Halloween 2019

It comes around every year and with each year it gets bigger, scarier and seems to go on for longer … Halloween … the one night of the year when it seems we are allowed to dress up in scary outfits, have fun parties and scare one another with activities and more. At the same time as the parties get bigger and the marketing campaigns widen their net, it is great to see that there is a safety net for those who want to be scared in the safest possible way – at home, school, in the nursery or library, among friends or family – books of course! And a book is not just for Halloween, even if it does have a fearsome or scary theme - of course it may help. Dark winter nights help make a story even

Rhyme Flies When You're Having Fun

Telling the time can be a real challenge! I know - I worked with children in Years 4 & 5 when Maths lessons were all about telling the time. It's not something they could easily master so it was wonderful to find Rhyme Flies, by Antonia Pesenti, landing on my door mat recently. But Rhyme Flies is not just about time; time is only one element. It's also about word association and a day of very silly and completely unexpected occurrences. It looks simple enough: a bright, bold board book, not too flashy, quite chunky. Then you open the covers and it gets even better! There is an alarm clock, a perfect in troduction to children to the objects we use when telling the time. Two simple words acco

An Adventure in Presadia

Enjoyed a visit to Narnia or Middle-earth? Try An Adventure in Presadia… For fans of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, and J.R.R.Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, new author Luke Aylen’s Presadia series may well offer some entertaining hours of reading. With the second book, The Forgotten Palace (Lion Hudson), published this spring, it’s worth also finding a copy of the first, The Mirror and the Mountain, which appeared in 2018. The Mirror and the Mountain introduced us to Jonah and Summer, two eleven year olds who, exploring a tunnel under a church, find a magical mirror which transports them to a strange land – Presadia. Here they encounter dwarves, dragons and a war-to

Books, a Recollection

As well as being the very happy recipient of a daily pile of books, I love it when I reach out to the publicity department at a publishing house in order to request a book that has caught my eye, and they tell me no, they won’t send it to me at that moment because … they are saving it up to send me a lovely big parcel of goodies. This means that not only do I get lots of books in one parcel but also that I am never going to know what they are sending! This very instance happened just this week – well, a few weeks ago was when it began. I got in touch with Paul at GMC Distribution to request a book and on his asking whether I could possibly wait until his parcel of goodies was ready for me, I

Animal Magnetism

Animals are a consistently strong feature in picture books and this round-up of titles that have come to Armadillo HQ in recent weeks is no exception. As the autumn evenings set in, what better time to sit back and learn with a book? Explore the world. Make a few models. And all this can be done with just one book! Surprised? I thought you might be, which is why I decided to start this week's blog with Lego Animal Atlas from DK, a book which includes enough bricks to build four Lego animals whilst learning which parts of the world they live in. Having built your models – follow the expert instructions! – search for your animals to learn more about them and their habitats, placing them in th

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