Archive for March, 2016

Meet the winners of the Orangutan Foundation Children’s Writing Competition!

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Last October we announced Lovereading4kids involvement and support of the Orangutan Awareness Week writing competition. The judging panel received over 300 entries and said they were enormously proud and impressed with the creativity and insight expressed in each of them.

Each child wrote a story or poem to the theme of ‘The Orangutan’s World’, and every entry did a fantastic job at highlighting the problems that orangutans and their rainforests face. Selecting the winners was an incredibly difficult undertaking as the standard was so high, but our guest judge Joanna Lumley was finally able to select her favourites!

We are delighted to announce that Morgan Davidson, Angeline Islam, and Toby Mawer have won the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes (respectively) for the 6-9 Year Old category, and Eloise Blakey, Jacob Bicker, and Orla Dalby have won the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (respectively) for the 10-13 Year Old category! Congratulations to all!  Special mentions also went to Hannah Tudor, Daniel Pilling, Imogen Caughan, George Astill and Catherine Douneen.


The prize winners have not only won a number of incredible prizes, and you can read both 1st place winners below.

Joanna Lumley said  ‘Keep on writing and thinking and believing. Soon, you will inherit the earth and your dear goodness will keep it safe.’

Winner of the 6 – 9 Year old category Morgan Davidson






























Winner of the 10 – 13 Year old category Eloise Blakey

Most popular children’s books, by age range, 13 – 20 March 2016

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Books for Babies and Toddlers

Technicolor Treasure Hunt Learn to Count with Nature Technicolor Treasure Hunt Learn to Count with Nature
Hvass & Hannibal
A counting book, an introduction to colours, and a first word book, this is also a feast for the eye. Groups of natural objects are sorted by colour and illustrated in flamboyant style. The red pages bring together tomatoes, maple …
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The World of Eric Carle: Big Box of Little Books The World of Eric Carle: Big Box of Little Books
Eric Carle
A sturdy box contains nine small but satisfyingly chunky board books themed by setting – home, farm, sky, sea and so on. Each little book contains five of Eric Carle’s bright, bold, immediately recognisable animal illustrations. Even shrunk down to …
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Counting Counting
Aino-Maija Metsola
Lift the flaps to count from one to ten in this stylish book of numbers. Bold, eye-catching artwork and sturdy card lift-flaps throughout will make this a favourite with children and adults alike.
And there’s a equally bright and bold companion …
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Featured Books for Young Adults

Flawed Flawed
Cecelia Ahern
Set in a society in which those deemed ‘flawed’ are branded and ostracised, Celia Ahern’s debut YA novel will talk directly to its readers. Every teenager wants to be perfect, to fit in and look like they know what they’re …
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Lady Midnight Lady Midnight
Cassandra Clare
March 2016 Book of the Month From the creator of the Mortal Instruments series and Infernal Devices trilogy comes this epic first instalment of the author’s highly anticipated The Dark Artifices series.
Lady Midnight is populated with pretty much every kind …
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Radio Silence Radio Silence
Alice Oseman
March 2016 Book of the Month Frances’ life has been mapped out since forever. She’s set on reading English Literature at Cambridge and getting a good job. That’s the path she believes will lead to a happy life. But academic …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise
Sean Taylor
Shortlisted for the Laugh-Out-Loud Book Awards 2016 -Picture Book Category  Hoot Owl flies through the midnight air quick as a shooting star, wingtip pointing like some kind of avian superhero. When he spots a tasty rabbit he prepares to gobble …
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Are You Sitting Comfortably? Are You Sitting Comfortably?
Leigh Hodgkinson
March 2016 Book of the Month   Leigh Hodgkinson’s picture book is a stylish investigation into how and where to read a book. Goldilocks-like, a young boy tries out a variety of chairs and reading locations. Not one of them suits: …
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The Bear and the Piano The Bear and the Piano
David Litchfield
Winner of the Illustrated category of The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2016.
March 2016 Debut of the Month A young bear cub finds a piano in the forest and after a first hesitant ‘PLONK’, he returns to it every day for …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

