There’s a brand new look and a brand new title for Tom Percival’s Dream Defender series. Erika and the Anger Mare was originally released as Dream Team: Attack of the Heebie Jeebies , whilst Chandra and the Devious Doubt was previously released as Dream Team: A Case of the Jitters. Presumably these changes were made … Continue reading The ‘Dream Defenders’ series by Tom Percival.
In the wake of multiple lockdowns and as a result of a mental health service struggling to keep up with demand, there has been a worrying rise in the number of children suffering from a mental health condition. This increase has resulted in the publication of lots of wonderful journals and activity books designed to … Continue reading Books to Boost
Today I’m sharing a very special little book which will leave you with a warm glow inside. make sure you read Katie’s piece about embracing other cultures and celebrating diversity. In a world sometimes sad, where our hopes come and go. All you need is the light from a small ‘Little Glow.’ As the nights … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Little Glow,’ by Katie Sahota, illustrated by Harry Woodgate.
‘Reflecting Realities’ is the name of a powerful piece of research conducted by the CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) which focussed on extent and quality of ethnic representation and diversity within children’s literature. Their third report (published in November 2020) found that only 7% of children’s literature published over the past three years … Continue reading Reflecting Realities – Part 1 (diverse ethnicities)
Today I’m sharing a truly beautiful book based on the true story of dancer, Lihua Tai, who has to learn to ‘hear’ music in different ways. It’s highly topical at the moment due links with the appearance of Strictly Come Dancing’s first ever hearing impaired contestant, Rose Ayling-Ellis. I’ve enjoyed sharing the stories of both … Continue reading ‘The Visible Sounds,’ by Yin Jianling, illustrated by Yu Rong.
I was completely blown away by this powerful novella which chronicles the inner dialogue of Rex, a young teen whose father has very recently passed away. There were smiles and there were tears as I watched him struggle to come to terms with his loss and with his final moments with his father. Definitely something … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Dream House,’ by Laura Dockrill, illustrated by Gwen Millward.
Today I have the great pleasure of sharing a very timely and important book which gently introduces young readers to the meaning of the Black Lives Matter movement and the power of speaking out. A beautifully illustrated and poignant picture book about the Black Lives Matter movement - it's deep history, background and meaning - … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘When We Say Black Lives Matter,’ by Maxine Beneba Clarke.
‘The Place for Me’ contains twelve tales of sacrifice and bravery inspired by first-hand account of the Windrush generation. They have been written by: K.N. Chimbiri, Kevin George, Salena Godden, Judy Hepburn, Ashley Hickson-Lovence, Jermain Jackman, Kirsty Latoya, Katy Massey, E.L. Norry, and Quincy the Comedian. It also features a foreword by Dame Floella Benjamin … Continue reading ‘The Place for Me: Stories About the Windrush Generation,’ produced in partnership with Black Cultural Archives, cover illustration by Joelle Avelino.
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
‘Some crews aren’t quite like the rest.’ This story was created as a result of author Jodie Lancet-Grant’s frustration at being unable to find any picture books featuring LGBTQ+ families to read to her twin daughters - she and her wife wanted them to see their own experience reflected back to them. The result is … Continue reading Pride Month: ‘The Pirate Mums,’ by Jodie Lancet-Grant, illustrated by Lydia Corry.
This gorgeous books is currently making waves all over social media - and rightly so. It is a beautifully written modern fairy tale featuring a tender love story between a merman and a lonely fisherman. It’s brought to life by the beautiful illustrations of James Mayhew. “Far out to sea and deep below the whispering … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Nen and the Lonely Fisherman,’ by Ian Eagleton, illustrated by James Mayhew.
Some of you may know that as well as being a primary school teacher and book blogger, I have also co-founded children’s mental health venture Mind Superheroes with my good friend, Vafa Taleban. We are committed to helping children develop the tools they need for good lifelong mental health through the power of stories, positive … Continue reading #SundayBookClub – ‘Tisha and the Blossom,’ by Wendy Meddour, illustrated by Daniel Egnéus.
Today I am sharing a wild, enchanting adventure steeped in the ancient magic of nature, written by award-winning novelist Melissa Harrison. Her books have the common purpose of trying to connect readers with the natural world and this is her children’s novel debut for readers aged 9+ ‘Three tiny, ancient beings - Moss, Burnet and … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘By Ash, Oak and Thorn,’ by Melissa Harrison, illustrated by Lauren O’Hara.
Well it’s my happy job to wrap up the blog tour for ‘Fred Gets Dressed.’ A story about a little boy who loves nothing better than to run a around naked - I’m sure lots of us can think of a small child like that! ‘Fred loves to be naked! He romps around his house … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Fred Gets Dressed,’ by Peter Brown.
Today I’m sharing a new instalment in the Tindims series by Costa and Carnegie-winning author, Sally Gardner. It’s worth. I thing that this whole series is printed in a special dyslexia-friendly font, making it particularly accessible. ‘The tiny Tindims are like the Borrowers-on-Sea, who turn our everyday rubbish into treasure. Mother-and-daughter duo, prizewinning Sally Gardner … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘The Tindims and the Ten Green Bottles,’ by Sally Gardner, illustrated by Lydia Corry.
Today is officially Earth Day 2021 so it only seems fitting that I share with you ‘Coyote’s Soundbite - A Poem For Our Planet’ - a very clever and funny call to action... ‘Excitement spreads like wildfire through the jungle. Earth-goddesses are planning a conference! From Australia to Antarctica, the Amazon to Africa, goddesses will … Continue reading Earth Day 2021 Spotlight: ‘Coyote’s Soundbite – A Poem for Our Planet,’ by John Agard, illustrated by Piet Grobler.
This time I have an early chapter book for you. Packed with engaging comic-book style illustrations and plenty of laughs, this would be perfect for anyone aged 7+. ‘This fun, anarchic series revolves around a boy called Max and his mission to make the world a better place. In each book in the series Max … Continue reading Earth Day 2021 Spotlight: ‘Max Takes A Stand,’ by Tim Allman, illustrated by Nick Shepherd.
This week, I’m going to be shining the spotlight on titles with environmental themes. Today’s the turn of ‘Green Nation Revolution.’ ‘Take your place in the Green Nation, a nation without geographical borders that unites the youth of today in their fight for the planet. Following on from the success of We Are All Greta, … Continue reading Earth Day 2021 Spotlight: ‘Green Nation Revolution – Use Your Future to Change the World,’ by Valentina Giannella & Lucia Esther Maruzzelli, illustrated by Manuela Marazzi.
Today I’m sharing a beautiful picture book based on real events in Syria: ‘In a war-torn city, a little girl tends to the last garden. But everyone is leaving and soon the girl has to leave too. The garden is all alone now but soon the seeds scatter throughout the city and the roots take … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Last Garden,’ by Rachel Ip, illustrated by Anneli Bray.
Today I’m sharing a brilliant debut novel by Helen Harvey: Emmy Levels Up. It’s a fantastic story about gaming, friendship and standing up for yourself. I also have Helen’s top three gaming recommendations for children AND for adults. ‘Emmy is brilliant at the computer game, Illusory Isles. Her avatar is a powerful fire elemental with … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Emmy Levels Up,’ by Helen Harvey, cover by Abbey Lossing.