Over 10 Books for Boys 11+

“Books crowbar the world open for you.”

Rooftoppers, Katherine Rundell

As our children and teens grow up, their values and vision are forever being moulded. Reading, as we all know, plays such an integral part in their lives, “crowbarring the world open” to them. But with 1000s of books to choose from, and our busy lives pulling us in every direction, it’s more important than ever that we take some time to keep our youngsters reading. It might be a trip with them to a library or bookshop, browsing the bookshelves at home, encouraging them along to their school library, or buying them a book for Christmas. Continue reading

Starting Out as an Independent Reader 6+

Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, or a duty. It should be offered as a gift.

— Kate DiCamillo

I couldn’t agree more with Kate DiCamillo. So let’s get offering.

These early years of independent reading are laying down foundations for our children.  For a child to be immersed in a story and taken off to a faraway land will come naturally and be easy for some children, but many will need a helping hand or two. Continue reading

Over 20 Books for 9-12yr olds

“It is through the power and music and magic of stories and poems that children can expand their own intellectual curiosity, develop the empathy and awareness that they will need to tackle the complexities of their own emotions, of the human condition in which they find themselves.”

— Michael Morpurgo

Continue reading

Getting in the Picture

“To really instil a love of art, children need to be encouraged to have a go and be creative themselves.”

— James Mayhew

In the last three blogposts I have shown how James Mayhew brings life to museums in Katie’s Picture Show, and now in this final post I want to explore how he brings life to the artwork itself.

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Mayhew’s story begins in the Classical world. Continue reading

Over 10 More Children’s Books 9+

I opened a book and in I strode
Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.

I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion. Continue reading

Easter Stories & Poems

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.

— Martin Luther

With Lent underway and only 4 weeks until Easter, I’ve updated my Easter booklist below. Continue reading

20 Children’s Books 9+

Those who write for children are trying to arm them for the life ahead with everything we can find that is true.  And perhaps, also, secretly, to arm adults against those necessary compromises and necessary heartbreaks that life involves: to remind them that there are and always will be great, sustaining truths to which we can return.

— Katherine Rundell, Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise

Rundell’s words are ringing in my ears. Continue reading

Christmas is Coming

…the most startling thing about this wonderful tree was that hundreds of tapers glittered like stars in its dark branches, and the tree itself, shining with an inner light, invited the children to pick its blossoms and fruits.

The Nutcracker, E.T.A. Hoffman

In the midst of the chaos of 2020 and all that it has brought us, Christmas is still coming. There is true light in the darkness. What joy! So let’s get preparing….

Continue reading

Introducing South Africa

Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.

— Nelson Mandela

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South Africa is a country dear to our hearts. My husband and I lived in Cape Town for the first three years of our marriage and so I have always been keen to introduce something of the place and people to our children. (A visit one day hopefully.) Continue reading