I will forever sing the praises of Barrington Stoke. Their books are produced by some of the most fantastic authors and illustrators, with themes ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. Their dyslexia-friendly format has opened to doors to the world of reading for many of my pupils. Today I’m sharing ‘A Bad Day For … Continue reading ‘A Bad Day for Jayden,’ by Tony Bradman, illustrated by Tania Rex.
Having a positive body image plays a huge role in helping children develop their confidence and self-esteem. It’s fantastic to see a picture book for young children like ‘Everybody has a Body,’ which celebrates bodies of all shapes and sizes. With Jon Burgerman’s exuberant illustrations packed full of colour and humour, and a positive, inclusive … Continue reading #TuesdayReviewsDay ‘Everybody has a Body,’ by Jon Burgerman.
As a parent of a child in Year 6, I am keenly aware that Book Boy may not be returning to school in time to do all the usual 'end of Year 6' things - performances, shirt signings, the sex education session which I am sure many parents (including myself) are not overly confident in … Continue reading Books to use in RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) in Year 6.
I think that in the current climate of uncertainty, school closures and social lockdown, there must be plenty of children worried about what is going to happen and when they’ll be able to play outside and see their friends again. Books provide such fantastic opportunities for conversations about all sorts of worries, so I’m always … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘My Monster and Me,’ by Nadiya Hussain, illustrated by Ella Bailey.
With the concept of mindfulness firmly planted in the nation’s consciousness, we are encouraged to find and celebrate the ‘everyday’ extraordinary. This beautiful picture book encourages readers to stop and look around them, to live in the moment, and to cherish their loved ones. Although the big, the loud and the colourful can be pretty … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Extraordinary!’ by Penny Harrison, illustrated by Katie Wilson.
This dreamy picture book is inspired by the principles of mindfulness. Lots of school practise mindfulness techniques to help their pupils reduce anxiety and stress levels. It encourages people to live in the moment and acknowledge what their senses are detecting. This poem takes readers on a journey around the world, engaging their senses in … Continue reading ‘Taking Time,’ by Jo Loring-Fisher.
I absolutely love this series of interactive books which has been carefully developed by psychotherapist and former primary teacher, Dr. Sharie Coombes. As schools continue to focus on mental health and mindfulness, these books are perfect for pupils to work through or dip in and out of. ‘Letting Go!’ focuses on helping children recognise feelings … Continue reading ‘Mindful Kids’ Activity Books by Dr. Sharie Coombes, illustrated by Katie Abey.
This is a book for those end-of-primary-school, start-of-secondary-school tweens who are perhaps struggling to find their place with their peers. It’s designed to help children discover what’s holding them back and have the confidence to be themselves. This title was written by youth charity ‘Ditch the Label’ founder, Liam Hackett, based on his experiences as … Continue reading ‘Fearless: How to be Your True, Confident Self!’ by Liam Hackett, illustrated by Mike Perry.
Bravery and self-confidence are not things which come naturally to all children and are certainly emotions which can fluctuate over time. But both, I believe, are key to good mental health, over-coming barriers and being resilient. This lovely title from Wacky Bee’s ’Buzzy Reads’ series is a great introduction to these ideas for young children … Continue reading ‘Alfred and the Blue Whale,’ by Mina Lystad, illustrated by Åshlid Irgens.
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.
‘The Blanket Bears’ was written by adoptive father, Samuel Langley-Swain after he had difficulty finding appropriate books explaining the process following the adoption of his own children. ‘Blanket Bears’ is about two little bears who are cold and alone, with no one to look after them. When they’re discovered, the pair are quickly sent to … Continue reading ‘The Blanket Bears,’ by Samuel Langley-Swain, illustrated by Ashlee Spink.
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.
Today’s my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Boy With the Butterfly Mind’ and I have a fascinating piece from its author about how she sets about writing a book and constructing a story - very useful to share with adults and children alike. Told as a dual narrative, we follow the lives of … Continue reading ‘The Boy With the Butterfly Mind,’ by Victoria Williamson.
With waiting lists for children’s mental health services getting longer than ever, and pupils sometimes having to wait for years before they get appointments, schools and parents are having to be more proactive than ever when it comes to promoting and developing good mental health in their children. Helping children recognise and manage their feelings, … Continue reading Introducing the ‘Level Headers’ series by Beth Cox & Natalie Costa, illustrated by Vicky Barker.
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.
There has been a huge upsurge in the number of children being referred to mental health services across the U.K. causing an increasing number of schools to take matters into their own hands and teach their pupils about mindfulness and emotional regulation. The titles featured in this post encourage children to process their emotions and … Continue reading ‘Stay Strong!’ and ‘Be Brave!’ by Dr. Sharie Coombes, illustrated by Katie Abey.
It was with great interest that I read this title because it has been written in collaboration with Libby Scott, the 11-year-old girl whose piece of writing, ‘The Life of a Perfectionist,’ about being autistic went viral in 2018. ‘Can You See Me?’ is a blend of narrative story and diary entries written by Libby … Continue reading ‘Can You See Me?’ by Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott, type design by Aaron Cushley.
I am honoured to be part of the blog tour for ‘Will You Catch Me?’ which has been scheduled to help raise awareness of International Children Of Alcoholics Week (11th-17th February) organised by the NACOA. Inspired by her own childhood experiences of alcohol abuse, Elson penned this title to help highlight the turmoil of those … Continue reading ‘Will You Catch Me?’ by Jane Elson.
I absolutely loved Durrant’s previous title, ‘Running On Empty,’ so knew I was in for a treat when ‘Little Bits Of Sky’ arrived. After saving it for a rainy day, I decided the time had come to dive in... This story follows the lives of looked-after siblings Ira and Zac, as recalled through Ira’s childhood … Continue reading ‘Little Bits Of Sky,’ by S.E. Durrant, cover by Rob Biddulph.
During my time as a teacher, there have been many occasions where the children I’ve been working have struggled to express how they’re feeling, often resulting in meltdowns or acting out. One of the best ways I found to help in these situations was to encourage the children recognise how different emotions felt and to … Continue reading Books to Foster Emotional Literacy