We’re at that time of the year when the blog slows down a little due to the summer holidays; however, as always, I will be sharing our weekly reading roundups so that I don’t miss featuring some fantastic books.

First up is this new compilation of 8 stunningly-illustrated, adbridged Dickens stories. My 8-year-old, in particular, is very taken with it as she’s always drawn to illustrated books and hasn’t been able to take her eyes off these atmospheric pictures: she likes to absorb illustrations before reading stories as they provide the ambience through whichs he can immerse herself in the tale. I’m a real fan of offering both classic and modern literature when ecouraging children to read for pleasure, and these stories have been thoughtfully re-written to enable Dickens’ masterful storytelling to shine for a younger audience, whether that be via independent reading or adult and child sharing the stories together. At the start of each tale there is a helpful list of characters and a biography & timeline of Dickens’ life and works at the back. As always with Quarto publications, the quality is excellent so as well as being a great read, the book would also make a lovely gift.

A World Full of Dickens Stories (Hardback)
Author: Angela McAllister
Illustrator: Jannicke Hansen
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books (Quarto)
ISBN: 9780711247710

Next is this inspirational picture book, which encourages readers to rise to the challenge, follow their dreams and help make the world a better place. It tells the stories of 19 contemporary Muslim women who have contributed significantly to many different works of life: science, education, sports, activism, the arts and politics to name but a few. While it’s clearly aimed at Muslim girls, its empowering themes are relevant to girls and boys of any faith or none: both my son and daughter have dipped into it since it arrived a few days ago and judging by the number of questions they’ve asked, they’ve really enjoyed finding out about many of the ladies not previously known to us. A book that peaks the interest of both of my kids – who have quite speific and very different reading tastes – is definitely a winner in my eyes.

Muslim Girls Rise (Hardback)
Author: Saira Mir
Illustrator: Aaliya Jaleel
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781534418882

Finally, I must warn you, do not pick up this book if you feel the slightest bit queasy! As a massive fan of anything remotely disgusting, my son loved Andy Seed and Claire Almon’s first book – The Clue is in the Poo – and so I knew this would be a hit too. Just like the first, it’s jam-packed fully of interesting, stomach-churning information, covering everything from ugly, yucky and unfussy animals, to those that drink blood, stink and live in gross places. The illustrations are superb and the speech bubbles will definitely make you smile. There are a couple of truly gross quizzes at the end to help consolidate learning: not that children will see it as learning, min – if they are anything like my son, they will be gleefully asking these disgusting questions to anyone who will listen and then waiting to see who groans and turns green first!

A Giant Dose of Gross (Hardback)
Author: Andy Seed
Illustrator: Claire Almon
Publisher: Quarto
ISBN: 9780711243507

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