Tag Archives: Good for Boys

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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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

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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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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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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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

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

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

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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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

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 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

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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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

Children’s Books on iPad and Desktops – A Way Forward But Not THE Way Forward

Up until now I have resisted any developments in children’s books which in any way might distract from the serenity and quiet of following a storyline in a traditional, printed book.   My two children are avid readers and I put that … Continue reading

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

Children’s books for new and developing readers – engaging books to move onto after Oxford Reading Tree

          A majority of primary schools in the UK now use the Oxford Reading Scheme to support the teaching of reading to their children.   The scheme has synthetic phonics at its heart which is the preferred method for teaching … Continue reading

Posted in Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Ahlberg, Allan | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Dyslexia Friendly Children’s Books – Building a Confidence in Reading for All Children

              All children should have access to books and be able to enjoy a good story or information book.   They can then experience the pleasure of a swashbuckling adventure, follow incredible true-life stories of … Continue reading

Posted in Age 4-6, Age 6-8, Age 8-10, Pre-teen, Teenage | Tagged , , , , | Leave a 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 Children’s Adventure/Activity/Puzzle Books to Banish Holiday Boredom

Actually, I believe there is nothing wrong with children experiencing some boredom.   It is often during periods of having ‘nothing to do’ that the most creative and best ideas are born.   All the same, I have included here a list … Continue reading

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Author Spotlight : 5 Brilliant Books by Morris Gleitzman. From Frozen Chicken Thawer to One of Australia’s Most Successful Authors

What I REALLY like about Morris Gleitzman are all the things he was BEFORE becoming a writer.   Here, for example, are some of the things he tells us he has done – frozen-chicken thawer, sugar-mill rolling stock unhooker, fashion-industry trainee, … Continue reading

Posted in Age 8-10, Gleitzman, Morris, Pre-teen, Teenage | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment