Archive for April, 2015

Top 3 books, by age range 19 – 26 April 2015

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Books for Babies and Toddlers

Slug Needs a Hug Slug Needs a Hug
Jeanne Willis
April 2015 Book of the Month – Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Month  Best-selling Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross have created many fabulous picture books together. Here, the weedy and whiny little slug is just longing for a hug! How …
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My Daddy My Daddy
Julia Hubery
However dads look, whatever they do, YOUR dad is the best, and he thinks you’re great too! This fun and playful celebration of all dads, everywhere, is now available as a chunky board book with a shiny foiled cover. The …
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Say Hello Like This! Say Hello Like This!
Mary Murphy
An exuberant book that invites all readers to join in too! All the animals have different ways of saying Hello! The Chicken hello is flappy and clucky, the Frog hello is jumpy and croaky, the Beetle hello is tiny and …
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Featured Books for Young Adults

More Than This More Than This
Patrick Ness
Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal – One of our Books of the Year 2014 – May 2014 Mega Book of the Month  This exceptional new novel from multi-award-winning Patrick Ness will, once again, delight his readers with a superbly written, …
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The Secret Countess The Secret Countess
Eva Ibbotson
By the award-winning and bestselling author of Journey to the River Sea, a novel that sings with characteristic Ibbotson warmth and wit, now with a beautiful new cover look …
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My Smoky Bacon Crisp Obsession My Smoky Bacon Crisp Obsession
J. A. Buckle
Josh Walker is a boy who likes a list.  Top of his ‘things to do this year’ is: commence upper-body-related action with girlfriend Becky; form a band (death metal preferably); and get a tattoo. By the end of the book …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

Pizza for Pirates Pizza for Pirates
Adam Guillain, Charlotte Guillain
April 2015 Book of the Month  From the team who created the Roald Dahl Funny Prize shortlisted Spaghetti with the Yeti comes a brand new picturebook, and it’s another tasty treat! This time young George has a wonderful plan to sail …
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You Can't Take an Elephant on the Bus You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus
Patricia Cleveland-Peck
April 2015 Book of the Month – Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Month  There’s lots of laughs here! An elephant on a bus, a whale on a bike, a hippo in a hot air balloon – none of these is …
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The Something The Something
Rebecca Cobb
April 2015 Book of the Month – Longlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal  Award-winning illustrator Rebecca Cobb creates a number of different imaginary worlds in this delightfully fanciful story about a hole in the ground. The little girl …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

The Adventures of Mr Toad The Adventures of Mr Toad
Tom Moorhouse
Everyone loves the ebullient and outrageous Mr Toad, one of the heroes of Kenneth Grahame’s classic The Wind in the Willows. Tom Moorhouse brings him to life in this modern retelling which captures all the drama of Mr Toad’s famous …
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Sir John the (Mostly) Brave Sir John the (Mostly) Brave
Johnny Smith
What’s in a name, asks this new series of madcap adventures for young readers.  John Smith is fed up with being teased for having the most boring name in the world, until his granddad lets him into an amazing secret: …
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The Unlikely Outlaws The Unlikely Outlaws
Philip Ardagh
Reading Age 6-9 Interest Age 7-10  There are actually four stories for the price of one in this chunky little book. It brings together three of Philip Ardagh’s jolly adventures of the Green Men of Gressingham. The Green Men (brown …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

The Fastest Boy in the World The Fastest Boy in the World
Elizabeth Laird
Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal In a beautifully told story packed with emotion and action, Elizabeth Laird tells how eleven- year- old Solomon turns his dreams of becoming an International runner into reality. Solomon runs everywhere – and always especially …
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How Harry Riddles Mega-Massively Broke the School How Harry Riddles Mega-Massively Broke the School
Simon Mayle
April 2015 Book of the Month  Harry Riddles, aka the Shoutykid, is back for a new adventure. How can he solve all the problems of his family? Most urgently, with twins imminent, how can he get his sister a job …
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A Dog Called Flow A Dog Called Flow
Pippa Goodhart
Shortlisted for the Smarties Prize and the Kathleen Fidler Award.  Oliver is struggling at school, and the other children laugh at him.  What he really wants is a dog, a dog to love him loyally and uncritically; a dog to …
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Featured Books for 9+ readers

