Reading Matters – news from the world of children’s books

Hello everyone and welcome to another look back at what has been happening in the children’s books community this week. It has been a very busy few days with award ceremonies and shortlist announcements, many new books published and interesting articles to read. These are just some of the items that I noticed.

What I’m reading…


This week I have read a selection of books for younger children that would tempt even the most reluctant readers and reviewed them here:  New Books Out This Month – Facts and Fiction Made Accessible for Children

The publishers Tiny Owl kindly sent me a copy of Felix After The Rain by Dunja Jogan translated by Olivia Hellewell. This is a very special book about coping with difficult emotions and I would highly recommend it to children and adults alike.

There are many great children’s books being published this month and I would love to be able to read them all. This week I made time for Little Bird Lands by Karen McCombie and am now halfway through and enjoying it very much. My review will follow soon.

News and views from the world of children’s books…

Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) “Visibly invisible”: publish, support, and promote authors of colour – The latest blog in the #ReflectingRealities series looks at the link between quality of ethnic representation in children’s books & authorship, written by Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold.

Book Clinic: Stories to captivate reluctant boys –  in this regular feature from the Guardian Jasbinder Bilan (winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award 2019) chooses books that may tempt twelve year old boys.

Twenty Seven of the Best: A Personal Reading Journey by Daniel Hahn – this article was published in Books for Keeps last year but feels appropriate to share this week as each of the stories comes from a different one of the twenty-seven countries who will continue to constitute the European Union.

It’s a My Book Corner Take Over by Zoe Armstrong – a lovely interview with Emma Perry, founder of My Book Corner, and author of I Don’t Like Books. Never. Ever. The End. which was published this week.

Book Trust: New Children’s Books We Love – February is a busy month for children’s book lovers with many new titles published. The team at Book Trust have selected their favourites for ages 3 – teens.

Black History Month – 20 Recommended Authors – Jim Dean @JimYaYeah has selected some of his favourite titles from Middle Grade through YA to Adult in this list.

Reading Well Book List for Children – The Reading Agency has created this list in response to data about children’s mental health in the UK. The list covers areas such as anxiety, bereavement and bullying with books by Michael Rosen, Tom Percival, Zanib Mian and Joseph Coelho selected by leading mental health experts to support the mental health and wellbeing of children. 

Picture Books on Prescription – this interesting article from the Guardian on the power of picture books on prescription & the expert-endorsed new Reading Well for children booklist launched this week mentioned above.

The Open University Research Rich Pedagogies –  Developing Reading for Pleasure – this wonderful site contains links to research, examples of good practice and a free to download PowerPoint presentation which makes a case on the importance of Reading for Pleasure in schools that may be useful for staff meetings.

BookTrust research has revealed that more than a quarter of a million UK primary school children are experiencing literary poverty. – A child in literary poverty is defined as a child who is read to or with for pleasure, for less than 15 minutes a week outside of school. In response to the report Book Trust has launched its fundraising Pyjamarama campaign to call on families to rediscover the joy of reading.

Evernight by Ross Mackenzie Scottish Book Trust Schools Book of the Month – I was lucky enough to review this wonderful book for The School Librarian and this is an interesting interview with the author and an opportunity to win a copy of the book for your school too.

Waterstones Children’s Book Prize Shortlists Announced – Congratulations to all the authors, illustrators and publishers of this fabulous selection of books. I’m delighted to see The Middler and Asha and The Spirit Bird on the younger list.

Winners of Laugh Out Loud (Lollies) Book Award Announced – The books were chosen by teachers on behalf of their classes from shortlists drawn up a judging panel chaired by Michael Rosen.

Finally, some book reviews that caught my eye this week…

Pie in The Sky by Remy Lai – ‘A brilliant read for empathy, and one that should be in every school.’ says Nicki Cleveland @MissNCleveland in her lovely review of this book about emigration and loneliness.

Agent Zaiba Investigates: The Missing Diamonds by Annabelle Sami (Illustrated by Daniela Sosa) – a contemporary new series for fans of The Sinclair’s Mysteries and the Murder Most Unladylike books. “I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of a lighthearted mystery, very enthusiastic fangirls, secret staircases, mazes, dancing at weddings, and very enthusiastic adorable dogs!” says @starshynebrite in her review.

Sticky Pines: The BigWoof Conspiracy by Dashe Roberts – “It’s glorious, utterly glorious and comes with our highest recommendation.” says @ReaditDaddy in his tempting review of this debut published by Nosy Crow.

CLPE Teacher YouTube Book Reviews – have you seen these weekly video book reviews explaining how to use special books in the classroom?  This one by Charlie Hacking from CLPE on The Dam by David Almond and Levi Penfold is a great one to start with.

Thank you for reading and I hope that you have found something interesting or helpful within this week’s links. Don’t forget it’s International Book Giving Day on 14th February so you may like to find out how to share some book love on Valentines Day by visiting their official website

Back with more news next week…



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2 Responses to Reading Matters – news from the world of children’s books

  1. Thank you Anne; reading your weekly round-up has become an essential part of my Saturday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. alibrarylady says:

    Oh thank you Veronica, that’s so lovely to hear. I’m glad.


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