Archives for February 2018

February 26, 2018 - Comments Off on Wondrous Words from Wales

Wondrous Words from Wales

With St David’s Day on the horizon (and this year it also falls on World Book Day), we’re dedicating today’s post to a host of Welsh children’s writers whose work is as enchanting and varied as Wales itself. I might be a little biased*, but Wales has a rich record of creating writers and poets, so settle down with a delicious cake (preferably of the Welsh variety) while you tuck into these recommended reads whose authors hail from the incomparable Land of Song.

Hubble Bubble fiction series by Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Joe Berger
Each book in this series of classy two-colour fiction features three stories that provide perfect bite-sized bedtime reading for newly independent readers. Each tale follows the magical mayhem made by Pandora’s granny who is (whisper it!) a witch. From creating pandemonium in a pirate-themed school play to making monkey business at the zoo, Granny is always getting up to something and it falls to Pandora to put things right. Younger siblings will love the Hubble Bubble rhyming picture books.

Roald Dahl, incomparable master of wit and invention, was born in Llandaff, Cardiff, to Norwegian parents. Read everything he wrote, then read again. And repeat.

Dottie Blanket and the Hilltop by Wendy Meddour, illustrated by Mina May
Dottie of dreams of living ‘on a bright green hilltop’ away from the smell and bustle of the city. Then, when her dad loses his job, her wish comes true when they move to The Hilltop in The Middle of Nowhere. As Dottie makes friends with the locals, among them Winnie Crisp, Blod Evans and the Fidgets, it turns out that her new hilltop home is actually in the Middle of Somewhere. This is a delightfully eccentric tale for 8+ year-olds, with illustrations that perfectly capture the characters’ charming quirks.

Sweet Pizza by G. R. Gemin
Joe is a Welsh boy who lives in Bryn Mawr, South Wales, and he’s passionately proud of his Italian heritage. He adores the music of the language, the music of the opera, and he LOVES the delicious food. So, when his mam’s run-down cafe – founded by his granddad way back in 1929 – is in need of a serious boost, he’s just the person to take on the task. Both heart-warming and heartily funny, this tale of a community coming together and a boy who’s determined to realise his dream is a fabulous feast of feel-good fiction. We also recommend the author’s debut, Cowgirl.

Gaslight by Eloise Williams
This winner of the Wales Arts Review Young People’s Book of the Year 2017 is a rollicking romp through the shadows of Victorian Cardiff. Nansi remembers the night she and her mother were running away, but she doesn’t remember why she was fished from the river, and she doesn’t know where her mother went. All alone, she starts working in Pernicious Sid’s theatre, but who can she really trust? This action-packed thriller fizzes with fascinating historical detail and an electrifying sense of urgency and adventure.

*being a Welsh writer!

February 9, 2018 - Comments Off on Sisterhood of Scientists

Sisterhood of Scientists

With the International Day of Women and Girls in Science being celebrated on 11 February, we thought we’d highlight a stellar selection of books to inspire all budding young scientists.

Ada Twist, Scientist written by Andrea Beatty, illustrated by David Roberts
Why do hairs grow up noses? Why is there a strange stink in my house? The endlessly inquisitive heroine of this brilliant picture book seeks to discover the answers to these questions and more! The rollicking rhyming text is as energetic as Ada herself, and the illustrations are packed with ingeniously entertaining detail courtesy of none other than long-time friend of Scoop, David Roberts. With her infinite imagination and dogged determination to discover the whys and wherefores of everything, Ada is, quite simply, awesome. Look out for the related experiment-packed Ada Twist's Big Project Book for Stellar Scientists publishing in April 2018, and also see the excellent Rosie Revere Engineer books by the same talented team.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky 
This stylishly illustrated anthology celebrates the achievements of fifty intrepid women who’ve blazed the trail for thousands of female physicists, engineers, doctors and mathematicians through the ages. Featuring fascinating profiles of pioneers through the whole of history, including ancient Alexandrian astronomer and philosopher Hypatia, and Katherine Johnson, the African-American mathematician who calculated the course of the Apollo 11 moon mission, this is a truly inspirational book that sings loud and proud about these oft-overlooked pioneers. This companion ‘I Love Science’ journal provides an additional source of inspiration and information.

A Galaxy of Her Own: Amazing Stories of Women in Space by Libby Jackson
Perhaps contrary to popular perception, women have long been central to space exploration, and this enlightening book certainly sets the record straight with invigorating verve. The handy timeline, running from 1543 to the present day, sets landmarks of space exploration in context, while the main body of the book reveals the awe-inspiring stories of dozen of unsung heroines. A brilliant book for space-lovers aged eight upwards.

Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World by Reshma Saujani
The ground-breaking Girls Who Code organisation was founded by the author of this cool motivational book back in 2012, and within these vibrant, graphic pages she shares stories of women who are making code-related waves in the fields of film, animation, apps and gaming, alongside clear how-to explanations of the principles behind coding. This will surely further encourage girls and young women who are already interested in this revolutionary field, and – significantly – it will also inspire those who think that coding’s not for them.

 

 Featured image is by David Roberts, from Ada Twist, Scientist.