The Public Library Love Letter

I have had my poem about my long relationship with public libraries published with online literary magazine, Idle Ink. Click here to read this very personal poem. Me around the age I started falling in love with books.

Why I still read aloud to my children

Its been 1.5 years since I wrote my last blog about reading aloud to children, even older children. My kids are now 11,9 & 7 and I thought I’d give an update on what we’re doing now. Well, I’m still reading to my three most nights…
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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…

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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Why reading aloud to older kids is not just special, it's vital

When is a good age to stop reading stories aloud to children? Well, how about never? Alright, so what are the chances really of being tucked up beside our seventeen year old reading a bedtime story. But many believe that once children have…
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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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Lessons learned about Reading & Writing in 2015

READING Read outside your comfort zone. There is, I can't deny, something so wonderful and luxuriant about snuggling down with a book you just know you will enjoy. But taking a few risks with reading can yield surprising, exciting responses.…
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9 Tips for putting the 'child' back into childhood

In light of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday 13th November, what I wanted to blog about pales into insignificance. Sometimes I truly feel that the world is so environmentally, morally and ideologically broken that all I would like to…

How can you be a writer during the kids' school holidays?

‘Mummy, you’ve been working forever. Stop it, now.’ This is my little boy, recently turned five, tugging at my sleeve and trying to force my laptop shut.  I explain to him that I really need to do a little more, then I promise I’ll…