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wikiWikiReadia is a searchable, editable good practice guide to reading. It's a great resource and has loads of information about projects that are happening around the country to promote reading. Its part of the Reading for Life programme. Its beauty is in its collaborative nature and its purpose is to provide a place where good practice in reading is recognised and shared, in effect, an online encyclopedia.

Anyone who is interested in reading can take part. The programme which runs the wiki, called a MediaWiki is carefully designed so that any mistakes can be easily be altered.

gardeThere's a great section on Reading Gardens, which are great for your health and well being. What joy to sit in the outside and just read!

'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.' Marcus Tullius Cicero.

You can visit our home page of Dolphin Booksellers. Bringing information about the best in children's books direct to you. Working with authors and illustrators in schools and book events.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


MA3 Illustrators in conversation and a woolly armadillo, that took central stage!

Jackie Morris, Petr Horacek and Jan Fearnley were talking about their illustrations at the Federation of Children's Book Groups conference.

Then out of Jan's bag appeared not a canvas with the latest drawing but a woolly armadillo called Milo. Brightly coloured in a stripy outfit he was the answer to Jan's problems . Find out more about Jan's books, a very successful author and illustrator.

SGPetr's, Suzy Goose, just wants to be different to all the other ducks. On her adventures she finds herself in front of a very scary lion.

There's a fantastic video on Petr's website that's well worth a look. Plus his other books, like Elephant,who went inside. Petr started out in Prague,working in communist Czechoslovakia and also studying at the Academy of Fine Art, that was until the revolution and student strike!

SLJackie Morris, with her amazingly beautiful illustrations and huge range of books, both illustrated and written. The Snow Leopard, published by Frances Lincoln and The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems, published by Barefoot Books are two of our favourites. Her web site is full of interest,things to buy and blogs to read!

I love the shots of her studio and the walks by the sea. It makes me feel better about having lots of stuff around me, helps with the creativity, or at least that's my excuse.

Milo Armadillo - Amazon Link

Silly Suzy Goose - Amazon link

Elephant - Amazon link

The Snow Leopard - Amazon link

Barefoot Book of Classic Poems - Amazon link

You can visit our home page of Dolphin Booksellers. Bringing information about the best in children's books direct to you. Working with authors and illustrators in schools and book events.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


knifePatrick Ness, author of 'The Knife of Never Letting Go' was talking with Nikki Gamble at the Annual Conference of Federation of Children's Book Groups, 3 - 5 April 2009.

The Knife of Never Letting Go Amazon link.

Fantastically good to listen to, and a real empathy with teenagers. He made us all think! The issue of moral dilemmas vs. a real need to do something maybe you shouldn't. The main character in the book, Todd, who struggles with himself over whether or not he can use his knife," a big ratchety one with the bone handle and the serrated edge that cuts into practically everything in the world".

Some of the questions that came up on the day got everybody thinking.

Is evil something you are or something you do?

Should you always, ultimately be on the right side and can the actions be justified?

They speak the same language but why don't they talk the same?

How loud is the world ?

The Knife of Never Letting Go, published by Walker Books is the first book in a trilogy, called Chaos Walking.

askThe second book, The Ask and the Answer is due to be published in May 2009.

This was Patrick's first novel for teenagers and it won the Guardian Children's fiction prize in 2008. An exciting read, based around the whole idea that the world is full of noise and gets even noisier when thoughts are heard and nowhere remains silent.

The Ask and the Answer Amazon link.

You can visit our home page at Dolphin Booksellers. Bringing information about the best in children's books direct to you.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


ifeomamainpicIfeoma Onyefulu is more than just a children's writer. Her books show the colour and vibrance of Africa just as it is, a wealth of culture and life that produce riches all of their own.

The books are made using high quality photographs which Ifeoma has taken on her travels across the continent. She has a real flair for spotting the things that make life meaningful and for some beautiful images of people and children. If anyone can make you smile Ifeoma can.

She has recently won the Children's Africana Book Award (in the USA) for her book called Ikenna Goes to Nigeria. (Amazon link).  In November, last year she went to the ceremony in Chicago to receive her award.

