More to Books

“There’s More to Books than Reading- how to help your child bring stories to life” follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum sharing books and activities for your child to learn all subjects at home, in your garden (even in the cold and rain) or park.

This is the perfect book for Lockdown life.

There’s More to Books than Reading by Kathryn Lord
Celebrating a Magazine article in New York at My Nanny Circle annual Nanny Ball 2017!

As some of you may know, I was set to speak at London Olympia for the Childcare and Education Expo. It obviously didn’t go ahead. I had expedited 300 books ready for the event.

So I would like to offer a signed copy for £10 plus P&P, via PayPal, ready for Christmas.

I won an award in ‘Inspiring Creativity within children’ in Amsterdam, 2016 and another for ‘exemplary work in the Nanny Industry, New York, 2019.

If you know any parents with young children, or nannies with under 7s, this is the perfect book for them in our new lockdown world.

Alternatively, head to http://www.Moretobooks.com and click on the Amazon link.

The book won in the Creative Play Awards in 2019!

Love Kat x

Aisha Bushby

For the last month or so, I’ve been happily (and virtually) working away with Aisha Bushby and 14 other aspiring children’s authors on the Prepare for Submission course run by WriteMentor.

I’ve mentioned WriteMentor several times before and I’m delighted to have such inspirational, established authors to look up to and learn from!

I have been lucky enough to interview several authors linked to WriteMentor.

So the blog this week is with the amazing Aisha Bushby…

Aisha Bushby

How did your book/s come about?


Whenever I approach a new story, I always start by thinking about what sort of themes I want to explore. So far it’s been grief (A POCKETFUL OF STARS), anger (MOONCHILD: VOYAGE OF THE LOST AND FOUND), and emotions in general (MOONCHILD 2). I then spend some time thinking about what sort of setting and story I want/need to explore these themes in an entertaining way. I’m finding myself leaning towards magic and fantasy more as I go along.

Moon child: Voyage of the Lost and Found by Aisha Bushby, illustrated by Rachel Dean


What do you think the readers learn from your book/s?

I would hope they learn a little about the themes I’ve chosen to explore, or at least, start thinking about those sorts of things! I’d love my books to start conversations, and introduce different ways of thinking and being.

A pocketful if Stars by Aisha Bushby


Tell us a little about your journey?

I was lucky enough to be selected as one of four winners in a short story competition aimed at BAME writers in 2017. My short story was featured in a collection called A CHANGE IS GONNA COME, published by Stripes. Since then I’ve been working on novels with Egmont. I’m just about to finish editing my third book with them, and then swiftly moving onto my fourth!

If you are interested in following Aisha on Twitter or Instagram, she is @aishabushby

As you all know, I believe that there’s #moretobooks than reading, and I agree with Aisha that they are a great tool for starting conversations. It is so important to support our little ones with feelings grief and anger.

Love Kat x

Roald Dahl

There really is #moretobooks when you can become so inspired. I can not deny that Roald Dahl was a massive part of my childhood and one of the authors that has inspired me to become a Children’s writer.

As I learnt from Jane Austen when I nipped to Bath a few weekends ago, “If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek the abroad” so I had a little journey north of London. Not quite abroad but adventurous enough. (Socially distances and wore a mask the whole time)

Great Missenden

I booked on a Meet Up group of a tour with places related to the life of Roald Dahl.

Great Missenden
This garage inspired the description of the garage in Danny the Champion of the world.
This is apparently the Library Matilda would have gone to when her mum went to bingo.
This is the building that inspired the orphanage where BFG blew dreams in through the windows.
We went to see the grave of Roald Dahl.
And saw the footprints of the BFG!

The Splendiferous Museum

Disney gave the Museum these gates as a gift. They wanted to give the Willy Wonka gates but they wouldn’t fit through the tunnel.
The museum

Sadly, the Museum was fully booked for tours. I didn’t even know it existed. I shall definitely be coming back! I’ll do a part 2 when I do.

