CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 winner announced next week, have you read the shortlist?

CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist available to borrow from Wokingham Borough Libraries

The Kate Greenaway Medal was established in 1955 for distinguished illustration in a book for children. Named after the popular nineteenth century artist, known for her beautiful children’s illustrations and designs, the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people.

CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist

wildWild Animals of the North illustrated and written by Dieter Braun

A gorgeously illustrated study of the Northern Hemisphere’s wild animals, this biologically accurate encyclopaedia of beasts will enthral all. Through Dieter Braun’s beautiful and colourful illustrations, readers will be dazzled by the polar bears and orcas of the Arctic, Europe’s red foxes and swans, the pumas of North America, Asian pandas and many more!

These beautiful, expressive illustrations of animals capture their motion and personality in a way that is truly remarkable for such stylized images. The 3D effect of the stunning geometric line and use of colour makes them truly live and breathe on the page. The colour palette is subtle but beautifully suited to both habitats and the animals we meet there. The variety of layout makes every page turn a surprise and continually engages the reader’s interest. The interplay of text and images make this a really enjoyable and memorable learning experience.

tidyTIDY illustrated and written by Emily Gravett

Brand new from the critically acclaimed Emily Gravett, comes TIDY, a hilarious, vibrantly illustrated, rhyming tale about a badger called Pete, who is slightly over-zealous in his desire for complete cleanliness. Pete likes things neat, but unfortunately his forest home is not the tidiest of dwellings. As the weather, the Seasons, not to mention the other animals, hamper Pete’s dreams of a uncluttered existence, the crafty badger hatches a plan that is bound to keep everything permanently spick and span. But when Pete goes too far and concretes over his woodland home, he begins to realise that maybe his actions have caused more harm than good. And maybe a bit of mess now and again is actually rather a positive thing?

This charming and witty story perfectly delivers its message of environmental preservation with subtlety and humour. The depth of quality in its production is outstanding; the multi-layered hole on the front cover, the double sided dust jacket and the wonderful flaps draw in and delight the reader. Lush foliage and vibrant forest colours shine through, as the palette subtly changes to reflect the seasons. Full of humour and skilful comic visual details, such as the wonderful badger-like decoration on the vacuum cleaner, this is a book to delight readers of all ages.

wolvesThe Wolves of Currumpaw illustrated and written by William Grill

1892, New Mexico. A wolfpack roams the Currumpaw Valley, preying on the cattle and evading capture by the exasperated local ranchmen. Due to his knowledge of wolf behaviour, a British naturalist by the name of Ernest Thompson Seton is employed to hunt down their notorious pack leader, King Lobo… A moving re-telling of the first short story from Ernest Thompson Seton’s 1898 classic collection, Wild Animals I Have Known, this is the second book from CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal award winner William Grill.

The large format of this book allows the reader a great visual experience, echoing the vast plains of New Mexico. The beautifully rendered dust jacket and end papers, inspired by Navajo and Hopi designs, usher the reader into this atmospheric tale. The colour palette is chosen with utmost care and the technique of sweeping pencil strokes evoke the setting and easily allow the scale of the desert to show the insignificance of man and wolf in the whole area. This book works on many levels, from the unobtrusive typography telling the story, the tactile nature of the endpaper illustrations to the synergy between illustration style and the setting of the tale. Text and images and are all carefully placed on the page, underlining the scale of the desert; whilst the movement of the wolves is so simply expressed. Grill’s style is unique, distinctive and highly creative so much so that this books works on many levels, it is a deceptively simple medium showing a depth of richness and skill that is a testament to his skill.

harryHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone illustrated by Jim Kay, written by J.K. Rowling

When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers, which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

An outstanding illustrated version of a modern children’s classic, ready to bring a new generation of readers into the magical world of Harry Potter. These illustrations go back to the text and lure the reader away from the familiar film images. The artist has added so much more depth and detail to bring this world to life. For example there is a whole street worth of invented detail in Diagon Alley and we have intricate scientific drawings of the various species of troll that inhabit this world. There is an astonishing range of techniques and artistry shown throughout the book in a variety of full page portraits, small vignettes, chapter headings and the glorious end papers. This visualisation enhances the text and offers the reader a whole new, deeper and authentic experience.

cuddleA Great Big Cuddle illustrated by Chris Riddell and written by Michael Rosen

Two of the biggest names in children’s publishing, Michael Rosen and Chris Riddell, come together in a new poetry collection. The poems in A Great Big Cuddle fizz off the page with sound and rhythm, energy and laughter, as Rosen captures in the most remarkable way what it means to be very, very young. A child’s world with all its details and feelings – toys and games, animals and made-up creatures, likes and dislikes – is vividly conjured up in the most memorable, playful language, and Chris Riddell has produced some his most extraordinary pictures ever to bring this world to life. It’s a book that will be enjoyed by the oldest grown-up and the youngest child – and a future classic.

This is an unusual size for a picture book, but the layout of each poem works to give the reader a different experience every time a page is turned. The poems requiring movement have that in abundance in both typography and in the illustration. The simple primary colour palette makes the illustrations bold and engaging. There is a creative use of the vignettes that really adds to the textual experience. The illustrations underline the nonsense of the poetry making this a very satisfying and distinctive experience. Two people at the height of their powers combining to make a great book for very young people.

journeyThe Journey illustrated and written by Francesca Sanna

What is it like to have to leave everything behind and travel many miles to somewhere unfamiliar and strange? A mother and her two children set out on such a journey; one filled with fear of the unknown, but also great hope. Based on her interactions with people forced to seek a new home, and told from the perspective of a young child, The Journey is full of significance for our time.

These timely and distinctive illustrations offer a deep and emotional introduction to the losses and experiences that immigrant families face. A strong sense of movement is achieved throughout, as the family journey onwards in a quest for safety. The menace of war and evil are particularly well depicted through the imposing black sea representing the approaching war, and dense black shadows that bring a real and deep darkness with them. A carefully chosen palette of colours, tones and techniques are used to great effect in the depiction of both physical and emotional landscapes. Impressive use of the endpapers is made, as they respectively introduce and then continue the story. An unusual typeface is used for the sparse, yet moving text, resembling handwriting this poignantly emphasises the personal nature of the story. This book will have a powerful impact on readers of all ages.

marvelsThe Marvels illustrated and written by Brian Selznick

In The Marvels, Selznick weaves together two seemingly unrelated stories- one in words, the other in pictures -with spellbinding synergy. The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle’s puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries. Filled with mystery, vibrant characters, surprise twists, and heart-rending beauty, and featuring Selznick’s most arresting art to date, The Marvels is a moving tribute to the power of story.

This visually stunning book invites exploration from the first page. The whole production is a work of art that is outstanding on every level. Detailed cross-hatched illustrations carry the reader’s focus to the heart of characters, action and drama through a near-cinematic zooming in and panning out. There is a strong use of space and a real awareness of how different forms. come together to produce a story, creating an innovative and fully immersive experience.

tribeThere is a Tribe of Kids illustrated and written by Lane Smith

Lane Smith takes us on a colourful adventure through the natural world, following a child as he weaves through the jungle, dives under the ocean and soars into the sky. Along the way he makes friends and causes mischief with a dazzling array of creatures both large and small – but can he find a tribe of his own? Full of warmth and humour, There Is a Tribe of Kids is a playful exploration of wild childhood – of curiosity, discovery and what it means to belong.

There’s a wonderful sense of movement, animation and life in the illustrations to this book. A palette comprised of muted earth tones emphasises and extends the natural tone and themes of the book. Use of sequencing is controlled and there is an impressive synergy and balance between text and illustration. There is a warmth and wit in the play and imagination shown in the final spreads showing how the children are influenced and inspired by the world around them suggesting ideas around the way nurture and environmental factors can be formative in growth.

You can borrow these books from our libraries, so check out our catalogue to see if it’s in a library near you: http://bit.ly/1zSCJlf

CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 winner announced next week, have you read the shortlist?

CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist available to borrow from Wokingham Borough Libraries

The Carnegie Medal, awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children, was established in 1936 in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). A self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA, Carnegie’s experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that “If ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries.” He set up more than 2,800 libraries across the English speaking world and by the time of his death over half the library authorities in Great Britain had Carnegie libraries.

CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist

sputnikSputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Prez doesn’t talk anymore. He didn’t talk in The Temporary, where he was taken when his granddad started behaving oddly. He didn’t talk when The Family came, to take him to live on their farm in Dumfries for the summer. He is very good at listening though, which proves useful when a small, extremely talkative, mind-reading alien named Sputnik, arrives on The Family’s doorstep. Sputnik is on a mission; he needs Prez to show him ten reasons why Earth is worth saving, otherwise it will be shrunk to the size of a golf ball. Prez has no idea what to do – he can’t ask for help, because he doesn’t talk, and The Family also seem to think Sputnik is a small, yappy dog. Time is running out – how can Prez show Sputnik all the Wond

Wonderfully witty and wise this has the author’s trademark perfect blend of humour and pathos with realistic human characters existing within a tightly plotted, fantastically inventive and original adventure. There is a very satisfying complexity of ideas which make the reader think as well as laugh. This writer is particularly skilled at using fantasy to say something about the world we live in and how we relate to each other and it is the relationships which really matter. That between Prez and his grandfather with dementia is particularly well drawn and the ending of this uplifting story is both touching and credible.

boneThe Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

Born in a refugee camp, all Subhi knows of the world is that he’s at least 19 fence diamonds high, the nice Jackets never stay long, and at night he dreams that the sea finds its way to his tent, bringing with it unusual treasures. And one day it brings him Jimmie. Carrying a notebook that she’s unable to read and wearing a sparrow made out of bone around her neck – both talismans of her family’s past and the mother she’s lost – Jimmie strikes up an unlikely friendship with Subhi beyond the fence. As he reads aloud the tale of how Jimmie’s family came to be, both children discover the importance of their own stories in writing their futures.

Simply and innocently told from a child’s perspective this important and timely novel brings to life the risks people are willing to take to make their voices heard and the resilience of the human spirit. Subhi’s hauntingly evocative descriptions of life in the camp deftly capture the claustrophobic feel of the camp, whilst his vivid imagination and love of stories provide a much needed escape from the awful reality of his situation. The plot is skilfully executed, blending together the two different narratives of the main characters, allowing both to influence the other’s life and propelling the action forward. Finally, the credible and consistent ending offers hope, but no easy happy ending.

smellThe Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

Alaska, 1970: growing up here is like nowhere else. Ruth wants to be remembered by her grieving mother. Dora wishes she was invisible to her abusive father. Alyce is staying at home to please her parents. Hank is running away for the sake of his brothers. Four very different lives are about to become entangled in these intertwining stories of love, tragedy, wild luck, and salvation. Because if we don’t save each other, how can we begin to save ourselves?

Not a word is wasted in these lyrical stories of family, romance, tragedy good fortune and redemption. Short chapters with alternating points of view immerse readers into multiple storylines where there is a tonal balance between a sense of urgency and great reflection. The four protagonists are subtly and so convincingly developed it is difficult to imagine they are not real people. The author has succeeded in creating a thoroughly convincing world.

starsThe Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard

Alice is 15, with hair as red as fire and skin as pale as bone, but something inside her is broken. She has a brain injury, the result of an assault. Manny was once a child soldier. He is 16 and has lost all his family. Alice is reaching out to express herself through her beautiful-broken words, and Manny is running to escape his past. When Manny and Alice meet they find the beginnings of love and healing. The Stars at Oktober Bend is a powerful story about the strength of the human spirit.

Told in their distinctive and memorable narrative voices this is a wonderfully evocative tale of two damaged young people who find redemption and hope in their love for each other. The author’s use of poetry as a way for Alice to convey her innermost feelings and to reach out to the world around her, works extraordinarily well and the poems are simple and beautiful. The lyrical, outstanding writing throughout develops strong characterization and a vivid sense of place, as their tragic stories gradually unfold; building to a dramatic climax that brings each strand of the novel together in an intensely satisfying way.

railRailhead by Philip Reeve

Zen Starling is a petty thief. A nobody. Destined to ride the rails to nowhere special. That is until Raven, a strange and mysterious figure, enlists him for one small job. One small job that might just bring everything in this galaxy, and the next, to the end of the line.