We are Not Frogs We are Not Frogs
Michael Morpurgo
March 2016 Book of the Month – A Dyslexia Friendly Picture Book for Parent and Child
New on Barrington Stoke’s excellent Red Squirrel list We Are Not Frogs is a joyful exploration of frog, toad and human nature! Toads are not …
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Vikings in the Supermarket Vikings in the Supermarket
Nick Sharratt
Six bouncy poems each of which is richly illustrated by award-winning illustrator Nick Sharratt. Burt, Cora, Charlie, Selwin, Ida and Quentin are the six Vikings let loose on a delightful shopping spree in a supermarket in the title poem. More …
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The Crow's Tale The Crow’s Tale
Naomi Howarth
March 2015 Debut of the Month Inspired by a Lenape Native American myth, this beautiful debut picture book shows how courage and kindness are what really matter. …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

Perijee & Me Perijee & Me
Ross Montgomery
March 2016 Book of the Month You can rely on Ross Montgomery to put an unexpected twist and an extra helping of humanity into his stories, no matter how zany. Perijee is an alien Caitlin finds on the beach near …
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The Best Birthday Bike The Best Birthday Bike
Chris Hoy
March 2016 Book of the Month For action-packed stories, combining real-life adventure with a touch of magic, Chris Hoy’s Flying Fergus series is hard to beat.  He’s collaborated with accomplished children’s author Joanna Nadin, a writer who knows her way …
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The Great Chocoplot The Great Chocoplot
Chris Callaghan
March 2016 Debut of the Month
Roald Dahl, a man who knew his way round a chocolate bar, would have approved of this book. Imagine how awful it would be if the world’s supplies of chocolate were threatened by an impending …
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Featured Books for 9+ readers

The Shadow Keeper The Shadow Keeper
Abi Elphinstone
March 2016 Book of the Month Fabulous, feisty Moll returns with the ever faithful and courageous Gryff by her side in their quest to save the old magic and stop the Shadowmasks from destroying them.  This is a tale of …
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The Bolds to the Rescue The Bolds to the Rescue
Julian Clary
March 2016 Book of the Month  The Bolds are back, cause for celebration! Written by Julian Clary and illustrated with élan by the incomparable David Roberts, this is a book that will have children in stitches. For those that don’t …
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The Jungle Book The Jungle Book
Rudyard Kipling
Mowgli, the little boy brought up in the jungle with the wolves, is one of the best-loved characters of fiction. His friends – and enemies – among the jungle animals include Baloo the sloth bear, Bagheera the panther, and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

The Astounding Broccoli Boy The Astounding Broccoli Boy
Frank Cottrell Boyce
Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award 2016 Best Story – Andrea Reeces’s Pick of the Year 2015 This is Frank Cottrell Boyce’s first standalone novel since Cosmic in 2008 and it’s been well worth the wait. The smallest and …
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Listen to the Moon Listen to the Moon
Michael Morpurgo
Shortlisted for Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Older Readers category  – September 2015 Book of the Month   A beautiful and captivating tour de force of family, love, war and forgiveness, this is a major new novel from the …
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Private Peaceful Private Peaceful
Michael Morpurgo
Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Best Book of the Decade & One of our ‘Must Reads’. It will seem odd when reading this book that the author enjoyed writing it the most of all the 90 or so he has …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

The Everest Files The Everest Files
Matt Dickinson
June 2014 Book of the Month  A thrilling journey to the dark side of Everest, it follows 18-year-old Ryan Hart, on a gap year adventure working for a charity in Nepal. Dark forces are at play on the lethal slopes …
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The Lie Tree The Lie Tree
Frances Hardinge
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016.
WINNER of the 2015 COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR and Winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award  Award-winning Frances Hardinge is spellbinding is this hugely entertaining and dramatic Victorian thriller. When Faith’s father dies …
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The Nest The Nest
Kenneth Oppel
March 2016 Book of the Month A truly exceptional, uniquely unsettling work in which the stinging clarity and poignancy of Oppel’s writing is exquisitely echoed by Jon Klassen’s haunting illustrations.
Steve’s baby brother, Theo, is sick and doctors are struggling to …
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Mid-March eNewsletter

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Nearly Easter already … doesn’t time fly when you and your children are reading brilliant books … read on for news of Out and About titles and Book Festivals to help you find new and fun things to do in the holidays, a sneak peek at some April titles AND don’t miss the chance to win shelf-loads of exclusive book goodies in our Free Prize Draws.

 Brand New Pre-view!

This is where you get to read tantalising snippets of the best new titles before they’ve even hit the shelves! Awesome. This month, don’t miss:

Half Lost by Sally Green (12+) – utterly compelling imagined-world quest tale filled with magic and deadly danger, the finale of a brilliant trilogy.

