Author Archives: Yvonne Keen

Celebrating 15 years of innovating publishing with Barrington Stoke and Malorie Blackman: Jon for Short, a high/low reading book for teenagers

                      I want to shout from the rooftops to tell everyone what an amazing job Barrington Stoke is doing extending the joy of reading to ALL young readers and especially to those … Continue reading

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From 15 years without a book to “15 Days Without a Head”, Dave Cousins nails it with this uplifting tale of growing up for teenagers

                      Fifteen days refers to 15 hot days in the middle of summer when life begins to unravel for fifteen-year old Lawrence, his six year old brother Jay and their … Continue reading

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Award Winning Author’s Puppets Bring the Write Stuff to Schools in Association with Scottish Book Trust and BBC Scotland Learning

Award winning author-illustrator Polly Dunbar is set to be the star of a magical free event on Thursday 25th April, which will be broadcast live over the internet to tens of thousands of primary school pupils across the UK. Young … Continue reading

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Make time for reading for pleasure and not just to get ahead at school. Egmont’s ‘Reading Street’ reveals key benefits of children reading being missed

Our time (as children and adults) is constantly under pressure – from work, school, including homework and preparation for endless tests and exams (UK children are amongst the most tested children in the world), television, computer games and hand-held gadgets.   And … Continue reading

Posted in Adult, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Pre-teen, Teenage, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Five favourite family board games enjoyed during the holidays and not an on-switch in sight!

Board games, it appears, are making a comeback – see a recent piece in The Guardian.  I, myself, have always loved board games – there is no on/off switch, they can be competitive or collaborative and they can be hilarious: … Continue reading

Posted in Adult, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Knizia, Reiner, Pre-teen, Teenage, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow: in a near-future, Internet-dependent Britain, sixteen year-old Trent takes on the powerful media moguls and their brutal anti-piracy laws

Imagine a world without the Internet.  No Internet to listen to music, watch films, find out what friends are doing (or perhaps what they’re pretending to be doing), no online banking, no online dating, no quick answers to the kids’ homework (because we’ve all become … Continue reading

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Two new children’s writing competitions: one about your hopes and dreams, the other wildlife themed and inspired by children’s bedtime classics such as Wind in the Willows.

I have mentioned before how good children’s writing competitions are for developing children’s creative thinking and writings skills. And here are two more children’s writing competitions sure to set minds thinking, pens twitching and fingers racing over keys. RSPCA launches children’s short story … Continue reading

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New Autumn releases from Barefoot Books: enchanting, engaging new stories for independent readers and gorgeous picture books for those just embarking on their reading journey (Part One)

Autumn by Elli Woollard In the brisk and bracing breeze The trees perform their year’s strip-tease. Shimmy-shaking bits of bling, The golden leaves first flutter, fling Themselves upon the floor; Bronze ones, brown ones, then some more, Until (so skimpy! … Continue reading

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Fire City by Bali Rai. A Little Babblers Review by Sophie Thompson from High Wycombe

Fire City by Bali Rai : a review by Sophie Thompson Twenty-five years ago, humankind lost the war against the demons. Now the demons have taken over, yet there is still hope, there is Martha and the rest of the resistance, … Continue reading

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RHCBA blog tour: Ed Eaves, illustrator of “Welcome to Alien School”, shortlisted in the Younger Children category of the Red House Children’s Book Award 2013

I am delighted to welcome Ed Eaves, children’s book illustrator and one part of the writer/illustrator partnership that have created Welcome to Alien School, shortlisted for the Younger Children category of the Red House Book Award 2013. First of all, of course, congratulations … Continue reading

Posted in Age 0-2, Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Eaves, Ed | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

A Beautiful Lie by Irfan Master: What if you think the truth is too painful for someone to bear? Then it’s ok to lie, right?