The novel is difficult to characterise being a mix of sci-fi, fantasy, romance and thriller. A whole world is built through very imaginative use of language which underpins a complex but well-constructed plot. A plot that is kept light, inventive and original, engaging and fast-paced throughout with clever use of humour and wit. The characters are easy to relate to; due to the realistic and interesting way they are portrayed, even minor characters are rounded and engaging. Through exploration of some of the non-human characters there is an exploration of what it is to be human whilst also exploring quite harsh criticisms of society in subtle ways. This is an engaging, emotionally satisfying read, using exciting language to draw the reader in.

beckBeck by Mal Peet with Meg Rosoff

The final novel from Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet is a sweeping coming-of-age adventure, with all the characteristic beauty and strength of his prose. Born from a one-off liaison between a poor young woman and an African soldier in the 1900s, Beck is soon orphaned and sent to the Catholic Brothers in Canada. Shipped to work on a farm, his escape takes him across the continent in a search for belonging. Enduring abuse and many hardships, Beck has times of comfort and encouragement, eventually finding Grace, the woman with whom he can finally forge his life and shape his destiny as a young man. A picaresque novel set during the Depression as experienced by a young black man, it depicts great pain but has an uplifting and inspiring conclusion.

Gripping from start to finish, the writing in Beck is flawless, successfully balancing graphic cruelty with a gradual softening of tone as both the lead character and the story develop and grow. Beck himself, is witty, colloquial and utterly believable and heads up a cast of richly drawn, well rounded characters. This is a story that stays with readers reminding them that in spite of discrimination and hardship, there can be love, goodness and hope in the world.

saltSalt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

It’s early 1945 and a group of people trek across Germany, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories. They converge in a desperate attempt to board an overcrowded ship in a Baltic port, which is tragically then sunk by a torpedo. Based on a true story, the incident was the worst maritime tragedy ever.

Mood is perfectly handled throughout this novel as we follow the characters, first through feelings of weariness as the journey towards the port, to anxiety at the prospect of not gaining a ticket to board, to sickness and overcrowding once on-board and, finally, to both desperation and hope in a traumatic conclusion. The structure of the book works exceptionally well as short chapters tell the interwoven stories and slowly reveal the secrets of our four distinctive narrators. Engaging, interesting and, at times, terrifying characters abound as historical events are brought to life through their collective stories. This is a haunting and beautiful novel that breathes life into one of World War II’s most terrifying and little-known tragedies.

wolfWolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Annabelle has lived in Wolf Hollow all her life: a quiet place, still scarred by two world wars. But when cruel, manipulative Betty arrives in town, Annabelle’s calm world is shattered, along with everything she’s ever known about right and wrong. When Betty accuses gentle loner Toby – a traumatised ex-soldier – of a terrible act, Annabelle knows he’s innocent. Then Betty disappears . . . Now Annabelle must protect Toby from the spiraling accusations and hysteria, until she can prove to Wolf Hollow what really happened to Betty.

The language used in this novel exquisitely conveys the atmosphere of the 1940s American rural setting. The naivety of the voice vividly conveys the mores of the time and the young narrator. Every character is believable, well developed and fully rounded, combined with well observed small domestic details. This is a truthful exploration of a small-time attitudes and injustice without being overly sentimental, and exploring questions of morality within the confines of the story. In places, it has shades of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, making it a rich and satisfying read.

You can borrow these books from our libraries, so check out our catalogue to see if it’s in a library near you: http://bit.ly/1zSCJlf

Let’s Explore Outdoor Booklist for National Bookstart Week

To celebrate National Bookstart Week we have put this Let’s Explore Outdoors Booklist together for the under 5’s.

Look and Say What You See in the Countryside by Sebastian Braun

From summer in the meadow to autumn in the forest and lots of environments in between, this lookandsay book for little ones is a great way to start learning about nature and wildlife. What will you see down on the farm? Can you find the robin in the snow?

K9781406361513iki and Bobo’s Sunny Day by Yasmeen Ismail

Kiki can’t wait to get to the beach and swim in the sea. But why isn’t Bobo as excited for their sunny day out? Join Kiki and Bobo on a day at the seaside in this sweet and creative lift-the-flap book.

A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins9781406376548

Can you flap your wings, stand on one leg like a flamingo or waddle like a penguin? Your child will love joining in with this story full of action rhymes, noises and bright colours!  ,

9780552573108Shark in the Park on a Windy Day by Nick Sharratt

It’s a wild windy day and Timothy Pope is back in the park, looking through his telescope after the classic Shark in the Park… What can he see in the blustery park? Could it really be a shark?

Teddy Picnic by Georgie Birkettteddy picnic.png

Join in the fun with the teddies as they have a summer adventure. This book has lots of lovely gentle rhymes, perfect for very little ones.  Teddies walk, teddies skip, teddies on their way. Teddies on a picnic trip, Hip! Hip! Hip! Hooray! Join the teddies on their big day out!

