The 2022 Branford Boase Award shortlist.

Founded in 2000 to commemorate author Henrietta Branford and influential Walker Books editor Wendy Boase, the Branford Boase Award is awarded annually to the author of the year’s outstanding debut novel for children. Uniquely, it also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent. Each year the Branford Boase Award … Continue reading The 2022 Branford Boase Award shortlist.

Blog tour: ‘Funny Bums, Freaky Beaks and Other Incredible Creature Features,’ by Alex Morrs & Sean Taylor, illustrated by Sarah Edmonds.

Books about animals will always pique a child’s interest, but this one’s just a little bit different as it focuses on all the weird and wonderful features animals have evolved to gain an advantage over the years. Tails, toes, necks, and noses all star in the most unusual ways! “A delightful compendium of all the … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Funny Bums, Freaky Beaks and Other Incredible Creature Features,’ by Alex Morrs & Sean Taylor, illustrated by Sarah Edmonds.

Blog tour: ‘You Can’t Let An Elephant Drive a Racing Car,’ by Patricia Cleveland-Peck, illustrated by David Tazzyman.

Once again, an elephant and his friends wreak havoc across the pages of this book in the newest instalment in this snort-inducing series! “Have you ever seen a weightlifting wombat, or a figure-skating alligator?How about a pole-vaulting hippo, or an octopus . . . playing table tennis?Get ready for all sorts of hilarious animal antics … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘You Can’t Let An Elephant Drive a Racing Car,’ by Patricia Cleveland-Peck, illustrated by David Tazzyman.

Blog post: ‘Hedgewitch,’ by Skye McKenna, illustrated by Tomislav Tomic.

Today I’d like to introduce you to the first in a brand new series of magical reads full of charm, pluck, and malevolent fae. If you’re looking for a new series for middle grader readers to get stuck into, look no more! Cassie Morgan has run away. After seven years spent waiting for her mother … Continue reading Blog post: ‘Hedgewitch,’ by Skye McKenna, illustrated by Tomislav Tomic.

Blog tour: ‘SuperQuesters – The Case of the Stolen Sun,’ by Lisa Moss & Dr. Thomas Bernard, illustrated by Amy Wilcox.

Get ready for a brand new series of books which cleverly use gamification to encourage readers to apply their powers of logic and problem-solving to a series of STEM-based challenges. Questers will develop their coding skills and understanding of algorithms as they follow the interactive story, collecting stickers and rewards as they go. I can … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘SuperQuesters – The Case of the Stolen Sun,’ by Lisa Moss & Dr. Thomas Bernard, illustrated by Amy Wilcox.

Blog tour: ‘A Robot Squashed My Teacher’ by Pooja Puri, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan.

If you’re looking for a riotous adventure packed with ingenious inventions and lists, look no further! (But perhaps take a look at ‘A Dinosaur Ate My Sister’ too!) “Before you start reading, there are a few things you should know: 1. I, Esha Verma, am a genius inventor extraordinaire.2. I like lists.3. I did not … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘A Robot Squashed My Teacher’ by Pooja Puri, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan.

‘The Most Exciting Eid,’ by Zeba Talkhani, illustrated by Abeeha Tariq.

Eid is a festival which is celebrated by millions of people around the world. You might be looking for a new book which explains what happens on this special day, including traditions, foods and greetings. ‘The Most Exciting Eid’ captures the excitement of the day as seen through the eyes of a young girl called … Continue reading ‘The Most Exciting Eid,’ by Zeba Talkhani, illustrated by Abeeha Tariq.

‘The Girl Who Lost a Leopard,’ by Nizrana Farook, cover by David Dean.

If you haven’t already had the pleasure of reading Farook’s previous titles (‘The Girl Who Stole an Elephant’ and ‘The Boy Who Met a Whale’), then you must make sure you go and find yourself copies after you’ve read her latest adventure: ‘The Girl Who Lost a Leopard.’ “Selvi is a wild child who loves … Continue reading ‘The Girl Who Lost a Leopard,’ by Nizrana Farook, cover by David Dean.

‘Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom’ by Sangu Mandanna, illustrations by Nabi H. Ali.

Kiki Kallira is more of a worrier than a warrior - but today she will learn to be a hero. The mythical beasts she loves to draw have come to life, and she is the only one who can defeat them. A middle-grade fantasy inspired by Hindu legends about anxiety, creativity and finding your own … Continue reading ‘Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom’ by Sangu Mandanna, illustrations by Nabi H. Ali.

