Every year this is one of my favourite blog posts to write but it also one of the ones that I find the most difficult as ultimately i...

Best Picture Books 2019

Monday, December 30, 2019 BookBairn 1 Comments

Every year this is one of my favourite blog posts to write but it also one of the ones that I find the most difficult as ultimately it means I can't talk about all the books. I have to select just a few of our absolute favourites.
So just a little disclaimer:
- these are all 'new' books that our family discovered this year. They were either published this year or ones that we only read for the first time this year.
- we have read many many books from lots of great publishers so whilst many of these books have been sent by the publishers, I have chosen to include the books we love best!
- I'm all for having a balanced bookshelf with books sharing mighty girls and diverse characters and stories from around the world and we really do read a wide variety. But these are a favourites list and therefore it would be dishonest and disingenuous to share books that weren't actually the ones we read the most for the sake appearing more diverse or more feminist or more contrived in some way. (Having said that, there is a number of books here that have sustainable and environmental themes as that it something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about this year.)

We have read lots of great things this year. BookBairn has started to enjoy reading chapter books - we are currently halfway through reading Matilda which is a joy - although I haven't included any here yet as I feel like we still predominantly read picture books and enjoy them the most (maybe it's the nature of re-reading them). The Wee Page Turner has moved on from those baby and toddler board books to predominantly choosing picture books and is a firm fan of Julia Donaldson stories as well as The Tiger Who Came to Tea and his favourite reading position is stretched out at full length on his tummy. And they enjoy reading and discovering books together - side by side! You will notice here that quite a few of these book shave powerful messages beyond just a good story - and I think that's what makes these ones special. And probably why I chose them for this list.  Here are the books that we have read the most this year:

Nell and the Circus of Dreams by Nell Gifford & Briony May Smith

Sometimes you get a picture book where the words are beautiful poetry. And sometimes you get a picture book where the illustrations are exquisite artwork. But rarely do you get a picture book where both poetry and art come together to create real magic. This is the story of the little girl called Nell, who goes a-wandering one day through the fields behind her farmhouse, only to discover a circus. A story of a magical world that really draws you in. The cover artwork took my breath away. I adore Briony May Smith’s illustrations (Stardust is another favourite book of mine) and I knew straight away that Nell’s world was somewhere I wanted to visit. Each page is so stunning and the use of light and shade in the illustrations is so delicate that it feels like you are in the room. The warm shades of the lights and the whole cast of characters are so evocative of a circus it feels like you are inside the big top. And to top it all off, the story has a magical and ambiguous quality to it. Was the circus real, or did it spring from Nell’s imagination? Magical. 

Chicks Rule by Sudipta Bardham-Quallen & Renee Kurilla

Written in the most wonderful rhyme and packed full of humour and fun, l love reading this one aloud! From Maker Chick to Baker Chick to Soccer Chick and Rocker Chick, all the chicks in town are horrified by and standing up to the “No Chicks Allowed” rule! Nerdy Chick isn’t standing for this senseless rule and won’t let it stand in their way to achieving her dreams of launching a rocket into space! She turns to her fellow chicks for help. And together they lift each other and prove once and for all that chicks are truly out of this world! The illustrations aren’t the kind that I’m usually drawn to but we love the bright colours and cartoon/comic style. I am totally won over by them! Showing you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. And you shouldn’t judge a Chick by her feathers! I cannot say how much love I have for this book! 

Kindness Grows by Britta Teckentrup

This is one of the most clever and poignant and powerful picture books that I have ever encountered. Now I am already a huge fan of Britta Teckentrup’s work but I think this is her best yet. Cleverly using die-cuts that work across both pages, the left-hand side of the book tells of a growing chasm between friends who disagree, argue, say unkind words, abandon, get angry. And the right-hand page tells the story of a growing tree, flourishing through friendship, love and support. Showing the contrast between the two ways of interacting. When the children on the left-hand page look across the those on the right, they see hope and how to heal their rift. The words are poetry. And the illustrations convey the message so beautifully. In our current climate, this is a book that should be widely read and shared among children and I hope that parents, teachers and any book-givers get it into the hands of as many children as possible.

Nibbles and the Monster Hunt by Emma Yarlett

Nibbles is perhaps my all time favourite book character! I know there are so many great ones to choose from but BookBairn and Nibbles (or Dimbles as she calls him) have been best book buddies since that very first turn of the page. He’s an adorable little monster with an insatiable appetite for books. In Nibbles and the Monster Hunt, Nibbles has a human friend whose bookshelf he can ravage! Nibbles Is nibbling his way through some serious tomes of non-fiction: fact books, colour books, counting books, you name it and he’s nibbling it. Like the previous books in the series, this conceptually clever book works on so many levels that it’s great for a wide audience of readers. 

In Nibbles Numbers, little ones can count along with Nibbles as he chomps his way from one to ten! From the first page flap, to all the delightful little finger-sized cut-out holes in each page (corresponding to the number of bites Nibbles has taken), there's so much for little ones to explore. With bright and inviting colours and tactile holes to count together this is a number book that provides more than simple number teaching. The rhyme scheme makes it enjoyable to read aloud and allows little ones to predict the next number in some pages. 

I’ve written a full blog post as to why Nibbles is our favourite book character if you want to read more about him.

The Green Giant by Katie Cottle

If you are looking for a book whose illustrations will literally take your breath away, then you have to get your green fingers on a copy of The Green Giant. It is truly truly spectacular. It tells the story of a young girl, Bea, who is visiting her grandfather in the countryside, far from the big grey city that she lives in. And she finds it rather slow and boring, until she finds a new and unexpected friend in the Green Giant who is hiding away on an old greenhouse. A giant made entirely of plants! The giant opens Bea's eyes to the wonders of nature and the magic of greenery and together they set off on a mission to make the city (and the world) a greener place. This fits with everything I want to share with the bairns about being concerned about our environment but in a way that little children can understand. And the illustrations are so striking - the contrast between the grey city and the greenery is incredibly poignant. It's just beautiful. 

Clem and Crab by Fiona Lumbers

The little girl in this story - Clem - loves nothing more than a day out at the beach. She loves spending her weekends combing the beach for treasure with her big sister. On one day treasure hunting on the beach, she stumbles across Crab with his claw stuck in a plastic bag. Clem things Crab would be much happier with her in the city but everyone tells her that he belongs on the beach. After a show and tell presentation to her class, she spreads the word about cleaning up our beaches. When returning Crab to the beach the following weekend Clem finds her classmates all helping to clean up the beach and they find the perfect rock pool for Crab. The illustrations are so evocative of the seaside and the characters, particularly Clem and Crab, are just adorable. I particularly love that the opening endpapers feature a beach littered with, well… litter and the closing endpapers feature Clem and Crab gazing out on the ocean standing on a natural litter-free beach! Such a timely tale about cleaning up our beaches and and underlying message that every small action helps. In fact, I got a lump in my throat when I read Clem shout: “I made a difference… We can all make a difference!” Isn’t that just such a lovely message for children to hear and at the heart of all efforts towards sustainability we need to believe that we can make a difference.

Alba the 100 Year Old Fish by Lara Hawthorne

Another book about sustainability and human impact on the environment is this story of Alba the Hundred Year Old Fish, which will help little readers understand the effects of pollution on our oceans. Alba the fish has spent her entire life collecting precious and beautiful objects that drift down to the ocean floor every year on her birthday. But as each birthday passes, and one more item is added to the collection, Alba notices that her collection is losing it's sparkle and treasures are becoming harder and harder to find. But for her 100th birthday she spots a pearl in a strange plastic shell. And she gets trapped. Fortunately not for long as a little girl comes to her rescue. This book is packed full of so many wonderful things - a visual feast of the natural world that will make little one's appreciate the beauty and the need to protect it.
(When checking details for this post I noticed that this book is now completely sold out and will be re-released in March under the new title: 'Alba and the Ocean Clean Up'.)

Old MacDonald Had a Truck by Steve Goetz & Eda Kaban

If there are two things in a book that are guaranteed to make it a hit with The Wee Page Turner it’s animals and vehicles. So this new board book edition couldn’t be more perfect for him. Using the familiar tune Old MacDonald had a Farm and giving it a new and hilarious twist with Old MacDonald having a variety of vehicles from an excavator to a steam roller to a cement mixer all of which are being used to convert. Space on the farm for Mrs MacDonald to perform a stunt show in her Monster Truck! The illustrations in this book bring a real magic to the funny song showing all the animals on the farm working together (in hard hats and hi-vis vests of course - safety first!) getting themselves into some hilarious situations. Honestly this is a truly fun book and I know we sing this one over and over at bedtimes!

