Sunday 27 September 2015

The Reading Chair Children's Book Column for South Wales Evening Post Sept 26th

The Reading Chair Children's Book Column for 

South Wales Evening Post Sept 26th


This sumptuous and richly decorated treasure of a book is every little girls dream gift. The metallic embossed cover and intricate illustrations on virtually every page are a delight. The third in the series we follow the continuing adventures of Ada and her friends as they struggle to solve a mysterious plot in Lord Goth's Dog Show. There are plenty of clever literary references such as Sir Walter Splott and Plain Austen that will appeal to adults and laugh out loud humour for the children. A real gem.
ISBN 9781447277897 PB Pan Macmillan £10.99
5/5 Stars

Picture Book 4+

A sensitively handled story dealing with the death of a grandparent for the very young who are struggling to understand their loss. Syd is very close to his grandad and together they go on an adventure to a tropical island. However, only Syd can go home. This could help parents explain a difficult subject to their child. I also recommend by the same author The Storm Whale, a beautiful story about family and friendship.
ISBN 9781471115684 PB Simon & Schuster Ltd £6.99
    5/5 Stars

Childrens 9+


By complete fluke Joe finds himself as prime minister in the UK. A great introduction to politics, the power of the media and international relations. An hilarious take on how kids would rule the world! It will certainly encourage them to vote especially as it shows how one person can make a difference in the world. An ambitious yarn which introduces serious points in a very entertaining way.
    ISBN 9780192737748 PB Oxford University Press £6.99
4/5 Stars

Young Adult Fiction


Angelini's first series Starcrossed was great but this really cranks it up a notch. Lily suffers life endangering allergies, has a schizophrenic mother and absent father. Calamitous events send her into an alternative world where Lily grows from a peace loving sensitive girl into a strong powerful witch. So many twists and turns in this book it had me hooked from the beginning. The second, Firewalker, is just out so you can binge read!
ISBN 9781509809875 PB Pan Macmillan £7.99

4/5 Stars

Sunday 20 September 2015

The Reading Chair Childrens Book Column for South Wales Evening Post Sept 19th #DickKingSmith

The Reading Chair Childrens Book Column for South Wales Evening Post Sept 19th

My pick of four great childrens books across a wide age range for all to enjoy!!

Childrens 4+

The Dinosaur That Pooped the Bed! By Tom Fletcher

What is it about poop that makes us giggle! The latest in the series written by two McBusted band members is a real guilty pleasure. Danny is ordered by his Mum to tidy his room but he just feeds his mess to his Dinosaur instead and you can guess the rest! Little boys will love the irresistible combination of poop and dinosaurs, it just may be a little too close to home for some parents!
    ISBN: 9781782951797 PB Random House £6.99
4/5 Stars

Childrens 7+

The Hodgeheg by Dick King-Smith

I would recommend any book by this beloved children’s author. Best known for Babe, The Sheep Pig, King-Smith's endearing yet realistic style of writing will appeal to young children curious about the world. Hodgeheg tells the story of Max a hedgehog who lives on the wrong side of the road. An exciting story relaying the importance of road safety and of never giving up on a dream. has great info for children and teachers.
ISBN: 9780141332383 Penguin PB £5.99
5/5 Stars

Young Adult Fiction 13+

Hope in a Ballet Shoe by Michaela DePrince

An extraordinary true story of an orphan from Sierra Leon who on seeing a picture of a ballerina is determined to become one against all the odds. Adopted by an American couple Michaela had to deal with a new culture and racism whilst dancing but despite all the setbacks she broke the mould to fulfil her dream. This book is a triumph over extreme adversity. A must read whether your a ballet fan or not!
ISBN:9780571314478 PB Faber & Faber £7.99
5/5 Stars

Book of Week

Childrens 9+

Grandpa's Great Escape By David Walliams

David Walliams, the young pretender to Roald Dahl returns with his irreverent humour to tease and torture his army of young fans. David's hotly anticipated new novel tells the story of the special bond between a small boy and his beloved grandfather who happens to be able to fly a spitfire plane. They both take to the skies to save the day immersing the reader in a rip roaring adventure over London. David's naughty sense of humour is perfectly captured by the drawings of award-winning illustrator Tony Ross. Out Sept 24th
ISBN: 9780007494019 HB HarperCollins £12.99
5/5 Stars

