Tag Archives: Childhood

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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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

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

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

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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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 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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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

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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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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

Posted in Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Evans, Lissa, Pre-teen, Teenage | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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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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

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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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

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

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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 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

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

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

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

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

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

If you like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, you’ll love these…3 more children’s books that will have you laughing out loud and great for reluctant readers too

                Books that are stuffed full of jokes or have highly-original storylines or are a bit subversive or naughty are the very best for getting children back into reading.    Graphic or comic-style illustrations … Continue reading

Posted in Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Kinney, Jeff, Lawrence, Michael, Nelson, Peter, Pre-teen | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Using Children’s Fiction to Inspire Interest and Take Up of Science and Engineering Subjects – ‘Is’ by Derek Webb

          Derek Webb is the author of Is.   And Derek Webb has been very clever.   Firstly, he has written a children’s fictional book which will enthuse children about all things science and engineering.   And secondly, by … Continue reading

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The ABC Animals – Reassuring Stories for Children Starting School

                            Starting school can be a daunting time even for the most confident of children.   And for us parents it isn’t a whole lot easier.  Even if … Continue reading

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6 Delightful Children’s Picture Books from Small, Independent Publishers – Celebrating their Creativity

Here are six delightful children’s picture books that have been published by the authors and illustrators themselves as self-publishers or by setting up their own, independent publishing companies.    And I am so glad they did! The authors/illustrators of these books … Continue reading

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

5 Thought-provoking Books for Teenage Readers

The books listed below are both ’real’ and thought-provoking.   I’ve read and LOVED all of them and think they are perfect for both avid and reluctant teenage readers. Once by Morris Gleitzman   Morris Gleitzman says he was inspired to write Once, Then … Continue reading

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6 Inspiring Children’s Books of Poetry and Rhyme

Riding on My Rocking Horse by Hannah Keen, age 8 Riding on my rocking horse Through the desert sands            My hair flying out behind me      Its mane hooked through my hands.   Riding on my rocking horse Through the woodland … Continue reading

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