Friday 29 January 2016

ReaditDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 29th January 2016 - "Tamsin and the Deep" by Neill Cameron and Kate Brown (David Fickling Books)

I have a feeling that once again this year, the awesome "The Phoenix Presents" collections are going to be regulars in our Book of the Week slot...
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Thursday 28 January 2016

Our first Chapter Book Roundup for 2016 - Here's January's selection of gorgeous Chapter books to tempt and tantalise!

Welcome back to our Chapter Book Roundups and in 2016 we'll be mixing these articles with some proper chapter book reviews. As Charlotte gets older, we're tending to cover more and more 'proper books' (as she calls them) so look out for our full reviews of titles coming soon.

In the meantime let's take a look at what's been on our reading piles over the last month, starting with a real classic that I've always (secretly) hoped Charlotte would one day read under her own steam.

Frances Hodgson Burnett's "The Secret Garden" is available in a gorgeous leatherbound edition from Barnes and Noble publishing. This new version, edited by Charles Robinson, tells the story of Mary Lennox who is sent away to live with her mysterious and quite grumpy old uncle on a sprawling estate. One day Mary finds a walled off garden and wonders what's behind the tangle of ivy and thorns. Befriending a local boy, the two explore the ruins of the garden together, vowing to restore it to its original beauty - and that's just the start of Mary's adventures!

I wondered if Charlotte would take to this, as it's obviously a lot different to the sort of chapter books she usually likes to read, but she took to it like a duck to water - testament to how gripping the story is and why it's deservedly such a well loved classic that many modern authors list it as one of their favourite books.

"The Secret Garden" is available from Barnes and Noble Publishing, released on 21st October 2015.

Something a little more regal now...

Aby King's awesome new book series has a poochy superstar as its main character, the mischievous royal dog Lupo is now the star of "Lupo and the Thief at the Tower of London" by Aby King with illustrations by Sam Usher.

Lupo may be a bit of a scamp but when there's a right royal mystery afoot, and the crown jewels are in danger of being nabbed, Lupo and his best friend Kitty can't wait to solve the mystery.

Perfect for younger readers who love exciting mystery stories (and also can't resist a waggy dog tail), "Lupo and the Thief at the Tower of London" is released on 14th January 2016, the third book in the series published by Hodder Children's Books and joining "Lupo and the Curse at Buckingham Palace" and "Lupo and the Secret of Windsor Castle" which were published in 2015.

Time for another sequel, and this time with a distinctly darker tinge...

Tatum Flynn's awesome series "The D'Evil Diaries" continues with book two, "Hell's Belles" featuring the story of Jinx who is joined by a new best friend, Tommy - who erroneously ends up on the wrong side of the mortal coil after trying to feed her evil stepfather to a circus lion (hey, it's an easy mistake to make, right?)

Jinx and Tommy might have taken on more than they bargained with as their adventures in the underworld unfold. A perfect middle grade book for children who love books by Eoin Colfer and Rick Riordan and are on the hunt for something exciting, new and original to add to their reading stacks.

"The D'Evil Diaries Book 2 - Hell's Bells" is released on 14th January 2016.

More? You want more. Oh you lot, you're insatiable. So what else is on our chapter book stack this month....?

How about a preview of an upcoming book that's likely to make you sigh "Awwww!" and "Dawwww!" an awful lot.

"Poppy's Place - The Home Made Cat Cafe" by Katrina Charman hits on the trend of 'Cat Cafes' - a concept that practically blew Charlotte's mind. "You mean there are cafes in Japan where you can go and cuddle kittens? WHY DON'T WE HAVE THOSE HERE?"

It's a good question and we were given the chance to read the first couple of chapters of Katrina's new book which Charlotte practically hugged the print off. You'll have to wait until 10th March for the full version but if the preview pages are anything to go by, with awesome illustrations by Lucy Truman to compliment Katrina's engaging story - you're going to be in moggy heaven in the spring.

A totally adorable tale in the making, we can't wait to read a proper copy. Coming in March from Stripes Publishing.

