Playing by the book

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

The Katie Morag Treasury / Books with a strong sense of location

Over the last couple of year’s I’ve read quite a lot about how children’s books with a very specific cultural setting are not favoured by publishers because it is hard to sell rights widely; publishers are keen for “universal” stories which translate (literally and figuratively) well across borders and languages. Whilst I understand publishers’ drive […]

Cuddling up to Nightbear by Rebecca Patterson

There are lots of recipes for great picture books but Rebecca Patterson has certainly worked out one of the best set of ingredients. She takes a good dose of humour, a non-patronising, reassuring, sincere child’s-eye view of the world and adds in highly observant illustrations and a sprinkling of drama. She did it with the […]

Reluctant readers and creative creatures

When asked for advice on getting reluctant readers eager to stick with a book, I often suggest trying an “instruction book”, whether that be a cookery book, an activity guide, a craft book or indeed a genuine instruction manual. Instruction books have a inbuilt purpose; sometimes reluctant readers are just that because they can’t see […]

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