Reading Matters – children’s book news

Welcome to this week’s look at what has been happening in the world of children’s books. Real life has rather got in the way of my reading this week so apologies if I have missed something important. My weekend is going to be spent catching up but I hope the links I have selected this week are helpful to you.

What I’m reading…

Family life has been exceptionally busy this week so reading has rather taken a back seat. However The Ultimate Guide to Growing Dragons by Andy Shepherd and Sara Oglivie was published on Thursday and I am very much enjoying meeting Tomas again. This latest instalment in this great series for young readers 7+ is slightly different being a clever blend of narrative fiction and information. It works well and the familiar humour is gentle and kind. Although I’m only half way through I think this is going to be a welcome and popular addition to the series.

As part of the celebration of World Kid Lit Month I was invited to share some translated picture books that I particularly enjoyed. I chose books to read for empathy as it something that I think a good picture book can convey so well. You can found out more about the three picture books I selected here.

News, articles and resources…

When we asked the Queen to tea with Paddington, something magic happened – the most lovely goodbye – amongst all the numerous articles published over the last ten days about the Queen this one by award winning children’s author Frank Cottrell Boyce is rather special.

Michael Rosen: Reading for Pleasure: how and why does it enable children to do better at school? What can we do to foster it? What creative ways of responding and interpreting help in this too? – this is an excellent article by Michael Rosen that you may have missed last weekend covering the many important aspects of reading and how it influences and affects children’s development and understanding. I’ve saved this to refer to in future as it gave me a great deal to think about.

An ONLINE evening with Tom Palmer in conversation with Dr Amy Williams talking about his stunning new book ‘Resist’ – On Wednesday 21 September 2022 from 7-8pm, Barnet Libraries will host this event which includes a Q&A session with a prize for the best question. Age guidance 9yrs+, teenagers & adults.

Bath Children’s Literature Festival – at the time of writing there are still tickets available for some events at this festival taking place from 24th September – 2nd October. The full programme and booking details are available via the link above and the line-up includes, Michael Rosen, Christopher Edge, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Cerrie Burnell, Patrice Lawrence and Juno Dawson.

Paperbound Magazine Autumn 2022 Issue – this magazine is free to download via the link above and includes writing suggestions, author interviews and book reviews. The magazine has now been operating for two years and is run by volunteers, however if you would like to support PaperBound and the work they do, you can help out by buying a virtual book.

Books for Topics: Children’s Books: 10 You Might Have Missed – With so many new children’s books published each month, often just a handful of key titles claim the spotlight. Alison Leach of Books for Topics and her Review Panel have highlighted some of the brilliant books published in recent months that may have passed you by but deserve not to be missed.

Winner of the Klaus Flugge Prize 2022 – the award ceremony for this prize for the most exciting and promising newcomer to children’s picture book illustration took place on Wednesday. Joseph Namara Hollis has won this year’s prize for his book Pierre’s New Hair (Tate Publishing) about a bear obsessed with looking good but also desperate to show the world his roller-skating flair. Full details of the award, the ceremony and the other lovely books which made the shortlist are available on the official website above.

Just Imagine: An evening with Joseph Coelho – On Thursday, October 6, (National Poetry Day) 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM Otter-Barry Books Ltd & Just Imagine invite you to An Evening with Joseph Coelhoe to celebrate the publication of The Boy Lost in the Maze. Joseph, our new Children’s Laureate will be in conversation with Nikki Gamble. There will be an opportunity for audience questions.

ZARO WEIL Book Launch for Schools with Mr Dilly – National Poetry Day 2022 – Join CLiPPA winning poet Zaro Weil & Mr Dilly for a FREE, fun event on Monday 3rd October 11:00 – 12:00 – the perfect way to celebrate National Poetry Day in primary Schools. When Poems Fall From the Sky, published in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, is perfect for ages 7+. The event includes an inspirational chat PLUS an interactive classroom Poetry Activity with Zaro and readings from the book.

Nosy Crow to Launch U.S. Company – More than a decade after opening its London office Nosy Crow will expand its presence in the U.S. with the spring 2023 launch of Nosy Crow Inc. The new company will publish the full roster of genres that has been the backbone of Nosy Crow U.K., ranging from books for infants to works for middle-grade readers.

