Entries by Rebecca Stonehill

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Having fun with Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets

  Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets is an infectiously fun story book written and illustrated by previous children’s laureate Quentin Blake. The wild-haired, eccentric Angelica Sprocket continually pulls one surprising item after another, Mary-Poppins-like, from one of the pockets of her overcoat, much to the delight of the crowd of children gathered around her. I decided to use this […]


Book Review: The Story of Ferdinand

Written by the wonderfully named Munro Leaf and lovingly illustrated in black and white by Robert Lawson, The Story of Ferdinand, set in Spain, was first published in 1936, the same year that the Spanish Civil War (subject of my first novel, The Poet’s Wife!) truly erupted.  Due to the sensitive timing of the book’s publication, […]


Sci Fi Writing for Kids

I approached Sci Fi writing for my creative writing club with some trepidation – I haven’t done much Sci Fi writing myself and I just wasn’t sure if they’d run with it. But how wrong could I be? All the kids loved it, and I mean loved it. We began the session by chatting in small […]


Age banding on books? No thanks

There’s something very odd indeed about putting age bands on books. The message it’s really sending out is this: Don’t try and read above your age level, and if you read books for younger children, then you’re reading ‘below’ yourself. The point is, if a child wants to read, this needs to be encouraged on […]


Madeline in London

Really, what’s not to love about Madeline? I discovered this book in a charity shop years ago when my kids were still really little and was drawn by the fabulous vintage drawings (Bemelmans published his Madeline books between 1939 and 1961), every colour double-spread page alternating with yellow, black and grey pictures. So I was […]


A First Book of Nature

I do so love this book. Written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Hearld, A First Book of Nature is a celebration of nature and all the colours, textures and beauty of the British countryside and the changing seasons. Hearld’s stunning papercut, collage and watercolour pictures combine perfectly with Davies’ poetic and whimsical descriptions […]