Ponds, children’s literature, and Hayao Miyazaki

The stories that we read as children stay with us. Sometimes practically: dishevelled, bruised, cracked-of spine; or sometimes more metaphorically as a memory, or a feeling we can’t describe or even fully realise. This is because literature is a continuum: everything we read talks to everything we’ve ever read before and to everything we’re yetContinue reading “Ponds, children’s literature, and Hayao Miyazaki”

How to Be Brave has a US cover!

I am so very happy to share with you all the cover for the US edition of How To Be Brave. It’s been designed by Trisha Previte and illustrated by the amazing Flavia Sorrentino and every time I look at it, I see something different. I love it so much. I have been so luckyContinue reading “How to Be Brave has a US cover!”

How To Be Brave is now available to pre-order!

What is life, eh? How To Be Brave is now available for pre-order, adding on Goodreads, reading and reviewing via Netgalley, and generally swooning over. (Let us all guess which one I am doing the most of). Thanks so much to the amazing Thy Bui for the cover and the team at Pushkin for makingContinue reading “How To Be Brave is now available to pre-order!”

The Answers to the First Quite Niche Children’s Literature Christmas Quiz

As promised, here are the answers to the quiz I posted on December 24th. How did you do? ūüôā Round One: Boarding School Stories A lot of H D‚Äôs at the S = A Lot of Hot Doctors at the Sanatorium Eleven M having breakfast at F = Eleven Maynards Having Breakfast At Freudesheim OneContinue reading “The Answers to the First Quite Niche Children’s Literature Christmas Quiz”

The First Ever Quite Niche Children’s Literature Christmas Quiz

Hello! I have been thinking for a while that I wanted to start a new Christmas tradition on this blog, and this year felt like the perfect time to do precisely that. So! Here is the First Ever Quite Niche Children’s Literature Christmas Quiz! (I am very excited). There are no prizes, other than gloriousContinue reading “The First Ever Quite Niche Children’s Literature Christmas Quiz”

Some Carefully Curated Lists of the Best Children’s Books To Buy This Year

Hello! I have been putting together some lists of children’s books to buy which, I suspect if you’re reading this blog, might be up your street. One of the things to mention is that these are affiliate links which mean that I do get a referral fee but I’m not doing it for that. IContinue reading “Some Carefully Curated Lists of the Best Children’s Books To Buy This Year”

“When you can’t speak, you sing, and when you can’t -” : musical theatre, Glee, and Naya Rivera

I never wanted to perform myself. Still don’t. The amount of interest I have in getting up on the stage can be measured in one hand. Musical theatre wasn’t – isn’t – for me. But watching it? I can’t imagine anything better. There’s something so intoxicating about watching people sing and dance their way acrossContinue reading ““When you can’t speak, you sing, and when you can’t -” : musical theatre, Glee, and Naya Rivera”

In the Shadow of Death by RŇędolfs Blaumanis

In the Shadow of Death by RŇędolfs Blaumanis My rating: 5 of 5 stars [I am very grateful to my friends at Latvian Literature for securing me a review copy of this. As ever, my opinion is my own. I’d not be writing this if it weren’t‚Ķ] First published in 1899 and based on aContinue reading “In the Shadow of Death by RŇędolfs Blaumanis”

The Lord Of The Rings film trilogy by Peter Jackson, the art of storytelling, and season eight of Game of Thrones

It’s not a good sign when you watch something and think, quite clearly, of something else that did it better. But that was what happened on my watch of the final season of Game of Thrones, a season that was derided by pretty much every critic I read and person I know as appalling. TheyContinue reading “The Lord Of The Rings film trilogy by Peter Jackson, the art of storytelling, and season eight of Game of Thrones”

Some News

Originally posted on Big boots and adventures :
My debut children’s book HOW TO BE BRAVE will be out in 2021 in both the UK and US, and I am SO excited to introduce you to this world. Here’s a few tweets on the topic.. https://twitter.com/PushkinPress/status/1253679947840978944 https://twitter.com/BryonyWoods/status/1253707711155449856 https://twitter.com/chaletfan/status/1253681561964167171 https://twitter.com/chaletfan/status/1253682523655323649

Trials For The Chalet School, an audio review

I’ve been contemplating doing some audio content for a while (I feel like I need to hashtag that liberally but I honestly can’t bear it, so forgive me). The current situation in the world has given me that opportunity and so, here we are with a review of Trials For The Chalet School – aContinue reading “Trials For The Chalet School, an audio review”

Cynthia Voigt, Americana and the texture of literary things

‚ÄúDicey looked out over the tall marsh grasses, blowing in the wind. If the wind blew, the grasses had to bend with it.‚ÄĚ I don’t remember the first time I read Cynthia Voigt. I do, however, remember what it was that I read. A book called Homecoming. A title that bore little resonance to myContinue reading “Cynthia Voigt, Americana and the texture of literary things”

About that secret project I've been working on…

Hello! So, over the past few months, I have been working on a small secret project and now I can tell you all about it. Essentially, I got increasingly grumpy and decided to do something about it. Grumpiness is a very good motivational factor! My grumpiness centred about the increasing realisation that the women writersContinue reading “About that secret project I've been working on…”

Unexpected Archive Delights : 1920s Children’s Book Adverts

I am constantly surprised by archives. I know that’s an incredibly strange thing to say and one that sounds even stranger when you are supposed to know what you are looking at, but it’s true. I am surprised by archives; the way they give me something that I request that comes with a thousand otherContinue reading “Unexpected Archive Delights : 1920s Children’s Book Adverts”

Burt Lancaster : a watching and reading guide

I remember the precise moment I understood Burt Lancaster. Or, at least, I remember the precise moment I understood that person he was on screen – the person he wanted to let me see. It was From Here To Eternity (1953) and it wasn’t the scene you might think. Though the film is justifiable notableContinue reading “Burt Lancaster : a watching and reading guide”

Adapting literature for television: (or, why doesn’t The War of The Worlds work for me)

My house has been watching the recent BBC adaptation of The War of the Worlds, and we have been disappointed. It is not that the story itself is at fault, for it is not. There isn’t much of HG Wells’ work that is. The problem resides in that notion of adaptation, of taking something thatContinue reading “Adapting literature for television: (or, why doesn’t The War of The Worlds work for me)”

Book Fair 101: everything you needed to know about book fairs

I came up with the title of my autobiography over the weekend. Inspiration struck just after I’d picked up a lovely copy of one of the Moomin annuals, displayed face out on a bookstall at York Book Fair. It was priced at ¬£750. My autobiography is, perhaps unsurprisingly, going to be called: Books I haveContinue reading “Book Fair 101: everything you needed to know about book fairs”

Dancer In The Wings by Lorna Hill

Dancer In The Wings by Lorna Hill My rating: 4 of 5 stars The more I read of the authors I read, the more I become convinced that there is a fine line between ridiculous and genius. So close and yet sometimes, so very much one or the other. It is the problem, I think,Continue reading “Dancer In The Wings by Lorna Hill”

A book club for adults who read children’s books in York

[Update 2nd July: The group is now at maximum – so I won’t be accepting any more applications for now. I’ll leave this post up however and update it should things change. Thanks for your interest :)] Hello! This is a very quick and quiet post to say that I am thinking of setting upContinue reading “A book club for adults who read children’s books in York”

The Oberammagau Passion Play and the Chalet School

It’s no secret that we support the works of Elinor M. Brent-Dyer on this blog (and if it is, then welcome! stay! let us talk about romantic omelettes and improbable speedboat shenanigans!), and the Chalet School books in particular. One of the earlier titles in this sprawling series, The Chalet School And Jo, is ofContinue reading “The Oberammagau Passion Play and the Chalet School”

Warrior women and children’s books

A couple of years ago, I attended a conference. As is usual, there was a bookshop there. As is perhaps less usual, there was a remarkable author there. She was – is – elderly. Tiny. Legendary. She arrived at lunch; word ran around the tables that she was here, that she had arrived. Arrived. IContinue reading “Warrior women and children’s books”

