Category: Library

The Children’s Bookshows

To celebrate World Book Day, this week children have had the opportunity to watch author-illustratotrs and poets at work, and put questions to them to be answered.

All of Key Stage 2 were able to see Michael Rosen (or Raisin as we now know him) on Wednesday morning, who entertained us with some of his best loved performance poetry, showing how much fun it is to play with language, rhythmn and rhyme.

On Wednesday afternoon, Upper Key Stage 2 were inspired by Kwame Alexander, an award-winning poet, who read us his very moving book, The Undefeated. His advice to improve your writing? “Read, read and then read.”

Here’s a few of the children’s thoughts from Year 5 on Michael and Kwame…

I thought that the authors were very inspirational and wrote some very good poems and stories; they were remarkable!

I think that they were really funny and they made me want to write more poems.

I liked the sessions, and I really want to have more. They inspired me!

On Friday morning, children from Years 2 -4 were able to see award-winning author-illustrator and environmemtalist, Neal Layton. He wowed us with a live illustration  reading us Stanley’s Stick He then talked to us about trees and how important they are to us, and we saw his sketch books that he used to create The Tree which only has 40 words!

On Friday afternoon, children from Key Stage got to see author illustrator Jo Empson, take part in a live draw along, and see her read her brand new story – it isn’t publishing until January next year! How lucky we are!

This is what the children thought, and created from Friday’s events.

Neal is very good at drawing and I like that he likes nature.

We enjoyed Jo Emspon. We both tried to draw the lion.


If you missed an author for your year group, don’t worry, you can watch again using the links below.

Jo Empson for Years 1 and 2:

Neal Layton for Years 2, 3 and 4:

Michael Rosen for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6:

Kwame Alexander for Years 5 and 6:

Cannon Park Primary Presents… The Masked Reader

To celebrate World Book Day while we can’t be together, 15 members of staff have disguised themselves before letting you know which book they will be sharing with you all next week.

Head to your Google Classrooms to complete the form with who you think is behind each mask. Happy guessing!

Unmaskings will begin at 10am on Wednesday…

The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery

My final recommendation of 202o is a wonderfully Christmassy fantasy from Ross Montgomery – The Midnight Guardians.

Sometimes at the darkest hour, hope shines the brightest… When Col’s childhood imaginary friends come to life, he discovers a world where myths and legends are real. Accompanied by his guardians – a six-foot tiger, a badger in a waistcoat and a miniature knight – Col must race to Blitz-bombed London to save his sister. But there are darker forces at work, even than the Nazi bombings. Soon Col is pursued by the terrifying Midwinter King, who is determined to bring an eternal darkness down over everything.

Magic, mythical beings, and so much love all woven together to create a captivating read perfect for escaping into that will live long in the memory and has earned it’s place on the bookshelf in my heart.

Col is so convincing as the young evacuee desperate to be with the only family he truly knows in time for Christmas, while Ruth is a tenderly written Jewish refugee. Their teamwork, tenacity and courage shines throughout the story and I love the way they support each other.

I loved the weaving through of folk lore and childhood friends, making this a fantastical take story set during the Second World War. Darker aspects of the war are not shied away from, but every dark moment is tempered with a glimmer of hope shining in the distance.

But my favourite character? Mrs Evans! Her eccentricity hides the truth and knowledge in her words and actions. I laughed, cried and I really want to wipe my memories so I can do it all over again for the first time.  A wonderful story for Year 3 and up.

How Winston Delivered Christmas by Alex T. Smith

From the author of Claude and Mr Penguin comes a brilliant book that signals that Christmas is on it’s way! An advent story told in twenty-four-and-a-half chapters!

When a mouse named Winston finds a lost letter addressed to Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, he sets off on an unforgettable journey to personally deliver the letter to Santa! Starting on December 1, children can read a chapter a day, and each chapter is followed by a fun and festive holiday activity to complete.

This illustrated advent story tells of the adventures of an adorable mouse and how a good deed can lead to a very happy ending.  Alex’s joyful illustrations help transport us to Mistletoe Street where our fabulously festive adventure begins.

The activities are a mix of craft, writing and baking. I can confirm that the Stained Glass Window Biscuits are well worth the effort! It just wouldn’t be the run up to Christmas without Winston in it!

And this year, you can #JoinInWithWinston by following the hashtag on Twitter from the 1st December.


Reading for Pleasure Award

Congratulations, Miss Cleveland!

Last weekend, Miss Cleveland attended the virtual ceremony for the Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards. Egmont Publishing, in partnership with The Open University and UK Literacy Association, aim to recognise teachers, support staff, and schools whose research-informed practices make a real difference to children’s reading for pleasure. Miss Cleveland was delighted to be Highly Commended as a School Reading Champion for all the work she has done at our school to help foster a love of reading in our pupils and staff, and sharing best practice with other schools.

