Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Tag: Books Go Walkabout

World Book Day 4th March – Antarctic Stories to Shanghai

Books Go Walkabout is working with Harrow International School in Shanghai to deliver online author visits direct to classrooms. Working globally is no problem online!

Harrow International School, Shanghai

Our second event at Harrow International School, this time with author and polar explorer Joanna Grochowicz from New Zealand. The audience of Years 4-6 came ready dressed up as book characters and armed with questions at the end of Joanna’s presentation .

Joanna and model Amundsen

Joanna enthralled the children from the start with slides and tales of life in the Antarctic in the early 19Century. This is real history and gives amazing insights into how tough life could be. Imagine having your fingers so badly frost bitten they are the size of sausages for instance, I could hear some sounds of ‘Yukk!” from the children.

Then there were the orcas, who surrounded Scott’s photographer, Ponting, on an ice floe. He thought he was going to take a photo. The orcas thought he looked like lunch! They tipped the ice floe and Ponting was only saved by landing on another ice floe.

Orcas looking for lunch!

Or the story of the dog on the Terra Nova who went overboard in a terrible storm in the Southern Sea and the Roaring Forties, fortunately  a wave brought him crashing back.

Joanna is expert at great detail of research around the expeditions of Scott, from Britain, Amundsen from Norway and Shackleton from Britain(her next book).

Amundsen’s Crew in the Antarctic

Children from Harrow International School were exceptionally well led by Tess St Clair Ford, who organised Book Week in 2021, not an easy task  with many places still in lockdown. The pupils’ questions to Joanna showed that good listening skills were in place and they had done their homework too.

World Book Day 2021 and a great way for Books Go Walkabout to engage with Harrow International Shanghai, far away but really very close!

Joanna’s new book Shackleton’s Endurance is out soon to join her Polar Explorer’s Trilogy Into the White and Amundsen’s Way.

Sue Martin

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

A tale full of adventure, exploration and excitement as four children find their way home from the deepest part of the Amazon jungle.

A pacy and exciting book, nearly impossible to put down and with an ending that does more than just conclude the story; as life is at risk and new skills have to be learnt so fast. 

A tale full of adventure, exploration and excitement

Four children, who had never met before, are flying  across the Amazon jungle, when the pilot loses consciousness and the plane crashes into the trees. Fred, Lila, her little brother Max and a girl called Con have to help each other to; find food, survive the creepy crawlies and to escape. On their way they find a map, make a raft and discover a ruined city, where they meet The Explorer, who is not exactly friendly but helpful in an eccentric way. But in a terrifying situation they are forced to leave as quickly as they could. 

 Katherine Rundell, author of The Rooftoppers is an award winning author who  lives in Oxford, UK and The Explorer was; Winner of the Children’s Book Prize 2017, winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award 2017 and winner of the London Book Fair Children’s Travel Book of the Year for 2017. She has an amazing talent for creating adventure and in this book she brings her love of places and adventure to children’s minds. 

Publishers are Bloomsbury who have created The Explorer in paperback filled with black and white chapter headed illustrations and beautiful sketches throughout the book. 

Wonderful storytelling, delightfully delivered…

It’s a truly great book and children of all ages will love the adventure, the sense of place, the maps, the ruined city and see themselves as one of the characters, in an adventure of a lifetime. 

In the video clip Katherine introduces  The Explorer and you can just feel her own love of adventure which creeps in every corner of the book. 

A must read for lockdown 2020 and for anytime at all, home, school and library. 

Sue Martin 


Dear Ugly Sisters, poems by Laura Mucha and illustrated by Tania Rex

Great poetry!

An outstanding new voice in children’s poetry with her debut collection full of varied, effervescent and thought provoking poems.

Laura has already achieved much through literacy events, poetry workshops and blog writing and this brand new venture into a book of her poems is a great way for us all to find her poems at our finger tips.

Read the poem Dear Ugly Sisters below,


Laura Mucha is an award winning poet, author and speaker. She has won two international poetry prizes, the Caterpillar {poetry Prize, 2016 and the inaugural YorkMix Poems for Children 2019. She also writes for adults too with her debut book, Love Factually/We Need to Talk About Love published in 2019.

Tania Rex was born and raised in Bilnius, Lithuania, where she still lives and graduated from Vilnius Academy of Art.

