‘Sadness has come to live with meand I am building it a shelter.I am building a shelter for my sadnessand welcoming it inside.’ A small boy creates a shelter for his sadness, a safe space where Sadness is welcome, where it can curl up small, or be as big as it can be, where it … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘A Shelter for Sadness,’ by Anne Booth, illustrated by David Litchfield.
Today I have a beautifully-illustrated story which skilfully combines a hopeful Christmas message and a powerful warning about conserving our planet for future generations. Every Christmas, after all the presents have been opened, Mia and her family read a precious letter left to her by her grandfather. In it, he recalls the wonderful times they … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 15 ‘Grandpa Christmas,’ by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Jim Field.
If you are after a festive treat to officially kick off the festive season, you absolutely cannot go wrong with one of Alex T. Smith’s beautiful picture books. This year’s delight is a reimagining of a classic Christmas poem, borne from Smith’s inability to remember the original gifts celebrated in poetic form. Things start off … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 1 ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas or Grandma is Overly Generous,’ by Alex T. Smith.
Bonjour! Today I’m sharing one of my favourite picture books of the summer: ‘Monsieur Roscoe On Holiday.’ Readers learn how to speak French whilst they follow Monsieur Roscoe and his Goldfish, Fry, en vacances. After packing, the dynamic duo head to the countryside to go camping with with their friend, Eva. Then skiing in the … Continue reading ‘Monsieur Roscoe On Holiday,’ by Jim Field.
Coco Chanel is a name synonymous with style and luxury, but did you know that she grew up an orphan in a convent? In this fabulous picture book biography, readers will learn how Coco developed her sewing skills whilst being brought up in a convent and where her love of beautiful AND practical clothing for … Continue reading ‘Along Came Coco,’ by Eva Byrne.
We couldn’t have a French week on the blog without visiting Paris and who better to guide us than a high-kicking cat with dreams of becoming an entertainer! Cat was born in an alleyway behind a fishmongers, and although she loved playing with her brothers, sisters and cousins, she couldn’t help but wonder if there … Continue reading ‘Paris Cat,’ by Dianne Hofmeyr, illustrated by Piet Grobler.
Nowadays, women’s football is shown on the television and some of its star players are household names. It seems difficult to believe that in 1921, the Football Association decided to ban women’s football. But who was playing? And why had some women been allowed to play in the first place? ‘Trailblazer’ may just give you … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Trailblazer: Lily Parr the Unstoppable Star of Women’s Football,’ by Elizabeth Dale, illustrated by Carolina Coroa.
Children see and hear the words ‘climate change’ everywhere, but do they truly understand what they mean? This brilliant picture book from Neal Layton explains very clearly and simply some of the causes of climate change and the impact that can have on our planet. Have you ever wondered what greenhouse gases are and what … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘A Climate in Chaos,’ by Neal Layton.
As regular readers of this blog and my Twitter feed might know, I am a huge fan of the beautiful and diverse picture books published by Tiny Owl Books. That’s why I was so pleased that they’ve launched YouTube channel to share their stories with a wider audience, and honoured to be asked to record … Continue reading #TuesdayReviewsDay: ‘When I Coloured in the World,’ by Ahmadreza Ahmadi, illustrated by Ahsan Abdollahi, translated by Azita Rassi.
Today is World Maths Day. And what better way to celebrate than with a book? A great picture can help develop both a love of reading AND improve maths skills at the same time . I’m going to share three new books all about counting which would be great to use at any time. Not … Continue reading Books You Can Count On (or with!)
I love that the whole premise of this book is to inspire readers to think about how they are extraordinary too. Inside, is a fabulous selection of inspirational figures from around the world - some well-known and some less so. This wonderful book is so packed full of some of the most amazing people, that … Continue reading ‘How to be Extraordinary,’ by Rashmi Sirdeshpande, illustrated by Annabel Tempest.
Today marks the start of children’s mental health week. It’s a sad fact that children’s mental health services are receiving many more referrals than they can process so vulnerable children are having to wait months and even years before they are able to talk to a specialist. It’s for this reason that books like ‘Felix’ … Continue reading ‘Felix After the Rain,’ by Dunja Jogan, translated by Olivia Hellewell.
You know when you receive a package in the post from Tiny Owl that it’s going to contain a beautifully produced title of diverse heritage. ‘Under the Great Plum Tree’ comes from Panchatantra, which is an ancient collection of Indian animal fables. Various versions of the same story can be found around the world (making … Continue reading ‘Under the Great Plum Tree,’ by Sufiya Ahmed, illustrated by Reza Dalvand.
With time for music and dance being squeezed out of the primary school timetable, it seems important that we use every means necessary to encourage and inspire a love of music and dancing in children. This varied selection of picture is sure to cause music-making and merriment amongst their readers. ‘Jazz Dog’ by Marie Voigt … Continue reading Make a Song and Dance about it – books which celebrate the arts.
Oh. My. Goodness. What an absolutely beautiful book! The words on the page shimmer as brightly as the exquisite, foiled illustrations. Let me take you on a journey through the pages of ‘Starbird.’ The Moon King has known the legend of the Starbird for as long as he can remember. When he learns that he … Continue reading ‘Starbird,’ by Sharon King-Chai.
I’ve recently been sent several beautiful new editions of classic children’s stories which I think would make excellent Christmas gifts for established fans or new readers. To stand the rest of time, these classic stories have to have a timeless appeal that will entertain future generations and the titles I’m about to show you will … Continue reading Pick a Classic for Christmas
Today’s my stop on the blog tour for ‘Shadow,’ Lucy’s first picture book. As well as a special about about the inspiration behind writing the story, I’ve also recorded a podcast interview with Lucy, talking in more detail about the themes and processes behind creating the book. Listen HERE. The girl and her Ma have … Continue reading ‘Shadow,’ by Lucy Christopher, illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova.
If you’re looking for for something a little bit different this Halloween, I would strongly suggest that you purchase yourself a copy of the gloriously gothic ‘The House Of Madame M.’ Are you brave enough to enter the house of the mysterious Madame M? It’s full of creepy monsters, cobwebbed hiding places and sights to … Continue reading ‘The House Of Madame M,’ by Clotilde Perrin, translated by Daniel Hann.
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)