It’s that time of year when some of our thoughts may turn to the spooky or the magical. This blog features some of the latest titles I’ve been sent which reflect these themes. Take a look but don’t get scared…! Board Books ‘Five Spooky Friends,’ by Danielle McLean, illustrated by Rosalind Maroney (Little Tiger Press) … Continue reading Happy Halloween
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.
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.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to the first in a brand new series of monstrously funny books for readers aged 8+ Monster Hunting isn’t as easy as it looks. And Jack should know. Because an ogre has just appeared in his garden and tried to eat his aunt. (She was the winner of the … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Monster Hunting for Beginners,’ by Ian Mark, illustrated by Louis Ghibault.
I am forever bemoaning the lack of choice when it comes to dinosaur books for readers looking for a meatier read than a picture book. Well I’m moaning no more as the totally awesome ‘A Dinosaur Ate My Sister’ has stomped onto the scene for all your dino-needs! It’s so good, that it is the … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘A Dinosaur Ate My Sister,’ by Pooja Puri, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan.
Introducing the second book in the Johnny Ball series - a super-funny series for football mad readers. ‘From the author of Ultimate Football Heroes comes the second book in the Johnny Ball series, funny reading for football-mad kids. Johnny Ball's got a super exciting new job: assistant manager for the Tissbury Tigers! But there's a … Continue reading ‘Johnny Ball Undercover Football Genius,’ by Matt Oldfield, illustrated by Tim Wesson.
Today I have a story with football at its heart but also so much more. It has the added bonus of being published by Barrington Stoke who specialise in sharp, snappy reads with a dyslexia-friendly format. ‘Pickles the dog and his owner Elsie love football more than anything. And they’ve just heard the most amazing … Continue reading ‘The Dog that Saved the World (Cup),’ by Phil Earle, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli.
‘The Caravan at the Edge of Doom’ is the hilarious debut novel of comedian, Jim Beckett, and has been dubbed ‘Pratchett for tweens.’ I can see why - its madcap humour, crazy characters, and hilarious take on the afterlife make it a sure-fire winner with fans of funny. I got the chance to ask Jim … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Caravan at the Edge of Doom,’ by Jim Beckett, illustrated by Olia Muza.
Well I’m not going to lie. I’m a card-carrying member of the Crater Lake fan club so I’d been counting down to its sequel ever since I learnt there was going to be one. I couldn’t wait to see what had happened to Lance and the gang after they survived the Crater Lake school trip … Continue reading ‘Crater Lake – Evolution,’ by Jennifer Killick.
You know that when you start a new Frank Cottrell-Boyce that you’re going to be in for a treat. I wasn’t disappointed when I cracked open the cover of ‘Noah’s Gold’ and hopped aboard the minibus with the pupils of St Anthony’s. ‘Eleven-year old Noah sneaks along on his big sister's geography field trip. Everything … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Noah’s Gold,’ by Frank Cottrell-Boyce, illustrated by Steven Lenton.
Uh oh! The irrepressible Levi (aka The Loudmouth Llama) and Yasmin are back for another adventure, but this time (spoiler alert!) Yasmin has found her voice! ‘Yasmin Shah is just like any other ten-year-old girl, with a crazy loud family, the BEST best friend ever and a talking toy llama! With the help of her … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Llama on a Mission,’ by Annabelle Sami, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan.
My son has just been enjoying one of Mark Powers’ other titles - Spy Toys - as part of his school topic so I was very pleased when a brand new space adventure by Mark came dropping through my letterbox. I also have an interesting piece by Mark on his favourite things about writing about … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Space Detectives,’ by Mark Powers, illustrated by Dapo Adeola.
Today is my stop on the blog tour for Amy Sparkes’ brilliant new title ‘The House at the Edge of Magic.’ "Sometimes you are a whisper away from magic without even realizing it." Nine is an orphan pickpocket determined to escape her life in the Nest of a Thousand Treasures. When she steals a house-shaped … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The House At the Edge of Magic,’ by Amy Sparkes, cover by Ben Mantle.
There have been lots of posts from teachers looking for collections of short stories to share online with their classes. I’ve put together a quick summary of some of my KS2 favourites with links to more in-depth reviews if I’ve written them. Please make sure you check each publishers’ guidelines for sharing their books online … Continue reading Short Story Collections
I always on the look-out for highly-illustrated middle grade titles packed with laughs and that is exactly what you get from this brilliant story told through a series of letters from a son to his super-spy parents (whom he believes are sprout farming in Outer Castonga!) The Plot: 10-year-old Freddy Spicer writes letters to his … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Chocolate Milk, X-Ray Specs and Me,’ by Bethany Walker, illustrated by Jack Noel.
Ever since reading the first instalment of Robert Muchamore’s Robin Hood series earlier in 2020, Book Boy has been counting down to the release of the second in January 2021. Luckily for him, I was kindly sent a review copy before that which he promptly whisked from under my nose and set about devouring. ‘The … Continue reading ‘Robin Hood: Piracy, Paintballs and Zebras,’ by Robert Muchamore.
You know it’s a good book when it’s whisked away from under your nose when it drops out of the envelope and this is your view for the rest of the day! This was my view of Book Boy when ‘Stick Boy’ arrived at our house: As you can probably imagine, life is not easy … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Stick Boy,’ by Paul Coomey.
You know that you are going to be in safe hands when you open up a Stewart Foster novel. Author of the award-winning ‘The Bubble Boy’ has a brand new title coming out on the New Year for us to enjoy: ‘All Sam wants is a family of his own, a home instead of a … Continue reading ‘The Perfect Parent Project,’ by Stewart Foster.
Today’s advent pick is a wry, clever and downright hilarious journey towards finding the real meaning of Christmas. The International Postal Service is in the red and this spells bad news for seasonal worker, Santa. He’s going to have make some cutbacks: reindeer hire and insurance is a major expense, and as for some of … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day Four ‘Santa Gets a Second Job,’ by Michele D’Ignazio, illustrated by Sergio Olivotti, translated by Denise Muir.
As the night’s draw in and the weather turns chillier, my thoughts always turn to snuggling up under a blanket with a good book. Halloween is a great time to find a new favourite read - whether magical or spooky so I’m bringing you some of the newest choices around. ‘Mirabelle Gets Up to Mischief,’ … Continue reading Happy Halloween!