S4S – Please Santa!

Good afternoon friends! 

How are we all this chilly yet sunny Sunday?! What are you reading? How is December going for you?

Today I’m coming at you with a #SixforSunday with wishes from the North Pole. Yes we’re talking:

Six books you wish Santa would bring you

Now we all know that Santa can bring pretty much ANYTHING don’t we? My choices clearly reflect that! 

  1. Six of Crows Collector’s Edition – Leigh Bardugo
    This is actually on my Christmas list, so fingers crossed!
  2. Pages and Co sprayed edges edition – Anna James
    This is actually sold out… but Santa can work miracles, yeah?
  3. Song of Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury
    COME ON SANTA. IT IS SO CLOSE TO NEXT YEAR. IT MUST BE TIME.
  4. Against all Gods – Maz Evans
    AGAIN. HOWARE. I’ve been waiting forever.
  5. The Day I Was Erased – Lisa Thompson
    NOW would be nice Santa.
  6. The Boy: His Stories and How They Came to be – Oliver Jeffers
    I am a MASSIVE fan and would LOVE this thanks.

So there we go… challenge set Santa!

Share your #SixforSunday choices with me! I’d love to know what is on your list! 

See you next week! Keep your eyes peeled in the next few weeks for 2019’s #SixforSunday topics!

S x

Best of 2017: picture books edition

Hello! So far this week you’ve been treated to my favourite blog posts, MG books and YA books… today is no different, today is my favourite picture books of 2017. 

Now there are SO many books that could’ve been in with a shot, so many amazing books I read in 2017. I’ve tried to stick to books released this yearI hope none have slipped under the radar. 

I must point out now that The Building Boy by Ross Montgomery and David Litchfield would DEFINITELY be on this list, alas it was published in 2016. But go out and buy it, because it’s incredible. 

So anyway… let’s go!

picxture books 2017Just as with the rest of my round ups, they aren’t in any real order, and I will share the links to my reviews (if they are yet to be reviewed, there is a review to come!)

Words and Your Heart – Kate Jane Neal
BOOKBLOG: Kate Jane Neal
I used this book in school to coincide with anti-bullying week and it’s all about the power that our words have. It’s one of those books that makes an impact on you STRAIGHT away. We used it in Reception, Year 2 and Year 6, with all children responding incredibly to it. 

Balthazar the Great – Kirsten Sims
(review to come)
There’s a reason I don’t have a review for this yet… because I can’t put into words how much I loved it. Balthazar is the most brilliant bear. I can’t wait to share my review with you all in the new year! It’s brilliant (the book that is, my review might not quite live up to that!).

Kevin – Rob Biddulph
(review to come)
Another one of those brilliant books. This is one of those books that all kids will love. Plus Kevin is the absolute cutest thing in the world. The gorgeous people at the publishers sent me this book and I was SO happy when it came in the post! Rob Biddulph is a complete winner for me every single time.

Here We Are – Oliver Jeffers
BOOKBLOG: Oliver Jeffers
There is no denying that Oliver Jeffers is the absolute king of picture books. I reckon I own ALL of his picture books, and for me there’s not enough. Here We Are is absolutely incredible: it’s powerful with a brilliant message to deliver too. I definitely did not (I did) cry when I read it. Please get this for your kids, or yourselfyou deserve a treat.

Grandad’s Secret Giant – David Litchfield
BOOKBLOG: David Litchfield
David Litchfield is hands down my favourite illustrator (his collaborations with Ross Montgomery in particular are some of my favourites… see Christmas Dinner of Souls and The Building Boy) and this is his first of 2 mentions on my list. Grandad’s Secret Giant was an instant winner at school: the story is beautiful and poignant. I absolutely adored it.

Superbat – Matt Carr
BOOKBLOG: Matt Carr
My twiglets actually won this book in a competition and I read it to them one day when I was with them. Since then I have bought myself a copy! It’s just brilliant. My twiglets (who are both 6) loved this so much and there’s some amazing illustrations in the book! Poppy even made an amazing bat joke afterwards… check out the blog post to find out more!

Franklin’s Flying Bookshop – Jen Campbell
(review to come)
I only recently bought this (see: the end of November) and finally got round to reading it to myself the other day, but MAN what a book. I absolutely loved the story and the illustrations. I am still processing my thoughts, give me a week to pull myself together!