Maladapted by Richard Kurti (13+) – From BAFTA nominated author of Monkey Wars, another brilliantly thought-provoking tale about the power of science. Survival, intrigue, conspiracy all abound. Cracking stuff!

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern – Debut YA novel from bestselling adult author that raises interesting questions about society, and personal responsibility… this will get young people reading and thinking.

Off the Page (13+, YA) by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer – Following on from their exhilarating debut Between the Lines, the mother-daughter combo have produced a tender, imaginative, brilliant read that our teen reviewers described as: ‘filled with smiles and hope’, ‘crazy beautiful’ and ‘sure to leave you smiling from ear to ear’.


Chaos Descends. In a Good Way!

Shane Hegarty’s much loved and highly acclaimed Darkmouth series has a new adventure, with the 3rd book Chaos Descends out in early April.

This series is monstrously funny, action filled, and packed with heart, Finn and his seaside gateway to nastier worlds will ignite yet more passionate praise singing from avid readers (9+), who voted the last book, Worlds Explode, a Reader Review Panel Pick of the year 2015. Find the whole series here and ahead of the third one there’s time to read the first two, so what are you waiting for?

New Series from global sensation Cassandra Clare

We have been ‘dying’ to share this with you but it has been under embargo – but take it from us it will be worth the wait. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (YA) is the beginning of her epic new series full of darkness, revenge, courage and self-realisation in a world of faeries and demons. Find out more and read a Free Opening Extract right here today.

World Book Day Winners! – Blue Peter Book Awards

On World Book Day (what better time?) the winners of one of the leading book awards for children’s writing were announced. The Blue Peter Book Awards aims to guide kids towards quality literature and we think they’ve done just that! See for yourselves in our winners’ gallery!

Spring Kids Book Festival news

Discover treats for Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival in Kent (Bank Holiday weekend 1-3 May) where we are proud to be partners to the whole event and in particular we are sponsoring Chris Riddell in ‘Ask the Laureate’. You can also find goodies galore at the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival (14-15 May) and at Chiplitfest in Chipping Norton (21-24 April).

Carn-eagerly Awaited!

The Carnegie Greenaway Book Awards are among the world’s most prestigious awards for children’s literature. Former winners include greats such as: C.S. Lewis, Quentin Blake, Arthur Ransome and Raymond Briggs. Packed with quality, this year’s shortlist is a dazzling display of story-telling dexterity. Take a peek and judge for yourself!

YA Book Readers take note

The shortlist of ten books has just been announced for the YA Book Prize 2016. Unsurprisingly we have featured many of them on Lovereading4kids but if we had to pick a few favourites we would have to support the spellbinding The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge, the sensitive, often funny The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson or the original and utterly gripping One by Sarah Crossan. One and The Lie Tree are also shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

Get the Picture?
Our Picture Book Party category has had a Spring Refresh and is bursting with the best and brightest picture books. Books like Alphonse, That is Not Ok to Do! by Daisy Hirst, author of the inventive and witty The Girl with a Parrot on her Head, out in paperback this month. Our young Reader Reviewers thought it was ‘colourful’ and ‘funny’. See the shelf below for more delightful picture books that you will love as much as your little ones.

Fun action and magic on two wheels (6+)

For action-packed stories, combining real-life adventure with a touch of magic, Chris Hoy’s Flying Fergus series is hard to beat. Teamed up with top kids author Joanna Nadin they have created a new series of books that our Reader Reviewers loved ‘The book was fabulous! I really enjoyed reading it’ ‘It was humorous, I would definitely recommend this book‘ and with the mix of large print size and fantastic illustrations, we think they are also great to get the most reluctant of readers excited. Find out more.

Julia Eccleshare March Picks

There’s no one better or more passionate than Julia Eccleshare to guide you to the best books for kids. Here’s what she’s going crazy for this month!


Got the Witch Itch? Witch Watch (7+) is One to Watch!

You all know about Worst Witch, the boarding school fantasy stories by Jill Murphy. Well, let us introduce Witch Watch by Sibeal Pounder.

With crazy situations, a cast of irresistible characters, jokes, wordplay and just the right amount of dress and shopping detail, this is an original and hugely enjoyable read. There are 3 magical titles in the series and we’re sure you’ll be spellbound!

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs!

More pet adventures in these two Jessie Wall titles for early readers. Wonderfully imaginative and magically illustrated, follow Philomena, The Cat who thinks she’s a Dog and Geronimo, The Dog who thinks He’s a Cat. Thought-provoking stuff to share with kids aged 5+.