A Space To Be Herself : Locating Girlhood In Children’s Literature

Originally posted on Big boots and adventures :
If I believe in anything, I believe in making my research publicly accessible when and where I can. Obviously I believe in a lot of things, but I think that’s the one that underpins everything. Share your work. It’s terrifying, but I think, vital. So, on that note,…

Revisiting The Bunker Diary; or, the state of Children’s and Young Adult literature today

I’ve recently been revisiting The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks. Much of the prompt for this comes from a class I’ll be teaching in a couple of weeks about writing young adult fiction, though I admit a part of me was interested to see how it felt reading this complex, challenging book from a freshContinue reading “Revisiting The Bunker Diary; or, the state of Children’s and Young Adult literature today”

A look at Young England (1914-1915)

My speciality is Girl’s Own, but sometimes my interest gets caught by those publications intended squarely for boyish readers. Such it was with Young England, a compiled annual of a ‘story paper’ for boys. I picked up copies of the 1914-1915 and the 1909-1910 editions for an absolute song, intrigued by the size of theContinue reading “A look at Young England (1914-1915)”

“Rosa” – Doctor Who, and Malorie Blackman

I’m still shaking after last night’s Doctor Who episode. Written by the illustrious Malorie Blackman, a legend in the world of children’s and young adult literature – and former Children’s Laureate to boot, Rosa was set in Montgomery, Alabama and concerned the equally illustrious figure of Rosa Parks. It’s sometimes difficult to understand story whenContinue reading ““Rosa” – Doctor Who, and Malorie Blackman”

How to pitch your book for review to a book blogger

I’ve been wanting to write a brief guide on how to pitch your book for review to a book blogger for a while. It seems to be one of those things that a lot of people can’t quite figure out, or get intimidated by, or just sort of blindly hope for the best with. And,Continue reading “How to pitch your book for review to a book blogger”

A Hidden Treasure : ‘The Child’s Guide To Knowledge’ (1861)

I’ve been visiting some of my favourite bookshops over the last few weeks and picking up some utter treasures. These are books that wouldn’t and won’t make a fortune if I sold them on, but to me they’re priceless in what they say about our ideas of childhood and children many moons ago. I’m goingContinue reading “A Hidden Treasure : ‘The Child’s Guide To Knowledge’ (1861)”

The NCRCL Open Day 2018

I had a lovely opportunity the other weekend to revisit the University of Roehampton where, seven (!) years ago, I studied my MA in Children’s Literature. It’s a course that changed my life, not only through the legitimisations of the interest that I had but also through the groundwork it gave me to explore thoseContinue reading “The NCRCL Open Day 2018”

A quickening of the heart : life as a book collector

I had a bit of a lovely moment the other day. I found a clump of the books that I collect, and I bought them all because it was one of those rare occasions where I could actually afford all of them. And now, several days later, I’m still riding that wave of delight thatContinue reading “A quickening of the heart : life as a book collector”

Translating classic children’s books into feminist blank verse

(Honestly, I’ve never been more on brand). I am no translator. My French is passable, in that ‘I cannot remember the precise word but can vaguely approximate the sense of what I am trying to describe to you’ sort of manner, but it’s not up to translating prose. My English, however, is and so overContinue reading “Translating classic children’s books into feminist blank verse”

My experience of Choose Your Own Story apps

I’ve been looking a lot recently at some choose your own story apps available on Android. This methodological restriction is primarily to the fact that an Android phone is what I have, and I was interested to see the sorts of stories that were available for it. I’ve never really looked at choose your ownContinue reading “My experience of Choose Your Own Story apps”

The allure of forgotten notebooks

I am one of those people who has legitimate and primal and fundamental personal needs for stationery. Good stationery is a human right. Notebooks make everything better. One of the first bits of advice I will give anybody beginning a research degree is to buy yourself all the stationery that your heart desires. The onlyContinue reading “The allure of forgotten notebooks”

“Help, my child isn’t reading!”

