2+, 3+, 5+, 7+, Poetry, Review, Summer Reads

Dinosaur Poems: A selection of verses and rhymes with real bite! By John Foster and Korky Paul

If you thought dinosaurs were extinct, then think again! They live on in the stomping, chomping, growling, howling poem collection. So if you’re looking for poetry with a prehistoric twist, look no further than this sensational selection.

Poet John Foster was an English Teacher for twenty years but has been compiling poetry anthologies since 1979 and has written twelve of his own. He has a website crammed with poetry and inspiration and well worth a visit. Dinosaur Poems is an anthology of poems entirely about dinosaurs. It’s a fantastically funny and informative collection of rhyming poems that are perfect for reading aloud. I particularly loved ‘Ten Dancing Dinosaurs’ and ‘The Bookoceros or Ancient Thesaurus’.

The illustrations to accompany this fine collection of dino poems are provided by the rather wonderful Korky Paul (you may have enjoyed his work on the Winnie & Wilbur series). I adore his illustrations. They are filled with humour and interesting details that bring the words alive and adds another dimension to reading the poetry (I particularly love the bunny slippers for ‘Dinosaur Stomp’). There is always plenty to point at with Korky’s illustrations!

This is a brilliant little book of poetry. It is paperback and size wise is about the size of an A5 notebook. There are 21 poems to share and once you’ve finished reading them why not have a go at writing your own. ūüôā

Dinosaur Poems is published by Oxford University Press Children’s Books. It was originally published in Hardback back in 1993 but is now available in paperback with Korky’s fabulous illustrations.

The paperback ISBN no is: 9780192767486 and should be available from all good book shops. For more information why not check out the publisher website.

Thank you so much to the lovely team at OUP for sending me a review copy. I absolutely loved it.

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11+, 9+, Children's Fiction, Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, Personal and Social Issues, Summer Reads

Summer Reads – The Words That Fly Between Us by Sarah Carroll

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting. ¬†I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

The Words That Fly Between Us by Sarah Carroll

Recommended for Middle grade and above (or age 9+)…

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Here’s the synopsis:

A beautiful, powerful story about finding the strength and words to face your fears, from the author of The Girl in Between 

From the outside, it looks like Lucy has the perfect life. She has everything. Everything that money can buy.

But money can’t buy Lucy the words she needs to stand up to her bully of a father, the words to escape her suffocating family life, the words to become the person she wants to be.

Then Lucy finds an escape route. Every attic on her street is connected, and as she starts to explore the secret lives of her neighbours, Lucy realizes that she is not the only one to suffer in silence.

But can she find the strength to climb down and face her fears?

 

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The¬†Words¬†That Fly Between Us¬†was published by Simon & Schuster in May and you can find where to buy it here¬†(also your local indie will be able to get hold of it too if they don’t already have a copy.) It is also available on Kindle.

Paperback ISBN: 9781471160646

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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5+, 7+, Chapter Books, Children's Fiction, Tales Before Bedtime Juniors

Tales Before Bedtime Recommends – Isadora Moon Has a Sleepover by Harriet Muncaster

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Isadora Moon is special

because she is different.

Her mum is a fairy and her dad is a vampire and she is a bit of both.

When Isadora is invited to stay at her friend Zoe’s house she’s excited – she hasn’t been to a sleepover before! There will be midnight feasts, and staying up all night, it’s going to be so much fun!

And while she’s there, Isadora and Zoe are going to work on their cake for a baking competition at school. But will they be able to resist adding a sprinkling of magic to their creation. . . ?

With irresistible pink and black artwork throughout by author/illustrator Harriet Muncaster and a totally unique heroine with an out-of-this-world family, this is a beautiful, charming, and funny series of first chapter books. Perfect for fans of Claude, Dixie O’Day, and Squishy McFluff, Isadora Moon is the ideal choice for readers who want their magic and sparkle with a bit of bite!

This is another delightful Isadora Moon story that is perfect for sharing with your young book lovers or for emerging independent readers to try on their own. ¬†I’ve adored these books right from the very first¬†Isadora Moon Goes To School,¬†not only are they beautifully presented but Isadora is such a sweet little vampire/fairy that you can’t help but fall in love with her.

About the author

Harriet Muncaster

A1v4OWu4yHL._US230_Harriet Muncaster is the author and illustrator of the Isadora Moon series of young reader books, published by Oxford University Press. So far Isadora Moon has been translated into nearly twenty different languages, including Spanish, Italian, Romanian and Japanese, and is available as an audio book.

Harriet has also published picture books with Penguin US, Harper Collins US, and Parragon Publishing. She won the Blue Hen Book Award for her first picture book I am a Witch’s Cat, and was highly commended for the MacMilllan Prize while studying for her second Illustration degree.

Harriet lives with her husband and daughter near some beautiful countryside in Bedfordshire, England.

 

 

Books that adults should read, Children's Fiction, Christmas 2018, Historical Fiction

Secrets of a Sun King by Emma Carroll

Emma is one of the best authors in historical fiction for children. Her first novel, Frost Hollow Hall, was published in 2013 and she has been inspiring children (and adults) to read ever since. I absolutely adore her books and it makes me incredibly happy that she is such a prolific writer as I am never particularly patient when waiting for the next. Her most recent novel, Secrets of a Sun King, is detailed below but do check out her backlist as they are ALL marvellous.

London, 1922. 

A discovery from ancient Egypt . . .
A cursed package . . .
The untold story of a young pharaoh . . .