Finding Space – To Infinity and Beyond!

There has never been a better time to be interested in Space.

While Tim Peake inspires kids the world over with his endeavours on the MIA space station, why not check out The Usborne Official Astronaut’s Handbook (9+), or for younger readers; Busy People: Astronaut (4+) a great addition to the series about the lives of people at work. Finally, get looking up with Cool Astronomy (7+) by Malcolm Croft. Start exploring here!

Reaching a Peak! – The North Face by Matt Dickinson

Award-winning writer and filmmaker, Matt Dickinson has turned his passion for mountain climbing into a mesmerizing, cliff-hanging, jagged and mountainous adventure series called The Everest Files for teen and YA readers. Follow the courageous Ryan Hart, as he conquers way more than the slopes in these edge-of-your-seat reads. The Everest Files and just out The North Face. Discover more.

It’s a Jungle Out There – Jungle Book Film

With the release of the Jungle Book movie, which looks AWESOME by the way, we have put together a pile of great titles including the original timeless story by Rudyard Kipling. See them all here – there’s even a completely blow-your-mind title for grown-ups.


It must be nearly Spring!

It must be! Because we have optimistically re-awakened our popular ‘Out and About’ category, filled with fantastic books to get the kids (and you) enjoying activities in the open air. New to the crop this year is Cool Nature by Amy Jane Beer (7+) a fact-filled and inspiring tome for kids of all ages or to get kids away from screens and outdoors, and this clever activity pack will do just that. And for a younger audience Nature Art is guaranteed to do the same. See these and others in our special category.

Finally, if your kids loved Wonder by R. J. Palacio or My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher then we have a book not to be missed. The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin follows 12-year old Suzy as she tries to come to terms with the sudden death of a friend.

One of our Reader Reviewers summed it up perfectly. ‘A really unique book with a very different story and style of writing … I absolutely loved it.’

And that, book worms, is March at Lovereading4kids. See you next month. Happy Reading.


Friday, March 11th, 2016


•      Aspiring young authors can submit their stories until March 25th, 2016


WICKED, the award-winning classic musical that tells the incredible untold story of the witches of Oz, is proud to announce the sixth year of the prestigious WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS, which this year introduces a new non-fiction category. Entries open 3 November 2015 and close 11 March 2016. Details can be found here.

Wicked is also delighted to announce that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall has agreed to extend her patronage for a further five years.


The Duchess of Cornwall said at the award ceremony in 2011, “I believe passionately in nurturing a love of reading and writing in children and young people of all ages. Reading is not only the start of a voyage of personal development and pleasure, but the foundation stone of all education.”


‘How to Train Your Dragon’ author-illustrator Cressida Cowell is also returning to the judging panel as Head Judge. She said, “I am thrilled to be asked to be a judge for the second time. It is wonderful to be involved in an award which fires up the imaginations and confidence of these young writers. As an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust, I’m a real advocate of anything that gets young people reading and writing.”


As in previous years, entrants can enter one of five different age categories; 5-7, 8-10, 11-14, 15-17, 18-25. In addition, the 2016 awards scheme marks the launch of the FOR GOOD Award for Non-Fiction, encouraging 15-25 year olds to write essays or articles that recognise the positive impact that people can have on each other, their communities and the world we live in. The new category celebrates the WICKED: FOR GOOD programme, which supports the charitable causes at the heart of the stage musical.


The Awards were created by the producers of Wicked in 2010, in collaboration with the National Literacy Trust and spearheaded by bestselling author Michael Morpurgo, to recognise excellence in writing, encourage creativity and develop writing talent in young people. Since launching, over 20,000 young people, aged between 5 and 25, have entered original and thought-provoking pieces of writing that consistently reflect the interests, concerns and deepest thoughts of young people, providing a first-look at the emerging voices of a new generation.


A shortlist of 120 entrants from across the UK will see their work published in the WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS Anthology. They are also invited to an exclusive ceremony at London’s Apollo Victoria, home to the hit musical since 2006, where judges and members of the Wicked cast will announce who has won in each category.


Previous winners include Charlotte Carter (Winner, 15-17 Category, 2015) who said, The support shown by everyone involved in the award is fantastic, I cannot thank them enough for the passion, the joy and the hope that they have inspired in me.”


Sophie Max who was short-listed four times and won in 2012 said “I am forever grateful for the impact it had on me; in consequence I will always have writing as a part of my life.”


