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.

Blog tour: ‘The House on the Edge,’ Alex Cotter, cover by Kathrin Honesta.

A couple of months ago, I was honoured to do the cover reveal for Alex Cotter’s creepy, atmospheric middle grade debut. Today, I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour AND have a special piece by Alex about the power of spooky stories. “Where has Faith's dad gone? Why has he left his family … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The House on the Edge,’ Alex Cotter, cover by Kathrin Honesta.

Blog tour: ‘Bad Panda,’ by Swapna Haddow and Sheena Dempsey.

A new collaboration between author-illustrator duo Haddow and Dempsey is always going to be a cause for celebration (have you read the Dave Pigeon series?) but especially when it’s the first title in a new series of brilliantly bad early chapter books. And by that, I mean ‘bad’ as in ‘good!’ “Are you sick of … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Bad Panda,’ by Swapna Haddow and Sheena Dempsey.

Blog tour: ‘SkyWake Invasion,’ by Jamie Russell, cover by Matt Griffin.

When I have to wrestle a book out of my son’s hands and hide it so that I can read it before him, you know that you’re onto a winner. And that is exactly what happened when SkyWake Invasion arrived! An exciting and original debut sci-fi adventure trilogy for the gaming generation, from a screenwriter, … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘SkyWake Invasion,’ by Jamie Russell, cover by Matt Griffin.

Blog tour: ‘A Dinosaur Ate My Sister,’ by Pooja Puri, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan.

I am forever bemoaning the lack of choice when it comes to dinosaur books for readers looking for a meatier read than a picture book. Well I’m moaning no more as the totally awesome ‘A Dinosaur Ate My Sister’ has stomped onto the scene for all your dino-needs! It’s so good, that it is the … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘A Dinosaur Ate My Sister,’ by Pooja Puri, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan.

Blog tour: ‘Felix Unlimited,’ by Andrew Norriss, cover by Sarah Horne.

Today’s my stop on the blog tour for the awesome ‘Felix Unlimited.’ By the end of the first chapter, I was completely hooked! Felix is no ordinary boy. With the help of his friends, he's started his own business, and he soon has thousands of pounds stashed under his bed. But it's not all smooth … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Felix Unlimited,’ by Andrew Norriss, cover by Sarah Horne.

Blog tour: ‘Jaz Santos vs. the World,’ by Priscilla Mante, cover by Camilla Sucre.

I’m always excited to see a brand-new series featuring GIRLS playing football and today I am sharing the very first title in the new ‘The Dream Team’ series. ‘Olá! I'm Jasmina Santos-Campbell (but you can call me Jaz). You've probably heard of me and my football team the Bramrock Stars before. No? Well, you will … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Jaz Santos vs. the World,’ by Priscilla Mante, cover by Camilla Sucre.

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.

‘Keeper,’ by Alan Gibbons, illustrated by Chris Chalik.

Today I’m sharing one of Barrington Stoke’s excellent dyslexia-friendly titles which is absolutely packed with facts about famous goalies and the history of goalkeeping. I love that it’s celebrating an oft-neglected member of the team. ‘New boy Shane Logan has a temper, but he’s also a talented goalie. When Peter and his friends invite Shane … Continue reading ‘Keeper,’ by Alan Gibbons, illustrated by Chris Chalik.

Blog tour: ‘The Caravan at the Edge of Doom,’ by Jim Beckett, illustrated by Olia Muza.

‘The Caravan at the Edge of Doom’ is the hilarious debut novel of comedian, Jim Beckett, and has been dubbed ‘Pratchett for tweens.’ I can see why - its madcap humour, crazy characters, and hilarious take on the afterlife make it a sure-fire winner with fans of funny. I got the chance to ask Jim … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Caravan at the Edge of Doom,’ by Jim Beckett, illustrated by Olia Muza.

#SundayBookClub – ‘Tisha and the Blossom,’ by Wendy Meddour, illustrated by Daniel Egnéus.

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.