The Ringing in the New Year Book Tag

Happy New Year everybody!


To kick off 2018, I thought it would be fun to do the Ringing in the New Year Book Tag, which I found on 
Tiny Obsessions 


Onto the post!


BEST
BOOK/SERIES THAT YOU’VE READ IN 2017.

I think my overall favourite was Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth, which is a contemporary adventure set in the Himalayas which I shout about constantly.


AUTHORS THAT YOU’VE RECENTLY FOUND AND WOULD LIKE TO READ MORE OF IN THE NEW YEAR

I will be tracking down more of Lari Don’s books. Can’t think of anyone else!


MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK TURNED MOVIE?

Love, Simon (even though I still don’t like that title at all! I shall be calling it Simon Vs forevermore)

NAME A CHARACTER THAT YOU WOULDN’T MIND SHARING A KISS WITH AT MIDNIGHT (IF THERE IS ONE
)

Nick from Geek Girl. 💜 him. Or maybe Sirius from Harry Potter.


WHAT’S ON YOUR TBR FOR 2017? (TOP 5 WILL SUFFICE IF IT’S AN EXTREMELY LONG LIST!)

Mine has over 100 Books on it. I really want to get to the Northern Lights trilogy especially, and all the review books I have, and classics, and… I could go on forever (and ever and ever)


HOW MANY BOOKS DO YOU HOPE TO READ IN 2017?

Around 100, though I don’t plan to count them!


WILL YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE GOODREADS READING CHALLENGE (OR ANY OTHERS)?

Nope! I don’t really like putting pressure on myself to read a certain number of books by x time any more. It just made me feel awful about how much slower I’ve become since I was younger And had much more time)


Thank you so much for reading! Do we share any answers? What would you have said for some of these? I’d love to to hear from you down in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!


Amy xxx

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Guest Post: Christmas With Year 3 by Christina of Chrikaru

Hello everybody! 

Today, I have a lovely guest post from my fabulous friend Christina, who blogs about books and modern languages (aka two of my favourite things in the world) all about books she reads with her class at Christmas. 

Over to Christina and her lovely post now!

Amy xxx 


In my classroom we read everyday, several times day. Any time we have a spare minute we read. Read a story, poem or article together as a class, with a friend or alone, we’re always reading. I like to share my favourite stories with the children in my class and consider one of the most important parts of my job is that children leave my class having identified books as sources of joy, inspiration, comfort and information. Books as ‘ uniquely portable magic’ in the words of Stephen King.

I like to match books with what we’re learning about or link them to things that are happening in the real world. Books have started so many valuable, deep conversations with my class and I have seen the impact with children queuing to borrow their own copy, reading more on that subject or in the reports I hear from parents about their once reluctant reader who is now lost inside a book at every opportunity.

The lead-up to Christmas in school is exciting, yet tiring with lots of things going on. To give you an example, in the month leading up to Christmas we have parent-teacher conferences, Arts Week (where each class spends a whole week creating art, culminating in an installation in and around school), Open House  (where children perform, then show their parents around school), flu sprays, Christmas pudding cooking, etc etc. I could keep going!

In amongst all these activities and excitement, it is important to have the sanctuary of reading as that quiet, calm place we all enjoy spending time in, even when the sculpture we’ve spent two hours building has collapsed in a crumpled mess.

So, what do we read?

Here are a few suggestions for any KS1 or KS2 class (ages 4 – 11).

Little Robin Red Vest by Jan Fearnle -Little Robin has given all his nice warm vests to seven chilly friends in need. On Christmas Eve, with no vest left for himself, he huddles on an icy roof… until someone very special comes to the rescue.

I first came across this when teaching Year 1 and it has been a firm favourite with every class I have shared it with. A really cute story about the importance of kindness and sharing!

The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan and Janet Albert- The Jolly Postman brings a batch of wonderful letters for Christmas, including notes from the Big Bad Wolf and all the King’s men.

If you loved the original Jolly Postman book, you will also enjoy this holiday edition where the postman delivers letters to various fairytale characters.

The Polar Express by Chris van Allsburg- A young boy is awakened from his Christmas Eve rest by a train that magically appears just outside his home. 

And so, a magical adventure begins! Truly a classic for Christmas!

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs- Wordless picture book with beautiful soft illustrations – lovely to share with children as you can discuss what is happening on each page.

