Book Ambassadors

Book Ambassadors: Alien Jam and Legend of Kevin

Review by Toby (age 8):   I loved reading An Alien in the Jam Factory because it was so funny but a bit serious too. We know Chrissie so it was really exciting to read her book but that isn’t why I love it. I find reading hard and the words get jumbled on the page. It puts me off but I love hearing stories. My mum read Alien in…

Stick and Fetch and Bad Panda

It has been such a delight over the past 3 years to see many new illustrated chapter for emerging readers. There are so many more possibilities for engaging readers early than there once was. I have especially dual-colour illustrated stories, where two colours are used for the illustrations. It makes them feel more like picture books but also gives them their own identity. Here’s a review of two great illustrated…

Guest Review: Arctic Star by Tom Palmer

I love finding out what other people think of books I like. I am also slightly better at reading books than writing about them!  So I have asked some: teachers, teaching assistants, librarians, and parents to help me with some guest reviews. Sally, from Devon tells us why she loves Arctic Star, published by Barrington and Stoke. Barrington and Stoke publish Dyslexic friendly books, to help more children enjoy reading.…

Four picture books to help build acceptance and empathy (non-verbal autism, no-money and grief and dying)

Talking is Not My Thing! By Rose Robbins This is the second book by Rose Robbins, published by Scallywag press, about an autistic young girl and her brother. I love that this book is written from the perspective of a non-verbal autistic child, who explains in thought bubbles how she uses non-verbal communication in her daily life. This includes flash cards and drawing a picture for her brother. The story…

Eleven picture books to foster a love of reading and story-time in 3/4 to 7 year olds

If you have a computer screen you may find it easier to read this blog on computer or on your phone/tablet in horizontal view.    Last year I got a couple of requests for books from parents of reception age children (two different schools).  Both parents had book lists with lots of classics picture books on on them, one of the lists didn’t have a single book published in last…

Swan Song and Luna Rae (short reads new for February)

.    Here are my reviews of two fantastic not to be missed short reads which were published in February.   Swan Song by Gill Lewis (120 pages)   I loved this heartwarming story about the power of connecting with nature to help us understand our selves  and others, and about how we overcome depression and difficulties and create new beginnings.   Barrington and Stoke has a reputation of producing…

Black Water and Sequin and Stitch

  Black Water by Barbara Henderson  Two of my favourite childrens’ authors of historical fiction are Barbara Henderson and Ally Sherrick. So I was most intrigued when I picked up a copy of Black Water and find this quote on the back.   “A glittering, real-life adventure swirling with secrets, suspense and nail-biting action” Ally Sherrick   Black Water is a short historical story (p80) set on the Solway Firth…

Anisha Accidental Detective by Serena Patel and Emma McCann

A review of Anisha the Accidental Detective by Scarlett and Jessica, two pupils at Dry Drayton school.   Scarlett=black Jessica=blue   “Jessica did you enjoy the plot?”  “Yes, I did”  “Why?” “Because I liked the adventure.” “Who were the main characters?” “I think the main characters are Anisha and Milo. Do you agree?” “Yes I do.” Who was your favourite character? “Aunty Bindi she is very dramatic. Who was yours?”…

Grace-Ella Spells for Beginners by Sharon Marie Jones

Grace Ella Spells for Beginners by Sharon Marie Jones. Is one of those books I will always remember reading to my own children.  Here is a quote from my reading pebbles blog: We loved reading Grace Ella together, the characterisation was spot on. My son loved that it featured a cat, he is cat crazy. My daughter loved the magic and that Grace Ella found an inventive way to deal…