During my time as a teacher and English manager. I have come to realise that good books and a love of reading are cornerstones of raising attainment in literacy across a school. Teachers and children need to be constantly immersed in high-quality texts.
Through my blog I aim to introduce children, their families, teachers and book-lovers to books they may not have come across before but would enjoy reading or using in their school curriculums.
Gradually I have a curated a collection of reviews and ideas using a diverse and varied range of new titles. I hope that these will give teachers the confidence to try using some new texts (alongside tried and tested favourites), and help children find new authors to enjoy.
I firmly believe that funny books are so often overlooked and underestimated by the media to the detriment of a great many enthusiastic readers. To help raise their profile (and champion a wider range of authors than you’ll find in your local supermarket), I run a monthly #FunnyBookChat to champion a genre of children’s books which is loved by its target audience (children) but often looked down upon by adults. If you want to join in, you can find me on Twitter (and Instagram) as @BookSuperhero2.
My passion for funny books has given me the opportunity to work with Scholastic and Michael Rosen on the Laugh Out Loud Book Awards (or the Lollies) , previously as a judge and in subsequent years as a long-lister of titles for the judges to select from. I’ve also been lucky enough to be invited to short-list for the Blue Peter Children’s Book Awards.
My consultancy work with Just Imagine (the award winning creators of the Reading Gladiator programme) on their HaHa Boing Book Club has helped me develop the tools to work closely with primary schools in a consultancy role. I have a range of workshops which have been delivered at national conferences, as well as the capacity to work with schools to deliver more bespoke CPD, to develop reading spines and to audit library stock. Further information about my workshops is available on the ‘Workshops’ page of this website.
If your school is looking to do work with students on developing the tools they need for good lifelong mental health, may I direct you to the website of my joint venture, Mind Superheroes. We were recently invited to present a workshop at the Tes SEN Show on ‘Helping Children Find Their Inner Superheroes’ and received some excellent feedback
Jo Cummins, 2021.