Being the start of the month we’ve had lots of wonderful new book releases this week. I can’t wait to tell you more in a bit about the ones that have caught my eye.
It’s also been a great week for book events such as an evening with Anne Fine hosted by the wonderful Nikki Gamble discussing Anne’s latest releases Shades of Scarlet and Aftershocks. It’s the first time I’ve been to an event with Anne Fine and I found her frankness incredibly refreshing. I’m sure this will be added to Nikki’s YouTube channel soon. I really enjoyed the review of Aftershocks by V’sViewfromtheBookshelves – you can read it here.
A brilliantly insightful event was held by Stepping into Stories on Life-Changing Libraries – How to Develop a Reading for Pleasure Culture. This was a superb event that truly highlighted the importance of libraries in all settings. It also gave some brilliant links to further reading. I thought the 1000 books pdf was a great collection shared and can be found here.
This week I’ve begun a free course by The Open University’s Reading for Pleasure team – Developing Reading for Pleasure: Engaging Young Readers. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into this.
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New Releases and Coming Soon
Here’s some of the books that have caught my eye recently…
Mummy’s Special Day by Frances Stickley and Carolina Rabei
I haven’t read this one yet but I couldn’t not give a shout out to one of my favourite authors – Frances Stickley. We’re loved every book Frances has written so far. This one would make a lovely Mother’s Day gift or just for any special day for Mum!
Frank and Bert by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
The Wind Child by Gabriela Houston
The Wind Child by Gabriela Houston was published this week and the lovely Tamsin from Kenilworth Books hosted a live event with Gabriela. It was a brilliant session with Gabriela talking about her wealth of knowledge of European mythology and specifically Slavic mythology. I pre-ordered my signed copy from Kenilworth Books and I can’t wait to read.
The Federation of Children’s Book Groups interviewed Gabriela also and you can read her answers here.
The Big Book of Festivals by Marita Bullock, Joan Maree Hargreaves and Liz Rowland
Like A Charm by Elle NcNicoll
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed A Kind of Spark Elle’s debut novel. It was a powerful book in which her depiction of a neurodivergent young character Addie was exceptional; the beauty of reading an Own Voices book. I’m very excited to read her first thrust into fantasy, Like A Charm after stumbling upon Primary Teacher Bookshelf’s review here.
Books for the Diary
7th February – Exploring Nature with Children – Earthworm Week
I don’t particularly love the title but the content of the book is perfect. They’re part story, part fact based. It’s a perfect book to be investigating worms and finding out all the wonderful things they do for us in our gardens. Superworm by Julia Donaldson would be another good choice to enjoy this week. BBC iPlayer have an adaptation of Superworm that you can find here.
7th-13th February Children’s Mental Health Week
Luckily, there is an ever increasing range of books available to help children in a range of ages through various situations and emotions.
Here’s a selection of ones that we’ve found helpful over the last 12 months. Do you have any favourites? Feel free to drop me a message if you’d like to know more about any of them or if you’d like recommendations to support something specific.
Thought Provoking Reading
An interesting read by Charlotte Hacking on the CLPE blog this week talked about – ‘Encouraging reading for pleasure is a social justice issue’ in her article – ‘What if… we wanted all our children to read for pleasure?’
It suggests that children need many opportunities to engage with books not just the aspect of reading. When we ask children about a book are we looking for right and wrong answers to test for comprehension only.
How powerful would it be and what value would it bring for children to discuss books in an open ended way like you might in a traditional ‘book club’? As Charlotte says, ‘making deeper connections with a text.’ I’d highly recommend giving this post a read.
Golden Oldies and Favourites
The Disgusting Sandwich
The Disgusting Sandwich by Gareth Edwards and Hannah Shaw has been one of our daughter’s favourites for a few years. It’s a perfect read-aloud and has brilliant descriptive language that children will find hilariously disgusting!
What I’m Reading
Hedgewitch by Skye McKenna
Hedgewitch by Skye McKenna I’ve just finished reading and it was incredible. Thoroughly enjoyed and although you could read as a stand alone it is the first in a five book series and I can’t wait for the next installment.
It’s a superb blend of friendship, magic and adventure. The world that Skye creates is totally absorbing and vividly real. For my full review check out the blog post here.
Power Hour by Adrienne Herbert
My Tandem Collective Readalong has been great and it’s really got me thinking about how I use my time and what I actually want to spend my time on. Power Hour by Adrienne Herbert is an interesting book. Yes, it tells you about how, why and what a Power Hour is about but what really struck me were the anecdotes and snippets of conversations she’d had with people.
Adrienne describes herself as a talker. In the book she reminisces on her school reports of being too chatty. However, when you read the book and hear the conversations she’s had you realise that she’s also an exceptional listener. A listener of interesting people who then takes on board the advice that makes sense to her and assimilates it into her life.
A lot of what Adrienne writes very much resonated with me and made me want to try and incorporate a Power Hour into my day. She says that the Power Hour must be the first hour of your morning. I really did try!
I have Addison’s Disease and have to take steroids to give me my get up and go – so first thing in the morning isn’t a great time for me. However, I think the important thing about inspirational books like this is knowing when to take out the bits that work and being ok to leave the advice that doesn’t work. So, I’ve absolutely added a Power Hour into my day, but it’s not first thing in the morning and that’s ok with me.
Egg Marks the Spot by Amy Timberlake and Jon Klassen
I misplaced the book I was reading Fledgling by Lucy Hope. I’d taken it while I was waiting for my Dad at a hospital appointment and it must have disappeared under the seat. As soon as I’m finished I’m moving onto Egg Marks the Spot by Amy Timberlake and Jon Klassen. I adored the first one in this series – Skunk and Badger. You can find my review here.
The Lost Spells by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris
Reading Hedgewitch drew me back to The Lost Spells. If you usually read my Bookworm Buzz – Book News you’ll know my new habit for 2022 is to read some poetry every day. The Lost Spells has been sat on my bedside table each day ready for when I wake up. You can find out a little more here.
I hope you’ve found something interesting this week and I’ll be back next week with more book news.