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: ‘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: ‘When We Say Black Lives Matter,’ by Maxine Beneba Clarke.

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: Stories About the Windrush Generation,’ produced in partnership with Black Cultural Archives, cover illustration by Joelle Avelino.

‘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.

Pop Up: 10 Stories to Make a Difference

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

Pride Month: ‘The Pirate Mums,’ by Jodie Lancet-Grant, illustrated by Lydia Corry.

‘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.

Blog tour: ‘Nen and the Lonely Fisherman,’ by Ian Eagleton, illustrated by James Mayhew.

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.

Blog tour: ‘Just Like Me,’ by Louise Gooding, illustrations by Angel Chang, Caterina delli Carri, cathyhookey, and Melissa Iwai.

I leapt at the chance to participate in this blog tour because I know how important is that children are able to read books which feature people likes themselves and those around them. It is equally important that children read books about people different to themselves so that they are able to broaden their world … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Just Like Me,’ by Louise Gooding, illustrations by Angel Chang, Caterina delli Carri, cathyhookey, and Melissa Iwai.

Blog Tour: ‘Show Us Who You Are,’ by Elle McNicoll, cover by Kay Wilson.

I am sure that lots of you will already have read and loved Elle’s stellar debut title ‘A Kind of Spark’ (if you haven’t, do it!) and were blown away by the power of her writing. Like me, you will probably have been eagerly awaiting her next publication, hoping it will be just as brilliant. … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Show Us Who You Are,’ by Elle McNicoll, cover by Kay Wilson.

Blog tour: ‘Can Bears Ski?’ by Raymond Antrobus, illustrated by Polly Dunbar.

Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Can Bears Ski?’ - a fantastic new picture book from poet and teacher, Raymond Antrobus. Raymond was born deaf and his debut picture book draws on his on childhood, showing how isolating being hard of hearing can be. ‘Little Bear feels the world around him. He … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Can Bears Ski?’ by Raymond Antrobus, illustrated by Polly Dunbar.

‘A Story About Afiya,’ by James Berry, illustrated by Anna Cunha.

I’m delighted to be part of Lantana Publishing’s campaign to ensure that children of colour see themselves represented in the books they receive this Christmas. To help make this happen, they’ve given me a special discount code for people to use on their website up until the 18th December. It’s: BOOKSUPERHERO15. For every book purchased, … Continue reading ‘A Story About Afiya,’ by James Berry, illustrated by Anna Cunha.

Blog Tour: ‘A Thousand Questions,’ by Saadia Faruqi.

Today, I am proud to be sharing with you a middle grade tale of upheaval, dreams and friendship. “Set against the backdrop of Karachi, Pakistan, Saadia Faruqi’s tender and honest middle grade novel tells the story of two girls navigating a summer of change and family upheaval with kind hearts, big dreams, and all the … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘A Thousand Questions,’ by Saadia Faruqi.