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold & Suzanne Kaufman

This is certainly a book to experience as well as read. It's a celebration as much as it is a story! Following a group of children in their school and throughout their day in school, this book shows a school where diversity it's at it's heart. Everyone is welcome no matter their race, religion or background. this story shares an uplifting celebration of cultural diversity and belonging where all children are welcome in the classroom. With children wearing hijabs, patkas, baseball caps and yarmulkes playing and learning side-by-side the illustrations in the book create a world where all the children belong. With scenes of the children pointing to their family's countries of origin, and the children gathered on the floor in a circle drawing illustrations of families of all sizes and colours and a playground full of happy children having fun together this is a really welcoming book! You will want to jump into the illustrations. The accompanying poem (it's definitely more a poem than a story) lets readers know that what they see in the illustrations is reinforced by the language of the school and community: everyone is welcome, they all have a place, they all have a space, no matter what. The school also has children of a variety of abilities including a blind child who carries a whitestick and a child in a wheelchair, reinforcing the lovely message of inclusion. That, for me, sums up what I want a school, and a wider community, to be and to cherish. This book is so wonderfully executed and really lives up to it's important message!

The Tide by Clare Helen Welsh & Ashling Lindsay

Stories can be an excellent way to talk about difficult to understand things with children. And this book truly is a wonderful way to share with children the difficulties of living with dementia. It tells the story of a little girl and her Grandad on a day out at the beach. Grandad is excellent at building sandcastles and finding shells, and rock pooling. But sometimes he gets confused. And buries the sandwiches. The little girl talks about her feelings too - how sometimes she gets cross at Grandad when he does odd things. But also that she tries to remember that it must be scary to forget. And especially frightening to forget someone you love. And no matter, even though Grandad doesn’t remember things like he used to, she loves him as much as she always has, and knows that he loves her too. A deeply sensitive book with beautifully imagery of memory ebbing like the tide, this book will provide enormous comfort to children struggling to understand something as intangible as memory and memory loss. The illustrations are magical and gentle and bring to life the beauty of the small moments. A truly heartwarming and touching story.

Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

The latest book in The Questioneers series continues to celebrate little heroines that children can look up to. Along with Rosie Revere, Ada Twist and Iggy Peck, new classmate Sofia Valdez is out to leave her mark by following her dreams. When Sofia's abuelo hurts his ankle at the local landfill sight on their journey to school, Sofia decides to take on 'Mount Trashmore'. She gets the idea to turn the dangerous and disgusting pile of trash into a park! She brainstorms and plans but when she goes to City Hall she finds that she is moved from office to office until she is finally told by a clerk that she can't build a park because she is just a kid! But with the help of her friends, classmates and neighbours, Sofia sets out to prove that one kid can move mountains (trash ones at least) and do something to make a difference. Written in rhyming verse, giving brilliant pacing and momentum to the story these books and with mixed media illustrations, this newest release is a delight and captures the magic of what it is like to be little and to imagine and to create. They really are perfect inspirational stories for children about pursuing their own passions.

The Bad Seed by Jory John & Pete Oswald

These are two of my ultimate favourite picture books, and fortunately BookBairn loves them too! So I get to read them over and over and they grow on me more with each reading.These two books are packed full of wit, humour and puns but also a subtle poignancy that mean show us to see another point of view. Maybe that ‘Bad Seed’ has suffered some trauma that has affected his outlook on life, his behaviour and the way he connects with others, maybe he needs a helping hand and love and support? Maybe that goodie-two-shoes ‘Good Egg’ is cracking under the pressure and needs support and rest from looking after others? The illustrations bring to life these two colourful characters and add to the wonderful storytelling and humour of the stories. They are perfect for widening little readers’ perspectives and building their empathy.

What a fantastic year of books! If you are looking for more of our very favourite repeat reads check out my Amazon shop and click on the section favourite books!

