Sports lovers’ fiction: 10 great sports books for kids

We are asked all the time for book recommendations for kids who love sport. If your youngsters, like mine, are missing their usual sports clubs, teams and activities during lockdown, why not try quenching their sporty thirst with some of these fiction books for sport-loving kids?

Posted on Saturday, June 20, 2020

Africa books edit for younger readers

One of the things we love about reading with kids is the wider world it opens up for them and the book we sent our Parakeet subscribers last month is the perfect example. Too Small Tola is set in bustling Lagos, Nigeria, and stars Tola, a young girl who lives with her brother, sister and grandmother. Here we share 6 more books set in Africa which you might like to look out for.

Posted on Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Parrot Street Guide to Children’s Book Prizes

A very wise publishing person once told me that, in the world of children’s publishing, ‘prizes don’t sell books’. It’s true that even the biggest children’s book prizes don’t get the same media coverage as, say, the Booker Prize, meaning that of course the winning books don’t get the same exposure as the equivalent adult prize-winners. And yet they are a fantastic way to identify some of the best new children’s books and authors and a great place to discover your next favourite read. We share our guide to the children’s book prizes worth following.

Posted on Thursday, March 12, 2020

Everything you need to celebrate World Book Day

Our favourite day of the year is almost here – hooray! Don’t panic if you haven’t got your costume sorted yet, as we’ve got some super easy World Book Day costume hacks for you, plus lots of other creative ways you can celebrate with your young bookworms this week.

Posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Reading the classics

When asked which books you think a child should have read by the time they reach their teenage years, many parents would reel off a list of classics. But how accessible are they really to today’s young readers? Why do we spend so much energy trying to get our kids to read the classics, when there is such a wealth of fantastic (and high quality) children’s publishing happening right now? We share our thoughts on this thorny issue and three new adaptations of classic texts which have impressed us recently.

Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2020

Highly illustrated books for kids aged 8+

Not only do illustrated books make beautiful gifts, they can also be a great gateway to more challenging content for struggling or reluctant readers. They are inclusive and great for sharing – books for the whole family to enjoy, young and old. So we're sharing just a few of the highly illustrated chapter books worth looking out for.

Posted on Saturday, February 1, 2020

5 brilliant kids’ books set in Australia

The book we sent our Cockatoo subscribers this month tells the story of a young boy and his family who have immigrated to Australia. Between that and the current bushfire crisis, this amazing country is very much at the forefront of our minds at the moment. Here are five chapter books set in Australia which we think would make perfect reading for anyone who would like to explore more about life Down Under.

Posted on Friday, January 17, 2020

Great new books on our shelves

The Parrot Street Support Crew were lucky enough to unwrap loads of new books this Christmas and we thought it would be fun to share a few of the highlights.

Posted on Tuesday, January 7, 2020

9 of our favourite Christmas books

Christmas is coming and that means it’s time to dig out our favourite Christmas reads! Reading for us is a social experience and a brilliant way to spend some precious family time. Here is our round up of our favourite Christmas books for kids.

Posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Why books make the best presents

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, books make the best gifts. Whether it’s a party favour, a birthday gift, stocking stuffer or part of a treasured family ritual, you can’t go wrong with a book.So, with this in mind, we thought it would be fun to share our top 8 reasons why books make the best presents.

Posted on Monday, December 9, 2019

6 kids’ books starring animal heroes

Kids love animals and animals feature in many of our favourite children’s fiction books. Creating animal characters with human features and personality traits offers authors a way of exploring difficult situations and some of the insecurities kids feel themselves in a way that is relatable but not too serious. Here are six more brilliant kids’ books with heroic animal characters!

Posted on Monday, November 18, 2019

7 detective novels for kids who love a mystery!

This month we have sent our Cockatoo subscribers an absolutely cracking murder mystery novel, packed with drama and intrigue and starring an inspiring pair of sisters and aspiring detectives. Here we share 7 more chapter books for children aged 5 to 11 starring some of our favourite literary detectives.

Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2019

5 kids’ book bloggers to follow

The sheer volume of kids’ books published every month can be a bit overwhelming – how do you find the gems? Of course, one answer is to join our book club! Another great way to keep track of the finest (and funniest) kids’ books as they are published is to follow some of the excellent kids’ book bloggers out there. Here are our top five:

Posted on Monday, September 30, 2019

7 series for independent readers aged 9+

Kids just love a series. Children of all ages like the familiarity of a series, of a character they’ve got to know over a number of books and having the confidence that they are picking up a book they know they’re going to enjoy. But what do you do when they’re stuck in a bit of a Harry Potter rut? We share our recommendations for series that are perfect for older readers.

Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Great series for making the transition to chapter books

Taking that step from picture books to being read chapter books can seem like a big milestone in any child’s reading life. We’ve picked 5 chapter book series for kids that we think are perfect for making the transition to chapter books. They’re all highly illustrated but long enough that the story is enjoyed over the course of a few reading sessions.

Posted on Monday, June 24, 2019

What Reading in the Park is all about

Reading in the Park is our way of celebrating the social side of reading with our local community. What a pleasure to be able to enjoy the warmer weather, get outside and get kids reading!

Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Funny books for kids who love animals

This month we sent our subscribers a very funny book about a boy who discovers he can change into animals – anything from a flea to a rhino, sometimes at the most inconvenient times and always with hilarious consequences. Animals in books also provide the opportunity for lots of humour – and kids love funny books! We're sharing seven of our favourite funny books for animal-lovers.

Posted on Friday, May 17, 2019

All books are for everyone – keeping our book club gender neutral

One of the things that makes our kids book club unique is that, within the two different age categories, everyone gets the same book. It’s a book **club**, after all, and our aim is to develop an inclusive community of book-loving kids and parents who enjoy sharing their reading experience with others. We share the thoughts behind our books choices and 5 series recommendations that are great for both boys and girls.

Posted on Friday, May 3, 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

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

Choosing the best children’s books for our subscription boxes

One of the questions we are asked most often is ‘how do you choose the books you send to subscribers?' We are always pleased to be able to reassure customers that we have read (and re-read) every single book we send, plus many more in our efforts to shortlist the most appropriate for our boxes. These are the things that we look for when we’re shortlisting titles.

Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 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

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

Why reading matters

Parrot Street Book Club is all about reading for pleasure. In this digital age, with so many things competing for our kids’ time and attention, we risk raising a generation who can read, but choose not to. We have to work harder than ever to inspire a lifelong love of reading in our children, so we're sharing the five reasons why we think it’s worth the effort.

Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2018

Reading together

We are great advocates for reading together with our children, regardless of how young or old they are or how confident they are reading independently. We are all well aware of the benefits of reading aloud with young children, emerging and reluctant readers. But how many of us continue to read with our children once they have grown into confident independent readers?

Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2018

5 top tips for inspiring your child to love reading

The aim of our book club is to get children thinking about and enjoying good books, not testing them on their reading skills. With so many digital distractions competing for their time and attention, how do we inspire them to choose and engage with a good book?

Posted on Sunday, October 7, 2018