Children's Books & Writing Stories Once upon a time...  Children's Books & Writing Stories Once upon a time...


Tuesday 21st March  2017





The Hedgehog Mystery: by  Ally Kennen   (Author),  

Age Range 5-8




The Hedgehog Mystery: by  Ally Kennen   (Author),   


Age Range: 5-8 Year old

Paperback: 56 pages

Publisher: Collins


No one has a gran like Ellie and Morris. Gran has red hair, a leather jacket, and she's part of a motorbike gang. When Gran's lodger disappears with her motorbike, Ellie and Morris decide to take matters into their own hands. Find out what happens in this hilarious mystery, written by Carnegie nominee, Ally Kennen and illustrated by Mark Beech.


• Sapphire/Band 16 books offer longer reads to develop children's sustained engagement with texts and are more complex syntactically.






Monday 20th March  2017





The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson (Author),    Paul Howard (Illustrator)


Age Range 3-8




The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson (Author),    Paul Howard (Illustrator)


Paperback: 32 pages

Age Range: 3 - 5 years

Publisher: Egmont



Paperback: 112 pages

Age Range: 5 - 8 years

Publisher: Egmont


Note there are quite a few version of this book from board book to paperback for young read it yourself.


Plop, the baby barn owl, is like every barn owl there ever was, except for one thing – he is afraid of the dark! Mrs Barn Owl sends him down from the nest-hole to find out more about the dark, and on his travels he meets a little boy who shows him fireworks, a black cat who takes him exploring, a little girl who tells him about Father Christmas and many others. It's not long before Plop finds out that DARK IS SUPER!


A comforting story filled with gentle humour and Paul Howard's warm and soothing illustrations, Jill Tomlinson’s The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark has been enjoyed for decades by parents and children who want to snuggle down with a good read. Perfect for kids aged 2+


Jill Tomlinson never intended to be a writer. She trained as an opera singer, and then decided to have a family whilst her voice matured. But illness intervened, and she had to find another outlet for her energies. She started on a journalism course, and by the third lesson decided she wanted to write for children. So she did! Jill Tomlinson’s bestselling animal stories have been adored by children the world over for nearly four decades.


Paul Howard is an extraordinarily talented artist who has illustrated many award-winning books from authors such as Allan Ahlberg, Jeanne Willis and Michael Rosen, which have delighted children and adults alike across the world.





Sunday 19th March  2017



Dear Dinosaur Paperback  by Chae Strathie (Author),    Nicola O'Byrne (Illustrator)



Age Range 2-5+ years old





Dear Dinosaur Paperback  by Chae Strathie (Author),    Nicola O'Byrne (Illustrator)



Age Range 2-5+ years old

Paperback: 32 pages

Publisher: Scholastic;


After a trip to the museum, Max writes a letter to his favourite dinosaur, the mighty T. Rex - and the T. Rex writes back! As Max and T. Rex learn about each other's lives, a very unusual friendship develops in this funny and touching story from an award-winning duo. Dinosaur fans will love this interactive picture book with actual letters and cards to open, and dinosaur facts to discover along the way.

Saturday 18th March  2017






Dave Pigeon (Nuggets!)

by Swapna Haddow   (Author)   

Sheena Dempsey (Illustrator)



AGE RANGE: 5-8 Years



Dave Pigeon (Nuggets!) Paperback  by Swapna Haddow   (Author),    Sheena Dempsey (Illustrator)



Paperback: 176 pages

Age Range 5-8 years old

Publisher: Faber & Faber


Dave Pigeon is BACK! And so is his side-kick Skipper. But trouble is afoot. When their Human Lady leaves to go on a 'holiday' (whatever that is), Dave and Skipper are horrified to find that their food supply quickly runs dry. With delicious biscuits on their minds, they set off in search of a new owner - but is Reginald Grimster all he seems? Why is he so keen on feeding them? And why does he have so many books about cooking . . .?


Another hilarious installment in the Dave Pigeon series from Greenhouse Funny Prize winner Swapna Haddow, brilliantly brought to life with Sheena Dempsey's illustrations.



Friday 17th March 2017


Making Friends Is An Art (Happy to Be, You and Me) by Julia Cook  



Age : 4 - 5+ years


Making Friends Is An Art (Happy to Be, You and Me) by Julia Cook   (Author),


Paperback: 32 pages

Age Range: 4 - 7 years

Publisher: Boys Town Press


Meet Brown - the least used pencil in the box. He's tall, geeky and lonely. Brown envies Red, Purple, Blue and all the other pencils who have fun colouring and playing together. Dark Green is trustworthy, Pink listens well, Orange has fun and everybody likes Red! Brown doesn't smile very often because he doesn't get used much and hardly ever needs sharpening.

When Brown asks the other pencils why no one likes him, he discovers that to have friends, he needs to be a good friend. If Brown learns to use all of the friendship skills the other pencils have, he can make friends and have fun too!


In her trademark clever and humorous fashion, author, Julia Cook, teaches kids of all ages (and adults too!) how to practise the art of friendship and getting along with others. This title is the first in a Happy to Be, You and Me series of books focusing on relationship-building skills for children. Included in the book are tips for parents and teachers on how to help children who feel left out and have trouble making friends.






Thurs 16th March 2017













On the Night You Were Born  by Nancy Tillman 





On the Night You Were by Nancy Tillman   (Author)


32 pages

Age Range: 2 - 4+ years


Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

One of my most favourite authors and illustrators is Nancy Tillman.


I find all her books amazing pieces of art but “On The Night You Were Born” is very special and has to rate as one of the most beautiful children’s picture books ever.


From the Inside Flap:"On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered.”Life will never be the same.""


On the night you were born, the whole world came alive with thanksgiving. The moon stayed up till morning. The geese flew home to celebrate. Polar bears danced. On the night you were born you brought wonder and magic to the world. Here is a book that celebrates you. It is meant to be carried wherever life takes you, over all the roads, through all the years.


Nancy Tillman is a successful greeting card designer and former advertising executive who created "On the Night You Were Born "to convey to children, at an early and impressionable age, that "You are the one and only ever you.


Available as a board book, paperback, hardback and Kindle. A brilliant gift for a child


I have listed many of her other wonderful books on my blog at

WEDNESDAY 15th March 2016






WEDNESDAY 15th March 2016




The Everything Machine by Ally Kennen (Author)





Paperback: 368 pages

Age Range: 8 - 12 years

Publisher: Scholastic


Eleven year old Olly has a very special delivery - a 3D printing machine, stamped with PROPERTY OF M.O.D and BRITISH SPACE AGENCY. WARNING. DO NOT TAMPER, which has magical powers... It has a name, it speaks, and it can print ANYTHING Olly asks it to - a never-ending supply of sweets, a swimming pool in the shed - but what Olly really wants is... his dad, who has separated from his mum and moved out of the family home. Cue the creation of Dad-Bot - he looks just like Dad (on a good day) but is totally chaotic - and his antics tip Olly and co into a heart-racing and heart-warming adventure!


MARCH 2017


Tuesday 14th March  2017





Swashbuckle Lil and the Jewel Thief (Swashbuckle Lil: The Secret Pirate) by Elli Woollard



AGE RANGE: 5-8 Years


Swashbuckle Lil and the Jewel Thief (Swashbuckle Lil: The Secret Pirate) Paperback  by Elli Woollard (Author),


Paperback: 96 pages

Age Range: 5 - 8 years


Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books


Lil is a pirate, a good sort of pirate, and when there is someone to save,

she'll do what is right (if it takes her all night). Yes, she'll always be bold and be brave.


On a trip to the museum, evil pirate Stinkbeard tries to steal an old king's ruby ring, and it's up to schoolgirl and secret pirate, Lil, to stop him! In story two, Lil and her pet parrot are off to a birthday party. But when Stinkbeard and his pet croc turn up, it's up to Lil to save the day.


Swashbuckle Lil and the Jewel Thief, by author Elli Woollard and illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson, is the second in an exciting new series with two rip-roaringly rhyming, brilliantly illustrated stories in each book which make the perfect transition from parent-led to independent reading.


Monday 13th March  2017





Here Comes The Sun Paperback  by Karl Newson & Migy Blanco




AGE RANGE: 3-5 Years


Here Comes The Sun Paperback  by Karl Newson   (Author),    Migy Blanco (Illustrator)


Paperback: 32 pages

Age Range: 3 - 5 years

Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd


While all the other animals sleep through the night, Little Owl has work to do - she needs to blow the stars out one by one to make way for morning. A reassuring picture book that will have little ones ready for a peaceful night's sleep.


Sunday 12th March  2017





The Dragonsitter   by Josh Lacey   &  Garry Parsons



AGE RANGE: 7-9 Years



The Dragonsitter (The Dragonsitter series) Paperback  by Josh Lacey   (Author),    Garry Parsons (Illustrator)


Paperback: 112 pages

Age Range: 7 - 9 years

Publisher: Andersen Press


'Dear Uncle Morton. You'd better get on a plane right now and come back here. Your dragon has eaten Jemima.'


It had sounded so easy: Edward was going to look after Uncle Morton's unusual pet for a week while he went on holiday. But soon the fridge is empty, the curtains are blazing, and the postman is fleeing down the garden path.

Saturday 11th March  2017




The Bedtime Bear by Ian Whybrow (Author),    Axel Scheffler (Illustrator)


AGE RANGE: 0-3+ Years




The Bedtime Bear (Board book) by Ian Whybrow (Author),    Axel Scheffler (Illustrator)


Age: 0-3+ Year old

12 pages

Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books


Bedtime isn't bedtime without your favourite bear - and Tom's bear is on his way! Follow Bear on his adventures as he finds his way back to Tom, from cycling through the jungle with a tiger to hitching a lift with a sheep on a jeep.


