The Mermaid Atlas: Merfolk of the World

Title: The Mermaid Atlas: Merfolk of the World Writer: Anna Claybourne, illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora Publishing House: Laurence King Publishing Date of Publication: June 1st 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in.”   J. Iron Word Mermaids. Complicated, controversial, mysterious, endlessly fascinating creatures…

Bright Dreams: The Brilliant Ideas of Nikola Tesla

Title: Bright Dreams: The Brilliant Ideas of Nikola Tesla Writer: Written and illustrated by Tracy Dockray Publishing House: Capstone Editions Date of Publication: September 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I don’t care that they stole my idea…I care that they don’t have any of their own.’’                              Nikola Tesla The story of the man who invented the future. The man who gave…

Gossip From The Forest

Title: Gossip From the Forest Writer: Sara Maitland Publishing House: Granta Books Date of Publication: November 1st 2012 Rating: 1 star I won’t write an elaborate (and boring…) Introduction about how much I longed to read this book. It was one of my most coveted treasures from the moment I bought it and I wanted to savour it and…

Ghost Stories of Louisiana

Title: Ghost Stories of Louisiana Writer: Dan Asfar Publishing House: Lone Pine Publishing Date of Publication: September 1st 2007 Rating: 5 stars ”And yet there are other nights – nights when the wind carries something unsettling through the Vieux Carre’s cramped streets. Nights when the black water of the Mississippi whispers something of the past as it crawls bu the…

Portrait of an Artist: Claude Monet

Title: Portrait of an Artist: Claude Monet Writer: Lucy Brownridge, illustrated by Caroline Bonne-Müller Publishing House: Quarto Publishing Group – Wide Eyed Editions Date of Publication: January 7th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I like to paint as a bird sings.’’ (Claude Monet) A beautiful book that aims to introduce the younger audience to one of the masterminds of Impressionism. Claude…

Alan Turing (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Alan Turing (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer:  Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara (illustrated by Ashling Lindsay) Publishing House:Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication:April 7th 2020 Rating:5 stars ”Even a broken clock is right twice a day.” (quote from the 2014 film The Imitation Game) Alan was a shy boy. His brain could work in such mysterious,…

Irish Ghost Tales

Title:Irish Ghost Tales Writer:Tony Locke Publishing House:The History Press Ireland Date of Publication:August 1st 2016 Rating:5 stars ”There are ghosts and ghoulies that can give you a fright When you’re tucked up warm in your bed. There are things that sometimes go bump in the night Or are they just inside your head?” We have…

Maria Montessori (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title:Maria Montessori (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara (illustrated by Raquel Martín) Publishing House:Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication:March 5th 2019 Rating:5 stars ‘’The greatest sign of success for a teacher…is to be able to say, the children are now working as if I did not exist.’’        …

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts

Title: The Woman Warrior Writer: Maxine Hong Kingston Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: 2015 (first published August 12th 1976) ”I inspired my army, and I fed them. At night I sang to them glorious songs that came out of the sky and into my head. When I opened my mouth, the songs poured out and were loud enough…

A Christmas Cornucopia

Title: A Christmas Cornucopia Writer: Mark Forsyth Publishing House: Viking Date of Publication:November 3rd 2016 Rating:5 stars ”There’s a lovely story about a Tokyo department store, back in the days when Christmas was unknown in Japan. The head of this store had heard rumours of a Western tradition that involved a massive shopping spree and he wanted to…

Rain: Four Walks In English Weather

Title: Rain: Four Walks In English Weather Writer: Melissa Harrison Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication:March 3rd 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The village is far behind me now, its squat church tower lost in trees. The lane I walk is flanked by hawthorn hedges, and on the regress glossy hart’s tongue fens funnel the rain so…

Mary Shelley

Title: Mary Shelley Writer: Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara & illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: October 1st 2019 Rating: 5 stars I have long coveted the Little People, Big Dreams series. It seems to me that the time has come for the intermediate students to familiarize themselves with writers, scientists, artists that have shaped…

Literary Landscapes: Charting the Worlds of Classic Literature

Title: Literary Landscapes: Charting the Worlds of Classic Literature Writer: Edited by John Sutherland Publishing House: Black Dog & Leventhal Date of Publication: November 13th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Literary landscape is composed of words which must be recomposed in a frame of imagination. ‘’The inward eye’’, British ‘’Lakeland’’ poet William Wordsworth called it, drawing a distinction between perception and…

Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story

Title: Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story Writer: Sean Taylor & Alex Morss, illustrated by Cinyee Chiu Publishing House: Quarto Publishing Group Date of Publication: September 17th 2019 Rating: 5 stars When I was a child, I had the fortune to witness the changing of the seasons in my grandmother’s house. The garden was enormous, full of flowers and trees,…

Useless Magic

Title: Useless Magic Writer: Florence Welch Publishing House: Fig Tree Date of Publication: July 5th 2018 Rating: 5 stars I mean, look at the endpapers!   ‘’Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don’t know what I’m trying to say till years later. Or a prediction comes true and I couldn’t do…

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

Title: Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World Writer: Pénélope Bagieu Publishing House: First Second Date of Publication: March 6th 2018 Rating: 5 stars There are dozens of books dedicated to women (well-known and less so) who defined their field and couldn’t care less about what society and established norms had dictated for them. Many of these books are successful,…

Walking the Himalayas

Title: Walking the Himalayas Writer: Levison Wood Publishing House:  Little, Brown and Company Date of Publication: May 24th 2016 (first published March 1st 2016) Rating: 5 stars Sometimes, it is better to let the extracts do the talking… ‘’If you keep walking on the north bank of the Thames, past the Putney Bridge Premier Inn there’s a medieval church with…

Cosy: The British Art of Comfort

Title: Cosy: The British Art of Comfort Writer: Laura Weir Publishing House: HarperOne Date of Publication: November 5th 2019 Rating: 1 star How does each one of us define coziness? For me, it’s comfort and warmth regardless of the season. A mug of chocolate, a book and the caramel glow of a dimly lit room reflecting on the window. Others…

Under the Rock: Stories Carved from the Land

Title: Under the Rock: Stories Carved from the Land Writer: Benjamin Myers Publishing House:  Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: April 25th 2019 (first published May 17th 2018) ‘’Let things settle. Let tress reach downwards, their curling roots grasping deep into the underworld. Let weeds wander, and life crawl and colonise and entangle.  Let the seasons set the pace….

Occult London

Title: Occult London Writer: Merlin Coverley Publishing House: Oldcastle Books Date of Publication: May 1st 2018 (first published June 1st 2007) Rating: 4 stars ‘’London is a city whose origins remain obscure and whose identity remains bound up with the mythical and the legendary, the hidden and the occult.’’ One of my most beloved semi-urban myths/ modern fables/ occult instances/…