Pizazz is funny new series for 7+ readers and also has comic strips as well as amazing black and white artwork, making it perfect for reluctant readers as well as our little bookworms. I am a huge fan of giving our children “a wide range of reading material” (National Curriculum) which includes different forms of fiction as well as poetry and non-fiction.
The great thing about comic strips is that they are fun and easy to replicate so your children can make up their own! Google “free comic strip printables” to choose a frame, or they can draw their own!
“Pizazz” comes out on the 6th of August and in January 2021 “Pizazz vs the New Kid” comes out. I don’t even care what my Nanny kid thinks, I CAN’T WAIT!
Sophy Henn is an amazing children’s author and illustrator. I was lucky enough to meet her in a lovely bookshop in Richmond where I got one of my favourite books signed from her.
Pom Pom features in my book!
Sophy even gave me a quote for my own book on her favourite book as a child!
If you’d like to read about more activities to do with books across the Early Years Foundation stage Curriculum, head to www.moretobooks.com and click on the amazon link!
I am so happy that Kew Gardens is open again. It was amazing to be outside all day with my Nanny Kid, G8.
As a nanny who started out in Kew, I know the Gardens like the back of my hand. (We used to go weekly) There is so much to explore and I love sharing it all with each of the children from my families that I care for.
All the way round, G8 was telling me she wanted to go to the hexagon that she remembered seeing on a school trip several years earlier. I was mixed up with the Tree top walk as that’s a little like a hexagon, but she was so happy when we found this. She is actually obsessed with bees at the moment because she plays a game on Roblox called Bee Swarm Simulator. It was so quiet that we actually got to be in the Hive on our own. G8 twirled around, we did some dancing. It was so wonderful to just be. (Bee, get it?)
There’s more to books…
I think it’s important to encourage the next generation to help bees. Bees are so important to nature and if you want to show them the Bee Movie also is quite good at showing what would happen if bees didn’t do their important job.
I love taking children to the bear in the woods, it’s just by Queen Charlottes Cottage. Sadly, the badger set was closed due to Covid but we got to see so many things in nature it didn’t matter, plus, it’s a wonderful reason to return as soon as things are more open!
Absolutely not my idea! G8 loves gathering sticks and other natural objects to create things. We tried to write More to Books with little dead blossoms on the tree top walk but the wind blew it away before we had finished. It actually made us laugh a lot!
My G8 knows not to pick flowers. She has to use things that are already on the ground. The way I explain it is if you like something, and pick it, then it will die, but if you love something, you let it stay and grow! (Although I said that to g3 in my last nanny job and she said “well, I only like this flower, I don’t love it!”
But also, it’s about instilling the ability to think of others. If everyone picked one flower from Kew Gardens, there would be none left!
More to books…
I know this title doesn’t look like a big book but Lola love the book “Beetles, bugs and butterflies”
Why not encourage your children to read books on all sorts of beetles, bugs and butterflies? Or any mini beast they love?
Show me pictures of your little ones enjoying nature!
The Perfect Shelter is beautifully illustrated by debut talent, Asa Gilland, and is published by Little Tiger. It’s a story that explores the complicated emotions we feel when someone we love is diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer.
What lead you to write The Perfect Shelter?
It’s a special book for me and our family, since it was written after my Uncle was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He very sadly died 5 months later and it was an especially hard time for my children, then 7 and 8yrs old. They understood enough to be scared, but not enough to be able to process how unfair it all felt. I find writing hugely cathartic, so I penned The Perfect Shelter late one night. My agent, Alice Williams, sent it on to my editors at Little Tiger Press soon after, and I was delighted when they found the story beautiful, powerful and moving. The text became even more important to me and my family when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019.
What does your book bring to the readers?
I hope it brings love and support to others going through difficult times – it’s essentially a book about hope, living in the present and making the most of every day, which we could all do with remembering during the challenges of lockdown.
I think it’s so important for childrens books to tackle subjects such as cancer. Books help children understand things more easily but also start to ask questions that they may not have been able to formulate other wise. Also, a little like a perfect shelter, gives the child knowledge that it’s a safe time/place to talk about things on their mind.
A couple of weekends ago, I attended a Write Mentor online weekend. After attending to in-person weekends and getting so much out of them, when I saw this, I thought why not! It’s not like I had plans to go anywhere, or do anything, or meet anyone!
I wasn’t sure what it would be like but I’m pleased to let you know, it was AWESOME.
One of the tutors was Emma Read, author of Milton the Mighty. I learnt so much from her and was motivated to write a lot. I came away brimming with ideas.
Both of whom presented two amazing weekends earlier this year, I interviewed Emma Read for this weeks blog.
How did your book come about?
I was mulling over how the media is changing the way young people view celebrity. These days anyone can become famous, not by being an actor, a singer or a sports star, but simply by accident. It got me thinking about finding unwanted fame, like publicly shamed dogs in fancy dress on YouTube, or humiliated local cats on missing posters. Then I remembered the unfairly vilified spiders in the tabloids and I thought maybe I would like to tell their story. I wrote the first book in the series – Milton the Mighty, while my youngest was still at home so it took a while. I was fortunate that it caught the eye of the junior judges at the Bath Children’s Novel Award and was shortlisted for that prestigious award. It was there I met my soon to be editors from Chicken House Books.