The Grotlyn – Benji Davies
(review to come)
The Grotlyn was one of those books that I had seen so many of my twitter friends talk about, so when I was offered the chance to receive this book from the publisher I jumped at the chance. Man, what a book. It’s brilliant. Benji Davies is a master at what he does. This book is just excellent

Look For Ladybird in Plant City – Katherina Manolessou
Look for Ladybird
Again, the lovely publishers over at Quarto Books sent me a copy of this and I gladly accepted. I read it to the kids at school and they loved it –  the fact it was a “search and find” book had them on side instantly. They loved looking for all of the bits and bobs and then the ladybird too. I then took it to my twiglets, who LOVED it. It kept them engaged while their mam and I had a cup of coffee, and that’s saying something! 

When I Grow Up – Tim Minchin and Steve Antony
When I Grow Up blog tour 
I was exceptionally lucky to be invited on to the blog tor for this book, where Steve Antony, he illustrator, shared some exclusive sneak into some of the original sketches. You all know how much I adore Matilda, so for me, this was an incredible opportunity. This is the book of one of the songs from Matilda the Musical. I recommend everyone, every single one of you, buys this book. It’s wonderful.

The Marvellous Moon Map – Teresa Heapy and David Litchfield 
(review to come)
This is one of the loveliest books I’ve read this year. It’s an adorable tale of going on an adventure, following your dreams! The illustrations (courtesy of David Litchfield) are just wonderful, adding an additional level to a brilliant story. 

You Choose In Space – Nick Sharratt and Pippa Goodhart
BOOKBLOG: Sharratt/Goodhart
This isn’t TECHNICALLY a picture book, I’m not quite sure what the You Choose books are classed as, but it is too good to miss out. These books always go down a storm and I was very lucky to get a copy! These books are brilliant for talk, but also incredible fun. I’ve known a group of adults crowd around these books and discuss the ins and outs of choices! 

And there you go… my favourite picture books of 2017. There are many, many others I could’ve included! 

Which books would you have on your list?
Have you read any of my choices?
Which is your favourite of my choices?

Talk to me! Tweet me! Email me! Send a pigeon! 

S x

BOOKBLOG: Oliver Jeffers

So… Oliver Jeffers everyone. If you know him and his books, you probably love him. I know I most certainly do. Most teachers I know do. I could talk about his books forever and a day and not quite get across how much I adore his books.

But anyway, his newest book ‘Here We Are’ is published next week and it is amazing. It is everything I want in a children’s book AND SO MUCH MORE.

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“Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers’ user’s guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet’s terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver’s signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.”

‘Here We Are’ is one of the kindest, most beautiful picture books of the year (and yes that is a BIG claim, but I truly believe it). It’s a book filled with information about the world, filled with messages that are important for us to deliver to our children. I didn’t realise it was a book he had written for his son, and then last few pages absolutely made me crumble. I think that is an incredible idea

This book is filled with all of the usual charm of Jeffers’ books – they’re beautifully illustrated, poignant, meaningful and uplifting – with an added extra little something. You learn from this book, you yearn to read more, you’ll smile (if you’re sentimental like me, you’ll cry) and you’ll want to share this with anyone and everyone you come across. 

This book is special. This is a book that I want to share with all of the littles in my life. It sounds like a conversation, like he is talking to his son, so reading it aloud is beautiful. I know it had the children at school gripped and they all adored it. It has been in some very gentle hands ever since, with the idea that I will most definitely buy another copy

There’s some brilliant science-y bits in there too! 

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This book is an advice manual written for Oliver Jeffers son, but it is most definitely a manual that ALL of us can take on board. 

Look after each other, look after our world, look after your world.  

I cried. I smiled. I had my heart warmed.
That’s what I want from my picture books!

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How cute is this dude too? (He’s hidden inside the dust jacket!)

Thank you so much to the wonderful people of HarperCollins Children’s for sending me this book… I just adore it. 

Have you read any of Oliver Jeffers’ books?
What is one piece of advice you want to leave for our next generation?

Let me know in the comments, or tweet me (@eenalol). I would love to make a post with all of your wonderful pieces of advice!

S x

BOOKBLOG: Oliver Jeffers

A Child of Books: inspiring, engaging and essential

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“A little girl sails her raft across a sea of words, arriving at the house of a small boy and calling him away on an adventure. Through forests of fairy tales and across mountains of make-believe, the two travel together on a fantastical journey that unlocks the boy’s imagination. Now a lifetime of magic and adventure lies ahead of him . . . but who will be next?”

