Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

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When We Became Humans by Michael Bright

A story of evolution, how we as humans developed into the upright, intelligent form that we are today, from  our recent cousins the Neanderthals to ourselves, Homo Sapiens. A large format highly illustrated book which follows in the success of When the Whales Walked.



  • One stop guide to discovering your origins
  • Exquisite illustration which brings the subject to life
  • Engagingly explores this key topic for Key Stage 2 pupils

The sections of the book are easy to follow from ‘How do we know who our ancestors were? to ‘Just Like Us’, which explores how the Neanderthals also liked to use jewellery and clothes.

At the back of the book there is a section on the human family tree and a world map showing how humans have always travelled on and and sea.

Michael Bright is an executive producer with the BBC Natural History Unit and has written over 60 books on aspects of natural history and conservation and the environment.

Hannah Bailey is an illustrator and designer inspired by the natural world and specialises in natural history and non-fiction for children.

Words and Pictures are part of the Quarto Group and aim to produce books that inspire and enable children to think and use their imaginations.

Recommended for ages 6-10, a great book to have for schools and at home.

Sue Martin

The Butterfly House by Katy Flint, illustrated by Alice Pattullo

Step inside the butterfly house, where wonderful, winged insects await. Spot the Banded King Shoemaker and the Monarchs, part of the Brush-Footed Butterflies. The number of species and their differences would fill a huge museum of drawers and glass show cases. 

The Butterfly House shows a number of different species in a glorious collection of illustrations and bite size info boxes. Did you know that there are over 11,000 species in the Tiger Moths family?  Their caterpillars have fuzzy bodies and are often known as ‘woolly bears’. Sounds like my kind of caterpillar.

It is a beautiful hardback book and a good size for the best display of the illustrations, which are captivating and entwined with the text to create a book  just waiting to be picked up.

Katy Flint, writes children’s books and lives in East London, her best selling book is The Story Orchestra and she has worked on non-fiction titles from human bodies to dinosaurs.

Alice Pattullo is an illustrator also based in East London. Alice works on commissioned illustrations and has a huge number of clients including; National Trust, Sainsburys and the V&A Museum.

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books are famous for their excellence in children’s books across the world and have titles in over 45 countries and 35 languages.

The Butterfly House is just the sort of book I am looking for, to sit and read after a walk towards the beach this summer. We recommend for children from 5- 9 and for adults too.

Sue Martin

Winner of the School Librarian of the Year 2019

The SLA School Librarian of the Year Award is the School Library Association’s highly valued award to recognize the excellent work carried out in school libraries across the country. 

In 2019, Alec Williams, who introduced the afternoon said, ” A room full of books is just that! But given the proper space and a librarian, the discovery, delight and magic happens.”

This year Ros Harding at The King’s School Chester has been awarded the honour of the School Librarian of the Year 2019. Sara Barnard, the 2019 YA Book Prize winner presented Ros Harding with her award at a special ceremony at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, Kensington, London Kensington on 27 June .

Ros is Head Librarian and Archivist at The King’s School Chester, which is an independent selective school for 3-18 year olds, Ros contributes in many ways to the life of the school and the wellbeing of its students and staff. She was described by others as“caring, for people but also for the library itself”, “inspiring curiosity” and a “tour de force”.

As well as establishing a School Book Award, Ros is an excellent ambassador of research skills and ensures all aspects of the school to have a place within the library. She empowers pupils and gives outstanding support and pastoral care.

A quote and under-statement from a pupil, ” She knows her library”!

Announcing the School Librarian of the Year 2019, Sara Barnard, whose novel Goodbye Perfect won the YA Book Prize 2019  said:
Libraries are essential to any school and community, and I’m delighted to pay tribute to them and the librarians who make them what they are.

The two other school librarians on the Honour List, were recognised for their outstanding work .Chantal Kelleher is the Learning Resource Centre Manager at Herne Bay High School, and  Helen Cleaves, Librarian/Learning Resources Manager at Kingston Grammar School.

The panel of judges was led by Sue Baston, who is also Vice Chair of SLA.

From bringing books to life in highly imaginative and engaging ways, to generous and bold outreach work each librarian on the Honour
List has made a huge difference to the lives of all they work with, igniting a passion for reading.

An interesting and inspirational event  recognising all the good work that continues in our school libraries.

