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.
Author, artist, and game designer Joshua Davidson first devised the Night Zookeeper website when he was studying for an MA in digital arts. It was a space where children could design their own animals and write stories about them. Since then, the site has been nominated for several awards and is used by schools across … Continue reading The ‘Night Zookeeper’ series by Joshua Davidson, illustrated by Buzz Burman.
It’s in those post-primary school years that reading for pleasure can tend to take off in tweens. A monthly book subscription from Parrot Street Book Club could be just what they need to keep them hooked! What makes these subscriptions so special is that each month, the recipient gets a carefully selected book from beyond … Continue reading Parrot Street Book Club – The Macaw Subscription for 12-14 year olds.
10 Stories to Make a Difference is a collection of original illustrated stories published by children’s literature non-profit development agency Pop Up, which has been bringing books, schools and communities together for 10 years. Pop Up has collaborated with 20 writers and illustrators and a host of editing and design professionals from 12 publishers, and crowdsourced … Continue reading Pop Up: 10 Stories to Make a Difference
The 10th June 2021 is Empathy Day - Empathy Lab aims to spark a new national conversation about building a more empathetic society, and help young people learn more about empathy and put it into practice. They have produced some excellent ‘Read for Empathy’ book lists and activity packs to help schools and families develop … Continue reading Empathy Lab Blog Tour: ‘Walking in someone else’s shoes,’ featuring Cath Howe.
Today, I am handing control of my blog over to author, Sylvia Bishop. She’s written a brilliantly useful piece about the power of playing games in junior fiction - full of tips and ideas for writers and teachers alike! There seems to be a widespread fear of funny writing. When it comes to character, setting, … Continue reading Sylvia Bishop – Writing Junior Fiction: The Power of Playing Games.
The week beginning the 5th October has been designated National Dyslexia Week. This year, the British Dyslexia Association have decided upon the theme #DyslexiaCreates - celebrating the ideas and organisations it can produce, as well as recognising the difficulties. They’ve produced a packs for schools available to download HERE. As a teacher, I worked with … Continue reading #DyslexiaCreates – Awesome Authors!
Did you know that it’s 75 years since the publication of one of Sweden’s most popular literary exports? Originally created for her daughter during the dark times of World War Two, Astrid Lindgren wanted to create a new kind of female character - one who was free-spirited and free-thinking. As thus was born an iconic … Continue reading Pippi Longstocking’s 75th Anniversary
Well the shortlist for this year’s CLiPPA (CLOE Children’s Poetry Award) has been announced and we can all start making some new additions to our poetry diets. As well as sharing that shortlist with you now, I also have a piece from one of the nominees, A.F. Harrold about just how he whittled down the … Continue reading The CLiPPA 2020 – with a special piece from A.F. Harrold
This week is Refugee Week so it seems an alt time to share with you come of the very beautiful books I’ve been sent which look at refugees specifically, but also have themes of kindness and acceptance which might be more appropriate for younger children. I will be adding new titles to this post as … Continue reading Refugee Week 2020 – stories of kindness, accepting others and refugees.
Empathy is a vital human force. One that creates happier children, stronger communities and a better world. It’s come into sharp focus during the pandemic and right now, we’ve never needed it more. Empathy is being able to imagine and share someone else’s feelings. The good news is that it's a skill you can learn, … Continue reading Empathy Day: ‘Flight,’ by Vanessa Harbour.
Every year, my sons and I look forward to signing up for The Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge, collecting our stickers and earning our medals. We shall be doing exactly the same but with a twist - due to the current corona virus outbreak, this year’s Reading Challenge has gone digital! You can sign up … Continue reading The Reading Agency’s (digital) Summer Reading Challenge
Welcome to the great big #BearHuntBooksHunt Quiz! It’s time for a mega children’s book quiz for you and your families or pupils to enjoy. Spilt into three age categories, across three blogs, with three brilliant bookish prizes. Make sure you visit them all! Tuesday 12th May: Quiz for 7-8 year olds hosted by independent book … Continue reading It’s the #BearHuntBooksHunt Middle Grade Book Quiz!
This week is World Autism Awareness Week, so is the ideal time to share with you a brilliant new picture book from Scallywag Press. ‘Talking is Not My Thing!’ by Rose Robbins tells her story from the perspective of a non-verbal autistic sister who has found other ways to communicate with her sibling, based on … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Talking is Not My Thing!’ by Rose Robbins.
The Federation Of Children’s Book Groups (FCBG) Book Awards is based around the top 12 highest scoring titles that the children in their book groups have read that year. Anybody under the age of 18 can register their vote on the FCBG website HERE. I’m cheerleading for the frightfully funny ‘Mutant Zombies Cursed My School … Continue reading The FCBG Children’s Book Award 2020 – introducing ‘Mutant Zombies Cursed my School Trip!’ by Matt Brown, illustrated by Paco Sordo.
I am a huge advocate of funny books and promoting more diverse humorous titles in school and home libraries. That’s why I was so thrilled to be asked to champion one of the titles for this year’s Lollies (The Laugh Out Loud Book Awards 2020), run by Scholastic with Michael Rosen as head judge. The … Continue reading Introducing the Laugh Out Loud Book Award nominee ‘Planet Stan’ by Elaine Wickson (illustrated by Chris Judge)
I recently had a great time at the Oxford Reading Spree, hosted by Ed Finch at Larkrise Primary School. I had been invited to run a workshop about how and why to introduce ‘classic’ children’s literature in a primary school, based on my own experiences. I chose to share some of the texts and activities … Continue reading Introducing classic texts in a primary school (part 2): ‘Treasure Island’ as seen at the Oxford Reading Spree.
The National Curriculum states that children should be exposed to a wide range of texts, including those from our own cultural heritage. So what exactly does that mean? You may have heard these books referred to as ‘heritage texts’ or ‘classics.’ Either way, we aren’t lucky to have a wealth of classic children’s books to … Continue reading Introducing classic texts across the primary school: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (as seen at Reading Rocks South)
It was chatting to Karim and the team from Tiny Owl at the CLiPPA awards which gave me the inspiration for this blog post. There they were, a small award-winning independent publisher with a fantastic and diverse catalogue of titles, yet they still found it very difficult to get their books into the larger retailers. … Continue reading Support Our Small Independent and BAME Publishers – how you can help!
The summer holidays will hopefully be filled with plenty of sunshine and fun but there may be times when you wish your children were doing something a little more productive with their time. Enter Toppsta with their brilliant Summer Reading Bingo challenge (you can also register with the site to review books and enter giveaways … Continue reading Toppsta Summer Reading Bingo Challenge