Book Review, Picture Books

The Cockatoo from Timbuktu

The Cockatoo from Timbuktu by William A.E. Ford and illustrated by Ramile M. Imac is a delightful picture book that takes children on a journey around the world! Little Kian, the cockatoo, lives in a zoo. Even though he spends all day singing, he is sad. He misses his mum and dad and wants nothing… Continue reading The Cockatoo from Timbuktu

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Ghost Garden by Emma Carroll

It’s the summer of 1914 and there is news of assassinations and potential war coming from far away. For the children at Longbarrow House, it’s incredibly exciting but also incredibly frightening. They dread the thought of their fathers having to go away to war but every sign seems to say it’s going to happen. When… Continue reading The Ghost Garden by Emma Carroll

Book Review, Picture Books

Babble Bot by Bennett Dixon

Babble Bot is a fun, heart-warming picture book by American author Bennett Dixon about the joys and frustrations of parenthood.  It begins with a dad struggling to understand what his baby is trying to say. Could technology be the answer? A robot interpreter with a universal translator for ‘adult speak’, ‘baby babble’ and ‘dog’ steps… Continue reading Babble Bot by Bennett Dixon

Book Review, Early Reader, Illustrated Fiction

The Brian Brackbrick Mysteries by G.R. Dix

The Brian Brackbrick books are a series of fun mystery stories for children age 5-8. Centred around the highly intelligent child detective Brian Brackbrick, readers are able to work with the characters to find clues, research answers and solve the case. At the end of each book, one aspect of the mystery is left unanswered.… Continue reading The Brian Brackbrick Mysteries by G.R. Dix

Book Review, Early Reader

Clever Cakes by Michael Rosen

Clever Cakes, written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Ashley King, is an appealing, colourful book containing two fun fairy tales with a twist. Published by Barrington Stoke, these stories help children age 5-8 make the jump into longer stories with a more grown-up feel. “Clever Cakes” and “The Great Golden Belly-Button” tell the stories of… Continue reading Clever Cakes by Michael Rosen

Book Review, Early Reader

Captain Whiskers by Jeremy Strong

Captain Whiskers, written by Jeremy Strong and illustrated by Matt Robertson, is a wonderful, laugh out loud story of a boy who desperately wants a pet.  Published by Barrington Stoke, it is an appealing “Little Gem” story for young readers (age 5-8). As an early chapter book, it builds confidence through manageable sections of text, short… Continue reading Captain Whiskers by Jeremy Strong

Book Review, Illustrated Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction

Monster Slayer: A Beowulf Tale by Brian Patten

Monster Slayer: A Beowulf Tale, written by Brian Patten and illustrated by Chris Riddell, is a wonderfully horrible retelling of the classic tale of Anglo Saxon hero, Beowulf, and the gruesome monsters he defeats.  When Grendel attacks the village, it seems like there is nothing the people can do to stop him. Then, one day, the… Continue reading Monster Slayer: A Beowulf Tale by Brian Patten

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray

Orphans of the Tide is absolutely stunning. Struan Murray invites readers to dive into layers and layers of meaning and be swallowed up by the rich symbolism of the story. Surrounded by the sea, “The City” (the last in the world) is at the mercy of the tides and the power of the water. The… Continue reading Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell

The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell is a living, breathing story of colourful imagery and magnificent language set on the beautiful island of Papua New Guinea. It is a story of respect and responsibility, the conflict of traditions versus what is perceived to be progress, and a personal search for truth, forgiveness and finding oneself.… Continue reading The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell

Article, English Teaching, Reading

5 Books Teachers Should Read in the Classroom

In honour of World Book Day 2020, True Education Partnerships asked me to write a guest blog post about my Top 5 Books for the Classroom. Follow the link to read more: Click on the covers below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.