Saturday 12 September 2015

South Wales Evening Post Childrens Book Column #TheReadingChair Sept 12th

South Wales Evening Post Childrens Book Column #TheReadingChair in The Weekend section Sept 12th
I pick a selection of books for children suitable for all ages from picture books to Young Adult Fiction every Saturday

Picture Book 4+

A Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen Illustrated by Chris Riddell
Two giants of children’s literature have joined forces to create a magical anthology of poetry for the very young. In a perfect introduction to poetry Rosen starts with a cornucopia of tongue twisters and nonsense rhymes and ends with soothing verses to send even the most energetic child off to sleep. Paired with Riddell's bold and beautiful illustrations you will have lots of fun reading this out loud. A great present for all occasions.
  • ISBN:9781406343199 Walker Books HB £14.99
  • 5/5 Stars
Childrens 8-12 Years

How to Fight a Dragons Fury By Cressida Crowell
So this is Hiccup last adventure! However his army of fans will not be disappointed. Hiccup is fighting to save the dragons along with a few familiar faces and there are some really touching moments alongside rip roaring adventure. The classic David and Goliath premise will appeal to all. Personally I am going to really miss Hiccup's dragon Toothless. If you have withdrawals check out the brilliant website at for more games and stories.

    ISBN: 9781444916584 Hachette Children's Group HB £12.99
5/5 Stars

Childrens 11-18 Years

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgewick
Marcus Sedgwick has set up a fascinating premise that will have you gripped from the start. Laureth is sixteen and blind so when she sets off to find her missing father with her young brother and his stuffed toy raven Stan you want her to succeed despite the odds. It makes us look at the world from different angles and appreciate the mindset of a girl who no longer wants to be invisible just to fit in. Thought provoking.
ISBN: 9781780621340 Hachette Children's Group PB £7.99
4/5 Stars

Sunday 6 September 2015

South Wales Evening Post Childrens Book Column #TheReadingChair Sept 5th

South Wales Evening Post Childrens Book Column #TheReadingChair in The Weekend section Sept 5th
I pick a selection of four books for children suitable for all ages from picture books to Young Adult Fiction every Saturday

Childrens Book of the Week

Listen To The Moon by Michael Morpurgo 9+
Another riveting bitter sweet tale from the much loved author of War Horse. A girl is washed up on the shores of the Scilly Isles in World War One. But who is she and where did she come from? Inspired by the true events of the sinking of the Lusitania is tells the tale of love, loss and survival as Lucy's past is slowly revealed. The twists and turns in this moving tale will have some children and adults reaching for their hankies! What sets Morpurgo apart is that he is able to convey real life events through a fascinating story that educational and enjoyable without being preachy. My only niggle is that it is a little long for this age group.
ISBN 9780007339655 PB £6.99 Harper Collins


ISBN 9780007339655 PB £6.99 Harper Collins

Picture Book 4+

The Big Blue Whale by Nicola Davies
After I saw the extraordinary sighting of a blue whale on Big Blue Live I was delighted to find this enchanting book has just been relaunched. Nicola is a zoologist who's poetic writing style is perfect for curious young minds wanting to know about the largest mammal on earth. Stunning illustrations by Nick Maland compliment the fascinating text. I loved the line, “The whale has eyes "as big as a teacup and as dark as the deep sea."

ISBN: 9780744578966 Walker Books, PB £6.99
5/5 Stars

For Children 7+

The Spy Who loved School Dinners by Pamela Buthart
Worthy winner of The Blue Peter Book Award for Best Story as voted for by children this is an hilarious mystery about a group of friends who think the new girl at is a spy. Izzy and her friends are suspicious of Matilde. Why is she so strange and why does she like school dinners nicknamed poison? She must be a school inspector! The witty illustrations really bring the engaging first person diary format to life.

ISBN 9780857632579 Nosy Crow, PB, £5.99
4/5 Stars

Young Adult/ Teen Fiction

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Already a huge fan of her inaugural fantasy series The Throne of Glass which is inspired by Cinderella becoming an assassin imagine my excitement getting my hands on her new series A Court of Thornes and Roses. Based on Beauty and the Beast with a bit of Greek myth thrown in this blend off romance and adventure set in a darker, decadent fairy world will certainly raise the pulse of older teens. For Celeana fans the latest Queen of Shadows is out now.

ISBN 9781408857861 PB £7.99 Bloomsbury
Rating 5/5 Stars