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50 Ways to Feel Happy by Vanessa King

50 Ways to Feel Happy   What made you decide to write a book for children? The publisher approached me! It’s based on the 10 Keys to Happier Living I’d developed in 2011 when we launched the social movement Action for Happiness. We wanted to have an easy way to communicate the areas in which…

A Far Away Magic by Amy Wilson

My inspiration for A Far Away Magic was a real person, who I never knew, and who I only saw for the briefest moment. I was driving past my local secondary school on my way to the supermarket, when I noticed a boy walking away from the school. He had long, curly dark hair and…

A quick chat with Nick Sharratt & Pippa Goodhart

Just Imagine: You’ve just celebrated 13 years of collaboration on children’s books. Congratulations! Could you talk us a little bit through the process of how you work together? Pippa: I’m lucky enough to get to work with Nick on ideas for the pictures, and that’s not something that always happens with picture books.  Some publishers like…

Allan Sanders – The Alphabet of Alphabets

The Alphabet of Alphabets was a great project to work on. When Amanda Wood and Mike Jolley first approached me with the idea I knew immediately that it would be lots of fun. Mandy and Mike have made some great books together so I jumped at the chance to work with them and Wide Eyed…

Beautiful Books: Banded and Ready to Read

By Dawn Morris: Education Consultant for Just Imagine For many years schools have sought ways to band Key Stage One books for progression and appropriate challenge. Many schemes support schools in doing this by providing pre-banded books. At Just Imagine, we want to offer schools the highest quality books in a banded form that is…

Beside the Seaside

We're feeling summer is just around the corner, so our blogger Kate Hancock has picked her favourite seaside books for children aged 3 - 6. The seaside and seashore is a topic with great scope, whatever your location and the weather outside. There are lots of things for children to discuss and explore with a…

Book Review – Letters From the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll

Letters From The Lighthouse by Emma Carroll When selecting books for Reading for Pleasure in its widest sense, and by that I am referring to fulfilment as well as enjoyment, you need look no further than the delightful writing of Emma Carroll. You may be familiar with the award winning Frost Hollow Hall or the more…

Book Review: ‘Tin’ by Pádraig Kenny

TIN by Pádraig Kenny Reviewed by Lucy Timmons, Co Executive Head Teacher at Linton Mead Primary School   ‘Tin’ definitely gets under your skin... well if you’re a ‘proper’ sentient human. It’s a brilliant arrangement, through which children and teachers can really question what it means to be human. Contrasting worlds collide throughout: ornate historical and modern…

Book Review: Zinnia and the Bees by Danielle Davis

Zinnia and the Bees - Danielle Davis Reviewed by Jonny Walker, Assistant Head at Park Primary School, Stratford   This is a charming and peculiar story that celebrates the imperfections of family life, redemptive friendships and the pleasures of being an outsider. The tale follows Zinnia through a long and eventful summer, in which her…

Breathe Fresh Life into Poetry

Poetry in the Classroom If you are reading this blog or newsletter, the chances are that you have an interest in literacy, reading and children’s books. It is very likely that you have some favourite poetry books in your special ‘teachers’ collection’ and that you share poems regularly with the children in your class. Your…

Celebrating Diversity with Alice Curry

(Transcript of a conversation between Alice Curry & Alison Hughes, for Just Imagine...) Could you give us an idea of your back ground & why you have an interest in children’s literature? I started off as an academic, did a PhD in Children’s literature & ended up lecturing in children’s literature in Australia! I then…

Crazy About Cats

Owen Davey talks to Just Imagine to share some behind the scenes facts...  From Sharks to Monkeys & now to Cats...was there any particular reason you chose cats as your theme this time around? I find cats fascinating. I was interested to find out about the wild cousins of our (semi) domesticated internet-hogging feline friends…