All of the recommended titles can be borrowed from Wokingham Borough Libraries https://wokingham.spydus.co.uk  or visit www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries

Bookstart Week Booklist

To celebrate National Bookstart Week we have put this Let’s Explore Outdoors Booklist together for the under 5’s.

Look and Say What You See in the Countryside by Sebastian Braun

From summer in the meadow to autumn in the forest and lots of environments in between, this lookandsay book for little ones is a great way to start learning about nature and wildlife. What will you see down on the farm? Can you find the robin in the snow?

K9781406361513iki and Bobo’s Sunny Day by Yasmeen Ismail

Kiki can’t wait to get to the beach and swim in the sea. But why isn’t Bobo as excited for their sunny day out? Join Kiki and Bobo on a day at the seaside in this sweet and creative lift-the-flap book.

A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins9781406376548

Can you flap your wings, stand on one leg like a flamingo or waddle like a penguin? Your child will love joining in with this story full of action rhymes, noises and bright colours!  ,

9780552573108Shark in the Park on a Windy Day by Nick Sharratt

It’s a wild windy day and Timothy Pope is back in the park, looking through his telescope after the classic Shark in the Park… What can he see in the blustery park? Could it really be a shark?

Teddy Picnic by Georgie Birkettteddy picnic.png

Join in the fun with the teddies as they have a summer adventure. This book has lots of lovely gentle rhymes, perfect for very little ones.  Teddies walk, teddies skip, teddies on their way. Teddies on a picnic trip, Hip! Hip! Hip! Hooray! Join the teddies on their big day out!

All of the recommended titles can be borrowed from Wokingham Borough Libraries https://wokingham.spydus.co.uk  or visit www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries

 

Star Wars Reads Day on Thursday May 4

star wars woodley photo2In all Wokingham Borough Libraries, you can pick up a Star Wars Activity pack courtesy of  DK Books along with some brilliant star wars books.

 

Why not try out some of these Star Wars Books…

star wars book 1.pngR2-D2 the brave. Han Solo’s adventures

Join Han Solo, Chewbacca, Luke, Princess Leia, R2-D2, C-3PO, Darth Vader and the rest of the Lego Star Wars gang in this 2-in-1 Flip Over Reader! It features stories about two very different rebel heroes.

sgtar wars graphics

Star Wars Graphics by Virgile Iscan

Unravel the secrets of the Star Wars universe with this illustrated infographic book. The book includes all you need to know about the ships, characters, locations, and movie moments from the first six films in the franchise.

The amazing book of Star Wars by Elizabeth Dowsett

star wars book 3Children new to ‘Star Wars‘ will love discovering more about the galaxy far, far away in this early years reference book with cool fold-out papers. Large pictures and short, simple sentences bring ‘Star Wars‘ to life for children aged 5 and beyond. Favourite characters and fascinating vehicles are explored in a fun way, including Yoda, Luke Skywalker, the clone troopers, the Millennium Falcon, Darth Vader, R2-D2, and Wookies.

star wars 4Before the awakening by Greg Rucka

Meet a new generation of heroes in this anthology of linked stories featuring key characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Drop into any of our branches http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries/find-and-join-a-library/ to pick up an Activity Pack for your little Padawan!

These books are available to borrow from Wokingham Borough Libraries, visit our catalogue at http://bit.ly/2mthqrM

 

Bath, Book and Bed Recommended Reads

Ensuring stories are part of your baby or child’s bedtime routine will soothe them and is an effective way to help get your child to sleep at night.

Collect BookTrust’s new Bath, Book, Book Bed booklet with tips and advice from TV parenting guru Jo Frost from any of our libraries.

dozy bearDozy bear and the secret of sleep by Katie Blackburn and Richard Smythe.

Now are you all snuggled up and ready for bed? I’m going to tell you a story about the secret of sleep, and a little bear called Dozy who wanted to sleep, but didn’t know how. The book combines proven sleep and relaxation techniques with Richard Smythe’s gorgeous, dreamlike illustrations, and is perfect for any parent who wants to turn naptime or bedtime into a calming experience.