Here's to a great year of reading in 2020
Kim and the bairns x

If you are interested you can find last years list here: 2018 Favourites
And 2017 list here: Best Reads of 2017

Disclaimer: We were sent some of these books free for review purposes by the publishers. Words and opinions are my own. If you click on the title of the book or use my amazon shop link you will be sent to amazon.co.uk using an affiliate link. This means that if you choose to purchase on amazon.co.uk, I will receive a small sum (around 20-70p per book) from amazon at no extra cost to you. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our 'For Our Readers' section.


Toddlers just love this time of year when everything is magic don't they? They love the lights and the music and they are just begi...

Books for Toddlers Christmas Gift Guide

Saturday, November 23, 2019 BookBairn 1 Comments

Toddlers just love this time of year when everything is magic don't they? They love the lights and the music and they are just beginning to understand the idea of gift giving and receiving. So I love to give books as these little ones just can't get enough of them. In the past I have done a combined gift guide for toddlers and preschoolers but now that I have a two and four year old I see quite how different their reading tastes are at this age and whilst they do overlap I felt it was unjust to lump them together. So this year I have done two separate guides. This one is aimed at toddlers aged 18 months to about 3 though many of the books are great for four and five year olds too (BookBairn loves them). Before I share, I just want to say that there are many many great books out there for little readers but these are some of our favourites that we have discovered this year. It would be impossible to compile a fully comprehensive list so this is more of a highlights guide. If you want to see our gift guide from last year, or any of our other gift guides from this year you can find them all linked here. I've tried to include a variety of books so that there is something for everyone.


My bairns are aged 4 and 2 so I tend to focus on books for toddlers and preschoolers on the blog and on social media, but occasional...

Books for Big Kids Christmas Gift Guide

Friday, November 22, 2019 BookBairn 1 Comments

My bairns are aged 4 and 2 so I tend to focus on books for toddlers and preschoolers on the blog and on social media, but occasionally I come across books for BookBairn to grow in to or books to save for later. So every year I compile these into a list of books for 'older readers'. The age range of these varies so I recommend you double-check the recommended ages over on the publisher website or on amazon because you know your young readers best as to what is appropriate for their reading. Some of the book listed here are equally as good for reading aloud as well as independent readers so it's worth bearing that in mind too. If you want more suggestions, my guides from the previous two years are still full of recommendations that we still love and read regularly! You can find them all here: GIFT GUIDES


I think one of the best gifts you can give a baby is books! Because they can grow with them! Books which have high contrast colours and...

Books for Babies Christmas Gift Guide

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 BookBairn 1 Comments

I think one of the best gifts you can give a baby is books! Because they can grow with them! Books which have high contrast colours and cloth books are best for newborns but as they get older it's great to have a good selection of books. And by a good selection I partly mean ones that you can tolerate reading over and over and over. Because you will have to read them over and over and over! If you want more suggestions, my guides from the previous two years are still full of recommendations that we still love and read regularly! In fact some of the recommendations on this list are new releases from series that we have loves in the past too! You can find all our previous lists here: GIFT GUIDES


I always worry about doing Christmas gift guides or sharing Christmas books in November as it just seems too early . But truth be tol...

Books for Preschoolers Christmas Gift Guide

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 BookBairn 1 Comments

I always worry about doing Christmas gift guides or sharing Christmas books in November as it just seems too early. But truth be told, I have already done most of my Christmas shopping already so I am probably late to the game for some people. But it's never too late to add and extra gift to that bundle! Especially if it's a book! Now if you came here looking for festive reads, I should say they will be up next week, because I personally don't usually give a Christmas book as a Christmas gift. My feeling is that by Christmas day it's too late! So I wanted to recommend books that you can enjoy all year round. I also try to pick new (or at least new-to-us) books to recommend as these are more likely to be books that you won't already have. If you want more suggestions, my guides from the previous two years are still full of recommendations that we still love and read regularly! You can find them all here: GIFT GUIDES


Every month I feel like I start my posts by saying how quickly time is flying ! But really. After I finish this post I'm getting on ...

Kids Love to Read #48 & Giveaway

Monday, November 18, 2019 BookBairn 1 Comments

Every month I feel like I start my posts by saying how quickly time is flying! But really. After I finish this post I'm getting on with writing Christmas gift guide recommendations. How?! Already!? This will be our last link-up of the year, as we will be taking December off and next time I draft one of these posts it will be 2020!