I had a couple of really interesting chats recently with parents concerned about their children’s reading habits. They weren’t reading. They don’t read. They don’t read challenging books. They won’t pick up a book. And when all you see in the media is reports about how children don’t read, and this means your child inContinue reading ““Help, my child isn’t reading!””

The circularity of debate

I have become increasingly conscious of the circularity of many debates within children’s literature, and the way that, so often, these feel as though they’re pushing against an echo chamber. Does it matter to talk about such things when it feels as though nobody’s listening? Of course it does, for words are weapons and vitalContinue reading “The circularity of debate”

An interview with Bessora and Sarah Ardizzone : two-thirds of the creative team behind Alpha

One of the highlights of Pop Up Lab this year was hearing Bessora¬†the author, and Sarah Ardizzone, the translator, deliver a key note about their graphic novel¬†Alpha. Alpha¬†is a fascinating project; originally published in French and republished in English by the team at Barrington Stoke. At a conference that discussed the importance of visual literacies,Continue reading “An interview with Bessora and Sarah Ardizzone : two-thirds of the creative team behind Alpha”

Things I would like to see less (and more) of in the world of children’s books in 2018

Less… Strong Female Characters Who Are Strong In One Way Only. Strong Female Characters Who Are Violent And Thus Strong And That Is About All You Get. “I read Harry Potter once…” Looking into the mirror scenes. Lists from headteachers of Approved Literature saying that they read Boccaccio when they were two days old, andContinue reading “Things I would like to see less (and more) of in the world of children’s books in 2018”

Visual literacies, comics and Mark Twain : An Interview with Dylan Calder of Pop Up Projects

I’m lucky enough to be attending an event tomorrow which focuses on something very dear to my heart – visual storytelling. As you’ll know from my picture book¬†reviews¬†in particular, visual literacy is an important and powerful thing that is, so often, misunderstood or denied its critical relevance. Pop Up Lab, the brainchild of Pop UpContinue reading “Visual literacies, comics and Mark Twain : An Interview with Dylan Calder of Pop Up Projects”

Conversations with dead authors : Enid Blyton

  Enid Blyton ‚ÄúCan you write a biography of somebody without ever knowing the true facts? Why, you barely know anything about me.‚ÄĚ She‚Äôs bored and not trying to hide it. I suspect that she never hides the way that she feels. I saw the little flash of irritation when they took a little tooContinue reading “Conversations with dead authors : Enid Blyton”

So I found my first subject

So I’m currently down in Cambridge, working on the #a14stories project, and I spent much of yesterday outside. The grounds at Madingley Hall are free to enter to the public, and the gardens are beautiful. There’s influence here from Capability Brown, but also from something rather distinctly English; topiary hedges, and striped lawns. I wantedContinue reading “So I found my first subject”

I’m going to be a Writer In Residence at the University of Cambridge

I’m trying to be coy but I rather think that title has given it away a tad. So without further ado, I have some rather exciting news to share. I’m going to be working with the University of Cambridge for six weeks this Autumn, as the¬†A14 Writer In Residence.¬† I’m going to be based forContinue reading “I’m going to be a Writer In Residence at the University of Cambridge”

The legitimacy of critique : or, who am I?

(This is today’s post – a long read touching on criticism, the internet, and also distant reading. There’s a bit of theory, but I hope it’s worth the effort. If you’d like to read other longer posts in this series, here’s the archive of long reads.) I have a friend who’s researching narrative autobiography, andContinue reading “The legitimacy of critique : or, who am I?”

Bad Book Article Bingo

Here’s a little something to turn to when you read that next badly written article about children’s and young adult literature. Cross them off when you find them mentioned! Vampires Computer Games I blame the parents Youtube Twilight CLASSICS I blame the children Television I blame education “When I was young…” I blame the authorsContinue reading “Bad Book Article Bingo”

How famous were the Famous Five?

My thanks to Nikesh Shukla for the tweet that unknowingly prompted this pleasant and super nerdly distraction from my thesis … The Famous Five are Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the Dog. 4¬†humans and¬†1¬†dog. For the purposes of this post, we’ll discount Timmy (as much as it pains me) and thus work with¬†4¬†individuals. WithContinue reading “How famous were the Famous Five?”

