BOOK BLOG: Emma Yarlett

Dragon Post: a whole lot of fun and friendship! 

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I’d seen this on my friend’s Instagram and as I’m a lover of The Day The Crayons Quit and the trusty The Jolly Postman, I knew I needed to get my hands on this book. With beautiful letters inside and an endearing young main character, Dragon Post was an absolute delight to read! 

Alex finds a dragon living under his stairs and knows that the most sensible thing to do would be to write to different people to get their advice on the whole situation. (Alex is very sensible, in my opinion! I don’t know what I would do!)

This is where the humour for adults comes in. There’s puns a plenty with the names of the people Alex writes letters to. I read this book aloud to my mam, and she and I had many a chuckle! Not all of the letters are positive… with one suggesting that the writer of the letter would like to eat the dragon. Most of the letters Alex receives give him good advice however! 

The final letter Alex writes is to his best friend (who he calls one of the best people he knows) and I absolutely adored this! I love the idea that the person Alex thinks is the smartest person in his world is another child – I think this can have quite a profound effect on kids. The very last letter Alex receives is from a very special someone indeed and I know kids are going to ADORE seeing the letter to Alex! 

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This book, just like The Day The Crayons Quit and The Jolly Postman, is going to be taken in my classrooms and children alike. With the inclusion of the letters, the incredible illustrations and the brilliant story, this is one that will inspire writers of letters, stories and illustrations (I only wish I could come up with something this brilliant!) I can see this working in so many houses, minds and ways. As a Y5 teacher, I’d love to use this book, but it equally has a very important place in every classroom. I know the KS1 teachers in school will love this book… and I can’t wait to read it to Reception for their Advent Story time! 

Would you like a dragon as a pet?
Have you read Dragon Post? 
Who would you write to if you found a dragon under your bed?

Speak to you all soon!

S x

Happiness is…

Opening the door to my classroom. Positive feedback. Seeing how much progress my kids have made. Pictures from my kids. Reading books. Fenwicks Christmas Window. Texts that make me smile. Livin on a Prayer. The future. Reading books and knowing EXACTLY who to recommend them to. handing over the perfect book to a child and them just GLOWING with joy. Good morning texts. Listening to the radio in the classroom. Breakfast with my best friends. Chairing a panel with two authors I admire most in the world. My friends being happy for me. The pride you feel for your friends. Watching SimplyNailogical videos. Real pockets in trousers. Laughing with my mam. Seeing my twiglets. Going back to work and seeing the smiles on my kids’ faces. The run up to Christmas. Singing stupid songs. Newcastle United winning (finally). Spending time with my favourite Welsh human in the world. My reading rainbow display. Laughing and chatting with my TA. Doing the thing I love doing. Getting back to blogging. Being wrapped up warm with a cup of tea and a book. Books. Always books. My kids. Always my kids. 

S4S – Authors I’d love to see collaborate…

STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN! 

Hello there! Wecome to another installment of #SixforSunday! This week sees me take on something that took an AWFUL LOT OF THOUGHT. Mainly because I needed to get it right. And I didn’t want to miss out anyone who I loved. Mainly, I have too many choices! 

Today we take on:

Authors you’d love to see collaborate

Now… the majestic book that is Floored came along and saw many of my faves ACTUALLY collaborate in an EPIC way, so if you’ve not got on that yet, I’d really like you to. 

  1. Melinda Salisbury and Sara Barnard
    This is a YA collab I will shout about forever. LADIES I NEED THIS TO HAPPEN. (C’mon, none of you will be surprised by this at all)
  2. Kiran Milwood Hargrave and Piers Torday
    I think this MG book would break my heart and be the most beautiful book ever!
  3. Sara Barnard and Alice Oseman
    This one literally just came to my brain and I think my brain is a genius. I think this could be such a brilliant combination!
  4. Sara Barnard and Laura Steven
    GUYS. I need this to happen… I just think these 2 would boss a YA contemporary that punched me in the face and made me cackle with laughter.  
  5. Maz Evans and Lisa Thompson
    I just think this would be a BRILLIANT MG book pairing… happy to read WHATEVER!
  6. Melinda Salisbury and Alice Broadway
    I think this would be such a brilliant meeting of minds… 

So if there’s anyone reading this who can make these things happen, that’d be amazing thanks!