Books for Keeps September 2022 Issue – one of my favourite sources of up to date information about children’s books, this latest issue is crammed full of the regulars such as Beyond the Secret Garden, Windows Into Illustration and this month’s Authorgraph, William Grill plus loads of helpful reviews. A must read!

Literacy Hive: Developing a Culture of Reading for Pleasure 2: Children as Readers – the second in this series of blogs for Literacy Hive by Debbie Thomas lecturer in Reading for Pleasure at the Open University, highlights the importance of developing our knowledge of children’s reading practices. A useful article for both teachers and school librarians.

Nikki Gamble: An audience with Jon Klassen – If you are thinking about subscribing to this year’s An Audience With… seminar series, here’s a treat for you. Jon Klassen joined Nikki last year, and she has posted the video to YouTube. If this whets your appetite you have until 30th September to book for this year’s series.

Henley Literary Festival 2022 Schools Programme – from Monday 3rd October – Friday 7th October this festival has a fantastic line-up of events for pupils aged 4-16, from some of the UK’s most popular children’s authors. There are two ticket options on offer for schools:
Live Streaming: watch the event for FREE as you live stream directly to your classrooms or school hall. This does not include a book. In-Person Ticket: watch the event live from the Marquee, Kenton Theatre or Town Hall in Henley-on-Thames, with a book included with every ticket. Booking is possible via the programme which you may download via the link above.

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

Agent Moose: Moose on a Mission by Mo O’Hara illustrated by Jess Bradly – the cover of this book published in July caught my eye and this enthusiastic review by school librarian Nicki Cleveland has sold this story of humour and bravery to me. She says this latest book is part of “The perfect series to begin your graphic novel journey.” This sounds just right for primary school libraries.

Chameleon Dad by Debbie Thomas – shorter novels for children in Years 4 and 5 are much needed and important for a wide range of readers and this book sounds perfect for that audience. When Connie gets a letter from the dad she thought was dead, she sets out to discover why he left her, eight years ago, sitting in an airport cafe with only her pet chameleon for company. Reviewer Jo Tregenza highlights the way in which this book could be used in schools in her helpful review for Just Imagine.

The Last Whale by Chris Vick – a really excellent review on LoveReading4Kids by Joanne Owen for this new title aimed at readers of secondary school age. “Charged by super plotting, the infectious passion of young eco-campaigners across three generations, and a powerful environmental call to action, Chris Vick’s The Last Whale is a rousing, enchanting triumph.

Taking Time: It’s the Journey Not the Destination by Carl Honore; illustrated by Kevin and Kristen Howdesell and Slow Down and Be Here Now by Laura Brand; illustrated by Freya Hartas – wonderful reviews by Ben Harris of two new non-fiction titles published by Magic Cat. Both of these are examples of how information books can be part of a reading for pleasure journey also encouraging young readers to slow down, look, ponder and enjoy.

That’s everything for this week. I plan on finishing The Ultimate Guide to Growing Dragons this weekend and have a tempting stack of picture books which I hope to share over the coming days too. Happy reading!

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10 Responses to Reading Matters – children’s book news

  1. Calmgrove says:

    Two or three items have already caught my eye so I shall be exploring these this weekend, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vanessa Tew says:

    Can I receive updates from your newsletter via email please?
    This was on a FB group & I cannot access it at school.
    Kind regards Vanessa Tew

    Liked by 1 person

    • alibrarylady says:

      Hello Vanessa. Yes of course. If you scroll down the home page of the blog at the bottom on the right hand side is a subscribe by email box you can fill in. It’s quite difficult to see. When I get time I must look into changing the design so it’s more user friendly. I’m glad you think my newsletter will be useful.


  3. Thanks for pulling together another fabulous weekly bulletin despite your other priorities Anne. The Frank Cottrell Boyce item is by far the wisest piece of writing I have read on the subject of the Queen’s passing. I hope that you are OK and have a restful weekend 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for all this great information!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jb5jane says:

    Thank you Anne as always – so helpful and interesting. I missed the Rosen article which will be great to share with parents.


    Liked by 1 person

    • alibrarylady says:

      Hi, Jane, you’re welcome and I’m glad you found it helpful. Michael Rosen’s article is excellent isn’t it. It would be a useful guide to a Reading for Pleasure Policy in schools too.


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