Do you know we read every book we sell? Every word written about every book we sell is from our own reading experience? This means that families and schools seeking recommendations can depend on Bookwagon. We are able to offer a selection of books confidently because we know every book we stock.

Bookwagon reading family

School grandparents’ day

What we do

We read every book we sell. If we like a book, we write about it. We have an enormous TBR (to be read) pile. Some very popular titles are on our TBR pile. There is greater attention paid to writers/ picture book makers of very popular books, so we are not unduly concerned.  What about the new writer or picture book maker? The creator who’s taken a punt on something different? A writer or picture book maker from another country, or a title from a smaller publishing house, that is less visible.

Bookwagon Jump!

        Jump (Gecko Press)

 How we find our books

I search for books constantly. Currently I am compiling unique book lists for two schools where we are contracted as reading consultants. I think about our gift book readers. Each has a list where I note possible titles constantly, seeking to fit each reader’s preference and need.

Bookwagon work station

     Bookwagon HQ + assistant

A discovery

I read lists from international press. That’s how I discovered Martin Brown, best known as the artist for ‘Horrible Histories’. Martin Brown’s Lesser Spotted Animals  received two starred American national book of the year reviews at the conclusion of 2017.  After reading and describing the title for Bookwagon, I  recommended and sold it there, through gift book subscription and at popup school book fairs. It was a privilege to be the bookseller that supported Martin Brown’s visit to a Hampshire primary school ahead of the Spring school holidays as he launched Martin Brown’s Lesser Spotted Animals 2.

Bookwagon Martin Brown

Martin Brown, signing, school visit

Bookwagon Lesser Spotted Animals 2

Martin Brown’s Lesser Spotted Animals 2

Readers

Bookwagon readers are a huge source of information. This week, I received a letter from one of our gift book subscribers. This month her gift book subscription choice was The Midnight Hour. She was exultant. For two pages she described the story and contemplated the advantages of each Pooka. (I choose Hare, incidentally.)

Bookwagon The Midnight Hour

The Midnight Hour- Benjamin Read & Laura Trinder

This child is a reader. Books entertain, extend and enthral her. She loves the opportunity to explore new worlds. This reader seeks ‘forever’ books to sustain and delight.

Bookwagon reader's letter

   A letter from a reader

From afar

I learned of adventure writer Dan Smith through my godson who received Boy X for his ninth birthday. This reader told me that Bookwagon must track down Dan Smith’s books. We have loved reading Dan Smith consequently, with Mr Bookwagon recently describing She Wolf. 

Bookwagon She Wolf cover image

     She Wolf- Dan Smith

This is that godson reading ‘She Wolf‘ on Easter Sunday:-

Bookwagon Easter reader

Bookwagon Easter Sunday reader

Press far and wide

I seek information about new releases, or titles of interest, through the global press, book fairs, publishing houses, certain social media sources and international book awards. We read every book we sell. It is imperative to be able to offer the broadest range of quality children’s titles.

Bookwagon Blackbird Fly

Blackbird Fly- Erin Entrada Kelly

I discovered Erin Entrada Kelly and Dan Santat through the American Library Association Awards. Titles such as Blackbird Fly and After the Fall are a privilege to know and recommend.

Bookwagon After the Fall

      After the Fall- Dan Santat

Writers and picture book makers

Discovering a great writer and picture book maker encourages us to seek other titles they have created. Have You Seen My Blankie? is an original, rhyming reading journey. I sought to read other works by Lucy Rowland, thereafter.  The Knight Who Said, “NO!” and Little Red Reading Hood have been ideal additions to our Bookwagon.

Bookwagon Have You Seen My Blankie?

 Have You Seen Blankie?- Lucy Rowland

Cath Howe’s stirring Ella on the Outside has been a favourite Bookwagon reading selection. I read her follow-up Not My Fault in one sitting. Then I described it for our readers, for we read every book we sell.

Bookwagon Not My Fault

 Not My Fault- Cath Howe

Why do we read every book we sell?

I was frequently asked for reading recommendations by children, colleagues and parents when I taught. This counsel increased over the years. I was aware parents and colleagues were time poor, although we were information saturated. We started at a time in which numbers of public libraries, school libraries and independent bookshops are in decline. Public media seldom gives a platform to children’s literature despite its importance to our society.

Bookwagon school event, Sam Usher

Sam Usher, Bookwagon school event

We needed to hit the ground running in creating Bookwagon. To that end, we have not formed a physical shop- yet. We did not want to have to offer coffee, cake, gifts and stationery to enable survival. Bookwagon is focused on children’s books alone. We offer recommendations based on the fact we read every book we sell. I have a long experience and specialism in reading and children’s literature. Bookwagon recommendations are available immediately whether online, through personal contact or popup event.

Bookwagon stall

  Bookwagon makes a stand

A Golden Age of Children’s Literature

I listened to a recent broadcast focused upon children’s literature-  BBC Radio 4 Front Row Golden Age of Children’s Books? A speaker suggested ‘There are better books being published than at any other time.’ I agree. There is a greater choice and higher quality of titles. However, ‘We are drowning out fine children’s books’.  A proliferation of overly familiar titles, authors and themes, a ready availability of cheap, disposable books result in better books not reaching their deserved reading audience.

Bookwagon gift reader

      A Bookwagon reader

Bookwagon is tiny and new. However we are determined to do our best to bring good books to readers. We read every book we sell, proudly.

Happy reading