Yet another classic, The Snowman had charmed and enthralled every child to whom I have introduced him to!

The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffer

Not traditionally Christmas stories, but the storytelling at home fits well with cuddling up with your family during colder weather and The Gruffalo’s Child is set in winter. Stick Man is also a fun read at this time of year, especially as Santa Claus makes an appearance!

Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs

A cute look at what Santa does before and after Christmas – quirky humour and graphic-novel style illustrations make this a winner!

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

This needs no introduction – remember reading this on Christmas Eve with my parents when I was younger and I’m sure that many other families also have this tradition.

Norman, the slug who saved Christmas by Sue Hendra

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27686688-norman-the-slug-who-saved-christmas

This was recommended to me by a friend who is also a primary teacher – I was a bit sceptical at first but the kids loved it! When a big sack of presents lands by Norman the slug, at first he thinks he must have been a very good slug that year. Then he spots the name labels and realises that the presents must have fallen off Santa’s sleigh…

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

Not strictly a Christmas book, but a beautiful story to share with children at any time of the year!

The Stolen Sun by Amanda Hall

A Native Alaskan story about the changing of the seasons – lovely to share with children who may not be familiar with the original folklore.

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson– This is a classic for a reason and one of my childhood favourites – like most popular fairy tales there have been several different re-imaginings of it, but I always enjoyed Gerda striking of into the snow to save her friend

The Twelve Days of Christmas- A fun way to count down the days with your children – it is just an illustration of the song, but it is fun to read as you sing and talk about what each gift might represent or what they might orefer instead!

The Nutcracker- Another Christmas classic, my family watches the ballet together every year. Did anyone else ever imagine themselves as Clara, dancing with the Sugar Plum fairy?

Walk with a wolf, The Emperor’s Egg and Ice Bear- Brilliant faction (fact but illustrated like fiction) books which have fascinated every class I have ever read them to!

How the Grinch stole Christmas by Dr Seuss- This one probably needs no introduction – the inimitable Dr Seuss takes on Christmas through the eyes of the Grinch who hates everything about it!

Okay, am going to stop here although the more I think about it, the more wonderful books I come up with!

Have you read any of the books above? 

Will you add some to your seasonal reading list?

Let me know!

Christina


Guest Post: Louise of Book Murmuration’s Favourite Winter Fairytales

Hello everybody!

Welcome to day 9 of blogmas! Today, I have my friend Louise here to talk about her favourite winter fairytales!

Enjoy! 


Peter Pan- Peter Pan has been associated with Christmas since it hit the stage in the Christmas season of 1904. Otherwise it has nothing to do with winter, or Christmas. I think this shows how any story can become a favourite Christmas tale. Lots of us feel like big children at Christmas, and Christmas is never so magical as in those early childhood years, so I think the theme of the boy who doesn’t want to grow up resonates with children and adults at this time of year.

The Match Girl- Why does a story that ends with the death of a child have associations with Christmas? Seasonal reading doesn’t have to be light and fluffy. Dickens was master of that, but The Match Girl predates even A Christmas Carol. These days we’re as likely to be obsessed with presents and wrapping paper, and driving each other up the wall over television watching rights. The Match Girl goes back to a time when a warm fire and the love of a family was a gift, not a … gift in disguise. I think it has the power to get under the frustration caused by modern life, and modern Christmas, and remind us how lucky we are. Everybody begs that final match to provide the miracle. Every. Single. Time. 

The Snow Queen- Modern adaptations focus on the queen in her palace. To me, the beauty of Hans Anderson’s story is how Gerda travels through the seasons, and those seasons are personified by the people she meets. My favourite part is the Autumn bandit camp.

The King Of The Swans- Delphine travels into a summery land to find the strawberries which will save her friend Hilda. Delphine is unable to get home, until she gifts some strawberries to the King of Swans. Hilda is cured, and years later the swan king gifts Delphine a crown. Ever after, children go in search of the same strawberries, but none find them. Delphine’s selflessness is rewarded, while the other children go in search of riches and come back empty-handed. This story stays in my memory because of the contrast – the summery land found in the middle of a snowy forest.

The Snow Maiden – An elderly couple believe they have been blessed with the child of their wishes when a girl made of snow comes to life. She grows within days into a beautiful young woman, but evaporates over a fire when she is invited to run through the springtime wood. 