Otter-Barry Books publishes four poetry collections a year and is an imprint which pushes the boundaries for publication in the world of children’s book publishing.

Sue Martin

The House on the Mountain by Ella Holcombe & David Cox

The House on the MOuntain - cover image

A wonderful read!

Atmospheric and immensely moving, this is the story of a family experiencing a bush fire in Australia. The aftermath is a harsh reality for a family whose home is in the middle of the woods. 

It is though, a story of healing and reconciliation. Lives are changed but not broken, there is a future through the devastation.

‘ We drive in silence, with the windows down. The hills are bald, with black spikes where the trees used to be. I don’t recognise any of the old familiar turns or corners. I don’t recognise anything’.

Before the fire this family in Australia have fun and do all the normal things that families do. After the  fire they eventually return and start all over again.

In real life it didn’t always work out so well.

A great picture book style story of a real life event with some changes. What an accolade to the author, Ella Holcombe and also to the illustrator David Cox, for setting the atmosphere so well.

Allen and Unwin, publishers have terrific books which are meaningful, good to read and so well produced. The House on the Mountain is well up there and especially as a reminder of Black Saturday.

Highly recommended for all ages.

Sue Martin

Chris Riddell The Age of the Beautiful Book


The Philippa Pearce Memorial Lecture 2017 was presented by Chris Riddell, award winning author, illustrator, political cartoonist and Children’s Laureate 2015-2017.

Not many lectures start with a cartoon of the anticipating audience and the back of the presenter’s head on the large screen! An intriguing way of getting the messages across, and amazing to see book characters come to life before your very eyes! Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, the first in the Goth Girl series, evolved in the screen in front of the audience at Homerton College, Cambridge

Discover Chris’s work on his web site here.

An exploration into the development of the book itself was a joy to listen to, so often we hear of the ideas behind the book but Chris was keen to portray the business of getting the book into print. A meeting with the book development side of the publishers meant that Goth Girl books have plenty of book bling, deep blue, silver foil, varnish effect and above all sprayed edges. At the back of the books is a tiny book in an envelope attached to the back cover; further information about Ishmael the mouse. Brilliant idea! 

The book then travels to the ends of the earth (that may mean China, I suspect!) and back to our country for sale.

The Age of the Beautiful Book was much more than a lecture about illustration in children’s books, but about how that precious book does become beautiful, something to keep and treasure.

Chris talked a little about his own childhood, as the son of a vicar, and how important  books are in exploring new worlds; he talked about finding worlds in wardrobes or indeed down rabbit holes. He has a warm and reassuring tone and when he mentioned that he had, ‘ a vague and reassuring feeling that God doesn’t mind that he doesn’t believe in him’, there were many quiet nods and mmm’s.

This empathy with people is shown throughout his illustrations and he has some ingenious ways of bringing books to life. Now, as he is thoroughly into social media, he has a good way of illustrating characters in all sorts of books and then sending photos to gain many, ‘ little blue thumb likes’! ‘Pictures turbo post words’ he said.

Chris is also an advocate for the real book, the attraction to the senses, tactile, the smell, the sound of turning the pages and being a feast for the eyes. Reading is a pleasurable thing to do and should not be turned into a grammatical exercise only. He  wants children to draw for fun and for expression and we had some amazing cartoons on what would happen if education ever created assessments for drawing; ‘analyse the makeup of the graphite, the ergonomics of pencil sharpening… it would suck the life joy out of it!’

An enthralling lecture, this Philippa Pearce Memorial Lecture on  Friday evening September 8th with Chris Riddell will be remembered for its engagement, fun and how to bring the best in children’s books alive through beautiful books.

Sue Martin

Books go Walkabout, stories across the world



Adelaide’s Secret World by Elise Hurst

Adelaide's Secret World - cover image and purchase link

Buy this book from BgW here…

A very special book, a tale of love, loneliness, longing and dreaming. Adelaide’s Secret World is inspirational. It is a beautifully illustrated book about how the world changes around you and how sometimes it’s hard to change yourself.

Each page has a wonderful illustration of a world beyond Adelaide’s little shop, and into finding herself back in the city. The hustle and bustle which she was used to may have gone but there is still life out there.

From her favourite place on the roof of the little old shop with the red curtains she watches the sun rise and fall, she tries to write stories, but there is always something missing.

One day she finds a book left near a puddle, and in the rain and growing storm she finds its owner and a surprising companion, well surprising for a rabbit!

