‘A Bad Day for Jayden,’ by Tony Bradman, illustrated by Tania Rex.

I will forever sing the praises of Barrington Stoke. Their books are produced by some of the most fantastic authors and illustrators, with themes ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. Their dyslexia-friendly format has opened to doors to the world of reading for many of my pupils. Today I’m sharing ‘A Bad Day For … Continue reading ‘A Bad Day for Jayden,’ by Tony Bradman, illustrated by Tania Rex.

Blog Tour: ‘Moon Dog,’ by Jane Elson, cover by Izzy Burton.

Today’s blog post is one for you dog-fans out there. I’m delighted to be sharing ‘Moon Dog’ with you and a special piece by author, Jane Elson, about the importance of thorough research when writing. Marcus sticks out like a sore thumb at school, easily the tallest in his year and angry all the time … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Moon Dog,’ by Jane Elson, cover by Izzy Burton.

‘The House of One Hundred Clocks,’ by A.M. Howell, illustrations by Saara Söderlund.

I really enjoy reading a good historical fiction novel, especially if there’s an element of mystery afoot. If you’re anything like me, you’ll thoroughly enjoy A.M. Howell’s new title which was inspired by a notable clock collection housed in Bury St. Edmund’s Moyse’s Hall museumS. What would it be like to live in a house … Continue reading ‘The House of One Hundred Clocks,’ by A.M. Howell, illustrations by Saara Söderlund.

Blog tour: ‘My Monster and Me,’ by Nadiya Hussain, illustrated by Ella Bailey.

I think that in the current climate of uncertainty, school closures and social lockdown, there must be plenty of children worried about what is going to happen and when they’ll be able to play outside and see their friends again.  Books provide such fantastic opportunities for conversations about all sorts of worries, so I’m always … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘My Monster and Me,’ by Nadiya Hussain, illustrated by Ella Bailey.

Blog Tour: ‘Extraordinary!’ by Penny Harrison, illustrated by Katie Wilson.

With the concept of mindfulness firmly planted in the nation’s consciousness, we are encouraged to find and celebrate the ‘everyday’ extraordinary. This beautiful picture book encourages readers to stop and look around them, to live in the moment, and to cherish their loved ones. Although the big, the loud and the colourful can be pretty … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Extraordinary!’ by Penny Harrison, illustrated by Katie Wilson.

‘Mindful Kids’ Activity Books by Dr. Sharie Coombes, illustrated by Katie Abey.

I absolutely love this series of interactive books which has been carefully developed by psychotherapist and former primary teacher, Dr. Sharie Coombes. As schools continue to focus on mental health and mindfulness, these books are perfect for pupils to work through or dip in and out of. ‘Letting Go!’ focuses on helping children recognise feelings … Continue reading ‘Mindful Kids’ Activity Books by Dr. Sharie Coombes, illustrated by Katie Abey.

‘Fearless: How to be Your True, Confident Self!’ by Liam Hackett, illustrated by Mike Perry.

This is a book for those end-of-primary-school, start-of-secondary-school tweens who are perhaps struggling to find their place with their peers. It’s designed to help children discover what’s holding them back and have the confidence to be themselves. This title was written by youth charity ‘Ditch the Label’ founder, Liam Hackett, based on his experiences as … Continue reading ‘Fearless: How to be Your True, Confident Self!’ by Liam Hackett, illustrated by Mike Perry.

‘Alfred and the Blue Whale,’ by Mina Lystad, illustrated by Åshlid Irgens.

Bravery and self-confidence are not things which come naturally to all children and are certainly emotions which can fluctuate over time. But both, I believe, are key to good mental health, over-coming barriers and being resilient. This lovely title from Wacky Bee’s ’Buzzy Reads’ series is a great introduction to these ideas for young children … Continue reading ‘Alfred and the Blue Whale,’ by Mina Lystad, illustrated by Åshlid Irgens.

‘Felix After the Rain,’ by Dunja Jogan, translated by Olivia Hellewell.

Today marks the start of children’s mental health week. It’s a sad fact that children’s mental health services are receiving many more referrals than they can process so vulnerable children are having to wait months and even years before they are able to talk to a specialist. It’s for this reason that books like ‘Felix’ … Continue reading ‘Felix After the Rain,’ by Dunja Jogan, translated by Olivia Hellewell.

‘Shadow,’ by Lucy Christopher, illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova.

Today’s my stop on the blog tour for ‘Shadow,’ Lucy’s first picture book. As well as a special about about the inspiration behind writing the story, I’ve also recorded a podcast interview with Lucy, talking in more detail about the themes and processes behind creating the book.  Listen HERE. The girl and her Ma have … Continue reading ‘Shadow,’ by Lucy Christopher, illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova.

Introducing the ‘Level Headers’ series by Beth Cox & Natalie Costa, illustrated by Vicky Barker.

With waiting lists for children’s mental health services getting longer than ever, and pupils sometimes having to wait for years before they get appointments, schools and parents are having to be more proactive than ever when it comes to promoting and developing good mental health in their children. Helping children recognise and manage their feelings, … Continue reading Introducing the ‘Level Headers’ series by Beth Cox & Natalie Costa, illustrated by Vicky Barker.

‘Owen and the Soldier,’ by Lisa Thompson, illustrated by Mike Lowery.

Barrington Stoke produce some of the very best short, accessible stories by some of the very best current children’s authors. Although specially produced to be easy on the eye for dyslexic readers, their brilliant collection is perfect for anyone who enjoys short, pacey reads. Lisa Thompson’s debut for Barrington Stoke fits in perfectly. Owen and his … Continue reading ‘Owen and the Soldier,’ by Lisa Thompson, illustrated by Mike Lowery.

‘Stay Strong!’ and ‘Be Brave!’ by Dr. Sharie Coombes, illustrated by Katie Abey.

There has been a huge upsurge in the number of children being referred to mental health services across the U.K. causing an increasing number of schools to take matters into their own hands and teach their pupils about mindfulness and emotional regulation. The titles featured in this post encourage children to process their emotions and … Continue reading ‘Stay Strong!’ and ‘Be Brave!’ by Dr. Sharie Coombes, illustrated by Katie Abey.

‘She is Fierce: Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women,’ by Ana Sampson.

I am delighted to host something a little different on my blog today: a brilliant new poetry anthology celebrating female poets across the ages. This new collection from anthologist Ana Sampson, features 150 stunning poems from fierce and fabulous women worldwide. There is such a wonderfully diverse range of poets featured: suffragettes, aristocrats, school girls. … Continue reading ‘She is Fierce: Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women,’ by Ana Sampson.

Holiday Re-Read #5: ‘Who Let The Gods Out,’ by Maz Evans, characters by Aleksei Bitskoff.

My next holiday read was actually a re-read ahead of a workshop I’m doing in September about how funny books can be in-roads to discussing more serious issues with children.  ‘Who Let The Gods Out’ certainly does just that. Elliot’s life has changed a lot over the past year - following the death of his … Continue reading Holiday Re-Read #5: ‘Who Let The Gods Out,’ by Maz Evans, characters by Aleksei Bitskoff.

‘Double Felix,’ by Sally Harris, illustrated by Maria Serrano.

It’s encouraging to see a more diverse range of main characters appearing in children’s books at the moment.  It’s in this way that we can help develop empathy and understanding of those different to ourselves. That’s why I was very happy to be invited to take part in the blog tour for Double Felix. Felix’s … Continue reading ‘Double Felix,’ by Sally Harris, illustrated by Maria Serrano.