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A Thinking Space

- for lovers of books and those with little ones in their lives


Thoughts for writers, readers and educators on the world of children’s books. We’ve come a long way from the first children’s book, written by  John Newbury in 1744 – sold with a ball for boys and a pincushion for girls – and the expectations, of both publishers and the public,  are ever-changing.

Paint me a Birmingham

 Never ask an illustrator to ‘make it look just the way I plan’

Heading into the Unknown

Why your next book purchase needs to be from an unknown publisher

Aardvarks to Zebras

Why do so many children’s books feature animals, and is it something we should avoid? 

Say it Loud


Traditions of storytelling are important today, too

Seeing Squares


How social media is changing the way we look at books

When B comes before A

Bookshops beat Amazon, every single time. Wondering why? Here’s a handful of reasons.

A Book at Bedtime

Why a book at bedtime is about more than cuddles and calm

Books with Big Words

Why ‘serendipity’ and ‘ecstatic’ should appear on the pages of children’s books

Books Out Loud

Reading aloud to a child is unbelievably important – and ‘Jolly Ollie Octopus’ was written just for that purpose

Jolly Ollie cover

Jolly Ollie and his Australian Adventure

Did you know Ollie has left his cosy home in Scotland and gone to visit Australia? Find his wonderful new adventure here.