‘A Working Day in the Life of Satoshi Kitamura,’ author of The Smile Shop.

The Smile Shop has been nominated for the Greenaway Medal 2021 and I am not surprised. Each page is an absolute delight - packed with little details to discover and enjoy with each reading. I’m very lucky to have a piece to share by Kitamura about how he spends a typical working day. A small … Continue reading ‘A Working Day in the Life of Satoshi Kitamura,’ author of The Smile Shop.

Blog tour: ‘The Tale of the Whale,’ by Karen Swann, illustrated by Padmacandra.

Today I’m sharing a very timely picture book about a special journey through the oceans on the back of a whale which makes clear the devastating impact of plastic pollution on the seas and the creatures who live in them. ‘Where land becomes sky and the sky becomes sea, I first saw the whale, and … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Tale of the Whale,’ by Karen Swann, illustrated by Padmacandra.

Blog Tour: ‘Meet the Oceans,’ by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Bethan Woollvin.

Today we’re diving down into the watery depths of the world’s oceans and seas in Caryl Hart’s newest picture book. ‘SPLOOOOSH! We're off on an exciting underwater adventure in our submarine to meet the oceans and seas of our blue planet. Join in with the rhymes and get ready to spot all the smiley-faced, friendly … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Meet the Oceans,’ by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Bethan Woollvin.

Blog Tour: ‘What did the Tree See?’ by Charlotte Guillain, illustrated by Sam Usher.

There’s always something truly magical about finding a tree that’s so enormous you have no hope of putting your arms around it - you know that it has stood on that same spot for hundreds and hundreds of years regardless of the changes which have gone on around it. I always wonder just what it’s … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘What did the Tree See?’ by Charlotte Guillain, illustrated by Sam Usher.

‘How to Spot a Mum,’ by Donna Amey Bhatt, illustrated by Aura Lewis.

With Mother’s Day on the horizon, you may well be thinking about making cards and buying presents. How about getting something a little out of the ordinary this year? How about a wonderfully warm and witty book celebrating mums in all their guises? ‘How to Spot a Mum is a tongue-in-cheek tribute and ode to … Continue reading ‘How to Spot a Mum,’ by Donna Amey Bhatt, illustrated by Aura Lewis.

Blog Tour: ‘Flea Seeks Dog,’ by Will Mabbitt, illustrated by Nathan Reed.

I absolutely love Will’s books; his humour just tickles me! (See ‘I Can Only Draw Worms’) I am please to be able to share with you his newest title: ‘Flea's got itchy feet! It's time to find a new dog to call home. But, try as he might, none of the dogs he meets are … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Flea Seeks Dog,’ by Will Mabbitt, illustrated by Nathan Reed.

Blog Tour: ‘How do you Make a Rainbow?’ by Caroline Crowe, illustrated by Cally Johnson-Isaacs.

I always find this time of year so dark and dreary, especially so this year during lockdown, so it’s important to look for the positives around you and have hope that things will get brighter. ‘How do you Make a Rainbow?’ is certainly one of those books which encourages readers to think about what makes … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘How do you Make a Rainbow?’ by Caroline Crowe, illustrated by Cally Johnson-Isaacs.

Blog Tour: ‘Bears Don’t Wear Shoes,’ by Sharon Davey.

Although Sharon has illustrated a lot of brilliant books for other authors, this is the very first book she’s both written and illustrated. Make sure you read Sharon’s piece about the ideas & inspirations behind her story. ‘Suzy's family has moved house and everyone is just TOO BUSY to play with her. Eager for someone … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Bears Don’t Wear Shoes,’ by Sharon Davey.

Blog Tour: ‘Scribble Witch: Paper Friends,’ by Inky Willis.

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.

Blog tour: ‘Milo Imagines the World,’ by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson.

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.

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.

‘The Snowman and the Sun,’ by Susan Taghdis, illustrated by Ali Mafakheri, translated from Persian by Azita Rassi.

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.

‘Daydreams and Jellybeans: Poems to Read Aloud,’ by Alex Wharton, illustrated by Katy Riddell.

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.

Blog tour: ‘A Shelter for Sadness,’ by Anne Booth, illustrated by David Litchfield.

‘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.

Guest post by poet James Carter – how to enthuse children whilst delivering online.

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.

Blog Tour: ‘The Boy Who Sang With Dragons,’ by Andy Shepherd, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie.

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.

Christmas Advent – Day 22 ‘Magnificent Mabel and the Christmas Elf,’ by Ruth Quayle, illustrated by Julia Christians.

The brilliantly magnificent Mabel is back in a new title with a festive twist. It features three chucklesome short stories which would be perfect for readers who are developing in confidence. Life often doesn’t seem for to Mabel Chase. School is always so sameish, no-one wants to let her look after her baby cousin, and … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 22 ‘Magnificent Mabel and the Christmas Elf,’ by Ruth Quayle, illustrated by Julia Christians.

Christmas Advent – Day 20 ‘Agents of the Wild: Operation Icebeak,’ by Jennifer Bell and Alice Lickens.

Today I have an icy Antarctic adventure to share with you. The second title in this highly-engaging series for newly confident readers: Ever since eight-year-old Agnes became a fully-fledged member of SPEARS (Society for the Protection of Endangered and Awesomely Rare Species), she has kept her uniform safely folded under her bed ready for an … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 20 ‘Agents of the Wild: Operation Icebeak,’ by Jennifer Bell and Alice Lickens.