Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Month: May 2018

Grandad Mandela by Zazi and Ziwelee and Zindzi Mandela, illustrated by Sean Qualls


Grandad Mandela - book cover and web link

Buy this book here…

This amazing book is written from a child’s perspective, and authored jointly by Nelson Mandela’s great-grandchildren and daughter, told as never before, to celebrate what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday on 28th June 2018.

This book will bring alive Mandela’s legacy for a new generation of children and is published by Lincoln Children’s Books, who are renowned for quality, information books in a highly accessible format. (Title available on 28th June…)

Nelson Mandela’s two great-grandchildren ask their grandmother, Mandela’s youngest daughter, with Winnie Mandela, 15 questions about their grandad.

Mandela is a global icon of peace and forgiveness who fought peacefully, against apartheid and a brutal regime in South Africa. He spent 27 years in prison on Robben Island.

The grandchildren learn that he was a freedom fighter who put down his weapons for the sake of peace, and who then became the President of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize-winner.

The illustrations by Sean Qualls are brilliant, the style and colours support the feel of South Africa.  The book is written in a picture book style and the text points to some of the hard questions that the great-grandchildren ask such as;

“Why did Grandad have to go to jail?”

“Where were you Grandma when Grandad was in jail?


It tells of that period of time when apartheid and lack of freedom for black people in South Africa were part of everyday life. The struggle to achieve not only justice but a place where all people should be free was an enormous task.

We highly recommend this beautiful and heartfelt book for all ages and for schools, libraries and home.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story & Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The Jungle Book - cover image and web link

The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story here

Palazzo Editions are delighted to publish new and sensitively abridged and adapted gift editions of The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story and Alice in Wonderland, bringing Robert Ingpen’s stunning illustrations and these timeless storied to a younger audience.

Juliet Stanley has created an amazing style of text in abridging the original story, with losing none of the magic and depth and bringing a beautiful way of engaging for younger readers.

In Jungle Book:Mowgli’s Story, by Rudyard Kipling the story speaks volumes of a child being lost and found by the wolf pack, who runs wild in the jungle, yet brings talents of human hands to support the other animals. All the animal characters are there and include, Bagheera the black panther, Baloo the bear and of course Shere Khan the tiger who was out to kill Mowgli, as soon as he had the chance.

A quote from Michael Morpurgo, “ I still marvel at the inventiveness of Rudyard Kipling… the characters come to life at the hand of Ingpen- just as my mother’s voice brought them to life when she read them to me.”

In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, the story of Alice, a child who was at the edge of growing up who fell down a rabbit hole and found a world turned inside out with characters like The Mad Hatter, The White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts.

The book is great to read and in many ways enables the story to be understood by younger readers in this edition.


A quote from Philip Pullman, ” Lewis Carroll, we could say, created the whole of children’s literature with these wonderful stories. Placing a child at the centre of a narrative that was entirely free of instruction, entirely devoted to delight, was a stroke of genius. The Alice’s are the greatest nonsense ever written, and far greater, in my view than most sense.”

Alice - cover image and web link

Buy this book on-line here…

Award winning artist Robert Ingpen’s wonderful illustrations have illuminated this classic children’s titles and other books include Peter Pan and Wind in the Willows and read a recent interview with Robert Ingpen 


We love these books and find it hard to put them down, either for the beautiful illustrations or for the chance to read again about the adventures of characters with stories beyond our wildest dreams.

Sue Martin


Plantopedia, A Celebration of Nature’s Greatest Show-offs by Adrienne Barman


Buy this book…

Welcome to the greatest show on earth, featuring the most tremendous trees and tiniest seeds, flowers masquerading as twinkling stars and very confused fruit and vegetables!

This is an incredible, non-edible, fun-loving and intellectually desirable book about plants! Plants from all over the world, chosen for their unique traits and characteristics, their abilities in disguise, and captivation, who is the cleverest, the plants or the insects?

Discover the ‘evergreens’, the ‘edibles’, the ‘elderly’ plants that have outlived the dinosaurs.