The Astounding Broccoli Boy The Astounding Broccoli Boy
Frank Cottrell Boyce
April 2015 Book of the Month   Frank Cottrell Boyce is at Hay Fever!   What would you do if your skin suddenly turned a bright, broccoli shade of green? Join multi-award-winning author Frank Cottrell Boyce as he introduces the colourful cast …
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Haunters Haunters
Thomas Taylor
The dead and the living exist side by side in this thrilling time-travelling adventure. In David’s recurrent dream, Eddie seems real and it seems like he’s got something to tell David. That’s scary enough but then David gets picked up …
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The Accidental Prime Minister The Accidental Prime Minister
Tom McLaughlin
April 2015 Debut of the Month  We’ve all thought it: a twelve-year-old boy could do an MP’s job at least as well as the present lot, probably better. That’s the premise in Tom McLaughlin’s debut novel, only the twelve-year-old in …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

If You Were Me If You Were Me
Sam Hepburn
April 2015 Book of the Month Two young people from very different backgrounds star in this crime mystery. Aliya’s family have fled to England from Afghanistan, chased out by the Taliban. Dan lives in London with his parents, reluctantly helping …
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The Sound of Whales The Sound of Whales
Kerr Thomson
Winner of 2014 Times/ Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. This wonderful adventure story, winner of the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition, is set on a beautiful Scottish island, where two teenagers – a Scottish boy and an American girl – find …
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The Middle of Nowhere The Middle of Nowhere
Geraldine Mccaughrean
Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal – One of our Books of the Year 2014 – Shortlisted for The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award 2014   Award-winning Geraldine McCaughrean captures a far off landscape and a far off time in her fabulously …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

Othergirl Othergirl
Nicole Burstein
There are lots of young girls with a best friend they think is so much prettier, funnier, and more popular than they are, that she almost seems to have superpowers. That’s just what it’s like for Louise, except that her …
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Tinder Tinder
Sally Gardner
Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal – Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal  Award-winning Sally Gardner tells a gripping, bloody and bold story drawing on the traditions of fairy stories of all kinds and especially Hans Christian Andersen’s The …
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The Haunting of Sunshine Girl The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
Paige McKenzie, Alyssa B. Sheinmel
April 2015 Debut of the Month Sunshine has just turned sixteen when she and her mum leave Texas for a new home in rainy Washington. They’ve not even been there one night before something creepy makes its presence felt, to …
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Ten French Children’s Books – that are available in English!

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Author of the hilarious The Royal Wedding Crashers and The Royal Babysitters, Clementine Beauvais has shared with us at Lovereading4kids, her 10 of the best French Children’s books translated into English…


Have you ever heard me complain about the fact that hardly anything ever gets translated into English from other countries in the world? No? Well, you’ve probably never sat down with me for more than ten minutes. I should probably go on strike and demonstrate and burn cars about it, but maybe it’s better to take things more positively and think about the children’s books… that do get translated!


Today, I’m going to focus on French children’s books translated into English – because 1) I’m French, and 2) my new Very British book, The Royal Wedding-Crashers, takes place in a place a litteul bit like France. It’s called Francia. Any resemblance, etc. So, which Francian books would my little Pepino, Holly and Anna read, if they had the time to read (as opposed to flying across the city, running around catacombs, and being almost-beheaded)?


Well, there’s the classics, of course, but I won’t go on about Astérix, Babar, the Little Prince and Tintin (Belgian, not French, I know!), or even Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, or Jean-Luc Fromental and Joëlle Jolivet’s 365 Penguins, because you already know about those. What else is there? Here’s a highly subjective list of gems.

