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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.