This book is an absolute delight, after A Boy Named Christmas I wasn't sure if the magic could be created again but Matt Haig has smashed it out of the park! Delightful, heartwarming fairy tale suffused with the joy and spirit of Christmas, after having read it in ebook form I just had to buy myself a physical copy to treasure. Young Amelia has an awful time after her mother dies and she is sent to the strictest workhouse in London and her hope is all but extinguished for a while. Meanwhile there are problems in Elfhelm and Father Christmas has his work cut out sorting them but when he and Amelia meet for the second time the magic truly begins and builds to an extremely happy ending.
The Girl Who Saved Christmas would be perfect as a book to share with your children or pupils to be read aloud to enjoy tegether. I found it enchanting and it really put a smile on my face - it deserves to be on everyone's Christmas list this year!
An oldie but definitely a goodie today; you have probably heard of (and maybe even know off by heart....no? just me then!) Rod Campbell's book for younger children Dear Zoo, well Dear Santa is the festive reworking of it. Santa is trying to choose a presend to bring but rejects many for different reasons - the finger paints are too messy, the ball is too bouncy, the tiger mask is too scary etc Eventually after discarding all the unsuitable gifts he finally brings a pet - a lovely ginger cat. There's a piece of fake fur incorporated into the picture too so you can actually stroke the kitty. Little ones already familiar with Dear Zoo will find Dear Santa a delight and if they aren't familiar with Dear Zoo......why the heck not?!
Happy New Year all! I am very pleased to have surpassed my GoodReads target of reading 120 books in 2015 (in fact I read 121) so now need to set myself a new challenge. I was going to make this post a list of my top 5 books of the year - but I can't possibly limit it to 5, will have to be 10! Here they are in no particular order, and they are not necessarily books published in this year, just books I have read:
One, Sarah Crossan - this book stands out for me as the book that I have recommended to everyone and that probably made the most impression on me. Lyrical, beautifully written and so emotional, if you haven't read it yet go read it now!
Concentr8, William Sutcliffe - an extremely powerful read that is scarily credible with some thought provoking extra reading on the subject of the over prescription of Ritalin etc.
Twisted Dark Volume 1, Neil Gibson - I've started to read more graphic novels this year and intend to continue to do so in 2016 and Twisted Dark are going to help me with that. Hard hitting and not for younger children this was not always a comfortable read but gripping nonetheless.
Clariel, Garth Nix - being drawn back into the world of the Abhorsen was an absolute delight, this prequel to a favourite series was like being given an unexpected present
Reasons to Stay Alive, Matt Haig - an important, sensitive description of Matt's struggle with depression that is both uplifting and comforting. I've requested this as my book to give out on World Book Night, fingers are firmly crossed. (very honourable mention to A Boy Named Christmas too which is destined to be a December read for me for many years to come).
Monster, CJ Skuse - the one that kept me awake at night and gave me nightmares! Tense, scary and set in a boarding school (reminiscent for me of Mallory Towers!), what's not to like?!
Demon Road, Derek Landy - first YA title from the always sarcastically amusing creator of Skulduggery. Read this in one greedy gulp and will will go back and reread. Darkly funny but bloodthirsty too.
Because you'll never meet me, Leah Thomas - debut novel and very unusual story of a friendship built on letters that sustains and is a lifeline for two 'different' teenage boys.
Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar, Emily Mackenzie - my favourite picture book of the year. Ralfy Rabbit is obsessed with books, he just can't get enough of them and this leads him into a life of crime when he starts to steal other peoples. He's 'saved' by a library - of course!
Eren, Simon P Clark - Gorgeous book about the very nature of story and the impact it can have on life.
Narrowing down to just 10 books has been ridiculously difficult and I must give a hat tip to a couple of others that didn't quite get into the lineup, Cleo, Lucy Coats & Mind Games, Teri Terry that I thoroughly enjoyed too ;-) My reading resolution is quite a simple one - read......more! and I'm looking forward to discovering more fantastic books in 2016.
Diversity, or the lack of it, in children's literature has been a bit of a hot topic this year and I think most of us would agree that it's good for kids to be able to see characters like themselves in the books they read . Today's Christmas picture book, An Angel Just Like Me by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright & Ying-Hwa Hu addresses this very problem in the most gentle and lovely way. When the angel that Tyler's family puts on the tree gets broken, Tyler wonders why there are no black angels and he sets out to find a new one that fits his family. He goes to many shops but is unable to find one but he is given a special present - a carved angel that looks just like him. The angel is his best present but then all of his friends want one too! A warm, thoughtful story with an important message.
When it comes to quality picture books you just can't go wrong with anything by the Ahlbergs and the Jolly Christmas Postman is just delightful. My copy was my son's so is over 20 years old but I'm very happy to say all the 'post' included in the letters is still there (apart from a jigsaw sadly but was a bit much to expect that to still be intact!). It's all the little details on the pages and on the letters that make this book so very charming - Little Red Riding hood's letter includes a game board with the exhortation to 'Have fun! and remember - there's worse than wolves in the world!' and in the Toytown Christmas Annual that is sent to the Gingerbread Boy there is an ad for Gruff's Troll Powder which apparently is 'the perfect Xmas gift'! The diorama in the envelope given to the postman by Santa (pic below) is just beautiful, every child should have a copy of this book ;-)
My blog is a collection of thoughts and I hope you will learn something about me from the ramblings as well as finding some useful links. I'm Bev Humphrey and I'm a Literacy, School Libraries and Technology Consultant. I am self employed so views expressed are solely my own.