Blog tour: ‘Has anyone seen Archie Ebbs??’ by Simon Packham.

With costs of living rising dramatically, more families are struggling to pay their bills and other essentials. Unfortunately, this may result in more families losing their homes and having to live in temporary accommodation or sofa surf. This hidden homelessness is explored in this touching but humorous tale about what happens to a young boy … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Has anyone seen Archie Ebbs??’ by Simon Packham.

Blog tour: ‘Who Will You Meet on Dinosaur Street?’ by Gareth Peter, illustrated by Tim Budgen.

Dinosaurs are a perennial favourite with little ones so I’m always excited to discover a brand new dino book on the market - especially one which is as much fun as this! “What is that stomping and stamping of feet? It looks like a party on Dinosaur Street! They’re all in a frenzy and eager … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Who Will You Meet on Dinosaur Street?’ by Gareth Peter, illustrated by Tim Budgen.

Blog tour: ‘The Secret Sunshine Project,’ by Benjamin Dean, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat.

For those of you who’ve read Benjamin’s debut novel, ‘Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow,’ it will come as no surprise that his second title is equally as joyous with a LGBTQ+ theme appropriate for its middle grade audience. It’s one of those books that will leave you with a huge smile … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Secret Sunshine Project,’ by Benjamin Dean, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat.

‘Monster Max and the Marmalade Ghost,’ by Robin Bennett, illustrated by Tom Tinn-Disbury.

Monster Max is back in another community-minded adventure. If you missed the first instalment in this chucklesome series, you can take a look here. Make sure you read Robin’s thoughts on why ‘funny’ is so important. Max is an ordinary boy, except that he can turn into a monster when he burps... Max and Peregrine … Continue reading ‘Monster Max and the Marmalade Ghost,’ by Robin Bennett, illustrated by Tom Tinn-Disbury.

Blog tour: ‘The Girl Who Planted Trees,’ by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova.

More and more young people are standing up and taking action to help reverse the damage humans have done to the Earth’s climate before it’s too late. This gorgeous story tells the tale of a young girl who takes matters into her own hands and decides to replant a barren mountainside. When a little girl's … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Girl Who Planted Trees,’ by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova.

Blog tour: ‘Max Counts to a Million,’ by Jeremy Williams, cover by Thy Bui.

I think we all found our own ways of coping when the U.K. went into its first lockdown back in March 2020. In this brilliant new title, we meet Max who finds a novel way to distract himself as lockdown means his doctor father has to stay at a hotel for the family’s safety. Little … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Max Counts to a Million,’ by Jeremy Williams, cover by Thy Bui.

Science Week: ‘The Science of the Future: Beyond Belief,’ by Alex Woolf and Jasmine Floyd.

With a new technological breakthrough is announced nearly every week, we are trying to prepare our children for a unknown future and for jobs which don’t even exist yet. This brilliant book explores some of the revolutionary new ideas which are currently being worked on and could soon be permanent features in our lives. It … Continue reading Science Week: ‘The Science of the Future: Beyond Belief,’ by Alex Woolf and Jasmine Floyd.

Science Week: ‘The Biggest Footprint,’ by Rob & Tom Sears.

With themes of conservation, carbon footprints, and the future of our planet, this book makes good use of mind-boggling facts and smoosh theory to explore the problems humans have created for the Earth’s future Meet the mega human: colossal, clueless . . . and the biggest hope for life on earth There are eight billion … Continue reading Science Week: ‘The Biggest Footprint,’ by Rob & Tom Sears.

Blog tour: ‘Return to Factopia,’ by Kate Hale, illustrated by Andy Smith.

Woo-hoo! I’m so excited that this throughly engaging title is back for a second a instalment! It’s already been snaffled by my son to read and he’s shared a lot of interesting (and strange) facts. To see my review of the first Factopia title, click here. ‘A world of 400 facts, all connected in surprising … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Return to Factopia,’ by Kate Hale, illustrated by Andy Smith.

Blog tour: ‘Libby and the Parisian Puzzle,’ by Jo Clarke, illustrated by Becka Moor.

Today I have the absolute pleasure of kicking off the blog tour for author, librarian, and superstar blogger, Jo Clarke. I have known Jo for a long time and she has exquisite taste in books so I knew before I’d even read it that her debut was going to be a corker. And I wasn’t … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Libby and the Parisian Puzzle,’ by Jo Clarke, illustrated by Becka Moor.