Friday, February 12, 2016

ReaditDaddy's Book(s) of the Week - Week Ending 12th February 2016 - "Little People, Big Dreams: Coco Chanel / Frida Kahlo" by Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Ana Albero and Gee Fan Eng (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

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Our two book of the week winners this week come from the same range and the same author, with two talented illustrators bringing you a fabulous life story of two amazing women...
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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Two cool new titles jump onto shelves from Hodder Children's Books this Spring for tiny animal lovers everywhere...

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Hodder Children's Books are releasing some really gorgeous books early in 2016 and we've been lucky enough to take a look at two contrasting little corkers, ahead of the spring release schedules.

First up, emerging with a roar, a meow and a big ducky quack is "Quick Quack Quentin" arriving on February 11th, by the dream team of Kes Gray and Jim Field.

Quentin is a duck with a problem. He's lost his "A" - which doesn't sound too serious to you and I, but leaves Quentin only able to utter a sad forlorn "Quck"

Quentin soon meets other animals, who realise how lost they'd be without their vowels too...!

It's only a tiny little letter but it is so important!
It's a fun animal-filled romp through the English language as Quentin's quest emerges in the pages of this hugely funny and original book. Look out for "Quick Quack Quentin" by Kes Gray and Jim Field,  it's on shelves today!

You'll have to wait until March 1st for the next book - but it will be worth the wait...

"Little One" is the touching and beautifully inspirational story of a mother bear and her cub, as this gentle lullaby of a story takes us through the seasons, seen through the eye of these two lovely bears.

Jo's gentle storytelling through amazing illustrations makes this a hugely immersive and engaging little story for your busy tinies as they wind down at the end of the day and are tucked up warm like little bear cubs in bed.

"Little One" explores the relationship between mother and child, and is obviously a shoe-in for a brilliant booky gift ahead of Mother's Day.

Look out for "Little One" by Jo Weaver on March 1st 2016. Both books are published in Hardback by Hodder Children's Books.
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"You've got the perfect face for radio" and why nerdy book blogging dads probably shouldn't do TV - A ReadItDaddy Editorial

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Don't get me wrong! It was nice to be asked!

A weird thing happened this week when a lovely PR person wanted to get in touch by phone to arrange an appearance on BBC's "The One Show".

Let that sentence trickle down into your visual imagination for a second if you will...

A portly potato-headed mumbling scruffbag of a dad sitting on a very uncomfortable-looking sofa with Matt Baker and er...wotsherface on live TV in front of, oh, dozens of viewers.

I've known sheer terror. I've been in a car crash and experienced what it's like to be trapped in a glorified tin box rolling along an ice-covered road, tumbling over and over like a demented arctic roll before landing - completely wrecked - on its wheels (I only remember one thing about the aftermath of the crash. Quietly turning off the ignition and stepping out of the wreck, somehow miraculously escaping with a scratch on one ear and a bitten tongue).

The noise is one of the most terrifying aspects of a car crash as well as the anticipation of injury or death, and I heard that noise again as I read the short paragraph and pictured the scene if A) I was crazy enough to do this and B) more practically, if I had TIME to do this. Thankfully B meant A never really spun up its motors and so I politely declined.

The lovely PR person persisted, offering an interview on Radio Oxford to talk about books. Now, this is slightly closer to being a possibility but again potato-headed mumbling scruffbag dad (with the perfect face for radio, I think even my mum would agree) would have to somehow turn wildly enthusiastic "talking ten to the dozen" speech into something coherent that explains to the listeners just why we love books so much that we can't stop writing about them, and why reading with your children (even at Charlotte's age) is vitally important.

When writing about books, I can stop and think about the point I'm trying to make. Blogging offers a comfortable buffer between the idle thought processes of a forty-something bird brain and the imparting of experience or (meagre) knowledge about the subject at hand.

It also goes without saying that this isn't a one-man show either. Doing any sort of interview or press without Charlotte would feel a bit of a cheat, because this blog comes from her as much as it does from me. Her reaction to books, her choices for book of the week, her changing tastes and views on what we see and most importantly her view on why she loves books so much and has come to think of reading as a pleasurable pursuit rather than a chore.

I wonder if it's even at all possible to distil and summarise why reading with your children is important, without sounding like some twee smug middle-class idiot.

It seems so obvious to me, that I can't even begin to put myself in the mindset of someone who doesn't feel it's important and doesn't understand why it's important. I just can't do it.

I don't think I know anyone who could fail to grasp the link between children who are engaged in reading for pleasure from an early age, and a rapid development in their language skills, comprehension or knowledge of the world around them, not to mention having one of the coolest ways to spend a few hours that doesn't involve mindlessly grinding through some poxy free-to-play tablet game or getting your brain sucked out of your ear by some worthless slice of televisual entertainment.

