archive,paged,category,category-books,category-55,paged-2,category-paged-2,stockholm-core-1.2.1,select-theme-ver-6.3,ajax_updown_fade,page_not_loaded,side_area_uncovered,,qode_menu_,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.1,vc_responsive

Eight ways to help your child love books

One of the best compliments I get is when someone tells me ‘My son/niece/grandchild isn’t a reader, but I gave him/her your book and they couldn’t put it down. They want to know when the next one is coming out.’ I absolutely love hearing stories like this! Reading a good book is my favourite thing to do. I love knowing that I can play a part in helping others find the pleasure that can be found in bringing words on a page to life.

There are many reluctant readers out there! Some children need little or no encouragement to read, but others have no interest. They would rather be more active, which is important too – all children need to play outside in the fresh air for a variety of reasons. Sometimes I’m asked what I’d recommend to encourage a child to read. I’ve compiled a list of ideas for parents who would like their children to read more and develop a love for books.READ MORE

Anne Frank’s Journey, Part 3 – Auschwitz-Birkenau

In this final post of the three-part series about Anne Frank’s journey, guest blogger Chloe Smyth recounts her recent visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Anne Frank and the other inhabitants of the Secret Annex were sent after Westerbork transit camp.

In February of this year, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Krakow with my school. On the second day of our trip to Krakow we went to Auschwitz, a concentration camp to which innocent people, mainly Jews, were transported by the German Nazis.READ MORE

Anne Frank’s Journey, Part 2 – Camp Westerbork

This is the second of a three-part series about the places Anne Frank stayed from when they went into hiding in 1942 until her death in the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen in 1945. Camp Westerbork, a former transit camp, is located in the north-east of Holland, near the village of Hooghalen.

The rain falls in sheets, dripping off the tall trees and turning the path into a dirty track. I huddle under an umbrella and wrap my flimsy raincoat tighter around me. My feet are wet and dirty in my peep-toe pumps. I’m certainly not dressed for the conditions.READ MORE

Anne Frank’s Journey, Part 1 – The Secret Annex

Earlier this year, I was privileged to visit the beautiful country of Holland and, while there, I finally realised a life-long ambition – visiting the Anne Frank House. I also had the opportunity to see Camp Westerbork, in the east of the country, where all the Dutch prisoners (Jews, resistance workers and others) were taken before they were transported to concentration camps in other parts of Europe.

This is the first of a three-part series where we will be following Anne Frank’s journey, from the Secret Annex in Amsterdam to Camp Westerbork, and onwards to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Anne died in March 1945 in Bergen-Belsen.


Interview with children’s author, Robert Plant

Robert Plant is a Northern Ireland-based evangelist with a special interest in children’s work, and the author of a number of children’s books, both factual (Discover Britain series, and Emerald Isle Adventures), and historical fiction (Escape from the Island of Occupation, Return to the Island of Occupation, and Titanic: The Ship of Dreams). His latest book, Outstanding Orkney, part of the Discover Britain series, is due out within the next fortnight. Robert kindly agreed to answer a variety of questions about writing and books, and you can read his very interesting answers below.

Tell us a little about how you first began to write books.

I use a lot of books as prizes in my children’s meetings and when we first commenced working with children, Karen, my wife, read every book that we gave out. When our daughter, Grace, was born, Karen had other responsibilities, so we just used books that others had recommended or that looked good and were from reliable publishers. One day, I decided to read a few myself and was greatly troubled at the lack of Gospel content in them. I stated to Karen, “I could do much better myself,” to which she replied, “Go on, then!” I took up her challenge and commenced writing a book that I still have not completed!READ MORE

‘Behind the scenes’ interview – Mary Weatherup, illustrator of the ‘Harry’ books

When did you begin to draw and when did you decide that you’d like to illustrate children’s books?

