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.
As all children look set to returning to school over the coming days, I know that emotional wellbeing will be a key concern for many. With lots of pupils having felt very isolated over the past few months, anxiety about returning to school or even being in large groups of people may be looming large. … Continue reading ‘Swan Song,’ by Gill Lewis.
‘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.
With World Mental Health Day (Saturday 10th October) and International Day of the Girl (Sunday 11th October) coming up, today seems like an excellent time to share this fantastic book with you all. Written by a world-leading expert in body image research, it is packed with advice you can trust. This book is full of … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Body Image Book for Girls: Love Yourself and Grow Up Fearless,’ by Dr. Charlotte Markey, cover by Zoe Naylor.
Each of these three wonderful stories are very different but all feature some very special inter-generational relationships. ‘Special Delivery,’ by Jonathan Meres, illustrated by Hannah Coulson. This first story is part of Barrington Stoke’s Little Gems range which are specially produced for readers aged 5+ and feature fun activities in the jacket flaps. Frank REALLY … Continue reading Inter-generational Stories from Barrington Stoke
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.
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.
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.
As a parent of a child in Year 6, I am keenly aware that Book Boy may not be returning to school in time to do all the usual 'end of Year 6' things - performances, shirt signings, the sex education session which I am sure many parents (including myself) are not overly confident in … Continue reading Books to use in RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) in Year 6.
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.
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.
This dreamy picture book is inspired by the principles of mindfulness. Lots of school practise mindfulness techniques to help their pupils reduce anxiety and stress levels. It encourages people to live in the moment and acknowledge what their senses are detecting. This poem takes readers on a journey around the world, engaging their senses in … Continue reading ‘Taking Time,’ by Jo Loring-Fisher.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today’s my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Boy With the Butterfly Mind’ and I have a fascinating piece from its author about how she sets about writing a book and constructing a story - very useful to share with adults and children alike. Told as a dual narrative, we follow the lives of … Continue reading ‘The Boy With the Butterfly Mind,’ by Victoria Williamson.
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.
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.