If you share or review children's books or are raising a reader whilst writing a blog then our co-hosted monthly linky with  Laura's Lovely Blog and Acorn Books (who is currently taking some maternity leaves so it's just Laura and I this month) is perfect for you! Kids Love to Read is a link-up to share blog posts written by other bloggers that star wonderful children's books. It's a great way to find new blogs to read and new book recommendations too, as well as invite people to come and read your own blog.

So if you write about your favourite children's books I would love it if you link-up your post! And I'm looking forward to reading them all!

Last Month's Favourites

My favourite post last mont came Book Nerd Cafe who shared a review of a lovely story - The Lion Who Wanted to Love but mostly I loved reading her post about how much her little girl loves the library!

Laura's favourite came from Lily and the Fae who shared a review of some fantastic non-fiction. In fact we have these books and the mechanisms are just fabulous and provide a unique way for children to learn. We love them too!

Linky Rules:
– Write about reading with children, share your love and your children’s love of books, what do you love to read together, how do you encouraging reading and books with your little or not so little ones? Books you love or book reviews.
– This Linky is open every 3rd Monday of the month for one week.
– Grab the Kids Love to Read badge and pop it in your post. It's linked at the end of the post for you.
– Use the #KLTR hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
– Share the love – try and read & comment the host’s posts and on 2 other blogs listed on the Linky.
We look forward to reading your posts! And don't forget to enter the competition below!
Kim and the #KLTR team x

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


We have a fabulous giveaway this month oA Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston and it's one that I love so much I keep on my own bookshelf so worth entering for yourself as much as your little readers! 

*Terms and conditions: Entries are open to UK and Ireland residents. The competition closes on the the 10th December 2019. Winners will be announced on social media and contacted via email. If the winner does not respond to the email in two weeks, a new winner will be randomly chosen.
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The  Laugh Out Loud Book Awards  is a celebration of the very  best and funniest books for children , voted for by children themselves!  ...

Laugh Out Loud Interview with Matt Carr: Lollies 2020

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 BookBairn 3 Comments

The Laugh Out Loud Book Awards is a celebration of the very best and funniest books for children, voted for by children themselves! Celebrating children's books that make us laugh out loud are the Laugh Out Loud (Lollies) Awards, created by Scholastic, and I'm delighted to take part in the blog tour again this year! (You can find last our choice from last year here.)

This year when I looked at the picture book shortlist (see the full shortlist at the bottom of this post), there was only one of the four books that we actually owned but I knew it would be my favourite, and still after borrowing the others from the library and doing full due diligent research! In fact, it's one of our most worn-out looking books from over-reading and was one of the first books that The Wee Page Turner seemed particularly drawn to by choosing it off his bookshelves over and over again, despite being too little to sit through the story it understand all the clever humour in the storytelling!

BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner and I all love Spyder by Matt Carr for different reasons! BookBairn loves it because it is a hilarious spy thriller for little readers starring 008 the Spyder whose mission is to keep the evil bluebottle fly from landing on the birthday cake. And it's no wonder that she loves the story with twists and turns it keeps you on tenterhooks - what will happen to the birthday cake? Will Spyder succeed or will the villainous bluebottle prevail? It's her first experience of a thriller. But it's also so funny - Spyder is so tiny she comes a-cropper several times in the story and faces perilous dangers such as dad's foot and the bath drain which to BookBairn is just downright hilarious!

The Wee Page Turner loves spotting Spyder and the family dog and obviously enjoys the high contrast bright colour palette. He particularly enjoys it when Spyder slides down the banister shouting "I love my job" and we all shout "whheeeeeee" along with her. 

And I adore the puns that are scattered throughout which are their to give adults a wry smile as they read. So clever of the author to create a book which appeals on so many levels. And not only that but I love it because it stars a female spider (and let's face it in the past any sort of 'spy' character would have only been a male) who takes the mission at hand and despite several potential mishaps along the way, still succeeds to "mission accomplished".

I'm delighted to welcome author and illustrator, Matt Carr, to our blog today as part of our stop on Lollies Blog Tour. Matt has kindly taken the time to answer some our questions about how he made the book and where is ideas came from.

