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.
Christmas Advent – Day 22 ‘Magnificent Mabel and the Christmas Elf,’ by Ruth Quayle, illustrated by Julia Christians.
The brilliantly magnificent Mabel is back in a new title with a festive twist. It features three chucklesome short stories which would be perfect for readers who are developing in confidence. Life often doesn’t seem for to Mabel Chase. School is always so sameish, no-one wants to let her look after her baby cousin, and … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 22 ‘Magnificent Mabel and the Christmas Elf,’ by Ruth Quayle, illustrated by Julia Christians.
‘Donut the Destroyer,’ by Sarah Graley and Stef Purenins.
We love graphic novels in our household and Book Boy always has to have the first read. Last week, he was relaxing in the paddling pool with ‘Donut the Destroyer.’ He’d already enjoyed Sarah Graley’s previous graphic novel, ‘Glitch,’ so was excited to read this next one. Make sure you read Sarah’s awesome piece about … Continue reading ‘Donut the Destroyer,’ by Sarah Graley and Stef Purenins.
Blog tour: ‘Planet Omar: Incredible Rescue Mission,’ by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik.
Omar and the gang are back for their third adventure. And this one contains aliens (probably!) When Mrs Hutchinson (aka the best teacher in the universe) is mysteriously replaced by the less than friendly Mrs Crankshaw, Omar knows that something fishy’s going on. There’s no way Mrs Hutchinson would just leave them without saying anything … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Planet Omar: Incredible Rescue Mission,’ by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik.
‘Where the Wilderness Lives,’ by Jess Butterworth, cover by Rob Biddulph.
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.
Further Fabulous First Chapter Books
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
‘Wilde’ by Eloise Williams.
I am almost ashamed to admit that I hadn’t read any of Welsh Children’s laureate, Eloise Williams’s titles before ‘Wilde,’ but I had heard the most amazing things about her writing so was excited to get engrossed by Wilde’s story. Wilde has managed to get herself expelled from boarding school, again. Rather than face a … Continue reading ‘Wilde’ by Eloise Williams.
Blog Tour: ‘The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates,’ by Jenny Pearson, illustrated by Rob Biddulph.
I was super-excited to dive into this book because I had heard lots of excellent things about it on Twitter and then, I received a most intriguing box of goodies, including a class set of samplers, which went to Book Boy’s school. Freddie Yates likes facts, and that’s a fact. But it’s not all that … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates,’ by Jenny Pearson, illustrated by Rob Biddulph.
‘Crater Lake,’ by Jennifer Killick.
Jennifer Killick is one of the most amazing authors of funny books (see her Alex Sparrow series or Mo, Lottie and the Junkers) so I was more than a little intrigued when I heard that her next book was going to be scary. Maybe even - a horror! Would she keep her trademark humour or … Continue reading ‘Crater Lake,’ by Jennifer Killick.
‘A Super Weird Mystery: Danger at Donut Diner,’ by Jim Smith
Fans of funny and all things Barry Loser will be delighted to learn that creator of craziness, Jim Smith is back with a BRAND NEW series! The Pebble family (humans not stones) are moving to Donut Island and it would be fair to say that neither of the kids (Melvin and Violet) are looking forward … Continue reading ‘A Super Weird Mystery: Danger at Donut Diner,’ by Jim Smith
‘Claire: Justice Ninja,’ by Joe Brady and Kate Ashwin.
I have to confess that I was sent this title a little while ago and planned to review it straight away. However. Book Boy may have appropriated it and taken it upstairs so that justice could be served in his bedroom! I managed to negotiate a hostage exchange (for the new ‘Gorebrah’ graphic novel) … Continue reading ‘Claire: Justice Ninja,’ by Joe Brady and Kate Ashwin.
‘Under the Great Plum Tree,’ by Sufiya Ahmed, illustrated by Reza Dalvand.
You know when you receive a package in the post from Tiny Owl that it’s going to contain a beautifully produced title of diverse heritage. ‘Under the Great Plum Tree’ comes from Panchatantra, which is an ancient collection of Indian animal fables. Various versions of the same story can be found around the world (making … Continue reading ‘Under the Great Plum Tree,’ by Sufiya Ahmed, illustrated by Reza Dalvand.
‘Together We Can,’ by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Ali Pye.
Today I’m sharing another great picture book about the power of friendship. This one’s just a little different as its focus is on the power collaboration - perfect for team-building at the start of another school year. I can see it prompting a lot of interesting conversations and projects on being a good friend and … Continue reading ‘Together We Can,’ by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Ali Pye.
The CLiPPA Shortlist (premier poetry picks)
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)
‘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.
‘Can You See Me?’ by Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott, type design by Aaron Cushley.
It was with great interest that I read this title because it has been written in collaboration with Libby Scott, the 11-year-old girl whose piece of writing, ‘The Life of a Perfectionist,’ about being autistic went viral in 2018. ‘Can You See Me?’ is a blend of narrative story and diary entries written by Libby … Continue reading ‘Can You See Me?’ by Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott, type design by Aaron Cushley.
‘Anty Hero,’ by Barry Hutchison, illustrations by Tom Percival.
Heroes come in all shapes and disguises! Zac used to be the least popular boy in school. Until the super-weird Ant arrived. His clothes are filthy, he had a cockroach in his hair and he insists on wearing enormous green sunglasses because ‘his eyes are sensitive to the light.’ So what’s really behind those lenses...? … Continue reading ‘Anty Hero,’ by Barry Hutchison, illustrations by Tom Percival.
‘Lightning Chase Me Home,’ by Amber Lee Dodd.
Today I am thrilled to be shining a spotlight on the brilliant new title from Amber Lee Dodd, ‘Lightning Chase Me Home.’ This will be followed up by an exclusive interview for the #LibraryGirlAndBookBoy podcast. Named after two fearless explorers, Amelia Hester McLeod has adventure in her blood, but she doesn’t always feel very brave. … Continue reading ‘Lightning Chase Me Home,’ by Amber Lee Dodd.
‘The Closest Thing to Flying,’ by Gill Lewis, cover by Paola Escobar.
Two girls, a century apart. Together they’ll find freedom. This story is told in two parts, over two different time periods: the present day and 1891. The present day: we meet Semira, an Eritrean refugee who undertook a long a dangerous journey across desert and sea with her mother, accompanied by a man who has … Continue reading ‘The Closest Thing to Flying,’ by Gill Lewis, cover by Paola Escobar.
‘When Good Geeks Go Bad,’ by Catherine Wilkins, cover by Joel Holland.
Being good all the time’s not working. Maybe it’s time to try being bad.... Today is my stop on the blog tour for the just-released ‘When Good Geeks Go Bad’ by comedian Catherine Wilkins, where good girl Ella decides it might just be time to try being bad. Ella is fed up of toeing the … Continue reading ‘When Good Geeks Go Bad,’ by Catherine Wilkins, cover by Joel Holland.