When Lilian Kaye finds a parcel on her grandad’s doorstep, she is shocked to see who sent it: a famous Egyptologist, found dead that very morning, according to every newspaper in England!

The mysterious package holds the key to a story . . . about a king whose tomb archaeologists are desperately hunting for.

Lil and her friends must embark on an incredible journey ‚Äď to return the package to its resting place, to protect those they love, and to break the deadly pharaoh’s curse . . .

Children's Fiction, Christmas 2018

Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone

This year has been a wonderful year for books and there are so many I could recommend. This next title is definitely one of my books of the year. Abi is a master storyteller. Her writing is beautiful and filled with adventure, courage and magic. Sky Song was published back In January but this wintery tale will make the perfect Christmas read.

Once an adventure digs its claws in, there is not an awful lot you can do about it. Especially when magic is involved . . .’
 
In the snowy kingdom of¬†Erkenwald, whales glide between icebergs, wolves hunt¬†on the tundra and polar bears roam the glaciers.¬†But the people of this land aren‚Äôt so easy to find –¬†because Erkenwald is ruled by an evil¬†Ice Queen and the tribes must stay hidden or¬†risk becoming her prisoners at Winterfang Palace.

Join Eska, a girl who breaks free from a cursed music box, and Flint, a boy whose inventions could change the fate of Erkenwald forever, as they journey to the Never Cliffs and beyond in search of an ancient, almost forgotten, song with the power to force the Ice Queen back.
 
This is a story about an eagle huntress, an inventor and an organ made of icicles. But it is also a story about belonging, even at the very edges of our world . . .

Children's Fiction, Christmas 2018

Scared To Death by Anthony Horowitz

My next recommendation is a selection of grisly, spine-tingling stories from the marvellous Mr Horowitz.

Short stories are great for dipping into and this selection will be perfect for fans of Anthony Horowitz. The cover declares ‘READ THIS AT YOUR PERIL’ – need I say more. They’ll absolutely love it. ūüôā

SOMETIMES YOUR NIGHTMARES BECOME REAL…

This terrifying twisted and wickedly funny collection of spine-tingling short stories is only recommended for the most fearless of readers.

From man-eating massage chairs, to terrifying train rides with the living dead or sinister sat navy’s that direct you to doom, these ten gruesome tales by master storyteller Anthony Horowitz are guaranteed to make your blood curdle.

Blog Tour, Children's Fiction, Christmas 2018

The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller

Jackson knows all about flying reindeer, he knows about the elves and the secret North Pole workshop, he knows about the elves and¬†the secret North Pole workshop, he knows about the magic that allows Father Christmas to deliver presents around the world in just one night, but there’s one thing he doesn’t know…how did Father Christmas become Father Christmas?

That all changes when, one Christmas Eve, Jackson meets Father Christmas Eve, Jackson meets Father Christmas and hears his incredible story.

So begins an enchanting fairy-tale into a magical snowy landscape, where Torvil, a mean-spirited and miserly elf, is about to discover the true meaning of Christmas. ¬†This might not have been the story Jackson was expecting but, as Father Christmas tells him, no good story ever is…

A Christmas classic in the making from actors and comedian Ben Miller that will prove once and for all that Father Christmas really does exist!

 

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Ben Miller is pretty well known. ¬†Comedian, actor and now author, he crosses generations with his work. ¬†In our house we know him from his time playing DCI Richard Poole in Death in Paradise and more recently as Bough, the hilarious side-kick to Rowen Atkinson’s Johnny English. ¬†In my school Library we know him for his books¬†The Aliens Are Coming!: The Exciting and Extraordinary Science Behind Our Search for Life in the Universe and¬†It’s Not Rocket Science,¬†both giving interesting, insightful and enjoyable access to their subject matter. ¬†And now he brings us this wonderful festive tale about a young boy named Jackson. ¬†Jackson who has had a tiny seed of doubt planted into his mind about Father Christmas. ¬†So he comes up with a plan to meet the man himself and ask him a very important question. ¬†

I love Christmas. ¬†I love the build up, the magic that seems to fill the air and ever since having my son (eleven years ago now), I’ve rediscovered the joy of being a . ¬†It’s easy as adults to lose that magic and we can quite often become cynical. ¬†So as the big day approaches¬†Christmas stories come pretty close to the top of the list of things that make me happy. ¬†Especially Christmas stories that I can share with my son. ¬†When writing The Night I Met Father Christmas, Ben¬†took inspiration from some great authors¬†to create a wonderful tale that already feels like a classic. I already read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol every year – I love the language, moral and sheer joy that this tale brings – and I can see The Night I Met Father Christmas¬†being enjoyed for many years to come. ¬†So I asked Ben what his favourite Christmas Story is.

‘That one! A Christmas Carol. I am a huge fan of Dickens generally and he has been a huge influence on everything I‚Äôve done. Having English teachers as parents meant I was introduced to him at a very early age and I love his unique and infectious wit and psychedelic warmth. Dickens is the perfect grounding for a career in sketch comedy!’

But how does one go from writing books about science to writing a Christmas story? ¬†This is Ben’s first work of fiction and I asked him if any¬†of the characters were based on himself or people he knows.

‘I based Jackson, the main character, on my own son. I did ask if he as OK with that! He said yes ‚ÄĒ I hope he feels the same when he‚Äôs older. Torvil, I think, is basically me.’

So there you have a little more insight into this wonderful story. ¬†I’ll be back soon to talk about Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini who has created the beautiful illustrations for Ben’s story and tomorrow I will be hosting the first day of the official blog tour in which I will be running a giveaway to win a copy of the book.

Thanks so much for reading.