The Oxford University Press have produced a brand new range of highly-readable titles for less confident KS3 readers (aged 11 up.) They’ve created the ‘Super-readable Rollercoasters’ in collaboration with Barrington Stoke who are known for their dyslexia-friendly format and snappy, engaging stories. I was lucky enough to be sent two of these titles to review, … Continue reading ‘Dark Peak,’ by Marcus Sedgwick, cover by Carolina Rodriguez Fuenmayor.
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.
This time I have an early chapter book for you. Packed with engaging comic-book style illustrations and plenty of laughs, this would be perfect for anyone aged 7+. ‘This fun, anarchic series revolves around a boy called Max and his mission to make the world a better place. In each book in the series Max … Continue reading Earth Day 2021 Spotlight: ‘Max Takes A Stand,’ by Tim Allman, illustrated by Nick Shepherd.
Today I’m sharing a brilliant debut novel by Helen Harvey: Emmy Levels Up. It’s a fantastic story about gaming, friendship and standing up for yourself. I also have Helen’s top three gaming recommendations for children AND for adults. ‘Emmy is brilliant at the computer game, Illusory Isles. Her avatar is a powerful fire elemental with … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Emmy Levels Up,’ by Helen Harvey, cover by Abbey Lossing.
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.
As the night’s draw in and the weather turns chillier, my thoughts always turn to snuggling up under a blanket with a good book. Halloween is a great time to find a new favourite read - whether magical or spooky so I’m bringing you some of the newest choices around. ‘Mirabelle Gets Up to Mischief,’ … Continue reading Happy Halloween!
Did you know that it’s 75 years since the publication of one of Sweden’s most popular literary exports? Originally created for her daughter during the dark times of World War Two, Astrid Lindgren wanted to create a new kind of female character - one who was free-spirited and free-thinking. As thus was born an iconic … Continue reading Pippi Longstocking’s 75th Anniversary
There’s so much research which demonstrates how vital reading stories to the very littlest of bookworms is: it builds a bond between adult and child, dramatically increases their vocabulary by the time they turn five and teaches them early literacy skills in preparation for school and a lifelong love of reading. To that end, I … Continue reading Board Book Bonanza!
Having a positive body image plays a huge role in helping children develop their confidence and self-esteem. It’s fantastic to see a picture book for young children like ‘Everybody has a Body,’ which celebrates bodies of all shapes and sizes. With Jon Burgerman’s exuberant illustrations packed full of colour and humour, and a positive, inclusive … Continue reading #TuesdayReviewsDay ‘Everybody has a Body,’ by Jon Burgerman.
This week is Refugee Week so it seems an alt time to share with you come of the very beautiful books I’ve been sent which look at refugees specifically, but also have themes of kindness and acceptance which might be more appropriate for younger children. I will be adding new titles to this post as … Continue reading Refugee Week 2020 – stories of kindness, accepting others and refugees.
It would seems that people are always looking for new first chapter books for readers who are looking for some that’s still highly-illustrated and engaging, but also a little wordier. Fear not, I have a brand new selection of titles which might just fit the bill! If you still more suggestions, click here. These would … Continue reading Further Fabulous First Chapter Books
This absolutely beautiful picture book is based on the real life story of Jack and his beloved Bear. Seven-year-old Jack has autism and Bear is his constant companion and bridge to the world around him. ‘Bear Shaped’ tells the story of what happened when Bear went missing and Jack’s dad sent a tweet out into … Continue reading ‘Bear Shaped,’ by Dawn Coulter-Cruttenden.
As part of our home-schooling timetable, #BookBoy and #BookBoyJr will be writing book reviews to go on the blog. Our very first review, of ‘Super Stan,’ has been composed by #BookBoy who had his nose buried in it all weekend! Title: Super Stan Author: Elaine Wickson Illustrator: Chris Judge Publisher: Oxford University Press Synopsis: This … Continue reading #TuesdayReviewsDay ‘Super Stan’ by Elaine Wickson, illustrated by Chris Judge.
After my recent round up of doggy titles, it’s time for the cats to take over! From picture books to middle grade titles, there’s something for all fans of fabulous felines. ‘It’s My Sausage,’ by Alex Willmore (Maverick Publishing) There are five cats but only one sausage. And none of them are that keen on … Continue reading What’s New Pussycat?
Grief and death are often difficult topics to discuss with children but it’s so important that we do or there can be a serious impact on their mental health. Today I’m sharing a beautiful picture book which should provide a means to start that sensitive conversation. Ever since the loss of Granny, Grandpa has stopped … Continue reading ‘Tibble and Grandpa,’ by Wendy Meddour, illustrated by Daniel Egnéus.
On a lazy Sunday afternoon, Book Boy Jr. decided that he was feeling creative so I whipped out my box of ‘Art Out of the Box’ activity cards to test out. Although I sometimes find doing art at home (and in school) a little stressful, I know that it’s brilliant for developing motor skills, expressing … Continue reading ‘Art Out of the Box,’ concept from Nicky Hoberman, illustrated by Hiromi Suzuki & ‘Matisse’s Magical Trail,’ by Tim Hopgood, illustrated by Sam Boughton.
With time for music and dance being squeezed out of the primary school timetable, it seems important that we use every means necessary to encourage and inspire a love of music and dancing in children. This varied selection of picture is sure to cause music-making and merriment amongst their readers. ‘Jazz Dog’ by Marie Voigt … Continue reading Make a Song and Dance about it – books which celebrate the arts.
I am a huge advocate of funny books and promoting more diverse humorous titles in school and home libraries. That’s why I was so thrilled to be asked to champion one of the titles for this year’s Lollies (The Laugh Out Loud Book Awards 2020), run by Scholastic with Michael Rosen as head judge. The … Continue reading Introducing the Laugh Out Loud Book Award nominee ‘Planet Stan’ by Elaine Wickson (illustrated by Chris Judge)
Lots of children love to be scared. If you happen to know one of them, they might just love one of these chilling chapter books suitable for readers aged 5+ ‘Isadora Moon Puts on a Show,’ by Harriet Muncaster (OUP) One of my favourite, glittery half-fairy, half-vampires is back in her tenth adventure. Isadora is … Continue reading Chilling Chapter Books…
Today, I’m lucky enough to have a special piece from Ben Davis about his top ten fictional dogs in honour of Gizmo, the canine star of his own book: ‘What’s That in Dog Years?’ (OUP) I’ll let Ben fill you in on the plot of this gorgeous book, but if you want my review of … Continue reading ‘What’s That in Dog Years?’ By Ben Davis, illustrated by Julia Christians.