Remember to share your #SixforSunday posts with me and I look forward to going “OMG YES THAT WOULD BE A MINT PAIR THANKS!” at all of your suggestions! 

S x 

An EPIC book tag!

Hello pals! I saw this tag on My Little Book Blog and thought “you know what I want to do? Answer 50 questions about books” (ha!) so here we go… I hope you have a cup of tea at the ready or something! (In fact, let me know what kind of tea you have… and if you have a biscuit!)

1. What was the last book you read?
The last book I finished was Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman.

2. Was it a good one?
I really enjoyed it! I want the next book now!

3. What made it good?
It was amazing to be back in that world, and they’re brilliantly paced.

4. Would you recommend it to other people?
Absolutely! Read Scythe first though!

5. How often do you read?
I’d say daily! There’s odd days where I don’t read, but I aim to read every day.

6. Do you like to read?
No, it’s the worst (LOL)

7.What was the last bad book you read?
Bad book? OOOH. The only one that springs to mind is The Smoke Thieves… but only because it takes 80% of the book to get anywhere.

8. What made you dislike it?
It’s just a bit slow. I did get to the end and think “ah that wasn’t too bad”, it just took SO LONG to get anywhere.

9. Do you wish to be a writer?
I go between yes and no for this. I love writing, but I don’t think I’ll ever write anything publish-worthy.

10. Has any book every influenced you greatly?
Yes, 100%.

11. Do you read fan fiction?
I used to.

12. Do you write fan fiction?
Nope!

13. What’s your favorite book?
Ever? Matilda.

14. What’s your least favorite book?
Ever? WHO EVEN KNOWS.

15. Do you prefer physical books or ready on a device (like a kindle)?
Physical books > kindle. I love my kindle, but I’m a bigger fan of reading physical books.

16. When did you learn to read?
I do not know the answer to this, but I’d presume when I was at school?

17. What is your favorite book you had to read in school?
1984. We did it for GCSE English and I bloody loved it.

18. What is your favorite book series?
The Sin Eater’s Daughter series by Melinda Salisbury.

19. Who is your favorite author?
REALLY? That’s the worst question.

20. What is your favorite genre?
Fantasy… but not high fantasy. I’m all about magic and potions and poison.

21. Who is your favorite character in a book series?
Jin from Rebel of the Sands for aesthetically pleasing reasons. Twylla from The Sin Eater’s Daughter series for badass. Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows for wit.

22. Has a book ever transported you somewhere else?
Every time I open a book.

23.Which book do you wish had a sequel?
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Tbf, I just want a book all about Simon and Blue.

24. Which book do you wish DIDNT have a sequel?
Oh, I’m a massive fan of sequels, so I dunno if there’s going to be one I could name.

25. How long does it take you to read a book?
How long is a piece of string? Genuinely though, it depends on so many factors.

26. Do you like when books become movies?
I don’t watch that many movies so I don’t know that I have that many opinions.

27. Which book was ruined by its movie adaptation?
Again, I don’t know that I have enough experience in this to give you an answer.

28. Which movie has done a book justice?
I loved Me Before You – both the film and the book. So let’s go with that.

29. Do you read newspapers?
Yes?

30: Do you read magazines?
Not very often!

31. Do you prefer newspapers or magazines?
It depends what I’m after.

32. Do you read while in bed?
I’d say 70% of my reading happens in bed.

33. Do you read while on the toilet?
No?

34. Do you read while in the car?
I’m not in a car often enough to read in it.

35. Do you read while in the bath?
I’m not much of a bath person, I much prefer showers. It is not recommended to read in the shower.

36. Are you a fast reader?
Other people say I am, so I guess so?

37. Are you a slow reader?
Nope!

38. Where is your favorite place to read?
On a train or a bus.

39. Is it hard for you to concentrate while you read?
Concentrate on reading? No. I’m generally only focused on reading as I read.

40.Do you need a room to be silent while you read?
Ha, this is where I’m a bit bizarre. If I’m on a bus/train, I need noise. But if I’m at home, then it has to be silent.

41. Who gave you your love for reading?
I’ve never not been surrounded by books.

42. What book is next on your list to read?
I’m currently reading The Boneless Mercies by April Tucholke.

43. When did you start to read chapter books?
I remember reading Matilda and The Secret Garden when I was like 7 or 8, so probably just before then!

