Lost Magic – The Very Best of Brian Moses


I’m a big fan of poetry, for young and old, and we are fortunate enough to have some fantastic and talented poets around to inspire and entertain children and adults. One such poet is the fantastic Brian Moses who has been writing poetry incredibly successfully for many years. I was very fortunate that Brian offered to send me a copy of his latest anthology Lost Magic The Very Best of Brian Moses, Cover illustration by Ed Boxall and inside illustrations by Chris Garbutt and published by Macmillan Children’s Books.

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Build the Dragon


So, sunday afternoon and blogging to catch up on. So, what do I find myself doing? Sprawled on the floor building a dragon of course! All in the name of blogging you understand! Because this was for the book Build the Dragon written by Dugald Steer, illustrated by Jonathan Woodward and Douglas Carrel and published by Templar Publishing.

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BookImages2Welcome to Book Monster’s stop on the Botanicum blog tour, and I’m incredibly excited to review this glorious book and welcome illustrator Katie Scott here for a Q&A, I know! How great is that? So climb aboard the blog train, it’s a happy day!!

Botanicum is curated by Katie Scott and Kathy Willis, published by Big Picture Press in association with Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.

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Smart about Wild Animals.


So, back to what I promised, and that is some more glorious non-fiction for you! I’m a little late to the party with these two books, but I do think they are completely worth the wait. Flying Eye books are a publisher who have a certain style to their work. Their publications scream quality, with a distinctive retro styling that I have always really rather loved.

Their non-fiction books are eye catching and appealing for children with a look that begs to be read. I’m going to look at two of Flying Eye’s recent animal themed releases today.

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For Nostalgia’s Sake


In a lot of respects, other than it being pertinent to my job, I blog about children’s books because they are nostalgic to me. Books were a huge part of my childhood, they made a reader of me. Some of my fondest memories are of my favourite books. One day I’ll do a blog post to share some of those with you.

It seems however, that we’re witnessing a revival of some of the popular older books and characters. Publishers recognise the power of nostalgia. Parents, teachers and library staff love to share their own favourite books with children and this explains the recent resurgence of old favourites. We are lucky that publishers, authors and illustrators recognise the value of these.

So, for my first A-Blog-A-Day-Holiday I’m going to review not one, but four such books!!

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For the love of Non-Fiction


I am aware, that my blog, as well as many others and media in general, is biased towards fiction books. In some ways, that’s to be expected as the number of fiction releases outweighs the number of non-fiction. However, I am really aware that I’m not appreciating the joys of non-fiction nearly enough here on Book Monsters! They are an absolutely vital part of children’s book publishing.

We have the obvious, homework and extracurricular learning support. Not everything can be covered in schools, by teachers. It’s important children have the opportunity to read non-fiction outside of school in order to develop their knowledge further.

Boys! I don’t like to stereotype boys and girls, as there is certainly not a one rule for each. However, non-fiction is brilliant for boys. Take my brother for example, as a child he wasn’t interested, generally, in reading fiction. He wanted to get something out of reading. He wanted to gain knowledge, for his reading time to be worthwhile and well spent, but he also wanted to be entertained. The Horrible History books provided him with hours of fantastically productive, yet funny, reading. I’ve experienced many similar boys over the years in my work at the library who really thrive on reading non-fiction.

Reluctant readers. Or even children who struggle with their reading, can get a lot from non-fiction. They can be much more accessible, less text heavy and the age range they suit much more wide spanning so children don’t feel self conscious choosing a non-fiction title, like they maybe would reading an ability appropriate fiction book.

In short, our celebration of non-fiction has been woefully lacking. Rarely do I see a non-fiction category in children’s awards, or non-fiction nominated alongside fiction. It’s a huge shame, particularly as 2015 / 2016 has seen some of the greatest factual book releases for a very long time.

So, from here on in, at Book Monster’s HQ, I pledge to fly the flag for the great non-fiction! If you come across something you think deserves to be blogged about, or have released a non-fiction book that you’d like us to review, please feel free to get in touch for my consideration, I would love to get more on here.

I have amassed, thanks to the lovely publishers out there, a collection of some spectacular non-fiction new releases for children, so over the coming weeks, I’m going to be blogging these wonderful titles like crazy. So keep an eye out for those,  and please share.
For the love of non-fiction! :)

Thank you.


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