‘Roads’ in children’s books

As I’m sure you’ll know, I have a particular interest in the representation of landscape in children’s books. Landscape tells you everything, and yet it’s often one of the more forgotten elements when people talk about a book. Consider the difference between the two sentences below. The cat sat on the mat in a field.Continue reading “‘Roads’ in children’s books”

Learning how to be not afraid

I was asked, the other day, in the middle of a conversation: “what has life as a research student taught you?’. And my answer was: “it’s taught me to be not afraid.” I was a little bit surprised as to where that came from and more so, perhaps, in how I phrased it. I thinkContinue reading “Learning how to be not afraid”

Losing my marbles (or the day I visited the Miffy Museum in Utrecht)

For those of you who don’t know of her, Miffy is a joy. She is a small white rabbit created by Dick Bruna and I love her greatly. Dear Grandma Bunny, for example, is one of the best picture books that have ever been made and The Little Bird isn’t far off. Miffy is oneContinue reading “Losing my marbles (or the day I visited the Miffy Museum in Utrecht)”

Talking Empathy with Sita Brahmachari

I am immensely proud to be able to share a guest post with you today. I won’t ever deny that I’m picky about this sort of thing but that’s because I know you and I take this seriously. Children’s books are important, statuesque things and even more so in the frail and friable world weContinue reading “Talking Empathy with Sita Brahmachari”

Courage Mountain, or the one where Heidi falls in love with Charlie Sheen

It’s been a while since I read Heidi but I have some fairly solid memories of it. Mountains. Goodness. Goats. That sort of jazz. It was with interest then that I came across a film called Courage Mountain which was a sequel to Heidi, but involving an Italian boarding school and the advent of WorldContinue reading “Courage Mountain, or the one where Heidi falls in love with Charlie Sheen”

Talking Mobile Fictions, Digital Storytelling and Hairy Maclary with Alastair Horne

Originally posted on Big boots and adventures :
I’m privileged to be able to share something special with you today. This is an interview I did with Alastair Horne about his PhD research. Alastair is looking at the role of digital devices in fiction and how they’re affecting the relationships between author, text and reader. His…

Picture books, art, and the appreciation of things

I have a passion project. Thanks to Facebook, and my inability to hold onto a USB stick for more than thirty second without losing it, I have started to gather an album of picture book images. The curation method for these is simple, eccentric. I have to like it. I have to be able to¬†talk¬†aboutContinue reading “Picture books, art, and the appreciation of things”

Children’s literature and the great ‘oh’

This post marks the debut of a new series on this blog, namely a collection of longer and more in-depth pieces. Long-reads, essays, that sort of thing. They will be able to be read in sequence or in isolation, and I hope they’ll help to shed some light on children’s literature. And on tigers.¬† LetContinue reading “Children’s literature and the great ‘oh’”

The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen : Hope Nicholson

The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen: Awesome Female Characters from Comic Book History by Hope Nicholson My rating: 4 of 5 stars Due out in May, this is one of those books that I want to write about now and talk about now because it’s great. Simple as that; I have been looking for books andContinue reading “The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen : Hope Nicholson”

2016 : the year in children’s literature

“Wasn’t it good?” The sound of Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson slide into my ears as I settle down to write this look back at the bookish year, and they’re¬†more of an appropriate soundtrack than I originally thought they were. 2016 has been a year, a whole hefty stomach punch of a year, and yetContinue reading “2016 : the year in children’s literature”

How to make the perfect film : take one small brown bear…

It’s not easy to make a children’s film. It’s not easy to do anything with or for children (parents, I can see you nodding in the back there) because of the sheer breadth of childhood experience that is out there. Articulating a story is easy when it’s for yourself; articulating a story that reaches outContinue reading “How to make the perfect film : take one small brown bear…”

“She has torn yet another dress”: Reflections on being a book collector

It’s hard to pinpoint where you fell in love with something when you have been in love with that something for a while. I don’t remember my first book, nor my first library, nor my first story. I remember beats in my journey of literacy, of reading; moments that echo in my heart and singContinue reading ““She has torn yet another dress”: Reflections on being a book collector”