Where do you start when creating your books? Do you start with your sketchpad or does the story appear in your mind first?
Hello Book Bairn! Good question! Usually my ideas come when I am running (very slowly) in the mornings… Because I work from home its a nice way to get out of the house and I have a good old think as I’m plodding along. Its a lovely feeling when something pops into your head and then I can’t wait to get back and get it on paper. Having said that sometimes I’ll see something that gives me an idea (e.g. last year I was on a train and a bloke got on holding a plank of wood and that gave me an idea for a book about a pirate pig who’s best mate is a plank! By the time I’d got home I’d sorted the whole story. SPYDER was different though as she started life as a sidekick for another one of my characters ANONYMOUSE (a spy mouse!) but my publishers thongs SPYDER was a really strong character and asked me to write a story for her… so that was a different writing experience altogether! I soon found out that there was a lot of fun to be had with her character though!

You often pick some of the, shall we say, 'lesser-loved' creatures to star in your books - a spider, a bat - is this a deliberate choice? Of course spider lends itself beautifully to the pun you have created with the title!
My very first book was called RUSSELL THE SCARED CROW which I self published. I’ve always liked Crows and think they get a bad press as they are very intelligent. Russ was a great character so I started thinking about other animals to focus on… I think its lovely that animals who aren’t universally loved or are forgotten can be put in the spotlight and made heroes and hopefully help kids to see beyond the bad press they get…BATS, SPIDERS and MOLES have amazing skills that hopefully come across in the books…
I have though done loads of other ideas with animals which just haven’t come out or got through. My next book is about a RHINO called Ron who wants to be a unicorn! It has been strange to draw a huge animal instead of a tiny one!

Your books often feature little word-plays and puns which appeal to the adult reading the story. (My favourite is "danger is a-foot" right as Spyder almost gets squashed by dad's sock). Do you think about the adults as you are writing?
YES!!! That is definitely one of the things I’m trying to do. Over the years I’ve read loads of books to my kids and they usually want to hear the same one night after night. I love ones that have little jokes that work for adults too…  Like when Shrek came out and it had brilliant jokes that worked for everyone watching.

I’ve always loved comedy and puns since I was little so it was a no brainer for me to put my humour into my books. 

Spyder was one of The Wee Page Turner's first favourite books (when he was around 18months and was able to choose for himself what to read we read Spyder over and over again) and I think this is probably due to the crisp and bright graphic style of the illustrations. Did you find your skills experience as a graphic designer leant into you illustrations or was it like learning a whole new craft?
I’ve always loved big bright clean graphics and bold type which definitely influenced my books. In my job I’m always having to do different styles of illustration and I’ve never had a ‘style’ (or any style according to my kids!) plus I never really like anything I draw so it was quite difficult to come up with my own style… in the end I just drew stuff and realised that I couldn’t fake a style, I just had to go with what I could do! Then it was just a case of making it look as good as poss and then combining the graphic look which hopefully works and is a bit different from everyone else… I do still not see myself as a proper author illustrator though and when I see great proper illustrators like Jonny Duddle, Rob Biddulph or Joe Todd Stanton I get a bit jealous!

Which of Spyder's stunts was your favourite to bring to life?
I do like the 'mission impossible' style drop from the loft. I can imagine SPYDER humming the famous theme tune as she does it!

And finally what do you do when you see a spider in the house? Do you trap it under a glass too?

Yes! I love spiders!

What a fascinating insight into the process of developing the story! Thanks so much Matt for taking the time to share some of your process! 

The Lollies are awarded in three categories: picture books, books for 6-8 year olds and books for 9-13 year olds. The shortlisted books are as follows:

Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book
Babies First Bank Heist by Jim Whalley & Stephen Collins
Spyder by Matt Carr
Ten Fat Sausages by Michelle Robinson & Tor Freeman
You're Called What?! by Kes Grey & Nikki Dyson

Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8 Year Olds
Bad Nana: Older Not Wiser by Sophy Henn
The Legend of Kevin by Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre
The Nothing to See Here Hotel by Steven Butler & Steven Lenton
The World's Worst Children 3 by David Wallians & Tony Ross

Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13 Year Olds
Kid Normal and the Rogue Heroes by Greg James, Chris Smith & Erica Salcedo
I Bet I Can Make You Laugh by Joshua Seigal & Tim Wesson
I Swapped My Brother on the Internet by Jo Simmons & Nathan Reed
Planet Stan by Elaine Wickson & Chris Judge

The winning book in each category will be decided solely by children’s votes, with schools and parents encouraged to help kids get involved and vote via the Lollies website, www.scholastic.co.uk/lollies, or using the PopJam app and you can find lots of great teaching resources on there for each of the books shortlisted. Get your votes in and the winning books will be announced at an awards ceremony in January 2020.

