Showing posts from 2019


Today, 13 of November is World Kindness Day... a day when we are called upon to focus on being kind. So throw it around like confetti! Spread kindness everywhere! Plant seeds of kindness wherever you go! And read books to your little ones that encourage them to understand kindness.
I always have a few books on hand that tell stories of kindness, consideration and love in a way that opens the door to these important concepts to children; to help them nurture the kindness that (I believe) children already have as a part of their nature; to allow it to grow.
Of course there are many books to choose from that carry the theme of kindness, but two recently published picture books stand out in my mind. Both speak of that essential emotion behind kindness; love. Not the love you reserve for a select few in your world, but the love for everyone that needs much more expression today; for the more it gets expressed, the more it spreads and more kindness has a presence in the world. Let's ta…


Welcome to my day, the final day of Walker Books' Nevertell Blog Tour.
As the days grow shorter and the weather, colder, it's the perfect time to visit this beautiful debut novel. Katherine Ortons' Nevertell takes us on a journey to the past, to another land and to a strange, shivering magic.
author: Katherine Orton
cover illustrator: Sandra Dieckmann
Walker Books (7 November 2019)
ISBN: 9781406385182
11-year-old Lina was born in a prison camp in the depths of Siberia. It is the only home she has ever known. But her mother, Katya remembers well the life outside...before she was taken from her home in Moscow with her father and brother. Both are gone. Katya has filled Linas' life with stories of her grandmother and home. And now, in a cunning bid to escape, Lina is sent out through the walls and fences with the most treacherous of the prison camps' inmates. Making out, Lina, her best friend Bogdan and her untrustworthy companions find  themselves deep in the s…


Frances Hardinge is one of my top three favourite contemporary authors. She has the talent of being an incredible, riveting storyteller which is always combined with lyrical writing and world-building that is so absorbing that it pulls her readers directly into these improbable, but totally believable spaces.
Her latest book, DEEPLIGHT was released recently; on Halloween, in fact. An utterly appropriate day to introduce the world to a vibrant and vibrating ocean full of the sea gods of the Myriad; we are literally pulled into the depths of these horrifying monsters seducing their way back into existence. It is breath-taking.
(full review on the Young Adult page.)
But let us take a look at her other books, books that, if given the chance I will gush about for hours at a time. I don't want to do that here, so I'll be as brief as a can...I'll give you my top three Frances Hardinge books (and a glance at all the others.)

I first came across Frances Hardinge in 2006 with her fi…

SEVEN FOR TRIBES! New Releases From Tribes Press

Here's a big shout out of CONGRATULATIONS to local Galway publisher Tribes Press! Tribes Press first opened its' doors and fired up its' presses just over a year and a half ago. By November 2018, Tribes had released three childrens books, all by Galway authors; Kapheus Fire by author and founder of Tribes Press; Onnie Piggles by author John Butler, illustrated by Galway illustrator Jay Penn; and Little Knitten, a picture book by James I Keogh, with bright and cheerful illustrations by Sarah Coyne. Releasing three high-quality, polished books in six months time was an impressive feat for a brand new publisher. But this year, Tribes Press has outdone itself by releasing seven new books into the wild! All are out now and available from bookshops and on the Tribes Press website.  And here they are: KAPHEUS SPIRIT (book 5 in the Kapheus series) author: Marquerite Tonery cover & interior illustrations: Fabrice Bertolotto ISBN: 9781912441150 With lyrical, vivid storytelling, we …


Today, I'm delighted to share my stop on the
GRACE-ELLA WITCH CAMP BLOG TOUR! celebrating the arrival of the second book by Sharon Marie Jones; illustrated by Adriana J Puglisi.
We met Grace-Ella in the first book, Grace-Ella: Spells for Beginners. Grace-Ella was just nine years, nine months and nine days old when she discovered her witchy powers. Bedwyr and Fflur, her very best friends are the only ones who know (apart from her parents, of course) who know she is a witch. Mr Whiskins, her black cat moved in on the same day and the Witches Councils sent her her 'must-have' items; a Witch Tablet with first spells and potions, her cauldron, her wand and the all-important Book of Rules.  And now, Grace-Ella has just received her invitation to join her very first Witch Camp! And we get to tag along. Now that is exciting!
GRACE-ELLA: WITCH CAMP author: Sharon Marie Jones illustrator: Adriana J Puglisi Firefly Press (30 September 2019) ISBN: 9781913102067 Grace-Ella is excited when she…


