I have a confession to make. I have had all three of the Dreamsnatcher series on my bookcase for a little while. All signed. All with beautiful covers. And I was saving them for a rainy day, just to make sure I had something special stashed away when I was in need. Well, a year … Continue reading Holiday Read #4 ‘The Dreamsnatcher,’ by Abi Elphinstone, cover by Thomas Flintham.
Holiday Read #3 comes courtesy of my son, who has been giggling his way through this one on his sun lounger. In the second book of the series, we are reintroduced to The Grunts, a family who are neither clean nor clever but who manage to have fantastic adventures all the same. When I asked … Continue reading Holiday Read #3 ‘The Grunts All at Sea,’ by Philip Ardagh, illustrated by Axel Scheffler.
Strictly speaking, this isn't just a holiday read as it was actually started as my son's bedtime story back in England and we've just finished it tonight. But I think I can allow a little flexibility on the 'holiday read' point. It was the title of the book which first attracted me and the premise … Continue reading Holiday Read #2 ‘The Bookshop Girl,’ by Sylvia Bishop, illustrated by Ashley King.
Each year, I take a certain delight in spending all the loyalty points I have dutifully built up on my bookshop reward card in the preceding months with my many purchases. Hours can be whiled away as I contemplate how best to spend them. However, my first choice this year was an easy one. Featured … Continue reading Holiday Read #1: ‘A Place Called Perfect,’ by Helena Duggan, cover by Karl James Mountford.
In today's society, with not only peer pressure but the pressures of social media to contend with, children can sometimes struggle to have the courage to be themselves. 'Perfectly Norman' is a story about a boy who felt exactly the same way, until one day something extraordinary happened to him... Norman had always been perfectly … Continue reading ‘Perfectly Norman,’ by Tom Percival.
Any book which makes its reader twist, turn, jump and shout gets a huge thumbs up in our house. That's why we were so excited to receive these three titles recently... Crocodali by Lucy Volpin (Templar Publishing) Crocodali considers himself one of the world's greatest artists and YOU are privileged enough to be invited to … Continue reading Twist and shout!
I was first drawn to this book by its intriguing title and the glowing recommendation it had received from Philip Pullman (one of my literary heroes.) Upon commencing reading, it soon because clear that this was going to be a very special book indeed. Narrated by the amazing ape (and first engineer), the sea-faring Sally … Continue reading ‘The Murderer’s Ape,’ by Jakob Wegelius.
I am loving the current trend for drawing on the classic plot lines and characters of beloved fairy tales and injecting them with a hefty dose of attitude and wit, especially those where the formerly helpless princesses was expected to lay about waiting for a prince to come and rescue them. The two new paperback … Continue reading Two deliciously twisted tales…
Children's non-fiction books have become so much more interactive and engaging recently. This title from Ivy Kids Shine-a-Light series is no exception. As children are reading, they can explore the secrets of our world using a torch to reveal hidden images within the illustrations. They'll be able to see beneath the floor of a sandy … Continue reading ‘Secrets of Our Earth: a Shine-a-Light Book,’ by Carron Brown and Wesley Robins.
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.
I first came across this book when it was nominated for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2017. When I read the opening, I knew that it was going to be an absolutely fantastic story. It seems that the Blue Peter judges agreed, as Podkin duly won its category. An epic adventure in a land where … Continue reading ‘The Legend of Podkin One-Ear,’ by Kieran Larwood, cover by Fernando Juarez, illustrations by David Wyatt.
"Once there was a soft brown toy called Dogger. One of his ears pointed upwards and the other flopped over. His fur was worn in places because he was quite old. he belonged to Dave." I'm fairly sure there aren't many children of the eighties who haven't heard the timeless and endearing story of 'Dogger.' … Continue reading ‘Dogger,’ by Shirley Hughes.
I am very pleased to introduce you to two lovely board books which would be purr-fect for any cat-lovers out there. Lois looks for Bob at the Park This adventure finds Lois down at the park, hunting for her friend, Bob. But where on Earth can he be? She searches high and low, up in … Continue reading ‘Lois Looks For Bob…,’ by Gerry Turley.
I am a huge fan of Zommer's beautifully-illustrated books so was thrilled to be sent a copy of his latest picture book for Templar - 'Big Brown Bear's Cave.' Big Brown Bear is looking for a new cave to call his own and is delighted when he quickly finds a dark and dusty cave which … Continue reading ‘Big Brown Bear’s Cave,’ by Yuval Zommer.
After loving Sheehan's first novel, the Carnegie nominated 'Swan Boy,' I was delighted to be invited to review her latest book - 'Goodnight, Boy.' It follows the life of JC, who has been banished to live in the dog's kennel by his new adoptive father after doing something so terrible he can't bring himself to … Continue reading ‘Goodnight, Boy,’ by Nikki Sheehan.
In May this year, Brown Bear turned fifty! To celebrate, Puffin Books have released a special anniversary edition, complete with an audio CD narrated by none other than the mighty Eric Carle himself! A truly gorgeous book with snappy rhythmic text in a repeated format making it perfect for little ones to join along to. … Continue reading ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?,’ by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle.
Some stories truly do stand the test of time, delighting and inspiring generation after generation of young readers. So I am thrilled to be able to introduce you to two reillustrated classics packed full of bonus features from Alma Classics. 'Five Children and It,' by E. Nesbit, illustrated by Ella Okstad. I have fond memories … Continue reading Two Children’s Classics!
As you may know, voting for this year's Laugh Out Loud 2017 Book Awards is now open. To help you choose your winner, Scholastic have very generously given me a book bundle to give away which contains all the nominees for the 6-8 year old category! These would be the perfect addition to any bookcase … Continue reading Awesome Lollies short-list giveaway!
'Grab your hard hat, tie your boots. Pack your lunch. Let's get to work!' Dog and his friend, Bird, have a busy day ahead of them. Planning, digging, hammering and sawing - there's lots of work to be done. But can they finish their job before the sun goes down? Jarvis' exhuberant illustrations leap off … Continue reading ‘Ready, Set, Build!’ By Jarvis and Meg Fleming.
This hide-and-seek dinosaur story would make a perfect Father's Day gift for all the Papasauruses out there. Babysaurus loves playing hide-and-seek with Papasaurus but one day he hides a little too well and Babysaursus can't find him, no matter how hard he tries. Starting to get a bit worried, Babysaurus asks his prehistoric friends for … Continue reading ‘Papasaurus,’ by Stephan Lomp.