The child made of snow is the image which stays with me. We all know what will happen when the girl is invited out into the spring. This is a lovely story to tell aloud, as the twists and turns invite questions.  ‘What do you think they found?’ ‘Do you think she’ll return home?’ 

Don’t these all sound brilliant?! I think my favourite winter fairytale is the Snow Queen for sure. What’s yours? 

Amy xxx





The Birthday Book Tag 

Hello everybody!

As you may know if you follow me on Twitter, yesterday was my birthday! Therefore, today I thought it would be fun to do the Birthday Book Tag, which was created a few years ago by Brunette Bibliophile.

 1. Count your birthday along your bookshelf and then subtract your birth month. What book does it land on?

I counted along my storage boxes instead, and the book I came to was the Smoking Hourglass by Jennifer Bell, which is the 2nd of the Uncommoners trilogy. While I didn’t love it quite as much as the 1st book, I still enjoyed it and I can’t wait for book 3!

2. If you could spend your birthday with any fictional character who would it be and why?

Nick from the Geek Girl series, hands down. Even though things went quite wrong on Harriet’s birthday in Picture Perfect, I feel like Nick would plan something really special.

3. Find a book that takes place in the season you were born in.

A book that takes place in Autumn is The Mystery of the Vanishing Skeleton by Helen Moss, which is one of my favourite Adventure Island books (the others are The Mystery of the Hidden Gold and The Mystery of the Secret Room, if you’re interested!). Another one I love is Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens, in which Hazel and Daisy solve a murder that takes place on Bonfire Night.

 4. Find a book that is the colour of your birthstone

My birthstone is a topaz, which is basically my least favourite gemstone ever, but I digress. It’s orange, and an orange book cover I love is Running on the Roof of the World! Please read it if you haven’t already!

5. Is there a series with the same number of books as your age? If so what is it?

There are 16 Ally’s world books, if you count the Christmas book and the summery follow up!

6. Pick a book set in a time period, world or country you would like to have been born in.

This one is hard! I think we’d all love to live in the Wizarding World though, and I’d also love to be an Uncommoner/see Nevermoor. I have one main one though, but as it’s a question in my upcoming Q&A post in the next month or so I’m staying schtum about it. *looks mysterious* 😉

Thank you for reading! I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you feel like it, I’d love to read your post! 

Amy xxx

Meet My Bookmarks!

Hello everybody!

Today, I thought it might be fun to introduce you to my bookmark collection, seeing how much I love having a nosy at what other people use!


Onto the bookmarks…

First of all, these are my booktails, which I have recently completed my collection of properly. I was given my 1st one, the slightly bedraggled looking (now) jaguar, by my aunt and uncle a few years ago for my birthday. With the exception of my jaguars who are named after my uncle (Walter) and then to alliterate with him, Wanda, all of ny booktails are named in alliteration with their animal: Bertie and Bella the bears, Poppy the pig (who Saffy takes great delight in chewing, far more so than all the others, for some reason. Saffy is my younger golden retriever, if you’re new around here), Daisy the dog, Clover the cow (not pictured) and Sasha the sheep.

Next, my Alex Clark magnetic collection. These were only a recent addition, but I’m obsessed with them already. Fun fact: one of these was intended as a Christmas gift for my gran, but I just couldn’t say goodbye when it arrived. I’ll be placing another order soon to replace it, and if a few other I have my eye on slip in, who am I to stop them…? (And maybe a mug too 😉)

I also have these gorgeous ones which I bought from the Grace Darling Museum. I barely ever use them as they get crushed and crinkled very easily in bags or moving about, but they’re very pretty to look at it, and I believe at least part of the money I paid for them goes to the RNLI, who do such amazing work.

Finally, my odds and ends; a few slogan bookmarks, one with my name on it and also this stunning one someone once drew for me based on a photo of Shimmer and Saffy .  I tend to use these on the rare occasions when I’m reading more than one book to keep my place in the one I start second. The slogan ones do make me laugh! I used to have an amazing tiger one too, which had a super true statement about mornings on it: “I love mornings… I just wish they came later in the day ”

So those are just about all of my bookmarks! Do ypu have any favourites in my collection? Do you use bookmarks? What are your favourites? Tell me about them in the comments or even send a photo on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

The Fall Book Tag

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m taking part in the Fall Book Tag, for which I was tagged by Justine. Onto the post! 

