Archive for the ‘Special Features’ Category

Why We Published Hats of Faith

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Medeia Cohan

I am not a children’s book author. Well I am now, but I mean, I wasn’t and it’s still not my full time vocation. I set out to find this book to buy for my son to teach him about faith-based head coverings. We regularly encountered people wearing all kinds of different head coverings where we lived in Tooting in South London and I was increasingly aware that I didn’t know what most of them were called or what they represented and I wanted to have good answers when he started asking me about them.

I just wanted to buy a book and do my duty as a parent to educate my son about diversity early on. I did some research and found that the book I wanted didn’t exist. I remember thinking how odd it was that no one had already written this book. It seemed so relevant and so important that we educate your young people about head coverings and who wore them and why, so they could make their own, hopefully better, choices.

I remember mentioning the idea to a friend who went on to tell me a story about her daughter seeing a woman in a full grey burqa at the shops and calling her a ghost. My friend talked about her daughter not knowing any better, having never seen a burqa before and her own embarrassment. And then she said if she’d had a book like the one I was dreaming up, then she’d have had a relevant reference point. That stuck with me.

Not long after speaking to my friend, I was having a conversation with another mother and she told me a similar tale about her little one who had an appointment with a hijab wearing doctor and it not going well.

Around the time of Brexit and just before Trump took office, with a notable increase of hate crimes and intolerance around the world, the idea to create this book really started to gain momentum.

 

 

 


Medeia and Hajera

Medeia and Hajera



 

 

I began feeling like I had a responsibility to do whatever I could to counter the growing intolerance and fear around me. I believe that many small acts of kindness can add up to a powerful movement and can create much needed positive change and this belief felt more relevant than ever.

My good friend and now publisher, Hajera Memon encouraged me to shut up and get on with it, which at the time didn’t seem that difficult, after all board books don’t have that many words, right? Little did I know how hard writing a few, very accurate words on such a delicate subject could be!

Simultaneously we began hunting for the perfect artist and got to grips with the shear enormity of the research. We wanted to be absolutely positive that we’d done our homework and that we could say without a shadow of a doubt, that we were offering parents and educators accurate information. We consulted with everyone from religious experts, faith leaders, professors of theology, curators at major museums and faith followers themselves. It was a long process.

 


Hats of Faith

 

 

We also wanted to create a truly mainstream book. Something attractive and fact based rather than religious. Sarah Walsh the illustrator is a true wizard and an incredibly patient person. She worked with us to get the skin tones and expressions just right, and lets be honest; there is not book without them. She was able to capture warmth and beauty on each page.

Sarah was a joy to work with. She became as passionate about this book as Hajera and I were. Working with a team of bright, talented women from different faith backgrounds was not intentional, but it was helpful to inform the book and to keep us all going when the hours were long and imperfect. I’m thrilled with the outcome.

The aim is for Hats of Faith is that it plays a part in helping young people to learn acceptance and to become fearless and knowledgeable about the people beneath the head coverings. I’d love to see the book in libraries and classrooms around the globe and for children everywhere to be versed in the terminology. It’s a big goal, but we hope to inspire kinder future generations.

Visit: lovereading4kids.co.uk/book/14517/Hats-of-Faith-by-Medeia-Cohan-Petrolino.html

Join Lovereading4kids reviewer as he ‘Reads around the World’

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

My name is Toby, and I am 9 years old. I have written letters to every country in the world – you can read about that adventure at my other website, Writing to the World.

Some letters are published in a book called “Dear World, How Are You?“. In order to learn more about the
countries I am writing to, I am reading books, and I am reviewing them here.

I also reviewed books for LoveReading4Kids, and those reviews are on here, too. I am trying to find one book set in each country, or by an author from that country.

My Mum is doing the same for grown-up books, and I am reviewing mine, and she is reviewing hers. So whether you are a child or a grown-up, you can explore the world with us 🙂

Find out more at fantastic books and where to find them

Hot off the press! – You’ll notice a new addition to LoveReading4Kids…

Monday, June 19th, 2017

The KRiB – The Kids Review & Interview Bookclub – an online world of exciting book related shows presented by a flurry of book crazy kids, featuring viewer reviews, competitions, kid’s culture broadcasts, celeb author interviews and an exciting genre based book search library.


