Alex T Smith

World Book Day 2019!

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What a fabulous day! Sharing stories has been at the heart of everything that we have done- with our children, their parents and each other.

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We started our day with lots of story shares. Parents were invited to come with their children to share stories before school. So many came and had a lovely time.

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Children came in so many wonderful, creative and imaginative costumes. We had an Oxford English Dictionary, Bad Nanas, Harry Potters, Pom Poms, George (Almost Anything), The Enormous Crocodile, Claudes… The staff were equally amazing, dressed as a fantastic range of book characters. The Y1 staff took ‘Traction Man’ as their theme; in Y6, Poirot made an appearance alongside Thing 1 and Thing 2…. and a new, little-known character from the latest Dave Pigeon book!

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Lots more story sharing took place during assembly and at lunchtime. The afternoon was full of wonderfully book-ish activity. We painted favourite book characters, created comic strips and were inspired by Rob Biddulph’s wonderful bookmarks. Children decorated Rob’s ideas or used them to create their own ideas. These were then laminated and put to good use.

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The day ended with more story shares with even more parents coming to listen to stories with their children. It was a really lovely day - and there’s more to come tomorrow as Duncan Beedie is coming to judge our Reading Rocks competition and speak to our KS 1 and EYFS children. Wonderful fun!

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How Winston Delivered Christmas

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If you are looking for the perfect story this Christmas, then look no further! The wonderful, whimsical Alex T Smith has created another cracker of a book, perfect for the festive season.

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This is the charming story of Winston, a little mouse, who in the spirit of Christmas, shows great kindness, bravery and determination when doing something nice for a complete stranger. On his quest, he makes some surprising friends and sees the good in others, who in turn take the time to help him accomplish his mission, before he is suitably rewarded at the end. It is a heart-warming, cuddle of a book which has the additional joy of things to make and do throughout the story.

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The book is a celebration of spending time together and enjoying simple things. The emphasis is on using readily available materials- cereal boxes for card, bits of ribbon, toilet roll tubes- and putting thought, care and time into making things for others rather than money. I know everyone is ‘so busy’, but should anyone need an excuse to have some fun with their children, grand children, nephews, nieces, the neighbour’s children, this book is perfect!

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There are other ‘makes’ which might need a little more ‘specialist’ equipment, but nothing which is not readily available. My Book Group are going to be delighted to learn that we will be using the book and making some of the suggestions, starting with Winston finger puppets- so more on this soon!

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As well as offering a whole host of fun activities, ‘How Winston Delivered Christmas’ is also a beautifully written story, full of descriptive details and gentle humour. Alex T Smith is a master at creating engaging, quirky characters that appeal to a wide audience. His illustrations are gorgeous- the dolls’ house picture alone deserves a medal! There are so many details to enjoy like this one…

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I love Mr Penguin!

When so much in life is upsetting, ‘How Winston Delivered Christmas’ serves up a slice of perfect escapism and makes Christmas caring once more.

How Winston Delivered Christmas: An Advent Story in Twenty-Four-and-a-Half Chapters Alex T Smith

Macmillan ISBN: 978-1509851522

Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets

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Mr Penguin is back, bravely solving mysteries with his trusty, kung-fu kicking friend, Colin the spider. This time, disaster strikes when their plane crash lands on a snow covered mountainside. Fortunately, rescue is at hand and Mr Penguin and his friends take shelter in a remote village which just happens to have a mystery of its own. Can Mr Penguin locate the missing pets, including Colonel Tuftybum, beloved pet of his rescuers? Can he find out what is making the strange noises which are coming from the fortress on the mountain opposite? And will he ever get back to Cityville and a fish finger sandwich?

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I adored the first Mr Penguin adventure and dressed up as the penguin himself, complete with Colin, for World Book Day.

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The stories are an absolute joy to read, full of humour and fun! Mr Penguin is such an appealing character, trying to do the right thing even when his tummy is rumbling and he would rather be sitting in his little office, eating a fish finger sandwich! Colin is pure genius- feisty and loyal- with his pad ever ready to communicate his thoughts. There is plenty to appeal to adults as well as children!

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The book is beautifully illustrated with pictures on every page. Most pictures are black and white, but there are orange highlights throughout. The level of detail is amazing and full of gentle humour.

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Reluctant readers do not stand a chance with these wonderful books on offer! Although funny, Alex T Smith uses a rich and interesting vocabulary which adds to the enjoyment of the story. I can’t wait for book three! Fabulous!

Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets Alex T Smith

Hodder Children’s ISBN: 978-1444932096

You can read our review of Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure here.