Aren’t we always told to tell the truth?  It’s drummed into us right from the start by our parents, our teachers.  Look what happened to the boy who cried wolf, we are reminded.  But what if you think the truth … Continue reading

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Engaging, relevant and ‘grown-up’ ‘high/low’ reading books, giving older children a second shot at mastering reading

Good as many phonics reading schemes are (Jolly Phonics; Oxford Reading Tree; Read, Write, Inc), they are clearly not suitable for older learners.   Pictures and text about Floppy and Kipper will just not cut it with older readers.  Instead, what’s required are … Continue reading

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Four very different Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland books plus beautiful, never-before-seen Alice illustrations by talented artist Marie Petty

 ”There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!’ (when she thought it … Continue reading

Posted in Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Carroll, Lewis, Kusama, Yayoi, Pre-teen, Sabuda, Robert, Teenage, Young Adult | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Land of Stories (The Wishing Well) by Chris Colfer : reviewed by Hannah, aged 9, from High Wycombe

The Land of Stories – The Wishing Well by  Chris Colfer This book is about two twins – Alex and Conner Bailey - who disappear into their Grandmother’s old book of fairy tales she gave them for their twelth birthday.  After their … Continue reading

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Back to school? Try student life at the School of Fear or Monster High … if you dare! Two school genre books by Gitty Daneshvari

Back to school this week? Count your lucky stars you’re not going to be a student at the schools featured in these two tween books by Gitty Daneshvari, School of Fear and Ghoulfriends Forever – Monster High, reviewed by Hannah, … Continue reading

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Educational Leadership and the Community, ed by Gelsthorpe and West-Burnham: helping schools move from being ‘schools in the community’ to ‘schools of the community’

My secondary school years were spent at a school called Oathall Community College.  At the time, I didn’t really take much notice of its name or that it had the word ‘community’ in it.  It was just the school that I went … Continue reading

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The Pea and the Princess: an endearing twist on a well-known fairytale plus a lovely Princess and the Pea sewing project from Mollie Makes

 From pod to palace – the real story of the princess and the pea…” I love it when writers come up with an original twist on a well-known fairytale and you can’t get more original than Mini Grey’s take on … Continue reading

Posted in Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10 | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Terrible Thing That Happened To Barnaby Brocket: A Wonderful Tale Celebrating Difference by John Boyne

“That’s just not normal, that”. But what exactly is normal and who, if anyone, has the right to decide what is normal?  Your parents, your wider family, your friends, your teachers, society? Where do we learn what is ‘normal’ and from … Continue reading

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Reading books and ideas for when boys and girls (but especially boys) fall behind in their reading

It is well documented* that there is a “reading gender gap” between boys and girls and that it is growing.  Schools are attempting to address reading issues by using synthetic phonics to teach the mechanics of reading from Reception onwards.  And … Continue reading

Posted in Age 8-10, Bradman, Tony, Breslin, Theresa, Cann, Kate, Cottrell Boyce, Frank, Morgan, Michaela, Palmer, Tom, Pre-teen, Teenage | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Giver by Lois Lowry: from Utopia to Dystopia. A powerful story about what it is to be human.

Jonas lives in a community which seeks order, conformity.  The Elders of the Community call it Sameness.    Sameness, it is thought, will protect the community’s citizens from pain, hunger, fear, violence, mistakes, wrong choices.  It is extended to all parts of … Continue reading

Posted in Lowry, Lois, Pre-teen, Teenage, Young Adult | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Rubbish Town Hero by Nicola Davies: A Little Babbler Review by Rose, age 9, from High Wycombe

Chipo and his sister Gentle, live in a bomb crater outside Rubbish Town, where everything and everyone has been thrown away at least once. With no parents or family to protect them, Chipo is convinced that his ability to think quick … Continue reading

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Leopard Adventure by Anthony McGowan: a contemporary re-imagining of the classic animal adventure series to mark the 125th anniversary of Willard Price’s birthday

