BOOK BLOG: Illustrated chapter books round up!

Hello there!

How are you today? 

Do you want to know a little secret? On Saturday, I read 6 books and it was JOYOUS. They were all short, illustrated chapter books and I had such a wonderful few hours just indulging in books.

I thought it would be LUSH to share with your a little round up of these books because I enjoyed them all SO MUCH. I can’t wait to take them all in to the kids at school who are just growing their reading stamina!

Isadora Moon Puts On A Show – Harriet Muncaster

“It’s almost time for the vampire ball, and Isadora can’t wait! There’s just one problem: she’s got to compete in a talent show with the other vampire children. Isadora’s talents aren’t very vampire-y, what if the audience laugh at her? The show must go on, but will Isadora be brave enough to perform…?”

I love the Isadora Moon books: they’re a perfect starting point for readers who are just taking on chapter books. They’re beautifully illustrated and Isadora is a brilliant main character. In this book, she has to take on something scary: performing in front of people! She doesn’t want to do it because the thing she loves the most isn’t a very vampire-y thing to love! When she meets a new friend, she realises that being yourself and showing people what you love is more powerful than pretending to love something else. A lush message to deliver to kids and a really bloody wonderfully illustrated book!

Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue/Kitty and the Tiger Treasure – Paula Harrison

“MEET KITTY! Girl by day. Cat by night. Ready for Adventure. Kitty’s family has a secret. Her mom is a hero with catlike superpowers, and Kitty knows that one day she’ll have special powers and the chance to use them, too. That day comes sooner than expected, when a friendly black cat named Figaro comes to Kitty’s bedroom window to ask for help. Is Kitty brave enough to step out into the darkness for a thrilling moonlight adventure?”

“Kitty can’t wait to see the priceless Golden Tiger statue with her own eyes. Kitty and her cat, Pumpkin, decide to sneak into the museum to see the statue at night, when no one else is around. But disaster strikes when the statue is stolen right in front of them! Can Kitty find the thief and return the precious statue before sunrise?”

I had seen these on Twitter and was delighted to receive copies. They tell the story of Kitty. At night, she becomes a cat-like superhero. I actually read these two books the wrong way around, but it didn’t really matter! I love when a series does that. These are really fun and beautifully illustrated by Jenny Lovlie. Kitty and her cat friends have to go on adventures to save the day: a missing tiger statue and a cat stuck at the top of a tall tower. Delivering wonderful messages about why it’s important to be brave, these books are sure to be quick hits at school!

Jasper and Scruff: Hunt for the Golden Bone by Nicola Colton

“As Jasper and Scruff prepare for a day in their new bookshop, a mysterious package is delivered, containing a rare book written by the great seafaring cat herself, Black Whiskers. Inside, they discover a treasure map, and together the friends set out on a quest to find the legendary golden bone. But little do they realize that their old enemies, the Sophisticats, might have a paw in things…”

Jasper and Scruff are two lush characters to have in a book because they’re SO different, but they are the best of friends AND they own a bookshop. I mean who wouldn’t want to see what adventures they get up to? In this book, they have to hunt a missing golden bone, but their attempts may be thwarted by the ever menacing baddies, the Sophisticats. I loved this. It’s just proper fun. This book would make a lush read aloud!  

Speedy Monkey by Jeanne Willis

“Deep in the rainforest all is peaceful, all is calm… Until Speedy Monkey comes along! Speedy can’t keep still – all day long he whoops and swoops, prances and dances. The other animals are tired of Speedy’s crazy capers and long for some peace and quiet. Then danger strikes and the animals have to act fast. But where is Speedy when they need him?”

With the beautifully illustrations from Chantelle and Burgen Thorne, this is story about a monkey who is loud and gets in his friend’s faces. He loves to play, joke and chat, while all around him his friends aren’t quite so energetic. This makes him feel like he doesn’t fit in and when one of his friends tricks him, he knows that something isn’t right. Despite all of this, when a storm comes Speedy Monkey uses his talents and saves the day! I loved that this book, as well as being really gorgeous to look at, had a great story and message too.

A Sea of Stories by Sylvia Bishop

“Whenever Roo visits Grandpa, she loves exploring the seaside cove near his cottage. But on her latest stay, Grandpa explains that he can’t go down there any more. Instead Grandpa tells Roo the stories behind the many objects that fill his house. All of Grandpa’s stories feature the cove and Roo realizes that now, even though they’re so close to the sea, Grandpa is cut off from it. Is there anything she can do to bring Grandpa to the place he loves the most?”