The KRiB celebrates authors, publishers, booksellers, libraries and
young readers, spreading the word about the coolest books everyone
should be reading!

The KRiB TV aims to raise literacy levels and to give all kids, whether they love reading or not, an entertaining platform that unites them, builds their confidence and inspires them to see the connection between books and their own lives.

A tour of The KRiB’s pages, will take the viewer from the entertaining ‘KRiB TV’ page, where you can watch video reviews of new releases, to insightful ‘Conscious Kids’ location broadcasts exploring the messages authors give us about modern life, to the educational
‘KRiB Skool’ which offers exciting presenting and acting courses, to
the motivational ‘Vlogs’ page where you can audition to become a KRiB
TV presenter and interview your favourite authors!

So we invite everyone to visit thekrib.tv

Look Beyond Your World

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Look Beyond Your World with Macmillan Children’s Books and discover a range of important and varied voices.

This overarching campaign spans seven books that explore diversity, other cultures and varied life experiences. We are keen to encourage broad reading for children aged eight to fourteen years old. The Look Beyond Your World campaign hopes to work with schools, libraries and bookshops to ensure maximum word of mouth, and draw important discussions to the fore.

Look Beyond Your World contains titles from seven key Macmillan Children’s Books authors: Sam Angus, Floella Benjamin, Sita Brahmachari, Emma Donoghue, Elizabeth Laird, Rachael Lucas and Kim Slater – with a combined sales track of over 1 million copies TCM.

Each of these authors has a new story to tell in 2017, giving readers a look into the lives of unfamiliar and new voices: from the war-torn streets of Syria and unconventional family structures to experience of life as a teenager with autism. We are proud to share these stories with the world, and even prouder to represent this range of experiences.

The Look Beyond Your World campaign encourages audiences, schools, libraries and bookshops to think a little differently and look beyond our own world to others. The campaign is targeted at Key Stages 2 and 3, but should appeal to all.

Discussion booklets are available to aid engagement with the campaign, along with materials including bookmarks, posters and supporting resources such as book synopses and author information. The campaign will run through May – September 2017.

If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved in the campaign, please email Kat McKenna at kat.mckenna@macmillan.com.

Children’s love of reading at all-time high, research shows

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Children’s love of reading is at an all-time high according to a survey of more than 42,000 pupils.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the National Literacy Trust’s (NLT) Young Readers Programme – the first national initiative of its kind – the charity has published data showing that more than three quarters of primary school children (77.6%) enjoy reading, the highest ever recorded by the NLT. It also showed that 10-year-olds who enjoy books have a reading age 1.3 years higher than their peers who do not, rising to 2.1 years for 12-year-olds and 3.3 years for children aged 14.

The NLT will also publish on its website ’20 Years of Children’s Choices’ which celebrates the most popular books chosen over the last two decades by the children who have taken part in the project.  The first year of the programme (1997) saw Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Bloomsbury) top the list. Subsequent favourites included Skellig by David Almond (Hodder Children’s Books) the following year, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler (Macmillan Children’s Books) in 1999 with Anthony Horowitz’s Stormbreaker (Walker Books) riding high in 2000. Last year’s winner was Bake Me a Story by Nadiya Hussain and illustrated by Clair Rossiter (Hodder Children’s Books).

Liz Pichon’s The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (Scholastic) was chosen as the most inspirational children’s read of 2011. Pichon has supported the scheme for many years, delivering storytelling sessions in numerous primary schools.

She said: “I’m often contacted by parents who tell me how their kids were reluctant readers and how seeing them with their noses in a book – sometimes for the first time – makes them both happy. Helping children to find the books that they enjoy is so important, as reading should be a pleasure that will hopefully stay with them for life.”

Jonathan Douglas, director of the NLT, said: “We are thrilled that our research has found children’s enjoyment of reading to be at an all-time high. When children enjoy reading and have books of their own, they do better at school and later in life, so we must continue to do everything we can to inspire children to fall in love with reading for a lifetime.”

A recent evaluation found that, after taking part, reading enjoyment levels rose for 93% of participants and reading attainment levels rose for 92%.