Welcome back to magical tales of Old Russia; of a time when Russia was divided into many parts called tsardoms, each ruled by a Tsar, filled with mystery and magic; stories and folklore. Some you may know; some may bear a striking resemblance of other tales you've heard; but all are here to fire your dreams and imagination and take you away to another time and place. It is with the utmost delight that I share with you the news: Koshka's Tales: Stories from Russia, after being out of print for over 20 years, has made its' wonderful way back to our shelves thanks to Graffeg Ltd. And it is just as perfect and wondrous as it was the first time round. KOSHKA'S TALES: Stories From Russia author/illustrator: James Mayhew Graffeg Ltd (24 October 2019) ISBN: 9781913134457 Tsar Saltan Saltanovich ruled a fine tsardom. His only sorrow was that he had no tsaritsa to sit beside him. So he traveled across the land in search of a woman worthy enough to wear the crown. Coming upon the la…

GROW IT YOURSELF! For The Whole Family

Have you been wanting to spend more time in the garden? I think we all should. Especially the children. One of the best gifts we can give to kids is an understanding of the natural world, how to grow our own food and a consciousness of how to be in the future. And with the current climate issues and environmental concerns, we all need to pay more attention to where our food is coming from. How much of the food we put on the  table comes from local sources? How much comes from our own back garden? If you wish it was much more, but don't know where to start, I have just the book for you!
GIY's KNOW-IT-ALLMANAC authors: Michael Kelly and  Muireann Ní Chíobháin illustrator: Fatti Burke GIY Ireland (4 October 2019) ISBN: 9780993042621 Narrated by GIY's own gardener-in-chief Monty Sheddington Potts, this is an entertaining, highly amusing journey through the garden that lasts all year long (and for many years to come, I'd say.)  Fabulously illustrated by Fatti Burke, this book is…

The Life and Loves of E Nesbit by Eleanor Fitzsimons

It has been over thirty years since a biography has appeared about the Victorian/Edwardian childrens' author, E. Nesbit. And now emerges an exceptional biography; one that will fascinate and delight those of us who have grown up (and passed along to young readers) such wondrous books as The Railway Children, The Phoenix and the Carpet, The Story of the Amulet and (my personal favourite) Five Children and It.

author: Eleanor Fitzsimons
Duckworth (17 October 2019)
ISBN: 9780715651469
Edith Nesbit is known and loved as the creator of so many classic childrens' books. In fact, it has been said (with exceptional evidence) that she was the mother of modern childrens' literature and certainly the inventor of the childrens' adventure story format. These books have stood apart from her other writing in her long, prolific career and have stood the test of time as children today still revel in the exploits and personalities of her characters. But this …

HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GHOUL? The Ghouls of Howlfair Blog Tour

It was several months ago that I received a proof copy of The Ghouls of Howlfair by Nick Tomlinson and I have been chomping at the bit ever since. This book really fired my imagination and excitement for all things spooky and intriguing. Then, to see a published copy, with its' wonderful cover illustration by Kim Geyer that captures the eerie, unusual atmosphere of the entire book in one image was an extraordinary experience. With a publication date of 3rd of October, it is the perfect read for this month, when the veil between the worlds thins and releases all those things that go bump in the night! To let you in on the story; young local historian and investigator Molly Thompson is overly preoccupied with Howlfairs' deep and rich history filled with myths, legends and the supernatural. But while the modern-day residents no longer believe that the towns' ghouls actually exist, Molly is certain there is more than just scary tale…