This fun board book features a laugh-out-loud text full of witty rhymes and silly scenarios from Ian Whybrow, and illustrations by Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo, that are bursting with funny details, The Bedtime Bear is a bedtime book with a difference - and there's a flap to lift on every page, so children can join in the fun!


Sunday 5th March  2017





Winnie the Pooh


A. A. Milne


Age Range:  All Ages



Winnie-the-Pooh, the Original Version1 by A. A. Milne


Suitable for all ages

Paperback: 168 pages

Publisher: Ishi Press


This is an exact reproduction of the Original Winnie-the-Pooh published in 1926. Winnie-the-Pooh is perhaps unique in that it is based on real people and historical events. Christopher Robin was a real person. As a child, he had a teddy bear he named “Winnie-the-Pooh”. The bear was named after a real bear in the London Zoo named Winnie. The introductory chapter in the book “Winnie-the-Pooh” explains how the teddy bear got his name. The stories later in the book are fiction, but the beginning introduction to the book is factual. Because this book is about real people and events, this places the book in a different legal position than other children's books with cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck which are purely the inventions of their creators. The real Winnie-the-Pooh is now on display at the New York Public Library.


Also recommend is :

Winnie The Pooh (BBC Radio Collection) Audio CD  – Audiobook, by A.A. Milne   (Author)


Alan Bennett reads A.A. Milne's much-loved stories about a small bear and his friends. What is the connection between a bear of very little brain and a honey pot? Usually it's the very sticky paw of Winnie the Pooh, as he takes a break between adventures for a little something. In these five stories, taken from the book 'Winnie-the-Pooh', Pooh goes visiting and gets into a tight place, Eeyore loses a tail, Piglet meets a Heffalump, Eeyore has a birthday and gets two presents, and an expedition is mounted to the North Pole! As usual they are accompanied by Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl - to say nothing of Pooh's very clever young human friend, Christopher Robin. Now with a musical introduction, Alan Bennett's delightful readings bring each and every character in the forest to life.

Saturday 4th March  2017




Black Moon


L A Weatherly

Age Range:   YA



Black Moon Written by L. A. Weatherly


Paperback: 656 pages

Age Range YA

Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd


A fitting and truly fabulous end to the breathtaking Broken Trilogy. It’s 1942, nearly two thousand years after time was reset and war and atomic weapons were banned, yet a terrifying regime is attempting to stamp and bully it’s way across the world. The resistance has a voice, Amity is determined to fight to the bitter end. This is an epic story, 650 pages flew by as my heart sank, wept, and sang. L. A. Weatherly doesn't always allow time to run concurrently, instead significant moments remain hidden, biding their time, waiting to surprise. Uncomfortable truths stride across the page, yet they don’t preach, instead this punchy, vibrant, incredible trilogy allows you to make comparisons, to feel, to think, to decide. l absolutely adore and highly recommend Black Moon, it storms your emotions, echoes the past, and yet, is a warning from the future. ~ Liz Robinson

Friday 3rd March  2017




Daisy the Spider  by Charlotte Lepofsky


Age Range:   3-5 years


Daisy the Spider  by Charlotte Lepofsky (Author)

Paperback: 30 pages

Age Range 3-5 Years

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform


Got socks? Daisy sure does! She's got four pair for every occasion. Come see Daisy and her friends as she shows off her very fun sock collection!



Wednesday 1st March  2017




Fortunately, the Milk ...  

by Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell


Age Range:   5-8 years



Fortunately, the Milk ...  by Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell


Paperback: 160 pages

Age Range: 5 - 8 years

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


You know what it's like when your mum goes away on a business trip and Dad's in charge. She leaves a really, really long list of what he's got to do. And the most important thing is DON'T FORGET TO GET THE MILK. Unfortunately, Dad forgets. So the next morning, before breakfast, he has to go to the corner shop, and this is the story of why it takes him a very, very long time to get back. Featuring: Professor Steg (a time-travelling dinosaur), some green globby things, the Queen of the Pirates, the famed jewel that is the Eye of Splod, some wumpires, and a perfectly normal but very important carton of milk. The award-laden, bestselling Neil Gaiman, author of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Stardust, Neverwhere, The Graveyard Book and Coraline, brings his biggest ever publishing year to a spectacular conclusion with this gloriously entertaining novel about time-travel, dinosaurs, milk and dads.

When I was a lad at school around 13 years old, our Maths teacher used to call me Wol. At the end of the year as we were moving up a class I plucked up courage to ask why he called me Wol. He told meit was thename of the deslexic owl in Winnie the Pooh. With my Harry Potter glasses he said I looked like the Wise Old Owl in the Winnie the Pooh stories.


Being the vain person I am I took it as a compliment

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