10 ways to build a home Library on a budget

Everyone says that having books and reading to kids are important because it connects parents to children, it instigates their imagination, concentration, it helps them develop good communication skills, helps them learn to read and write better and the lost goes on…however, a home library can very quickly break the bank when you try to get all these books at home. Here are some tips on how to ensure to have exciting books at home on a budget:

1. Go to your local library

Sounds obvious but many people forget they can borrow books for weeks on local libraries. If borrowing can be a bit overwhelming, most libraries will sell pre-loved books for cents! We often see libraries selling 5 books for a dollar…bargain!


2. Street library

This is probably one of my favourites. In many cities in the world, the street library movement is having a good deal of attention. It is totally free. All you have to do is to find one and get a book you like, you can either return the book to a street library or put another book in to keep the library alive. You then, keep the book you took for as long as you like. If you are keen, you can register to have a street library yourself or just simply make one! To know more, have a look at our blog post on street libraries.


3. Used books on Amazon, eBay, Gumtree and the alike

You can find board books for 3 dollars or less on these sites, there’s nothing wrong with having used books. So get the title you have been looking for or look at reviews of books you haven’t heard of and make a call on what’s good to spend your coins on. Just remember that shipping can quickly increase the price of the books and make it not a good deal after all.


4. Book swop

Easy one! Talk to a few friends to do a book swop a few times during the year. Maybe swop books at the beginning of every season or every school term. It’s a win!


5. Book as birthday present

There is always a couple of guests that will ask what is a good idea for a birthday present. Unlesss you know the person can afford the dream toy or experience your child wants and you can’t afford it yourself, say books. Even better, mention a specific book or type of book (about numbers, farm animals, a flip the flap book, an Atlas for children etc) or of a particular author. Don’t feel bad about asking for specific presents,  as a guest of many children’s birthday party, it is so much easier to get a gift that you know the party-child will like.


6. Car boot sales and local markets

When children outgrow an age group, parents are quick to send away the old stuff and that includes books. So make your way to local markets and keep an eye for car boot or garage sales for some super cheap – if not free – books!



Ebooks might not be something good for very young children but a kindle to a teenager might be a good thing. There are plenty of free ebooks of classic stories and new good quality writters. Do some research on what titles are trending between youngsters and download it for them.


8. Giveaways

Follow book reviewers, authors, illustrators, publishing houses, teachers, librarians and parents n social media. There are loads of giveaways frequently. Just make sure to follow who has the same interests as you, for example, if your children are 0-5 years old, follow who review books on the same age group. A quick browse through their posts will tell you if they will be helpful to you or not.


9. Go for quality not quantity

It’s better to have a few good books than dozens of badly written or poorly illustrated books.


10. Browse

Sometimes, smaller bookshops have cheaper books than the major stores on malls and main streets. Ask around and see where your friends buy books. Also remember to be in the lookout for seasonal books, for example, christmas books will be cheaper after christmas. Books about mum, dad, halloween, starting school etc will have the marketing flow.

Remember that a library is built slowly, through a few years, it grows, it shrinks….but make sure to have a really nice place to keep your books when you start to collect them. Below, a super simple, stylish and adorable way to display your home library.  Library box and photo credit to Le Petit Cadre


Free books aka Street Library

Street-libraries-Facebook-Humans-of-Newtown-Copy.pngPhoto credit StreetLibrary.org.au

Why are we obsessed with street libraries? Because they are an ingenious idea and are free. If you don’t know the concept, here it is:

You place a weathertight box outside your house/apartment block and put a few books you are keen to find a new home. Someone will walk past and get a book or leave a book. That’s it! You can always have free books! It’s a movement, a revolution.

We have selected a few examples of Street Libraries around the world to gwt you inspired but make sure you check with your local council appropriate ways of placing them outside your house. It is very likely thst you must keep the box within the boundaries of your block so it doesn’t interfere with accessibility on the footpath.

It’s not only the cities and denser urban areas that are joining in, residents of remote areas benefit greatly as they don’t need to drive far to find a library.

If you don’t live in a house? Speak to your building strata board members to add one to the front of the building. If you still find resistance, think if you can do one at work. Some street libraries are actually indoors at doctors, dentists, therapists rooms receptions, cafes etc. Some street libraries ask for a particular age group books to be dropped in such as the street library at the NeoNatal Care Centre at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown, Sydney.

