Skip to main content

May 2015

Millie and the Night Heron / Rain May and Captain Daniel (Catherine Bateson)

Please remember I have only "officially" been a school librarian for a little over a year, so when it comes to getting to know children's authors, I am but a babe in the woods.  In my latest endeavour to chop back some of the forest I picked up two books, completely separately, and thought "I'll read those".  Turns out those two books were Millie and the Night Heron and Rain May and Captain Daniel.  I didn't look at the author at all, and it wasn't until I started Rain May I realised they were both by Catherine Bateson. An author who lives in my area of Melbourne.  Who, for all I know, may even live up the road from me.

Anyways, turns out that any self-respecting children's librarian should immediately know of Catherine Bateson.  Well, now I do.

I have only read these two examples of her work, and let me say, there are quite a few similarities between the two.  I am not sure whether this is a blurt of randomness, or whether Bateson favours certain plot scenarios.  Either way, the stories were basically mother + daughter escaping the frantic, competitive and soul-destroying milieu of the city to start life afresh in the country.  New friends are made (after the challenge of starting a new school, of course), existing friendships are tested, new towns are explored, new bedrooms are decorated, self-discovery ensues.  I will leave the fine detail out, but you can imagine the general progression.

Don't get me wrong, both are still great tales, and each have their own flavour so to speak, but there is a bit of a negative vibe towards the Dads who stay behind in the city (and their new girlfriends).  I found this in both books, and, come to think of it, in Cicada Summer as well.  This is a bit disappointing, but then again, I reiterate that I have only read a small sample of these author's works.  Others may be different!

Both of Bateson's books have the "Short-listed" seal of approval from the Australian Children's Book Council, and indeed I would recommend them to anyone wanting a good read for those 8-12. But I would want to intersperse these books with one or two that maybe paint Dad in a bit better light, just to get a bit of balance to the reading!


Popular posts from this blog

Using librarian skills to uncover a network of dodgy shopping sites!

In all my posts over the years I'm not sure if I ever mentioned I am an avid steampunker.  Like many of my quirky fellow librarians, I love a good dress up and recently found myself searching for a great pair of boots to go with the Steampunk Aviator Superhero costume I'm assembling (trust me, it will work!).

One evening whilst idly thumbing through Pinterest I found a picture of these undeniably AWESOME combat-boot style boots.  I followed the link to the website ( and although it didn't look dodgy and offered PayPal, I am a cautious online shopper and always check the customer reviews first.  They were 1000% abysmal.  Like the kind of reviews that say SCAM, THEFT and CAN I LEAVE 0 STARS.  So despite loving the shoes, I was definitely not parting with my money on this occasion.

Fast forward a couple of months and I see an ad for Victorian-style cosplay boots in my Insta feed.  Did I mention that I am an avid steampunker?  Because seriously, these shoes…

It only takes a second (ment)

What the hell is a secondment?
Some people I have chatted to have no idea what I'm talking about (and I also discovered that some spell-check utilities don't even recognise the word) so I thought I would clear the confusion by ripping a definition straight from Merriam-Webster:
Definition of secondmentplural-s

: the detachment of a person (such as a military officer) from his or her regular organization for temporary assignment elsewhere.

So if you just substitute "library services officer" for "military officer" you have an explanation of my situation!

Being a qualified Librarian can take you in so many different directions. One of the reasons I chose the tag "Ambidextrous Librarian" was because I honestly had no idea which direction my career would go. I have worked in school libraries and the kids and teachers are absolutely fantastic, but the pay, conditions and options for career development aren't all that varied. I tri…

A Somewhat Risky Business

Working in a public library means I am surrounded all day by books (duh).  Books are such pretty things - there is a reason why publishers spend big bucks on cover design, and that's because we pretty much ignore the old "don't judge a book by its cover" and happily judegy-judge away.  We can't help it, bright and shiny things attract us!

So as I was standing at the circ desk the other day having a bit of a rest between patrons, I found my eyes drawn yet again to a book that was on display.  I had been gazing at it on and off all day, and I couldn't really make out the title but it was the dress that caught me, and the shiny peach converse trainers, and the pose, and the luxurious hair.  I decided that the universe was telling me I had to borrow it, even if I had absolutely no idea what it was about.  I took it home without even reading the blurb.

The book was titled "This is just my face; try not to stare" by Gabourey Sidibe, the actress who starr…