I bloody love a Sylvia Bishop book (if you haven’t read Erica’s Elephant or The Bookshop Girl then please get on it because they’re wonderful), so when I saw who wrote this I was PROPER over the moon. I love a good book surprise! This book is just as gorgeous as I was hoping for with the illustrations from Paddy Donnelly adding so much to the story. It tells the story of Roo and her Grandpa and how by just doing one little thing, you can change someone’s life. I loved that this book explored the importance of stories and how Grandpa shared his life with Roo through the things he’d collected through the years. 

And there you go! The 6 books I devoured on Saturday afternoon. These books would be perfect for emerging readers of like 5 or 6, or less confident readers who are slightly older. They’re going to be a total hit when I put them in the school library.

A massive thank you to the publishers OUP and Little Tiger for these review copies! We are very grateful and I can’t wait to get reviews from my own reading crew!

Can you recommend me any illustrated chapter books?
What’s your favourite kind of adventure to go on?

Speak to me! I’d love to know what you thought!

S x

S4S – Books set in school

Hello there everyone!

How are we all today? It’s another Sunday! We are back again for more #SixforSunday does Back To School Realness. (The realness of back to school is THERE. I am EXHAUSTED, but this is a good thing!!) This week’s #SixforSunday post sees us taking on:

Books set in schools

I think I’ve read a few books set in schools recently, but here’s the first 6 that popped into my mind…

  1. Dead Popular – Sue Wallman
    Boarding school mysteries afoot. I really enjoyed this!
  2. The Truth Pixie Goes to School – Matt Haig
    I loved this. The importance of being who you are.
  3. Scars Like Wings – Erin Stewart
    Friends, the theatre and not hiding who you are. 
  4. Jemima Small versus the Universe – Tamsin Winter
    Be your bright, brainy self!
  5. Gangster School – Kate Wiseman
    Take yourself off to criminal mastermind school!
  6. Goodbye Perfect – Sara Barnard
    LOL. This one teacher doesn’t make SUCH a great choice…

And there we go! 6 books set in school. There’s quite a bunch more (and I didn’t want to mention Harry Potter cause EVERYONE else will!)

Thanks so much for stopping by!

See you next week for more #SixforSunday does Back to School realness!

S x

 

S4S – Books I think should be studied in school

Hello there!

How are we all? Are we ready for a new month of #SixforSunday challenges? I’m VERY excited about this month because I love a new set of challenges (not so much the having to think ha!). I decided since it was September that we’d focus on back to school themed prompts for this month. Predictable or not… that’s what we are going for ha! This week’s #SixforSunday prompt sees me taking on something that is quite close to my heart:

Books I think should be taught in school

As a teacher, I could go ON AND ON AND ON about this subject (which I may come back to in another blog post during the week sometime… but for now I’ll try to stick to 6 ha!) I’m going to go for a range of picture books, kids books and YA books (so 2 of each eek!) that I think should be taught in schools because they are INCREDIBLE.

Picture books

How To Catch A Star by Oliver Jeffers
I love everything Oliver Jeffers has written and I THINK How To Catch A Star might be my favourite. It’s just such a lovely story.
The Building Boy by Ross Montgomery and David Litchfield
This is an INCREDIBLE book about grief. I read this to my Year 6 class in my training year and it made some absolutely wonderful conversations and it’s one of my go to books.

MG books

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
Katherine Rundell is another one of those authors who can do no wrong in my eyes. I’ve read all of the books she’s published so far and they’ve all been amazing. I’m still waiting for the day when I’m doing the rainforest so I can use this absolutely beautiful piece of writing.
The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig
Definitely aimed at younger children, but this is a book that should be read to every child. It’s the importance of being who you are. It’s love and compassion. It’s empathy.

YA books

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
Friends, we ALL know I love this book. I think it needs to be read, talked about and shared. It’s so so so important that we talk about things like slut shaming and revenge porn with our young people because the reality of the world is that this is a thing.
No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter
Another one you will have seen me ramble on about on here, but it’s another necessary one. It’s important that kids study a range of books from a range of perspectives and where else are they going to get a brilliant fat protagonist? HERE. That’s where.

Okay. I need to stop because this could 100% turn into a lovely ramble about school and books and all of those things that I love the most.

I can’t wait to see what you all think we should be using in schools! Share your posts with me using the hashtag #SixforSunday and I will check them all out!

Speak to you all soon,

S x

S4S – Yellow books

Hello friends and followers alike! 

How are you on this here #SixforSunday? What plans do you have for this fair Sunday? As this post goes live, I am hopefully sitting in Quilliams with one of my bestest friends and having an enjoyable breakfast and some tea. I hope the sun is shining in honour of Summer, but also today’s prompt:

Yellow books

I don’t think I have read many yellow books… but here goes nothing!

