Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Tag: candy gourlay

Mike Falls Up by Candy Gourlay & illustrated by Carles Ballesteros

Topsy turvy adventures…

Part of the Colour Fiction series from Little Tiger Press, an engaging series of short stories for new readers emerging into chapter books. The books are wonderful, they are beautifully bound with high quality paper and they fit into small hands. Each page has engaging illustrations from well known illustrators with clear and bold text.

I love this new series from Little Tiger Press, they make perfect books for young children at the first stages of independent reading at schools and at home.

This blog is the first of four in this series.

Mike and his dog Bowow are relaxing in the Chocolate Hills when the ground starts to tremble and the next moment a gaping hole appears. Before Mike can stop him, Bowow jumps into the hole. Then a note floats up…

Come now.
Just fall up.

‘Get some fresh air’, Mum cried…

There’s no time to wonder what it means – Mike jumps in and falls into the most topsy-turvy of adventures. A joyous story celebrating the power of unexpected friendships by award-winning author Candy Gourlay, beautifully brought to life with stunning illustrations by Carles Ballesteros.

Sue Martin – Children’s Literacy Specialist

Is it a Mermaid? by Candy Gourlay, illustrated by Francesca Chessa


Is it a Mermaid?

Buy this book here…

When Benji and Bel find a strange creature on a tropical beach they know it is a dugong. But the dugong insists she is a beautiful mermaid.

After many attempts to convince the children that she really is a mermaid the dugong swims away with her tail splashing into the warm ocean.

Bel believes her but Benji is very practical and just can’t make the connection. But they all play together with the turtles, and the fishes.

At the end of the day as the sun is disappearing, and the illustrations become gradually softer, the dugong says goodbye to Bel and Benji.

“I have to go,” she said. “Mermaids never stay out after dark!”

The last page is a beautiful purple colour and Ben and Benji walk home in the sunset along the beach to the little wooden cabin.

“I love mermaids!” said Bel.  “Me too,” said Benji.

The first picture book from Candy Gourlay, whose acclaimed novels for young readers, Tall Story and Shine have been listed for the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian’s Children’s Book Prize and both won the Crystal Prize for Europe.

Candy Gourlay is from the Philippines and grew up in Manila. As a child she often wondered why the books that she loved reading were all about pink skinned children and snow covered mountains, it was not like that in the Philippines. So she was determined to become an author and make some changes to the stereotypes.

At Books Go Walkabout, we work in many countries and these aims reflect our own, for books and stories to be meaningful to all children. There are always stories to be told wherever you are.

Francesca Chessa has illustrated over 40 books, including Elliot’s Arctic Surprise and Library Lily. She lives in Turin and holds art workshops for children and adults.

Otter-Barry Books in London, is an exciting children’s imprint making a difference and pushing boundaries of the standard book publishers.

We strongly recommend, Is it a Mermaid? The text and the beautiful illustrations will make it a favourite in schools, libraries nurseries and at home.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout


School Librarian of the Year

Image 1This year two librarians have been awarded the School Librarian of the Year, a celebration at the Hotel Russell in London, on 7th October.

Ginette Doyle, Chair of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Selection committee said:

“They are not joint winners, but each deserves the accolade of School Librarian of the Year.”

Photo from Philip Cooper Photography

“It was an extremely strong, and international, Honour List. In the end we chose two librarians both working in different ways to bring their libraries into the heart of the school and learning.

Candy Gourlay, author of the award-wining Tall Story and recently published second novel, The Shine, presented the award to:

Hilary Cantwell, librarian at St Paul’s Community College Waterford, Republic of Ireland.

Hilary gained expertise in New York schools and public libraries before joining an Irish government programme to create school libraries.

St Paul’s has 430 students and is in a rural county with the highest unemployment in Ireland. It is affiliated to the Irish government’s inclusion programme, Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools.

John Iona, librarian at Oasis Academy Enfield, Middlesex.

John creates award-winning resources, delivers the school’s Extended Project Qualification programme and plays a significant role in curriculum planning and support. The school has 1,100 students of which up to 70% have English as a second language. John actively promotes reading for pleasure with a number of initiatives including Reading Games.

A great celebration and the awards a real reflection of the importance of reading and literacy in schools.

Dolphin Booksellers are pleased to celebrate this achievement of the School Library Association.

Sue Martin

Dolphin Booksellers- the best in children’s books always on line

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