Adelaide’s Secret World has been short listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards in Australia. Published by Allen and Unwin on 9th March 2017, it would be a lovely book to share across the world, the illustrations are so evocative that the words could be made up in any language.

Elise Hurst is an illustrator and author of childrens’ books as well as a traditional artist. She lives in Melbourne, Australia and has illustrated over 50 books.

Allen and Unwin are publishers based in Australia with some brilliant titles and an ethos and committment to their authors and readers, which is inspirational.

[plasso id=”CGRDcjrzDs” text=”Buy this book from BgW here…”]


‘Highly recommended book’

Sue Martin

Books go Walkabout, stories across the world


Atlas of Animal Adventures from Wide Eyed Publishers

Atlas of Animal Adventures by Wide Eyed Publishers

Review or buy on Amazon.co.uk

New Release for 1st September is the Atlas of Animal Adventures by Wide Eyed Editions part of  Quarto Publishing group.  Illustrated by Lucy Letherland, written by Rachel Williams and Emily Hawkins

From the creators of the bestselling Atlas of Adventures .

A terrific book! A collection of nature’s most unmissable events, epic migrations and extraordinary behaviours.

It’s a large hardback book which feels and looks wonderful. Each page is packed with information in a beautiful style of illustration. Alongside a main section of text there are smaller bite size sentences amongst the images, great style and a great way to explore and find out.

Each continent has several pages with different countries. It is easy and very clear how to find the countries and their continents. In Europe, for instance, there are Polar Bears in Greenland, Puffins in Iceland, Honey bees in the British Isles and, my favourite Barn Owls in France. The owls are gorgeous and we have owlets with nightcaps on in the tree and a protective parent owl overseeing the lavender field at dusk, a beautiful image.

Further afield we have Narwhals in Canada, Black Bears in the USA, Hummingbirds in Costa Rica, Hippos in Botswana and Birds of Paradise in Papua New Guinea.

We recommend the Atlas of Animal Adventures for everyone really and I am about to buy this book for presents for the family!! And for children… well, we go for ages, 6 and above and all ages too!!

Sue Martin                                            Books Go Walkabout






World Book Day Thursday March 7th

Are you ready for the Biggest Show on Earth?

World Book Day in 2013 is going to be a big one! There’s loads going on, take some time in the day to be part of it.

At Dolphin Booksellers and our worldwide project Books Go Walkabout we will be there on-line with links and blogs about some of the events.

Schools we work with are gearing up for all sorts of fun, from dressing up as book characters to using the World Book Day website to access children’s authors like Mallory Blackman in video on how to start a story.

For starters and to get ready for a bonanza of books, reading, authors, stories and fun try clicking through to these World Book Day events.

Find an event near you, competitions, games and videos.




There are loads of resources too…try the Primary Resource Pack






Find how you can buy the books for £1. Have fun.

Dolphin Booksellers and Books Go Walkabout

Enhanced by Zemanta

Projects for 2013

The logo of Books go Walkabout, designed by graphic artist Jim Simpson


Books Go Walkabout is moving into 2013 with a pilot programme for a London school and in Victoria, Australia.

Over the next few weeks, we will be in Sydney, meeting with authors and colleagues to develop the project.

We will also be delivering books from Australia into the London school… two places at once!

A funding route is being explored and if successful will support the project for a time.

Books Go Walkabout, a project which is on its way into 2013 and will bring more books and authors to children across the world.

Sue Martin

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ibby International Congress 2012

book5Crossing Boundaries:Translations and Migrations

33rd year of the Ibby World Congress 23-26th August.

Imperial College, London

A wonderful exploration of how books and stories for children and young people can cross boundaries and migrate across different countries and cultures.

Globalisation, cultural exchange,dual language texts are amongst the discussions.

People from all over the world interested in children’s books with space and time to be creative and talk about bringing books to children across a global village.

Anthony Browne, UK Children’s Laureate, will be there, along with Julia Donaldson and Michael Morpurgo.Aidan Chambers, Shaun Tan, Beverley Naidoo and Candy Gourlay plus many more…

We hope to share some of the Books go Walkabout project and just spend some time talking to others from different countries. Sharing stories, finding ways to bring books and stories to children.

What could be better?

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout Dolphin BooksellersIbby 33

Image from 33rd Ibby International Congress

Enhanced by Zemanta

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén