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Phantom Tollbooth Word Market

Imagine you go to a marketplace and instead of buying fruit and vegetables you buy words. Well, this is what Milo, hero of The Phantom Tollbooth does on one of his adventures in the land of Dictionopolis. "Get your fresh-picked ifs, ands…
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Book Review: The Boy who Grew Flowers

I sell Barefoot Books, a collection of beautifully illustrated children's books which celebrate art and story and and aim to open young hearts and minds. One of my own kids' favourite books from this publisher is 'The Boy who grew flowers',…
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For you are a Kenyan child

For you are a Kenyan Child is a children's book not written by a Kenyan adult, but an American writer by the name of Kelly Cunnane and illustrated by a Spaniard, Ana Juan. As far as I'm concerned (and my own children I read it to), the prose…
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Beebopsbooks

Naomi & 'Beebop' (Livia) at Delamere Forest, celebrating the Gruffalo's 15th Anniversary Naomi writes a blog called Beebopbooks which promotes a love of children's literature and reviews various books for children and their parents. Naomi…
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Vintage Peer Gynt Storybook

As a child, I loved to be read Yoshiharu Suzuki's  (Japanese Illustrator) version of Swan Lake. His delicate, almost childlike but compelling drawings drew me into the world of Odette and Prince Siegfried and made watching the ballet performance…
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The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Jane Ray

I absolutely love Jane Ray's books for children: her illustrations, laced with gold, are sumptuous and detailed with richly decorated borders and her prose sparkles and dances. I want to share 'The Twelve Dancing Princesses' with you today,…
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Pippi Longstocking

Ah, Pippi Longstocking. It is impossible not to love this girl. Gutsy, fierce and the ultimate powerful feminist, I think I'd secretly like to be Pippi. Anyway, something interesting happened yesterday whilst doing a Pippi Longstocking workshop…
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Philip Pullman's Alethiometer

Without this being a conscious choice, my monday afternoon creative writing groups seem to have divided into girls and boys as my after-school club is a group of girls and then I go on to do another session with boys. Now normally I am not in…
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Ndiritu Wahome spins some fairytales

I met Ndiritu Wahome at Storymoja Literature Festival in Nairobi and as I'm a big fan of writing for children, it's great to come across people here in Kenya who write for a younger audience, particularly if their writing is a shift away from…
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The Pilot and the Little Prince

I was listening to the wonderful Cerys Matthews on her Sunday morning radio show on Radio 6 (if you’ve never tuned into this, I urge you to do so - it's very eclectic music including a live session, as well as poetry and recipes!) and this…