‘Walls,’ by Emma Fischel, cover by Sarah Darby.

One of the things I love most about children’s authors, is the seamless way they blend challenging and sensitive issues with humour to make the subject matter approachable for children. ‘Walls’ fits brilliantly into this category with its main character Ned struggling to come to terms with his parents’ divorce and break-up of peer friendships. … Continue reading ‘Walls,’ by Emma Fischel, cover by Sarah Darby.

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Sailing the Seven Seas

Protecting our oceans in a hot topic at the moment, with campaigners and some big business working to try to reduce the amount of pollution being dumped into the sea.  Plastic in particular is being highlighted as a significant danger and was, interestingly, the most-used word in Radio 2s ‘500 Word’ story-writing competition for children. … Continue reading Sailing the Seven Seas

‘The Huntress: Storm,’ by Sarah Driver, cover by Ray Tierney, map illustration by Joe McLaren.

It was with much anticipation that I cracked open the covers of ‘Storm,’ the third and final installment in the epic The Huntress trilogy featuring daring and courageous Mouse with her loyal crew. Following the breath-taking rescue of her father from the evil mystiks, Mouse is holed up in Hackles, the Sky fortress. When a … Continue reading ‘The Huntress: Storm,’ by Sarah Driver, cover by Ray Tierney, map illustration by Joe McLaren.

‘Dirty Bertie Mascot!’ By Alan MacDonald, illustrated by David Roberts.

Bertie’s back! Can you believe that this is Bertie’s 30th book? This one contains three mini stories, brilliant for newly independent readers aged 5+ The first of the three mini stories is football-themed to coincide with the World Cup.  Bertie is chosen to be match mascot for his local team, the Pudsley Rovers, and can’t … Continue reading ‘Dirty Bertie Mascot!’ By Alan MacDonald, illustrated by David Roberts.

‘Double Felix,’ by Sally Harris, illustrated by Maria Serrano.

It’s encouraging to see a more diverse range of main characters appearing in children’s books at the moment.  It’s in this way that we can help develop empathy and understanding of those different to ourselves. That’s why I was very happy to be invited to take part in the blog tour for Double Felix. Felix’s … Continue reading ‘Double Felix,’ by Sally Harris, illustrated by Maria Serrano.

‘Barry Loser is the Best at Football NOT!,’ by Jim Smith.

Barry Loser is back in another mega-keel adventure (his tenth, in fact) and this time  everyone’s gone football crazy! After being thrown out of the Mogden Maniacs for being completely rubbish at football, Barry is thrilled to discover that his best friend, Bunky, is actually a super striker. However as the big cup final approaches … Continue reading ‘Barry Loser is the Best at Football NOT!,’ by Jim Smith.

‘Llama United,’ by Scott Allen, illustrated by Sarah Horne.

Ever wondered what would happen if eleven llamas unknowingly swallowed the ashes of one of the greatest footballers in the world? Wonder no more...! Llama United Book one sees the ghost of international footballing legend, Arthur Muckluck, narrating the tale of how several previously normal llamas came to accidentally eat his scattered ashes. He introduces … Continue reading ‘Llama United,’ by Scott Allen, illustrated by Sarah Horne.

‘Fantastic Football Poems,’ by John Foster and Korky Paul.

The perfect collection of football poems to enjoy regardless of the highs and lows of the World Cup. This cracking collection of carefully curated poems has been in training for this year’s World Cup and is back and better than ever!  From the best-selling poet, John Foster and illustrated by award-winning illustrator Korky Paul, this … Continue reading ‘Fantastic Football Poems,’ by John Foster and Korky Paul.

‘Dog Town,’ by Luīze Pastore, illustrated by Reinis Pētersons, translated by Žanete Vēvere Pasqualini.

I am very excited to see more fantastic stories from around the world being translated into English so that we can enjoy them in this country too. It’s very important to value work from other counties and cultures, as well as our own. That’s why I was so pleased when Firefly Press gave me Dog … Continue reading ‘Dog Town,’ by Luīze Pastore, illustrated by Reinis Pētersons, translated by Žanete Vēvere Pasqualini.

‘The Itchy-saurus,’ by Rosie Wellesley.

Written by award-winning author-illustration Rosie Wellesley, The Itchy-saurus was specifically written to normalise itchy skin (particularly eczema.) Tyrannosaurus Rex is out enjoying himself in the jungle when his skin becomes itchy and scratchy. Of course, only having short arms means that he can’t reach everywhere to have a scratch, and where he can scratch just … Continue reading ‘The Itchy-saurus,’ by Rosie Wellesley.

Celebrating Empathy Day with ‘Perfectly Norman,’ by Tom Percival.

Empathy Day was founded in 2017 by Empathy Lab who believe in using the power of stories to help us understand each other better and make us more empathetic. This year, Empathy Day 2018 is on 12 June so if you’d like to get involved, download a school pack or the free Read For Empathy Guide Of … Continue reading Celebrating Empathy Day with ‘Perfectly Norman,’ by Tom Percival.

‘Star Friends – Mirror Magic,’ by Linda Chapman, illustrated by Lucy Fleming.

If you’re looking for something new to read, how about one of this foxy new title? Star Friends - Magic Mirror by Linda Chapman, illustrated by Lucy Fleming (Stripes Publishing) Mirror Magic is the first in a new series of books about Maia, her friends and the Star Animals (creatures who must learn to use … Continue reading ‘Star Friends – Mirror Magic,’ by Linda Chapman, illustrated by Lucy Fleming.

The Laugh Out Loud 2018 Book Awards (Lollies) Short-list!

I was extremely excited to be invited by Scholastic to be on the judging panel for this year’s Lollies. Although the short-list is decided by the judges, the winners are decided purely by readers, librarians and teachers so make sure you visit http://www.scholastic.co.uk/lollies to vote! Michael Rosen, children’s novelist, poet and former Children’s Laureate, today announced … Continue reading The Laugh Out Loud 2018 Book Awards (Lollies) Short-list!

‘The Adventures Of Eric the Spider,’ by Elaine Madle, illustrated by Shaun Madle.

Welcome to my leg of the Eric the Spider book tour, where I’m celebrating all things eight-legged! Created by the team of Elaine and Shaun Madle, you get three stories for the price of one in this great book. The first is: The Adventures Of Eric. One day, Eric the Spider makes a dash from … Continue reading ‘The Adventures Of Eric the Spider,’ by Elaine Madle, illustrated by Shaun Madle.

‘The Breadwinner – A Graphic Novel,’ based on the novel by Deborah Ellis.

”All girls should read The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis.” Malala Yousafzai. This novel centres around eleven-year-old Parvana and her family, who live in one room of a crumbling, bombed out apartment block in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Her father was a history teacher before he was injured and would tell Parvana stories of their country’s past whilst … Continue reading ‘The Breadwinner – A Graphic Novel,’ based on the novel by Deborah Ellis.