A Child of Books is one of those wonderful books that comes along every now and again and isn’t about anything other than the power of imagination and the power of books. Throughout the story you see the girl and her friend invent and create a world based on their imagination. In a time where children’s imaginations are not the focus of their writing, this book is an incredible look at what writing should be about – how using your imagination can inspire a story, generation and the world

The illustrations in this book are absolutely spot on. They are so beautifully drawn and tell the story incredibly well. I love the use of words to create different parts of illustration (the wave in the picture above is made solely of words) and infusing books into as many pictures as possible (the trees in the forest are books, a lovely feature I didn’t realise until one of my children pointed it out!) My favourite illustration however is this one:

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The stark comparison of this picture compared to all of the others gave me great joy. It sends a brilliant message about building your world around stories and how anyone can build worlds, using stories

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The end papers are gorgeous. They’re titles of famous children’s books. I would love to sit and go through them and try to figure out which ones I’ve read and which I haven’t. All of the books seem to be ones which inspire and have created their own world. Books written by authors who have used their imagination to create a new land, a new world – somewhere new for the readers to explore

I have a massive place in my life for Oliver Jeffers; I think his work is outstanding. All of his other books are absolutely wonderful and all have a place in my life as a teacher and a reader. When I heard of this book, I knew it was one I had to own. Again you have a complete hit from Jeffers – the man who writes hit after hit. All classrooms and homes should have place for Oliver Jeffers books. From books for tiny little people to books for children a little older, they’re all wonderful. 

Image result for oliver jeffers books

Have you read A Child of Books?
What do you make of Oliver Jeffers?
Are there any other picture books like this you’d recommend?

I’d love to know what you think! Let me know in the comments, or on twitter – (@eenalol).

S x

Bookshop Day

October 8th this year was #BookshopDay so NATURALLY I visited a bookshop and BOUGHT BOOKS. What else would I do? I mean I can’t say that every day isn’t bookshop day with me but I need to celebrate it PROPERLY!

I have lusted after BooksAreMyBag bags forever and I never managed to get my hands on one. But when I saw them in Waterstones I knew I had to have one. JUST LOOK AT IT. It is a grey masterpiece. I love grey. My mam said “I knew you’d go for that!” when I picked it up. At £15 it isn’t the cheapest but it is beautiful and it’s a very sturdy fabric so it’s worth it! I don’t often splurge! 

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So now I have my bag, I need some books to put in it… and whatever did I splurge on?!

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Imaginary Fred – Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers.
“Sometimes, with a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, an imaginary friend might appear when you need one. An imaginary friend like Fred…

Fred floated like a feather in the wind until a lonely little boy wished for him and found a friendship like no other.”

I LOVE Oliver Jeffers. I own almost all of his books. I’ve seen this on Twitter for a few weeks now, so I knew I had to have it… and when it was on buy one get one half price I was convinced! I have heard that it’s made a few people cry, so I best read it to myself before I read it to the kids! I can’t wait to read this!

(Whilst we’re talking about tears…) Refuge – Anne Booth
“The Christmas story and what follows: the fleeing of Jesus, Mary and Joseph from Herod’s soldiers to Egypt.”

I saw this story, and thought it would be great for work! I work in a primary school and we’re always looking for new stories to read them. I started reading this to my mam and we got about 6 pages in and I could feel myself tearing up, ha. It’s the story told from the perspective of the donkey. I’ll have to read it to myself to ensure I don’t cry reading it aloud haha!

The Christmasaurus – Tom Fletcher
“Forget everything you thought you knew about the North Pole, and set off on a Christmas Eve adventure with boy named William Trundle, an elf named Snozzletrump, Santa Claus (yes! The real Santa Claus!), a nasty piece of work called the Hunter, and a most unusual dinosaur . . .”

Being an avid follower of Tom on Youtube I’ve seen all sorts of posts about this story and now I finally have my hands on it I am SUPER GLAD. I am going to read it and use it in the classroom! My Year 4 love stories and I think this will be perfect for them! 

So that’s my #BookshopDay haul. It is unintentionally a blue haul too! Love it. Did you go to a bookshop? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments or on twitter @eenalol

S x