Raid your Reading!


As a school we have been applying the Talk for Writing scheme during Literacy lessons.  It is working really well in all the classes and it’s great to see the children telling stories using the actions they have learned.

I love the fact the children have the opportunity to learn so many stories throughout the school year.  Plus the encouragement for the children to Raid their Reading is fabulous, perfect excuse for another display.  Also left some room for children’s work!

Another super way to promote reading throughout the school.

New book awards, LOL!

Very busy lately – presenting a reading for pleasure course, World Book Day celebrations, chatterbooks group coming to an end, etc, etc.

Anyway looking forward to this new book award, The Lollies!  It replaces the Roald Dahl funny book prize which ended in 2013.  There are 12 books to vote for 4 picture books, 4 in the 6-8 year old category and 4 in the 9-13 year old category.  Scholastic are offering lesson plans and activities to compliment each book and can be found here;  Book packs can also be purchased here. Voting closes on 10th June so get reading!

Picture Book shortlist

6-8 years shortlist

9-13 years shortlist

Great Sequel!


Couldn’t wait to read this as I enjoyed the first book so much!

Mr Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, the sequel to Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library, is a real page turner.  There are lots of twists and turns in the plot which are all brought together at the end in a super finale.

The characters from the first book return as heroes from winning the first ‘Library Game’ but are threatened by children from other states in America who insist they could have won. A national competition ensues to find the finalists for the Library Olympics!

The finalists are brought together to battle it out in Mr Lemoncello’s amazing library, with many new games and puzzles to work out.  It’s not clear cut who the winners will be but it’s clear that team work and a love of books is the most important factor.

A fabulous addition to our school library, can’t wait to tell the children we have a sequel!



Cumbria Library Service annual Primary School book awards, Spellbinding is about to begin.

The 10 books on this year’s short list have just been delivered to our school, along with the children’s reading passports and book cover stickers to collect.  There are books to suit boys and girls with most genres being covered.

As I normally join the children in reading the 10 books,  I’m really fortunate to have a head start!  I’ve already read and enjoyed 3 of the books on the shortlist; The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair, The Clockwork Sparrow and The 13 Storey Treehouse.  The children won’t be pleased though as they’re always trying to beat me!

This is our 4th year following the book awards and the children really enjoy it.  It really gives them the opportunity to read a range of texts, some of which they wouldn’t even entertain if they weren’t on the short list.

Hopefully we will see the same enthusiasm we saw last year with children coming to the library and asking if they could take part too!


New Term, New Competition!

Thought I’d have a focus on non-fiction books but the competition has to be accessible to both infant and junior children.  So I’ve decided on a ‘Where in the World’ competition.

The children collect a world map from the library which has the continents labelled.  They have to find an interesting or unusual fact about each continent.

My display shelves in the library, both fiction and non-fiction, support the competition theme.  Non-fiction books displayed include atlases, travel books, books about countries, animals from different countries etc. Whilst the fiction theme is stories from around the world.

The children have already been to the library asking what the next competition is, hopefully they won’t be disappointed!

Library Lunches

Timetable now complete for the first half term’s Library Lunches.

These lunches happen on a Friday lunchtime from 12.20 until 1pm.  The children are given a personal invitation to attend.  They are chosen randomly for the first term, unless the teacher has requested they attend, otherwise I would use the library management system to look for those who are infrequent borrowers.  They attend in mixed groups of 12 usually 6 children from each class; Years 1 and 2 together, Years 3 and 4, Years 5 and 6 with Reception coming on their own.  I keep a register so that I can make sure every child has attended over the academic year.

The general idea is that the children come to the library for a story followed by a craft activity based on the story, while enjoying a snack and drink. An example of an activity would be Reception lunch entitled Interesting Insects where I share with the children some non-fiction books and fiction books about insects.  They then listen to a story followed by decorating a soft foam butterfly with sequin etc to take home.  A junior activity from the past was Comic Hero where the children looked at a variety of comics, old and new, then using the laptops and a marvel website they created their own comic strip page, which they printed and were able to take home.

Some of the forthcoming Library Lunches include; Speed Reading for Year 5 and 6 children, Genre Quiz for Year 3 and 4, Picture Book Picnic for Reception, to name just a few.

The Library Lunches have been a popular weekly event in the library for the past 3 years now and add to the promotion of reading for pleasure.

Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature


The original companion was published in 1983, it has now been revised and updated by Daniel Hahn.

This easy A-Z is a great place to start if you want to find out anything about children’s literature.  It’s 3,500 entries cover every genre and includes information on some well known characters, as well as over 900 new entries bringing a new generation of writers and illustrators to the fore.

I couldn’t put it down! I searched for my favourite authors/books to check the write up then I began looking for the new entries. Of course there will be some omissions but it is a great starting point highlighting the ever rising significance of children’s literature. A super addition to our school library!