I loved the first Scribble Witch title so was delighted to be asked to review book three. The highly-illustrated pages and wonderful word-play engage young readers from the get-go. ‘Molly often experiences some magic to brighten up her school day - thanks to Notes, the tiny paper witch who lives in her pen pot. Notes … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Scribble Witch: Paper Friends,’ by Inky Willis.
Today I’m sharing an absolutely fascinating information book packed with some of the most amazing objects and places you’ve ever seen! It’s the second in the Our Amazing World Series. My review of the first, Amazing Islands, can be found HERE. ‘Explore history, culture, geology and the environment through treasures ancient and modern! Discover 100+ … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Amazing Treasures: 100+ Objects and Places That Will Boggle Your Mind,’ by David Long, illustrated by MUTI.
If you haven’t yet discovered this brilliantly clever series of graphic novels which seamlessly combines some of the world’s most famous historical figures with comedy, which rock have you been hiding under? They are a sure fire hit with any fans of funny (or history) aged nine plus. The newest addition to the series retells … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Corpse Talk: Dead Good Storytellers,’ by Adam and Lisa Murphy.
In a time when travel options are severely limited, we need books which can which us away to exotic and faraway locations. Preferably with a large dollop of adventure mixed in for good measure. That’s exactly what you get from Nizrana Farook’s second novel set on the tropical shores of Serendib (Sri Lanka.) A thrilling … Continue reading ‘The Boy Who Met a Whale,’ by Nizrana Farook, cover by David Dean.
My son has just been enjoying one of Mark Powers’ other titles - Spy Toys - as part of his school topic so I was very pleased when a brand new space adventure by Mark came dropping through my letterbox. I also have an interesting piece by Mark on his favourite things about writing about … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Space Detectives,’ by Mark Powers, illustrated by Dapo Adeola.
Today, I am handing control of my blog over to author, Sylvia Bishop. She’s written a brilliantly useful piece about the power of playing games in junior fiction - full of tips and ideas for writers and teachers alike! There seems to be a widespread fear of funny writing. When it comes to character, setting, … Continue reading Sylvia Bishop – Writing Junior Fiction: The Power of Playing Games.
Today I’m sharing a perception-flipping new picture book from award-winning duo Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson. ‘Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There's the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Milo Imagines the World,’ by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson.
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.
With swathes of the country already enjoying some snow and with more promised, why not make the most of it as part of home learning and get children outside and enjoying themselves? This clever picture book lends itself brilliantly to some screen-free science (states of matter, the water cycle...) and also raises some interesting questions … Continue reading ‘The Snowman and the Sun,’ by Susan Taghdis, illustrated by Ali Mafakheri, translated from Persian by Azita Rassi.
Introducing the first in a brand new series of hilarious middle grade titles from author Nat Luurtsema. ‘10-year-old Opie Jones is Very Ordinary. In fact nothing remarkable has ever happened to her, if you don’t count the cat that gives her funny looks from next door (which she doesn’t). So she is naturally very surprised … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Opie Jones Talks to Animals,’ by Nat Luurtsema, illustrated by Fay Austin.
We all have a responsibility to look after our surroundings and care for the creatures who also make their homes in them. What I have today are three beautiful books with themes of protecting our environment and looking out for bees and other insects. ‘Omar, the Bees and Me,’ by Helen Mortimer, illustrated by Katie … Continue reading Bee-utiful Books!
I’m always keen to highlight new poetry titles for families & schools to add to their collections as I find it can be a rather overlooked area of the curriculum. There is no excuse for this when such wonderfully observed collections such as ‘Daydreams and Jellybeans’ exist and are just begging to be read aloud … Continue reading ‘Daydreams and Jellybeans: Poems to Read Aloud,’ by Alex Wharton, illustrated by Katy Riddell.
‘Sadness has come to live with meand I am building it a shelter.I am building a shelter for my sadnessand welcoming it inside.’ A small boy creates a shelter for his sadness, a safe space where Sadness is welcome, where it can curl up small, or be as big as it can be, where it … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘A Shelter for Sadness,’ by Anne Booth, illustrated by David Litchfield.
If you haven’t read any of Lucy Strange’s rather wonderful historical novels, now is a good time to start as her latest title, The Ghost of Gosswater, is an absolute corker! So good, I read it in an afternoon! The Lake District, 1899. The Earl is dead and cruel Cousin Clarence has inherited everything. Twelve-year-old … Continue reading ‘The Ghost of Gosswater,’ by Lucy Strange, cover by Helen Crawford-White.
There are so many brilliant books which I am scared may get missed by readers due to the inability to visit actual bookshops and see them in all their glory. Today, I’m delighted to be high-lighting the wonderful ‘Darwin’s Dragons’ by Lindsay Galvin. This is an essential for any teacher who teaches ‘Evolution and Inheritance’ … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Darwin’s Dragons,’ by Lindsay Galvin, cover by Gordy Wright.
Today is my stop on the blog tour for Amy Sparkes’ brilliant new title ‘The House at the Edge of Magic.’ "Sometimes you are a whisper away from magic without even realizing it." Nine is an orphan pickpocket determined to escape her life in the Nest of a Thousand Treasures. When she steals a house-shaped … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The House At the Edge of Magic,’ by Amy Sparkes, cover by Ben Mantle.
There have been lots of posts from teachers looking for collections of short stories to share online with their classes. I’ve put together a quick summary of some of my KS2 favourites with links to more in-depth reviews if I’ve written them. Please make sure you check each publishers’ guidelines for sharing their books online … Continue reading Short Story Collections
I always on the look-out for highly-illustrated middle grade titles packed with laughs and that is exactly what you get from this brilliant story told through a series of letters from a son to his super-spy parents (whom he believes are sprout farming in Outer Castonga!) The Plot: 10-year-old Freddy Spicer writes letters to his … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Chocolate Milk, X-Ray Specs and Me,’ by Bethany Walker, illustrated by Jack Noel.
Talking from personal experience as a teacher and English subject lead, poetry can often get overlooked by busy teachers lacking confidence and time. This is such a loss for pupils as poetry is a masterclass in precise language choices and how to tell a story on a page. It can make you laugh, cry or … Continue reading Guest post by poet James Carter – how to enthuse children whilst delivering online.
Every so often, a series of books comes along which is just so perfect for its intended audience that you find yourself recommending it left, right, and centre. Andy Shepherd’s ‘The Boy Who Grew Dragons’ series is one of those rare wonders. I am constantly recommending it to Year 2 teachers or for children aged … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘The Boy Who Sang With Dragons,’ by Andy Shepherd, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie.