Today I’m sharing a truly beautiful book based on the true story of dancer, Lihua Tai, who has to learn to ‘hear’ music in different ways. It’s highly topical at the moment due links with the appearance of Strictly Come Dancing’s first ever hearing impaired contestant, Rose Ayling-Ellis. I’ve enjoyed sharing the stories of both … Continue reading ‘The Visible Sounds,’ by Yin Jianling, illustrated by Yu Rong.
Today’s my stop on the StormTide blog tour - the third gripping instalment in the FloodWorld trilogy. I also have Tom’s top 5 deep sea story recommendations for you to enjoy! A world-ending storm is coming, and only Kara and Joe can hold back the tide. In the ocean depths lies a deadly secret: an … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘StormTide,’ by Tom Huddleston
Today I have two books celebrating the rich history of Afro hair. First we travel back 5,000 years to the hair fashions of Ancient Egypt, then flash forwards to contemporary styles for textured hair such as hair puffs and halo braids. ‘The Story of Afro Hair,’ by K. N. Chimbiri, illustrated by Joelle Avelino (Scholastic) … Continue reading Awesome Afro Hair
This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week and I am honoured to be hosting a letter written by author Jane Elson to her nine-year-old self. Jane has always spoke freely about her dyslexia and, when not writing, mentors young neurodiverse people and champions the gift of neurodiverse thinking. She was recently named as being one of … Continue reading A Letter to My Young Dyslexic Self by Jane Elson
There are periods in our history of which we may not be proud but which we need to remember. ‘I Saw a Beautiful Woodpecker’ is a poignant reminder of the impact of war on many cities and on the lives of millions. I am extremely honoured to have been asked to host a piece by … Continue reading ‘I Saw a Beautiful Woodpecker,’ by Michał Skibiński, illustrated Ala Bankroft.
Get prepared for an absolute belter of a read with a villain you will despise, a hero you will cheer for, and a grim dystopian London set somewhere in the future! You also need to scroll down and read author Michael Mann’s masterclass on how to write a truly terrifying villain… ‘Kidnapped and forced to … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Ghostcloud,’ by Michael Mann, cover by Chaaya Prabhat.
‘The Histronauts - A Greek Adventure!’ is the newest title in the Histronauts series written by historian and author, Dr. Frances Durkin. The intrepid team of time-travelling children have already visited Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, The Viking times, and are now heading off to Ancient Greece to explore the marketplaces, witness the birth of theatre, … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Histronauts – A Greek Adventure!’ by Dr Frances Durkin, illustrated by Grace Cooke.
Today I have a middle grade book which is perfect for fans of funny books with an edge. This one just happens to feature a genius baby and a super-villain determined to rid the world of the problem of childhood. Make sure you read the special piece by Daniel about why this book was twenty … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Little Horror,’ by Daniel Peak.
This time last year, I had just finished this title’s predecessor, ‘The Monsters of Rookhaven’ - a delightfully brooding read full of gothic motifs, lurking menace, and the idea of embracing those different to yourself. As the nights draw in and Halloween swiftly approaches, I would suggest you might like to get yourself a copy … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Shadows of Rookhaven,’ by Pádraig Kenny, illustrated by Edward Bettison.
Are you looking to update and enliven your school reading scheme with some exciting, engaging books by award-winning authors? This can be especially challenging for Key Stage Two pupils. Bloomsbury have just released a stunning range of book banded stories for readers aged 7-11 which are full of illustrations and feature guided reading notes and … Continue reading Bloomsbury Readers
Emma Chichester Clark is probably best known for her beautiful picture books, but she has also just had a chapter book published for readers aged 6+. ‘Polly Pecorino’ is full of the gorgeous illustrations you would expect, bringing to life Chichester Clark’s tale of human stupidity and greed. ‘Are you brave enough to enter the … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Polly Pecorino- The Girl Who Rescues Animals,’ by Emma Chichester Clark.
If you are looking for a dark, mysterious, brooding read for young teen readers, then this is what you need to get hold of. It is very rare that I am so enthralled by a book that I am compelled to read it in one sitting. But that is exactly what happened with ‘The Ash … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Ash House,’ by Angharad Walker.
Today I’m sharing a brilliant interactive, wonderfully informative picture book about the weird and wonderful noises animals make. Why do owls hoot? Why do cats purr? Can you curl up like a sleepy snake? I also have a special Q&A from author Moira Butterfield about the inspiration and processes behind creating her two fabulous animal … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Sing Like a Whale – Learn How to Make a Noise Like Animals Do,’ by Moira Butterfield, illustrated by Gwen Millward.
I was completely blown away by this powerful novella which chronicles the inner dialogue of Rex, a young teen whose father has very recently passed away. There were smiles and there were tears as I watched him struggle to come to terms with his loss and with his final moments with his father. Definitely something … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Dream House,’ by Laura Dockrill, illustrated by Gwen Millward.
Amy’s writing is always a little bit magical, a little bit thought-provoking, and a little bit special. Her newest novel, Lightning Falls, certainly fits into this category. With a haunted house, a hallowed ghost, and a glimmering portal into another world, there is plenty for readers to become immersed in. Amy has also written a … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Lightning Falls,’ by Amy Wilson, cover by Studio Helen.
You might know Rob Biddulph best as a creator of amazing picture books (Odd Dog Out being one of my favourites.) Or perhaps as the ‘draw-along’ world record breaker? Well now he’s turned his hand to writing a longer novel for slightly older readers which is still absolutely packed with gorgeous illustrations! Some legends are … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City,’ by Rob Biddulph.
I went into this book with high expectations (after loving one of Priestley’s other collaborations with Barrington Stoke, ‘Seven Ghosts.’) I was NOT disappointed! Atmospheric, modern, and so very creepy - as I was reading, my mind was already whirring with ways to use this title to inspire some of the children I teach to … Continue reading ‘Freeze,’ by Chris Priestley.
You may well already have read the stunning, ‘The Last Wild’ trilogy. Set in a land in quarantine, a deadly virus has killed all the animals except pests and it's expected to be equally dangerous to humans. ‘The Wild Before’ is an equally brilliant prequel which explains how the virus came to be and some … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Wild Before,’ by Piers Torday, cover by Thomas Flintham.
The Oxford University Press have produced a brand new range of highly-readable titles for less confident KS3 readers (aged 11 up.) They’ve created the ‘Super-readable Rollercoasters’ in collaboration with Barrington Stoke who are known for their dyslexia-friendly format and snappy, engaging stories. I was lucky enough to be sent two of these titles to review, … Continue reading ‘Dark Peak,’ by Marcus Sedgwick, cover by Carolina Rodriguez Fuenmayor.
It is so fantastic to see a brand new sport book which is celebrating RUGBY! There are so many fantastic football books to tempt readers but so few about other sports. And this one has the bonus of a foreword and gameplay tips from former All Black, Conrad Smith. ‘The first in a series of … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Rampaging Rugby,’ by Robin Bennett, illustrated by Matt Cherry.