Beep Beep Beep Time For Sleep! by Claire Freedman and Richard Smythebeep-beep-beep-time-for-sleep

This bedtime book with a difference will appeal to digger-mad little ones as it follows the busy vehicles working on a motorway – at least, that is, until night falls and they can get some much-needed rest.

goodnight-everyoneGoodnight Everyone by Chris Haughton

The visuals are the main appeal of this beautiful bedtime book, which explodes with a fantastic pink-and-purple starry colour palette, as well as having a simple and lulling bedtime story that will help little ones yawn along.

There’s a walrus in my bed! by  Ciara Flood.9781783444922

Tonight, for the first time, Flynn is going to sleep in a proper big boy bed. But when bedtime rolls around, he just can’t get to sleep. The reason? There’s a walrus in his bed, of course! Mum and Dad play along while Flynn gives ‘Walrus’ blankets, snacks, milk and a top-secret trip to the toilet, but it doesn’t look like anyone is getting much sleep tonight.

Bedtime with Ted by Sophy Hennbedtime-with-ted

Little ones will love following the story of Ted’s night-time routine – from splashing in the bath with penguins to having some milk with a tiger – in this colourful board book with flaps.

dave-s-caveDave’s Cave by Frann Preston-Gannon

Dave the caveman has a great cave… but could he find an even better one? This amusing picture book conveys the simple message that there’s no place like home in a witty new way.

a-great-big-cuddle-front-coverA Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen and Chris Riddell

Beautifully illustrated poems for young children.  The poems fizz off the page with sound and rhythm, energy and laughter, as Rosen captures in the most remarkable way what it means to be very, very young.

Goodnight World by Debi Gliorigoodnight world

Goodnight ice and goodnight snow, Goodnight lights above, aglow. Join in the list of important things to say goodnight to – ships, animals, plants, toys and, of course, the sun – in this illustrated rhyming text, perfect for bedtime.

These books are available to borrow from Wokingham Borough Libraries, visit our catalogue at http://bit.ly/2mthqrM

Shakespeare Week

Shakespeare Activity Session for Children on Saturday March 25  from 11am to 11.30am

At Lower Earley Library, Maiden Erlegh Library, Wokingham Library and Woodley Library, Just drop in and try some fun Shakespeare themed activities for children aged 7 and over.

Shakespeare Books to try for children…..

shakespearemWhat’s so special about Shakespeare? by Michael Rosen

Ideal for browsing, this book is divided into clear sections. It includes studies of four of Shakespeare’s plays, intriguing facts and information about Shakespeare himself and the world at this time, accompanied by a useful time line.

 

shakespeareqThe queen loved to see Shakespeare’s bottom! : the fact or fiction behind Shakespeare by  Kay Barnham.

This title explores popular myths and legends about the world’s greatest playwright in a tongue-in-cheek, humorous way that kids will find unputdownable. Alongside features such as ‘the Bard’s best bits’, in which we learn that Shakespearean quotes and phrases are still part of our everyday language, statements such as ‘the Queen loved Shakespeare’s bottom’ or ‘Shakespeare burned down the Globe Theatre’ are explored and given a ‘truth’ or ‘busted’ evaluation.

boyglobeThe boy and the globe by Tony Bradman

Young Toby lives on his wits. An orphan and a street-child, he navigates Elizabethan London like an old hand. Meanwhile the city has lost its charm for Will Shakespeare, the playwright from Stratford. Beset by troubles personal and professional and suffering from writer’s block, he has grown to hate the drama business. But when Toby stumbles into the Globe, the boy’s energy and enthusiasm remind Will of the magic that first inspired his love of the theatre, and the two set to work on a new entertainment for ‘Twelfth Night’.

toweTo wee or not to wee! by Pamela Butchart

Hamlet could NEVER make his mind up about ANYTHING. And one time he actually went to school in just his pants and got sent home because he couldn’t decide what to wear.  When Izzy is asked to tell her friends some HILARIOUS and SCARY stories she knows exactly where to look: Shakespeare, the king of SUPER dramatic stuff.

After learning about Macbeth (a STRONG solider who ate four bowls of porridge and twenty pieces of toast every morning) her friends want more. So Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo and Juliet all get the Izzy treatment. There’s blood and guts, ghosty stuff, and plenty of people wandering around in their nighties. The perfect introduction to the Bard!

shakespearebShakespeare’s tales retold by Beverley Birch and illustrated by Stephen Lambert.

