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Author protests against the pink tide of books for young girls

Author Jacqueline Wilson has criticised children’s book publishers for using too much pink when marketing to young girls. Dame Jacqueline admitted that her struggle against the pink tide dated back to when she was bringing up her own daughter, Emma – now a Cambridge don – but that even then she had little success in resisting […]

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Magical bedtime reading – The Silver Sword

Last night I finished reading The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier to my 10-year-old. What a book! Why does it appear to have been forgotten? We took it out from our local library and I was rather surprised that they had a copy. However, I suspect it had not been taken out for a long time […]

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Top 20 Most Beloved Children’s Characters

This Guardian list of the 20 most beloved characters in children’s literature, as voted on by children aged 5-12 in the UK, is heartening. There are a few I don’t recognize, and a couple for which complete media saturation can be blamed, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that children are still reading, and […]

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E. Nesbit: Queen of Children’s Literature

Edith (E.) Nesbit was the queen of children’s literature in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her best-known work is The Railway Children (1906), a story of three children trying to prove the innocence of their father, who is falsely imprisoned for espionage. Nesbit’s writing went beyond children’s books to adult novels, political writing, […]

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Enid Blyton – hero or villain?

Gardening guru and booklover Alan Titchmarsh has weighed in on the Enid Blyton debate after folks in Beaconsfield objected to a plaque (I originally wrote ‘plague’ instead of ‘plaque’) to commemorate the author. They say her books are racist and offensive. Blyton’s detractors argue that as well as being racist, she was actually not a […]

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Parental guidance: tips for reading to your children

Our latest video is for parents of young children – we offer tips on reading to your kids. Bedtime reading is just part of the routine in our household but it’s definitely not a chore. I hope these are useful.

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30 books to read aloud to a six-year-old

The book at bedtime is just part of the daily routine for many families, but choosing the right titles to read aloud to an inquisitive six-year-old can be difficult. They can’t be boring, they can’t be too slow and they can’t be too simplistic. This list was put together by yours truly and I’m a […]

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The glory of The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Last Sunday, an interview with author Alain de Botton was printed in the New York Times book review. NYT: What was last book that made you cry? AdB: I’m always close to tears reading Judith Kerr’s delightful The Tiger Who Came to Tea. It tells of a tiger who turns up, quite unexpectedly, at teatime […]

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Who was GE Farrow & what is a Wallypug?

The AbeBooks office is surrounded by thick fog. A random AbeBooks search on the word ‘fog’ delivers a lot of James Herbert books and this gem from GE (George Edward) Farrow – Wallypug in Fog-land from 1904. Farrow (1862-1919) was a children’s book author and it appears his background is, indeed, shrouded in fog. Born […]

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50 beautiful box sets

Above you can see The Golden Hours Library box set from 1967 – this lovely 12-volume set of children’s literature is showcased in our box sets feature, which also includes sets from Roald Dahl, Bill Watterson, Charles Dickens and Toni Morrison.

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