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.

Christmas Advent – Day 19 ‘Dinosaur Christmas,’ by Penny Dale.

When Book Boy was younger, this imaginative dinosaur series was on constant bedtime story repeat. Although he’s now a very grown-up Year 7, he couldn’t resist having a peek through this new Christmassy title when it dropped through our letterbox. When Santa’s sleigh gets stuck in a snowdrift on Christmas Eve, there’s only one team … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 19 ‘Dinosaur Christmas,’ by Penny Dale.

Christmas Advent – Day 17 ‘A Donkey Called Mistletoe,’ by Helen Peters, illustrated by Ellie Snowdon.

I love this series of chapter books aimed at readers aged 7+ Animal stories are perennially popular so it’s fantastic to have such a high-quality series to recommend. And now there’s a Christmassy addition! Jasmine has always planned to build an animal sanctuary on the family’s farm when she is older and has already rescued … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 17 ‘A Donkey Called Mistletoe,’ by Helen Peters, illustrated by Ellie Snowdon.

Christmas Advent – Day 15 ‘Grandpa Christmas,’ by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Jim Field.

Today I have a beautifully-illustrated story which skilfully combines a hopeful Christmas message and a powerful warning about conserving our planet for future generations. Every Christmas, after all the presents have been opened, Mia and her family read a precious letter left to her by her grandfather. In it, he recalls the wonderful times they … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 15 ‘Grandpa Christmas,’ by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Jim Field.

Christmas Advent – Day 11 ‘The Most Wonderful Gift in the World,’ by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Lucy Fleming.

Sometimes it’s nice to read a Christmas book which reflects on the meaning of Christmas beyond flashy lights, Santa and baubles. This heart-warming story is one of those... It’s Christmas morning. Esme and Bear have opened all their present except for one last red-wrapped gift hidden beneath the tree. When they read the gift tag, … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 11 ‘The Most Wonderful Gift in the World,’ by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Lucy Fleming.

Christmas Advent – Day 8 ‘Dogger’s Christmas,’ by Shirley Hughes

Any child of the eighties (and onwards) will be familiar of the tale of ‘Dogger,’ a beloved favourite toy who goes missing then reappears in the most unexpected of places. I am absolutely beyond delighted to be able to report that the legendary Shirley Hughes has created a magical new Dogger adventure: ‘Dogger’s Christmas.’ “It's … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 8 ‘Dogger’s Christmas,’ by Shirley Hughes

Christmas Advent – Day 7 ‘Can You Find Santa’s Pants?’ by Becky Davies and Alex Willmore.

Today have a fabulously festive romp for your reading pleasure as little ones are encourage to help Santa find his pants! It’s Christmas Eve, the sleigh is packed and the reindeer are ready to go. But as Santa starts getting dressed to head out, he can’t find his pants! As his spare pairs blown off … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 7 ‘Can You Find Santa’s Pants?’ by Becky Davies and Alex Willmore.

Christmas Advent – Day 5 ‘Santa Post,’ by Emma Yarlett.

Emma Yarlett creates the most beautiful picture books so I was very excited to see that she’s created a rather wonderful Christmas story with fold-out letters and plenty of laughs. Every year, Santa gets thousands of letters full of Christmas wishes from children all over the world and he is usually able to find the … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 5 ‘Santa Post,’ by Emma Yarlett.

Christmas Advent – Day 3 ‘The Three Wishes: A Christmas Story,’ by Alan Snow.

This is a throughly beautiful and original explanation of how Father Christmas came to be. It is quite unlike any Christmas book I have read before - quiet, thoughtful and magical. The young boy and his family spend their lives moving from place to place as they follow their food. It’s hard to imagine life … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 3 ‘The Three Wishes: A Christmas Story,’ by Alan Snow.

Christmas Advent – Day 1 ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas or Grandma is Overly Generous,’ by Alex T. Smith.

If you are after a festive treat to officially kick off the festive season, you absolutely cannot go wrong with one of Alex T. Smith’s beautiful picture books. This year’s delight is a reimagining of a classic Christmas poem, borne from Smith’s inability to remember the original gifts celebrated in poetic form. Things start off … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 1 ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas or Grandma is Overly Generous,’ by Alex T. Smith.

‘Where is Uncle Al?’ by Eva Hibbs, illustrated by Sarah Harrison.

The loss of a family member or loved one isn’t something you can ever really prepare for, but sharing books which explore ideas around what happens when someone dies before the situation arises can be so helpful for young children. After being told to avoid writing a picture book exploring beliefs about death, Eva Hibbs … Continue reading ‘Where is Uncle Al?’ by Eva Hibbs, illustrated by Sarah Harrison.

‘A Story About Afiya,’ by James Berry, illustrated by Anna Cunha.

I’m delighted to be part of Lantana Publishing’s campaign to ensure that children of colour see themselves represented in the books they receive this Christmas. To help make this happen, they’ve given me a special discount code for people to use on their website up until the 18th December. It’s: BOOKSUPERHERO15. For every book purchased, … Continue reading ‘A Story About Afiya,’ by James Berry, illustrated by Anna Cunha.

NNFN Book Review Tour: ‘Lottie Loves Nature: Frog Frenzy,’ by Jane Clarke, illustrated by James Brown.

National Non-Fiction November is an annual celebration of non-fiction for children and young people organised by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups. Visit their website for more information, ideas and resources http://www.fcbg.org.uk/national-non-fiction-november-2020 For my stop on this epic blog tour, I get to share a brilliant eco-adventure for newly confident readers: ‘Lottie Loves Nature: Frog … Continue reading NNFN Book Review Tour: ‘Lottie Loves Nature: Frog Frenzy,’ by Jane Clarke, illustrated by James Brown.

Blog tour: ‘This Book is Not a Bedtime Story!’ by Eoin McLaughlin and Robert Starling.

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this funny, silly, reassuring not bedtime story, bedtime story! Make sure you read Eoin’s piece about why he finally conceded to his young son’s taste for monsters with this scary (but not really) tale. Get ready for ‘The World’s Scariest Monster’ and his friends to take … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘This Book is Not a Bedtime Story!’ by Eoin McLaughlin and Robert Starling.