To read the other blog posts in the tour, check out the banner on the right or below to find out when and where to be (and I'll also be sharing on our Twitter). What gets your vote for the funniest book of the year? We'd love to hear your favourites! But also remember to pop over to www.scholastic.co.uk/lollies to vote and you can also find all the books at hugely discounted prices.

Thanks for reading,
Kim and the bairns x

Disclaimer: We were asked to join the Lollies Blog Tour and I immediately put my support behind Spyder by Matt Carr  as it's a book we already have and love. We acquired our copy from my lovely friend BookLoverJo who sent it because she knew we would love it!  Please read our Review Policy  if you want to know more. 


With Halloween behind us, you would think that the spooking was over! But some monsters aren't just for Halloween - they are for ev...

Monsters Under the Bed Book Blog Tour + Giveaway

Friday, November 01, 2019 BookBairn 1 Comments

With Halloween behind us, you would think that the spooking was over! But some monsters aren't just for Halloween - they are for every bedtime! 

"Do you lie awake at night worrying about monsters?" Probably not - but you might be up and down several hundred times a night settling a little one who is! This is the Ultimate Survival Guide to Monsters Under the Bed by Mitch Frost & Daron Parton and it's perfect for anyone (big or small) who's ever been afraid of what might be lurking under the bed.

At the Goodnight Laboratory they take the Monsters Under the Bed problem very seriously. They have bubbling test tubes, blinking machines and a team of master scientists to prove it! And with all that science brainpower and technology they have written a book - this book! But does it work? Well, it's up to you to test it out.

With ten easy-to-follow steps including tidying your room, brushing you teeth and telling hilarious(!) jokes, you can rid yourself of under the bed (and cupboard) monsters for good! Some of the advice is ingenious as it really just having a good bedtime routine - tidying your toys away (because clean rooms don't have monsters) and brushing your teeth (because monsters are disgusted by minty-fresh breath), which will no doubt delight the grown-ups reading this story. Anything that helps keep rooms tidy and teeth-brushed has got to be a good thing! But it also speaks to children too with it's advice to invite all your toys for a sleepover (because monsters hate big crowds) and to tell them a funny joke (because they will immediately run off to tell their monster pals leaving your room free and clear). And if all else fails, little readers can simply close the book to activate the SAFE5000 anti-monster force field around your home (no batteries required).

Packed full of gentle humour and illustrations of not-so-scary monsters, this book really could be the antidote to the monster under the bed problem. I particularly love the illustrations of sleeping children tucked in with their own copies of The Ultimate Survival Guide to Monsters Under the Bed. How 'meta' to have included the book cover within the story! It's a humorous, colourful and a completely unique way to comfort children at bedtime. Let's hope it delivers the antidote to make all bedrooms monster-free too!

And the lovely team from Buster Books have got a great giveaway over on their social media to win a copy but they are so kind that they have given us two copies and exclusive posters to giveaway on our site too! I'll be sharing that giveaway this evening over on our social media (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - you can find the links at the top of our blog page under the masthead but also it's easy to find us by just searching for 'BookBairn'). So don't miss that!!

To check out more reviews check out the blog banner below to see all the beds that these monsters have been creeping under!

Thanks for reading,
Kim and the bairns x

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of The Ultimate Survival Guide to Monsters Under the Bed free for review purposes by the publishers, as part of our joining the blog tour. Words and opinions are my own. If you click on the title or image of the book you will be sent to Amazon using an affiliate link. This means that if you choose to purchase on Amazon, I will receive a small sum (around 20-70p per book) from Amazon at no extra cost to you. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our 'For Our Readers' section.