Hmmm I think we can squeeze a couple more books in, what do you think?

The "SuperFairies" stories from Janey Louise Jones and Jennie Poh have just been released by Curious Fox, perfect for your dainty little fairies at home who are beginning to demand a bit more substance from their stories. Perfectly formatted for younger readers able to handle more text-heavy stuff (such as Charlotte), they're a sheer delight as we see the fairies of Peaseblossom Wood take care of animals, and keep them out of danger.

Shown is "Basil the Bear Cub" who is a rather mischievous little fellow who needs some help and guidance, and to be steered away from danger by the Superfairies when he plays a little too close to the river one day.

"Dancer the Wild Pony" is also now available, the story of Dancer - a skittish pony preparing for the Summer Fair. Don't run away Dancer!

It's a great little range, voraciously consumed by Charlotte in one delicious sitting so watch out for them, available now from Curious Fox.

We feel like spoiling you this month as it's our first chapter book roundup of the year, so more please!

A boy detective with an eye for spooky goings on, meet Jonny Jakes - star of Malcolm Judge's new children's book "The Hamburgers of Doom".

Young Jonny is as sharp as a tack and in this hugely funny story tinged with mystery and suspense, Jonny wonders why his teachers are acting so suspiciously under the direction of the new school head teacher. Dishing out free sweets to children? Stuffing them full of delicious hamburgers? Jonny smells a rat (hopefully not in the burgers) and thus uncovers a huge school-wide conspiracy that threatens to drag everyone in. What the hootin' heck is going on?

Fans of Frank Cotterell Boyce and Tom McLaughlin are sure to love Malcolm Judge's humorous take on schoo life as our subversive hero digs in and solves this most peculiar case. "Jonny Jakes Investigates: The Hamburgers of Doom" is out now from Curious Fox.

Last one, but it's a real doozy...!

Really excited about this one because I've really hoped a children's author would come up with a dazzling and immersive time travel tale like this. Bea Davenport's stunning "The Serpent House" is the story of Annie, a servant girl at the spooky Hexer Hall.

By accident, Annie discovers that she can travel back in time, back to when the house was a leper hospital run by a nefarious doctor. Annie isn't keen on her new 'gift' but Lady Hexer, her mistress, demands that Annie makes the journey back in time again to steal the doctor's journal, the key to unlocking alchemical secrets that could truly change the world.

Right from the start the book is hugely atmospheric, deliciously dark and involving. It's probably best suited to children slightly older than Charlotte (9 upwards) but it's intelligently written and truly stunning stuff.

"The Serpent House" is out now from Curious Fox Books.

Phew, that's about all we've got time for - tune in next month, and we'll bring you even more gorgeous chapter books in February!

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Wednesday 27 January 2016

Nelly and Nora - The Windy Way Home by Emma Hogan (Walker Books)

Nelly and Nora are the busy and delightful little stars of their own CBeebies TV show, chronicling the adventures of two little girls with an eye for adventure!

Nelly and Nora are exploring on the beach on a very blustery day (and we rather loved the fact that the beach in this book reminded us of one of our favourite beaches in Pembrokeshire!)

It's actually so windy that both Nelly and Nora struggle to keep their feet. How on earth are they going to get home in time for tea.

The two girls stop to feed some inquisitive sheep, and that's where they get a great idea to stop themselves being literally blown away by the wind.

Watching the sheep follow them through the field, Nelly and Nora realise that if they huddle close and stick together, they'll be able to make their way through the breezy conditions with no problem at all!

It's a delightful and whimsical little story. Charlotte's a bit 'old' for CBeebies but rather enjoyed this one, and I'm sure fans of the show are going to love this story, based on one of the most popular episodes.

Charlotte's favourite bit: Feeding hungry sheep!

