One can never have enough socks…

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” 

Christmas is such a wonderful time. The air is crisp, the leaves are crunchy, the stars fill the sky, the shoppers bombard through one another to find that perfect gift or else the World will collapse. That sounds about right doesn’t it?

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A Beautiful Passage

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.

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The Big One Hundred Challenge

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

Five inspiring female led books for young minds

I’ve recently returned from visiting a friend and her family. She has three children: a girl of three, a boy and two and a boy of two months. Although she raises them equally and with very little television, the eldest is still getting influenced by the little television that she does watch. She discovered pink from Peppa Pig and princesses from Frozen. Her mother hates anything stereotypically “girly”, and although she accepts that that is what her daughter likes, I know she wishes her role models were a little more balanced.

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Let’s get talking…

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.

Picture Books

THE PROMISE by Nicola Davies and Laura Carlin

Discussion topics: Climate change, ecology, conservation

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Find a comfy chair, see the world

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Live to Eat.”

Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinska 

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.

See!

A Dark Tale…

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:

Picture Books

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THE DARK by Lemony Snicket

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

HELP!

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.