The Future – I’m looking for a book about…

posted in: 2. Illustrators and Authors | 23

Time away gives you time to think, and one thought in particular which has been dancing around inside my head these last few weeks is how I can create and support a regular community get-together for all of us who love children’s books.

Unfortunately I can’t bring us all physically together, but what I can do is hold a virtual open house… and thinking about this has led me to set upI’m looking for a book about….

This will be a monthly reading/reviewing group bringing together bloggers and readers across the globe to create a topic focused resource that’s fun and useful to parents, teachers and librarians, as well as hopefully providing a stimulus to those of us who love to review books to seek out something new and unusual.

Image: Colin Payson

I’ve always been interested in ways of finding books by subject/theme – that was the idea behind Fantastic Fiction for Kids, and also the topic of this post: “Finding kids’ fiction by subject/theme“. Not only do I believe in enriching literacy through play, I’m also passionate about enriching play through literacy – in other words, finding books on the topics/themes that are of particular interest to my girls, reading stories together that extend their play and introduce new ideas.

Here’s how I hope I’m looking for a book about… will work…

  • What?A monthly round-up of reviews of books on a specific topic/theme
  • Why? To create a resource for people wishing to find children’s books on a particular theme/topic, to foster a community here on Playing by the book and amongst those of us who love to read and review children’s books
  • Who? YOU! Me! Us 🙂
  • How? Write a review of a children’s book which fits the monthly theme (published well in advance). The book can be a new one, an old one, a picture book or a teen/YA book, a poem, a non-fiction book – anything goes, as long as it is a children’s book that somehow relates closely to the given month’s theme/topic.
  • When? The 2nd Monday of every month
  • Where? Publish the review on your blog, then come here to join the monthly link up.

  • Image: John 'K'

    As this is about creating a resource, relevant old reviews are more than welcome (although I hope you’ll take I’m looking for a book about… as an opportunity to write a new post) and you can submit more than one post per month

    So what are the monthly topics going to be?

    For the first get together, on May 14 the topic will be “elves and fairies”, to fit in with a craft and play round up which Maggy at Red Ted Art is curating. With book recommendations here, and creative ideas on Red Ted Art, I hope you’ll find lots of inspiration to get reading and playing with the kids in your lives.

    As to future topics, this is where I’d like your input.

    As parents what topics would you like to see covered? Feisty princesses? Food habits? Bullying?

    As teachers what topics would you help you? Perhaps ones covered in the school curriculum such as minibeasts, space or money?

    Please leave a comment making suggestions for topics!

    So “The Future” here on Playing by the book definitely involves you. I always strive to write posts that are of interest to you all, but with this project I hope to take things a step further by enabling you to take the lead on the content, and by bringing us together, albeit virtually.

    23 Responses

      • Zoe

        Thanks Yvonne, Library Mice and Choxbox – do let me know if you have any suggestions about topics

    1. Mrs Brown

      Good stuff – I’d love to be involved. I recently tried to find a book for my nephew about wearing glasses and was surprised at the lack of choice. I ended up spending way too much money on a mediocre title from the US. I could have used “I’m looking for a book about.”
      Mrs Brown recently posted..How Little Lori Visited Times Square

      • Zoe

        Hi Mrs Brown, yes exactly – it can be so hard to find a good book which addresses a particular issue or is about a particular topic. As to books on Glasses, here are some (though I’ve not read any of them myself): Mole’s in Love by David Bedford, Arthur’s eyes by Marc Brown, Princess Peepers by Pam Calvert, Farmer Brown’s field trip by Melody Carlsno, Boris’s glasses by Peter Cohen, Farmer mcPeepers and his missing milk cows by Katy Duffield, Choosing eyeglasses with Mrs Koutris by Alice Flanagan, The Patch by Justina Headley, Baby Duck and the bad eyeglasses, Glasses…. who needs ’em? by Lane Smith, The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Lyon

      • Zoe

        Thanks Laura and Se7en – do let me know if you have any burning desires for topics to be covered…

    2. Clara

      Wonderful, Zoe – count me in too!

      I have an idea: would it be interesting to use the monthly theme as a creative starting point for children writing (or making up) stories of their own? As a writer-illustrator I’m really interested in how stories and playing inspire young imaginations, and I could give a few tips and pointers??

      Let me know what you think!
      Clara recently posted..bunny biccies!

    3. Stacey

      What a wonderful idea!!!! Can’t wait to join in… Will start thinking about topics 🙂

    4. Helen Dineen

      Great idea! I don’t have a blog for reviews but will love to follow this and contribute ideas for topics. I struggled to find a good book about rockets for my son last Christmas for example. Inventors and robots are two other hot topics for us (Wendell’s Workshop by Chris Riddell is perfect for both!) I would also love good books about starting preschool for my daughter who goes in September. Looking forward to the first round-up, thanks for the opportunity to contribute.

    5. Myra from GatheringBooks

      Hi Zoe, you can definitely count us in! I’m pretty excited about this one, it’s always great if there is dynamism in our kidlitosphere meme and new events have space to flourish – in celebration of that which we all enjoy: booksbooksbooks! We do have ongoing themes in GatheringBooks, we’re about to launch our newest one by the second week of May – so in that sense, our initial links (like the one on elves and fairies for May) might be a link-back to some of our older posts when we had this for our theme (we had a fractured fairy tale theme last year). We also try to come up with a list of books based on our themes – which we could link up to your round-up as well.

      Currently, we’re doing a girl power theme which you may also want to consider for further topics. Another would be a celebration of multicultural literature, or peace-related themes. Art, music, and dance would also be interesting topics/themes. 🙂
      Myra from GatheringBooks recently posted..March AWB Reviews

    6. BongMom

      This sounds fun. I am not great at reviewing books but would like to join in. Also I would like to see a topic same as your title “The Future”. Or maybe something on “History” ?

    7. Andi

      Such a great idea! As a teacher, I always seem to be “looking for a book about….” This year alone I have tried to round up books on space travel, gardening/plants, electricity, inventing, writing/being an author, geology, the human body, Ancient Egypt, world religions, creativity, making mistakes, bullying, accepting others who are different, stories with several variations, and the ocean. (and I’m sure I missed a few in there!) I’ll be excited to discover new books in whatever themes you choose!

    8. Zoe

      Helen, Myra, Andi and Bong Mum,
      Thank you for all your topic suggestions – they’re really useful

    9. Alex Baugh

      This sounds like such a great idea, and you can definitely count on me. Because I am on a book prize committee, I read a lot of other books that are not abour WW II, and have been thinking of starting a blog for them, so the idea of a roundup sound great.
      It looks like you have a lot of support for this and lots of good topic ideas.
      Alex Baugh recently posted..Blitzed by Robert Swindells

    10. Kerry Aradhya

      Hi, Zoe. What a great idea! I just subscribed to the blog so I won’t miss the roundups. I’m particularly interested in topics related to the arts, but there are so many great topics out there to choose from. Good luck with the May roundup. THE VERY FAIRY PRINCESS books come to mind when you mention elves and fairies 🙂
      Kerry Aradhya recently posted..On Location in Texas: Dance, Y’all, Dance!

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