Month: February 2023

Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Evictions, Week 3

It’s the third week of evictions, and as ever, I am surprised at how early these books are leaving the competition.

What’s The Story? says goodbye to Frank And Bert by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

Frank and Bert are the best of friends and they LOVE to play hide and seek. But Bert the bear isn’t quite as good at hiding as he thinks he is . . . and Frank ALWAYS wins! Every. Single. Time. But when it’s Bert’s turn to hide, and Frank has to decide between winning again OR making his friend happy, Frank learns that friendship is always the true winner. This interactive and entertaining story about friendship is guaranteed to get children giggling!

If you enjoyed this book try, Omar, The Bees And Me by Helen Mortimer and Katie Cottle

Omar, The Bees and Me encourages children to look after nature in local communities planting wild flowers to form bee corridors. Themes around cultural identity are also explored through Omar (a new boy from Syria) and Maisie’s friendship. It also offers an insight into international beekeeping and is illustrated by award-winning picture-book maker Katie Cottle, creator of The Green Giant and The Blue Giant. Including bee facts on the endpapers and a recipe for honey cake on end page, Omar, The Bees And Me is a win for friendship, bees and our environment.

Telling Tales lose Sindhu and Jeet’s Detective Agency by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Amberin Huq

Sindhu and Jeet are the best detectives in town: they solve all their cases with a dollop of observation, a dash of imagination and a whole load of legwork. And when they travel from India to England for a holiday, the detective work doesn’t stop! This page-turning story is accompanied by black-and-white illustrations by Amberin Huq.

If you enjoyed this book, try The Case Of The Vanishing Granny by Alexander McCall Smith, illustrated by Sam Usher 

Billy, Fern and Joe Shortbread are the stars of their family circus, but they also have another talent … they’re experts at solving mysteries! When their circus moves into a new town they soon make friends with a young boy named Tom. But Tom can’t enjoy the circus because his granny has disappeared and he’s worried he’ll never see her again. With the help of their astonishing circus skills can the Shortbread circus stars crack the clues and find Tom’s granny? A brilliant McCall Smith adventure story, brimming with wit, wisdom and larger than life characters.

Hooked On Books have evicted Eve by Victor LaValle, Jo Mi-Gyeong and Brittany Peer

A young girl, Eve, raised in a virtual reality embarks on a deadly cross-country quest to save her father… and our dying planet. When the ice caps melted, most of humanity was lost to the hidden disease that was released. Now, a mysterious girl named Eve has awoken in secret and must deal with a world that’s nothing like the virtual reality she was raised in. In order to save her father and accompanied only by Wexler, her robotic caretaker and protector sheathed in her favorite teddy bear, Eve must embark on a deadly quest across the country. Along the way, she will have to contend not only with the threats of a very real world that await her, but the lies we tell our children in the name of protecting them. Victor LaValle and illustrator Jo Mi-Gyeong deliver a powerful dystopian adventure about the world we leave behind… and the price that must be paid to restore life to a dying planet.

If you enjoyed this book, try The Light Thieves by Helena Duggan.
Clever, quirky and hugely imaginative, discover the eagerly anticipated new series from the bestselling author of A Place Called Perfect. Who would you trust to save the world…a boy or a billionaire? The earth has shifted on its axis and a mysterious dark mark has appeared on the sun – the whole world is in peril! But billionaire tech genius Howard Hansom has a plan… When Grian’s sister goes missing he’s convinced she has run off to Hansom’s new city to help save the world. But when Grian and his two friends Jeffrey and Shelli track her there they find that nothing is quite as it seems. Why is everything so secret? Where is the mysterious Area 13? What does Howard Hansom want with all the people he has enticed to live in his city? The days are getting darker but what’s really happening to the sun?
Happy reading, and don’t forget to keep voting to keep your favourite book in the competition!

World Book Day Display

This week, the children have been designing and creating their very own book-inspired t-shirts to celebrate World Book Day. Today, we put up a display at Cannon Park Shopping Centre to share their fantastic designs. The children will bring their t-shirts home after half term ready to wear to school on Thursday 2nd March to celebrate World Book Day.


Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Evictions, Week 2

Another week sees three more amazing books leave the competition. If you loved one of them, here are some recommendations of books you might enjoy too.

What’s The Story?: Constance in Peril by Ben Manley, illustrated by Emma Chichester-Clarke

Constance, an old cloth doll, having been rescued from a rubbish bin by a boy called Edward, suffers a series of potentially catastrophic incidents. More suited to elegant tea parties in a bygone age, she nevertheless remains stoic throughout. From being forgotten and left out in the rain or trapped up a tree, even being caught between the jaws of the neighbour’s dog, Constance is constantly finding herself in mortal danger. Although she’s luckily rescued each time by the watchful Grace, Edward’s loving older sister, it seems disaster is never far behind. Is Constance doomed to suffer a life of never-ending peril?

If you enjoyed this book, try Seahorses Are Sold Out by Katja Gehrmann and Constanze Spengler

Mika’s father works from home and he’s very busy! He can never find time for the promised swimming trip. So Dad allows Mika to choose a pet from the store while he finishes the project—something quiet like a mouse. And so begins a wonderfully turbulent story in which Mika brings home one animal after another… The mouse gets lost so they need a dog to find it. The dog is followed by a seal, the seal a penguin. One pet for Mika leads to another and another.  How many animals can come to stay before a harassed father notices?

Telling Tales:  A Tale Of Two Dragons by Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by Peter Malone

The kingdoms of Arbor and Pomosa are neighbours. Arbor is leafy and green with forests, while Pomosa is fertile, full of wheatfields and grazing cows. A high thorn hedge divides them but fortunately the children sneak through the hedge at night to help themselves to firewood or grain and milk. This keeps the people of both countries warm, fed, and happy. However, the kings are determined to protect their property and each one hires a dragon to patrol the hedge. Things escalate, and the kings order the dragons to fight, to the distress of their citizens, who’ve come to love these beautiful creatures much more than they ever loved their rulers.

If you enjoyed this book, try Grey Island, Red Boat by Ian Beck

Everything on the Island of Ashes is grey, from the weather to the castle, the grass and the flowers. But then the red boat arrives, and with it a young man who believes he is cursed – everything he touches turns to colour. Princess Opal and the people of the island are enchanted, but the King is suspicious and imprisons Wendell. Opal must find a way to escape to a life filled with love and colour.

Hooked On Books:  The Thief Who Sang Storms by Sophie Anderson

Linnet and her father, Nightingale, are Alkonosts, bird people who live on the island of Morovia. Alkonosts and humans used to live in harmony, but everything changed when a tidal wave devastated the island and killed the two Morovian queens, along with many of the islanders. Ruthless Captain Ilya plays on the islander’s grief and anger to claim that the Alkonosts’ singing magic caused the tragedy. He banishes the bird people to the deepest swamps and bans them from using magic. Linnet and Nightingale keep moving to stay safe and are forced to steal from humans to survive. When Nightingale is captured by Captain Ilya’s guards, Linnet embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue him. With no magic of her own, she must draw on other skills, such as kindness and determination, if she is to succeed.

If you enjoyed this book, try Song Of The Far Isles by Nicholas Bowling

Oran lives on Little Drum, where music is everything. Every islander has a birth instrument and a life song – and the ancestors, called ghasts, linger to hear the music. But when the Duchess arrives from the mainland bringing orders of silence, she threatens the ghasts’ existence, the very soul of the community. When Oran hears of a mythical instrument with the power to manipulate hearts, she brings her ghast best friend, Alick, on a quest to find it, play it, and change the Duchess’s mind …

Don’t forget, if you don’t want your favourite to be evicted, keep voting!

Children’s Mental Health Week

This week, we have been enjoying taking part in Mental Health Week. The children have really enjoyed the week, following the theme of ‘Let’s Connect’. This morning, all children took part in a human circle to remind ourselves of how important it is to connect with each other.

For more information on how to support your child’s mental health and wellbeing, please see the following image.

Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Evictions, Week 1

It’s that time of year already when the vote offs have begun for Coventry Inspiration Book Awards 2023. The first books out are:

What’s The Story? The River by Tom Percival

Rowan is so happy exploring and playing and he particularly loves the river and how it can be calm, playful, or even angry, just like him. One year there is a particularly cruel winter, and the now empty dog basket is shown. The river, unseasonably remaining frozen, represents Rowan’s grief and his inability to find any joy in life without his beloved pet. The nature around him eventually breaks through when he notices, rescues, and heals a little bird and Rowan growing, feeling, and changing over time just like the river he remains and goes on.

If you loved this book, try Grandad’s Camper by Harry Woodgate.

Celebrate love in all its forms, as Grandad tells his granddaughter about the adventures he used to have with Gramps. A long time ago, Grandad and Gramps spent many happy days travelling the world together in a camper van. But now Gramps isn’t around any more, Grandad doesn’t feel much like having adventures. As she listens to his wonderful stories, Grandad’s granddaughter has an idea to cheer him up…

Telling Tales: Indigo Wilde And The Creatures Of Jellybean Crescent by Pippa Curnick

Discovered in the Unknown Wilderness when she was just a baby, Indigo Wilde was adopted by World-Famous Explorers, Philomena and Bertram, who are always off adventuring. Home for Indigo and her little brother, Quigley, is 47 Jellybean Crescent, a crazy and colourful house full of magical creatures that her parents have taken in over the years. There’s Fishkins, a purrmaid – half-cat, half-fish, and ALWAYS grumpy; Graham, a llama-corn with a particular taste for tinsel; Olli and Umpf – bright pink and blue yetis who can’t blend into the snow, and that’s to name just a few. Now Indigo’s parents have sent another Monster Mail delivery to Indigo and Quigley. But this time, the box is empty, and the escaped creature is running rampage around the house. The race is on to catch the creature before it’s too late and disaster strikes…

If you loved this book, try Luma And The Pet Dragon by Leah Mohammed.

A collection of two warm and funny stories about Luma and her cheeky pet dragon. When Luma Dewan wakes up on the morning of her seventh birthday, she knows that today will be special. But she has no idea just how wonderful and extraordinary it will be. For today is the day she will meet Timir – a real talking dragon. Or at least when Luma is around that’s what he is. When anyone else is there, he becomes an ordinary grey puppy with a fluffy tail, who loves chasing squirrels and bouncing on trampolines.

It’s a big secret to keep – and Luma’s clever cousin Arjun is soon suspicious of this peculiar puppy, who doesn’t quite behave like any other dog. Luckily Luma’s grandmother – Nani – is there to help, and to Luma’s surprise, Nani might just know a little dragon magic of her own . . .

Hooked On Books: Magicborn by Peter Bunzl

The year is 1726 and the Royal Sorcerer of England is on the hunt for those who are Magicborn.  Two children, Tempest, and Thomas both have lost their parents, and both have one green eye and one blue eye. They are both in great danger, because they are MagicBorn and the Royal Sorcerer, Lord Hawthorn, is determined to track them down.  When Tempest is captured after accidentally unleashing a power she didn’t know she had, she is taken to Kensington Palace alongside a boy like her, Thomas. Trapped, Tempest and Thomas find their magic flickering to life – and with it, long-buried memories. For they are the lost prince and princess of Fairyland, bound by a deadly curse…and now the fairies are coming to get them. A battle is building – one only they can end. But who will survive?

If you loved this book, try The Chime Seekers by Ross Montgomery.

Step into a world of faerie tricks and hidden danger… When an evil faerie steals Yanni’s baby sister and swaps her for a changeling, Yanni is swept into a dangerous race against time to get her back. For faeries delight in tricks and rescuing her won’t be easy. With the help of his cousin, Amy, and the reluctant changeling, Yanni must travel to goblin palaces and battle-swept oceans, discovering ancient treasures and secrets along the way. Yanni will need every drop of courage and even a few tricks of his own, if he’s to outwit the faerie and save his sister…

Ross Montgomery brings the magical world of British folklore to life in this contemporary fantasy novelBursting with Ross’s trademark charm, humour and heart, with echoes of David Bowie’s Labyrinth.

Happy reading, and don’t forget to vote to keep your favourite books in the competition!