Daddy's favourite bit: A charming and whimsical little book, perfect for fans of the CBeebies show.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Walker Books)

"Nelly and Nora - The Windy Way Home"

Written and Illustrated by Emma Hogan

Published by Walker Books

Based on the CBeebies show by Geronimo Productions

Release date: 1st February 2016
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Tuesday 26 January 2016

Megalopolis and the Visitor From Outer Space by Clea Dieudonne (Thames and Hudson)

Here's a book with a difference, that will test your observational powers to the max! Clea Diedonne's fabulous "Megalopolis and the Visitor From Outer Space" stars out an astonishing adventure by a diminutive little alien, popping to earth for a visit in his nifty little flying saucer. It's his first visit and as you can imagine, he can't wait to see all the wonders of the world as he lands just outside the huge sprawling city of Megalopolis.

This book isn't your ordinary everyday lap book, in fact to review this one we needed to streeeeeeeetch the book out on the longest landing in the house (which, conveniently meant the book stretched all the way from Charlotte's room, right out into the landing and beyond!)

This book is a whopping 3 metres long, and unfolds into one of the most detailed scenes you can imagine. If you're a fan of "Where's Wally" books or love anything featuring gloriously detailed cityscapes you are in for one heck of a treat as Megalopolis is a bustling urban paradse. The book's back cover gives you plenty of hints on what to look for in the vast scene, and you'll have fun spotting the visiting alien as he encounters all the denizens of Megalopolis itself, including a busy zoo and a joyful wedding celebration.

Like any city there are some ne'er do-wells to spot as well, so look out for burglars who sneak around looking for things to pinch.

By the end of your fantastic journey, you'll have enjoyed a real feast for the eyes. Your only problem will be finding a wall big enough to display this glorious book if you choose to use it as one huge long poster!

Charlotte's favourite bit: The big friendly looking monster who dwells in the vast underground underneath Megalopolis

Daddy's favourite bit: A gorgeous take on the observational activity book, absolutely packed with amazing little details. Quite an astonishing (and huge!) piece of work indeed!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Thames and Hudson)

"Megalopolis - And the Visitor from Outer Space"

Written and Illustrated by Clea Dieudonne

Published by Thames and Hudson

Publication Date (Hardcover): 7th March 2016
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Monday 25 January 2016

Strictly No Crocs by Heather Pindar and Susan Batori (Maverick Arts Publishing)

Nope it's not the story of three reptilian dancers eating Bruce Forsyth, it's the hilarious tale of three crocs who'll do anything to get into Zebra's party....
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Friday 22 January 2016

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 22nd January 2016 - Rabbit and Bear Book 1: Rabbit's Bad Habits by Julian Gough and Jim Field (Hodder Children's Books)

When a book features an endorsement by none other than Neil Gaiman on its cover, you know you're in for a treat. Meet Rabbit and Bear in their first adventure, and a corking book of the week to boot!
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Thursday 21 January 2016

Why thinking (and doodling) like a kid might just give your brain the creative kickstart it needs - A ReadItDaddy Editorial

There's a bit of an artistic revolution kicking off on two fronts on Twitter at the moment. The idea isn't a particularly new one, but it's becoming an obsession with us here at ReadItDaddy, and I comfortably predict that it could also become one for you too.

Daily doodle challenges are ten a penny on Twitter (our own dismal attempts to kick one off resulted in abject failure, alas but there are so many others to choose from you're never short of inspiration). Wholly embracing the philosophy that the more you draw the better you get, random subjects are suggested by Tweeters for others to join in and show off their own artistic interpretations of.

Most of the time, the doodle challenges are relatively straightforward, suggesting famous (or not so famous) pop culture icons, literary characters or even mythological creatures (@sketch_dailies and the now sadly defunct @Daily__Doodle).

Other doodle challenges encourage you to splash on a bit of colour. The hugely successful @Clr_Collective #Colour_Collective Twitter stream attracts artists great and small, pro and amateur alike to come up with truly dazzling works of art every Friday at 7.30PM GMT.

But lately we've become attracted to the more esoteric challenges. Finish the Scriblle (#3yroldscribble - see the header image for an example) has just released its 46th challenge, based on the scribble of a tiny teeny, this random stroke challenges you to 'see' something in the scribble and turn it into a fully fledged work of art.