The Rules

  • Please link back to me, Bionic Book Worm, as the creator of this tag!! I want to see your answers!!
  • Use the graphics – if you want 🙂
  • Have fun!

Crisp Fall Air: A book that felt fresh and new- I think I have to go for the Secret series by Pseudonymus Bosch here. I’ve read some books that were similar in plot/tone, but the style of these is utterly unique (and very hard to explain, as it turns out! You’ll understand what I mean if you’ve read these). If not, it’s essentially a narrator watching the events of the book, but not giving any real details about setting /real names of characters as it is ‘too dangerous’ and it’s very quirky. It didn’t akwqys succeed for me, but when it did it was fabulous.

Howling Winds: An ending that blew you away – This one has to be The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke for me; I still don’t fully understand it but it most certainly left my jaw hanging open in shock. I can remember literally gasping as I read the last line 😂

Pumpkin Spice: Your most anticipated read- I’m going to presume this means of the autumn, of which I had two; the Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud, and Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend. I have already devoured both, and they were just as amazing as I expected!

Comfy Sweater: A book that gives you the warm fuzzies- The first thing that sprang to mind for this was Geek Girl, but as I talk about that loads I’m going to say Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, which is a lovely, gentle, funny LGBT contemporary about Simon as he faces problems at school, comes out to his friends and family and falls in love with the mysterious ‘Blue’.

Bright Colours: A cover with either red, orange or yellow- I can think of loads, but I’m going to say Beetle Boy by M.G Leonard!

Not going to tag anyone as autumn is almost over now, but if you feel like doing this, please do send me your link! 

Thank you for reading! What do you think of these books? Are any on your TBR? Let me know down in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl

Amy xxx

Guest Post: Zoe’s Halloween Horror Recommendations

Happy Halloween everyone!

To celebrate the occasion, I asked my lovely friend Zoe, of the equally fabulous No Safer Place, who is a huge horror fan (unlike me, who is a huge wuss) to write some horror recommendations. Enjoy! 

Amy xxx

Over to Zoe 😊


I have loved horror for as long as I can remember. I believe books started this love. My earliest memory of horror is reading Goosebumps and Shivers books when I was around 7/8 and the love only grew from there. Today I thought I’d share my love of horror over the years, starting with my favourite horror book as a child, to my favourite horror book now.

A Ghostly Playmate (Shivers) by M.D. Spenser

So this book was the first horror book I fell in love with. I must have been around 7 when I read it and it terrified me. The idea of moving into a new house, feeling lonely and finding a friendly ghost who wants to be your friend – only to find out she wants you to be her friend forever and she’ll do whatever it takes to get you onto her side…I mean, that’s pretty terrifying. Shivers books are brilliant and if you haven’t read them, pick them up on Amazon!

Night of the Living Dummy (Goosebumps) by R.L Stine

Once I got the taste for horror, I couldn’t stop. Slappy is one of my all time favourite characters. I went to a Goosebumps Alive adult experience recently and I don’t think I’ve ever been as terrified as when I saw Slappy brought to life. Who doesn’t love a good ventriloquist dummy coming to life and trying to kill you? R.L Stine has been one of my favourite authors since I was about 8, and he still is!

Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

Horror in YA is seriously lacking and this breaks my heart. As a lover of YA and horror, nothing made me happier when I found Alex Bell. I read Frozen Charlotte as part of the Zoella Book Club and completely fell in love. Creepy dolls that come to life and torture you and force you to do some truly horrific things. What’s not to love? The prequel Charlotte Says is even better – and even more brutal!

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

Adult horror. I hadn’t read this until a few months ago. Obviously I’d seen the film, loved the TV series and I really wanted to read the original material. It was so much better than the film (I expected no less) and honestly, some of the detail and description is so graphic, it made me feel physically sick…but isn’t that the best part about horror?

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Does this really need an explanation? Dracula is one of the most stunning books ever written and when I read Dracula, aged 14, it changed horror for me. I had a new found adoration for the genre, particularly for vampires and I still do. There is something about Dracula that is just so bloody (excuse the pun!) beautiful.

What are your favourite horror books? What are you reading this Halloween? Let me know in the comments below!