In February, the NLT exposed a “literacy crisis” with  86% of constituencies (a total of 458 out of 533) contain at least one ward with literacy issues.

For more information, visit literacytrust.org.uk or read the full report here.

Share tales over tea to raise money for literacy

Friday, May 26th, 2017

The National Literacy Trust and Boots Opticians are calling on book lovers and baking enthusiasts to help give disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed, by holding a Tales and Teapots party.

 

The fundraising initiative, which was developed by Boots Opticians, launched last year when hundreds of people held parties across the UK. It encourages friends, family and colleagues to come together and share books they’ve enjoyed over a slice of cake, while raising money to support the National Literacy Trust’s work in the UK.

 

This year Tales and Teapots is being supported by author and Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, who has provided an exclusive recipe for party hosts and is encouraging baking and book fans across the country to get involved. Nadiya said:

 

“Hold a Tales and Teapots party and celebrate two of my favourite things – books and baking!  The funds you raise will go to an incredibly worthwhile cause – the National Literacy Trust’s work to give disadvantaged children books and a path to a successful future. I love sharing stories with my children and I hope there will be many parties across the UK to ensure that all children have the opportunity to enjoy reading and the world of stories too.”

 

Tea party hosts can register for a free party pack, which contains posters, invitations, balloons and decorations, at literacytrust.org.uk/talesandteapots. Recipes and other useful resources will also be available on the website.

 

The National Literacy Trust and Boots Opticians have been working together since May 2015 to highlight the links between eye health and literacy. Their partnership aims to improve the literacy skills and life chances of the UK’s most disadvantaged children.

 

Amy Grilli, Project Manager at the National Literacy Trust said: “For many of us, sitting down to enjoy a good book with a cup of tea is one of life’s simple pleasures, but for one child in seven in the UK there are no books of their own to read at home.

 

A Tales and Teapots party is a great chance to catch up with friends and share your favourite stories, while helping the National Literacy Trust inspire more children to enjoy reading. After a successful first year, we are delighted to be working with Boots Opticians on this exciting initiative again and hope to see even more people enjoying parties this June.”

 

Demonstrating their commitment to the initiative, every one of Boots Opticians’ 600* practices across the UK will host a Tales and Teapots party on 2 June 2017. Everyone who hosts a party and sends in their donations before 30 June 2017 will have the chance to win exciting prizes, including a fantastic box of books from Walker Books.

 

The money raised at Tales and Teapots parties across the country will give children and young people books to keep and empower them with the literacy skills they need to improve their employability and reach their full potential.

 

To sign up for a free party pack, visit literacytrust.org.uk/talesandteapots.

Calling all Young Creative Writers

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS SEEK BUDDING HISTORICAL WRITERS

AS 2017 YOUNG WALTER SCOTT PRIZE OPENS FOR ENTRIES

 

The Young Walter Scott Prize, the UK’s only creative writing prize for young people dedicated to historical fiction, is now open for entries. Budding young historical novelists aged between 11 and 19 have until 31 October 2017 to enter the creative writing competition, with a chance to win a £500 travel grant and a VIP invitation to one of the UK’s best book festivals.

 

This prestigious prize has also programmed a series of Imagining History creative writing workshops, taking place across the UK in June and July, created specifically to give young people a chance to immerse themselves in historical places from the point of view of the writer.  The Young Walter Scott Prize writing competition and Imagining History workshops aim to inspire young writers to play with ideas, to explore the cracks between historical facts, and to become the historical novelists of the future.

 

Participants in the creative writing workshops will be encouraged to enter their stories for the prize, now in its third year.  Judges are looking for a piece of creative writing between 800 and 2000 words, inspired by any aspect of the past – an actual historical event, place or person. It simply has to be set in a time before the writer was born – a time recognisably different from the present.

 

Entries will be judged in two categories – 11 to 15 years and 16 to 19 years. The winners of each category win a £500 travel grant to enable them to visit the historic site of their choice anywhere in the UK, and a VIP invitation to the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland, in June 2018, to receive their prizes. Two runners-up in each category receive a book token, and all four winning stories are published in a special YWSP anthology book.

