‘She is Fierce: Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women,’ by Ana Sampson.

I am delighted to host something a little different on my blog today: a brilliant new poetry anthology celebrating female poets across the ages. This new collection from anthologist Ana Sampson, features 150 stunning poems from fierce and fabulous women worldwide. There is such a wonderfully diverse range of poets featured: suffragettes, aristocrats, school girls. … Continue reading ‘She is Fierce: Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women,’ by Ana Sampson.

‘The Spiderwick Chronicles,’ by Tony Diterlizzi & Holly Black.

The Spiderwick Chronicles series is now fifteen years old and has just been re-released by Simon and Schuster.  I was lucky enough to be sent the first three titles in their gorgeous new hardback editions. Book One - The Field Guide When Mallory, Jared, and Simon Grace move into the dilapidated Spiderwick Mansion, they are … Continue reading ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles,’ by Tony Diterlizzi & Holly Black.

‘The Chocolate Factory Ghost,’ by David O’Connell, illustrated by Claire Powell.

You may think that life as the owner of a Chocolate Factory is all toffee-tasting and jellybean sampling, but you’d be wrong! Archie McBudge is delighted (and slightly shocked) to have inherited a chocolate factory (as well as a huge house and fortune) from his Great-Uncle Archibald. Surely that will be the end to all … Continue reading ‘The Chocolate Factory Ghost,’ by David O’Connell, illustrated by Claire Powell.

‘Drone Racer,’ by Andy Briggs, cover illustration by Matteo Cuccato.

I was thrilled to be asked to participate in the blog tour for ‘Drone Racer’ because I knew that it was just the kind of book that  Book Boy would love, and because I knew that Andy Briggs really is a master of science fiction writing. His ‘The Inventory’ series was some of the first … Continue reading ‘Drone Racer,’ by Andy Briggs, cover illustration by Matteo Cuccato.

‘The Stig: Playing a Dangerous Game,’ by Jon Claydon & Tim Lawler, illustrated by Kanako & Yuzuru.

Book Boy is a huge fan of Top Gear, Formula One racing (and any other type of motor racing for that fact!) so he was especially excited when this new Stig-based adventure dropped through the letterbox, ready for its blog tour. “Some say he is merely a phantom - a figment of our imaginations. And … Continue reading ‘The Stig: Playing a Dangerous Game,’ by Jon Claydon & Tim Lawler, illustrated by Kanako & Yuzuru.

St. Grizzle’s School For Girls by Karen McCombie, illustrated by Becka Moor.

It’s that time of year when minds turn to new shoes, crisp new notebooks and tricked-out pencil cases - Back to School time! And it’s no different at St. Grizzle’s, the boarding school with a difference..... St. Grizzle’s School for Girls, Goats and Random Boys is the very first title in the series and tells … Continue reading St. Grizzle’s School For Girls by Karen McCombie, illustrated by Becka Moor.

‘The Wizard Of Oz,’ by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Meg McLaren and Sam Hay.

Last night’s bedtime story took us off down the yellow brick road to visit the Wonderful Wizard of Oz in this great adaption for little ones. In this modern reimagining of a classic children’s tale, preschooler Little Dot is helping peg the washing out when a tornado blows in. Little Dot and her dog, Toto, make it … Continue reading ‘The Wizard Of Oz,’ by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Meg McLaren and Sam Hay.

‘I Bet I Can Make You Laugh,’ by Joshua Seigal and Friends, illustrations by Tim Wesson.

It’s a damp, grey bank holiday Monday so what is there to do apart from crack open the latest rib-tickling collection of poetry from Joshua Seigal? The boys were getting restless when rain cancelled play so I whipped open this book and started reading. Soon they were giggling along as we read about cavemen teachers, … Continue reading ‘I Bet I Can Make You Laugh,’ by Joshua Seigal and Friends, illustrations by Tim Wesson.

Holiday Re-Read #5: ‘Who Let The Gods Out,’ by Maz Evans, characters by Aleksei Bitskoff.

My next holiday read was actually a re-read ahead of a workshop I’m doing in September about how funny books can be in-roads to discussing more serious issues with children.  ‘Who Let The Gods Out’ certainly does just that. Elliot’s life has changed a lot over the past year - following the death of his … Continue reading Holiday Re-Read #5: ‘Who Let The Gods Out,’ by Maz Evans, characters by Aleksei Bitskoff.

Holiday Read #4: ‘The Hounds Of Penhallow Hall – The Secrets Tree,’ by Holly Webb, illustrations by Jason Cockcroft.

This title arrived just in time to sneak into my suitcase and I was delighted because I’m always looking for spooky titles which are suitable for slightly younger readers. This one would definitely be fine for anyone aged 7+   Polly is excited to be heading back to Penhallow Hall for half-term and Halloween.   … Continue reading Holiday Read #4: ‘The Hounds Of Penhallow Hall – The Secrets Tree,’ by Holly Webb, illustrations by Jason Cockcroft.

Holiday Read #3: ‘The Train To Impossible Places,’ by P.G. Bell, illustrations by Flavia Sorrentino

“Where Impossible Becomes Possible....” When Suzy is woken up by strange banging, clanking noises in the middle of the night, the last thing she expects to find in her living room is a troll wielding a wand building a magical shortcut for an inter-dimensional train! Baffled by a contraption which defies the laws of physics … Continue reading Holiday Read #3: ‘The Train To Impossible Places,’ by P.G. Bell, illustrations by Flavia Sorrentino

Holiday Read #2: ‘Tin,’ by Pádraig Kenny, illustrations by Katie Hickey.

This is the second of my much-anticipated holiday reads. I bought it a little while ago following a lot of good reviews, and now that I’m on holiday, I actually have time to read it! Orphaned Christopher works with Mr Absalom, an unregistered mechanic who specialises in making mechanical children (the creation of adults is … Continue reading Holiday Read #2: ‘Tin,’ by Pádraig Kenny, illustrations by Katie Hickey.

Holiday Read #1 ‘Nevermoor – The Trials Of Morrigan Crow,’ by Jessica Townsend, illustrations by Beatriz Castro.

I purchased this beauty a little while ago and have been lovingly looking at it on my book pile ever since.  I decided that my summer holiday would be the perfect time to crack open the cover (very carefully!) and enter the wonderous world of Nevermoor. Morrigan Crow is the only daughter of Chancellor Corvus Crow, … Continue reading Holiday Read #1 ‘Nevermoor – The Trials Of Morrigan Crow,’ by Jessica Townsend, illustrations by Beatriz Castro.

‘Secret of the Sirens,’ by Julia Golding, artwork by Kate Forrester.

Have you ever thought you’ve caught a glimpse of a strange creature from the corner of your eye? Or fancied that the light aircraft flying overhead is actually a dragon? You could just be right. If The Companions are to be believed, mythical creatures walk among us and it’s our responsibility to protect them. Connie … Continue reading ‘Secret of the Sirens,’ by Julia Golding, artwork by Kate Forrester.

Beginners’ Guides from the most bonkers mind of Elys Dolan.

I have long been a fan of the work of amazing illustrator/ author Elys Dolan.  Her picture books have had my whole family crying with laughter and caused my husband to declare ‘Weasels’ one of his favourite children’s books ever (along with George’s Marvellous Medicine.) Imagine my excitement then, when I received a new chapter … Continue reading Beginners’ Guides from the most bonkers mind of Elys Dolan.