Sue Martin




Angel: Through My Eyes Series – Natural Disaster Zones

Angel, Through My Eyes Natural disaster ZOnes cover image and web link

Buy this great book here…

Angel’s family have seen many typhoons. For generations the violent storms have passed across the central Philippines around November. But Typhoon Haiyan is a super-typhoon and came across the Philippines in 2013, destroying everything in its path.

Angel lives in Tacloban with her family and when the news of the typhoon is announced the family take extra measures to keep safe.

But Typhoon Haiyan is stronger than anyone has ever seen before. Angel stays near the coast with her father whilst her mother, brothers and sisters go into the hills to their grandparents, but only just in time.

‘There’s an ear splitting crash as the first wave hurls itself at the little house, forcing open the door and gushing through the window. Angel screams. The ladder is torn away just as she jumps onto the roof beam. Water is up to her chin and she is fighting to keep her head above its churning mass. ‘ Papa! Papa!’ She searches desperately for any sign of her father as the water sweeps her away, but he’s vanished.’

An amazing book, written by Zoe Daniels, it is harrowing and full of anguish as Angel searches through the debris and disaster areas. Several days elapse before any help arrives by plane.

Buy this book icon and web link Buy this book here

Through My Eyes  is a stunning series, and highly recommended. They are published by Allen and Unwin, Australia and the series editor is Lyn White. As the reader you are immersed into a disaster zone of epic proportions.

We really love these books and Angel is a brilliantly depicted story of life when the super typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful ever to be recorded, hit the Central Philippines.

Recommended for ages 8- 15 and adults too!

Sue Martin

Amundsen’s Way Race to the South Pole by Joanna Grochowicz

Amundsen's Way - The Race to the South Pole cover image

Buy this book here: available 5th Sept. 2019

Amundsens’ Way – Race to the South Pole, is Joanna’s second stunning book about the Antarctic explorers of the early 19 Century.  Roald Amundsen was  determined, heroic and courageous but not best liked but he did win the race to the South Pole in 1911.

Joanna’s skill shines through beyond the words as she writes with intrigue and knowledge about the stories and challenges on this epic but cruel journey.  Her understanding of Amundsen details his faults as well as his abilities, and although she admires his courage, his methods were often very hard.

Amundsen’s Way is Joanna’s second novel of narrative non-fiction, her first Into the White – Scott’s Antarctic Odyssey, is hugely successful and was a finalist for the New Zealand Book Awards 2018. The illustrator for both books is Sarah Lippett.

Buy this book here (Available 5th Sept 2019)

Amundsen’s Way is published by Allen and Unwin of Australia and will be released in the UK in  Autumn 2019.

Books Go Walkabout is planning Joanna’s next visit to the UK and currently talking with schools and organisations on bookings in November.

Her charismatic storytelling abilities will captivate any audience of young people, it’s a great story!

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2019

Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2019

An outstanding Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2019.

The illustrator’s wall and contributions by new and amazingly talented illustrators from all over the world was an absolute highlight.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair – a small section of the  illustrators wall…

In fact after two days it became increasingly hypnotic with so many beautiful images collected together on the entrance walls.

Sometimes confusing too that cards, postcards, posters and information were scattered across the floor, just waiting to be picked up and gathered into people’s canvas bags.

Have certainly spotted some wonderful talent and a joy for years ahead of book reviews.

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is immensely large and awe-inspiring. My plans of looking carefully at the guide went out of the window as we walked around stand after stand, finding ones which appealed to the Books Go Walkabout team. We also spent time with colleagues we had planned to visit.

The Sea, illustrated by Jill Calder, on display at the event…

Highlights for BGW were the books for Ireland and also Vietnam, two more places in the vast world to engage with and bring authors and children together from all over the world.

And so we returned late at night via the last flight that day on Ryanair, ready and geared up to bring books, stories and illustrations to children across the planet.

Well done to Bologna Children’s Book Fair!

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout - logo and web link

Authors & Illustrators around the world


Christmas Greetings and Happy New Year

As the world of work slowly stops and the tinsel starts to fade, we hope you find all that you wish for this Christmas, and that the simple things of life, including a good book, cheer you along the way.

