Why a literary festival makes a great family day out
You may think a literary festival would be no place for kids, with lots of long lectures and intellectual discussion but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The breadth and depth of events for children at these festivals is simply stunning. Here's why we love them and are taking a stall at three in the next few months.
Posted on Friday, April 19, 2019
Our pirate book edit
Ahoy, me hearties! This month we sent our Parakeet subscribers a swashbuckling pirate adventure, which inspired us to come up with this edit of our favourite pirate-themed books for kids.
Posted on Friday, April 12, 2019
Parrot Street recommends: 12 things to do in the Easter holidays
The Spring term has whizzed by in a blur of World Book Day costumes and the Easter holidays are just around the corner. We don’t know about you, but the school break has rather snuck up on us. In case you’re casting around for ideas to fill the holidays and keep your little bookworms busy, here’s a round-up of our favourite things to do. Fingers crossed for two weeks of sunshine!
Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2019
Our edit of kids’ fiction books set in Africa
This month we sent our Cockatoo subscribers a very exciting book in which a London schoolboy heads to Kenya to meet his Maasai family and learn all about life in the African savannah. If you’re inspired to explore Africa, here’s a list of middle grade fiction titles that we think make an excellent introduction to this amazing continent.
Posted on Monday, March 11, 2019
Should we ban Roald Dahl from classrooms?
As children of the 1980s, we grew up reading Roald Dahl and there is absolutely no denying the enormous impact his books have had on not one but several generations of young bookworms. But if we keep going back to Roald Dahl, how will kids discover the raft of contemporary, culturally-relevant children’s books that are being published right now?
Posted on Thursday, March 7, 2019
40+ ideas for simple World Book Day costumes
We enjoy making life that bit simpler for parents when it comes to anything book-related, so have put our heads together and come up with over 40 children’s book character costumes that are easy to recreate. Some require a bit more crafting than others but half term seems like the perfect time to get started and even enlist the children’s help too!
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2019
6 book-related things to do during half term
We thought it would be useful to share a few book-related activities which you can have up your sleeve in case you are in need of things to keep the kids busy over the half term break.
Posted on Friday, February 15, 2019
How to set up a book club for your kids
Informal book clubs organised by a group of friends have become increasingly popular amongst the UK’s adult population in recent years. But what about our children? Why should the grown-ups have all the fun? If you’ve got a young bookworm in your family, why not help them set up their own book club?
Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2019
The reading habit: a recipe for health and happiness?
There’s a lot of focus at this time of year on building healthy habits for both body and mind. What if I told you that there was one simple and enjoyable habit that could significantly impact your child’s happiness and wellbeing? And even better, that you’re probably already doing it?
Posted on Friday, February 1, 2019
10 minute craft activity: make a badger puppet
Doing a craft activity that’s related to a book you’ve read is a great way to encourage children to think a bit more deeply about the story or characters. It encourages conversations and can spark little imaginations to get creative too, so here are some instructions for making one of your own.
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2019
2019: your year of reading?
We thought we’d share with you one of our own New Year’s resolutions in the hope that it will inspire you to make 2019 your year of reading. We’ve decided to set our families a reading challenge – everyone can take part and we’re looking forward to swapping notes on the books we’ve each read.
Posted on Thursday, January 3, 2019
Giving the gift of reading
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the gift-giving, parties and Christmas goodies at this time of year. And, as a small business, at what is inevitably our busiest time of year, we’re well aware that we have been merrily contributing to the Christmas shopping hype. So, here’s a timely reminder of a few ways we can give back at Christmas (while still sticking to our mantra that books make the best gifts!).
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Make Polish gingerbread cookies
This time last year we had just sent our trial subscribers the beautifully written and illustrated The Fish in the Bathtub by Eoin Colfer. It's a story set in Poland at Christmas and we included a recipe for delicious Polish gingerbread, or pierniczki (pronounced pier-nitch-key), in the activity pack that accompanied the book. Why not have a go at making some yourself this year?
Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Our favourite books of 2018
Having thought back through the year we came up with these 10 fabulous titles which we’ve particularly enjoyed sharing with our families. Some are new books, others are old favourites and all of them would make a fantastic present under the tree this Christmas.
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Our Christmas book edit
Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? With only a month to go, we’re sure you are already racking your brains for Christmas gift ideas. It won’t surprise you to hear that, in our opinion, books make the best gifts for kids of all ages! So we've shared five of our Christmas favourites.
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2018
The power of funny books
Funny books are a serious business. It’s easy to dismiss them as frivolous and silly, but for nurturing a love of reading and encouraging reluctant readers in particular, they are extremely powerful.
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2018
Our Halloween reading recommendations
We've recently enjoyed reading (and re-reading) some Halloween-related books with our kids. Here we share our top 6 spooky reads for you to try.
Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Bookish activities for half term
We find it useful to always have a few activities up our sleeves when the kids are on school holidays, for those moments when tempers are fraying, or the weather has scuppered our plans. We share some of our favourite book-related activities from around the web.
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2018
Inspire a lifelong love of reading
Reading builds language and literacy but that’s not where the benefits end. Studies show that reading for pleasure also has an enormous impact on our children’s emotional and social development. We share our tips for making reading an integral part of your family life.
Posted on Monday, October 15, 2018
Let’s talk about books
By sharing and talking about the books we’ve read, we are able to explore what they mean to us and how they relate to our own lives, and that applies as much to our children as it does to us and our book club friends. Indeed, books allow our children to explore, question and work things out for themselves. So how do we encourage our kids to experience the joy and benefits of talking about books?
Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2018
Go on a literary adventure in London
Pairing a book with a day out is a great way to build the excitement and anticipation for your trip but we also know that encouraging children to think a bit more deeply about what they’ve read, and connect it to their own experiences, is hugely beneficial. We share ideas for five fabulous days out in London.
Posted on Saturday, October 13, 2018
Our favourite female heroines
Children’s literature is packed full of inspiring and empowering female characters. We were spoiled for choice when compiling this list, so share just five of our favourites.
Posted on Friday, October 12, 2018
Our favourite graphic novels
Graphic novels are a great way of getting emerging and reluctant readers of all ages reading by themselves. They are a feast for the eyes, packed full of images to help engage young readers, while at the same time offering the sort of complex plot lines and deeper characterisation that middle grade readers are ready for. We share some of our favourite books and series for you to explore.
Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Discovering great (new) books
One thing we hear from parents time and again is that their kids will only read books by their favourite author or in their favourite series. While this sort of reading behaviour isn't neccessarily a bad thing, we share our tips for encouraging your child to read more widely.
Posted on Monday, October 8, 2018