Tragedy, comedy and history are all here for you in this wonderful adaptation of four Shakespeare plays. Something for everyone!  ‘The barge she sat in like a burnished throne, burned on the water: the poop was beaten gold, purple the sails…’  A lyrical re-telling of Shakespeare’s plays; Hamlet, The Tempest, Anthony and Cleopatra and Othello by respected children’s author Beverley Birch, partnered with sublime illustrations by Stephen Lambert. A perfect introduction to these landmark plays.

You can borrow these books from our libraries, so check out our catalogue to see if it’s in a library near you: http://bit.ly/1zSCJlf

Spooky Tales for Halloween for Adults

It’s that time of year when we all like to read a spooky tale or two so please enjoy our list of recommended titles for adults, which include classic tales of hauntings to modern thrillers.

The Winter Ghosts  by Kate Mossewinter-ghosts

A haunting ghost story from the French mountains. The Great War took much more than lives. It robbed a generation of friends, lovers and futures. In Freddie Watson’s case, it took his beloved brother and, at times, his peace of mind. Unable to cope with his grief, Freddie has spent much of the time since in a sanatorium. In the winter of 1928, still seeking resolution, Freddie is travelling through the French Pyrenees – another region that has seen too much bloodshed over the years. During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Shaken, he stumbles into the woods, emerging by a tiny village. There he meets Fabrissa, a beautiful local woman, also mourning a lost generation. By turns thrilling, poignant and haunting, this is a story of two lives touched by war and transformed by courage.

The House on Cold Hill by Peter Jamesthe-house-on-cold-hill

Moving from the heart of Brighton and Hove to the Sussex countryside is a big undertaking for born townies, Ollie Harcourt, his wife, Caro, and their twelve-year-old daughter, Jade. But when they view Cold Hill House – a huge, dilapidated, Georgian mansion – they are filled with excitement. Despite the financial strain of the move, Ollie has dreamed of living in the country since he was a child. Caro is less certain, and Jade is grumpy about being removed from all her friends. But within days of moving in, it soon becomes apparent that the Harcourt family aren’t the only residents in the house.

Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskellgothic-tales

Elizabeth Gaskell’s chilling Gothic tales blend the real and the supernatural to eerie, compelling effect. ‘Disappearances’, inspired by local legends of mysterious vanishings, mixes gossip and fact; ‘Lois the Witch’, a novella based on an account of the Salem witch hunts, shows how sexual desire and jealousy lead to hysteria; while in ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’ a mysterious child roams the freezing Northumberland moors. Whether darkly surreal, such as ‘The Poor Clare’, where an evil doppelgnger is formed by a woman’s bitter curse, or mischievous like ‘Curious, if True’, a playful reworking of fairy tales, all the stories in this volume form a stark contrast to the social realism of Gaskell’s novels, revealing a darker and more unsettling style of writing.

The Travelling Bag and other Ghostly Stories by Susan Hillsusan-hill

From the foggy streets of Victorian London to the eerie perfection of 1950s suburbia, the everyday is invaded by the evil otherworldly in this unforgettable collection of new ghost stories from the author of The Woman in Black. In the title story, on a murky evening in a warmly lit club off St James, a bishop listens closely as a paranormal detective recounts his most memorable case, one whose horrifying denouement took place in that very building. . This is Susan Hill at her best, telling characteristically flesh-creeping and startling tales of thwarted ambition, terrifying revenge and supernatural stirrings that will leave readers wide-awake long into the night.

The Fire Child by S.K. Tremaynethe-fire-child

When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and a stepson, Jamie. But then Jamie makes a chilling prediction, and Rachel’s perfect life begins to unravel. Haunted by the spectre of David’s late wife – Jamie’s real mother – Rachel finds herself drawn to the deserted mines where she plunged to her death, three years prior. As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie’s behaviour? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife’s untimely suicide? With December looming, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie’s words: ‘You will die at Christmas’.

The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poeusher

This selection of Poe’s critical writings, short fiction and poetry demonstrates an intense interest in aesthetic issues and the astonishing power and imagination with which he probed the darkest corners of the human mind.

 

Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfieldbellman

As a boy, William Bellman commits one small cruel act that appears to have unforseen and terrible consequences. The killing of a rook with his catapult is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games. And by the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, he seems indeed, to be a man blessed by fortune. Until tragedy strikes, and the stranger in black comes, and William Bellman starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed. Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, he enters into a bargain.

