I’m sure you’re all cosied up, tearing open presents, or arguing with the family you usually try to avoid the rest of the year. Whatever you choose to do today, I hope you’re all having a wonderful time and, most importantly, you receive lots and lots of books. Merry Christmas.
Cheltenham Literature Festival is over. The children’s events were lively, musical, noisy, and educational.
Goodness me! It’s been nearly two months since I posted anything! I blame the hot weather; the veggie patch beckons and I must respond. I was inspired to write a post after reading 46 of the Most Beautiful Literary Passages According to Reddit on Buzzfeed. Children’s books often get overlooked when discussing literary fiction, so I was pleasantly surprised to see a few great quotes on there, and for once they weren’t inspirational quotes paired with photos of sunsets and mountains.
I’ve always considered myself a pretty good authority when it comes to children’s literature, however I’ve recently noticed a few gaps in my knowledge, gaps that involve some fairly significant books. I thought I could just start picking out a few popular titles from the shelf, but that seems like a perfect recipe for chaos. I like a system; a well formed, well thought out list. Continue reading
A few weeks ago I came upon the post Ten texts to get kids talking on the Nerdy Book Club blog and I found myself in quite unfamiliar territory. This is an excellent blog topic but many of the books aren’t well known or even available in the UK, so I thought ‘what are our alternatives?’.
Looking at different themes such as inclusion, death, family, climate change, mental health, identity, gender, etc. these books provide great stories and tools to spark thoughtful discussion both in the classroom or at home.
Please feel free to contribute to this list in the comments below.
Discussion topics: Climate change, ecology, conservation
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Live to Eat.”
Take a trip around the globe with this beautiful atlas-cum-encyclopedia. Each page is packed with facts and statistics of different countries. Divided by continent, this book delves inside fifty-two different countries, detailing information such as capital cities, languages, most popular names, animal species, national delicacies, famous people etc. I could go on. Take the UK for example, did you know our most popular names are Olivia and Jack? Or that one of our most common sports is ping pong? Or that in Namibia, they eat the caterpillars of the Gonibrasia Belina Moth?
And did I mention that it’s absolutely blooming beautiful? Even if you’re not looking for homework inspiration, this is a must for any bibliophile’s collection.
It’s hard knowing where to start with a blog. How do I narrow down all the options? Do I start with war books? Swashbuckling adventure stories? Mysteries? Fantasies? I’ll do my best to cover it all but for now I’ll start with an enquiry I received recently.
A mother and son approached me a few days ago requesting dark books. The boy’s teacher had said that he needs to start reading “darker books”. The boy had been reading the Tom Gates series by L Pichon – and although I think these are great books and I will get onto them eventually, I’ve seen many children latch onto them and find it difficult to move on to more challenging reading. Variety is the spice of life after all.
Dark can mean many things; it could describe an eerie ghost story, or perhaps something more serious such as death. In this case, we’ll discuss stories with a creepy or macabre edge to them as I don’t want to launch this blog on the subject of death, but I will cover it at some point. So here it is, my guide to creepy kids books:
On the surface this book is terrifying. You may ask ‘Who on Earth would give this to a child?’ but the surprise ending makes it worth it. In this book, Lazlo is lured down to the basement by a mysterious voice, but what he finds down there is not what you’d expect. This definitely gets your heart racing but you’ll finish it with a smile. Continue reading
I’ve heard it a lot. A lost parent, aunt, uncle, family friend or Godparent, a glazed look in their eyes, staring blankly at the seemingly endless rows of brightly coloured book spines. Where do you start?
Book buying (or borrowing, as I don’t discount libraries) can be a daunting task but it’s one that can be made a little easier with a bit of guidance. That’s the purpose of this blog: to present you with a little friendly advice on what to select for that little (or not so little) person in your life.
Over the next few months I’ll be talking about the requests I often hear on a daily basis, so expect a lot of lists. I’ll also be reviewing and talking about my favourite books and hopefully get some bookseller friends to contribute.