Having looked on Goodreads, I have read LOTS so you can have 6 MG and 6 YA (don’t tell anyone… I do spoil you!)

yellow books YA

A Change is Gonna Come anthology
The Paper and Hearts Society – Lucy Powrie
Friendship Fails of Emma Nash – Chloe Seagar
It Only Happens in the Movies – Holly Bourne
Bookshop Girl – Chloe Coles
Floored – the Floored Seven

yellow books MG

The Day I Was Erased – Lisa Thompson
Evie and the Animals – Matt Haig
And Then I Turned Into A Mermaid – Laura Kirkpatrick
The Girl of Ink and Stars – Kiran Milwood Hargrave
Ghost – Jason Reynolds 
Shona, Word Detectove – John Agard

And there you go! Reviews for the rest of these brilliantly bright books will be up soon! 

Thank you for joining in/reading with #SixforSunday this week! See you next week for the first week of September with Back to school realness: Books you think should be studied in school!

S x 

S4S – Seaside books

Happy Sunday friends!

How are you all? What is going on this weekend? Anything exciting?

It is FINALLY the Summer holidays and I am SO READY for many weeks of reading, sunshine and relaxation. One of my favourite things to do during the holidays is to spend as much time as I humanly can at the seaside. This just so happens to be today’s #SixforSunday prompt:

Seaside books

So I’m going for books that make me think of the seaside.

seaside bookcovers

Fierce Fragile Hearts – Sara Barnard 
The Storm Keeper’s Island – Catherine Doyle
And Then I Turned Into A Mermaid – Laura Kirkpatrick
Malamander – Thomas Taylor
Letters from the Lighthouse – Emma Carroll
The Island At The End of Everything – Kiran Milwood Hargrave

What a wonderful bunch of books – I would recommend each and every one of them!

Don’t forget to share your seaside books with me using the hastag #SixforSunday!

See you next week for Books and Ice Cream! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with for that!

S x

S4S – Summer TBR

Good afternoon everyone!

How are we all? What’s going on today? Today is the Wimbledon men’s final and I AM A BARREL OF NERVES. I want Roger to win so so very much. It is hurting me. Can you all say a little prayer for him to be victorious please?

Anyway, Roger aside, you are here for the trusty weekly #SixforSunday post. Today, we are talking:

Summer TBR

This is just a small selection of the books I’m hoping to get through in my glorious 6 weeks holidays. I imagine I will get through more than 6… but these are 6 that I am dying to get into!

Eliza and her Monsters – Francesca Zappia
Scars Like Wings – Erin Stewart
Lost Tide Warriors – Catherine Doyle
The Demon World – Sally Green

The Truth Pixie Goes to School – Matt Haig
Patina – Jason Reynolds

I am very lucky to have some of these already, but others I can’t wait to purchase! 

Remember to share your Summer TBR with me – I can’t wait to see what you all are planning on reading over the summer! Share your TBRs with me using #SixforSunday on twitter! I love seeing your posts!

See you next week for Seaside books

S x 

S4S – Books with sunshine on the cover

HELLO!

This is a very ironic #SixforSunday today as there is NO sunshine in Newcastle today (even though we have had nothing but sun and blue skies for days). I’m hoping to bring some sunshine into your lives via the prompt today.

Today’s topic of conversation is:

Books with sunshines on the cover

I always find these cover hunt type prompts the trickiest because I have a shoddy memory haha! So this is a real challenge for me today, but here we go!

I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson
The Girl Who Came Out Of The Woods – Emily Barr
The Unexpected Find – Toby Ibbotson
Secrets of a Sun King – Emma Carroll
Mirror Magic – Claire Fayers
The Wild Robot – Peter Brown

Remember to share yours with me!

The prompts for July – December can be found here: follow the yellow click road!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I can’t wait to see which covers you chose for #SixforSunday with suns on them!

S x

 

2019 releases…

Well hello… happy Friday to all you lovely people of the world!

Today I’m here to shout about 2019 releases I’m excited for. Some of my 2019 releases I’ve already read and I’m gonna give them a bit of love, but I’m just gonna shout about them all. 

Here goes nothing… 

Let’s start with 2019 releases I’ve read and LOVED:

2019 loves

Now some 2019 releases that I can’t WAIT to get my hands on:

2019 wants

Add to that list these books:

And Then I Turned Into a Mermaid – Laura Steven (Laura Steven is diving into the world of MG with a mermaid book… yes please!)
The Toll – Neal Shusterman (The 3rd book in the Scythe trilogy)

I could keep going… but I should probably go and do something productive!

What are some of your fave 2019 books?
What 2019 books can you not wait to get your hands on?
Are you still reading books from 2018? (yes haha I am!)

Let me know in the comments – I don’t need more books to add to my list, but I DO. 

S x 

COVER REVEAL: Dino Knights

Hello! Happy 2 post Friday (watch out for my other post going live this afternoon!)

