I am a huge fan of using books to help develop emotional awareness and empathy in children so was thrilled to be invited to celebrate one of the amazing titles from this year’s Empathy Lab #ReadForEmpathy collection. This year, Empathy Day is being celebrated on Thursday 8th June. Empathy Lab’s aim to is harness the … Continue reading Empathy Day Blog Tour: ‘What If? Pig,’ by Linzie Hunter.
Blog tour: ‘Glitter Boy,’ by Ian Eagleton, cover by Melissa Chaib.
‘Glitter Boy’ was one of my anticipated reads of 2023 so far! I love Ian’s wonderful inclusive picture books and was extremely excited to hear that a middle grade title was on its way. I was expecting an emotional journey and wow did I get one! I had the privilege of asking Ian some questions … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Glitter Boy,’ by Ian Eagleton, cover by Melissa Chaib.
‘The Octopus, Dadu and Me,’ by Lucy Ann Unwin, cover by Selom Sunu, illustrations by Lucy Mulligan.
This is my first read of 2023 and I had high hopes based on what I’d read online. I wasn’t definitely not disappointed - I read the whole book in a day as I was so caught up to Sashi’s story. ‘FACT: Octopuses have three hearts. FACT: Octopuses have BEAKS, like BIRDS. FACT: The octopus … Continue reading ‘The Octopus, Dadu and Me,’ by Lucy Ann Unwin, cover by Selom Sunu, illustrations by Lucy Mulligan.
Blog tour: ‘The Woodcutter and the Snow Prince,’ by Ian Eagleton, illustrated by Davide Ortu.
Honestly, I am always so excited when I see that Ian is releasing a new book. His writing is always so honest, emotional, and thought-provoking. It was going to be difficult to produce another picture book to match the beautiful ‘Nen and the Lonely Fisherman,’ but I think he may just have done it! Make … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Woodcutter and the Snow Prince,’ by Ian Eagleton, illustrated by Davide Ortu.
Blog tour: ‘Key Player,’ by Kelly Yang.
I think anybody with tweens or who teaches Year 6 upwards, should have heard of Yang’s ‘Front Desk’ series which follows the life of Mia Tang and her family as they try to fit in with the American way of life whilst staying true their Chinese roots. If you haven’t, then you need to get … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Key Player,’ by Kelly Yang.
Blog tour: ‘Brave Dave,’ by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees.
I am always on the look out for new picture books which empower children to be themselves. Brave Dave (by the pair behind ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’) does just that. It is great for opening up conversations about how we all have different strengths and are all brave on different ways. Make sure you read Giles’ … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Brave Dave,’ by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees.
Blog tour: ‘Just Like Grandpa Jazz,’ by Tarah L. Gear, illustrated by Mirna Imamović.
Today I not only have a wonderful, inclusive picture book from Owlet Press for you to enjoy, I also have a special piece from author Tarah L. Gear about the journey her father made across the sea from Mauritius to work for the NHS. “A suitcase of stories from Grandpa Jazz connects Frank to his … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Just Like Grandpa Jazz,’ by Tarah L. Gear, illustrated by Mirna Imamović.
‘Granny Came Here on the Empire Windrush,’ by Patrice Lawrence, illustrated by Camille Sucre.
We are so lucky to have so many gorgeous new picture books to help children learn about an important part of the United Kingdom’s recent history - the journey of the Empire Windrush and the stories of its passengers who set sail in search of a new life. “One day, Ava is asked to dress … Continue reading ‘Granny Came Here on the Empire Windrush,’ by Patrice Lawrence, illustrated by Camille Sucre.
‘We Sang Across the Sea: The Empire Windrush and Me,’ by Benjamin Zephaniah & Onyinye Iwu.
The arrival of the Windrush in 1948 is celebrated every year on Windrush Day, 22nd June. Until recently, there were very few children’s books about the influx of men, women, and children from Caribbean countries coming to the U.K. to start new lives and fill post-war labour shortages. Award-winning Dr Benjamin Zephaniah has previously written … Continue reading ‘We Sang Across the Sea: The Empire Windrush and Me,’ by Benjamin Zephaniah & Onyinye Iwu.
‘The Most Exciting Eid,’ by Zeba Talkhani, illustrated by Abeeha Tariq.
Eid is a festival which is celebrated by millions of people around the world. You might be looking for a new book which explains what happens on this special day, including traditions, foods and greetings. ‘The Most Exciting Eid’ captures the excitement of the day as seen through the eyes of a young girl called … Continue reading ‘The Most Exciting Eid,’ by Zeba Talkhani, illustrated by Abeeha Tariq.
‘Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom’ by Sangu Mandanna, illustrations by Nabi H. Ali.
Kiki Kallira is more of a worrier than a warrior - but today she will learn to be a hero. The mythical beasts she loves to draw have come to life, and she is the only one who can defeat them. A middle-grade fantasy inspired by Hindu legends about anxiety, creativity and finding your own … Continue reading ‘Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom’ by Sangu Mandanna, illustrations by Nabi H. Ali.
Blog tour: ‘Has anyone seen Archie Ebbs??’ by Simon Packham.
With costs of living rising dramatically, more families are struggling to pay their bills and other essentials. Unfortunately, this may result in more families losing their homes and having to live in temporary accommodation or sofa surf. This hidden homelessness is explored in this touching but humorous tale about what happens to a young boy … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Has anyone seen Archie Ebbs??’ by Simon Packham.
Blog tour: ‘The Secret Sunshine Project,’ by Benjamin Dean, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat.
For those of you who’ve read Benjamin’s debut novel, ‘Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow,’ it will come as no surprise that his second title is equally as joyous with a LGBTQ+ theme appropriate for its middle grade audience. It’s one of those books that will leave you with a huge smile … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Secret Sunshine Project,’ by Benjamin Dean, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat.
Blog tour: ‘The Girl Who Planted Trees,’ by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova.
More and more young people are standing up and taking action to help reverse the damage humans have done to the Earth’s climate before it’s too late. This gorgeous story tells the tale of a young girl who takes matters into her own hands and decides to replant a barren mountainside. When a little girl's … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Girl Who Planted Trees,’ by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova.
The ‘Dream Defenders’ series by Tom Percival.
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.
Books to Boost
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
Blog tour: ‘Little Glow,’ by Katie Sahota, illustrated by Harry Woodgate.
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 – Part 1 (diverse ethnicities)
‘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)
‘The Visible Sounds,’ by Yin Jianling, illustrated by Yu Rong.
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.
Blog tour: ‘The Dream House,’ by Laura Dockrill, illustrated by Gwen Millward.
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.