 

The 2016 YWSP winners Demelza Mason (15), from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire (winner in the 11-15 age group) and Alice Sargent (16), from Carmarthenshire, (winner in the 16-19 age group) will be presented with their prizes at Borders Book Festival on Saturday 17 June.

 

The Young Walter Scott Prize was set up two years ago by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, and is named after Sir Walter Scott, who as a boy sent to live in the Scottish Borders, set about exploring the countryside and listening to the stories of the people he met there. This inspired him to write, and to later become the most celebrated author of his time.

 

The workshops will led by writers and experts in interpreting historical places, who can help young writers see the past in new ways, and to begin writing or developing their work further. The YWSP is building partnerships with organisations such as the National Trust, Historic Environment Scotland and the Heritage Education Trust to create unique access-all- areas opportunities for young writers, all over the country.

For full details of workshop bookings and how to enter the prize, please visit the YWSP website or social media channels:

www.ywsp.co.uk  twitter @waltscottprize   facebook @walterscottprize  instagram walterscottprize

May eNewsletter

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Welcome to May at Lovereading4kids, where there’s a sniff of summer in the air and a refreshing breeze in our book-ship’s sails!  In the month that saw the birth of Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie, we have a forever-young selection of brilliant book recommendations to tinkle the bells of any young reader. Read on for more.

‘May’ we Suggest? – Books of the Month

A bookshelf more inviting than a big bucket of blossom this month! Great escapes for tots, toddlers, tiddlers, teens and tweenies! We love:

Windfall (12+) by Jennifer E Smith  – witty friendship tale about kindness, excess, adventure and unrequited love admired by our Reader Reviewers ‘Heartwarmingly good!’ – Megan ‘Sweet and sad’ – Jenny.

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Darling Buds! – May’s Debuts of the Month

More fantastic first timers vying to become firm favourites! This month, we love:

MEGA DEBUT The Girl in Between (11+) by Sarah Carroll – A deeply moving story of family, homelessness, loneliness and grief and the ghosts that won’t let us go. Haunting and unforgettable.

Llama United (7+) Scott Allen – Impossible dreams and hilarious adventures of unlikely football heroes.

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Every Smart Kid’s Smart Kid! – Ruby Redfort Series (9+)

Everyone loves a good spy adventure and as heroines go, 13-year old super sleuth Ruby Redfort is pretty unique. Lauren Child’s loveable eponymous secret agent is a genius code cracker and very adept at finding herself in extreme danger! Latest title, Blink and You Die, is the eye-opening finale to this un-put-down-able series and is out in paperback now. Click here for more.

His Word is Our (James) Bond – Steve Cole’s Young Bond Series (11+)

Before the man became the legend, before the boy became the man. This is the take-the-world by storm series that charts the adventures of the young James Bond. The early days of Ian Fleming’s legendary spy brimming with danger, intrigue and explosive action. Latest title Red Nemesis is a nail-biting and all too personal journey to the brink! Click here for more.

Famous Five at Seventy-Five!

75 years since Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog first found excitement and adventure wherever they went, Enid Blyton’s quintessential series is being relaunched. All 21 books have been given a new cover look and the titles themselves sensitively edited for today’s reader and are just as heart-stopping and impactful as they ever were.

We are giving away a set of all 21 in a celebratory competition so click here for more info and your chance to win. High Five!

     

Why Wait? – May Pre-Publication Exclusives

A superior selection of sneak peeks this month includes:

Crazy House (YA) by James Patterson – thrilling and thought-provoking mistaken identity tale of crime, punishment and the strong bond of siblings.

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The Plight of Others – Books about Refugees

Hard to imagine having to leave everything you know and seek a new home in a foreign land. To lose everything and rebuild. These are the stories of the people who’ve done just that. People just like us. Parents; siblings; friends.

They are personal experiences (My Name is Not Refugee by Kate Milner), communal stories told on a boat (A Story Like the Wind by Gill Lewis) and collections of stories that highlight Human Rights atrocities (Here I Stand by Amnesty International).  They are the stories that need to be told. Find out more.

Getting our Facts Straight!

Whatever age you are, it’s always great to find out something mind-blowing!  Our factaculous Fascinating Facts category, has had a refresh this month and is jam-packed with even more noggin nourishing nuggets for kids to know.

