The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

William Joyce

The book that inspired the Academy Award–winning short film. From New York Times bestselling author and beloved visionary William Joyce, this is a modern masterpiece, showing that in today’s world of traditional books, eBooks, and apps, it’s story that we truly celebrate—and this story, no matter how you tell it, begs to be read again and again. =>

For kids – Tadpole Transformation

Students make a paper tadpole puppet that turns into a frog and learn the meaning of the term metamorphosis.


Fast and Fresh Recipes for Wellbeing

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet – Fast and Fresh Recipes

introduction by Manny Noakes ; photography by Chris Chen and Alan Benson

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet has already inspired thousands of Australians to lose weight and improve their overall health. This new collection of recipes based on the scientifically proven programme offers 120 new ideas for making mouth-watering meals in no time at all. =>

Public Speaking – 7 Types of Humor You Can Use

In public speaking, the ability to use humor is an important skill to possess whatever your natural ability is. Most people like to smile, to laugh, or to enjoy a listening experience. Humor adds sparkle and interest to a speech. Humor when used should be good willed and not given in a manner to show how witty you are.
It is probably impossible to catalog humor completely. Here I have listed the 7 kinds of humor commonly used in public speaking.

Turn of Phrase

In this type of humor, you get the laugh by starting to make a serious point in one direction and suddenly an unexpected meaning is revealed. Mark Twain used this technique when he said that “youth is such a wonderful thing, it is shame to waste it on children.”

The Pun

A word is used to evoke a serious meaning and then used in a completely different meaning altogether. The second meaning gives a whole new viewpoint to the speaker’s remarks. To be funny the meaning should not be stretched too far or it will evoke groans rather than smiles. For example, the organiser of an event may ask a member of the audience if the guest speaker was an able speaker. The member of the audience may reply “Yes, the guest speaker was able. He was able to stand up all the way through his speech.”


This is where a small thing is made into a larger important issue. This is similar to the how a cartoonist will exaggerate the features of a politician for effect.


This is the opposite of exaggeration, and words are used to underplay the importance of an event or issue.
Here, the face value meaning of the words is different to the intended meaning. An example is the phrase “as pleasant and relaxed as a coiled rattlesnake” used by Kurt Vonnegut in one of his books.
Sarcasm is a cutting form of wit and should be used with care. To be funny the audience should not have much sympathy for the intended target. If they do it will not work in your favor.


Satire is an attack upon something worded in a way as to be pleasant but clear in its meaning. Will Rogers at a bankers convention asked “I have often wondered where the Depositor’s hold their convention.”
To be funny, the humor should be said in a spirit of fun. However, for best effect, humor should be unannounced and told with a straight face (you don’t want to laugh before your audience does). It requires more practice and preparation than other parts of your speech. The humor will die if you fumble over words or stumble during the punch line. In public speaking, as it is with conversation, the telling of humor should be effortless and natural.

To be effective in public speaking the humor should be relevant to the points being made. It is woven into the fabric of the speech. With practice and preparation it is possible to employ the 7 types of humor listed, regardless of how dry and shy you maybe.

Author: Edward Hope … Add interest to your your public speaking and conversation with “The Art of Great Conversation.” To claim your free preview visit

We read to …

“We read to know we are not alone. “
— C.S. Lewis

Focus: A Simplicity Manifesto in the Age of Distraction

by Leo Babauta

The author writes, “At the heart of this simple book lies the key to many of the struggles we face these days, from being productive and achieving our goals, to getting healthy and fit in the face of fast food and inactivity, to finding simplicity and peace amidst chaos and confusion. That key is itself simple: focus. Our ability to focus will allow us to create in ways that perhaps we haven’t in years. It’ll allow us to slow down and find peace of mind. It’ll allow us to simplify and focus on less-on the essential things, the things that matter most. ->

Excuses …

“Don’t make excuses — make good.”

— Elbert Hubbard

… a good children’s story

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” 

― C.S. Lewis

The Beauty of 360 Communication

Being conscious of how you communicate and having a well-thought out strategy is key to being an effective and influential communicator.

