When author asides don’t work

One of the great things about being an adult reading children’s books to children is seeing their reaction to the stories they hear. It’s something of a paradox that most people who write or draw for children are grown-up – this discrepancy between ages doesn’t tend to happen, to my knowledge, in other areas of…

When beards become homes

I can’t quite convey how excited I was when I received Duncan Beedie’s new picture book The Lumberjack’s Beard. A fan of his previous book – The Bear Who Stared – I knew that I would be in for a treat with this title … and boy, was I right. Big Jim Hickory is a…

Rethinking morals

As many of you already know, I work as a primary school librarian in Oxford. Ours is  a Church of England Aided Primary School, and much of our daily life revolves around supporting and celebrating Christian values, and we focus on a particular one each month – this month’s, for example, is honesty. Last week,…

My Top Christmas Read

With only a day left before Christmas, I thought I’d better announce my top Christmas read for 2016. So, without further ado, I am delighted to announce that it is… Mistletoe and Murder, by Robin Stevens, Published by Puffin Books When a review copy of this book came through the door, I was so excited….

Amazing non-fiction for last-minute presents

Non-fiction books sometimes get forgotten amongst the massive publicity around novels and picture books but there are so many wonderful titles out there that will delight and inform in equal measure. I know lots of children who love working their way through ‘fact books’, so this post is dedicated to them. Perhaps if you know…

Seasonal picture-book round-up

So many books have come my way over the last few weeks that I’ve struggled a little to get posts written. The thing is, they’re all lovely and I really want to get them out there as possible suggestions for Christmas presents! So, what better way than to do a post with some of my…

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…