It is only 41 minutes on the train from Marylebone.

In the courtyard, there is a statue of Matilda.
Mmmm chocolate!

More to books…

We all know of Roald Dahls’ very famous titles but there are a few less known ones published too.

The Minpins by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Patrick Benson

It is weird to me to see a Roald Dahl book not illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Billy and the Minpins, illustrated by Quentin Blake

I am very much excited for the release of the new ‘Witches’ film. I have a great fondness for the first and don’t think it can live up to it entirely. I’m sure it will be good. Different but good!

Sophie Dahl

Sophie Dahl said that when she stayed at her Grandfathers, he used to blow dreams through the door with bamboo just like the BFG did. Apparently, when they became the age when they started to wonder whether it could be real or not, Roald stayed up at night to write the BFG in the snow, so when they woke up, they could see it from their bedroom window. I bet it was magical.

Following in her Grandfathers footsteps, Sophie is also a writer.

Madame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl, illustrated by Lauren O’Hara

And writes about food…

Miss Dahl’s voluptuous delights by Sophie Dahl

I did know that Roald Dahl wrote for adults too, but it is not until I visited the museum gift shop that I’ve been intrigued enough to read some for myself. I’ll pop what I thought about it on my twitter page when I have finished it.

It’s not really a title to put on a blog about children’s books!! Maybe do a google for yourself!

If you do make it to Great Missenden, there is a Splendiferous Afternoon Tea on offer in the museum cafe.

Show me your little ones favourite Roald Dahl book!

Love Kat x

Baths of Bath

From the sunny Roman Baths

Last week, I decided to do a solo trip to Bath.

I hadn’t written many blogs it lockdown due to being even more busy working as a Nanny and supporting home schooling, but as Jane Austen said, if adventures don’t befall me, I must seek them elsewhere. Bath isn’t abroad, but I certainly went back in time.

Celts

The legend of Bath comes from a Celtic story where Prince Balddud was banished from his kingdom after contracting leprosy. He became a pig farmer and wandered the hills around. Somehow, his pigs also caught leprosy, but after basking in the hot springs of Bath, came out healed! Legend has it that he was welcomed back into his kingdom and started the city of Bath because of the healing powers of the hot springs.

More to books…

The story of Prince Bladud- a tale of Bath by Jane Samson
For that and other stories of the Celts, you can’t beat a good Horrible Histories. Cut-throat Celts by Terry Deary, Illustrated by Martin Brown

Roman Baths

The Roman Baths and the Abbey

As some of you may know, I am redrafting my middle grade manuscript of an adventure in Roman Britain, and for that, I love to get actual facts from historical places which drive my plot.

Little Tales from Aquae Sulis- Life in Roman Bath. G Getty McKeown
Athena- the story of a Goddess by Imogen and Isabel Greenberg

Love Kat x

Jane Austen

I don’t know what we are looking at!
Jane Austen and I being pensive.
Two writers on the steps of the Jane Austen Centre in Bath!

After a long lockdown of no blogs, a little trip to Bath was just what I needed to spark up some inspiration in my quill!

Someone else who got lots of inspiration from her time at Bath was Jane Austen. While she only actually lived here for a short time, Bath are so happy she did that they even have a Centre for her.

Thank goodness I get to use a laptop to write with now, instead of ink and quill! Why not try and do some writing with your own feathers and paint?

Whether you are a Jane Austen fan or not, you can’t deny that her books have lasted the test of time, with more films set to come out soon!

I especially liked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but that is not one for our little ones!

More to books…

Fear not though, I bring you the Jane Austen children’s books because there really is #moretobooks than Reading when you have 21 activities to enjoy:

Jane Austen for Kids by Nancy Sanders (photo credit: WHSmith.co.uk)

Or learn about her life:

My first Jane Austen Little People Big dreams (photo credit amazon.co.uk)
Little People Big dreams Jane Austen by Ms Isabel Sánches Vegara, illustrates by Katie Wilson (photo credit: Amazon.co.uk)

Asking in the souvenir and gift shop of the centre, the helpful lady said that they had sold out of childrens but she recommended Little People Big Dreams, I have heard of these! But what I didn’t know, was they have board books for even younger children! Cute! She also directed me to an amazing book shop just around the corner!

