Justin Somper’s swaggering fantasy adventure series has been reissued with striking new covers and bonus additional content including ‘origins stories’ for its lead characters, interviews, and reading group notes. Today I’m sharing the first of those with you, plus an exclusive piece by Justin about how he researched his characters. ‘The year is 2512. The … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Vampirates,’ by Justin Somper, cover illustration by Crush Creative.
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
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
I recently had a great time at the Oxford Reading Spree, hosted by Ed Finch at Larkrise Primary School. I had been invited to run a workshop about how and why to introduce ‘classic’ children’s literature in a primary school, based on my own experiences. I chose to share some of the texts and activities … Continue reading Introducing classic texts in a primary school (part 2): ‘Treasure Island’ as seen at the Oxford Reading Spree.
This blog post has a sea-faring theme with a selection of books for readers of all ages about pirates, the sea, and the creatures who live in it. ‘Lula and the Sea Monster’ by Alex Latimer (OUP) Lula lives by the beach in her beautiful family home and she loves it. She loves looking for … Continue reading Books Ahoy!
Sometimes when children get to the point of being able to confidently read independently they enjoy the challenge of a book which is still highly-illustrated but has more text in it. This is when it's time to reach for some of the brilliant first chapter books which are now available. These are often based on … Continue reading First Chapter Books
Following the huge success of the BBC’s breathtaking ‘Blue Planet’ series, taking care of our oceans and the creatures who live in them has never been more topical or more important. I’ve received lots of lovely picture books for readers of all ages which would fit beautifully into an underwater theme - some fiction, some … Continue reading Blue Planet 1 (information books)
It’s never too early to start teaching young girls (and boys) that they have the power to do whatever they want to. Luckily, girls are no longer consigned to the role of helpless princess in the books available for them to enjoy. I’m going to share with you some of the celebratory and stereotype-busting titles … Continue reading Here Come the Girls! (International Women’s Day)
Mermaids have had a real surge of popularity recently but most titles have been for younger readers or overly sugary and sweet. ‘The Girl with the Shark’s Teeth’ is definitely neither of those things... Minnow had always known she was different from the other children in her town - her powerful affinity with the water, … Continue reading Festive Read #3 ‘The Girl With The Shark’s Teeth,’ by Cerrie Burnell, illustrations by Sandra Dieckmann.
This beautiful story was originally published in Syria and has been translated from Arabic by author and illustrator Nadine Kaadan. Everything around Yazan was changing. He never went to the park, he never saw his friends, his mum never painted any more. All she did was watch the news. Yazan was so bored - he … Continue reading ‘Tomorrow,’ by Nadine Kaadan.
Book Boy and I took a little time out of the heat this afternoon to enjoy one of the latest picture books from firm household favourite, Caryl Hart. Jack is far too busy laying outside to hear his mum calling him in for dinner, so unfortunately by the time he notices, his chips have gone … Continue reading ‘Lunch on a Pirate Ship,’ by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Kristina Stephenson.
This stellar adventure is packed with pirates, circus boats and far-flung islands. In fact, everything you need for a thrilling read! Cass dreams of a life aboard Ravellous’s circus boat, making her living as an acrobat. With plans to audition when the boat arrives at Minaris, Cass is confident that a life of adventure awaits … Continue reading ‘The Company Of Eight,’ by Harriet Whitehorn, cover by Maria Surducan.
We absolutely love the Jolley-Rogers series so we’re very excited to have received this absolute gem of a book - there’s gold on them thar pages! This book revisits one of our favourite landlubbers, Matilda, and her band of pirate friends as they head off to the holiday resort de rigeur for any discerning swashbuckler … Continue reading ‘The Pirates of Scurvy Sands,’ by Jonny Duddle.
I'd like to share not one, but two diaries about hapless heroes in sorrowful situations. The Long-Lost Diary of the World's Worst Knight Sir Roderick is a squire at Doddington Castle and longs to be a brave knight. The kind of knight who'll be remembered in heroic tales like King Arthur's knights of the round … Continue reading ‘The Long-Lost Secret Diary of the World’s Worst…’ written by Tim Collins, illustrated by Sarah Horne.
Ahoy me hearties! There be treasure in these pages! This is the tale of a boy and his plucky sea dog who set sail to find the hidden treasure of Pirate Frank. They sail the stormy seas, trek over snow-capped mountains and brave a gooey swamp, all to reach the tree which marks the spot. … Continue reading ‘The Treasure of Pirate Frank,’ by Mal Peet & Elspeth Graham, illustrated by Jez Tuya.