How could I possibly sit in front of anyone (whether it's a TV audience, a radio audience and presenter or you standing in front of me) and put it any better than that in mumble-o-speak? I doubt I could. But heck, it was very nice to be asked.

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Violet and the Hidden Treasure (Violet Book 2) by Harriet Whitehorn and Becka Moor (Simon and Schuster Children's Books)

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Fashionably late to the part, we catch up with Violet Remy-Robinson's second adventure in this intriguing search for hidden loot...
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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sleeping Handsome and the Princess Engineer by Kay Woodward and Jo De Ruiter (Curious Fox Books)

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There's a rather neat set of books being published over at Curious Fox, and it's time to catch up with one superb story turning the traditional princess and prince roles on their heads...
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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Alan's Big Scary Teeth by Jarvis (Walker Books)

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Meet Alan. He's big, he's scary, he's green and he has a huge sharp-toothed grin. But Alan has a terrible, terrible secret. Dare you discover it in "Alan's Big Scary Teeth" by Jarvis...?
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Monday, February 8, 2016

Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies by Carmen Oliver and Jean Claude (Capstone / Curious Fox Books)

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Reading for pleasure is always FAR more fun when you've got a buddy in tow? Who makes the best reading buddy?...
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Beep Beep Beep Time for Sleep by Claire Freedman and Richard Smythe (Simon and Schuster Children's Books)

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A busy and fantastic little book for your digger-obsessed boys  and girls? Let's take a look at "Beep Beep Beep, Time for Sleep" by Claire Freedman and Richard Smythe...
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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Joining in an everso brilliant Blog Tour for a very special porky pal, we celebrate Emer Stamp's utterly awesome new book "The Seriously Extraordinary Diary of Pig"

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We're very honoured to be joining in a fab book blog tour for Emer Stamp's wonderful creation, the happy go lucky and awesomely super "Pig"

Pig is getting a bit of an old hand (or should that be old ham? Oh you bet we're going to be wheeling out every piggy pun we can think of!) at keeping a diary of his rather amazing adventures. Who'd think that a fairly ordinary porker could lead such a frantic and adventure-filled life?

Back in the mists of time, I read "The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig" to Charlotte, and it was such a huge hit that she's read it many, many times since. In the first book, Pig falls foul of some rather horrible chickens who seem intent on ridding the farm of pig for good. If you're new to Emer's Pig stories you really should dig, the first book is pigging brilliant!

As well as nefarious and evil chickens, pig comes up with an awesome plan for a rather strange mode of transport - a tractor rocket, fuelled by the most natural (and probably the pongiest) fuel ever. We'll leave you to find out what that is (ew!!!)

In the mists of time, we seem to have lost touch with our favourite porcine but his adventures continued and Book 2, "The Super Amazing Adventures of Me, Pig" introduces a new friend for Pig to go on crazy adventures with. Kitty is a vegetarian cat, and the two become firm friends while living on Pig's new farm (with two vegetarian farmers who aren't in danger of fancying a round of bacon, very luckily for Pig!)

However, not everything on the farm is rosy. Duck warns Pig that Kitty may not be the perfect purring feline she seems, and may have her own sneaky plans in hand - for getting pig into some SERIOUS trouble!

Now Pig is back! In "The Seriously Ordinary Diary of Pig", Pig, Duck, Cow and the Sheeps are far away from home but never far away from danger as they go on a rambunctious expedition. Expect mischief, mayhem, plops, squelches and complete craziness as Pig once again chronicles his adventures in a whole new diary.

I've often said that any book series that can make Charlotte genuinely cackle with glee is always going to be a huge win and Emer Stamp's fabulous characterisations are fab to read aloud (though nowadays, Charlotte is more likely to snatch the books out of my hand with a whoop of glee, and closet herself away until she's voraciously read through the lot!).

"The Top Secret Diary of Pig", "The Super Amazing Adventures of Me, Pig" and the latest fabulous book "The Seriously Extraordinary Diary of Pig" are available from Scholastic Publishing with the third book just released (4th February). Go geddem, piggy fans!
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Friday, February 5, 2016

ReadItDaddy's Second Book of the Week - Week Ending 5th February 2016 - "DC Comics: Secret Hero Society - Study Halls of Justice" by Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen (Scholastic)

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Our second book of the week this week could be the answer to something we've wanted for a LONG time. A fantastic way for middle-graders to get the inside track on comic heroes the rest of us love, without insulting their intelligence...

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