KIDS BOOKS SPECIAL: Shelf Isolation #4

While the Bath Festivals team is self-distancing this spring, we’re keen to share with you (and each other) the books on our shelves that inspire us during these uncertain times. With the arrival of the Easter holidays, Hazel Plowman has put together a list of her (and her kids’) favourite books for young readers.

#ShelfIsolation – Hazel Plowman, Head of Creative Learning

I wanted to do a list of children’s books for my #ShelfIsolation. So, here’s a list of brilliant kids and YA books I love and ones that my kids have recommended. Children’s books are for everyone, not just kids! We hope you enjoy them.

First, I want to do a shout out for comics and graphic novels – they are great for engaging reluctant readers, but really, they are just great full stop. So, my first author recommendation is Raina Telgemeier. My kids are addicted to her books, so I have read all of them over the past couple of weeks and now I know what all the fuss is about. I loved Guts and Drama the most, but honestly, they are all great.

Some of our other favourite comics include Bunny vs Monkey and Looshkin by Jamie Smart and Mega Robo Bros. by Neill Cameron.
My kids absolutely love Tamsin Winter’s books: Being Miss Nobody (this book is currently classed as ‘the best book in the world’ in our house) and Jemima Small Versus the Universe. I am currently reading Being Miss Nobody, a story about finding your voice – I’ll let you know if I agree with them!

Next on the list is High Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson, I read this to my kids last year and we all loved it, a funny and fast paced mystery story set in a high rise tower block with a brilliant cast of characters. The next one in the series: Mic Drop is out now too, and we are very much looking forward to reading it.

My kids would also like to recommend all of Abi Elphinstone’s books, page turners full of exciting adventures and Pages and Co. by Anna James about two friends who are able to travel into books.

One of my favourite books from last year was Black Flamingo by Dean Atta, Illustrated by Anshika Khullar. It’s a coming of age novel written in verse, and the journey a boy takes to becoming bold and free and fundamentally himself. It is tender and joyful and some of the poems made me catch my breath. I don’t have a copy on my shelf because I gave it to a young person I was working with, but check it out, the paperback has lovely gold foil added too – beautiful!

And finally, I wanted to give a shout out to a classic: A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. One of their early books, but I have always loved it. It’s a fable about being grateful for what you have however small, and its message feels quite relevant at the moment.

Below are my suggested reading ages, but please check the books out online yourself to get more info and to find recommended reading ages:
Raina Telegmeier: Guts 8+, Drama 10+
Jamie Smart Bunny Vs Monkey, Looshkin 7+
Neill Cameron Mega Robo Bros 7+
Tamsin Winter Being Miss Nobody 10+, Jemima Small Versus the Universe 10+
Abi Elphinstone Rumblestar 8+
Anna James Pages and Co. 8+
Sharna Jackson High Rise Mystery 9+
Dean Atta Black Flamingo 14+
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler A Squash and A Squeeze all ages

We’d love to know what our audiences been reading! Do you have a shelf that you would love to share? Post your #ShelfIsolation recommendations on Instagram or Twitter and tag @TheBathFestival

We welcome any donations that you can make to help Bath Festivals continue during this difficult time. Please click here to donate.

Previous Shelf Isolations
Shelf Isolation #1 – Stephanie Massie (Head of Development)
Shelf Isolation #2 – Elysia Collins (Production Coordinator)
Shelf Isolation #3 – Kate Abbey (Literature Programmer)

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