Winner of the 18-25 Category Gregory Maguire Award 2014 Chris Pritchard has gone on to be published in a variety of journals and anthologies but his favourite part of the award was hearing the stories by the younger contestants!


Caitlin Jenkins, (Winner, 11-13 Category, 2010), said “The biggest thrill I had from the competition was seeing my writing in print, and of course meeting Michael Morpurgo the year I won.”


The WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS raises money for the National Literacy Trust, who campaign to improve public understanding of the vital importance of literacy. Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust will be returning as part of the judging panel.


Michael McCabe, Executive Producer (UK) of Wicked said, “All of us at Wicked are incredibly proud of this project and greatly indebted to Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, Michael Morpurgo and Cressida Cowell for their support. Their passionate commitment to encouraging creative writing and improving literacy standards amongst young people in the UK is an inspiration to us all”.


Pieces of original writing can be submitted, either individually or as part of a school group, until 11 March 2016. The overall winners from each category will win a VIP family experience to the West End production of Wicked, including an exclusive backstage tour and cast meet-and-greet, £50 book/eBook tokens, plus £100 worth of books for their school library donated by Hachette Children’s Books. The individual school with the highest number of entries will receive a bespoke writing workshop at their respective school.

Barnes Children’s Literature Festival 14 – 15 May

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Barnes Children’s Literature Festival returns for bigger and better second year 14-15 May. Authors and illustrators confirmed include Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Axel Scheffler, Anthony Browne and Morris Gleitzman.


The Barnes Children’s Literature Festival will be returning to south-west London for its second year on 14 – 15 May 2016, with twice as many events to make it London’s largest dedicated children’s book festival. Set up and run entirely by a group of 40 volunteers, in partnership with the Barnes Community Association and leading independent, the Barnes Bookshop, the festival launched with a one-day programme in May 2015, offering 25 events across six venues with authors including Axel Scheffler, Sally Gardner, Alexander Gordon Smith, PiersTorday and local poet, Roger McGough.


Following unprecedented success in the first year, with ticket sales of over two thousand and 70% of events sold-out, the festival will this year double the number of events to nearly 50 and expand to a weekend packed with sessions for all ages from 2 years right through to YA with crossover appeal. A new venue will be introduced to meet demand, with a ‘Booktop’ marquee on Barnes Pond to seat 500, and a number of special events will take place during the week leading up to the festival weekend.


The festival will be launched at a special event with much-loved bestseller and former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo, on Saturday 7th May, and a ceremony on 12th May will see the shortlist announced for the CLPE Children’s Poetry Award (CLiPPA 2016).


The full 2016 programme is due to be announced mid-March when tickets will go on sale, and the impressive line-up already confirmed includes Jaqueline Wilson, Costa Children’s Book Award winner Frances Hardinge, Robin Stevens, Jeremy Strong, Holly Webb, Philip Reeve, Anthony Browne and Axel Scheffler, returning by popular demand. Many more authors and illustrators will be announced in the coming weeks.


The festival is committed to programming some of the best-known names in children’s books alongside a few treats visitors are unlikely to see anywhere else. Last year Barnes scooped the sold-out UK premiere of the theatre production of Chris Haughton’s multi-award-winning picture book, A Bit Lost, and this year Morris Gleitzman and Cornelia Funke will both be travelling to the UK especially for the festival. Festival Director, Amanda Brettargh, believes that Barnes is “the best place in Britain for a children’s literature festival.” She said: “Barnes is a place that loves its books. There’s a rich literary heritage here, one of London’s best independent bookshops too, and our setting, under the magnificent trees around Barnes Pond, provides a literary experience like no other.”


Click here to enter our prize draw: We have 2 family passes for 4 people to give away to see Axel Scheffler on Saturday 14 May. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter. Multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once and the prize cannot be exchanged for cash and does not include transport or accommodation. Draw closes on 1 April 2016. The winners will be chosen randomly from all entrants and will be notified by 8 April 2016.

Family Fallows and the Hamish and the Neverpeople Launch Party

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Once the cold and darkness of January left us February emerged and bringing with it a mass of fantastic new titles for children to get stuck into.  Middle grade fiction is pushing forward with many exciting titles encouraging young readers to pick up books ‘just for fun’ and nurturing a love for reading that hopefully will continue into teens and adulthood. 


