Do you have certain things you look forward to in your week? I try to make sure I book (no pun intended😉) in at least one book event each week and I’m always thrilled when that event is one hosted by Nikki Gamble. If you haven’t already come across Nikki she is a children’s book guru and her Book Blast events and podcast episodes are always the highlights in my week.
I thoroughly enjoyed Roger Stevens Razzamatazz book launch with Nikki that you can see here and most recently attended a Book Blast Special – Reluctant to Read with Steve Cole and Dianne Ellithor – I can’t see this one on You Tube yet but I’ll add a link when it does.
Nikki also hosts a monthly new release Book Blast which is a must see for any children’s book lovers. Here’s the January 2022 Book Blast.
The Guardian have just published their round-up of the best in new children’s publications here and every week the wonderful A Library Lady gives a comprehensive round up of news from the book world – a must follow. You can find her blog here.
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New Releases, Recent and Coming Soon
Here’s some of the books that have caught my eye recently…
Snow? by Jo Surnam
How gorgeous are the illustrations? The story is just as dreamy. This would make a lovely book to gift.
Hedgewitch by Skye McKenna
Hedgewitch by Skye McKenna is the first in a five book series based on a young girl who ventures off to find her lost mother with the help of her talking cat and magic broom. It releases on the 14th April 2022 and sounds like perfect series for children who love a little magic.
We’ve won this book as a Toppsta giveaway and and haven’t read it yet but it’s on our TBR pile. Age recommendation 9 years + (I’ll let you know what we think). Do you love maps in books? As a child I would always seek out books with maps and it’s not changed much as an adult. The land of Hedgewitch is one I can’t wait to explore.
Wolf Girl by Jo Loring-Fisher
Wolf Girl by Jo Loring-Fisher from QuartoKids is a book for all those shy children out there. Thanks to NetGalley for the eARC. As a shy soul myself this book is dear to my heart. My full review can be found here.
Books for the Diary
31st January – Exploring Nature with Children Candlemas
1st February – Lunar New Year
How do you celebrate the Lunar New Year or more importantly – how not to is often something families and schools worry about. Especially, if Lunar New Year is not part of your culture.
You might find this blog post helpful and you can download a dragon template. Here’s a BBC article to read about Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year celebrated in other Asian countries. I feel the most important thing about celebrations from anywhere in the world is to always be respectful.
Books that are about one specific topic are lovely but often families and schools don’t have the money to purchase books for each festival of the world, for example. These anthologies are a lovely way to find out a little bit about lots of different festivals.
Around the World by Kate DePalma and Martina Peluso
Let’s Celebrate! Special Days Around the World by Kate DePalma and Martina Peluso is beautifully illustrated with a few sentences surrounding a social gathering of festivals from across the world.
You can find all of the festivals covered here. At the back of the book there is a half page, information box on each of the celebrations covered.
Festivals Around the World written by Grace Jones
I adore the cover of Festivals Around the World written by Grace Jones! This is a Booklife Publishing book and if you haven’t come across them before I would highly recommend. I particularly like their non-fiction range. For schools these books are great as they are levelled books. Anyone following a more Montessori style of learning will love the real images that are vibrant and really draw you in as a reader.
Each festival from around the world is given two double page spreads bursting with information. The festivals included are Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, Eid ul-Fitr, Easter, Diwali and The Birthday of Guru Nanak.
National Story Telling Week
This week Hope Education asked me to take some photos for them ready to celebrate National Story Telling Week. They sent some gorgeous ocean finger puppets and some wild animal hand puppets. It’s been so much fun setting up little scenes.
Story telling is magical whether it’s with books, props or just while you whisper a story into your child’s ears as they fall asleep. For me when I hear the term story telling I instantly think of oral story telling first. I once organised a storyteller to come into my school. Cassandra Wye was the storyteller I chose, she’d been recommended at an early years event that I had attended.
Story Telling Awe and Wonder
The children were in awe as she enveloped them in her incredible performance stories. Yet, I got even more from the session. I came away empowered to ensure that oral story telling became an integral part of my pedagogy. If you’re looking for a storyteller for your school I would highly recommend Cassandra. The children in my class had a range of needs that she catered for and everyone felt part of her storytelling. She left me totally spellbound!
Thought Provoking Reading
Have you checked out the wonderful book selection chosen this year by the Empathy Lab? Empathy Day is 9th June in 2022 and they have great resources for families and schools. You’ll find this year’s books here.
Something a little light hearted – I did the Mr Men and Little Miss Quiz this week. I’m apparently Little Miss Busy! Which character are you? Find out here when you take the quiz.
What I’m Reading
Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake and illustrated by Jon Klassen
I have literally just finished reading this today. Oh gosh, oh gosh. It was so my cup of tea – totally adored it. You can find my full review here. If you’re looking for a quirky, gentle read then you need Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake and illustrated by Jon Klassen in your life.
Power Hour by Adrienne Herbert
How do you feel about the idea of getting up an hour earlier to do the things you don’t get time to do?
No Adrienne isn’t talking about your washing and the rest of your to do list! She’s getting us to put time into the things that will make a difference to our lives. Might it be studying something new, going for a run or reading that book. I’ll let you know how the rest of the book goes in the next update but for now, I am currently getting up an hour earlier and as awful as I thought it would be it’s actually been quite magical.
If you are going to give the book a go you can find the readalong prompts here. I do really enjoy a little prompt especially with this type of book. The questions in this prompt are designed to be done in the morning to set intentions for the day; a truly powerful way to start your day.
Belonging Street by Mandy Coe
I’m still enjoying reading poetry every day – one of my new habits I’ve been forming in 2022. I started off by saying I’d read one poem a day but as the month has gone on I’ve found myself reading more and more. Belonging Street by Mandy Coe has been in the pile this week – to hear Mandy read some of her poems check out the video below.
What have you been reading this week? I’ll be back next week with more book news.