Today is my stop on the blog tour for Amy Sparkes’ brilliant new title ‘The House at the Edge of Magic.’ "Sometimes you are a whisper away from magic without even realizing it." Nine is an orphan pickpocket determined to escape her life in the Nest of a Thousand Treasures. When she steals a house-shaped … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The House At the Edge of Magic,’ by Amy Sparkes, cover by Ben Mantle.
Today I have an icy Antarctic adventure to share with you. The second title in this highly-engaging series for newly confident readers: Ever since eight-year-old Agnes became a fully-fledged member of SPEARS (Society for the Protection of Endangered and Awesomely Rare Species), she has kept her uniform safely folded under her bed ready for an … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 20 ‘Agents of the Wild: Operation Icebeak,’ by Jennifer Bell and Alice Lickens.
Emma Yarlett creates the most beautiful picture books so I was very excited to see that she’s created a rather wonderful Christmas story with fold-out letters and plenty of laughs. Every year, Santa gets thousands of letters full of Christmas wishes from children all over the world and he is usually able to find the … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 5 ‘Santa Post,’ by Emma Yarlett.
Today’s my stop on the magical ‘Glassheart’ blog tour and I have a special piece from Katharine about the folklore of Dartmoor inspired her story. Orphaned during an explosion in the war, Nona is taken in by Uncle Antoni - a stained glass craftsman. They travel everywhere together, replacing stained-glass windows in war-torn buildings. When … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Glassheart,’ by Katharine Orton, cover by Sandra Dieckmann.
Ross Montgomery is one of my favourite middle grade authors - whichever of his books you choose to read, you know you’re not going to be disappointed. But I must warn you that his latest title, ‘The Midnight Guardians,’ is a compulsive, read-past-your-bedtime, adventure. With bombing raids ravaging London, Col has been evacuated to live … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Midnight Guardians,’ by Ross Montgomery, cover by David Dean.
Well the shortlist for this year’s CLiPPA (CLOE Children’s Poetry Award) has been announced and we can all start making some new additions to our poetry diets. As well as sharing that shortlist with you now, I also have a piece from one of the nominees, A.F. Harrold about just how he whittled down the … Continue reading The CLiPPA 2020 – with a special piece from A.F. Harrold
Becoming a big sister is a big deal! It can sometimes be difficult for children to adapt to the idea of life with another sibling but stories like ‘Sona Sharma’ will help reassure them that they will be just as loved and important even after the new baby has arrived. Sona is very used to … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Sona Sharma Very Best Big Sister,’ by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Jen Khatun.
I am always pleased to see books featuring girls & STEM, and even more so when the main character is from a BAME background. Imagine then my delight when Agent Asha arrived through my letterbox. Top hacker and coder, Asha, is recruited via a cleverly coded message from the library to join a top secret … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Agent Asha: Mission Shark Bites,’ by Sophie Deen, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar.
Chris Haslam is Chief Travel Writer at The Sunday Times, writer of black comedy thrillers for adults and now the author of his first book for children: ‘Orla and the Serpent’s Curse.’ Orla and her family head to a secluded Cornish cottage for they hope will be a relaxing break away from the hustle and … Continue reading ‘Orla and the Serpent’s Curse,’by C. J. Haslam, cover by Paddy Donnelly.
Introducing the perfect book to snuggle up under a blanket with now that Winter is drawing nearer. Lose yourself Siberian wilderness full of wolves, ice and magic - Nevertell. Lina has only ever known life inside the dangerous prison camp she was born in. Life is hard; the rations are meagre and the guards often … Continue reading ‘Nevertell,’by Katharine Orton, cover by Sandra Dieckmann.
I have only recently discovered the joys of novels written in free-verse. Kwame Alexander and Sarah Crossan are award-winning examples of authors who do this already. The ability to tell a whole scene of a story in a few carefully chosen and placed words, and making an emotional connections with their readers is a real … Continue reading ‘In the Key Of Code,’ by Aimee Lucido, cover by Helen Crawford-White.
#BookBoy is a huge fan of exploring and planning his own mini expeditions so is always very interested in any books I receive which have an ‘adventuring’ theme. I’m going to share four with you which he has enjoyed delving into. ‘Adventures on Earth’ by Simon Tyler (Pavilion) This wonderful book is absolutely packed with … Continue reading Calling all Adventurers!
If you like seriously creepy tales of ghouls and ghosties mixed with an inept Nancy Drew-style lead, look no further than ‘The Ghouls Of Howlfair’! Make sure you read Nick’s spooktacular piece about how his main character Molly Thompson came about - the geeks and the weirdos will prevail! Howlfair is a town built on … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘The Ghouls Of Howlfair,’ by Nick Tomlinson, illustrated by Kim Geyer.
#BookBoy loves gaming. Luckily, he also loves reading. But titles which allow him combine these two interests are few and far between. I’ve been racking my brain for children’s books which feature computer games as a key component, and here’s what I’ve managed to come up with! ‘Glitch’ by Sarah Graley (Scholastic) has just dropped … Continue reading Game On! Level up with these books about gaming!
Environmental activism is high on the agenda at the moment, with young people in particular campaigning to take care of our planet before it’s too late. There’s a rich seam of books being published at the moment which contain useful tips to help you make a difference and plenty of fiction books around environmental themes … Continue reading Planet in Peril
Research has proven the many benefits of snuggling up with a little one and sharing a story, so what better way to celebrate father’s day than with a brand new story book featuring the man himself? Here are three picture books we’ve read recently and a little homage to my own father. ‘What’s Next?’ … Continue reading Father’s Day Reads
This is a post for any of you planning to mark Refugee Week 2019 by raising awareness and promoting discussion about acceptance, kindness and refugees in your schools or homes. The books I’m going to share with you should be explored all year round, but I thought a special week may be … Continue reading National Refugee Week 2019 (17th-23rd June)
Today my blog is the port of call for the Malamander blog tour. Get ready to set sail for the quaint seaside town of Eerie-on-Sea. At first glance, Eerie-on-Sea appears to be just like any other seaside town. But this is a town shrouded in legend and mystery - when night falls and the mist … Continue reading ‘Malamander,’ by Thomas Taylor, cover by George Ermos.
Following on from my non-fiction post, Blue Planet 1, which was packed full of some stunning new titles, it’s now the turn of some equally fabulous fiction books. ‘Alba the Hundred Year Old Fish,’ by Lara Hawthorne (Big Picture Press) A highly topical picture book about the damage plastic pollution does to the coral … Continue reading Blue Planet 2 – fabulous fiction
This year marks twenty years of the Waterstones Children’s Laureateship, a collection of inspirational individuals committed to promoting a love of reading, books and illustration. To celebrate, Walker Books have compiled this very special anthology which is sure to be treasured by anyone with a love of children’s books. Readers in the U.K. have benefitted … Continue reading ‘Flights Of Fancy – stories, pictures and inspiration from ten Children’s Laureates,’ from Walker Books.