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.

Blog Tour: ‘My Friend the Octopus,’ by Lindsay Galvin, cover by Gordy Wright.

Having previously read ‘Darwin’s Dragons’ (also by Galvin), I was eagerly awaiting the publication of her next book, hoping for more fast-paced historical action with heart and humour. That is exactly what I got! Twelve-year-old Vinnie Fyfe works in the tea-shop at Brighton aquarium, and waits for her milliner mother to return from Paris. The … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘My Friend the Octopus,’ by Lindsay Galvin, cover by Gordy Wright.

‘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: ‘Luma and the Pet Dragon,’ by Leah Mohammed, illustrated by Loretta Schauer.

Today I’m sharing the first title in a magical new series for readers aged 6 and up, and it just so happens to feature a rather mischievous baby dragon and their seven-year-old owner, Luma. Be sure to read author Leah Mohammed’s piece about the special bond between children and their pets. ‘When Luma Dewan wakes … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Luma and the Pet Dragon,’ by Leah Mohammed, illustrated by Loretta Schauer.

Blog tour: ‘The Secret of Haven Point,’ by Lisette Auton, illustrated by Valentina Toro.

You are in for an absolute treat if you decide to pick up this outstanding debut from Lisette Auton. And you definitely should! I was Haven Point's first Wreckling, but I certainly wasn't the last. There are forty-two of us now, not including the mermaids. When you're a Wreckling, you mainly spend your days squabbling, … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Secret of Haven Point,’ by Lisette Auton, illustrated by Valentina Toro.

Blog tour: ‘The Ship of Cloud and Stars,’ by Amy Raphael, cover by George Ermos.

Well my first read of 2022 was an absolute belter! Get ready to step aboard the Anthos and set sail on a thrilling adventure… Nico Cloud desperately wants to be an explorer, but her parents think adventures aren’t for girls. Fate intervenes when Nico chases a kitten on board a ship . . . and … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Ship of Cloud and Stars,’ by Amy Raphael, cover by George Ermos.

Book Advent – Day 1 – ‘The Christmas Carrolls,’ by Mel Taylor-Bessant, illustrated by Selom Sunu.

I cannot think of a more wonderfully Christmassy book to start off my festive book advent. And I have a copy for one of you lucky people to WIN over on Twitter. Visit my pinned tweet and follow the instructions. Wish it could be Christmas every day? Well, for nine-year-old Holly Carroll and her family, … Continue reading Book Advent – Day 1 – ‘The Christmas Carrolls,’ by Mel Taylor-Bessant, illustrated by Selom Sunu.

Blog tour: ‘The Chime Seekers,’ by Ross Montgomery, cover by David Dean.

Firstly, I’d like to congratulate Ross on his nomination for The Costa Book Awards for his fantastical World War 2 adventure ‘The Midnight Guardians’ - it’s quite unlike anything I’ve read before! So now that you know the calibre of the writer we’re dealing with here, I know you’ll be excited to hear about his … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Chime Seekers,’ by Ross Montgomery, cover by David Dean.

Blog tour: ‘When Shadows Fall,’ by Sita Brahmachari, illustrated by Natalie Sirett.

Today I’m kicking off the blog tour for a brand new title by award-winning novelist Sita Brahmachari. ‘When Shadows Fall’ pis a powerful exploration of grief, exclusion, and friendship for teen readers told in prose and free verse. There are also stunning illustrated pages and sections throughout which echo the story’s theme of the therapeutic … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘When Shadows Fall,’ by Sita Brahmachari, illustrated by Natalie Sirett.

Blog tour: ‘The Runaways of Haddington Hall,’ by Vivian French.

Today I’m hosting a brand new title from Vivian French - The Runaways of Haddington Hall. And if you’d like to know the five books Vivian would take with her to a desert island, read on! ‘After a series of misfortunes, Minnie O’Sullivan is whisked away to Haddington Hall: a nightmarish home for wayward girls. … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Runaways of Haddington Hall,’ by Vivian French.

Blog tour: ‘The Hideaway,’ by Pam Smy.

Pam Smy’s first novel, ‘Thornhill,’ was met with much critical acclaim and nominated for several awards so my expectations of ‘The Hideaway’ were high. Well let me tell you, she has crafted another beautifully told tale interwoven with atmospheric greyscale illustrations. Pam has written an exclusive piece for this blog about being an illustrator. You … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Hideaway,’ by Pam Smy.

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)

Blog tour: ‘The Shadows of Rookhaven,’ by Pádraig Kenny, illustrated by Edward Bettison.

This time last year, I had just finished this title’s predecessor, ‘The Monsters of Rookhaven’ - a delightfully brooding read full of gothic motifs, lurking menace, and the idea of embracing those different to yourself. As the nights draw in and Halloween swiftly approaches, I would suggest you might like to get yourself a copy … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Shadows of Rookhaven,’ by Pádraig Kenny, illustrated by Edward Bettison.

Blog tour: ‘Lightning Falls,’ by Amy Wilson, cover by Studio Helen.

Amy’s writing is always a little bit magical, a little bit thought-provoking, and a little bit special. Her newest novel, Lightning Falls, certainly fits into this category. With a haunted house, a hallowed ghost, and a glimmering portal into another world, there is plenty for readers to become immersed in. Amy has also written a … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Lightning Falls,’ by Amy Wilson, cover by Studio Helen.