Many, many wonderful authors are emerging and Lovereading4kids was delighted to be invited to the launch party for 2ndoffering by award-winning writer and television and radio presenter, Danny Wallace.  His first book Hamish and the World Stoppers was one of Lovereading4kids top 10 books for children 2015 as chosen by Andrea Reece.


On a bright, sunny day in February my own book lovers and I went along to help welcome Hamish back in style at the new Waterstones branch in Tottenham Court Road.  Down in the depths of this rather splendid shop – filled to the brim with books and all things book related – Danny and fantastic illustrator Jamie Littler waited to entertain us book lovers.  Not only did these brave men invite us older (and very opinionated) book lovers along to celebrate the publication of Hamish and the Neverpeople, they also welcomed the very readers who, are always frank, always honest and at times downright unforgiving.  Children.  Yes, that’s right, the ones whose opinions really count!  And what a fun filled evening we all had.  Danny Wallace handled proceedings wonderfully.  He read briefly from the book and then with the help of Jamie and the children a brand new dastardly villain was born.


The kids were well taken care of with a selection of edible delights from Madame Cous Cous’s International World of Treats, as well as Hypnotic Hunger Busters in the form of mini burgers, homemade pizza’s and chicken sticks.  The adults were equally spoilt with some rather delightful Hamish cocktails (and very nice they were too).


All in all a great time was had by all and the book – well that’s pretty darn fantastic too.  But don’t just take my word for it, check out the reviews from our kids reader review panel here.

Hamish and the Neverpeople was published on 11th of February 2016 by Simon & Schuster and is available from Lovereading4kids and all good bookstores.

Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival for schools and kids

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Lovereading4kids is proud to be sponsoring ask the Children’s Laureate with Chris Riddell at Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival 1-3 May 2016 plus 10% discount for Lovereading4kids members on tickets. Read on for more information.


Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival is a NEW festival for story-lovers of all ages; set to take place in the glorious house and grounds of Chiddingstone Castle during and after the Bank Holiday weekend 1 – 3 May 2016.

The programme offers author events for adults and teenagers on Sunday 1 May; events for families and children on Bank Holiday Monday 2 May and a whole day of events for schools on Tuesday 3 May. In addition to author talks, there will be children’s theatre, story-telling, drama, music, illustrations and performance poetry; not to mention sparkling wit and wisdom, a splendid array of vintage food vans serving delicious pizzas, crepes, sausages and venison burgers, coffee, tea and cakes.



On Bank Holiday Monday there are events for all the family including a musical performance of The Tailor of Gloucester by the Pericles Theatre Company, and poetry and percussion with Brian Moses who uses a variety of instruments to underpin the rhythm of his words. Children will love Roald Dahl storytelling with Rachel Sellers. There will be musical Stories in Song by Edgelanders who are a five strong folk band; charismatic interpreters of Scottish, Irish and English story-songs from medieval times to the present day. One of our highlights is an opportunity to meet Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell – children are invited to come along with a question and Chris will pick his favourites to illustrate – the lucky questioners he picks can take their doodle-answers home with them! Take an epic voyage through the history of Britain with Christopher Lloyd’s amazing new giant 8m long What on Earth? Wallbook and his coat of many pockets. There will be literary walks around the grounds with local historians Penny Harris and Chris McCooey and an ‘espresso’ theatre stall brewing freshly made individual plays from London’s Royal Court Theatre. Adults can enjoy appearances by acclaimed historian Antonia Fraser, and Ed Caesar and Mihir Bose.


Tuesday’s programme is for schools, featuring children’s authors Philip Womack (The Broken King trilogy) and Sally Gardner (Tinder and I, Coriander) looking at myths and fairy tales in their own writing, Caroline Lawrence talking about How to Write a Great Story and her own Roman Mysteries and PK Pinkerton Mysteries series. Sally Gardner will also entertain young readers with stories from her Operation Bunny. Finally, Nicky Singer (Blue Peter award-winning author of Feather Boy) will discuss her new novel Island.


During the build up to the event, children are invited to enter a Short Story Competition for Schools (two categories: age 7-9 and 10-13). Deadline for entries is Friday 18 March (details can be found on the festival website). The winning entries will be read out on Bank Holiday Monday by actor Geoffrey Streatfeild (Royal Shakespeare Company/National Theatre) and winners will receive signed copies of Chris Riddell’s latest book.


