Nanna’s Button Tin

NBT_CVR-HR big compress

Written by Dianne Wolfer
Illustrated by Heather Potter
Published by Walker Books Australia, June 2017

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Nanna’s button tin is very special. It has buttons of all shapes and sizes and they each have a different story to tell. But today, one button in particular is needed. A button for teddy. A beautiful story about memories and the stories that shape a family.


My grandmothers were skilled sewers and they both had beautiful button tins. When I was a young girl, I loved shaking those tins, then I would tip out the buttons to make patterns and pictures and choose my favourites. Memories of those button tins inspired this story about a girl and her nanna looking for a very special button.

Since the launch of Nanna’s Button Tin in 2017, I have shown my button tins and childhood friend, Eeyore, to students across Australia. I also love sharing button craft with readers. See the activity ideas below …

Teaching Ideas

Buttons are so much fun. You can sort them into shapes and colours. You can thread buttons to make a necklace, sew them onto your favourite jumper or glue them onto the cover of a workbook. What about PVA gluing a button onto a piece of card and then making it into something, like the children above? You could create a monster, the wheel of a tractor, a ladybird or a rocket button to blast off. Now write a sentence or a story about your picture. When you have finished, you could start your own button collection! If you don’t have a tin, glass jars work really well. I’d love to see your button collections and craft projects. Why not send me a photo …  Click here for more fun teaching ideas.

Behind the Scenes:

Images from Heather Potter’s notebooks

Heather has kindly given me photocopies of 15 pages from her sketchpads showing the development of characters as well as page design and storyboard details. These pages are now laminated ready for sharing with students during school visits.

heather sketch

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