If you have kids that are always asking; “Why?” and “How?” and find yourself stumped for an answer, this category is your new best friend! Find out more.

Boy Zone!

Nope, not the ‘90s Irish – take-home-to-meet-your-mum – boy band. This is about our brilliant Great Books for Boys category, which has been injected with new blood this month. Even more superlative adventures that are perfect for boys of all ages all in one place. And girls will love them too! Click here for more.

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Nursery Crimes! –  ‘Sky Private Eye’ series (5+) by Jane Clarke

We love this clever series for very young readers where baking, detection and fairy tales are all whisked together in this appealing story to make a tasty picture book.

Follow the mystery-solving Sky as she is joined by some favourite fairytale and nursery rhyme characters to get to the bottom of some of the nursery world’s most dastardly crimes.

Oh My Goth! – Goth Girl by Chris Riddell

Chris Riddell is Children’s Laureate and a supreme illustrator. He’s the creator of the fabulous Ottoline series and a master of quirky and surreally wonderful story-telling. If you haven’t discovered Goth Girl (7+), you’re in for a treasure box of characterful fun!

There are three imaginative, witty dramas in the series and if you read them now, you’ll be ready for the brand new title due out in the autumn! Find out more.

Friends Forever, Enemies Never

If you have teenage children, it can be hard watching them go through all the trials and tribulations that life can hurl at them. Nicola Morgan’s The Teenage Guide to Friends is essential reading for teens and parents alike, tackling the all-important subjects of making and keeping friendships, as well as what to do when they break down (as they do). It’s a truly illuminating read that you will want to dip into over and over again. Get it here

Scroll down for our hand-picked selections of May books in the age ranges you have said you would like to be kept up to date with. To change them just Log in to your account. Log in to your account.

P.S. Don’t miss the chance to win a family pass to The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival, worth £40!, that is running 26 June – 2 July in Wiltshire. It’s full of exciting and absorbing activities for schools and families.

Harpercollins Children’s Books Have Arrived on the Hopster app

Monday, April 10th, 2017

To inspire toddlers to read for fun, Hopster, the preschool learning and entertainment app, has teamed up with HarperCollins Children’s Books to bring its little users a range of hit stories. UK subscribers to Hopster can now access and enjoy a selection of best-loved children’s books on the multi-platform service.

 

In the newly launched Book Boat section of the app kids can now find all their favourite stories including Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Mog and the Baby, Rachel Bright’s Love Monster, available in ebook, and Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers available in audio. The different formats allow children to discover their favourite characters as well as magical new stories in a multi-sensory way.

 

To celebrate the arrival of books on Hopster, for a limited time, subscribers will receive a HarperCollins picture book with their annual subscription for only £35. That’s a saving of over 27% and a free book that can be selected from a range of classic children’s books.

 

Hopster can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play, helping parents who are after a safe and ad-free platform. In one magical app kids will be entertained by hundreds of preschool TV episodes, nursery rhymes, games and now books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find out more about Hopster now:

Your chance to star in a comic!

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

The Phoenix, the weekly story comic, is looking for the STAR of a NEW COMIC by Neill Cameron for its 300th issue this autumn. That’s right! The Phoenix is opening its pages so a new hero or heroine can be born! Children everywhere are invited to let their imaginations run wild!

The competition is open to all children. To win, entrants need to:

1) Get drawing and create a new comic character! This could be an alter ego, an awesome new hero/heroine or anything else, including them!

2) Show us what makes that character awesome – like a secret power or ability.

3) All great comic characters have an arch-enemy. Draw them too!

Entries can be drawings, a written story or comic, or even a video! The winner will see their character star a in a special 16-page comic illustrated by the amazing Neill Cameron, author of Mega Robo Bros and How to Make Awesome Comics. The new comic will start in Issue 300 and run for 4 weeks.

The competition runs from 6 April to 31st May 2017. Full details are available at thephoenixcomic.co.uk/superstar.

To hear more about the Phoenix Comic Super Star search or more about the amazing stories we publish each week, get in touch and help us celebrate the special place that comics hold in children’s reading and imaginations. Follow the competition at @phoenixcomicuk #phoenixcomicsuperstar.

 


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