Welcome to this week’s look at the latest news from the world of children’s books. Many new books published, articles to read and lists to ‘discuss’ during the last few days. I have tried to select some that may appeal and hope you find something helpful among the links. We have National Poetry Day, Black History Month and Libraries Week, so a busy time for book lovers.
What I’m reading…
Last week I mentioned how much I had enjoyed reading The Book of Lost Secrets by David Farr and I have now posted my review so you can get a taste of the story and why it is one of my favourite reads of the year so far. Definitely one to watch as I’ve a feeling that this will be popular with many! Last weekend I read Sudden Death by Tom Palmer, the latest title in the Roy of the Rovers series. Much more than a ‘football story’ I found this an extremely poignant read. Tom also has a football and reading for pleasure related event coming up soon which I have included in the links below.
With National Poetry Day coming up I would like to mention a beautiful book which I’ve been savouring this week, When Poems Fall From the Sky by CLiPPA Award winning author Zaro Weil and illustrator Junli Song is a beautiful collection of poems and plays in praise of our natural world. It was published on 1st October and I would recommend this for all ages. I’ve listed an event linked to this book below. And, an example of how varied reading can be, I’ve just started A Hunter’s Moon by Danny Weston which is a mixture of folklore, fantasy and horror so I’ll let you know how I get on next week.
News, articles and resources…
Longlists for the 2022 UKLA Book Awards Announced – Celebrating children’s books, these awards are the only children’s book awards judged by teachers. Fiction and non-fiction is included for different age groups and the lists include titles from smaller publishers and reflect an understanding that all children need to see themselves in books. I’m delighted to see several of my favourites included and am looking forward to reading others that have caught me eye too.
Free To Be Me: Children’s Books Ireland launches Diversity, Inclusion and Representation project with KPMG – Free To Be Me is a project that will ensure that every child can see themselves reflected in a book as well as learning about the lives of others whose experiences and perspectives may differ from their own. There are guidelines and packs suitable for both primary and secondary available on the website and the initiative will be accompanied by book-gifting and an awareness campaign across Irish schools, libraries and bookstores over the coming months.
Poetry as Rebel Writing by Matt Goodfellow – as National Poetry Day approaches this is a thoughtful article on the Reading Zone website highlighting some of the issues surrounding poetry in schools and providing helpful advice.
National Poetry Day 2021 for Schools – Mr Dilly Meets Zaro Weil – Free online event for schools. Mr Dilly Meets CLiPPA Poetry Prize Winner Zaro Weil to discuss her stunning new collection When Poems Fall From the Sky. Followed by the premiere of Mr Dilly’s Top of the Poems, a fun, fact filled ten minute short film introduction to some of the world’s best children’s poets and poems. Thursday 7th October 11.00am -11.40am.
National Poetry Day resources – The theme for 2021 is choice, and the National Literacy Trust have developed free classroom resources to help teachers mark the day. There is also a section suitable for families.
‘I have these stories to tell’: the authors trying to diversify children’s books – new Book Trust ambassador, Dapo Adeola and the All Stories programme feature in this article about children’s publishing.
Football Reading CPD – Team up with children’s author, Tom Palmer – and headteacher and reading champion – Simon Robinson – for 45 minutes of ideas to tackle reading for pleasure using football. You can record this part of the free event to play to children in the classroom.
Children’s Books About Black British History – this is an excellent post by Alison on Books for Topics discussing this issue and highlighting both the reasons for the lack of availability and several excellent books that help fill the gap.
Reading is Magic Festival Videos – if you were unable to watch any of the fabulous online events from this festival this week they are available to watch until the end of the year. Full details of how to register and access the videos is available via the link above. The line up of authors and illustrators is excellent and you can see all the events listed here.
Down the Rabbit Hole: Celebrating Black Joy – if you missed the episode on Tuesday featuring Knights Of and the contributors to Happy Here? you can listen on any of the podcasting platforms via the link above.
‘Habits of noticing’: Three ways to watch the seasons change with your child – this is a really lovely article by Melissa Harrison, author of Ash, Oak and Thorn, for Book Trust.
September Round-Up: #WorldKidLitMonth – a bumper blog post celebrating world literature for young people over the last month. Lots of links, articles, reviews and recommendations.
Books All About Music – this is a fabulous Children’s Book Council list of books that celebrate music, books that highlight real or imaginary musicians, and books that encourage children to incorporate melody into their lives. Lovely to see Luna Loves Dance, Paris Cat and Thinker included. Perhaps we need a UK version?
Spooky Books – a list of books for different age groups selected by school librarian Rumena Aktar for the Federation of Children’s Books Group. From picture books to YA titles there’s something suitable for the nervous toddler to the teen horror fan.
The Reader Teacher September Must Reads – Scott Evan’s regular feature recommends his favourite reads from the last month and includes a downloadable poster.
Finally, some book reviews that caught my eye this week…
I Get Loud by David Ouimet – Martin Galway is someone whose opinion of books I value so I took notice when I saw this review on the Just Imagine website. An extremely personal take on this new picture book and one that ‘spoke to me’, so much so that it has persuaded me to seek this book out. Thank you, Martin.
Earth is Big: a Book of Comparisons by Stephen M. Tomecek illustrated by Marcos Fariba – a helpful review by Nicki Cleveland of a non-fiction book that sounds excellent for both cross-curricular work and reading for pleasure. I found the guest post by the author interesting too.
Torn Apart: The Partition of India – Sue McGonigle’s informative review for Books for Keeps describes this book as telling ‘’an important story in an accessible way, describing a key event in world history with which many children in UK will have direct family links.’’
Violet’s Tempest by Ian Eagleton and Clara Anganuzzi – I love the sound of this picture book and both Ian and Clara share their favourite illustrations from the book on Jon Biddle’s blog alongside his review.
No Man’s Land by Joanna Nadia – this is a ‘Star Book’ on the LoveReading4Kids website and this is an overwhelmingly positive review, “mightily thought-provoking, utterly gripping, and empathy-inspiring story”. Another for my list!
That’s everything for this week. A reminder that Libraries Week starts on Monday so don’t forget to visit your local library and find out how they are celebrating this annual event. Happy reading!