The Team at Books Go Walkabout

Imagine – words by John Lennon, illustrated Jean Jullien

Imagine Amnesty International cover image

Buy this book from BgW here

‘Imagine all the people living life in peace’ John Lennon

Imagine is a new book published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books in association with Amnesty International UK.

It brings the original words from the song, Imagine, by John Lennon, into a beautiful hard back book with the simplicity of the message of ‘peace’ into 2017 and our world of unrest and conflict.

The illustrations by Jean Jullien show a pigeon with a small brown case as he wanders across the globe sharing a message of peace and friendship. Each page is wonderfully simple in design, which matches John Lennon’s thoughts on living in peace and harmony. They echo a simple truth across different countries and borders.

This is a book that needs to be bought and shared in the home, in school, in faith groups and just to read on your own, when you have been getting depressed listening to the world news.

There is a wealth of material available to support the book; Amnesty International UK, shows many reviews and there is a message board where artists across the world have written their own message of peace.

‘Peace isn’t just the absence of noise, peace is also the absence of hatred and that starts right here, inside of you and of me. So come on, look inside and imagine! ‘ …Laurence Anholt

There are also downloadable activity packs and a fun craft kit to create ‘peace bunting’ from the birds in the book.

Imagine from Amnesty International image

Imagine from Amnesty International

To watch an amazing animated video with the song from John Lennon visit The Creative Cooperation, brilliant!

Final words must go to Yoko Lennon 

Everybody wants to feel happy and to feel safe. And we can all help make the world a better place in our own way. We should always share what we have, and we should stand up for people who are not being treated fairly.’  …Yoko Lennon

Make this a Christmas present for someone you know, or even yourself!

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout


Revolutions – Moments in History, from The British Library

Moments cover image and web purchase link

Buy this book from BgW here…

A brand new series of books from The British Library, which bring collections of materials to children. Moments in History is the first book in the series and is newly published on 9th March 2017.

It is a brilliant book to pick up and read from cover to cover or  to just delve into and have an adventure of learning. I spent ages on The Battle of Little Bighorn and became totally engrossed! The nuggets of information and beautiful images make it a very  compelling read as well as a starting point for further exploration and research. It will be a ‘must have’ book for teachers to embark on a history project.

Moments in History spans the dawn of civilisation to the Second World War,and is aimed at children from 8-11 years who are interested in the past, and want to find out more about people who made history – artists and architect, soldiers and explorers, politicians and religious leaders.

The author is Clare Hibbet who has written and edited over 200 books. She specialises in natural history, art and culture and is published with DK, QED Heinemann and others.

The British Library is one of the worlds greatest research libraries. It publishes a large number of books and publications and  children’s  books are a recent addition to the list of publications.

Their  collections of materials  is huge, 150 million items with 10 million people accessing online material each year.

Gathering evidence for research will be enhanced enormously by this book and future books in the series; using secondary evidence sources such as  images and materials from The British Library will help young learners become historians of the future.

Revolutions, A Moment in History, very much enjoyed and recommended.

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Sue Martin        Books Go Walkabout


Little People, Big Dreams

The Little People, Big Dreams series is published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

Agatha Christie - cover image and web purchase link

Purchase this book from BgW here…

The books tell the lives of outstanding people who went on to achieve incredible things,yet all of their ideas began life as a dream.

The two newest books in the series follow Marie Curie and Agatha Christie. Marie Curie who loved learning in science, when women were not usually scientists, and Agatha Christie, who taught herself to read at the age of 5, and went on to be one of the most well known crime writers

The books are written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara, from Barcelona, Spain and she brings a fresh approach to learning for life.

The books are superbly illustrated in syles which fit the era of the characters. Frau Isa is from Vienna and has a dreamy nostalgic style which fits well with the Marie Curie book.

Marie Curie cover image and web purchase link

Purchase this book from BgW here…

Elisa Munso is from the University of Barcelona and illustrated the Agatha Christie book in amazing black, white and red sketches.

Each of these inspiring and informative little biographies comes with extra facts about Marie and Agatha’s lives as an addition to the story and creates a timeline of the period to base the story.

It would be ideal for linking to International Women’s Day on March 8th and also 2017 is the 150th anniversary of Marie Curie’s birth, so some brilliant timing.

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Recommended for ages 7 plus.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Books go Walkabout, stories across the world

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