“…a mother Amur leopard, one of the rarest big cats in the world, was sniffing the air suspiciously. It should have been a good time.  The two cubs had fed on her rich milk, and they now wormed their way … Continue reading

Posted in Age 8-10, McGowan, Anthony, Pre-teen, Price, Willard, Teenage | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting to grips with Shakespeare: Great resources for gently introducing the writings of the Bard to children plus a fun Shakespeare game

There’s no doubt that the retelling of Shakespeare’s stories to a younger audience presents a challenge.   In Shakespeare’s original tales, the language is not entirely straightforward and I can remember when studying Twelfth Night for O level getting very bogged down … Continue reading

Posted in Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Matthews, Andrew, Mayhew, James, Pre-teen, Ross, Tony, Ryan, Patrick, Teenage, Williams, Marcia, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans: A Little Babbler review by Lucy, age 7, from High Wycombe

I really enjoyed this book because it is full of mystery.   Stuart and his friend April want to find Stuart’s Great Uncle, Tony Horton. Stuart’s Great Uncle was a really good magician who never believed in magic until he … Continue reading

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Brotherband: The Invaders by John Flanagan. A Little Babbler review by Tom, aged 11, from High Wycombe

A very good book especially for adventure, pirate and nautical book enthusiasts. Although I did read the 2nd book first, it will help a lot more if you read the first book as well.   This is also the first book I … Continue reading

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Children’s magazines and comics: two more examples of when children’s magazine publishers get it right

A short while ago (April 2012), I wrote a piece expressing my dismay over the poor quality of most children’s magazines available on the British high street and in supermarkets.  “Buy one magazine, get five tacky, two-minute-wonder toys for free” was the … Continue reading

Posted in Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Pre-teen, Teenage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

From India to London and back again: The Wheel of Surya by Jamila Gavin and Jasmine Skies by Sita Brahmachari (plus stunning images from The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms, edited by Susan Stronge)

Our journey starts in the Punjab, north-west India, around the time of the Second World War.  Tensions between the different religious communities in India have been rising, fuelled by Britain’s declaration of war on India’s behalf and nearly a century of … Continue reading

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The Vampire Fighters by Pete Johnson: a great book to stimulate reading and creative writing for boys (and girls, if I’m honest)

Life’s already complicated enough when you’re thirteen. Girls are becoming ‘interesting’, you’re a teenager walking along that bumpy path to adulthood and you’re parents still think they can tell you what to do all the time. All quite normal so … Continue reading

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The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens: an enchanted leather atlas holds the key to this gripping adventure. A Little Babbler review by Becky, aged 11, from High Wycombe

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens ‘That door wasn’t there a second ago.” Siblings Kate, Michael and Emma were taken from their parents one dreary night – that was 10 years ago.   After growing up in several orphanages, they are … Continue reading

Posted in Age 8-10, Pre-teen, Stephens, John, Teenage | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Books without words: the starting point for introducing your child to reading. Dressing by Helen Oxenbury, Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins

Believe it or not, books with no words (or just a few) are the basis for introducing your child to reading.   It’s never too soon to introduce books and share books with your baby and books with no words or … Continue reading

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Tales from India by Jamila Gavin: Stories of Creation and the Cosmos with sumptuous illustrations by Amanda Hall influenced by both contemporary and classical Indian art

When I think of India, I think of rich colours, ancient civilisations, classical Indian art forms, a vast landscape and a burgeoning population, an emerging India developing at a rapid pace – new skyscrapers of glass standing next to spralling … Continue reading

Posted in Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Gavin, Jamila, Pre-teen, Teenage | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Babbleabout and Random House Children’s Publishers UK launch “Little Babblers” plus tips on how to write a children’s book review

Babbleabout and Random House Children’s Publishers love to see children enjoy a good book.  So together we are offering children the opportunity to become book reviewers and to see their reviews published on Babbleabout.   In other words, to become “Little … Continue reading

Posted in Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Pre-teen, Teenage, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

This is London by Miroslav Sasek: a charming children’s travel guide to London first published in 1959 and brought up to date for 2012.

This is London by Miroslav Sasek was a follow-up to This is Paris which was inspired by a vacation to the French capital.  When first published in the 1950s Sasek’s  This is… series was incredibly popular and it is easy to see why.  … Continue reading

Posted in Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Henriques, Joel, Pre-teen, Sasek, Miroslav | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

And the set of beautiful Barefoot Books children’s picture books goes to …

… Rainie Bish.  Congratulations Rainie.  Please can you email me your full address at yvonnebabbleabout@gmail.com so that the books can be sent to you.  (Random.org was used to generate a random number which was 16 from a range of 1-20). … Continue reading

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Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers: “Could I talk to you?” “Why?” “You’re a writer?” “And?” “I need your help.”

“COULD I TALK TO YOU?” “Why?” “You’re a writer?” “And?” “I need your help.” “You see the sign on the door?” “Yes.” “What does it say?” “No visitors without an appointment.” “Have you an appointment?” “No.” “Then I suggest you … Continue reading

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It’s Spring (honest!) So celebrate with (and maybe WIN) Barefoot Books beautiful new Spring list picture books (Competition now closed)

Broken Spring by Elli Woollard Could someone repair this spring, do you think? Do you think that somebody could? This spring’s all broken, the sky’s dark grey The sun has lost its bounce today The clouds are spouting with terrible … Continue reading

Posted in Age 0-2, Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Children’s magazines: getting past the ‘buy one magazine, get five tacky, two-minute wonder toys for free’ to something educational and beautiful

Go with your children to any supermarket or a branch of a well-known newsagent/bookseller chain and you will find it very difficult to make it past the children’s magazines section.   The magazines are strategically placed at kiddy eye level and are … Continue reading

Posted in Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Pre-teen, Wilson, Jacqueline | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Children’s creative writing competitions: a great way to develop your child’s creative thinking and writing skills

Competitions are a great way to develop your child’s creative thinking and writing skills.   They usually have a theme and a word limit and these help to focus a child’s writing in terms of a style or genre, its creativity around an idea … Continue reading

Posted in Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Bowkett, Steve, Pre-teen, Teenage | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

7 children’s picture books/collections of fairy tales. Classic, modern and sumptuous treatments of these enduring tales

“The marvels and prodigies, the seven-league boots and enchanted mirrors, the talking animals, the heroes and heroines changed into frogs or bears or cats, the golden eggs and over-flowing supplies of porridge, the stars on the brow of the good sister and … Continue reading

Posted in Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Browne, Anthony, Chichester Clark, Emma, Doherty, Berlie, Gibb, Sarah, Jones, Ursula, Lewis, Naomi, Morpurgo, Michael, Pre-teen, Rackham, Arthur, Ray, Jane, Ross, Tony, Stewart, Joel, Teenage | 7 Comments

Wonder by R.J. Palacio: “My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”

First impressions?  When I got this book out of the envelope after it had dropped through my postbox, I immediately thought what a grotty looking cover!   I turned it over to read the blurb (as you do).  It said Point made.  And I … Continue reading

Posted in Age 8-10, Palacio, R J, Pre-teen, Teenage | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Fairyland Olympics : an enchanting children’s picture book about a forest of fairies that decide to hold a Fairy Olympics. *Win a signed copy by the illustrator*

It is so much fun to imagine what other creatures, real or imaginery, would do if they got hold of the Olympic idea – underwater sea creatures at the bottom of the ocean; insects and butterflies on a hot sunny … Continue reading

Posted in Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Clibbon, Meg, Loveheart, Lucy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Learning your times tables: a necessity so why not make it fun! 5 ways/tools to engage your children with times tables