Chiddingstone Castle is an impressive Historic House in an idyllic country setting, which houses the unique and remarkable collections of the late antiquarian, Denys Eyre Bower. Today it is a fascinating museum, a visitor attraction and an award-winning wedding venue. Chiddingstone Castle, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7AD.


Lovereading4kids members can claim a 10% discount on all tickets (except Early Birds) using the code: Lovereading10.Tickets are available online: or ring 0800 033 7564.Tickets include entry into the Castle and its exquisite Japanese and Egyptian collections.


Click here to enter our prize draw: We have 3 pairs of tickets (1 adult/ 1 child) to give away for Christopher Lloyd’s What on Earth? Wallbook Timeline of British History (Monday 2 May 6.00pm). Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter. Multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once and the prize cannot be exchanged for cash and does not include transport or accommodation. Draw closes on 1 April 2016. The winners will be chosen randomly from all entrants and will be notified by 8 April 2016.

Chipping Norton Literary Festival 21-24 April

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Chipping Norton Literary Festival has announced the line-up of highly acclaimed children’s authors for its 2016 programme. This is the fifth ChipLitFest and the most diverse programme yet, all to be enjoyed in a beautiful Cotswold setting.


Alongside the big names, there are debut novelists with very bright futures and much-loved writers from many genres including a host of children’s writers and creative writing workshops.


Children’s authors appearing include: Joanna Nadin, John Dougherty, Jo Cotterill, Cathy Brett, Tanya Landman, Atinuke, Paul and Helen Stickland, Steve Cole, Sarwat Chadda, Teresa Heapy and Sue Heap. The festival is also organising a series of schools workshops with authors including Adam and Charlotte Guillain, SF Said, Bali Rai, Tamsyn Murray, MM Vaughan, Candy Gourlay and Cas Lester.


Acclaimed novelist, Tessa Hadley, will be presenting one of our creative writing workshops as well as judging a short story competition that has already seen entries from across the world. We are joined by two young people, a 10 year old and a teenager, on our blogging team who are interviewing many of our children’s authors.


Tickets are now on sale via the website

March eNewsletter

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Hare-raising March is more fun-filled than a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in our early-Spring Wonderland of great titles for tots, toddlers, tweenies and teens! It’s the month when World Book Day gives every school child a £1 book voucher to spend in their local bookshop and a range of amazing books that only cost £1! Plus we have, a huge competition to win a set of ALL 14 Roald Dahl books, with unrivaled extras, as we celebrate an auspicious centenary. Read on for more!

March’s Marvels – Books of the Month

It’s a humdinger of a huddle, a basket of brilliance a gaggle of greats on our bookshelf this month. We particularly love:

Flying Fergus by Sir Chris Hoy (5+) – 2 road-busting, magical cycling adventures from one of the most inspiring athletes of his generation. And The Bolds to the Rescue by Julian Clary (7+) – More wildly hilarious animal adventures. ‘We loved the book because it was funny, exhilarating and we couldn’t stop laughing’ (Alexander & Daniel aged 10 & 8)

Also Perijee and Me by Ross Montgomery (9+) – Move over E.T.! This alien/human friendship tale is a wonderful story and a fresh perspective on the world we live in. And finally The Nest by Kenneth Oppel (13+) – A thrilling, ticking time bomb of a tale that creeps under your skin and pierces your heart. Truly exceptional and unsettling.


Get More Morpurgo! – Michael Morpurgo, Author of the Month.

To celebrate not just one of the world’s greatest children’s book storytellers but also the 40th anniversary of his and his wife’s charity Farms for City Children, this month we’re offering the chance to explore some of Michael Morpurgo’s most fascinating characters and stories.

Each week we’ll feature different books based on themes close to the author’s heart: War, Journeys, Legends and Animals. Find out more about one of the best children’s writers of all time.

That’s a First! – Debuts of the Month

We just love introducing kids to brand new authors who will doubtless become firm favourites for years to come. Our top tip this month for readers aged 9+ is; Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard – a magical, mysterious and informative adventure. ’10 out of 10!’ (Reader Reviewer)


World Book (Baddiel) Day

We hope you all have an amazing World Book Day. As well as the £1 book titles from a range of authors past and present including Roald Dahl and David Baddiel, we are especially loving the nutty fantasy adventure, The Person Controller, that is David Baddiel’s newest book, just out in paperback to coincide with World Book Day.

Loved by our Kids reviewers but also, we think a great book for reluctant readers and kids that love computer games. Find out more.

A Book – The Mother of all Gifts!

