Book Island

Half Term Book Crawl!


This week, I have been on a quest to seek out some of the best books on offer for this year’s North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards 2019. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! Although I wasn’t able to visit as many as I’d hoped due to other things getting in the way, I managed to visit some in London, Bath, Bristol and Taunton.


It’s always a pleasure to pop in to Waterstones Picadilly and have a browse in the children’s section. I love the way it is laid out and the displays they have. I found some great non-fiction ideas here as well as some suggestions for our Read Aloud category.


Close by is Hatchards- delightfully charming with its old-fashioned air and quiet rooms- another favourite for spending some time. I spent quite a while sitting in their children’s room, exploring a large pile of treasures. Found some wonderful picture books here!


Although not a bookshop and alarmingly changed since I used to visit as a child, I must include this picture of Paddington I took when I popped into Hamleys as it made me very happy!


Foyles on the Southbank was a veritable cornucopia of book-ish delight for many categories. Once again, there was lots of wonderful non-fiction and I chose a few books which I think will work really well as Quality Fiction candidates.


Foyles in Bristol was equally interesting and offered some additional finds. (This picture was taken a while ago as I forgot to take a photo whilst there!)


Bath offers the triple joy of Waterstones, Mr B’s and Toppings.


All three produced some great ideas, but poetry remains the hardest category to find a wide selection of ideas for. Still, we will continue searching!


Visiting Mr B’s was a particular delight this time as they have extended and now have their new children’s room which is a wonderful space, well worth a visit.


Finally, I visited the stalls at Reading Rocks on Saturday. Book Island were there with their usual fabulous selection of very original and beautiful picture books. Bookwagon had a stall there with lots of lovely books, many translated or by authors/ illustrators from other countries. The main bookshop was provided by The Roving Bookshop whose range never ceases to amaze me. I found some real treasures, not necessarily for the awards, but wonderful books it’s hard to get hold of now! I think we need a new award’s category to pay tribute to these!


So, lots of lovely new books ready for consideration, but many more still to discover! Let’s get reading!

Little Wise Wolf


Little Wolf is so busy reading and learning that he does not want to be disturbed. When his friends ask for help, Little Wolf doesn’t have the time or the inclination to support them. However, when a message comes from the king and Little Wolf is in need, his friends are there to support him and so Little Wise Wolf gains a valuable lesson about learning from his friends as well as from books, making time for both.

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This book is produced to the high quality we have come to expect from Book Island books. Thick, silky pages in a luxurious hard back cover. The illustrations in this wise tale are charming; soft, muted colours give a gentle, almost dream-like quality to each spread. Little Wise Wolf’s red boots add a flash of colour as he makes his way on his long journey to see the king. Just beautiful!

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We all get caught up in things; I know teaching can completely take over my world! For me, this tale is a reminder that we should pause and take time for friends and family, that we should listen to each other and take every opportunity to learn and share.

‘Little Wise Wolf’ would be a brilliant book to use in class. The artistic style would be wonderful to explore, building up backgrounds using charcoal, stamps and adding details in pen and ink, pencil or paint. The story itself is great as a starting point for discussion and also lends itself to many writing opportunities.

Little Wise Wolf

Gijs van der Hammen, illustrated by Hanneke Siemensma

Book Island ISBN: 978--1911496120

Guest Post from Book Island: Mum’s Jumper

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It’s exciting times here at Book Island! We have just launched our very first crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. On this platform we hope to raise £6,000 for Mum’s Jumper, a beautiful picture book about grief, created for us by the talented illustrator and comics maker, Jayde Perkin. 

We feel strongly that this book will help both children and adults address the taboo of death and grief in a touching and accessible way and would love to have your support.

Between today and Tuesday 4 December 2pm GMT, we're aiming to raise £6000 towards Mum's Jumper by Jayde Perkin. Here's a quick reminder of how you can support our Kickstarter:

·  Watch the video

·  Read about the project 

·  Pick a reward

·  Log in or register on Kickstarter 

·  New to Kickstarter? Click here for info.

If you're not sure how you'd like to help, get in touch, we have a couple of ideas:-) Or just pledge £1 to join the journey.


·  Share any of our pinned posts on Facebook and Twitter, and our updates on Instagram

·  Use the image below to write your own posts

·  Use our hashtags: #kickstartmumsjumper #jaydeperkin #letstalkaboutgrief

·  Insert the link to our Kickstarter

·  Share your pledge on social media


·  Your card won't be charged until Tuesday 4 December 2pm, and only if we have reached our target. Kickstarter means all or nothing.

·  The next 24 hours are going to be crucial for our campaign, as we need to raise 30% of our target!