  There’s no way of avoiding them.  The times tables are a necessity if one is to progress along the mathematics learning journey. So, like them or not, knowing your times tables is important.   They are the building blocks for further … Continue reading

Posted in Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Maizels, Jennie, Petty, Kate, Pre-teen | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Demon’s Watch by Conrad Mason : A fast-moving adventure of pirates, magic and improbable heroes, perfect for ages 9+

The Demon’s Watch – a debut novel by Conrad Mason, published 1st March 2012 by David Fickling Books Port Fayt.  Trading heart of the Middle Islands.  Situated between the Old World and the New World, it has long been a safe haven … Continue reading

Posted in Age 8-10, Mason, Conrad, Pre-teen, Teenage | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

5 children’s picture books celebrating storytelling from around the world. Lose yourself in beautiful artwork and touching stories.

I am always keen to feature traditional tales from around the world.  Stories often passed down by mouth, generation to generation, perhaps with variations to them depending on the storyteller and always unique to the cultures, the landscapes and the people … Continue reading

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The Witch at Turlingham Academy: an exciting new book series for girls age 8+ who love magic, witchy adventures and boarding school fun

Children’s books set in boarding schools have such an enduring appeal.  For adults, they are a nostalgic look back at their own school days, friendships made, friendships lost, the fun, the scrapes, the tears.  I didn’t get to go to … Continue reading

Posted in Age 8-10, Boswell, Ellie, Pre-teen, Teenage | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Not So Scary Cactus by Theatre Tots: Storytelling using Drama, Music and Dance

Storytelling can take many forms – a cosy cuddle at bedtime, a whole school story in assembly.  It can be one person telling a story, it can be hundreds.  It can even be off-the-cuff made-up stories in the middle of … Continue reading

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The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Rachel Isadora : Evoking the colours, shapes and patterns of Africa in a reworking of Brothers Grimm

Rachel Isadora began dancing at the age of six and went on to dance professionally in New York City.   Rachel also lived for ten years in Africa.   Both influences are clearly visible in the treatment she has given to the Brothers Grimm fairy … Continue reading

Posted in Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Isadora, Rachel | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Noah’s Rocket: a highly entertaining and modern reworking of the Noah and the flood story, a great read for children age 5-9

Recognise the rocket on the front cover of Noah’s Rocket by Tony Frais?  No? Well, here’s a big clue.  Next time you are walking through the City of London or watching the latest news about bankers’ bonuses, take a good look … Continue reading

Posted in Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Frais, Tony | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

6 books about science for younger children: investigate, explore, witness and prepare to be amazed

Science can be so exciting for children – discoveries to be made, amazing transformations to be witnessed and everyday things to be looked at in a completely new way.    Getting science out of the classroom and exploring the world and all its … Continue reading

Posted in Age 0-2, Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Pre-teen | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans: shortlisted for Costa Children’s Book Award 2012 and recommended for girls/boys age 8+

The Costa Book Awards 2012: The Children’s Book Award: Shortlist Flip by Martyn Bedford (Walker Books) The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Walker Books) Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans (Doubleday) Blood Red Road by Moira Young (Marion … Continue reading

Posted in Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Evans, Lissa, Pre-teen | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

6 beautiful children’s books from Barefoot Books – “Explore. Imagine. Create. Connect. Give Back*.”

If you take a look at the inside flap of a Barefoot book, you will find the Barefoot message proudly written under the name Barefoot and a drawing of two tiny feet.  It says, “At Barefoot Books, we celebrate art … Continue reading

Posted in Age 0-2, Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Pre-teen, Riel, Jorn | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

4 books to help children to learn to read and write

Before talking about particular books to help you support your child with reading and writing, I can honestly say that the best thing that I have found to help with my children’s language development is simply to enjoy lots and … Continue reading

Posted in Age 0-2, Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Pre-teen | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce: shortlisted for Costa Children’s Book Award and recommended for girls/boys age 9+

