Well my first read of 2022 was an absolute belter! Get ready to step aboard the Anthos and set sail on a thrilling adventure… Nico Cloud desperately wants to be an explorer, but her parents think adventures aren’t for girls. Fate intervenes when Nico chases a kitten on board a ship . . . and … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Ship of Cloud and Stars,’ by Amy Raphael, cover by George Ermos.
Firstly, I’d like to congratulate Ross on his nomination for The Costa Book Awards for his fantastical World War 2 adventure ‘The Midnight Guardians’ - it’s quite unlike anything I’ve read before! So now that you know the calibre of the writer we’re dealing with here, I know you’ll be excited to hear about his … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Chime Seekers,’ by Ross Montgomery, cover by David Dean.
I never cease to be amazed by the vast collection of animals who make annual pilgrimages to find warmer climes or breeding grounds. As someone who needs a sat-nav to find her way almost anywhere, I am completely in awe the various strategies animals use to travel thousands of miles. This blog post features a … Continue reading Amazing Migrations
I’ll be honest, I am a huge Chris Riddell fangirl so I am always going to love anything he’s illustrated. However, if you pair his illustrations with the the masterful writing of award-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland and thrilling Arthurian legend. Well, then you have something really rather special! ‘The definitive retelling of the legends of … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Arthur the Always King,’ retold by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Chris Riddell.
Today I’m hosting a brand new title from Vivian French - The Runaways of Haddington Hall. And if you’d like to know the five books Vivian would take with her to a desert island, read on! ‘After a series of misfortunes, Minnie O’Sullivan is whisked away to Haddington Hall: a nightmarish home for wayward girls. … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Runaways of Haddington Hall,’ by Vivian French.
In the wake of multiple lockdowns and as a result of a mental health service struggling to keep up with demand, there has been a worrying rise in the number of children suffering from a mental health condition. This increase has resulted in the publication of lots of wonderful journals and activity books designed to … Continue reading Books to Boost
‘Reflecting Realities’ is the name of a powerful piece of research conducted by the CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) which focussed on extent and quality of ethnic representation and diversity within children’s literature. Their third report (published in November 2020) found that only 7% of children’s literature published over the past three years … Continue reading Reflecting Realities – Part 1 (diverse ethnicities)
It’s that time of year when some of our thoughts may turn to the spooky or the magical. This blog features some of the latest titles I’ve been sent which reflect these themes. Take a look but don’t get scared…! Board Books ‘Five Spooky Friends,’ by Danielle McLean, illustrated by Rosalind Maroney (Little Tiger Press) … Continue reading Happy Halloween
Today’s my stop on the StormTide blog tour - the third gripping instalment in the FloodWorld trilogy. I also have Tom’s top 5 deep sea story recommendations for you to enjoy! A world-ending storm is coming, and only Kara and Joe can hold back the tide. In the ocean depths lies a deadly secret: an … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘StormTide,’ by Tom Huddleston
Today I have two books celebrating the rich history of Afro hair. First we travel back 5,000 years to the hair fashions of Ancient Egypt, then flash forwards to contemporary styles for textured hair such as hair puffs and halo braids. ‘The Story of Afro Hair,’ by K. N. Chimbiri, illustrated by Joelle Avelino (Scholastic) … Continue reading Awesome Afro Hair
This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week and I am honoured to be hosting a letter written by author Jane Elson to her nine-year-old self. Jane has always spoke freely about her dyslexia and, when not writing, mentors young neurodiverse people and champions the gift of neurodiverse thinking. She was recently named as being one of … Continue reading A Letter to My Young Dyslexic Self by Jane Elson
There are periods in our history of which we may not be proud but which we need to remember. ‘I Saw a Beautiful Woodpecker’ is a poignant reminder of the impact of war on many cities and on the lives of millions. I am extremely honoured to have been asked to host a piece by … Continue reading ‘I Saw a Beautiful Woodpecker,’ by Michał Skibiński, illustrated Ala Bankroft.
Get prepared for an absolute belter of a read with a villain you will despise, a hero you will cheer for, and a grim dystopian London set somewhere in the future! You also need to scroll down and read author Michael Mann’s masterclass on how to write a truly terrifying villain… ‘Kidnapped and forced to … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Ghostcloud,’ by Michael Mann, cover by Chaaya Prabhat.
Today I have a middle grade book which is perfect for fans of funny books with an edge. This one just happens to feature a genius baby and a super-villain determined to rid the world of the problem of childhood. Make sure you read the special piece by Daniel about why this book was twenty … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Little Horror,’ by Daniel Peak.
This time last year, I had just finished this title’s predecessor, ‘The Monsters of Rookhaven’ - a delightfully brooding read full of gothic motifs, lurking menace, and the idea of embracing those different to yourself. As the nights draw in and Halloween swiftly approaches, I would suggest you might like to get yourself a copy … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Shadows of Rookhaven,’ by Pádraig Kenny, illustrated by Edward Bettison.
Are you looking to update and enliven your school reading scheme with some exciting, engaging books by award-winning authors? This can be especially challenging for Key Stage Two pupils. Bloomsbury have just released a stunning range of book banded stories for readers aged 7-11 which are full of illustrations and feature guided reading notes and … Continue reading Bloomsbury Readers
If you are looking for a dark, mysterious, brooding read for young teen readers, then this is what you need to get hold of. It is very rare that I am so enthralled by a book that I am compelled to read it in one sitting. But that is exactly what happened with ‘The Ash … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Ash House,’ by Angharad Walker.
Amy’s writing is always a little bit magical, a little bit thought-provoking, and a little bit special. Her newest novel, Lightning Falls, certainly fits into this category. With a haunted house, a hallowed ghost, and a glimmering portal into another world, there is plenty for readers to become immersed in. Amy has also written a … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Lightning Falls,’ by Amy Wilson, cover by Studio Helen.
You might know Rob Biddulph best as a creator of amazing picture books (Odd Dog Out being one of my favourites.) Or perhaps as the ‘draw-along’ world record breaker? Well now he’s turned his hand to writing a longer novel for slightly older readers which is still absolutely packed with gorgeous illustrations! Some legends are … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City,’ by Rob Biddulph.
I went into this book with high expectations (after loving one of Priestley’s other collaborations with Barrington Stoke, ‘Seven Ghosts.’) I was NOT disappointed! Atmospheric, modern, and so very creepy - as I was reading, my mind was already whirring with ways to use this title to inspire some of the children I teach to … Continue reading ‘Freeze,’ by Chris Priestley.