The personal challenge for us (both Charlotte and I take part, Charlotte has just started joining in and is horribly addicted to seeing how many more "likes" her art can get compared to mine! The shape of things to come? Ack!) is to think outside the box. Sometimes the shape suggests something fairly obvious, but the real mind-bending challenge is to think up something completely 'out there' but rigidly using that stroke without blurring the original image too much so you can't see where the original lines are or your art work is.

Did you see a drummer in #46 above? Then you're as weird as I am!

I choose to leave the original image as 'intact' as possible in each case, which is fun, and sometimes it does result in the weirdest body shapes and final results. 

As a keen amateur, I rely heavily on the 'happy accident' when I'm drawing or painting. Sometimes if I'm ready to produce a piece of work and I'm not working from references, I'll randomly dig or swipe at the page with my pencil to see what emerges and quite often those 'happy accidents' turn into something more meaningful. Taking part in the random doodle challenges really does help this process immensely. 

The latest contender to join in with issuing daily art challenges is the mighty and mondo Sarah McIntyre. Sarah, a professional illustrator and writer, has taken the idea of a random image challenge and given it a particularly neat twist...

So what do you see above? A weird pineapple? Woodstock eating an amoeba?

A simple outline and a red dot, and very sparse rules make this challenge really fun. Sarah is always hugely encouraging about the art that's posted, doubly so when kids join in! Here's one of Charlotte's brilliant interpretations of a tricky shape...

Charlotte's skipping monster, really nice use of the shape and the right angle in the corner
Creative thinking and doodling isn't for everyone, but it's been ace to see a lot of folk who claim no artistic ability joining in and coming up with brilliant images. It's very addictive and fun, and the best part of all is that little art communities spring up around these challenges, and folk are hugely positive and encouraging using Twitter to provide almost instant feedback and appraisal of your work. 

Of course, some folk might feel outclassed by the various professional artists and illustrators who somehow find time during their busy schedules to 'show us how it's done' but again, they're such lovely folk that you can't help but be dazzled by what they come up with. 

Come along, join in, and take up the art challenge in 2016!

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Professor McQuark and the Oojamaflip by Lou Treleaven and Julia Patton (Maverick Arts Publishing)

Glorious rhymes, groovy illustrations and a crazy but cool lady scientist? Oh I think we're going to like this one a lot...
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Wednesday 20 January 2016

My Stencil Kit by Herve Tullet (Thames and Hudson)

We're doing a bit of a rain dance on the blog at the moment, hoping that 2016 will be the year of the activity book. We had a LOT of fun with activity and art books in 2015 and here's a fantastic one to kick off the new year in style.

Herve Tullet is the genius creator of hundreds of fantastic children's books and he's now come up with a genius way for kids to draw and design their own stories, even if they're not super-confident in their art skills.

"My Stencil Kit" comes with 6 huge die-cut boards containing 200 stencils, covering a wide range of subjects from alphabet characters to animals, from curls to geometric shapes and tons of other fantastic designs in between.

The stencil sheets come with a nice large format book (which would have been even better if it had been spiral bound but you can't have everything) full of interesting and intriguing 'scenery' to get your designs off to a roaring start.

We couldn't resist diving right in with our pencils and pens to put those interesting and intriguing stencil designs to good use. More artistic kids (and adults) will love adapting the designs to produce more fully fleshed-out works of art but even if you just love making patterns and nonsense drawings (who DOESN'T love drawing giraffes body-surfing on the roofs of cars) then you're going to find tons and tons to do in this interesting new art book.

Charlotte's favourite bit: Some cool background designs to really get your artwork off to a flying start.

Daddy's favourite bit: A great new activity book that enables kids of all abilities to design brilliant artwork and scenes to tell their own stories with. Absolutely absorbing and beautifully designed by a true genius of children's art.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Thames and Hudson)

"My Stencil Kit" 

Written and Illustrated by Herve Tullet

Published by Thames and Hudson

Publication Date: 29th February 2016
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Tuesday 19 January 2016

Here's a cracking pair of board books for busy little fingers, courtesy of Tad Carpenter and Sterling Publishing

With fantastic 'lift the flap' page spreads and a surprise around every corner, here's an adorable little pair of new board books by Tad Carpenter, recently published by Sterling.