On “beautiful girls”, bookclubs and Zoella

Zoe ‘Zoella’ Sugg is a vlogger. She is incredibly successful at what she does and regularly posts videos on Youtube covering beauty, fashion and general lifestyle topics. She is the author of Girl, Online, a book with a controversy of its own regarding the authorship, and which I reviewed here. It is a charming, andContinue reading “On “beautiful girls”, bookclubs and Zoella”

The politics of children’s literature; patterns, voice, ideology

Where are we in this year, this year that’s seen the paradigm shift, this year of evenings where everything made sense and then mornings where it didn’t, this year of hope and of fear and of confusion and of sheer raw confusion, confusion, confusion, where are we now? I have written about this before, fogged,Continue reading “The politics of children’s literature; patterns, voice, ideology”

On crying in the dark and Catherine of Aragon’s bible

It was dark, the early all-consuming blackness of a November evening. It was raining, the sort of rain that glitters and rests on the edge of a building like coy midday frost. And I was crying. Not fully, not half-consciously, but still, it was there. That edge of not understanding what had just happened toContinue reading “On crying in the dark and Catherine of Aragon’s bible”

5 Life Lessons Children’s Literature Taught Me (with a little help from Buffy)

1. bravery is not what you think it is I think, in a way, this is one of the more important and perhaps the most important message that any book can tell anyone. As Buffy says in the above gif that sort of reduces me to an emotional wreck every time I look at it,Continue reading “5 Life Lessons Children’s Literature Taught Me (with a little help from Buffy)”

Contributions towards a narrative of erasure

I was driving the other day and listening to the morning show on Radio 2. Chris Evans. Chat. You know the sort of thing. ¬†One of the recurrent items on the show is ‘Top Tenuous’ : tenuous claims to fame on a particular topic. They were celebrating the 70th birthday of BBC Woman’s Hour andContinue reading “Contributions towards a narrative of erasure”

Who are you if you are afraid? : On mediating complex content in children’s literature

  “If I have the agency to read texts for young people critically, then might not young readers have this agency also?” Nodelman, Perry (2016) The hidden child in the hidden adult Jeunesse : Young People, Texts, Cultures 8 (1), pp266-277   I have been thinking about this post for a while and how bestContinue reading “Who are you if you are afraid? : On mediating complex content in children’s literature”

The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo : Catherine Johnson

The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo by Catherine Johnson My rating: 4 of 5 stars Rich, vivid storytelling; The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo is written with such power and verve that it made me greedy. I wanted more. Much more. Johnson’s novel is based on a real tale of a girl whoContinue reading “The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo : Catherine Johnson”

1000 points in England related to children’s books

Originally posted on Big boots and adventures :
A pithy title, I know, but you wouldn’t believe how long it took me to boil that down from something substantially longer. Anyway; today I wanted to¬†share a sample of the project¬†I’m trying to get funding for (and if you’d like to fund an app of this, dudes…

First Pages: Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

Every now and then, I like to look at the first pages of some very good children’s books and analyse just how and why they achieve that goodness.¬†Today’s post is on the wonderful Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens and you can browse some of the previous entries in the First Page series here¬†. IContinue reading “First Pages: Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens”

Happy birthday Enid Blyton!

Enid Blyton was born on this day in 1897. Happy birthday Enid! I’ve become increasingly fascinated by Blyton the more I’ve worked on the second chapter of my thesis. I’m considering the changing relationship¬†of children’s literature¬†with landscape; the Arcadian idyll of the Victorian period shifting through to the movements of the post-war period where boundariesContinue reading “Happy birthday Enid Blyton!”

On glass ceilings and echo chambers

It was YALC this weekend and for those of you who don’t know what it means, YALC is a Young Adult Literature Convention held as part of the London Film & Comic Con. YALC is in its third year now and seems to be going from strength to strength which is excellent and lovely news.Continue reading “On glass ceilings and echo chambers”

Articles and programmes and things of interest (oh my!)

I have a couple of EXCELLENT things to share with you in this post, hence … um … this post. I moan a lot about children’s literature getting a less than positive coverage in the media (ie: none) so it is important to acknowledge those moments when it does. And one of these moments ¬†inContinue reading “Articles and programmes and things of interest (oh my!)”

Oxford, The Story Museum and Alice’s Day

Due to the eternal loveliness of my long suffering family, I got to spend the weekend in Oxford. There was a particular rationale behind being there for this weekend: the 4th July commemorates the the day that Charles Dodgson told a story to Alice Liddell and her sisters, and the Saturday nearest to that dateContinue reading “Oxford, The Story Museum and Alice’s Day”

A brief bit of housekeeping

Consider this the blogging equivalent of the part of the conference where people tell you where the fire exits are located and what the plans are for lunch… The index of authors is now up to date. Want to see if I’ve reviewed a particular author? Check here first¬† The about me section has beenContinue reading “A brief bit of housekeeping”

Europe, Brexit and children’s literature

I think it was this morning ¬†that this post finally came into some sort of focus for me. I believe, very much, in children’s literature and the ability for it to tell stories that cannot be told in any other way. I also believe that sometimes we need literature, books, to be our poles inContinue reading “Europe, Brexit and children’s literature”

It’s Carnegie Day

It’s a landmark day in British children’s literature today; it’s the¬†Carnegie and Kate Greenaway¬†¬†awards and for those of you who aren’t quite sure of what that means, they’re¬†pretty much the bookish equivalent of the Oscars. Between them, these awards have¬†recognised some of the very best in British children’s literature in its day, and the pastContinue reading “It’s Carnegie Day”

A brief departure from the norm

I’ve begun this a thousand times.¬†Every time a different sentence, every time a different way to phrase what I’m trying to say, and all of them wrong. So perhaps I don’t begin, perhaps I rather say this: I advocate for the importance and the relevance of literacy and literature on a daily basis. I believeContinue reading “A brief departure from the norm”

Good books, bad books : discussing value in children’s literature

I ¬†had an interesting chat earlier this week with a colleague. She asked me to show her an example of good illustration, versus an example of bad, and whilst I could easily fulfill the request for the former, I struggled with the latter. Bad. Bad books. We think about that a lot with children’s literature;Continue reading “Good books, bad books : discussing value in children’s literature”

Geo-locating the pony story (or, mapping Victoria Eveleigh, Lauren St John and Patricia Leitch)

Originally posted on Big boots and adventures :
This weekend was a busy weekend. I presented some of my research at¬†Horse Tales;¬†a one day conference held in the lovely surroundings of¬†Homerton College, Cambridge. One of the great highlights of this day was getting to hear KM Peyton speak. Goals. I adore her. The title of my…

Spaces; edges; the parts in between

Hold out your hand. Hold out your hand and look at it, at the way the fingers curve and shape themselves towards holding something that’s not even there. Look at the way it ends; at the horizon of your palm, the sunset edge of your nail against the thing beyond; look at your ending andContinue reading “Spaces; edges; the parts in between”

Anger in children’s / young adult literature : a reading list

I’ve been collating a new reading list of titles with the help of innumerable lovely people on Twitter. This reading list covers anger in children’s and young adult literature with a specific focus on the angry girl character. The feminine angry. That which we are so often uncomfortable with and yet, is there. From MaryContinue reading “Anger in children’s / young adult literature : a reading list”

Shelf Help : Reading Well and The Reading Agency

Have you heard of the books on prescription service? The deliciously acronymed (and perhaps only acronymed inside my head thusly) BOPs are a great staple of the public library service in how they allow and enable people to discover literature that may prove of assistance at certain times in their lives. The particular scheme IContinue reading “Shelf Help : Reading Well and The Reading Agency”

The books I don’t review

Oh, that title makes me think of some sort of bookish elephant graveyard! Rest assured, that’s not my intention; this post is to talk about all the books I don’t review. I read a lot of books (a lot, seriously, it’s like my superpower) and I don’t even begin to review half of them. AContinue reading “The books I don’t review”