Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I Love You, Stick Insect by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros (Bloomsbury Publishing)

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Ah, the course of true love never runs smoothly.

At least for Stick Insects. My earliest memory of "School Pets" was a tank full of these weird blighters. For some reason, they were deemed the most interesting pets for a classroom of kids who (certainly in primary school for me at least) had no real experience of animals other than dogs and cats.

Our heroic lovelorn figure in "I Love You, Stick Insect" by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros has fallen head over heels in love.

That wouldn't be such a bad thing, love is a fine thing and worth fighting for after all. Only Stick Insect's perfect new partner is...er, a stick.

No not a stick insect, a real honest-to-goodness stick.

The story hinges on the perfect awkwardness of seeing someone so blissfully happy in their ignorance that their friends don't know if it's the right thing to do - to break the spell, to tell the poor lovesick individual the truth. You know what it's like when you're the friend of someone who is so recklessly intent on their love that they do not see disaster ahead.

Needless to say, Stick Insect's story DOES actually have a happy ending (which we won't spoil for you). It looks like 2018 is kicking off with a truly original picture book that steps sideways away from the norm, offering up a beautiful story with heart. Oh, and sticks.

C's best bit: Stick insect's perfectly blissful ignorance.

Daddy's favourite bit: A hugely original idea this, though there is a lesson for us all here about unrequited love and the value of your friends giving you the odd wake up call from time to time. Nicely done Chris, nicely done!

"I Love You, Stick Insect" by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros is out now, published by Bloomsbury (kindly supplied for review). 
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Firefly Home by Jane Clarke and Britta Teckentrup (Nosy Crow)

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Once again Jane and Britta are here to serve up another delicious little slice of interactive storytelling in "Firefly Home"...
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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Big Book of How: 1001 facts kids want to know (Time Kids Big Books)

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I always loved books like this as a kid. With the huge upsurge in the quality of non-fiction books for kids, it's great to see that there's also a huge upsurge in interest in 'how things work' books...
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Neon Leon by Jane Clarke and Britta Teckentrup (Nosy Crow)

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Nosy Crow are kicking off 2018 in fine style with some glorious books for younger readers, including this eye-catching little chap...
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Monday, January 15, 2018

Awesome poster reveal as International Book Giving Day gets set for a Valentine's Day Book Love-In

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Elys Dolan's fantastic #BookGivingDay poster. 



“Elys Dolan named as the illustrator for International Book Giving Day 2018.”


7pm, Monday 15 January, 2018 -  The International Book Giving Day team is delighted to announce that Elys Dolan is the illustrator behind 2018’s official poster.


Elys Dolan’s poster features an array of fun, book loving characters. Eagle eyed readers will spot some familiar, much loved characters from her illustrated novel, Knighthood for Beginners, (Oxford University Press, 2017). With its fun design and brilliant attention to detail, Dolan’s poster is sure to catch lots of attention.


The poster is available to download, from the Book Giving Day website.


Libraries, schools & bookshops are encouraged to download, print and display Elys Dolan’s poster (and soon to be released bookmark and bookplate), to celebrate the love of reading & encourage others to give books to children on International Book Giving Day, 14th February 2018.


“We can’t wait to see Elys Dolan’s poster in the wild, spreading the word about International Book Giving Day. She has done an amazing job, and we’re incredibly grateful for her involvement.”
Emma Perry, #BookGivingDay


Elys Dolan


Elys is an author and illustrator based in Cambridge where she studied children’s book illustration. She works predominantly with ink, newfangled digital witchcraft and coloured pencils of which she is the proud owner of 178 but can never seem to find a sharpener. When not doing pictures and making things up Elys enjoys growing cacti, working on her PhD about funny picture books and eating excessive amounts of fondant fancies.
Twitter: @ElysDolan
Instagram: ElysDolan


International Book Giving Day


International Book Giving Day is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to, and enthusiasm for, books.


Now in it’s 6th year International Book Giving Day continues to grow from strength to strength reaching places such as Nepal, India, Canada, South Africa, UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Nigeria, Fiji, Czech Republic, USA, Cambodia, Hungary, Philippines and Romania.


On the 14th February, #bookgivingday, participants are encouraged to give books to children,
This can takes many forms, the only limit is the imagination. Books have been sent to child refugees in Calais, France; a new library was created in Cape Town, South Africa; in Uganda the Mpambara-Cox Foundation gifted books to children, for many it was the first time they have been given a book of their own. In 2014 Scholastic Australia went to the Melbourne Children’s Hospital and gifted a book to every child. People continue to be creative in so many different ways, all keen to share the love of books.


International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14th, #bookgivingday


We invite individuals to …


1) gift a book to a friend or family member,
2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read
3) donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital or shelter or to an organisation that distributes used books to children in need internationally.


In addition, we encourage people to support the work of nonprofit organisations (i.e. charities) that work year round to give books to children.

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Greek Myths: A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Walter Crane (Barnes and Noble)

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Here's an interesting reprint of a book that could be described 'ground breaking' in a number of ways...
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Ultimate Slime: Over 100 Recipes by Alyssa Jagan (Quarry Books)

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Just when we thought it was safe to go back into the kitchen and clear away the chaotic mess of the last attempt we made on making slime, a new contender has appeared...
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Friday, January 12, 2018

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 12th January 2018 - "The Light Jar" by Lisa Thompson, cover illustration by Mike Lowery (Scholastic)

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Our Chapter Book of the Week this week finds us once again held in thrall by the imagination of one of 2017's most awesome breakout writers...
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ReadItDaddy's Comic of the Week - Week Ending 12th January 2018 - "Star Wars: Darth Vader Volume 1" by Keiron Gillen, Salvador Larroc and Adi Granov (Marvel)

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Thanks to a recent subscription to Kindle Unlimited I've been steadily hoovering up a huge back catalogue of Marvel titles. Our Comic of the Week this week is impressive. Most impressive.
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ReadItDaddy's Picture Book of the Week - Week Ending 12th January 2018 - "The Last Chip" by Duncan Beedie (Templar Publishing)

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Oh goodness me, picture books once again have the power to completely break our resolve not to be big crybabies with this beautifullty heartfelt tale from Duncan Beedie. "The Last Chip" is our first Picture Book of the Week this week...
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