BOOKWAGON BLOG

To the live experience

We have enjoyed a live experience from Elbow, a favourite band on a number of occasions. I love their songs, especially for Guy Garvey's poetic lyrics. During our first Elbow concert, he explained that 'Mirror Ball' was inspired by the rush of a first realisation of...

A place to go and be happy

The school place Teachers spend chunks of time during their year reorganising classrooms. There are many reasons for this; from different events to varying themes and needs. However, one constant factor is a need to create the right reading place. Physical...

Hitching our Wagon

The Bookwagon rolls into the London Book Fair ’Its only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realise your true potential’ - Barack Obama This week the Bookwagon team has been at the London Book Fair at Olympia. The UK book trade’s...

Who can you trust for good advice?

My dentist shares his latest reading material while he scrutinises my teeth. This week, he talked about hoaxed material within the National Archives, how to test psychotic tendencies and the gut's nervous system. I do not share his reading tastes or opinions but trust...

Choosing the path between the stars

Making a choice Some years ago, we paced an aisle between cages of cats and kittens, choosing just one. There were representatives of every colour, breed and age of cat. So many cats were friendly and keen to engage. On our third, final agonising walk, a small cat...

Ice cream castles and feather canyons

There is nothing like sharing joy in a book you've read. I've had that at my book group on occasion. It's like being spread with warmed jam. Sometimes, upon completing a Bookwagon title, I  need Mr Bookwagon to read it too because I want to share it so desperately....

Hermiones rather than Pansy Parkinsons!*

Award season is upon us. As predicted, Frances McDormand won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Actress as bereaved mother, Mildred Hayes, in 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'. Mildred's angry grief, as played by Frances McDormand, is painfully palpable. You...

A favourite but not a favourite

Amongst the favourite books I do not really have is The Hueys in The New Jumper.  I have loved this title since it was first published. 'The New Jumper' has been read with many children in different venues over the years. Always, their first reaction is incredulity...

I’m Sorry I’ll Reread that Again

During one of our first Christmases Mr Bookwagon and I agreed to watch a film the other loved, that would be outside of our comfort zone. Mr Bookwagon was persuaded to watch the 1995 version of 'Persuasion', starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. I watched 'The...

The pass to personal freedom

Within a cranberry's whiff of Christmas Day, Valentine red and chocolate eggs rolled into shop aisles. 2017 calendars hung about, while we had not begun to enter 2018 diary dates. January morphed into February, to an inevitable of Valentine's Day refrain, a recitation...

How do you read?

So how do you read? 'How do you read?' This question has been prompted through my visit to a schools' reading resources' provider's website. As I browsed, I became frustrated, as I would have as a young reader. Titles within series had been separated through the...

Under a Super Blue Blood Moon

From January:- The end of the first month of 2018 is portentous. A super blue blood moon, where a blue moon, total lunar eclipse and super moon, coincide, is due. The best places to observe this phenomenon are Hawaii, Alaska, eastern Russia, Australia, New Zealand or...

There Once Was an Ugly Duckling

Yesterday I listened to a Radio 4 interview with children's writers Francesca Simon and Michael Rosen. They were asked about the comparative imbalance of gender representation in children's picture books. Many fewer are represented in children's literature, despite...

A Dose of Truth Aboard the Wagon

Remembered truths:- I remember incidents of my own learning to read experience. The sequence of graded books progressed by colour and with difficulty according to increasing reading fluency. I recall moving onto a grade that meant books with blue covers that included...

The Flame and the Flicker

We attended the National Theatre's acclaimed new production of 'Network' this week. This was originally a screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky, drawing inspiration from the Watergate crisis. It is a painstakingly considered attack on the exploitation and corruption of...

It’s Time to Turn the Page

This time last year, I was buzzing with ideas for a children's bookshop. I wanted it to sell selected quality books to families and schools and offer informed advice. I saw a need to fill the voids of which I am aware through teaching years and interaction with...

The Best Books of 2017 – or maybe not…..

This is not the forum for me to share a list of things I detest. (Some of these include:- wet ice lolly (ice block NZ) sticks (I can barely write the words), magicians, ventriloquists and impressionists (not the 19th century artists), pop socks and chard (silver beet...

Bookwagon Winter Reading Recommendations

Recently Mr Bookwagon sent a newsletter to our lovely readers, revealing recent winners of book awards. I shadowed awards in schools- the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway, UKLA, Red House and Smarties' awards (two of which no longer exist)- but did not realise how many...

Happy golden days of yore

A house in a nearby street has its Christmas decorations primed for an annual reappearance all year. Yesterday, Santa's boots were lit up anew to swing until February, when the switch will be dimmed. Maybe because of the winter season, Christmas feels magical in...

What stories do you tell?

If I had a penny for the number of times where a fellow audience member has asked the speaker, 'So, what's your inspiration?' I'd be a billionaire (well, much closer than I am now.) Inspiration, like creativity, is not something that you can explain or share or...

Read the book before you see the film

We have a number of titles that have enjoyed screen adaptations. Most often the film disappoints; the pictures seem so different from those in our reading heads. Shortly, we'll have an opportunity to see the big screen version of R.J. Palaccio's multi award...

Once Upon a Time….

Recent events have led us to think about our story, about why we formed Bookwagon. There is much you may know, but there is a lot to it that is unique to us and our initiative. It started during a talk I attended by Simon Coley and Albert  Tucker of Karma Cola. After...

What’s On Your List?

When I was eight or so, we celebrated our Christmas Day at an aunt's house. I did not like this aunt or her husband very much, so was apprehensive. I would be the only child amongst a throng of older family, little interested in or accommodating to children. To my...