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Move over Valentines, International Book Giving Day, here we come!

We all know that February 14th is Valentine's Day, but probably far less of us are aware that it's also International Book Giving Day. Never heard of it? Well, despite being in its sixth year, I put my hands up and say that neither had I until…
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You HAVE to read this book!

'You HAVE to read this book!" These were the words uttered by both my eight and ten year old daughters, independently of one another and approximately six months apart. To quantify: my children never say this to me about books that they read,…
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The 9 year old who read 100 books in a year

This is Lola Sanchez Farmar. She is the nine year old daughter of my great friends, Rebecca and Pablo. I recently discovered that between July 2015 and July 2016 Lola read a whopping 100 Books. I couldn't quite believe my ears. 100? Really?  Lola's…
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Why engaging in poetry is a way into writing for kids

Ask a child to write a poem or ask a child to write a story. Which is less daunting? A story, on the whole, needs a beginning, middle and end. But a poem? It can be pages long. Or it can just be a few words. That's the beauty of poetry, the…
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How can we help introduce Shakespeare to our children?

We'd all love our children to ingest a little bit of the Bard in one way or another, right? As the world celebrates 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare, the best-known playwright to ever walk the earth, Bard fever has been spreading…
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Uncovering Enid Blyton

Lauded and loathed in equal measure, since the 1950's Enid Blyton's books have been banned from many schools, libraries and homes for being anachronistic, sexist, xenophobic, elitist and racist, not to mention accusations of relentlessly…
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Childhood Books Beloved of Authors

'You are what you eat,' it has commonly been said. But, I'd argue, you are also what you read. During our childhoods when we are discovering new worlds for the first time, we read with our entire bodies, minds and senses. We literally become…
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Three Fantastic Magazines for Children

Have you ever thought you'd like to subscribe to a magazine for your children, but something with a little more depth and less gender stereotyping than the average glossy mag that can be slipped into the shopping trolley at the supermarket? Living…
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A mini-bookworm's TOP TEN reads from 2015

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my top ten reads of 2015 and now I'd like to share with you my nine year old's top ten reads of this year as it draws to a close. I often bring my children into my blogs in one way or another and this time…
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Why scary reading for kids is a good thing and 5 of the Best

"Fear is a wonderful thing. In small doses. You ride the ghost train into the darkness, knowing that eventually the doors will open and you will step out into the daylight once again." Neil Gaiman Illustration of Edgar Allan Poe's 'Tales of…