Today I am thrilled to share with you a cover of a new book coming out! A while back the brilliant people of Awesome Reads got in touch to tell me about a new book that they were publishing and asked if I’d be interested in sharing the cover… I of course said yes! I was sold when I heard it was a brand-new series set in medieval times with a twist – dinosaurs still exist and roam freely across the human world. Dinosaurs and medieval times? WINNER WINNER.

DINO KNIGHTS

Title: Dino Knights

Author: Jeff Norton

Release date: June 6th

Short synopsis: Imagine medieval times where the dinosaurs never went extinct. When dinosaur stable boy Henry Fairchild stops a vicious T-Rex from attacking his master, he is invited to join the most elite group in Brecklan, the brave Knights of Panterra, the Dino Knights. But before he can prove himself, the enemies of Brecklan attack with a flock of pterodactyls and kidnap Lord Harding. Whether he’s ready or not, Henry and the Dino Knights mount a daring rescue mission…but nothing is what it seems.

Link for pre-order: https://awesomereads.com/book/dino-knights/

Massive thank you to the publishers for inviting me to be part of this cover reveal! I’m loving it! Dinosaurs and swords: what more could a girl ask for?! Watch out for the blog tour in June!

S x

#CelebrateYA

HELLO.

IT IS ME. Your resident YA loving bookworm. 

Recently, there’s been a lot of MEH-ness about YA books and its decline (?? not in my life lols). I saw this tweet from the brilliant YA author Lisa Williamson and thought ‘YES. I WANT TO BE PART OF THIS MOVEMENT.’

celebrateya

So here I am today to do just that… I am HERE to celebrate YA. To shout about how brilliant it is, how necessary it is, recommend some of my favourite YA books of the past few years and to inspire you all to go out and either share your favourite YA books OR to just pick up something new. Your local Waterstones will have a YA section, go and explore… I guarantee you’ll find something that you’ll love.

So, why YA?

I get asked this question A LOT. “Why do you, as an adult, read books marketed at teens and young adults?” and the simple answer is because YA books are BLOODY MARVELLOUS.

YA books don’t shy away from some pretty tough subjects. If I think of some of my favourite YA books they’re about hard hitting topics: love, loss, heartbreak, friendships, OCD, manipulation, empowerment.

YA books MOVE so much faster than adult books. The pacing, the characters, the plots… they’re just SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING.

YA books start conversations. If you look at The Hate U Give for example (a book I still haven’t read… I know, I might be the only YA reader IN THE WORLD who hasn’t!) that had a BIG impact. That made people start talking. Another example of a book that got my little twitter YA worls talking is the brilliant The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven. This book deserves ALL of the praise it gets. It is BLOODY incredible and makes some REALLY bloody important points.

YA books will make you think, feel and want to act. We all know I cry at every book (that’s just who I am) but some of the books that have hit me the hardest have been YA books. If I think about Countless by Karen Gregory for example… man, I read that book almost 2 years ago and STILL now it makes me tear up. They don’t just make me cry though. They make me angry, they make me laugh, they make me hopeful.

YA is doing a lot for representation. People want to be seen. People want to have their stories heard. Finding yourself represented in a book can change a lot of things. Last year I read a book that I remember vividly feeling seen and MY GOD it was a bit of a punch in the face. For so long, books have been written about the same group of people and YA is slowly changing that. I know what it’s like to be seen, I know how important it can be. The brilliant people of Stripes have published an anthology full of LGBTQ+ books and it’s going to make waves.

There are so so many other reasons why you should read YA. I will stand on this I LOVE YA pedestal whether anyone is listening or not.

So, where do I start?

Now, just because I recommend these books doesn’t mean these are the only books that you should read because LET’S BE REAL there are so so many, but here are some of my absolute favourites (authors/stories) from the past few years. Some of these won’t be a surprise to long time readers of my blog, some of them may!

In there you have books that will make you laugh, cry, anger you, move you, make you think about life. You have representation of all sorts of relationships. You’ve got books which span genres. You’ve got books from some of my favourite authors in the world. There’s books there that changed something for me. There’s books I’ve read that I’ve felt seen in. There’s books that have made me change my thinking about things.

I loved them all and they’re ALL YA.

OK, so I could keep going. I really could. I won’t. I want this to be a conversation, not Steph’s Lecture on Why YA is Something The World Needs. Talk to me. Why do you want to #celebrateYA?

Every day this month, I pledge to #celebrateYA. Starting tomorrow (Valentines Day) I’m going to #celebrateYA by sharing one YA book I love!

Now let’s keep the conversation going:

What was the last YA book you read?
What’s the next YA book you’re going to read?
Why do you think we need to #celebrateYA?

I really really want the conversation about YA to continue. So talk to me, tweet, whatever. Get it out there that YA is a thing and we need it to stay a thing!

S x