A Special Aussie Visitor

We had a very special visitor in the library last week. This person is from Australia and while we have been friends since 2011, we had never met face to face until last week. Who visited our library? The wonderful Miss Y from St. Martin’s Primary School near Melbourne, Australia.


Miss Y and I met through blogging and common blogging buddies. In fact, I found the very first time Miss Y made a comment on our blog. It was in March 2011!


Since then we have remained blogging buddies across the miles, sharing ideas for books, lessons and ways to integrate technology into the library. She wrote about our friendship on her blog here.

I was absolutely thrilled when I found out she was planning a trip to visit the US and would begin her trip in Seattle. Even better was that she would be able to visit our school. She shared some Australian geography lessons with students as they were quite surprised by how large the country and continent of Australia actually is.


We shared book presents with each other. She left Seattle with a signed copy of The Honest Truth and the new Elephant and Piggie inspired series books.


We are HUGE fans of Dan Gemeinhart’s books. Miss Y, some 5th graders and I had an interesting conversation about the differences between the American cover of The Honest Truth and the Australian cover of the same book. A few people were appalled that I preferred the Australian cover. Oops? Can I say that? I love Dan Gemeinhart’s books, I just think showing the mountain on the cover makes more sense.



We also discovered that Santa Claus comes to Australia in the summer when it’s really hot in Australia. He usually arrives in shorts and often rides a sleigh pulled by six white kangeroos!


One very special present Miss Y gave us is a copy of the book Pig the Pugย and our own Pig the Pug. This character who needs to learn a lot about getting along well with others is a favorite at her school.


In fact, they have two traveling Pig the Pugs who go home with students and have stories read to them. You can read about his Australian adventures here. Pig the Pug has had over 153 home adventures in 2016.

It sounded like so much fun, I have decided to have our Pig the Pug also be a traveling friend. Since we only have one plushy toy, the only students who will be able to take him home are third graders. Students who want to have a chance to take Pig the Pug home on an overnight reading adventure will fill out a raffle ticket. Each day I will pull a raffle ticket out of the box and deliver Pig the Pug to the lucky person in his special traveling suitcase.




Pig the Pug in Australia

Pig the Pug in Australia

A letter in his suitcase will explain that Pig the Pug is on a special overnight reading adventure and LOVES to have his picture taken with his reading buddy. I will post them on our #CRReads bulletin board and on his own page on this blog.

We are going to have some pug fun this fall thanks to Miss Y. Save travels to Miss Y as she continues her trip to Vancouver, Toronto, New York City and Washington, DC.



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11 thoughts on “A Special Aussie Visitor

  1. Hi Mrs Hembree,

    You have done some great detective work finding my first comment on your blog!

    It was such a treat for me to finally meet you in person and you are just as I imagined! I loved spending the day in your library, talking with your students and helping out with your lessons. I really felt ‘at home’. Thank you so much for making me feel so welcome in both your library and school. I’m going to write my blog post when I go home so I can tell my students all about my visit. For now I have added photos on Pig the Pug’s slideshow on our LRC blog.

    I’m so excited that you are going to send your Pig the Pug home with your your Third Graders. I’m looking forward to seeing which books they choose to read to Pig the Pug and their photos…

    Happy reading!

    Miss Y ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ“š

    • Dear Miss Y,
      I loved meeting you in person. We are kindred spirits and spending a few days with you was a thrill! I’ll keep you posted on our Pig the Pug adventures. Have a fabulous trip and I hope the weather is wonderful the entire time!
      Your WA friend,
      Mrs. H

  2. Hi Mrs Hembree,

    I’m one of the lucky teachers to work with Miss Y. She has been talking about this trip and connecting with you for so long. I’m glad to see that you and your students were able to share the love of reading with our passionate teacher librarian.

    Mrs O.

    • Dear Mrs.O,
      Someday I hope to get to Melbourne can connect with the people from my original blogging tribe. We loved visiting with each other. Thanks for commenting on my blog. You are truly lucky to work with Miss Y all the time!

  3. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    I was so excited when I went to your blog post today. Finally you and Miss Y have met and this is special. To tell you the truth I was so excited that I actually fell off my chair. Am okay didn’t hurt myself.

    Loved all the photos but my favourite one is the one of you and Miss Y. Also love how your children are enjoying taking Pig the Pug home I somehow get the feeling he is going to have a woof of a time.

    Hopefully one day we will all meet now that would be awesome.
    Take care Mrs Hembree.
    From your pal down under,

    • Dear AA,
      Miss Y and I had a wonderful conversation about how we both think you are the most terrific person. She gave me a hug from you and I gave her one to take back to Melbourne. Absolutely, I am going to make it to Australia sometime. I don’t know when, but it will happen.
      We really had a wonderful time together. Too bad we live so far apart because we really are kindred spirits!
      All my best to you and BB!
      Mrs. Hembree

  4. Dear Kim what a wonderful time catching up with your Blog Buddie in Seattle.
    Her Library looks very similar to yours, Neat!!
    Glad you had a wonderful visit.
    Ms H thank you for welcoming our amazing Kim. We miss her already.
    It is amazing to think that Pig the Pug will be having similar adventures on opposite sides of the world.
    Keep up your amazing teaching and sharing the love of reading to our precious students, both of you.
    Save travels Kim, and MsH we look forward to meeting you one day, down under. Marg C

  5. What an exciting time for Miss Y meeting Mrs H.
    I remember how you connected when the school LRC was flooded.
    You are soul mates sharing your love of reading and your passion for engaging students.
    I hope you continue to make your global connections as you support and inspire each other with the fabulous work you share.
    You touch hearts and minds and bring life long skills and the joy of reading.
    Thank you both for creating opportunities.
    Keep on walking the talk.
    Mrs S.

    • Dear Mrs. S,
      Thank you for visiting our blog! Yes, Miss Y and I have a lot in common. It’s been a joy to learn new ideas from her and share our love for libraries and students. We even have our own traveling Pig the Pug thanks to Miss. Y.
      She is very fortunate to have staff members support her blog and the adventures she brings to her classroom!
      Mrs. Hembree

    • Dear Mrs. B,
      I agree that Miss Y is on quite the adventure across America and Canada! She is getting to know both coasts, which are quite different. I hope she enjoys her trip to New York City. That city is full of museums, art, historical places and just plain fun!
      Mrs. Hembree

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