Tag: CIBA21

Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Winners!

This week, I am delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Coventry Inspiration Book Awards. There have been some truly amazing books in every category and a huge range of writing styles and genres so that hopefully everyone had a book that inspired them to read.

The winning book in the What’s The Story category for Reception, Year 1 and 2 is…

The Diddle That Dummed by Kes Gray and Fred Blunt. Flinty Bo Diddle is writing a tune for his fiddle. All his diddles have lined up nicely – except for one who keeps going DUM, right in the middle! Which diddle went dum? The culprit steps forward saying: “ I’m not like the other diddles. Sometimes I like to go dum.” No matter what Flinty tries he just can’t get this diddle to diddle like it’s supposed to! A story about standing out from the crowd- we all know a Diddle that dums. A fabulously funny read aloud that is bound to get you laughing.

The winning book in the Telling Tales category for Year 3 and 4 is…

Harriet Versus The Galaxy by Samantha Bains, illustrated by Jessica Flores. The intergalactic adventure starts at home with Harriet, who discovers that her hearing-aid can do more than she ever bargained for when she finds an alien in her room. Discovering that her family secretly work for an intergalactic agency, Harriet becomes the Earth’s first line of defence as the only one who can understand the invaders. Sure, her hearing aid helps her understand aliens from across the universe, if only she could understand her own feelings. A hilarious and heartfelt debut from multi-award winning, hearing aid wearing, comedian, actor and author Samantha Baines.

The winning book in the Hooked On Books category for Year 5 and 6 is…

What’s That In Dog Years by Ben Davies, illustrated by Julia Christians. The last woof and testament of Gizmo the Wonder Dog! Gizmo has been my best friend since the day I was born – he’s always been around. But now they’re  telling me he might not always be around which completely sucks. I’m determined that me and Gizmo will have lots more fun and adventures before he goes – I mean, he loves parties, deserves pampering, and needs a break by the seaside. And as for that old saying about how you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – it’s true, you really can’t! Gizmo’s bucket list is up and running – unlike Gizmo who is totally lazy and demanding to be carried.

Before the book even gets started, it say, “A really funny story (but with a few sad bits too, so get your tissues ready!) They weren’t joking – I made it to page 3 before needing them! A brilliantly funny, poignant, heartbreaking book about life, best friends, growing up and moving on.

Ben has a way of taking serious subjects, adding his sharp humour and weaving them together to create stories that entertain, connect you with the characters and give you lots to think about. Tackling serious issues; death, family break-up, anxiety, bullying, poverty, and child careers, What’s That In Dog Years is a great read for empathy, and anyone in need of a jolly good cry (but you’ll laugh a lot too!). Julia Christians’ warm, humourous illustrations pepper the pages, helping to bring the characters and settings to life.

What an amazing set of winners this year. Huge congratulations to them all for inspiring us to read for pleasure! And a great big thank you to Coventry SLS for organising the awards.

And finally, as June is Pride Month, and this week saw Empathy Day on the 10th June, I’d like to share  Grandad’s Camper by Harry Woodgate. Grandad’s camper van is hidden away in the garage – now Gramps isn’t around any more, the adventures they shared travelling in it just wouldn’t be the same. As she listens to his wonderful stories, Grandad’s granddaughter has an idea to cheer him up…

Gorgeous illustrations adorn the pages of a story celebrating love, loss and a life lived to the full. Exploring a range of big emotions, including family love and the love we choose for ourselves, and the loss of a loved one and how we remember them, Grandad’s Camper is a brilliant book to open discussions to help children understand how others feel, and how they might be able to support them, putting empathy into action.

Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Last Evictions

The fifth and final books are evicted from the competitions this week leaving the top three in each category.

What’s The Story?

Reception and Key Stage 1 say goodbye to Number 7 Evergreen Street by Julia Patton. Pea lives in a flat at Number 7 Evergreen Street. It’s a grey building in a grey street, in a grey city. Inside the building, however, it’s not grey at all. Pea and her parents have lots of amazing, colourful neighbours. One day, an army of construction workers turn up on the street and start putting up brand new buildings. When it looks like Number 7 Evergreen Street is going to be demolished, Pea has to think quickly to save her and her neighbours homes.

Your final three are:

Telling Tales

This week we lose Too Small Tola by Atinuke, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu. Three delightful stories about Too Small Tola, a young girl who, though small, is very determined. Tola lives in a flat in Lagos with her sister, Moji, who is very clever; her brother, Dapo, who is very fast; and Grandmummy, who is very bossy. Tola proves to be stronger than she seems when she goes to market with Grandmummy and manages to carry home a basket full of yams and vegetables, chilli peppers and fish. When the taps in the flat don’t work, it’s Tola who brings water from the well, and it’s Tola who saves the day when Mr Abdul, the tailor, needs his goods to be delivered quickly.

Your final three are:

Hooked On Books

This week, we leave the Wonderscape by Jennifer Bell. When Arthur, Ren and Cecily investigate a mysterious explosion on their way to school, they find themselves trapped aboard The Principia – a scientific research ship sailing through hazardous waters, captained by one Isaac Newton. Lost in the year 2473 in the Wonderscape, an epic in-reality adventure game, they must call on the help of some unlikely historical heroes, to play their way home before time runs out.