A isOther titles she has written are A is for Africa, which is a complete alphabet of places in Africa. (Amazon link). The Big Book version is a brilliant book to have. We have used it in our homes for children just to look at, they love the size!  It's also great as a coffee table book.

Then there's Chidi Only Likes Blue. My favourite! (Amazon link). Beautiful pictures and a lovely story, but I 'll let you read it to find out. Other titles include, One Big Family, (Amazon link), Ebele's Favourite, (Amazon link), plus many more, published by Frances Lincoln.

We first met Ifeoma, when she came as a writer to our author and book event, LeytonStories. Ifeo At a Children's Centre opening, where we were holding a City Story event.  Ifeoma was famously doing some games with the children on the floor. Ed Balls,  Secretary of State for Children and Families was opening the Centre and he joined in too, as well as the head teacher.

Ifeoma is always pleased to go to schools and meet with the children and can be contacted through her web site. You can buy her books direct from Ifeoma's web site or from the Dolphin Booksellers Amazon links. Her books will give your ideas on Africa a whole new meaning! To view the Dolphin Booksellers home page click here.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


T4037What Mr Darwin Saw, by Mick Manning and Brita Granstorm is a beautiful new book. (Amazon link) It has given us an insight into a man who gave a new understanding to evolution and was also a great family man. (Amazon link)

It is published by Frances Lincoln in association with the Natural History Museum, to mark the centenary of Charles Darwin was born in 1809.

He became one of the world's greatest scientists. His theory of evolution radically changed the view of how people saw the world and themselves.

He married Emma Wedgwood in 1839 and they had ten children. Three of the children died but it was Francis, born in 1848,who became a plant physiologist and carried on much of Darwin's work.

05-24 tinyTheir family home was in Downe, Kent and he planted a 'thinking path' called The Sandwalk, which he walked round and round every day, when he was at home. He meticulously noted the changes in the plant life on a daily basis.

He is most famous for his work on The Evolution of Species and his epic five year voyage on the HMS Beagle around the world . Both in the Galapagos islands and at every place in which they stayed, including South America, he collected vast amounts of data and specimens.
Darwin spent a huge amount of time on the details of his work. It's easy to assume that his discovery was made simply, and using only the information found on the Galapagos Islands. But there is much more to Charles Darwin.

Did you know:
He wrote 25 books in total as well as numerous articles.
He spent a long time and wrote at length on 'The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Actions of Worms. (Amazon link)
He wrote two monographs on Barnacles (Amazon link)
At school he was a slow learner and was taken out of school for being lazy and getting poor grades.
He was a great family man.

There's lots of information available about Darwin and his work, like so many great people his dedication to his work and his mesmeric aptitude for detail has given an insight and understanding that has shaped our understanding of the world.

You can visit our home page at /www.dolphinbooksellers.co.uk/


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


T3042Stump the white horse, bedraggled and forlorn has a stump in the middle of his forehead. It takes Danni to recognise that he is more than just a horse. Amazon link.

Danni is new to this country, he has made it over here, a terrible journey, which he can only remember with pain. His family are left far behind, the ways that he knew are not a part of the world he finds himself in. In the city, there are no wide open spaces to play, no freedom to run and, it seems no places to hide.

Being picked on by the class bullies is not what Danni wants at all. But then he finds Stump or as he re-names this special horse, Moonlight.  A friend and a friend in need.

But Danni is just a bit too late....

A wonderful ending with lots of sadness and promise, but you will need to read it to find out.

A great book for children of any age from about 7-11 years.

Michaela Morgan has written lots of really good books, she writes for a number of publishers, including Frances Lincoln and Barrington Stoke.

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Try 'Respect' also by Michaela. Amazon Link

Michaela joined us at LeytonStories at Newport Primary School in East London. We had some great workshops and terrific questions from the year 6 students.

Visit our home page at Dolphin Booksellers.  Lots of information and you can buy books too.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


T3053The Golem of Prague, emerged through a clay model as a fierce looking giant. It gave Dan some courage when he knew he was being bullied. He had felt alone and isolated. Amazon link.

His friend, Lucy was there but even she wasn't convinced that Dan was anything but okay when he started to tell her that his clay model could talk.

Being zapped back into the 16th century, going where
danger was beating at the door and finding just how tough he was, could only be the best thing for Dan. Hard as it was!

