Peter H Reynolds


All 80 titles for the six categories of our long list have now been reviewed! Each and every one a fantastic book, highly recommended by JAB and the NSTAB team.

The short list will be announced on the 8th September. Votes from the panel are already coming in so here's a little reminder of the twenty fabulous books on the Picture Book Category Long List.


After the Fall      Dan Santat (Andersen Press) 


Almost Anything - Sophy Henn (Puffin)


Cyril and Pat- Emily Gravett (Two Hoots)


Fairy Tale Pets - Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Jorge Martin (Little Tiger)


What's Your Favourite Colour? - Eric Carle and Friends   (Walker)


Goat's Coat - Tom Percival, illustrated by Christine Pym  (Bloomsbury)


I'm Going to Eat This Ant- Chris Naylor-Ballesteros   (Bloomsbury)

Izzy Gizmo 2.JPG

Izzy Gizmo  Pip Jones, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie  (Simon and Schuster)

Red Reading Hood 1.JPG

Little Red Reading Hood  Lucy Rowland, illustrated by Ben Mantle  (Macmillan)


Lulu Gets a Cat Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw (Alanna Books)


Mrs Noah's Pockets  Jackie Morris, illustrated by James Mayhew (Otter Barry Books)


Nimesh the Adventurer  Ranjit Singh, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini  (Lantana)


Something Fishy  Polly Dunbar  (Two Hoots)


The Great Gran Plan  Eli Woollard, illustrated by Steven Lenton (Macmillan)


Unplugged    Steve Antony (Hodder) 


This Zoo is Not for You Ross Collins (Nosy Crow)


The Word Collector  Peter H. Reynolds  (Orchard Books)


Look Out, It's A Dragon!       Jonny Lambert (Little Tiger)


The Last Chip    Duncan Beedie    (Templar Publishing)


Spyder     Matt Car   (Scholastic)

All amazing! Which will make it to the short list?

LONG LIST REVIEW: The Word Collector

The Word Collector.jpg

Collectors collect all sorts of things things: coins, stamps, even art. However, Jerome is a collector of words. He collects the words he hears, sees and reads. Words stand out to him, jump out at him and even jump off the page. His collection contains short words, two-syllable treats and multisyllabic words that sound like songs. Some words are wonderful to speak aloud and others are fascinating because they suit their meaning. Jerome would fill his scrapbooks with words such as 'bellow', 'ascend' and 'shimmer'.

One day whilst transporting his word journals, an accident jumbles his words together and Jerome discovers that the words sound wonderful when placed next to each other.  He begins to use the  words to write poems and songs; he finds that the best words are the simplest ones- words such as ‘thank you’, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I understand’. Jerome continues to collect more and more words and on a breezy afternoon, he is determined to share his words with as many people as possible and empties his collection into the wind.

Jerome realises that it isn’t just the beauty of the words, but their power, when shared with others, that is important. Author, Peter H. Reynolds’ words at the end of the book illustrate this perfectly, “Reach for your own words, tell the world who you are and how you make it better.”

‘The Word Collector’ is an inspiring read for all logophiles (lovers of words), a charming collection of words and illustrations which will encourage readers to see the power of the words around them. This book is perfectly suited for sharing with children of all ages in the classroom and provides an excellent springboard for word work. Children may want to begin their own word collections, as Jerome did: sorting word collections into categories, arranging them into unusual groupings and investigating the power of simple words. Children may want to go on a word hunt looking for words they have heard, seen and read, collecting them in word journals. Word and phrase meanings could also be explored through developing dictionary and thesaurus skills. Word collecting may extend to investigating famous wordsmiths such as E.E. Cummings and William Shakespeare. Like Jerome, they could write poems and songs.

The book could also be a starting point for investigating the etymology of some words, words that have been adopted into English from other languages and the wealth of words which are created as the language evolves and develops.

Children could be encouraged to create 'Top Trump' style cards for their favourite words, using the different categories to explain their appeal and try to convince others that their favourite words are worthy of collection! 

Each of Peter H. Reynolds’ books have been created to inspire. His hope is to make, “Stories that matter, stories that move.” To find out more about his books, take a look at his website . You will also find there his top tips for encouraging creativity.

The Word Collector  Peter H. Reynolds

Orchard Books    ISBN: 978-0545865029

Making Your Mark- Celebrating International Dot Day!


Today, we had a wonderful time enjoying International Dot Day. The idea of this day is to celebrate the book, 'The Dot' by Peter H Reynolds, a story about a caring teacher who gets the best out of a reluctant art student. 


Having started the day with a dot-to dot, we watched Peter H Reynolds read the book and explain where the idea had come from. My class loved this, really enjoying seeing the author/ illustrator share his work. Next, we listened to the Dot Song, watching both Emily Arrow doing the actions and the version showing pictures from the book. It's a complete ear worm- we couldn't help but join in and had to play it many times during the course of the day!


Having watched a short film clip of  Peter H Reynolds creating pictures from dots, we were ready and raring to go! We created cartoon characters using dots, experimented with watercolours, used paper circles, used pencil crayons to shade... 


And then, everyone (adults included!) chose a frame like Vashti's, created their work of art and signed it! We ended up with a fantastic range of pictures- and children who were glowing with pride and enthusiasm for creating their works of art. 


No matter how good they felt they were at art, the day ended with everyone feeling like an artist. What a wonderful, inspiring book- and what an amazing day!

The Dot by Peter H Reynolds

Walker Books   ISBN: 978-1844281695

You can read a review of 'Playing from the Heart', another book by Peter H Reynolds, here.