  1. I can’t wait, by Davide Cali and Serge Bloch. Black and white figures, a red thread, a life story. An Amazon review hysterically warns us that ‘it’s not for children!!!’, so please give it to children.
  2. De Zert Island, by Claude Ponti. One of the rare translations in English of ‘the’ master of French picturebook art. Not his best, but beggars can’t be choosers. It’s a perfect introduction to Ponti’s world, a sprawling, quirky, phenomenally detailed universe of monsters and hybrids, of things turned animal and humanoid plants. (Picturebook)
  3. The Aldebaran series, by Leo. Brazilian-born comic artist Leo, who lives in France and writes in French, is the author of one of my favourite series, Aldebaran. It is the thrilling and sensitive maturation tale of a young girl, Kim, on a faraway planet from which all contact with the Earth has been cut. The ecosystem is carefully researched, beautifully precise. (YA, explicit sex scenes)
  4. Daniel Pennac beyond The Rights of the Reader. There have been some English translations of Pennac’s always touching, discreetly radical tales for children: his animal tales, The Eye of the Wolf and Dog (MG), and the story of his childhood School Blues (YA/ Adult), which also gives a damning account of the French educational system and its treatment of those who don’t ‘succeed’.
  5. Zebedee’s Balloon, by Alice Brière-Haquet and Olivier Philipponneau. Zebedee’s got a balloon, which he takes everywhere. But one day it flies away… A gorgeous picturebook for very young readers, with delicate wood cuts, about what we lose and what we gain when the comfort blankets of childhood are taken away. (Picturebook)
  6. Blue is the Warmest Colour, by Julie Maroh. The comic which inspired the film by Abdellatif Kechiche (Maroh later said she didn’t endorse the adaptation). Teenager Clémentine (what a lovely name!) falls in love with Emma, whose haunting blue hair is the Ariadne’s thread in the otherwise grayscale graphic novel. I find both comic and film outstanding and heartbreaking. (YA, explicit sex scenes)
  7. Catherine Certitude, by Patrick Modiano. Andersen translated Modiano’s only children’s book after he got the Nobel Prize. I don’t know how many times as a child I read and reread this poetic story of a little girl and her father, whose worlds become blurry – and dreamlike – every time they take off their glasses. (MG)
  8. Toby Alone, by Timothée de Fombelle. I’ll just leave you with the first sentence: ‘Toby was one and a half millimetres tall, not exactly big for a boy his age. Only his toes were sticking out of the hole in the bark where he was hiding.’ Yes, I know you want it now. Good. And it’s translated by Sarah Ardizzone, who is arguably the most brilliant translator of French children’s literature into English at the moment. (MG)
  9. My Brother Simple, by Marie-Aude Murail. It is an absolute scandal that there isn’t more translated into English from the Queen of French Teenage Literature. Her classic Oh, Boy!, published in 1989, was far ahead of its time in describing illness and homosexuality with incredible sensitivity and laugh-out-loud humour. Her masterpiece is Miss Charity, a fictionalised biography of Beatrix Potter. My Brother Simple is arguably less radical, but it’s the only available one in English while we wait for the rest of her works to be translated (HINT, HINT). (YA)
  10. My Cat, the Silliest Cat in the World, by Gilles Bachelet. It’s a picturebook featuring, as you can see on the cover, a cat, but that cat isn’t a normal cat. It’s an extremely silly cat. (Picturebook)

Lovereading4kids Author Interview: Paul Dowswell talks about his book Bomber

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Why did you decide to write Bomber?

My family have friends in Norfolk and they live in a converted pub in the countryside. During the war American airmen used to come and drink in this pub as there was an airbase not far away. I always felt a little haunted by the thought of these young Americans, far from home, taking a few moments of pleasure in the East Anglian countryside, before they had to set off on a terribly dangerous flight over Germany. Most of them were barely more than boys.


How dangerous was flying in a bomber?

Bomber crew flying over Nazi occupied Europe were constantly in danger of being shot down by anti-aircraft guns (flak) or by enemy fighter planes armed with machine guns, cannons and rockets. These great bombers sometimes crashed on take off or landing, and collisions were not uncommon. The casualties speak for themselves. In 1943, when my book is set, 3 out of 4 bombers were shot down during a tour of duty, which would be 25 missions. Sometimes, not everyone was killed when a bomber went down. Some would parachute to safety, where they would either escape back to England or spend the rest of the war in a Prisoner of War camp. But often, everyone was killed, especially if there was a direct hit from flak or a German fighter plane. If the aircraft had yet to drop its bomb load, the fliers inside would often be killed in a blinding explosion. The USAAF in Europe had the highest casualty rate in any American fighting force – even more than the US Marines, who were renowned for doing the toughest fighting.


How did you research it?

I’m very keen for my books to be ‘good history’ so I do a lot of research before I write them. I want someone who was there to read this and think ‘yes, it was like that.’ I read a lot of books, watched many documentaries, and visited museums and airbases. I went to Seething airstrip, which was the American base near to where my friends live, and tried to imagine what it would feel like to be a 17 year old boy, there during the war. I’m a great believer in walking the same streets as my characters, if I possibly can. Part of the book is set in France, so I wrote about many of the places I have visited myself there, when I’ve been for work or holiday.


The book is published on the seventieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe. Can you answer some questions about the war?