44. Who is your favorite children’s book author?
You can’t beat Roald Dahl, but of recent years? Maz Evans, Kiran Milwood Hargrave, Ross Mackenzie, Abi Elphinstone.

45. Which author would you most want to interview?
Anna James – I’ve had the joy of meeting her at events, but I’d love to sit down and have a chat with her.

46. Which author do you think you’d be friends with?
I’d love to be friends with Chloe Coles – she’s hilaarious.

47.What book have you reread the most?
There’s only one book I’ve ever reread… Matilda.

48. Which books do you consider “classics”?
Books written a canny few years ago. I’m not really a reader of classics.

49. Which books do you think should be taught in every school?
OH THIS IS A GOOD QUESTION, which right now I don’t have an answer for. But this could be a good question for a blog post!

50. Which books should be banned from all schools?
Should any books be banned? This is an interesting question. I shall mull over it. “Banning” books doesn’t sit well with me.

 

And there we have it! I will be WELL IMPRESSED if anyone managed to stick with me through those 50 questions. Let me know if you did, you deserve a sticker!

S x

October in books!

Well hello November, you snuck up on me indeed.

I’m not sure where October went (it took half of my half term with it too!), but here we are… the end of another month, around for another bookish round up!

In October, I:

Visited Edinburgh with my favourite.
Spent most of my half term poorly.
Loved every second of being a teacher.
Got to interview David Levithan and Laura Steven at Waterstones (!!)
Went out to breakfast with my best friends.
Finished my first half term as an NQT.
Sang a lot of Livin on a Prayer.
Read 15 books (!!)

October was a pretty incredible month! I NEVER expected to have read 15 books! That’s blown my mind a little bit!

What MG did I read?

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A Chase in Time – Sally Nicholls *
Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters – Andrea Beaty *
The Dog That Saved Christmas – Nicola Davies *
Isadora Moon Makes Winter Magic – Harriet Muncaster *
Max the Detective Cat: The Phantom Portrait – Sarah Todd Taylor *
The Boy Who Lived With Dragons – Andy Shepherd *
The Truth Pixie – Matt Haig
A Pinch of Magic – Michelle Harrison *

* reviews to come!

What about YA?

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Thunderhead – Neal Shusterman*
And The Ocean Was Our Sky – Patrick Ness*
Jack of Hearts and Other Parts – L. C. Rosen*
Someday – David Levithan
Firebird – Elizabeth Wein*

Anything else?

I also read The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I am a massive Mitch Albom fan. My review of this is to come!

I’m really chuffed with how many books I managed to read last month! There were definitely some stand outs! Keep your eyes peeled this week for a round up of reviews and some more in depth reviews too!

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 104/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 91/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 148/52

Now that it’s November, we will be in for full swing Christmas mode at school! I am also  sticking to my pledge of reading every night before bed.

How are you getting doing with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in October?
Do you prefer my in depth reviews or my round ups?

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments/on twitter if there’s anything you want to see me read/want to see on my blog. I love your suggestions!

S x

 

S4S – Ultimate panels

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the hiatus this week… there was just a little need for my brain to take a break after a very busy half term! I am back though! And today’s #SixforSunday sees me taking on:

Dream panels/events

So, my dream panels? WELL THIS IS GONNA BE FUN. I’m gonna go 3 MG and 3 YA because LOVE.

“Contemporary YA: Why it matters” with Laura Steven, Alice Oseman, Sara Barnard and Katherine Webber.

“Writing badass characters” featuring Leigh Bardugo, Melinda Salisbury, Alice Broadway and Alwyn Hamilton.

“Writing stories that make our readers cry (we love it)” featuring C.G.Drews, Karen Gregory, Lisa Healthfield and Adam Silvera.

“Creating worlds kids want to read about” featuring Helena Duggan, Maz Evans, Ross Mackenzie and Kiran Milwood Hargrave.

“Writing incredible characters” featuring Peter Brown, Lisa Thompson, Alex Bell and Jessica Townsend.

“Books: an ode to books” featuring Anna James and Piers Torday in conversation.

Side note: I am still waiting for a Floored Seven panel

There we go! I LOVE hearing authors talk about their books, so please GET ME MORE EVENTS IN THE NORTH. I’m more than happy to host any of these *wink*

Remember to share your dream panels using #SixforSunday! I can’t wait to see what you all think! 

S x