Getting arty this Christmas

I’ve been a little busy lately, trying to keep up with life at school and home, especially in the run-up to Christmas. It’s amazing how quickly things ramp up. I don’t think that we have many free days between now and the 25th, which is kind of exciting and scary in equal measure. Therefore, I’m…

Meg, Mog, Max (and Bird)

I read two great books today with my Reception children in the Library: Jan Pienkowski’s and David Walser’s Meg in the Jungle and Ed Vere’s Max and Bird. These are both different in style and approach but achieve the same effect of capturing the interest of the children and engaging them in the stories. Meg…

A book that gets my pity for pigeons

My family thinks I am bonkers because I always get sad when I see scruffy pigeons pecking for food in city centres. I get close to tears because I think that life has offered them a raw deal. Society thinks they’re pests and maybe they are but seriously – would you want to spend your…

Two stunning works of art from Penguin and the V&A

A partnership between the children’s books and the arts was always going to be a fascinating one. So, when the Victoria & Albert Museum and Penguin Random House Children UK and Thames & Hudson announced that they were going to work together to create a number of children’s book titles, I couldn’t wait to see…

A horrifying hit for Hallowe’en!

Hallowe’en is nearly on our doorsteps and, as usual, I’m enjoying this spooky time of year. With longer evenings, fog and the abundance of brightly coloured squashes (OK, pumpkins but one year we used a bizarrely shaped monster courgette) what better way to raise a few chills and thrills than read one – or all…

Read and create

Over the past month or so, I’ve received several interesting books from Templar/Bonnier Publishing that combine reading and creating. The first two are Harry Potter Quidditch and Harry Potter House Elves: which are part of a series of four books looking at aspects of the Harry Potter films and books. Each book comes with a…

Clever cat?

As a cat lover, I know that cats can be very clever… … but also very silly. In I Am a Very Clever Cat, author and illustrator Kasia Matyjaszek shows these two sides in a joyful and humorous way, though admittedly Stockton the cat errs on the side of silly. Despite his claims that he…

A Pantheist Poem for National Poetry Day

Today, 6 October 2016, is National Poetry Day and Twitter is full of celebrations for everything from best-loved verses to unusual and little discovered gems.In the spirit of the day, I thought I would share a silly sonnet I wrote as part of an Open University course, which is a take-off of a well-known Shakespearean…

Hip-hop happy birthday, Roald Dahl!

Today has been a brilliant day for children’s literature. One of the top trends on Twitter was #RoaldDahlDay and schools, bookshops and libraries all over the country celebrated what would have been Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday. For the past couple of weeks, this friendly fellow has decorated our library wall at school: which Holly helped…

Kitty-Kitty Bang-Bang

I was so excited when I received my mail on Thursday morning. Inside a padded Jiffy bag was a book I’d been waiting a long time for. Not quite 150 years, but quite a few months. The book in question was The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter, discovered 150 years after her birth and…

Review: Midnight at the Zoo

There was Night at the Museum, and now there’s Midnight at the Zoo! The gist: Max and Mia are very excited about their upcoming visit to the zoo with their school. However, when the big day arrives, their nerves force them to hang at the back of the lines while the other children charge forward….

Finding the superhero in you

With the Olympics filling our screens at present, and with the marvellous achievements and commitment all athletes are displaying, what better time to review Sophy Henn’s new picture book Pom Pom is Super!? Published on 4 August, this is the latest instalment in the Pom Pom series, but my first introduction to the loveable Panda….