Let’s turn to books (with the promise of a discount too!)

My knee-jerk reaction to most questions is to turn to books. However I was stumped by a school friend’s quiz, asking me to associate my behaviour during the Covid-19 crisis with that of a New Zealand bird. Was I a kereru who eats the quarantine chocolate before lockdown begins? Or maybe a piwakawaka that smiles at everyone on a daily walk? Maybe I’m a tui, vocal about how well I’m coping. What about the others? 

Bookwagon Tui


As I sought, vaguely, to categorise myself, I realised I am a little bit of every bird. Maybe you’re the same. I’ve gone through periods of determination that have evaporated into periods of despair. I’m so concerned about professionals who are taking such risk and responsibility for the health and welfare of our population. Furthermore, and selfishly, I’m worried about the future of our small, independent business. Finally, I cannot imagine what lies ahead for our planet. Is it as Nicola Penfold suggests in Where the World Turns Wild perhaps? There, too, the central character sought to turn to books for inspiration and succour.


Where the World Turns Wild (C) Bookwagon

  Where the World Turns Wild

An offer

We trust that some of the titles suggested provide a tweak (or tweet) of inspiration. Bookwagon offers you a discount code of 20% redeemable until midnight on April 20th that you might apply to the purchase of books and/ or a Book Bundle. Just add the code bookbubble   when you’re asked to apply the code.

Time to consider

This is the first time I’ve a hunch of understanding how people who’ve dealt with real crises might feel. It makes me feel humble and ashamed. The Covid-19 crisis reminds me of my mother’s memories of Aunty Freda, born after the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, who lived with a constant sniff. What will be our legacy? Individually? Nationally, or even further?

While we sort this out and waiver from resolution to desperation, there is need for hope, humour, distraction and explanation. As ever, I turn to books that seek to satisfy these needs. 

A happy Bookwagon subscriber

A happy Bookwagon gift book subscriber

Books of hope

I’ve been waxing on about the wonder of Sara Pennypacker’s Here in the Real World for some time. Despite my initial anxiety about the hero, Ware must face up to the complexity of life to appreciate the person he has been always. 

Here in the Real World (C) Bookwagon blog

    Here in the Real World

What of The Thirteenth Home of Noah Bradley? Despite a centuries’ old curse upon his family, Noah’s happiness at his latest address means he overlooks signs that he and his brother have been discovered. Their father is in Singapore while their mother is in hospital. What will Noah do? 

The Thirteenth Home of Noah Bradley (C) Bookwagon

The Thirteenth Home of Noah Bradley

And more

Perdu is without hope. He follows a leaf in the breeze that seems to have the purpose and direction he lacks. It leads from a field to the city, where he is unwanted, shunned, scare and hungry.  Who wants Perdu? 

Perdu (C) Bookwagon

Perdu by Richard Jones

Lola’s situation is desperate. Once her biggest concern was screen time, now it’s somewhere to sleep. Ele Fountain turns her attention to the perils of Indian street children in the superb Lost. 

Lost (C) Bookwagon

    Lost by Ele Fountain

The Littlest Bandit is overlooked and dismissed by Grandma when her latest daredevil activity leaves her stuck. She wants action, while Littlest is inclined to turn to books. Where might a solution lie?

Bookwagon The Littlest Bandit (C)

The Littlest Bandit by Ali Pye

Stories of distraction

Newton of Nine Lives Newton doesn’t pay close attention to the signs. He doesn’t turn to books! Instead, he sees only what he wants to see. Therefore he sees is an opportunity to live the life of a thrill seeker! Furthermore, he’s off to the Roarsome Adventure Nature Reserve to tease lions and awaken sleeping bears! 

While Iris speaks to the seagulls on the roof of her grandmother’s house, her grandmother’s Talking to the Moon. Iris is in denial although her ‘not a friend’ finds Mimi’s behaviour funny. Could listening to Mason’s marble collection history prove a distraction? 

Talking to the Moon (C) Bookwagon

Talking to the Moon


Mr Brown takes a break from his busy day to eat his sandwiches in the park. However, his distraction allows a baby elephant to hook his briefcase from its resting place and make off with it! Can his precious belongings be returned to Mr Brown? It’s beginning to look like  Mr Brown’s BAD Day

  Mr Brown’s BAD Day and Nine Lives Newton


Explanation at first

Nosy Crow publishers are offering a free download book from Axel Sheffler that aims to explain the Corona-virus to children. Please follow the link:- Nosy Crow a Book for Children: Corona Virus Furthermore, they ask any families who are able to donate to the NHS in lieu of payment for this download:- NHS Charities Together

Other explanations

Once Upon a Raindrop is included within the UKLA’s shortlisted information books. This  outstanding title considers a raindrop, from its possibility, to formation and journey. James Carter writes in descriptive, rhyming verse, that seems to defy definition. Additionally, Nomoco’s pictures are empathetic and beautiful. 

Once Upon a Raindrop (C) Bookwagon

 Once Upon a Raindrop

M.G. Leonard is best known for the superb Beetle Boy series. Along with her friend Sam Sedgman she created the first of a new series this year, when her sons sought to turn to books about trains and found very little. The result is the fulfilling The Highland Falcon Thief.

In the past week, M. G. Leonard’s first picture book, in collaboration with illustrator, Daniel Rieley, has been released. The Tale of a Toothbrush suggests a story of whimsy or a patronising tone. However, as Mr Bookwagon and I cleaned our teeth last night, we muffled through the plot. Not only does the writer build an accessible tale, but she leaves us with questions, information and possibilities. 

Alongside curiosities

Lucy Sladan’s sighted strange Bigfoot like creatures in Sticky Pines.  The new owner of the Sticky Sweet factory seems rather too keen to dismiss Lucy’s evidence. In addition he seeks to ensure Lucy and his son, her new friend and accomplice, stay away from the towns’ foodstuffs and locals. What is going on? The Bigwoof Conspiracy is like a Twin Peaks for younger readers; eerie, funny and distracting! 

The Bigwoof Conspiracy (C) Bookwagon

The Bigwoof Conspiracy by Dashe Roberts

Zoe receives a letter from the father she’s never known on her twelfth birthday. Marcus is in prison. What will she do with the letter? Who is  Marcus? What crime did he commit and why? Her summer holiday plans of cupcakes dissipate in a cloud of Fruit Loops and postage stamps as she begins a journey of explanation toward The Faraway Truth

The Faraway Truth (C) Cupcakes

Funny books

The Exiles remains a title that has made me laugh most in the past year. I cannot believe that I did not read this earlier. One of our subscribers emailed to say that she loves this series so much that she ‘saves’ it. I understand.

Similarly, I was late to discover Flat Cat. Jimi-My-Jim’s high life does not quell his need for the big city, cool cats and the risk of cat fights. What is his owner Sophie to do? 

Flat Cat (C) Bookwagon

Flat Cat by Hiawyn Oram and Gwen Millward

What about…

Jennifer Killick has an exceptional ear for dialogue. She can overlap conversations so that we interpret the hidden feelings and attitudes of characters. Furthermore, she makes us laugh uproariously, even when the situation might be terrifying as in her latest title, Crater Lake

Crater Lake (C) Bookwagon

        Crater Lake

Anisha’s climbing the walls for Aunty Bindi’s wedding is imminent and her previous good humour has evaporated into a wail of mehndi paint! Furthermore, the groom seems to have disappeared. When Anisha discovers a kidnap note she knows that her cool head is necessary to save the wedding date! Let’s turn to books to help Anisha Accidental Detective

Let’s turn to books

We invite blog subscribers to browse through our ever growing selection with the lure of an exclusive discount that can be applied to any purchase of books or a Book Bundle. Just add a discount coupon code bookbubble. This offer is available until midnight April 20th.

A message from BookwagonRemember Mr Bookwagon and I are reading constantly, adding to an already impressive range of titles! Although delivery may be slower than usual, your books will arrive with you and you’ll be supporting a small business too!

Don’t forget that your reader can add a comment or review after reading any book aboard Bookwagon. We welcome your feedback.

Finally, we wish all of you safety, calm and good health. You are in our thoughts. Take care out there.

Happy reading