Best Teacher Gifts

It’s that crazy time of year again, searching for a Christmas gift or thank you present for your child’s teacher.


Will it be chocolate or wine or hand lotion?
A Christmas decoration or coffee vouchers or movie tickets?
A coffee mug or tea cup or coasters?
Or home-cooking delicately wrapped in clear cellophane and delicately adorned with coloured wrapping ribbon?
What about a plant or a plate or a divinely scented bouquet of the prettiest flowers or even an original artwork … or was it that ‘A+ teacher’ emblazoned red shiny porcelain apple?

Any of those gifts are treasured for always! And that specially spoken ‘thank you!’ from a student just melts a teacher’s heart.


I have another gift to consider … it’s a book for teachers, created by a teacher. A 32 page hardcover time capsule book for teachers to use with their class over the school year.

Here’s why ‘Us. A Time Capsule’ is so good:

• There’s humour on the front cover. Teachers will have a quiet giggle at the collective nouns – a sloth (the slow moving student); a gang (those kids who hang around in large groups everywhere); an army (an entire class of students); a grumble (students who complain about work); a chatter (that forever chatty student who talks to every child they sit next to. No matter what); a swarm (when the teacher is accosted by a group of students ready to be the first to tell some news); a crew (pirates with swords come to mind, ready to sabotage a lesson …)
• There’s a page for information about the teacher that students will love to read. Teachers are people too.
Us. 2• For the rest of the book, it’s all about the students, at the beginning of the school year, at the end of the school year, stuff that happens in between, and their predictions for the future. Here are just 3 sample pages from 32.

• There’s a teacher guide at the back and a photocopiable page of squares for kids to do their self-portraits, cut out and glue into the book.

I know that kids in the class will adore the teacher’s copy of Us. A Time Capsule. After 25 years of teaching I can imagine them snickering at “No aliens allowed! Or Dinosaurs! Or Magic Goggles!” Yet, throughout the book the occasional alien or dinosaur or magic goggle appears. And they can read about themselves and their classmates and what they got up to in the year.

You can purchase a copy of ‘Us. A Time Capsule’:
Us. 6.11.18

From Lilly Pilly Publishing:

Us. A Class Time Capsule

From Amazon:

‘Us: A Class Time Capsule’

And for teachers in the US – the same hardcover book with a different cover and US spelling.

Us. USA 6.11.18

From Lilly Pilly Publishing:

Us. A Class Time Capsule (for US teachers)

From Amazon:

‘Us. A Class Time Capsule’ – for teachers in the US.

I know I would have loved to have a book like this for every year of my teaching career so I could look back at every class I had taught and remember all of those precious times I spent with students in my class. Being a teacher is indeed a privilege and an honour.

Us. A Time Capsule. It’s a yearbook with a difference. It’s likely to be the best and favourite teacher gift for Christmas, the end of the school year, or simply as a thank you!

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)

Julieann is a published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds as Julieann Wallace – children’s author, or as Amelia Grace – fiction novelist, she is working as an editor, book designer, and book magician for other authors. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury Chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare off her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.


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The Colour of Broken is available at Amazon and online bookstores as a print book and ebook.

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Book Week – a Grand, Contagious Celebration


Something beyond spectacular happens in schools around Australia in Book Week: schools burst at the seams with colour and energy as they celebrate all things books.


CBCA Book Week. It’s joyous. It’s adventurous. It’s contagious.
But it can’t happen without authors and illustrators. And it most definitely can’t happen without readers.

I have spent more than half of my life reading books to children, literally reading thousands and thousands of picture books and chapter books, and this is what I have noticed over the years: there is change – books for children have grown; not only in the amount of books, but they are richer in content, and in quality of illustrations.

And here’s the thing … picture books, chapter books and novels have only continued to get better. When you think you have read the best book ever for children, along comes another one that tops it.

It still amazes me after all these years, and even in our age of technology, that one physical children’s book can get the attention of an entire class like a rock star. Eyes are focussed, and ears are listening, hanging off every word. Children listen in eagerness together, laugh together, cry together, and ask for one more page, or to read it again, or please can we read one more chapter

It’s about the connection of hearts and minds. Being on the same page. That’s what books do.

Every experienced teacher in the world has books in their teacher toolkit. Here’s why –
• If you want to settle a class after an energetic play time – read them a book.
• If you want to introduce a lesson, or a new concept with pizazz – start by reading them a book with content that will be in the lesson.
• If you want to bring the class together at the end of the day – read them a book.
• If you want a class to think deeply about a concept – take them inside a book so they can feel the emotion of a character and see the world through that character’s eyes, ears and heart.
• If you want to inspire children – read them a book.


And here’s the thing … reading books creates empathy, kindness and understanding in the reader. Stories are a powerful. They engage, entertain, empower, explain, encourage and inspire. Research shows that book readers are smarter and kinder.

Imagine a classroom without books. A library without books. A home without books. A world without books – it would be akin to missing a heart.

Imagine a world without writers – wait, that means no books, no movies, no gaming, no lyrics to songs – after all, they are all built from the foundation of stories … what would the world become?

Parents, authors thank you for your amazing support with book week.

Teachers, authors salute you, and thank you for the part you play in spreading the love for reading, for sharing books created by authors, and for gifting students with the ability to read.

Children, you are the reason children’s authors write, and will continue to write, as you are more important than all the treasure in the world.

54722901_s children reading book on roof

To finish, I’d like to share one precious memory of Book Week that stays with me – it’s a child who made his own costume from cardboard and alfoil. He had made it – not his mum, or his dad. His costume didn’t cost a lot, but it was filled with his imagination and with joy, created from the imagery of the words of his only book. It was simple, and yet, it was simply the best!

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Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Multi-published Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)

eady for book week - travelling suitcase (3)

Writing novels as Amelia Grace:

tcob front cover  bk fr  embodiment front cover

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