The budding naturalists among the students will be absorbed totally by the quirky text, wealth of fascinating information and stylish illustrations.  Watch out for the section on poisonous plants, which is led by an illustration of a skeleton in clothes; it includes plants such as Feverfew, Henbane and Strychnine tree.

It is a book that I keep picking up and reading from, remembering the bite sized pieces of information.

Adrienne Barman is the author and illustrator and produces very colourful and stylish work. She lives in Geneva having illustrated many books.

WideEyed is part of the QuartoKnows publishing group and has an amazingly interesting list of children’s books.

We thoroughly recommend this book for schools and libraries and especially for the families kitchen table, a book to have and to dip into, it will be a joy to have.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout



The Man Who Loved Libraries- The Story of Andrew Carnegie

The Man who Loved Libraries, The story of Andrew Carnegie

Buy this great book here…

Scottish born Andrew Carnegie’s gift of over 650 public libraries to the UK and Ireland was an astonishing and long-lasting legacy. It has changed many cities and towns for the better.

It has given opportunities for anyone to read a wealth of books without having a wealth of money.

‘The Man Who Loved Libraries, The Story of Andrew Carnegie’,written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Katty Maurey is published by Pikku Publishing on 1st May 2018.

When you open the door to a library, a world of opportunity awaits…’

When Andrew was young, life was hard and economics meant that many families, including the Carnegie family, living in Scotland, moved to America. Andrew grew up working for his living in Pittsburgh, as a bobbin boy, and a telegram messenger. But he was always quick to learn and found many ways to create business.

Andrew believed that learning was the key to his future, and a Colonel Anderson opened the doors to his private library on Saturday afternoons. This left a lasting impression on Andrew. As well as soaking up the knowledge which enabled him to create his fortune in the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and other investments, he was determined to leave a legacy of libraries to support others.

This is a fascinating book, the style and layout create a chance to read sections of information in ‘bite size chunks’ as provided by the Canadian  author Andrew Larsen.

The iluustrations, from Canadian, Katty Maurey,,are engaging and give an excellent feel to the period in history.

The publishers, Pikku Publishing, have produced a wonderful book, not only for the text and the illustrations, but in the way it will lead the reader into further discovery.  For instance the pages at the end of the book provide  information and ideas about Andrew Carnegie and provide all the research material used in creating the book.

We thoroughly recommend this is both as an excellent  book and  a great resource in schools and at home for children from 6 – 12 years.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout



The Ghosts and Jamal

Buy this book here…

Jamal lives away from a village in West Africa, he is different, people are afraid that his twitching and strange behaviour may be linked to black magic. His Mum has died and his grandfather disappeared with the remains of the palm wine.

The villagers believe Jamal is marked by spirits, which meant that when the village is attacked by terrorists he is left alone and saved. But he is totally alone. Along with his kit bag and copy of The Koran, which was given to him by the Imam who is friendly to him, Jamal sets off away from the village.

Although Jamal finds his grandfather, he sends him away and throws stones at him as he scrambles down the mountain. He is taken in by humanitarian workers who do their best to help and provide him with pills for his epilepsy, but their solution is to send him to an orphanage.

Jamal’s journey goes on, with each place being hard to live in, children knowing Jamal is not quite the same as them. Slowly it appears that Jamal is also autistic. Children and adults in the places where Jamal finds himself, usually end up trying to trick or abuse Jamal, who always has a sense of this but unable to defend himself properly, that is until the end of the story.

This is a great book, quite challenging at times, and brings you directly to life in West Africa and the challenging time for anyone with autism or epilepsy. The concept of bad spirits is pretty frightening and an awareness grows that a sudden epileptic attack could leave Jamal in a very bad place.

But it doesn’t and the surprise at the end of the book is terrific!

The Ghosts and Jamal is written by Bridget Blankley, who spent most of her early life in Nigeria and has an autism spectrum disorder. It is published by HopeRoad Publishing, who work with a focus on West Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, supporting neglected voices.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

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