience life in the west! They learn happiness is inside them. The story was inspired by driving in the inland of Australia and seeing the flocks of galahs and cockatoos on the farms and riverbeds.
Chapter 6: Larry Lizard with his favourite cap, loves being an artist and poet.
He shows us how to be happy and respect the differences in our friends. Read a little.
Larry has his concentration broken as Wally Wombat wanders past thinking so deeply he does not see Larry and steps on his tail.
“Wally, what are you doing? That is my tail!” Larry cries.
“Thinking” Wally answers.
“What about?” questions Larry, a little frustrated with how he has to push the conversation.
Wally quietly answers, “About how I love it here.”
“Oh! Well that is good.” says Larry, “So why look so worried?”
“Well, is there something wrong with me?”
“Why should there be?” asks Larry, quite puzzled.
“Simon Echidna, Gareth Galah and Cooky Cockatoo all wanted to explore. Ty Platypus has great ideas and Karen Kookaburra had a fabulous adventure even if it was scary. I am quite happy just being at home. Being here.”
Larry is amazed. He never thought his friend could feel sad because he was happy being in one place!
“Wally. Don’t be silly. If you are happy then that is all that matters.”
“Of course! Look at me. I am happy here writing and painting. Kim is happy here also.”
The story was inspired by watching a monitor lizard in my backyard also the writer in me who is happy when engaged in my passion.
Chapter 7: Teacher Kanga with his glasses on the end of his nose is the wise old teacher who is not too proud to tell the students he has made mistakes. He has suffered death in the family. He helps the little characters move on with aiming high and going forward. Picture him as you read.
Stretching out his long back legs and giving his tummy a scratch with the nails on his short front leg, he reclines further into the grass, gazing not only into the distance, but also into the past.
Teacher Kanga has not always been this content and happy and over the years, he’s learnt many lessons. As he thinks about his life, he decides he will share his experiences with his students the very next day.
“Yes,” he says to the setting sun. “Yes. It is time.” He closes his eyes and lets the blanket of sleep shelter him through the night.
Inspired by the bushfires of 1967 in Snug and the lessons I have learnt through being honest about my feelings when talking with those in my care created this last story.
Would you like to come along and listen to their tales?
Let’s go! Enjoy the travel.