Halloween Howlers

If you’re looking for a suitably spooky Halloween read, take a peek at one of these.  If you dare.... Vlad The World’s Worst Vampire: Midnight Fright by Anna Wilson, illustrated by Kathryn Durst (Stripes Books) Vlad’s back in another adventure and this time his very annoying cousin Lupus is visiting. Poor old Vlad has never … Continue reading Halloween Howlers

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‘Goth Girl and the Sinister Symphony,’ by Chris Riddell.

Any of you who follow this blog (or my twitter account) will know that I am a huge fan of the amazing illustrations and books created by ex-Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell.  That is why I am so please to introduce to the final paperback in this hilarious pun-filled series: Goth Girl and the Sinister Symphony. … Continue reading ‘Goth Girl and the Sinister Symphony,’ by Chris Riddell.

‘The Lost Words,’ by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris.

A year ago, a stunningly beautiful non-fiction book was published which caused a huge sensation in the media and amongst educators, with crowd-funding campaigns being launched to get thousands of copies into schools. ‘The Lost Words’ is a magical tome full of the disappearing language of the wild. This enchanting book aims to revive words … Continue reading ‘The Lost Words,’ by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris.

‘Sign Here,’ by Gabrielle Djanogly, illustrated by Adele Mildred.

I was immediately intrigued by ‘Sign Here’ as I’ve noticed that children always seem to have a fascination with filling in official-looking forms - shopping lists from a well-known Scandinavian furniture store, order slips from catalogue companies...the list goes on!  So when ‘Sign Here’ arrived, packed full of more unusual forms to complete, I just … Continue reading ‘Sign Here,’ by Gabrielle Djanogly, illustrated by Adele Mildred.

‘I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree,’ curated by Fiona Waters, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon.

I am delighted to have been asked to host a special ‘National Poetry Day’ (on the 4th of October this year) post based on looking at ways of using the amazing variety of poems in this glorious anthology within the classroom. ‘I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree’ is one of Nosy Crow’s most … Continue reading ‘I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree,’ curated by Fiona Waters, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon.

‘Snowglobe’ by Amy Wilson, cover by Rachel Vale.

If you’re looking for a brooding magic-soaked read, look no further... Welcome to the ‘Snowglobe’ blog tour. Prepare to enter a thousand worlds. Clementine lives alone with her Pa in a red brick terrace house. She has always known that she’s different and has learnt to suppress the flashes of magic which sometimes rise up … Continue reading ‘Snowglobe’ by Amy Wilson, cover by Rachel Vale.

‘Riddle of the Runes,’ by Janina Ramirez, illustrated by David Wyatt.

I’ve just finished this epic Viking adventure from notes historian and author Janina Ramirez, and it was brilliant. Alva has the heart of a shield maiden and wants to follow in the footsteps of her father who has gone a-Viking over the sea.  She’s desperate to be allowed to help her uncle, Magnus, solve mysteries … Continue reading ‘Riddle of the Runes,’ by Janina Ramirez, illustrated by David Wyatt.

‘Peace and Me,’ by Ali Winter & Mickaël El Fathi.

This beautiful collection of illustrated biographies from Lantana Publishing is inspired by Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and endorsed by Amnesty International, and marks Lantana’s first foray into the world of non-fiction. What does peace mean to you? This illustrated collection of biographies focuses on some of the people who have had the most inspirational ideas … Continue reading ‘Peace and Me,’ by Ali Winter & Mickaël El Fathi.

‘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.

‘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