Jonny Zucker, author of Dan and the Mudman, has captured a real sense of what it is like to be bullied and singled out for something you can't escape from. Amazon link.

The adventure, and links with the historical setting of the 16th century make this both an exciting read and a story which lots of children will relate to.

flPublished by Frances Lincoln the book has a band reading of 9+, but as a story it's a great read for younger or older children.

It was recently read by 10 and 11 year olds at LeytonStories, in East London,they had some really rave reviews. Jonny was one of three authors, giving workshops and talking about books. leytonstoriesLogo2

Visit our home page at Dolphin Booksellers.co.uk


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


cindersCinderella doesn't have a Fairy Godmother and Sleeping Beauty didn't have an evil step mother. Rapunzel has a hidden secret, and Frog Princes seldom get kissed, well would you?

The world of the Brothers Grimm in Germany in 1812 was not the sort of place that you would expect a collection of fairy tales to come from. Yet the two brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm gathered series of tales from around the country and published them first as folk tales. (Amazon link). The first book was called "Children's and Household Tales". It was so popular that another 70 stories were added to the next volume and it went on growing for six more editions. Finally the book had over 200 stories.

But are Fairy Tales all that they seem, why have they managed to exist for so long and why even now are they the source for so much materials in film and in children's books?

The stories have in fact changed continuously, they have been adapted, added to, sections removed and still the understanding of the story is much the same. There are complete sets of morals and a way of finding out about the world from the relative safety of a book. In vivid characterisations and settings that may only appear in a world of dreams the very young child finds themselves confronting danger, conflict and right versus wrong comes through in abundance!

In Bruno Bettleheim's The Uses of Enchantment (Amazon link) there is much about the stories being a focus of where the child actually is in their emotional and psychological being at an early stage.

And so often these are stories that are shared with parents or teachers, and that makes a difference.They can also be read and re read, knowing where the scary bit is in the story can really bring on the anticipation!

They are stories of kings and queens, castles and forests, animals and witches, magic and fantasy.But whatever has happened right always wins over wrong and happiness is found in the end. What more could we want!

castle

Visit our home page at Dolphin Booksellers.co.uk.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


ghostscapeGhostscape is the first novel of Joe Layburn. (Amazon link)

Joe works as a teacher in London's East End, a far cry from his time as a journalist and televsion reporter. But maybe there are lots of connections between his book and what he had to report for the TV.

Ten year old Aisha is trying to make a life in London's East End. But she had lived in Somalia and had seen war and dead bodies. Now she was just a girl in a headscarf.

But she had never seen a ghost before, well that was about to change.....

An exciting time slip novel when Aisha is transported back to the Blitz in the 1940's.

In a world full of changes Aisha comes to rely more and more on her new ghost friend and together they work it out. But you should read the book, its really a great story.

This quotation taken from the first chapter of Ghostscape, called Bombs and Bullies, gives a little idea of the feelings the book fosters.

"Don't let her get you down,  Aisha. You're worth more than that." I liked that.  He was right.  I was worth something.  I fell asleep, leaning against him, still with a smile on my face."

Ghostscape, written by Joe Layburn and illustrated by John Williams is published by Frances Lincoln, first edition in August 2008.

Joe is a great author to have working with children and is part of a team delivering workshops directly with Year 6 children in Newport Primary School, Leyton, East London. This is part of LeytonStories, an exciting new initiative bringing children's books direct into the community.

See Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk home page here.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


The PencilThe Pencil written by Allan Ahlberg and illustrated by Bruce Ingman.  (Amazon link)

What a book! Another winner for Allan Ahlberg.

It starts out as a simple pencil. Then it builds the story until it begins to draw.

It adds colour and people come into the picture. They begin to squabble and act as all people do.

A twist of magic is when the eraser is introduced!

This is really a picture book for any age. A joy to look and to read. But yet it is a book about being creative, how complex life can be and that often conflict is maybe just around the corner!

A success for Walker Books.  (Publisher's home page link).

Amazon link for Walker Books.

To look for more information and find other new titles in picture books and beyond try Carousel, The Guide to Children's Books.

The Dolphinbooksellers home page is here.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.