In an Era of communication and share economy, free books going around neighbours is just sublime. It truly is people taking charge of their community, being respectful and civilised, it’s inclusive, it’s educational, it’s environmentally sustainable. It’s a must in every town, every city, everywhere.

With so many inspirations, what are you waiting for to get your creativity out and build your street library?


Rory’s Story


Rory’s Story by The Five Miles Press

We all feel a little when a new baby arrives. Rory’s Story shows that even the nicest sibling can be jealous of all the attention a new baby gets from mum and dad. More than a story book, Rory’s Story shows a few good parenting tips for those in the await of a baby. It’s a great family book where we can all understand each other’s feelings from the older child point of view. It is also a great book about friendship..but I will say no more…go figure out for yourself 😉

#baby #babybook #picturebook #picturebookreview #readaloud #newparents #familytime #storytime #mum #mumssupportingmums #siblinglove #instabook #instakids #childrensbooks #littlesteps #littlesteps

What The Ladybird Heard



Book review of The Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks.

Rhymes, rhymes and ingenious story line! Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks are a wonderful combination! ‘What the ladybird heard’ is an excellent book in so many levels. Illustration, text, story, flow, texture, morals and the list goes on. It also appeals to a broad age group because of all its layers. The young ones will like the colours, textures and sounds of animals, the older children will enjoy the play with the words, the resolution of the story, the different techniques in the illustrations and so forth. A really wonderful present!
#childrensbooks #picturebook #juliadonaldson #familytime #storytime #kidsbooks #lovetoread #lydiamonks #whattheladybirdheard #glitter #illustration

What The Ladybird Heard



Book review of The Lady Bird Heard by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks.

Rhymes, rhymes and ingenious story line! Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks are a wonderful combination! ‘What the ladybirdheard’ is an excellent book in so many levels. Illustration, text, story, flow, texture, morals and the list goes on. It also appeals to a broad age group because of all its layers. The young ones will like the colours, textures and sounds of animals, the older children will enjoy the play with the words, the resolution of the story, the different techniques in the illustrations and so forth. A really wonderful present!
#childrensbooks #picturebook #juliadonaldson #familytime #storytime #kidsbooks #lovetoread #lydiamonks #whattheladybirdheard #glitter #illustration


close up of hand over white background

Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

There was a time not so long ago in which you needed to either know people to get a break or to do something extraordinary in a particular time where someone in particular was there and this person would ‘discover’ you.

For you to exhibit your paintings, photographs, sculptures; to verbalise your ideas, to express an opinion, you needed someone who believed in your goals, talent, person and they would help you shine. Today, things are different.

Are you a photographer? Take photos and…post it…talk to people on the other side of the world in a matter of seconds.  Literally. There’s no need to live with the anxiety of sending a letter in the mail and after 3 months of no response, wonder if the letter was lost or if they have simply chosen not to reply.

Today, I am in total awe with the technology and the possibilities this connected world offers. In less than 3 months, I have my son’s book published and being sold all over the world with a financial investment of less than AUD600. Now a little disclaimer: I’m not counting the infinite work hours I’ve done understanding the process of self-publishing, print on demand and distribution. Neither am I counting the time illustrating or doing the layout and of the book because I know how to do that, if you don’t, you might need to consider a graphic designer but I will speak about that another time. Coming  back to my point, fifteen years ago, something like self-publishing would cost a few thousand dollars plus an incredibly difficult and expensive journey to market it to cut even.

Today, his book is available in two languages – I’m bilingual but it wouldn’t be difficult to find a translator to the most foreign of the languages – and the book has had copies alrrady sold in Brazil, England, The Netherlands, South Africa and today; Australia.

This is trully exciting!!! I hope I am managing to give a little boost of motivation into people’s projects.

Painters, illustrators, photographers, inventors, engineers, scientists can fund a project with the common people like you and I. No one needs to get a door open at a gigantic coorporation to accept funding their projects anymore. You don’t need the government to open a library, people create their own library right on the streets from each other homes.

Sure, we all need someone who can give us a great exposure and that is what I’m working on at the moment. However, there is an infinite amount of information and resources online to learn and a vast network of systems and processes that allow the world to be connected in a material form.