The "Who's that?" range tantalises youngsters with 'hidden' characters tucked behind neat little flaps and cutouts.

In "When I grow up" kids can find out all about the various jobs adults do, and perhaps even think about what they'd love to do themselves when they're old enough. The minimalist text is perfectly suited to younger readers just starting out, with loads and loads of attractive illustrations to lead them through the book.

There's also...

Arctic Animals again follows the "Who's That" theme of hiding animals amongst the snowy landscapes just waiting to be discovered by your little ones. Lift the flap and find out all about polar bears, arctic foxes and snowy owls hiding away playfully.

They're a great little pair of books, hugely attractive and engaging. A bit too 'young' for our fussy little miss but your younger children will love them to bits!

Out now from Sterling Publishing
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Monday 18 January 2016

Little Why by Jonny Lambert (Little Tiger Press)

A book chock-full of neat little messages promoting loving the skin you're in - Little Why by Jonny Lambert...
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Friday 15 January 2016

ReaditDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 15th January 2016 - "The Art of Star Wars - The Force Awakens" by Phil Szostak, with foreword by Rick Carter (Abrams)

So have you seen it yet? Our Book of the Week this week is a big thick weighty dive into the glorious preproduction artwork for arguably 2015's biggest movie - "The Art of Star Wars - The Force Awakens" by Phil Szostak with Foreword by Rick Carter...
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Thursday 14 January 2016

Star Wars - The Force Awakens - Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo (Dorling Kindersley)

A gigantic smorgasbord of all things Star Wars in a big satisfying illustration-packed book? WANT!
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Wednesday 13 January 2016

A perfect pair of books to introduce young ones to art in "The Little Vermeer - Colour and Learn" and "The Little Egon Schiele" by Catherine De Duve (Happy Museum)

Two fabulous artists, two brilliant books and one fantastic range from Happy Museum. Catherine De Duve's fabulous "Little" art series...
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Tuesday 12 January 2016

Welcome to our stop on the "Stanley the Amazing Knitting Cat" Blog Tour and a fab guest post from Emily Mackenzie!

 A cool crochetting Kitty! A creative cat! You'll have already seen our review of "Stanley the Amazing Knitting Cat" and we're delighted to be hosting a guest post on Emily Mackenzie's blog tour celebrating the release of her fab new book.

Without further ado, we'll hand over to Stanley's awesome "Mum" with a lovely article about her influences and favourite childhood books.

Over to you Emily and thanks for stopping by ReadItDaddy!


It's not too difficult to choose some of my favourite books from my childhood as lucky for me, my mum kept most of those that filled the shelves of my old bedroom so that I still have them now!

I grew up in the countryside in Northumberland next to a pine forest where I would go for a lot of walks with my family, whizz about on my BMX and use it as a gigantic set with tree stumps and squashy moss for my Sylvanian Families to play in. I loved watching the seasons change, the giant pines would of course look pretty much the same all year round but the hedgerows around the fields near our house would look different throughout the year and I enjoyed picking flowers, eating berries straight from the hedge, filling pockets with rose hips and acorns to take home and looking for hedgehogs and rabbits when exploring.

Otto the Bear by Ivan Gantschev

I love different things about all the seasons but I think with being a January baby and having the excitement of the odd day off school because it was too snowy, Winter was my favourite then. With all these factors in mind I think it's easy to single out Otto the Bear by Ivan Gantschev and The Winter Bear by Ruth Craft and Erik Blegvad as being my favourites. There were of course, plenty other books I loved as a kid and still enjoy now including Dogger by Shirley Hughes and the Brambly Hedge books by Jill Barklem, but there was something I particularly loved about bear books! There were definitely no bears in Slaley Forest but I think I wished there were!

