Welcome to this week’s look at what has been happening in the world of children’s books. Over the last few days we have marked both Dyslexia Awareness Week and Libraries Week plus Saturday 8th is National Bookshop Day all of which are important to book lovers of all ages.
What I’m reading…
Books are not always something that you curl up in the corner with, sometimes books are a prompt to explore, to learn and to create. This week I reviewed two new nature books for children from Nosy Crow, Birds of a Feather by Lauren Fairgrieve and Kate Read and 2023 Nature Month-by-Month A Children’s Almanac by Anna Wilson illustrated by Elly Jahnz produced in collaboration with the National Trust. I would highly recommend both of them and think they would make fabulous presents.
Turning to adult fiction for a change, several friends had recommended Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers to me and last weekend I finished reading it. I’m glad I listened to those friends as this tenderly told story set in 1950’s London suburbia was affecting and thoughtful. It reminded me a little of the style of Anne Tyler or Barbara Pym in the way those small moments of people’s lives were noticed and conveyed with understanding. I loved the reflective style and will be on the lookout for more books by this author now.
News, articles and resources…
The Reader Teacher: October 2022 Children’s Books I’m Most Excited About – Scott Evans’ latest coming soon video includes picture books, non-fiction and new fiction for the middle-grade age group. This would be useful to share with both children and their parents as a way of keeping up to date.
Farshore School Reading Champion winner for 2022 Lucas Maxwell and The Bookling Book Award – congratulations to school librarian Lucas for winning this award last weekend at the Open University Reading for Pleasure Conference. You can download details of his winning initiative via the link.
World Cup 2022 Reading Game with Tom Palmer – With the men’s football World Cup running from 20th November- 19 December 2022, Tom Palmer is offering a special virtual World Cup version of his popular Football Reading Game for your classroom or home in partnership with The Thoughtful Spot bookshop. You can find out how this works via the link above which gives full details. There is also information available on Tom’s website.
Book Trust Great Books Guide 2022: best new children’s books – the Book Trust team have put together this guide full of books they think are brilliant, chosen to engage and excite children all the way up to age 11. You can download the full guide or select by interest age via the link above.
CLPE Black History Book List – October marks Black History Month and if you are searching for quality books for your school library or classroom collections this list would be an excellent place to begin. Suitable for Early Years to Year 7
The Reading Agency October 2022 Children’s and Young People booklist – Brilliant books by Black authors and illustrators – The Reading Agency have also created a booklist of 125 books created by Black authors and illustrators. There is something for everyone with poetry, graphic novels, fiction and non-fiction titles arranged in categories and free to download.
Funding your Reading for Pleasure campaign – a guest article on the Literacy Hive website by Adam Porter, Assistant Head at Holden Clough Community Primary School. Adam discusses his school’s funding aims, initiatives, both long term and one off events, plus provides links to other sources of advice and information. A helpful article.
Empathy Action Month – this week Empathy Lab UK announced the line-up for Empathy Action Month 2022 this November. There are five authors and four school groups discussing how they put empathy into action, inspired by the books they have written or read. Phil Earle, Patrice Lawrence, Kate Milner, Ben Davis and Rashmi Sirdeshpande talk about empathy in their books and how their stories can inspire change. Find out how you can participate via the link above.
Where Are All the Children’s Books Featuring Kids With Down Syndrome? – coinciding with Down Syndrome Awareness Month this thoughtful article by Amy Julia Becker asks questions about inclusivity in children’s books. “Just as we have seen the benefits of greater racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identity representation in children’s literature, we need an array of characters with both physical and intellectual disabilities within our books.”
Poetry Prompts with Joseph Coelho – Poetry Prompts is Joseph Coelho’s flagship project as the Waterstones Children’s Laureate and is a celebration of the power of poetry in all its forms. Through the campaign, Joseph aims to break down the fear often associated with reading and writing and show why poems are for everyone, alongside the joy that writing, reading and performing poetry can bring to our lives. The first video on the theme of The Sounds of the Environment is now available.
Books Are My Bag Readers Awards 2022 – The shortlists for this year’s awards, now in their seventh year, include six categories curated by a panel of booksellers and voted on by the public, with the Readers’ Choice award – decided entirely by booklovers – completing the set. The categories include both Children’s and YA plus children’s book lovers will be interested in the Breakthrough Author shortlist.
Mr Dilly Meets Andy Shepherd and Kate Wilkinson – Step into a world of fantasy, fun, adventure and wonder on 19th October at 11.00am as Mr Dilly Meets children’s authors ANDY SHEPHERD and KATE WILKINSON in this FREE event aimed at PRIMARY SCHOOL children everywhere. As long as you’ve registered you will be able to watch on catch-up for up to two weeks after the live event using your viewing link.
Finally, some book reviews that caught my eye this week…
Miraculous beyond measure: Themes and Thinking in S.F. Said’s “Tyger” – an excellent exploration of both the long awaited Tyger, its themes, ideas, and many layers plus the importance of children’s literature by Ben Harris. Much, much more than ‘a review’ this is a thought provoking and fascinating read. It’s spoiler free too. Thank you, Ben.
Nibbles The Bedtime Book by Emma Yarlett – Nibbles the Book Monster was always a sure fire hit for me at storytime in the school library and this latest picture book featuring Nibbles sounds like fun too. A Book for Keeps Book of the Week so it must be good!
Amari and the Great Game by B.B. Alston – the second in this magical series for readers aged 9+ published last month is getting rave reviews. This one by Veronica Price provides an insight into why this and its predecessor are so popular. “Reading this series has given me the same sense of excitement at entering an alternative universe as I had when reading the Harry Potter books to my children more than 20 years ago.”
Powered by Plants by Clive Gifford Illustrated by Gosia Herba – an information book about a subject not often covered, how plants have informed, designed and influenced major creations in our world. This helpful review for Just Imagine by Lucy Timmons provides advice on how teachers could use this book in the classroom. In summary Lucy says, “Powered by Plants, is a very necessary very relevant information book.”
Spooky Season 2022 – Kate Heap has reviewed a selection of picture books, chapter books and middle grade stories sure to give you chills. Perfect for Halloween and dark winter evenings!
That’s everything for this week and I hope that it’s been helpful to you.