What do you think the readers learn from your book?
I’d love to help ‘spider worriers’ begin to overcome their fear and become ‘spider warriors’ – and have fun at the same time! But as well as talking about facing fears and promoting a love of wildlife, Milton is also a series about tolerance, friendship and courage – no matter your size. I hope readers will see how to find their inner strength and begin to believe in themselves, even if they find the world overwhelming. Milton the Megastar develops those ideas further and shows children how important our environment is and how they can help protect it. It also shows children how varied families can be, and whatever makes up a family, we are stronger together.
If you’d like to follow Emma Read on Social media, here are her handles.
A perfect way to get boys reading is to choose a topic that they love. Some girls love Star Wars too, but statistically, boys are more reluctant than girls to pick up a book!
There really is more to books than reading when the book itself is an amalgamation of Star Wars and Lego. See if you can make a space ship out of Lego, and send a picture to email@example.com to feature in this blog!
And for our younger learners, why not learn your numbers and alphabet with the Star Wars Gang!
I’d love to see your Star Wars antics today. Send in pictures of food/dressing up/colouring or simply reading/watching anything Star Wars related to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shout out to all nannies in the world right now! To those who have been furloughed or those, like myself that are working even harder in these strange times.
More to films…
As a child growing up, my favourite films were The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Harriet the Spy. All of which have nannies in them!
As an adult, I love Uptown Girls and The Nanny Diaries. Obvious in the title of the latter, but again, nannies!!!
More to books…
Mary Poppins is perhaps the most loveable Nanny. By PL Travers.
Nurse Matilda is a set of three books that were written on the 60’s and 70’s of a Maternity Nurse turned nanny who looked after the naughty Browns children. Heard that story line before? That is because it was adapted to Nanny Mcphee by Emma Thompson!
There is a very important reason this blog is on Nannies this week.
UK Nannies Matter Campaign
I am proud to announce that I am a founding campaign partner of The UK Nannies Matter Campaign.
It’s all about helping Nannies be recognised as Professionals. The campaign is founded by the wonderful Nannies at UK Nanny Ltd, Helen McCarthy and Maria Culley and Laura Hellfeld, founder of KoKoPie Families.
Together, Nannies are stronger.
The campaign is to empower nannies, regulate it as a profession to give a clear career path and safety for Nannies as well as showing the parents the safeguarding of the children and value, quality and standard they can expect from a Professional Nanny.
You all know my motto is that there’s more to books than reading, well, there is also more to Minecraft than screen time.
If you are at home and wanting to help educate your little ones, here are a few ideas (that I used via Skype lessons) When planning things for G7, I wanted to choose something that she was intrinsically motivated about which is half the battle, hey!
Writing a Manual can be about any subject that your child loves.
What I love about a manual is they get to tell you all they know and they are excited to learn more about the subject.
We did a fun facts page where we used different shapes for information boxes.
We learnt the key features of a non-fiction text, having a title and subtitle, writing a caption under our pictures, making a contents page and glossary.
When adding in instructions for someone else who has never played Minecraft, they start to use bossy verbs naturally.
Taking an actual interest in what they are doing online, can take it offline. I definitely don’t advocate lots of screen time but as a child who grew up on theme hospital and the sims, I think it’s worth using what they love to help.
G7 told me all the features that she has in a map that she had built on Minecraft. So we mapped out the coordinates and placed the items on our own map.
Using the map, have your “skin” character go on an adventure. Use the coordinates to say where they go from and to.
They can write out their adventure, use their senses to explain where they are, where thy do and choose some mobs to create something exciting, perhaps they need to go to the cave to find some diamonds or defeat the Enderdragon.
More to books…
And to get them outside, download Minecraft Earth, like Pokemon go a few years ago, but they collect things as they walk around and then have adventures and “build” things for other people to find in augmented reality! Also, when they are holding the phone, it keeps their hands from touching benches and fences and gates etc! (Do practice safety when crossing roads- I take the phone off her when we are crossing a road to keep us extra safe!)
As some of you know, I was supposed to be speaking at the Childcare and Education Expo next week at London Olympia. And while I fully understand and support the cancellation, I need something positive to look forward to.
With talk of school closures in Britain and lots of school closures around the world, my book literally is packed full of ideas you can do in the home for different ages of siblings, but you don’t need to buy my book to be involved in this competition. (You also don’t need to be suffering from school closures)
The four categories are:
Creative- 3D model of their favourite book
Writing- book review or their own story
Mathematics– using their favourite book, what maths can they do (let them think creatively- check out some of my blog posts for ideas) or baking and cooking works linked to their book
Drama- create a scene with their toys or act it out by themselves or make puppets/characters
The most creative CHILD LEAD ideas will win.
The age categories are:
Key stage one
Key stage two
If there is an uptake of Key stage three as I am fully aware you may have older siblings, then they can definitely get involved.
My book is for adults- parents and nannies or anyone who spends time with children. I will be giving the adult involved a book if their child wins, and an age appropriate prize for each child who wins.
If you are a nanny, please get permission from the parents to send pictures of the child.
Send their work in by March 31st to email@example.com with their name, age and general location. Their work will be shared if they win and others might also be shared on a blog.