Introducing classic texts in a primary school (part 2): ‘Treasure Island’ as seen at the Oxford Reading Spree.

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.

Introducing classic texts across the primary school: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (as seen at Reading Rocks South)

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)

‘Beyond Platform 13,’ by Sibéal Pounder & Eva Ibbotson, illustrated by Beatriz Castro.

Sibéal Pounder has imagined what would happen next, following on Eva Ibbotson’s classic tale ‘The Secret Of Platform 13.’ Get ready to revisit The Island Of Mist and its magical inhabitants. When Lina was dragged to the train station by her parents to visit her aunt in Salzburg, the last thing she expected was to … Continue reading ‘Beyond Platform 13,’ by Sibéal Pounder & Eva Ibbotson, illustrated by Beatriz Castro.

‘The Wizard Of Oz,’ by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Meg McLaren and Sam Hay.

Last night’s bedtime story took us off down the yellow brick road to visit the Wonderful Wizard of Oz in this great adaption for little ones. In this modern reimagining of a classic children’s tale, preschooler Little Dot is helping peg the washing out when a tornado blows in. Little Dot and her dog, Toto, make it … Continue reading ‘The Wizard Of Oz,’ by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Meg McLaren and Sam Hay.

‘Titania and Oberon – A Fairy Tale,’ written by Jo Manton, illustrated by Phyllis Bray.

A beautiful cloth-covered reissue of Shakespeare’s classic tale, originally published in 1945. When the Fairy Queen, Titania, and King of the Fairies, Oberon, argue about who should be responsible for a little changeling boy, Oberon and his servant, Puck, cast a mischievous spell on Titania. This spell causes her to fall madly in love with … Continue reading ‘Titania and Oberon – A Fairy Tale,’ written by Jo Manton, illustrated by Phyllis Bray.

‘Search & Find – The Jungle Book,’ by Sarah Powell, illustrated by Federica Frenna.

A beautiful new addition to the clever ‘Search & Find’ series from the team at Studio Press.  This time it’s Rudyard Kipling’s timeless tale, The Jungle Book which has been reimagined in this enchanting picture book. Explore the highly-illustrated pages and classic story in unison as you track Mowgli learning the laws of the jungle … Continue reading ‘Search & Find – The Jungle Book,’ by Sarah Powell, illustrated by Federica Frenna.

‘Pollyanna,’ by Eleanor H. Porter, illustrated by Kate Hindley.

Another lovely edition of a children's classic from Alma Junior. This time 'Pollyanna' gets their magic touch. Pollyanna is a young orphan girl forced to move in with her strict aunt in New England. Although the two don't get off to the best of starts, Pollyanna's positive attitude affects everyone that she meets. After tragedy … Continue reading ‘Pollyanna,’ by Eleanor H. Porter, illustrated by Kate Hindley.

‘The Princess and the Suffragette,’ by Holly Webb.

After reading, and loving, Webb's sequel to Frances Hodgson Burnett's 'The Secret Garden,' I was delighted to see learn that she had also reimagined Hodgson Burnett's beloved classic 'The Little Princess,' but set against the tempestuous backdrop of the Suffragette movement of the early 20th century. Still set in the prim and proper Miss Minchin's … Continue reading ‘The Princess and the Suffragette,’ by Holly Webb.

‘Anne of Green Gables,’ by L.M. Montgomery, illustrated by Susan Hellard.

'Anne of Green Gables' is a beloved classic of children's literature with films and stage shows made based on it. Alma Junior have released a newly re-illustrated version with additional bonus material. Set in Canada, the story follows flame-haired orphan, Anne, who gets sent to live on Green Gables Farm with the Cuthberts (who had … Continue reading ‘Anne of Green Gables,’ by L.M. Montgomery, illustrated by Susan Hellard.

‘The Railway Children,’ by E. Nesbit, illustrated by Peter Bailey.

Alma Classics have sent me this lovely re-illustrated version of a childhood classic - The Railway Children. After the unexpected disappearance of their father, Bobbie, Phyllis and Peter have to leave their comfortable lives in London to move to a small cottage in the countryside with their mother. As mother struggles to make ends meet by writing … Continue reading ‘The Railway Children,’ by E. Nesbit, illustrated by Peter Bailey.

‘The Jungle Books,’ by Rudyard Kipling, illustrated by Ian Beck.

Everyone knows the famous story of the man-cub Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves in the jungles of India. This new edition from Alma Classics contains all the Jungle Books and added bonus material for young readers. If if you enjoyed the real-life action film version which has just been released on DVD (or love … Continue reading ‘The Jungle Books,’ by Rudyard Kipling, illustrated by Ian Beck.

‘Monster Slayer’ by Brian Patten, illustrated by Chris Riddell

'One dark night, the music and singing woke a monster from a swamp....' Aaaaand, I'm hooked! This gorgeous re-working of the classic Anglo-Saxon tale, 'Beowulf,' is cloaked in dark magic and mystery from the very beginning.  I defy any reader not to be sucked into this tale of maniacal monsters, malevolent magic and heroism after … Continue reading ‘Monster Slayer’ by Brian Patten, illustrated by Chris Riddell