I’ve enjoyed drawing ever since I can remember. My sister and I were always doodling at home and we sometimes made ‘books’ and ‘magazines’!  We were always running out of paper and drew on anything we could find.  It wasn’t until I got to secondary school that I realised I could draw realistically from life. My favourite thing in Art class was when the teacher would set down a few random objects and tell us to draw them.  I didn’t choose to study Art at A level because I felt the emphasis was more on design than drawing, but the thought was always in the back of my mind that I’d like to draw pictures for books.  When I look at a book I always study the illustrations!READ MORE

A box of books, powerful memories, and the gift of reading

As I was rummaging through and half-heartedly attempting to sort out some boxes in our storage room one day, I pulled back the lid on one particular box and caught a glimpse of some special childhood friends. Laughing, I lifted out ‘The Best Mistake Ever’ by Richard Scarry and sank onto the floor to read. Huckle Cat, sent by his mother to the shop for butter, cream, apples, potatoes and oranges, had forgotten to take the shopping list. His friend Lowly Worm happened to be at the shop and so Huckle, on Lowly’s advice, arrived home with peanut butter, ice cream, apple pie, potato crisps and orange juice instead. Frustrated Mother Cat could see no use for party food, but quickly changed her mind with the arrival of unexpected guests.

As I read the words and perused the pictures, deep, long-buried and almost-forgotten memories bubbled up. Not one memory in particular, but a blending of all those times I stared at the illustrations and touched those thick, textured pages with my little hands.READ MORE

Princess Precious and the Great King of Everything, by E M Wilkie

In this post, I chat to fellow children’s author, Eunice Wilkie, about her new release, Princess Precious and the Great King of Everything. This is a beautiful book with great biblical lessons. Little ‘princesses’ are going to love it!

Princess Precious serves the Great King of Everything who lives in Forever Castle, high in the sky. But sadly, not many of the people around her believe in him; they don’t seem to see all the good things the Great King has given her and how splendid he has made her. Unless the people trust in the King, they won’t receive the riches he has for them. The Princess must tell them about him. How can she help them to find him?


Where did you get your inspiration for this story and was there anything in particular which prompted you to write it?

In September 2015 I spent time with my nieces in the USA – three little girls aged 4-6. I saw firsthand how much they loved all the clothes and accessories and books which made them feel like a princess. I had a vague idea it would be good to write a princess story for them – one which wasn’t just another ‘happily-ever-after’ adventure, but also taught something about the message of the Bible. So, while the girls played, I began to scribble ideas – not knowing whether it would amount to much. But stories take on a life of their own – and, a bit further down the road, the book is completed at last.READ MORE

She Said Yes – the moving and inspiring story of Cassie Bernall


Which books have had the greatest impact on your life? This intriguing question was recently asked of listeners on a local radio programme. As I listened to the various answers, I began to consider – which books have been influential in my life?

Heading the list, and the most obvious choice, is the Bible. I don’t believe that, for a believer in the Lord Jesus, any book will ever impact our lives like the Bible, because it is through His word that God speaks to us. Apart from the Bible, though, there are a number of books I’ve read at different stages of my life which have deeply affected me. As I think back to my teenage years, one book stands out.READ MORE

It’s good to read!

file-03-10-2016-19-27-55Exactly 100 years ago today, veterinary surgeon and author James Alfred Wight, better known by his pen name, James Herriot, was born. James’ books, based on his life as a country vet, are educational and entertaining, providing an insight into rural life in 1930s and 1940s Yorkshire, and rich with colourful descriptions of people and places. He was an author with a skilful ability to transport his readers to the scene, as though they were standing beside him, listening to the farmer speaking with a thick Yorkshire accent, feeling the biting wind sweeping down from the fells, experiencing the sights and smells of the barn.

The year I turned three, my uncle and aunt gave me ‘Moses the Kitten’ for Christmas, an illustrated story taken from one of James Herriot’s full-length books. I loved that book. The signs of my affection for it are evident in the worn and tattered cover, the spine stuck with yellowed and crumbling sellotape and the loose and dog-eared pages.READ MORE