We come into contact with so many different people during the course of a normal week, we can’t just have one mode or style of communicating. Your boss, your direct report(s), your partner, your clients, your colleagues – they all need and expect different things from you. Being able to communicate in the appropriate way and match those needs will make your life easier!

I call this 360° Communication and here are a few tools and techniques you can employ to deal with those different groups of people:

1) Your Boss
He/she is expecting you to do your job, that’s why they hired you so when they interact with you, they want to hear about what you’ve been doing especially the things you have completed that will make their life easier.

• Keep positive – if you have a challenge then have a solution as well
• No surprises – as much as you may not want to tell them something, honesty is always the best policy. If it’s a genuine mistake then admit it, be upfront and give your Manager a chance to prepare for any fall-out there may be. Depending on what it is, your Manager may be as much on the line as you so have him as your ally as opposed to your enemy
• Be inclusive – don’t complain about other people to your boss. Don’t be seen to be self-seeking or obsequious, it’s not attractive and only makes you sound desperate. Like the ‘comedian’ who can only make people laugh by poking fun at others; be credible and great at what you do without having to malign your colleagues

2) Your Direct Report

Just as you will want to impress your boss, your direct reports will want to do the same thing with you, or at least your high performing direct reports will. They also need something in return – they need to hear information from you about the business, they need to know how their job fits in with that and contributes to the bigger picture. The also need to know you care about them and their development. Lots of things huh?! Here are a couple of easy ways you can meet those needs:

• Set the Communication temperature – set up regular briefings with the team informing them of things happening in the business, within their department and even the industry. Let them know that open communication is a given and that you are committed to sharing things with them and giving them an opportunity to share their own ideas.
• Set up regular Engagement Interviews – these need to only be once a quarter or maybe twice a year depending on how many people you have in your team. Spend at least 1hr speaking to individual direct reports about what they are passionate about, what they enjoy about their job, how you can make their lives easier, why they stay with the Company. This information is like gold dust and will give you great insights in to how your team can be more productive and how to keep them engaged.

3) Your Client
This can be one of the more difficult relationships to manage as it really is about positive influence, without any positional power. You need to rely on your personal power – the traits you have that set you apart and make you someone your Client wants to do business with. Be a person with integrity, who can be relied upon to do good work. Build a track record based on success and delivery. Be an expert in your field and use your knowledge and network to add value to your Client. All good in theory right, so how do you put this into practice:

• Be a skillful enquirer – ask lots of questions, gather information and really understand your Client, the needs they have and where you can help and add value. Have a Question Strategy – think about the questions you will ask at the next meeting, use open questions to encourage your Client to talk and share and make sure you plan enough time so it doesn’t feel rushed and like it’s the Spanish Inquisition
• Know Their Style – we all have a preferred style of communication. Some of us like data, others value relationships; some like to make decisions and do so relatively quickly and others prefer to consider all angles and make a more informed decision, over a period of time. There is no better way but we have more in common with some styles than others and that can impact how well we communicate and ultimately influence. Knowing if your Client is more about data or relationships could be the key to getting the next deal signed!
So, ultimately, it’s all about knowing how to change your communication style to suit others and having an arsenal of tools and techniques you can readily deploy for any given situation. Good luck!


Based in Singapore and proud of her English heritage, Sarah Schubert unleashes people’s potential through their voices. Many Leaders and subsequently businesses struggle to excite, energise and lead people through business growth. They don’t talk enough or when they do they say the wrong thing or say it in the wrong way, leading to confusion and misunderstanding. Sarah coaches and trains Leaders to use their voice and communication skills to empower and excite people; she partners with businesses to implement transparent and successful communication strategies to ensure everyone is aligned. Success does speak for itself – would you like to know how?
Visit her website, email her at or call her on +65 9789 0802 for more information on the services offered.

From the author of Tashi and Horrendo’s Curse – “Louis beside himself”

Louis Beside Himself

Anna Fienberg

When a burglar jumps through the kitchen window one night, Louis knows he should get him in a wrestling-hold while he has the advantage, but his heart is hammering and his legs feel like wobbly air… A larger-than-life story from Anna Fienberg, author of the classic Tashi series and Horrendo’s Curse.

Watch the author discussing her book