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen Kingstephen-king

A generous collection of thrilling stories – some brand new, some published in magazines, all entirely brilliant and assembled in one book for the first time – with a wonderful bonus: in addition to his introduction to the whole collection, King gives readers a fascinating introduction to each story with autobiographical comments on their origins and motivation…  In The Bazaar of Bad Dreams there is a curio for every reader – a man who keeps reliving the same life, repeating the same mistakes over and over again, a columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries, a poignant tale about the end of the human race and a firework competition between neighbours which reaches an explosive climax. There are also intriguing connections between the stories; themes of morality, guilt, the afterlife and what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past.

Dark Matter by Michelle Paverdark-matter

‘What is it? What does it want? Why is it angry with me?’ January 1937. Clouds of war are gathering over a fogbound London. Twenty-eight year old Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life. So when he’s offered the chance to be the wireless operator on an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway: five men and eight huskies, crossing the Barents Sea by the light of the midnight sun. At last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year. Gruhuken. But the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. He faces a stark choice. Stay or go. Soon he will see the last of the sun, as the polar night engulfs the camp in months of darkness. Soon he will reach the point of no return – when the sea will freeze, making escape impossible. And Gruhuken is not uninhabited. Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark.

Slade House by David Mitchellslade-house

Turn down Slade Alley – narrow, dank and easy to miss, even when you’re looking for it. Find the small black iron door set into the right-hand wall. No handle, no keyhole, but at your touch it swings open. Enter the sunlit garden of an old house that doesn’t quite make sense; too grand for the shabby neighbourhood, too large for the space it occupies. A stranger greets you by name and invites you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. This unnerving, taut and intricately-woven tale by one of our most original and bewitching writers begins in 1979 and reaches its turbulent conclusion around Hallowe’en this year. Because every nine years, on the last Saturday of October, a ‘guest’ is summoned to Slade House. But why have they been chosen, by whom and for what purpose?

Recommended Books for Black History Month for Teens

Nought and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Callum is a Nought, an inferior white citizen in a society controlled by the black Crosses. Sephy is a Cross, and the daughter of one of the most powerful, ruthless men in the country. In their hostile, violent world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. But when Sephy and Callum’s childhood friendship grows into love, they’re determined to find a way to be together. And then the bomb explodes

Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman

Set in 18th-century Devon, this is the story of Caleb, the son of a poor puppeteer. When his father is wrongfully accused of theft and sentenced to transportation, Caleb is left all alone in the world. As a mixed race boy living in an age of slavery, he has always been treated with fear and mistrust. Without his father he is more vulnerable than ever, and is forced to seek out his estranged aunt in Devon. When a body washes up on a nearby beach, a shattered Caleb finds himself involved in a dastardly plot: a plot that places him and his newfound family in mortal danger.

Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin

Aaron grows up in the Coram Foundling Hospital, having been saved from death by a boy called Meshak. Meshak, Aaron and Toby, the child of an African slave, all have a narrow escape as Meshak’s evil father sets sail to sell them into slavery.

Diamond Boy by Michael Williams

“Diamonds for everyone’. That’s what 15-year-old Patson Moyo hears when his family arrives in the Marange diamond fields, leaving his previous life, school and friends behind with hopes for a better life. Soon Patson is working in the mines along with four friends in the Gwejana Syndicate – teen diamond miners, secretly pooling their profits and hoping to find the priceless stone that will change everything. But when the government’s soldiers come to Marange, Patson’s world is shattered.

My Name’s Not Friday by Jon Walter

Samuel always strives to be good. Living in an orphanage, he prays daily, studies hard and does all he can to keep his wild younger brother, Joshua, out of trouble. Then one day Joshua does something so terrible that Samuel knows the punishment will be excruciating, and decides to take the blame upon himself. Suddenly everything he has ever known is stripped away as he is re-named ‘Friday’ and sold into slavery in the deep-south during the Civil War. Thrown into a surreal situation where he is owned by a boy his own age, and where his education is seen as a threat, Samuel has to learn how to protect himself as the world around him crumbles. Two things keep him sane; his faith and his determination to get back to his brother.

All of the recommended titles can be borrowed from Wokingham Borough Libraries

https://wokingham.spydus.co.uk or visit www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries