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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…
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Want your kids to be more environmentally aware? Look no further

Ancient native American wisdom shares that humanity's greatest guide is nature and the means to protect this delicate balance and best serve the needs of the community is through the children. For children, of course, have always represented…
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'The Time of the Lion' book review-The most lyrical and gentle story ever written about lions

I have long been a fan of the art of Jackie Morris who has illustrated numerous children's books, including one of my favourite animal books, How the Whale Became, (written by Ted Hughes), short stories about how many animals came into existence. In…
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Why 'Good Ideas' is a MUST HAVE on every parents bookshelf

I don't very often read how-to parenting books. They can leave me feeling frustrated when I try to put into practice their advice but it ends up backfiring, leaving me with bad-tempered children and wondering where I went wrong. But Michael…
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Which kids' book inspired one man to cycle across the globe?

SuperCyclingMan, currently in Germany I have a friend I went to university with, Will Hodson, who is currently at the start of a five year cycling journey that will take him across all seven continents. And not only that, but he is cycling…
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Book Review: Under the Spell of the Moon

Under the Spell of the Moon is self-described as 'Art for children from the world's great illustrators.' I would amend this title to 'Art and Poetry.....Great illustrators and poets'. For this book is a visual feast in more ways than one,…
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Book Review: The Gift

  Poetry, above all, is a series of intense moments - its power is not in narrative. I'm not dealing with facts, I'm dealing with emotion. Carol Ann Duffy  I have long been a fan of both Carol Ann Duffy (renowned poet and the first…
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Book Review: Patrick

I think I must be on a Quentin Blake roll at the moment because in my last blog I talked about an activity I did with my creative writing club based on Angelica Sprocket's Pockets. Blake's first published drawing was for Satirical magazine…
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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,…
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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,…