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

Hello and welcome to another look back at news, articles and reviews related to children’s books from the last week. This weekly catch up is made up of links to interesting items that I hope may be helpful to busy school librarians, teachers, educators and possibly  parents too.

What I’m reading…


This week has been one of those weeks when I have had very little time to settle down with a book but I did find a moment or two to finish The BigWoof Conspiracy by Dashe Roberts which was great fun. I have also started reading Orion Lost by Alistair Chisholm and this may actually persuade me to read more sci-fi as I’m loving it so far.

This week I attended this term’s School Library Association Surrey Branch committee meeting and we have exciting plans for a Saturday event in May providing an opportunity for school librarians to share best practice on the theme of collaboration. More details to follow soon…

News from the world of children’s books…

10 Picture Books to Shine a Positive Light on 2020 – Author Rachel Bright picks her top positive picture books to share with little ones in 2020 for Book Trust.

Reflecting on Black presence in children’s books – article written by Farrah Serroukh and Karen Sands O’Connor for the British Library. The characters that we meet in children’s books shape the way that we see ourselves and our community around us.  This article takes  a look at the history of Black British representation.

Library Insights – Information Literacy Project – this new case study on the Great School Libraries website looks at how an information literacy programme at St Ninian’s High School equips pupils with the research skills that they need. 

Audio Books and Literacy Resources – following the publication of the their audiobooks and literacy research review last week, The National Literacy Trust have now created resources to help teachers and parents make the most of audiobooks to support children’s literacy in the classroom and at home.

New + Girl Detectives Book List – Looking for tales to thrill & captivate? This new Girl Detectives booklist compiled by CLPE is the place to look! Check out this latest collection, featuring girl detectives in a variety of historical and contemporary settings.

Diversity in Children’s Literature Padlet – Jenny Holder of the Liverpool Learning Partnership has created this excellent resource, a collection to support educators in exploring issues of diversity and inclusion in children’s and YA books.   

World Book Day is about more than dressing up – the latest newsletter from the Open University Reading for Pleasure team @OpenUni_RfP has examples of how to focus on reading for pleasure on the Big Day and all year round too. If you haven’t already signed up to this regular newsletter I would highly recommend it.

Book Award Winners 2018 – 2019 – another extremely helpful resource compiled for the Open University Reading for Pleasure website. This list includes the winners of top children’s awards.

Monster Slayer: a Beowulf Tale – this new retelling published by Barrington Stoke with wonderful illustrations by Chris Riddell is out now. Caroline Fielding asked author Brian Patten some questions for TeenLibrarian linked to both this book and his writing in general.

Tears at bedtime: are children’s books on environment causing climate anxiety? – interesting Guardian article by Patrick Barkham featuring many of the current children’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, on the theme of our natural world and its protection.

Ed Vere Named New Illustrator in Residence for Book Trust – Best selling author/illustrator Ed Vere  will succeed current writer in residence Cerrie Burnell on 2nd March. He will share knowledge on developing confidence in children through drawing and invite parents, artists and children to create an online picture gallery.

National Writing Day – This year’s National Writing Day is Wednesday 24th June. It is an annual celebration of the pleasure and power of writing creatively, inspiring people of all ages and abilities to try writing for fun and self-expression. Register on the official website for full information and free resources.

Statutory Storytime – Egmont publishers are calling on the Government to make storytime statutory, to change the curriculum to make space for reading aloud, so that all children up to the age of 11 hear a story every day, just for fun. You can download a letter to send to your MP or sign the petition by clicking on the link above.

Finally some book reviews that may help you choose your next read…

The House of One Hundred Clocks by A M Howell – this is already on my wish list but  Mr Ripley’s @enchantedbooks has reminded me that I need to get hold of a copy sooner rather than later, as he says, ‘This story is a joy to read.’

The House of Hidden Wonders by Sharon Gosling – Veronica Price @vonprice says ‘she was utterly enthralled from beginning to end’ and this ghostly mystery with its links to Sherlock Holmes sounds as though it would be an excellent transition to secondary title.

Marvellous Middle Grade Reads – a selection of must have fiction for primary school libraries and classrooms reviewed by Jo Clarke @bookloverjo. There’s something here for all tastes.

That’s all for this week. I hope that you have found an article of interest, a helpful resource or a book to add to your shopping list. Have a lovely weekend and happy reading.


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

  1. Thank you for posting another weekly round-up Anne. Every week I find something here that I can use at work and for my course 😃

    Liked by 2 people

  2. alibrarylady says:

    I’m so glad Veronica. Hope the course is going well and you’ll be able to find some time to relax this weekend.


  3. Lilyfae says:

    Thank you for this round up your post is always an informative highlight of my week!!

    Liked by 1 person

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