Otto the Bear is full of delicious blotchy inky watercolour marks that are full of texture and still inspire me now to want to experiment more with my inks to create interesting feathering and new colours by letting them naturally flow into each other. The book is about an old forester who lived on the edge of the wood and would happily let a bear named Otto pilfer the apples and pears from his orchard until a new forester replaces him who isn't quite so understanding and builds a fence to keep him out. I'll not spoil it for you by giving away too much more but I think the wooded landscapes and winter scenes really appealed to me as a child because the situation of the cottage on the edge of the woodland was so familiar to me. It's a beautiful book and it'll always be my favourite because it reminds me so much of home. I think I'll have to get the table salt out tonight and scatter it on my wet ink drawings for a bit of fun now!

The other book I mentioned that I loved as a child and still treasure just as much now is The Winter Bear. Yes, another book about a bear but this time it's a lost soft toy bear stuck in a tree! Again, I think my reasons for loving this as a kid were much the same as before – It was comforting to read something that I could relate to. I hoped that I would find a bear like that in a tree near me with my brothers one snowy day and the illustrations and activities that the kids get up to were very similar to things I liked to do. I loved my teddies as a little girl and used to give them regular baths, dress them in old baby clothes and remember sewing poor Koala's arm back on when it fell off one day. I love the way the kids look after the bear in the book and think the illustrations are so warm and comforting and there's always something magical about a book with a snowy blizzard I think!
"The Winter Bear" by Ruth Craft and Erik Blegvad

When I write and illustrate my own books I think about my 5 year old self as my audience and if I'm stuck for an idea I find it a great starting point to draw from my own childhood interests. I love referring back to these two particularly because they help get me back in that head space and I know I'll always feel like that about them. They definitely make me want to write my own bear book... maybe that's what I should do next!

Emily Mackenzie (Photo © Diana Pappas)

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Monday 11 January 2016

I'll Wait, Mr Panda by Steve Antony (Hodder Children's Books)

The world's most polite panda is back! Steve Antony's sequel to "Please Mr Panda" is every bit as tasty!
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Friday 8 January 2016

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 8th January 2016 - "Ralf" by Jean Jullien & Gwendal Le Bec (Translation) (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

It feels like we're only just into the new year and yet here is our second Book of the Week of 2016 - The wonderful story of a very bendy stretchy dog named "Ralf"...
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Thursday 7 January 2016

Happy 2016! Our hopes (and fears) for a brand new year of book blogging - A ReadItDaddy Editorial

It's lovely to see you again, and hopefully by now you're all settling into the new year nicely. We've been catching up with all the books and posts we've been queueing up over the Christmas holidays and now we're firmly back into our groove.

Looking ahead even just a few months at some of the new releases due in 2016, we can tell you that you're in for a LOT of cool stuff arriving this year whether you're a new parent looking for brill books for babies, are reading picture books to your child, letting them take their first faltering steps in reading on their own or have a surly tweenager or teenager at home who picks and chooses their own books.

Kicking off our new batch of (hopefully fairly regular) editorials, we thought we'd come up with 5 things we hope to see in 2016 and also 5 things we hope we won't!

In no particular order then, we're really looking forward to: 

1) New books from some of our established faves. A new Jon Klassen "Hat" book is on the way from Walker Books and there's also the prospect of a whole new "Hilda" adventure from Luke Pearson / NoBrow / Flying Eye this year, which has us positively champing at the bit!

2) An even stronger year for non-fiction. 2015 was an amazing and brilliant year for really good quality non-fiction titles from Wide Eyed Editions, Usborne, Big Picture Press and so many others. We really hope that there'll be even more diverse and brilliant topics covered this year and we're hopelessly excited about some of the new history titles we've seen previewed from Thames and Hudson and others.

3) Middle Grade fiction making huge strides in the same way YA did last year. Again, with the focus of our blog becoming more on MG and less on picture books for young readers we're looking for the new standout titles from authors who are making MG chapter books their own, and also seeing how various publishers (such as Macmillan, Walker and Faber) are really putting their own stamp on the formats that are becoming mainstays in MG.

4) Great book events. It's a no-brainer that there'll inevitably be a ton of fantastic book events happening during 2016, I'd personally love to see more that didn't come with a hefty entry fee and are open to all, expanding the level of interest beyond hardcore book folk!