It’s A No Money Day by Kate Milner

As today is Children In Need, I’m sharing this thought-provoking picture book suitable for everyone in school.

Mum works really hard, but today there is no money left and no food in the cupboards. Forced to visit the local foodbank, Mum feels ashamed that they have to rely on the kindness of others. Maybe one day things will be different but for now together they brighten up even the darkest of days.

It’s A No Money Day is a gentle exploration of the poverty in our country. and how it can affect anybody – a brilliant conversation starter!

Tom Gates Doodle Competition

Your doodled cover could be printed in the next Tom Gates book!

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tom Gates we are asking fans to draw their own Tom Gates cover! 

All winners will win a signed book, signed print, limited edition badge AND a bag of goodies. The overall winner will also receive a Skype visit from Liz Pichon to their school!

Author & illustrator Liz Pichon will pick her favourites to appear in the endpapers of Tom Gates: Ten Tremendous Tales.

Doodled entries need to:

·       Have the words TOM GATES on them

·       Include characters from the books (Tom, Delia, Marcus, etc).

·       Be black & white!

·       Be postcard size! (Portrait or landscape is fine)

·      The deadline to get entries to Miss Cleveland is 16th November.

The Winter Mini Reading Challenge

This year, the Reading Agency are partnering with Knights Of children’s publishers for the
Challenge – the award-winning inclusive publisher focuses on ensuring the most diverse team
possible, from across backgrounds and communities, work on every book.

The theme for this year’s Challenge is Everyone Is A Hero. We want to champion a diversity of
perspectives across children’s books and encourage everyone to nominate their own personal
reading heroes – whether it’s a librarian, a teacher, a family member, a carer or a friend! You
can read more about nominating your Reading Hero below.

The Winter Mini Challenge encourages children to keep reading through the winter holidays by
rewarding them for reading and reviewing books.


To take part in the Winter Mini Challenge online,
children simply read any books (including eBooks and
audiobooks) of their choice (we recommend reading at least three), then rate and review them at

Books added to the website during the six-week Mini
Challenge period will count towards unlocking special
rewards including a certificate and a virtual badge. The website will also feature activities, recommendations for great winter reads, and competitions. And, just like the Summer Reading Challenge, the website will also feature the Book Sorter – a unique database which has over 1.3 million peer-to-peer recommendations.


Get Involved – Nominate Your Reading Hero

As part of the Winter Mini Challenge, we want to invite people across the country to nominate
their Reading Heroes on social media. You can post a picture, share a story about them, or even
record a video about them! Just make sure to get their permission first!

When you post, please remember to tag us in the post and use the hashtags #WMC2020 and
#ReadingHero so we can find the posts. At the end of the Challenge, we will compile a list of all
the entries and enter them into a prize draw – and the winning hero will receive the Winter
Mini Challenge booklist bundle!

Your reading hero can be an individual or a group – whether that’s a teacher, a library, a
reading group, a friend, a carer or a family member. It’s up to you! We just want to hear about
how people have supported each other with reading this year – whether that’s by helping you
to improve your literacy, encouraging you to enjoy reading or recommending you some great

The Mini Challenge begins on Tuesday 1 December 2020!

Children can rate and review their books, collect rewards, and take part in Winter Mini Challenge activities through our website

The Mini Challenge will end online on Friday 15 January 2021. Make sure you get yourselves signed up!

Armistice Runner by Tom Palmer

This week’s book recommendation links to Remembrance Sunday, and is suitable for children in Year 4 up…

Lily is a fell runner and is training for the first big race of the season in the Lake District village where her grandparents live. She discovers from her grandmother (who has Alzheimer’s disease) that her great-great grandfather was a trench runner during the last few days of  World War I. Given a box of his things, Lily becomes enthralled with his trench running logs which contain far more information than times and distances – it’s a diary of his time in France.

Full of family, endurance, determination and heart, this is a well researched reminder of the lives of the men in the trenches that we remember this Sunday, and how we can honour their memory through our actions today. Kindness and empathy echo throughout the story that you are sure to be as determined to finish as Lily was to read Ernest’s diary entries.


Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Halls and David Litchfield

Walker Books has released Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Halls and illustrated by David Litchfield as a free eBook to raise awareness for Save the Children’s Save with Stories campaign which is helping children most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The rainbow has become an incredible symbol of hope and optimism during this time and we hope that this uplifting story can be a source of comfort and light to children and families, and that it inspires anyone who is able to do so, to donate to the Save with Stories campaign.

You can download this beautiful free book from here.