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)
Flat Stanley is the classic tale of a boy who’s as flat as a pancake and now it’s available in a new picture book version for younger fans to enjoy! When Arthur Lambchop alerts his parents to an accident which has occurred in the bedroom he shares with his brother Stanley, they seem more concerned … Continue reading ‘Flat Stanley’ – the picture book edition by Jeff Brown, illustrated by Rob Biddulph.
Making friends is a skill that takes time and practise. I find that picture books make it easy to explore new ways to initiate (and maintain) friendships, as well as allowing children to spot ineffective approaches. Bearing this in mind, I was very excited to receive a copy of ‘Oscar Seeks a Friend.’ Don’t be … Continue reading ‘Oscar Seeks a Friend,’ by Pawel Pawlak.
In my experience, engaging and digestible books about mathematics aren’t far and few between. Enter ‘The Language of the Universe: A Visual Exploration of Mathematics.’ This large-scale hardback tome is packed with information about how maths permeates everything in our universe. From atoms to Fibonacci, planets to cryptology. Maths underpins every one! Organised into four … Continue reading ‘The Language of the Universe,’ by Colin Stuart, illustrated by Ximo Abadía.
Today I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for the very beautiful ‘The Tide’ which captures a child’s perspective on her grandfather’s memory loss. I also have a special piece from Clare about using picture books to promote resilience and positive mental health. This is a story about a little girl, her grandfather … Continue reading ‘The Tide,’ by Clare Helen Welsh, illustrated by Ashling Lindsay.
This is a post for any of you planning to mark Refugee Week 2019 by raising awareness and promoting discussion about acceptance, kindness and refugees in your schools or homes. The books I’m going to share with you should be explored all year round, but I thought a special week may be … Continue reading National Refugee Week 2019 (17th-23rd June)
Following on from my non-fiction post, Blue Planet 1, which was packed full of some stunning new titles, it’s now the turn of some equally fabulous fiction books. ‘Alba the Hundred Year Old Fish,’ by Lara Hawthorne (Big Picture Press) A highly topical picture book about the damage plastic pollution does to the coral … Continue reading Blue Planet 2 – fabulous fiction
Lantana Publishing are known for their wonderful collection of diverse, inclusive titles, so it’s no surprise that they’re responsible for the publishing of Maryam al Serkal’s empowering story: ‘Mira’s Curly Hair.’ I am thrilled to be part of its blog tour and to be hosting a special piece by Maryam about how her daughter helped … Continue reading ‘Mira’s Curly Hair,’ by Maryam al Serkal, illustrated by Rebeca Luciani.
Following the huge success of the BBC’s breathtaking ‘Blue Planet’ series, taking care of our oceans and the creatures who live in them has never been more topical or more important. I’ve received lots of lovely picture books for readers of all ages which would fit beautifully into an underwater theme - some fiction, some … Continue reading Blue Planet 1 (information books)