Your final three are:

Make sure you vote for your winner:  https://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/140/coventry_inspiration_book_awards

 

And finally, as the sun is out at last and it’s half term next week, I’m sharing The Lost Book Of Adventure from the notebooks of the Unknown Explorer. A facsimile edition of the tattered notebooks of the Unknown Adventurer, this love letter to the wild details everything you need to know about how to live and thrive in nature, from the principles of treehouse building to wilderness first aid.


If you are reading this, it means my notebooks have been found. I am leaving them here at camp for safekeeping along with a few other belongings that I won’t be taking with me. The notebooks are a lifetime’s worth of knowledge, which I’m passing on the you.

So reads an excerpt from the weatherworn letter discovered by nature enthusiast Teddy Keen on a recent trip to the Amazon, along with sketchbooks filled with details of extraordinary adventures and escapades, expedition advice and survival methods, annotated with captivating coloured-pencil drawings. It is thought that the sketchbooks were created for two young relatives of the author. Drawing on Teddy’s knowledge of the outdoors, the pages of the sketchbooks have been carefully transcribed for young readers, as they were originally intended.

You’ll be transported by riveting adventure tales from around the globe, like being dragged off by a hyena in Botswana, surviving a Saharan dust storm, being woken by an intrepid emperor penguin in Antarctica and coming face-to-face with a venomous bushmaster (one of the most dangerous snakes on the planet) – all told in lyrical prose and illustrations that wonder at the mysterious beauty of the wild.

Having inspired the adventurous spirit in you, the Unknown Adventurer encourages you to set out on your own adventure with information on wild camping, rafting, exploration, and shelters and dens, plus tips on first aid and tying knots. Expert instructions on wilderness basics, like building a fire, what to do if you get lost, and how to build various types of shelters are accompanied by more specific skills culled from many years of experience, like baking campfire bread, creating a toothbrush from a twig, making a suture from soldier ants and even how to pan for gold.

Find your way back to your primal self with the immersive text and glorious colour artwork of this one-of-a-kind adventure book.

REMEMBER: be good, be adventurous… and look after your parents.

Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Second Eviction!

Once again, we are saying goodbye to another group of excellent books.

Reception and Key Stage1  have lost Tiny And Teeny by Chris Judge. Glengadget is the teeniest, tiniest town around. Deep down, in between the blades of grass, lives Tiny with her best friend, her pet Teeny in their apple home. Every day of the week, they have a different neighbour to meet – they do some gardening for Mandy Small, read to Bitsy McGee and give Minkin a hand with her lively twins. Then disaster strikes. Tiny and Teeny find their teeny-tiny world turned upside down, when their house is destroyed by a falling rock. They are helped by their neighbours and other townsfolk  to find a new home.  A real celebration of community and ingenious uses for everyday objects.

Year 3 and 4 say goodbye to Derek The Sheep: Danger Is My Middle Name by Gary Northfield. Grumpy but lovable sheep, Derek, is always looking for the greener grass in life, but he is constantly thwarted in his plans by the other meddlesome (and tiresome) animals on his crazy farm]. From the legendary pages of the Beano, Bog Eyed Books presents the third graphic novel in the popular Derek the Sheep series. These outrageously funny and increasingly loopy stories can finally be savoured by fans old and new.

Year 5 and 6 lose the heart-breaking graphic novel When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Mohamed Omar, illustrated by Iman Geddy. Omar and his brother Hassan, two Somali boys, have spent a long time in the Dadaab refugee camp. Separated from their mother, they are looked after by a friendly stranger. Life in the camp isn’t always easy. The hunger is constant, but there’s football to look forward to, and now there’s a chance Omar will get to go to school… A stark look at the lives of child refugees that is sure to spark much discussion. The stunning illustrations tell the moving story when there are no words to express what is happening.

You can vote to keep your favourite book in the competition at https://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/140/coventry_inspiration_book_awards

And finally, it’s Deaf Awareness Week in the UK this week, so I’ve chosen a brilliant book that has a hearing impaired main character – Max And The Millions by Ross Montgomery. 

Max hates life at St. Goliath’s Boarding School. The Headmaster, Mr. Pitt, is nothing like the caring teacher he portrays himself as. Every assembly Max is made to sit in the SPECIAL SEAT because he wears hearing aids. He’d far rather hide away with the caretaker, Mr Darrow, making miniature models. But, hours before the summer holidays are due to begin, Mr Darrow disappears, which means Max has to put their emergency plan into action.

When Mr Darrow still hasn’t returned as the start of the new term looms, Max discovers a miraculous transformation in the caretaker’s room, and finds himself in a race against time and Mr Pitt to save the new world and its inhabitants.

The inhabitants of The Floor have even more to worry about as the three tribes are locked in a battle for resources and all-out war seems ever more likely. Can newly crowned King Luke bring the Tribes together and keep the peace while Max battles Mr Pitt to save them all?

Brilliantly written, Ross Montgomery combines great characters, a pacey plot and huge handfuls of humour to create a rip-roaring adventure that had me howling with laughter from beginning to end in one sitting.