I have an incredible faith in this network of people and systems to give voice and wings to spread ideas. So whatever is your expression…look for it and you will find a way to be heard, seen, touched, acknowledged! Now, for perhaps the first time in History, be free!




Spot and Stripe

This book by Anna Shuttlewood for The Five Mile Press is more than perfect. It’s current, it’s progressive, it’s necessary.



Acceptance is the mesaage we got from this book. A wonderful gift that arrived from South Africa and a true sweet story showing children and adults that wanting to be different to try to ‘fit in’ is natural but even better is when we accept who we are and the other one is too. Accepting their true nature is an important step to tolerance and a peaceful world. Children are born without judgment of colour, race, nation…parents, family, friends, movies, books and anything that surrounds a child will shape their concepts of right and wrong into adult life. So making sure they continue to not make judgement of superficial and aesthetic nature of one kind is a giant step to a wonderful future ahead!
In a day like today, where Australia apologises to the aboriginals on sorry day, we must remember that we are friends. Different from one another but with the same rights.
And I don’t need to mention the beautiful illustrations 😁

Well done Anna Suttlewood! I wish this book gets lots of awards and becomes a classic of it’s time. 🥇🏆👏🏻

@annalucymeg #spotandstripe #childrensbooks #instakids #familytime #love #tolerance #acceptance #startreadingearly #family #weareallone #bookreview #bookworm #readmoreinmay #sorrydayaustralia

Why Saci?

Saci Pererê is a character of the Brazilian folklore. He is known for sneaking into houses and farms in windy days making a mess. He swops things from one place to the next, he changes the label of seasonings, hides socks, put shoes on top of wardrobes, make pony tails on horses, he opens yhe gates and let animals run free and much more! He is a black boy with only one leg and he has a magic red hat that allows him to be very quick so no one can catch him.

No one has ever caught a Saci but many swear they have seen one. Children are the ones that claim to see Saci often, specially when their toys, socks, jumpers, water bottles – you know what else-  go missing.

The Day of Saci is celebrsted on the 31st October all over Brazil and it is a great way to reinforce the folklore to new generations and keep the culture alive.

Saci is a much loved character in Brazilian culture and he represents much of the playful spirit of children. That is why we chose Saci as the name of our little company.
The illustration is from Jesús Gaban for the book ‘Lendas do Brasil’ from Brazilian publishing company called Editora Girassol.

Bilingual children


We are very proud to announce that ‘The Boy Who Didn’t Like the Night‘ is also ‘O Menino Que Não Gostava da Noite“, the Brazilian Portuguese translation of the book.

Most people ask me “how can your English be so good? You don’t have a strong accent, did you move overseas when you were very little?”

The answer is simply: exposure from an early age. I used to watch a tv show y dad used to wake up to watch on Sunday mornings that would teach English.  When I was 9, my parents enroled me on an English course that had 2 sessions a week with 1.5hr each. When satellie tv arrived in Brazil, my parents were pioneers in seeing thst it would be good to watch movies from all over the world. So, I watched. French movies with Portuguese subtitles, then the same movie with English subtitles, then shows in English with English subtitles and so on. When we could import books from overseas, we did. When Brazil was doing well economically and we could travel overseas, I bought – very encouraged by my parents – books.

I have studied English, French, Italian, German and Spanish – no it is not the same as Portuguese – and I have to say that English was the only language that I can actually communicate in. Why? Because of consistency of use. English is not easier to learn than French, Italian or Spanish, although I have to say, i struggled with German, the secret is exposure to the language. Listening, reading and writing must be combined in the learning process.

I can’t stress how being bilingual has open doors and opportunities that otherwise would have stayed in the world of dreams.

So for all parents out there trying to raise bilingual children, besides tv and music, get books. In both languages or at least one book in the second language. If you don’t know if your children will ever want to live in Brazil, they will learn enough at a young age to develop the taste for different cultures and languages.

Raising a bilingual child from the very start is planting the seeds to live a life with more opportunities and more freedom. If you ask me, I think that is priceless.


The Boy Who Didn’t Like The Night

We are incredibly proud of this super-young little boy called Ewan Stewart.

At only 4, he has nailed the basics of storytelling – he must have had many books read to him, right?

We will soon publish more on how this story was created- it can make your heart melt a little bit!

Pre-sales now on Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Contact us if you have any questions or would like to become a reviewer.

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