That’s right! We’re talking about Mother’s Day! Mums deserve to be shown just how much we love them. And what better way than a well-chosen book? Well, we think you can’t go wrong with two of our favourites shown below. Pack full of ‘ahh’ factor and sure to be a hit.  But hurry Mother’s day is Sunday 6 March!

My Mum is There by Martin Thomas(3+) – a wonderfully reassuring story about love for Mum to share. And I Want my Mum! (3+) by Tony Ross – a great, fun-filled foray into family life.

Great Scot! – Scottish Book Award Winners

The 2016 Scottish Children’s Book Awards were announced today at a special ceremony at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel, attended by nearly 1,000 children. Author Simon Puttock, won the Bookbug Readers (3-7 yrs) category for Mouse’s First Night at Moonlight School, a beautifully illustrated tale about overcoming shyness. Ross MacKenzie scooped the Younger Readers (8-11) category with The Nowhere Emporiuma sparkling adventure of the imagination. Finally, the Older Readers (12-16 yrs) category was won by Danny Weston, author of The Pipera chilling and moving ghost tale against the background of war-torn England.

And not forgetting the Blue Peter Book Award winners which are being announced on World Book Day 3 March live on the TV show. Check out our Blue Peter category.

Pax by Sara Pennypacker (9+)

One of Julia Eccleshare’s top picks for March, Sara Pennypacker’s lyrically delivered novel, Pax, is a class act. ‘The heartbreaking story of a boy, a fox and their journeys towards each other… in a devastating finale. This is captivating, exciting and very, very sad.’ (Sam Harper aged 11 – Reader Reviewer). Find out more. We also have two copies to give away in a free prize draw.

The Tree House That Won’t Stop Growing

Four books ago the Tree House was 13 storeys high. It was a pretty fun place to be. With the publication of The 52-Storey Tree House by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, the laugh-out-load whacky adventures in the most awesome treehouse ever have reached epic proportions.

Get all four stories from this brilliantly madcap Aussie duo here. Perfect for 7+ readers.

Teen Queens!

Any fans of Holly Smale’s smash hit Geek Girl series may well have already devoured the Flirty Dancing books by Jenny McLachlan. If not you’re in for a treat! No-one ‘gets’ teenage girls quite like Jenny. There are four titles in the series so far, filled with friendships, flirtations, rivalries, trials and tribulations. The latest is Star Struck, a funny, heartwarming tale about working out who you are, what it really means to be a friend, and the thrill of unexpected love. It’s also a fabulous finale to a fantastic series. Learn more.

Louise Rennison R.I.P

Such sad news on 1 March when we heard the author of a stream of hilarious teen books, Louise Rennison, died. YA author Holly Bourne said: “Louise Rennison was, without a doubt, my biggest influence as an author. I inhaled her books growing up. They were the first books that shone a mirror on what my life was like, and the sheer, hilarious giddiness of female friendships and the mad mishaps you get up to as a teenager. I am absolutely devastated to hear that she’s died, but I know her books and the hilarious legacy they leave, will keep people laughing like drains for many years to come.”

Unmissable Free Prize Draws

This month we have an especially full Free Prize Draw category.

Divergent Fans can win a box set of the whole series and if you like the author Joanna Nadin then we have 10 sets of her new book, White Lies, Black Dare, and her previous one, Joe All Alone, which has same characters to win.  Also with the third in the Dartmouth series, Chaos Descends, out later this month we have three sets of the first two books in the series as prizes. And finally, anyone hungry for Hungry Caterpillar? 20 March is Very Hungry Caterpillar Day. We have Goodie Bags galore to give away!

You don’t want to miss these. Click here to enter.

Our Pet Subject! – Humphrey Hamster Books by Betty G Birney

The rest of the world may think that we are a bit eccentric, but face it – we are a nation of animal lovers. And hurray for that, we say! It means that we get fantastic books like the Humphrey Hamster series by Betty G Birney. Everybody’s favourite classroom hamster has 12 wonderful adventures to enjoy. If you haven’t met him yet, start with The World According to Humphrey and enjoy this hamster’s-eye view of our world for the rest of the series! Find out more.

A Whale of a Time! – ‘Dear Greenpeace’ is 25.

Simon James’ wonderful and poignantly innocent tale of a young girl determined to free her whale from a pond is 25 years old. Just as fresh today, this is a hugely enjoyable, enchanting and thought provoking environmental classic for children aged 3+. Privacy Policy Disclaimer