Select Page

Episode 23 – Librarian’s choice

Emma White

Click to Play:

This episode I am joined by Emma White, Children and Youth Coordinator at Hobsons Bay Libraries and the current Convenor of the Public Libraries Victoria, Children’s and Youth Services Special Interest Group!

Emma has worked in public libraries for over 10 years, and is a passionate advocate for children and young people in library spaces. Emma has spent lockdown moving her cat off her keyboard during Zoom meetings, continuing home renovations with her partner and learning to make her own polymer clay earrings.

This episode we are talking about finding the best resources for kids in lockdown, plugging local libraries (of course!), our favourite children’s books and just what we would pair with them for a fabulous reading experience!
The pairings:
The Babysitters Club series by Ann M. Martin 

 Kristy’s Great Idea      Book #1

Kristy thinks the Baby-sitters Club is a great idea. She and her friends Claudia, Stacey, and Mary Anne all love taking care of kids. A club will give them the chance to have lots of fun – and make tons of money. But nobody counted on crank calls, uncontrollable two-year-olds, wild pets, and parents who don’t always tell the truth. And then there’s Stacey, who’s acting more and more mysterious. Having a baby-sitters club isn’t easy, but Kristy and her friends aren’t giving up until they get it right!

Emma loves this series for its wonderful portrayal of young girls beginning to find their way as young women, its focus on friendship and community and for how good the tv series adaptation has been!

She pairs this series with a Jellybean cocktail – a nostalgic classic, sweet but not too sweet, with enough colour, brightness and freshness and oomph for the whole club!

Jellybeans only for the tweens of course 😉


Amazing Australian Women: Twelve Women Who Shaped History by Pamela Freeman and Sophie Beer 

Meet twelve amazing Australian women who have changed the world, in small ways and large. Some of them are world famous, like Annette Kellerman and Nellie Melba. Some of them are famous in Australia, like Mary Reibey and Edith Cowan. All of them deserve to be famous and admired. These women are the warriors who paved the way for the artists, business owners, scientists, singers, politicians, actors, sports champions, adventurers, activists and innovators of Australia today.

Emma loves how inspiring and informative this book is. Whilst it is a junior non fiction book it is told in a wonderfully readable narrative way which makes you want to find out more about each of these amazing women.

She paired this amazing Australian book with an amazing Australian gin! The Kangaroo Island Spirits Mulberry Gin makes for a pretty darn delicious gin and tonic, punchy, sweet and tart and quintessentially Australian.


Nevermoor: The trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart – an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests – or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

This is the first in a series of which the second, Wundersmith: the calling of Morrigan Crow, is also fabulous and the third book, Hollowpox:  the hunt for Morrigan Crow is due out this September and I cannot wait! But, back to this book – it has been called a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter and I can totally see why although it is its own creature absolutely.

It is a lot of fun, very well-written and with such interesting, vivid and original magics within it! A coming of age story, a mystery and adventure story, this is a fantastic middle grade read but honestly, there is no age limit on books like this is there?!

Because as fun as this book is it is also somewhat ghoulish as all good kids books should be, Justine would pair it with Swamp Juice, a fun and easy  punch made with lime juice, lemonade and lime sherbert for that fizzy effect 🙂 For adults you just replace the lemonade with soda and the sherbert with your choice of gin for a refreshing, sharp and subtle traditional Gin Rickey cocktail.


This episode of Literary Elixirs was recorded via Zoom, please forgive any minor technical glitches!   

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.