What was the turning point, when the war turned in favour of the Allies?

The German 6th Army was destroyed at Stalingrad over the winter of 1942-43. I think this meant the Nazis were never going to beat the Russians and they never really recovered from that battle. During the war the Russians lost infinitely more soldiers than the Allies and they paid a very heavy price for their victory against the Nazis. I hope we never forget that. In the west, the D-Day landings left Germany fighting on both her western and eastern fronts, and made a Nazi defeat inevitable.


Why did the Germans surrender? 

Hitler committed suicide at the end of April, when the Russians occupied Berlin. A week later, the German military forces officially surrendered. Allied and Russian troops were meeting up all along the front line and it was obvious to all that Germany had lost the war.


How soon after VE day did the process of denazification begin?

Almost at once. German civilians were taken on compulsory tours of the concentration camps or made to watch newsreel films of the liberation of death camps. After that no one could be in any doubt as to the truly evil nature of the regime they had supported.


What are the Nuremburg trials and when did they occur. 

The Nazis had destroyed their own country and much of Europe and had done things that can only be described as barbaric. The victors wanted to be seen to be fair and decent with the German people, but they also wanted to punish the Nazi leaders. They were sent to trial at Nuremberg, a city in Germany where the Nazis had had some of their most famous rallies.  Most of the leaders who went to trial (many had killed themselves when the war ended) were held accountable and sentenced to death. A few were sent to prison for ten or twenty years. The trials began in the late autumn of 1945.

Mid-April email update

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Easter Holidays may be over but keep a good supply of the best children’s books available by browsing our mid-month email update. We have lots of suggestions for children of all ages such as our Mega Book of the Month Half Wild by Sally Green (13+).

And don’t forget to enter ALL of our free to enter prize draws to have a chance of winning some brilliantly booky prizes from Thomas the Tank Engine and Spot the Dog to Alex Rider and Alice in Wonderland

Pre-Publication for the Nation!

Yup. As ever we have a gaggle of exclusive pre-publication extracts of some cracking titles so your kids can stay ahead of the pack. This month’s must have is Demolition Dad by Phil Earle (9+) – Truly funny. Think Danny Champion of the World … in Spandex!


Children’s Book Awards News

What a busy month for Children’s Book Awards this month! Recently announced was the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, won by Rod Biddulph with Blown Away (3+) closely folllwed by category winners Half Bad by Sally Green (13+) and Robin Stevens with Murder Most Unladylike (11+).

Also announced was the shortlist for the Irish Children’s Book prize and Carnegie and Greenaway Awards shortlists’ Discover more on the website.

If They Like, They’ll Love – Help them find their next favourite author

They’ve just finished a brilliant novel or the latest book in a favourite series. What now? This clever category will guide them to other writers they’ll love. For example:

If they like Holly Smale’s Geek Girl series, they’ll LOVE Othergirl by Nicole Burstein (13+) – Louise and Erica are BFFs. Just one problem: Erica is a freakin’ superhero!

A Party in Pictures – Picture Book Party

It’s a celebration, this category. Jam-packed with wonderful, colourful journeys for younger readers and their parents to enjoy together, it’s a one-stop shop for great picture books. We also have 3 goody bags to give away and our top April recommendation is:

Migloo’s Day by William Bee (3+) – The ultimate ‘search and find’ picture book with lots of fun-filled interactions with a loveable waggy-tailed dog.

They Don’t Make ‘em Like That Anymore … oh, wait!

Pure escapism and beloved of generations of readers, the Little Tim series by Edward Ardizzone began back in 1936. Perhaps it’s the combination of exciting action, vivid characters and fabulously detailed (award winning) illustrations that makes these books so enthralling and timeless. Whatever it is, you’ll love these books, and so will your kids, and so will their kids, and their kids …


Pigs, Princesses and Riding Hoods – Ed Bryan’s Fairytales (3+)

It’s lucky that Ed Bryan listened to his art teacher, he wasn’t much cop at anything else. He’s a Jedi with a pencil though, and he’s brought some of your favourite fairytales to dazzling life. A fun and modern way to embrace some classic tales. Cinderella and The Three Little Pigs are available now and Red Riding Hood will be skipping along very soon (Big Bad Wolves permitting).

Tween Dream! – Totally Tween Platform Launch

Too young for Facebook or Snapchat, there is a whole group of nearly teens who have discerning tastes and real opinions. Going through the changes in their social lives, physicality and interests can be hard with no one to reach out to who is like-minded. Now a brand new platform, Totally Tween, has just launched to fill that gap. We think it’s a cracking idea so parents, take a peek and we’re sure you will feel happy that your kids spend a bit of time on it.

The best books as rated by teachers

Lovereading4kids is pleased to feature the UKLA Book Awards this year. Run by the UK Literacy Association, what makes these awards so unique is that they are the only awards judged entirely by active classroom teachers, who are able to share the books with their classes and genuinely discover what works with young readers. Find out more about the 2015 shortlisted books in our special category.

Families, Feelings & the Future of the Planet

A triumvirate of titles from Mary Hoffman have really caught our eye this month. The Great Book of Families (5+) is a wonderfully modern look through children’s eyes at the varieties of family life. It’s fresh, informative, engaging and optimistic. Also The Great Big Green Book, a superlative introduction to the fragile balance of life on Planet Earth; and The Great Big Book of Feelings, a fun way to get children talking about all their different feelings.

Purrrfection! – Jumblecat’s Back

“This book made me very happy” (Emily Golding aged 7). Oh, how we love Jumblecat (5+)! Archie Kimpton’s ingenious invention is the antidote to any traces of dark cloud in your skies. Think Roald Dahl meets David Walliams and you’re nearly there.

His first book delighted readers with a talking cat with features all askew and his human buddy Billy embarking on hilarious and touching adventures. Now there’s more! The Porridge of Knowledge is out now and it’s awesome.

Everything you need to know …

Finally news of the re issue of a thoroughly updated and indespensible book for any book loving parent The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature. The last thirty years have witnessed one of the most fertile periods in the history of children’s books. From Mark Hadden to Harry Potter, Nursery Rhymes to Manga and David Walliams to The Gruffalo, you will find a treasure trove of information behind the great tales of childhood and other aspects of children’s literature.

P.S. Stuck for something for you and your book loving kids to do in the 2nd May Bank holiday?? Why not come and see Lovereadingkids at the Hay Fever Book Festival 21 – 31 May 2015.

P.P.S. A book we first told you about in January, Big Game by Dan Smith (9+), has also been turned into a brilliant action packed film that is released on 8 May. Andrea Reece … exhilarating action-packed story is ideal for anyone who’s ever felt they weren’t good enough, which probably accounts for everyone! Gripping, feel-good adventure. Definitely one to read before your children see the film.

And that is April in a nutshell. We’ll be back with more great titles and ideas for your little bunnies in May.

Lovereading4kids Book Experts

Friday, April 10th, 2015

The Lovereading family of book recommendation sites are different from many online book sites as we have real book experts selecting and reviewing the books. We passionately believe that Lovereading4kids’s absolutely superb ‘expert voices’, with their own specialities, are invaluable in helping parents discover the best books for their children. Find out more about them below.

Lovereading4kids is different from many online book sites as we have real book experts selecting and reviewing the books. We passionately believe that Lovereading4kids’s absolutely superb ‘expert voices’ are invaluable in helping parents discover the best books for their children. Find out more about them below.

Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

Julia Eccleshare has spent her working life to date within children’s books as a critic, an editor, an author and a commentator. Apart from her current role as Editorial contributor and advisor to Lovereading4kids, she is the children’s editor of the Guardian.

She has co-edited and is the author of a number of books including the Rough Guide to Teenage Literature, the fascinating and insightful Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children’s Writers, which is a celebration of a century of children’s literature, as well as Treasure Islands: the Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Books. She also spent some considerable time as a children’s fiction editor in UK publishing. She has been a selector to the Children’s Books of the Year, a guide to the best books published annually, a member of the advisory board of a children’s book club and for some while was children’s books editor of The Bookseller. She regularly appears as a judge or Chair of judges on some of the major children’s book prizes including the Whitbread (now called the Costa) and the Nestle among others.

Andrea Reece Andrea Reece has spent all her working life in children’s books. Her first job was at Transworld Publishers back in the 1980s where, amongst other things, she ran the fan club for readers of the smash hit teen series Sweet Dreams. She went on to work for other children’s publishers, large and small, and with authors including David Almond, Nick Butterworth, Mick Inkpen and Michael Morpurgo. In 2005 she set up children’s independent Catnip Publishing Ltd., publishing Richard and Judy favourite Scaredy Squirrel in the process, and went on to run Books for Keeps, the children’s books journal. She is very used to odd looks from people on trains and buses who see her reading children’s books, and is still as excited as ever to discover a new children’s author. Apart from being one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts alongside Julia Eccleshare she is also director of the children’s and young people’s programme of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.

Joanne Owen

Joanne Owen’s lifelong love of reading and writing began when she was growing up in Pembrokeshire, and very much wished that witches (and Mrs Pepperpot) were real. An early passion for culture, story and folklore led Joanne to read archeology and anthropology at St John’s, Cambridge, after which she worked as a bookseller, and led the UK children’s book buying team for a major international retailer. During this time, Joanne also wrote children’s book previews and features for The Bookseller, covering everything from the value of translated fiction, to the contemporary YA market. Joanne later joined Bloomsbury’s marketing department, where she had the pleasure of working on epic Harry Potter launches at Edinburgh Castle and the Natural History Museum, and launching Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. After enjoyable spells as Marketing Director for Macmillan Children’s Books and Consumer Marketing Manager for Walker Books, Joanne went freelance, primarily working for multi-award-winning independent children’s publisher, Nosy Crow.

Alongside her publishing career, Joanne has written several books for children/young adults. She’s now a fulltime reviewer, workshop presenter and writer, working on YA novels with a strong basis in diverse folklore from around the world, as well as fiction for younger readers (in which witches are very much real).

Liz Robinson

Mail Attachment-1Liz’s love of science fiction and fantasy began at a very young age when her Mum introduced her to Edward Lear and C. S. Lewis, she shook their hands and still tiptoes off to escape reality by exploring magical new worlds. The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell opened the door to Historical Fiction and she has walked through time ever since.

Liz worked as a Police Civilian for twenty years (in order as a Comms Officer, Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Briefing Officer and Crime Reduction Advisor), she therefore counts herself as a somewhat expert armchair detective and derives much pleasure in popping the villain behind bars, even if she finds she has to release them soon after. She loves to scare herself silly with psychological thrillers and horror and swing into action and adventure tales. Liz started writing expert reviews for Lovereading in February 2014 and while she (quite literally sometimes) gobbles up books of any genre, has added the exciting new world of Young Adult fiction to her top reads.

People have been known to be extremely envious when they hear that Liz reads for a living, if she were in their shoes, she would be too!


Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers who do not. “Reading for fun improves not only literacy but maths attainment too…From a policy perspective, this strongly supports the need to support and encourage children’s reading in their leisure time, especially given that the available evidence on trends over time suggests that children’s reading for pleasure has declined in recent years.”  And this is where Shrewsbury Children’s Bookfest steps up to the mark to help keep the fun in reading for the children of Shropshire.

With the help of festival stars such as DENNIS THE MENACE, CBEEBIES presenter Cerrie Burnell, and also the writers of the MINECRAFT handbooks, the emphasis is well and truly on reading for pleasure. Friendly rivalry between fans of football and rugby will be the theme when TOM PALMER, renowned children’s writer of sports-related stories, hosts a discussion and quiz for the audience to decide once and for all which game is best – FOOTBALL or RUGBY?


And who amongst us finds Maths a bit murderous?  Well, there’s an event which promises to banish all murderous thoughts when author and performer KJARTAN POSKITT entertains, amazes and brings the fun back into maths. The only LEGO Certified Professional in the UK, Duncan Titmarsh, makes a welcome return to Shrewsbury to guide us through how to build a mini STAR WARS model for everyone to take home. He will also be wowing his audience with some amazing Star Wars-inspired Lego builds his company has been commissioned to create.  This is a must for all LEGO mad children (and parents too!).


HOLLY WEBB’S books can be found on most young children’s bookshelves and in school libraries.  She has written over 30 books for children and her stories continue to be devoured with gusto.  Holly will be talking about her favourite characters in her books and helping the audience make animal masks to take home. Finally, the public is invited to drop into the Square in Shrewsbury on Saturday 2 May where everyone will be transported into the magical world of DR SEUSS.  Local groups will deliver dance displays, drama, storytelling and book swapping all day long: “You can find magic wherever you look.  Sit back and relax.  All you need is a book. And to think you may find it at Shrewsbury Square.  On 2nd May.  We’ll all be there.   Book swapping, crafting and dancing.  Your magic awaits.  It starts at 11.  Don’t be late!  


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