5) More diversity, more books with broad gender appeal, more interesting subjects tackled in books for younger readers (kids aren't dumb so don't dumb things down for them, and a hugely successful year for print AND digital because the two formats really can benefit and compliment each other - it really isn't a format 'war'

And in no particular order, 5 things we'd love to see the back of in 2016

1) Girl / Boy books. Old fashioned, outdated, and generally not needed nor wanted - let's put them to bed in 2016 for once and for all!

2) Tedious "School" books that don't encourage or engage. It's been one of our frustrations during Charlotte's reading journey that in general, the books she brings home from school are gone through as a 'chore' and as a measurement exercise rather than doing what they should be doing - really getting her interested in books and reading, and engaging her. This is always going to be a tricky one but since she became a 'free reader' at school and could go and choose her own books from the library, we've noticed far less reluctance to 'school reading' and tons more interest, in line with the work we put in with her ourselves.

3) Diversity treated as some kind of amazing and fantastic unique 'selling' point. Diversity in children's literature should be celebrated for sure, but it should also be the norm. All kids should be able to see themselves in books, movies, magazines, TV and internet content they're exposed to BY DEFAULT and there's so much more work to be done here not just with race and gender but with so many other aspects of diversity too.

4) Disney / Marvel / DC to stop bloody well treating girls like some weird species that only likes their products or characters if they're dressed up in Taffeta ball gowns. Mighty girls need more than that, mighty girls want superheroes and brilliant character merchandise just as much as the mighty boys do and if I see one more Star Wars Force Awakens product line arriving on shelves WITHOUT REY I'll be shouting about it from the rooftops until something changes.

5) Format wars. There's a place for E-books, and there's a place for print and both can exist in perfect harmony whether you're dedicated to your kindle or love the tangible feel of having a ton of books on shelves around your home. So many times we see the press leaping on any drop in either side's sales with glee which is just completely stupid and makes no sense. Personally I'd love to see both flourishing because more sales = a more healthy publishing market, more encouragement for publishers, authors and artists to do the amazing things they do and in general more people reading than staring dead-eyed at TV screens or hilarious cat or minecraft videos on YouTube.

We hope you'll stay with us on our book journey in 2016 and we look forward to hearing from you in our comments or on our social network feeds.

Love love love

Phil, Ali and Charlotte @ ReadItDaddy
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Nicholas and the Wild Ones by Niki Daly (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

"How was school today?" How many parents get a 'meh' from their children when they ask this innocent question at school pick up time?
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Wednesday 6 January 2016

Love books? Then what better day to celebrate International Book Giving Day 2016 than Valentine's Day (14th February)

BLAMMO! Today we can reveal the utterly fantastic official poster for International Book Giving Day 2016, by Ben (Professor AstroCat) Newman. All over the world, people will be celebrating Valentine's Day but why not also show your deep love of all things booky by participating in IBGD!

You can find out more about International Book Giving Day on the Official Website - in the meantime download and print out this fantastic poster to get things under way!

Get connected and LOVE those books! 

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Chicken Dance by Tammi Sauer and Dan Santat (Sterling)

Let's Bawk and Roll with the cookiest, craziest pair of cluckers you'll ever meet. "Chicken Dance" by Tammi Sauer and Dan Santat...
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Tuesday 5 January 2016

Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson (Capstone / Curious Fox Books)

A tantalising tale of bunnies, burrows and boisterousness - can you ever have "Too Many Carrots?" Katy Hudson thinks so...!
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Monday 4 January 2016

Stanley the Amazing Knitting Cat by Emily Mackenzie (Bloomsbury Publishing)

What a knit-wit Stanley is! Let's meet a moggy who LOVES to create wonderful woolly things in "Stanley the Amazing Knitting Cat"...
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Friday 1 January 2016

ReaditDaddy's first Book of the Week for 2016 - "How to Find Gold" by Viviane Schwarz (Walker Books)

Our first Book of the Week for this year is the imaginative story of a little girl and her wise pet crocodile on a quest for hidden treasure...
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