Awesomely Austen, Jane Austen’s Emma retold by Katy Birchall and illustrated by Églantine Ceulemans (photo credit by Amazon.co.uk)

Awesomely Austen, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, retold by Katherine Woodfine and illustrated by Églantine Ceulemans (photo credit by Amazon.co.uk)

And if your children get excited by reading about the author, they can even read child friendly versions thanks to Katherine Woodfine and Katy Birchall.

Please excuse me while I get to know Mr Darcy!

Why not have a dress up day, make a fan and practice dances from the Regency era?

Love Kat x

It’s o FISH al. I love playing with words!

So, it’s my Daddy’s birthday today. It also happened to be my nanny kids Dad’s birthday too!

Birthdays always mean we get a little crafty. But also, it’s fun to play around with words.

Under the sea scene
Playing with words

We also played around with words and G8 came up with cardfish/codfish! You get it?

This is a cardfish!
Happy Birthday!

More to books…

Commotion in the ocean by Giles Andre and David Wojtowycz (photo credit: Amazon.co.uk)

Not a joke, but interesting to me!

Ghoti spells fish!

If you take the gh in enough, o in women and ti in motion! The English language is so tricky!

What’s your best fish joke?

Pizazz by Sophy Henn

I am so excited to be a blogger that was selected to receive a sample of Pizazz BEFORE THE RELEASE DATE. And I am so happy to tell you all, it doesn’t disappoint!

Pizazz By Sophy Henn

I was hooked from the beginning. Pizazz is a totally relatable 9 and a 1/4 year old. And I should know, I’ve nannied a few. But I can’t say for certain if any of my nanny kids have been SUPERHEROES!

She even has an annoying little sister, and with sibling rivalry being my main point to focus on with two girls atm, this is also relatable. (Heads up, as a caregiver I’m reading “How to talk- siblings without rivalry” https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Talk-Siblings-Without-Rivalry-ebook/dp/B00EF1MJMM/ref=nodl

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.

Signed copy of Pom Pom gets the Grumps by Sophy Henn
Speaking at NannyPaloozaUK, Nov 2017

Pom Pom features in my book!

Pom Pom and “There’s More to Books than Reading” by Kathryn Lord.

Sophy even gave me a quote for my own book on her favourite book as a child!

Quote from Sophy Henn featured in “There’s More to books than Reading”

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!

Bees and bugs and butterflies (and birds and bears)

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.

Chalkboard with a welcome sign on
The Hive

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…

Love bees by Vanessa Amaral- Rogers

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.

We saw so many butterflies!
Can you see the camouflaged butterfly? It just looks like a leaf!!!!

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!

We made a nest for a GIANT bird!

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!

Here is another one she made on a social distance play date with friends last week.

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!

Look at this “beast”! The conservatories were open and had a one way system in place. The iguana said hello, G8 was convinced it was not real but we could see his tummy rise and fall from breathing.

More to books…

But excuse me that is my book by Lauren Child (photo credit: Amazon.co.uk)

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 by Clare Helen Welsh

As with last weeks blog, some of you may know I’m a huge fan of WriteMentor. After participating in two of their live writing weekends, when an online weekend was on offer, I jumped at the chance.

I wasn’t let down. I’ve come away with such motivation. I was lucky enough to be taught by Clare Helen Welsh who kindly agreed to be interviewed for this weeks blog.

If you’d like to follow her, here are her social media handles:

@ClareHelenWelsh www.clarehelenwelsh.com@LittleTigerUK @AsaGilland Facebook: BooksByClareHelenWelsh

Tell us about your book

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.

Pre order your copy by clicking here

Thank you so much for being part of my blog.

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.

Love Kat x