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Showing posts from August, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child...and some other great fantasy books

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Two weeks ago, there was much excitement as the "new Harry Potter book" emerged on the scene. The expectation was enormous and, of course, the critics were there ready, willing and able to find fault and dash hopes of all Potterites everywhere. But I have to say, in my eyes this story did not disappoint.
Here are a few factors to consider while reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It's a play script. No, it hasn't been put into 'book form'. It's not a novel of the play. JK did not go back on her promise to not write another Harry Potter story...it's the script of the play which opened in London on the same night. So, we do not get the paragraphs of description setting the scene, the long explanations of events in the wizarding world which have led us to this place or the involved character descriptions. Why would we? We already know this world. A lot of us have grown up with it. So as such, we should already be prepared to suspend our disbelief…

Picture Books for the end of summer

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August can bring that slightly rushed feeling....the summer (or, here in Ireland, what passes for it) is almost at its' end and soon we will return to life as usual. We want to get those last few days in and make them count. Whether or not you are away somewhere, enjoying a sun holiday or at home battling the heat or rain or wondering what happened to the time, picture books can bring in those last few moments of the season for everyone in the house. Here's a few that I recommend to extend that vacation feeling:
Captain Jack and the Pirates by Peter Bently; illustrations by Helen Oxenbury (9780723269298)
Two young boys at the beach are whisked away (by the power of their own imagination) on a wonderful pirate adventure. With wonderful rhyming text and Oxenburys' classic-style illustrations, this will delight.
The Cloudspotter by Tom McLaughlin (9781408854976)
There isn't a cloud that Franklin can't spot; big ones, small ones, fluffy light, silly ones....But when Scr…

Welcome August....and some thoughts on why reading matters

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So, here we are in August. I don't know about you, but for me summer has really flown by. In another months time, we will all be settling into 'life as normal'....kids back to school, holidays simply a memory, preparing for the winter months and...no...I won't say it.
But, we still have August. It is a strange month. Too hot in some places, too cold in others, blazing sunshine or pouring rain...the weather does what the weather does. Regardless, it is the perfect time for reading. So many sources have been handing out summer reads suggestions, so I thought I'd jump on that band wagon as well. But, I also want to write a bit about why summer reading is so important for  everyone, but especially for children and young people.
When we consider the importance of reading, we all too frequently think of it in terms of educational purposes. We need to be able to read to get along well in school and to retrieve information; in short, to learn.  This is putting the cart be…