The Costa Book Awards 2012 : Children’s Book Award: Shortlist Flip by Martyn Bedford (Walker Books) The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Walker Books) Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans (Doubleday) Blood Red Road by Moira Young (Marion … Continue reading

Posted in Age 8-10, Cottrell Boyce, Frank, Pre-teen, Teenage | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Miki by Stephen Mackey: beautiful dreamy snowscenes and a magical mid-winter tale of courage, friendship and adventure

A forever-icy world and magical underwater creatures brought to life by Stephen Mackey, Norden Farm Centre for the Arts and Slot Machine theatre company Just before Christmas I took my two daughters (aged nine and six) to see Miki at Norden … Continue reading

Posted in Age 0-2, Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Mackey, Stephen | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Flip by Martyn Bedford: Shortlisted for Costa Children’s Book Awards and recommended book for girls and boys age 14+

The Costa Book Awards : Children’s Book Award 2012 Shortlist Flip by Martyn Bedford (Walker Books) The Unforgettable Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Walker Books) Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans (Doubleday) Blood Red Road by Moira Young (Marion … Continue reading

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American Children’s Classics 1: Little House on the Prairie: Books for Girls Age 9+

Say Little House on the Prairie and most people (well, those around my age anyway) will remember the NBC television series of the same name starring Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert. Actually, Little House on the Prairie is the second of a … Continue reading

Posted in Age 8-10, Ingalls Wilder, Laura, Pre-teen, Teenage | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

A brilliant guidebook on spying for young Bonds everywhere (age 7 upwards): Ralph is Not a Spy by Corinne V Davis and El Ashfield

Ralph is Not a Spy is no ordinary book. For within its sumptious pages a spy story gets you hooked! Ralph is a Chess Champion of extraordinary talent. And the members of the International Chess Academy? Well, you could hardly … Continue reading

Posted in Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Ashfield, El, Davis, Corinne V., Pre-teen | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Children’s drawing competition – illustrate a short story and win an 83 piece art chest or Crayola set and £500 of books for your school!

Fancy winning yourself an amazing 83 piece art chest or Crayola set and £500 worth of books for your school or nursery?  Yes?  Then sharpen your brains (and your pencils), imagine yourself as a children’s book illustrator and enter the Tesco … Continue reading

Posted in Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Pre-teen, Vere, Ed | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

5 children’s Christmas craft books – activities and projects to brighten up your home this Christmas

I think homemade Christmas decorations add something really special and unique to a home.    Making your own decorations can also be fun and very inexpensive.   For example, the homemade bauble featured above is made from an old Christmas card and two split pins – … Continue reading

Posted in Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Bull, Jane, Craig, Helen, Holabird, Katharine, Pre-teen, Teenage, Uncategorized, Woram, Catherine | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

5 children’s books about monsters for our very own little monsters to enjoy

Have you got monsters-in-training?  I have!   The thing about ‘hoomum’*monsters is that they might look angelic but don’t be fooled!  Beneath that wide-eyed, sweet-smiling exterior is a tantrum of monstrous proportions ready to EXPLODE!   Know what I mean? (*hoomum, by the … Continue reading

Posted in Age 0-2, Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Bass,Guy, Donaldson, Julia, Schleffer, Axel, Stewart, Joel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Another delightful children’s picture book from Ping and Pong – this time join Ping and Pong in a Christmas adventure all of their own

                    Ping and Pong are the delightful, miniature creations of Amy Trevaskus (author) and Alison Heath (illustrator) and have featured in an earlier piece right here on Babbleabout.  And now they … Continue reading

Posted in Age 0-2, Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Heath, Alison, Trevaskus, Amy | Leave a comment

9 Children’s Christmas Picture Books That Capture the Magic of this Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Get into the true spirit of Christmas with these beautiful children’s Christmas picture books.   Reading these books together always gets us excited during the days before Christmas.   We don’t do mounds of presents in our house but we can’t help … Continue reading

Posted in Age 0-2, Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Bond, Michael, Chichester Clark, Emma, Foreman, Michael, Kerr, Judith, Morpurgo, Michael, Murphy, Mary | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

9 children’s pop-up books – amazing feats of paper engineering to delight any child (and adult!)

