Sound Stories: Bertie Bird and the Earthworm is the fourth in a series of four books to help children learn phonemic awareness. Through stunningly detailed illustrations from Sarah Hardy, and clever and engaging stories from teacher wordsmith Barbara Murray, children will have a joyful introduction to phonemic awareness and synthetic phonics.
Barbara Murray was a primary school teacher for many years before she began writing Sound Waves, a Whole School Phonemic Approach to Reading and Spelling in 2000. The program is now widely used across Australia and in some schools overseas.
Teaching was her passion, and a phonemic approach featured daily in all her classes across the whole primary school. She loved developing a curiosity about language in her students. Today, the third edition of Sound Waves includes an amazing, interactive website set up by her publisher, Firefly Education, that provides schools with a huge range of games, activities, teaching ideas and support, as well as the original student activity books and teacher resource books.
A phonemic approach to literacy is based on the 43 sounds we use in Australian spoken English. The very first step is to introduce the 43 sounds to beginning readers and writers.
Barbara is now publishing 43 stories illustrated by Sarah Hardy and compiled by Little Steps, for teachers and parents to introduce the 43 sounds to young children. These stories will be spread across a set of four beautifully illustrated books, Sound Stories.
The kind of art that sparks the imagination. The kind of art that is the stuff of dreams. The kind of art that inspires boys and girls, and adults too. The kind of art that is whimsical, quirky and so unique you want to embrace it and make it yours. In short, much applauded artist, Sarah Hardy produces the kind of art that connects human hearts.
Even her company name, PopcornBlue conjures up images that delight the imagination, and Sarah just loves to produce art in various formats, from high quality archival art prints, to magnets, stickers, cards and original artworks.
As a senior graphic designer and illustrator, Sarah is a seasoned professional with the requisite experience to hone her craft well and truly under her belt and has a strong artistic track record behind her. Shortlisted in 2012 for the Arc National Drawing Prize (Snail Civilisation), Sarah has also won the People's Choice Awards and Inaugural Prize (Eltham Community Gallery) 2011, and was highly commended in the Illustrators Australian & NZ Awards (2015). She won the 1st Prize in the Fairfield Art4All show in 2016.
She has illustrated the following popular children's books: Hare 'n There (Trellech Publishing 2017), The Hokey Pokey (Scholastic Australia 2013 - now in its 3rd edition.) and Barnowlby Bubbles (Little Steps Publishing 2010).