Playing by the book

Reviews of kids' books and the crazy, fun stuff they inspire us to do

Cakes in space by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

Imagine packing up your home, leaving Earth and setting out to travel across space to colonise a new planet. The journey will take so long you’ll be put into a cryptobiotic state. But there is absolutely nothing to fear: You’re on sleek new spaceship, looked after by a team of well-programmed robots, and everything has […]

Picture books where naughtiness goes unpunished and unredeemed

The phenomenal, ongoing success of Horrid Henry and the recent rebranding of Blyton’s Naughtiest Girl in the School series (with new illustrations by Kate Hindley) show how many young children love to read about kids getting up to no good. Picture books which revel in really bad behaviour are less common but Children are Naughty […]

Diversity in picture books and the astonishing case of the stolen stories

“Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books?” Last weekend Walter Dean Myers, a previous National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (the US equivalent of the UK’s children’s laureate) wrote a thought-provoking article in the New York Times about the need for […]

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