  We are HUGE fans of pop-up books in the Babbleabout household.  Pop-ups, if executed well, bring a truly magical setting to a story, they add drama, explain what’s happening and highlight key events.  All of this makes a classic story … Continue reading

Posted in Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Barrie, J.M., Child, Lauren, Denchfield, Nick, Lewis, C.S, Maizels, Jennie, Petty, Kate, Pre-teen, Reinhart, Matthew, Sabuda, Robert, Teenage | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

And the 10 fabulous books in the Great Babbleabout/Tesco Kids’ Book Club *Giveaway* go to……

…..*Lauren Morris*.   Congratulations Lauren.  Please can you email me your full address so that the books can be sent out to you as soon as possible.  (Random.org was used to generate a number which was 62 from a range of … Continue reading

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Granny by Anthony Horowitz : A Taster for a Forthcoming Post about Grannies in Children’s Books

What is it about grannies that inspires so many authors to write books about them or feature them in their stories?   David Walliams is currently topping the children’s books bestsellers list with Gangsta Granny (see later post) and who can … Continue reading

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7 children’s picture books that gently touch upon generosity, letting go, honesty, good deeds, difference and love

Continuing the theme of books that help us nagivate through life’s ups and downs, this collection will definitely guide parents and children along the way. That’s Love by Sam Williams, illustrated by Mique Moriuchi   A beautiful reminder of what love … Continue reading

Posted in Age 0-2, Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Blackman, Malorie, Cave, Kathryn, Freedman, Claire, Graham, Bob, Stewart, Amber, Williams, Sam, Wolff, Ferida | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

*This competition is now closed* Children’s Books – The Great Babbleabout/Tesco Magazine Kids’ Book Club *BOOK GIVEAWAY*

*This competition is now closed.*  Thank you everyone for taking part. To celebrate  the launch of Tesco Magazine Kids’ Book Club story-telling videos, we’ve got one copy of each of the ten featured story books to giveaway – yes, that … Continue reading

Posted in Age 0-2, Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Bass,Guy, Bright, Rachel, Cleminson, Katie, Cottrell Boyce, Frank, Donaldson, Julia, Gray, Kes, Hopgood, Tim, Moore, Clement C, Reeve, Suzi | Tagged | 199 Comments

Children’s Books – Watch Before You Buy at Tesco Magazine Kids’ Book Club

      Tesco Magazine Kids’ Book Club are launching a new series of story-telling videos – a great way to watch before you buy.  All the new story-time videos have been read by leading actors such as Alison Steadman, Caroline Quentin … Continue reading

Posted in Age 2-4, Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Bass,Guy, Bright, Rachel, Cleminson, Katie, Cottrell Boyce, Frank, Donaldson, Julia, Gray, Kes, Hopgood, Tim, Moore, Clement C, Reeve, Suzi, Yates, Louise | Leave a comment

5 children’s picture books that gently touch upon friendship, acceptance, separation and the value of not having it all

Few of us escape experiencing difficulties or upsets along the way.   It can be during these times that we learn the most about life, ourselves and what is important although this isn’t always easy.  And for children, it must be … Continue reading

Posted in Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Boelts, Maribeth, Browne, Anthony, Chichester Clark, Emma, Gray, Kes, Wojtowicz, Jen | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

5 Children’s Books Set During the Second World War (Plus Links to Teaching Resources)

                                War is not an easy or straightforward subject to talk about with children.  War is never simple, never black and white.    The stories featured … Continue reading

Posted in Age 8-10, Bryne, John, Gleitzman, Morris, Pre-teen, Serrailler, Ian, Teenage, Westall, Robert | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments