There are few greater pleasures in life than cracking open the cover of a beautifully-produced, chunky information book. To that end, I am delighted to be sharing some of the most recent (and very giftable) titles I have been sent. A collection of 366 curious questions asked by children from around the world, based on … Continue reading Non-Fiction November
Today I’m sharing a brilliant interactive, wonderfully informative picture book about the weird and wonderful noises animals make. Why do owls hoot? Why do cats purr? Can you curl up like a sleepy snake? I also have a special Q&A from author Moira Butterfield about the inspiration and processes behind creating her two fabulous animal … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Sing Like a Whale – Learn How to Make a Noise Like Animals Do,’ by Moira Butterfield, illustrated by Gwen Millward.
Blue Peter award-winning author Vashti Hardy is back with another thrilling adventure. If you loved Brightstorm or Wildspark, you won’t want to miss this! Ironhold is an orderly place where "industry brings prosperity", and where nature is pushed aside for progress. But when Orin Crowfall, a lowly servant boy, learns that the island itself is in … Continue reading ‘Crowfall,’ by Vashti Hardy, cover by George Ermos.
Today I am sharing a wild, enchanting adventure steeped in the ancient magic of nature, written by award-winning novelist Melissa Harrison. Her books have the common purpose of trying to connect readers with the natural world and this is her children’s novel debut for readers aged 9+ ‘Three tiny, ancient beings - Moss, Burnet and … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘By Ash, Oak and Thorn,’ by Melissa Harrison, illustrated by Lauren O’Hara.
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.
We all have a responsibility to look after our surroundings and care for the creatures who also make their homes in them. What I have today are three beautiful books with themes of protecting our environment and looking out for bees and other insects. ‘Omar, the Bees and Me,’ by Helen Mortimer, illustrated by Katie … Continue reading Bee-utiful Books!
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.
As with all of Zommer’s gorgeously illustrated titles, wintery treat A Thing Called Snow,’ focuses on the beauty of nature and encourages readers to discover the wonders of the great outdoors. Fox and Hare have grown up together and become best friends but they have yet to experience snow. When winter comes, they are desperate … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 6 ‘A Thing Called Snow,’ by Yuval Zommer.
Today I’m showcasing the new ‘Lottie Loves Nature’ title: ‘Frog Frenzy.’ This is a brilliant series for newly confident readers or anyone who’s nutty about nature! Today, I’ve got a special post from author, Jane Clarke about her lifetime of loving nature and will be championing the title again in November on the Federation of … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Lottie Loves Nature: Frog Frenzy,’ by Jane Clarke, illustrated by James Brown.
Jess’s writing is fantastic so I was delighted to be sent a copy of her newest title which is firmly rooted in the great outdoors. Cara, her siblings and their Irish wolfhound live on a boat in the countryside. They love their beautiful boat and the fact they can step off the boat and into … Continue reading ‘Where the Wilderness Lives,’ by Jess Butterworth, cover by Rob Biddulph.
With Spring in the air and daffodils donning their yellow bonnets, now is the time of year when my thoughts turn to gardening. Pruning rose bushes and planting bulbs in the hopes of a riot of colour and creepy-crawlies come Summer. My boys love helping me choose which bulbs and bedding plants to purchase and … Continue reading How does your garden grow?
In my experience, poetry is often overlooked in school and the collection of anthologies available for pupils and staff is often dated or tatty. But why? Why?! Poetry is the ultimate ‘quick-read’ - it can take seconds to read and enjoy a poem. Perfect to fit in a spare moment, to giggle over during independent … Continue reading Poetry in Motion
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.
Bugs of all shapes and sizes are always a source of fascination for children so I have a new fictional adventure and two beautiful information books for you to enjoy. ‘Winnie and Wilbur: The Bug Safari,’ by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul (OUP) A new adventure for fans of magical duo Winnie and Wilbur. After … Continue reading Bug Out Over Books!
In my experience, poetry can be an area often overlooked in schools. But why? Personally, I didn’t feel that I knew enough about composing poetry to teach it properly. But what about sharing poems, performing poems, dipping into a volume and seeing what grabs you? That’s the beauty of a good poetry book and the … Continue reading The CLiPPA Shortlist (premier poetry picks)
Today I’m pleased to be sharing with you the rather lovely ‘When it Rains’ by Rassi Narika, which was originally written in Indonesian. I also have a special piece from Rassi about the process behind illustrating her book. Kira is bored, bored, bored of the never-ending rain. You can’t do anything fun in the rain, … Continue reading ‘When it Rains,’ by Rassi Narika, translated by Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi Degoul & Emma Dai’an Wright.
As the daffodils and crocuses start to bloom, we know that Spring is definitely on its way and it’s time for us to get outdoors and muddy. I’d like to share three picture books to help inspire little ones to get back to nature this Spring. ‘Little Bear’s Spring’ by Elli Woollard & Briony May … Continue reading Let’s Get Outdoors!
I have recently been sent an excellent series of board books from Caterpillar Books which are designed to teach babies and toddlers key vocabulary and concepts in various scientific topics. Children always love to learn a tricky scientific word - they’re never too young to start! Babies can learn about the world’s greatest buildings, learn … Continue reading Baby 101: Welcome, class! from Caterpillar Books
‘Eye Spy’ by Guillaume Duprat (What On Earth Books) This is an absolutely fantastic book which gives its readers an animal-eye view of the world. If you thought that all animals saw the same, you were wrong! Snakes see in infrared, cats are super-sensitive to movement and a chameleon’s eyes allow it to look two … Continue reading Eye-Opening Animal Fact Books
Bones and ancient beasts have always been a source of fascination for adults and children alike. If you’re looking for armadillos as big as cars, monster sharks or peek inside a gorilla’s skeleton, then I have the book or three for you! Mega Meltdown by Jack Tite (Big Picture Press) An absolutely stunning book which introduces its … Continue reading Beasts and Bones