“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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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)
I booked on a Meet Up group of a tour with places related to the life of Roald Dahl.
The Splendiferous 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.
More to books…
We all know of Roald Dahls’ very famous titles but there are a few less known ones published too.
It is weird to me to see a Roald Dahl book not 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 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.
And writes about food…
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!
Show me your little ones favourite Roald Dahl book!
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…
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.
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.
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:
Or learn about her life:
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 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.
Why not have a dress up day, make a fan and practice dances from theRegency era?
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.