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Pictures and Conversations

Pictures and Conversations

By Jane Sandell
I’m a collector of children’s books. My particular interest is girls’ books from the mid twentieth century, but I also have a more general collection of books from about 1850 to now. I love reading books, meeting their authors and sharing them with others.

I freelance as a children’s book specialist, blogging, reviewing, writing articles, working with authors to promote their books and doing bits and pieces for BBC Scotland. I'm a regular at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, chairing panels and interviewing authors.

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A Posy of Books
Three books linked only by the flowers in their titles! This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2021/02/24/a-posy-of-books/
06:12
April 9, 2021
The Colour of Reading
The first of a series in which each episode covers more than one book! This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2021/02/20/the-colour-of-reading/
08:20
April 5, 2021
Polar Opposites
Two for the price of one today! Once Upon a Penguin by Magda Brol and There's a Mouse in my House by Ross Collins. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/09/21/polar-opposites/
02:06
April 3, 2021
Oi Cat! by Kes Gray and Jim Field
Just a very short episode to day about a VERY funny picture book. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2017/11/08/oi-cat-by-kes-gray-and-jim-field/
01:04
April 2, 2021
One Button Benny and the Gigantic Catastrophe by Alan Windram
Today sees the beginning of a series featuring picture books.  We begin with Benny. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/07/27/one-button-benny-and-the-gigantic-catastrophe-by-alan-windram/
01:54
April 2, 2021
The Mapmakers’ Race by Eirlys Hunter
Some wonderful storytelling from New Zealand. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2018/07/02/the-mapmakers-race-by-eirlys-hunter/
02:39
March 25, 2021
Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird
Another novel from the storyteller extraordinaire Elizabeth Laird. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2017/05/15/welcome-to-nowhere-by-elizabeth-laird/
01:24
March 24, 2021
Armistice Runner by Tom Palmer
Back to Barrington Stoke and the Great War. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2018/10/02/armistice-runner-by-tom-palmer/
01:43
March 23, 2021
The Key to Flambards by Linda Newbery
Return to Flambards. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2018/10/04/the-key-to-flambards-by-linda-newbery/
03:45
March 23, 2021
Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Another wonderful story by Frank Cottrell Boyce with a very familiar setting (for me). This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2017/05/16/sputniks-guide-to-life-on-earth-by-frank-cottrell-boyce/
01:15
March 21, 2021
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Edinburgh through and through. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/02/14/the-prime-of-miss-jean-brodie-by-muriel-spark/
01:30
March 20, 2021
Elizabeth Wein
Just gripping storytelling. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/07/28/elizabeth-wein-2/
01:37
March 19, 2021
The Great Revolt by Paul Dowswell
Historical fiction at its very best. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/09/13/the-great-revolt-by-paul-dowswell/
04:03
March 18, 2021
Ishmael by Michael Gerard Bauer
These books by Michael Gerard Bauer remain amongst my favourite teenage novels. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2013/04/11/ishmael-by-michael-gerard-bauer/
01:21
March 17, 2021
The Children of Swallow Fell by Julia Green
Julia Green's latest novel might have been written as a response to COVID-19.  But it wasn't. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/09/26/the-children-of-swallow-fell-by-julia-green/
01:55
March 16, 2021
Molly Hilton: Library Assistant by Bertha Lonsdale
The final episode in this series considers a book about the career I chose. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/06/06/molly-hilton-library-assistant-by-bertha-lonsdale/
05:15
March 13, 2021
Travels of a Nursery Nurse by Beatrice Lloyd
Still travelling, this time with children. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/12/14/travels-of-a-nursery-nurse-by-beatrice-lloyd/
02:50
March 12, 2021
Two Young Missionaries: Celia and Margaret in Africa
I found this book to be both interesting and perplexing. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/11/09/two-young-missionaries-celia-and-margaret-in-africa/
04:17
March 11, 2021
Amanda in Floristry by Jane Sheridan
Not much story but I did like the details setting it firmly in history. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/06/03/amanda-in-floristry-by-jane-sheridan/
02:13
March 11, 2021
Hester: Ship’s Officer by Valerie Baxter
Hester finally makes it to sea. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/05/31/hester-ships-officer-by-valerie-baxter/
06:45
March 10, 2021
June Grey: Fashion Student by Lorna Lewis
This is a book that made me very cross as I read it/ This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/05/30/june-grey-fashion-student-by-lorna-lewis/
01:44
March 8, 2021
Jane: Young Author by Valerie Baxter
How to carve out a job as a writer. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/05/29/jane-young-author-by-valerie-baxter/
03:43
March 8, 2021
Sarah Joins the WRAF by Shirley Darbyshire
After yesterday's foray into flight, there we are again but this time in the forces. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/05/28/sarah-joins-the-wraf-by-shirley-darbyshire/
03:10
March 6, 2021
Air Hostess Ann by Pamela Hawken
A career novel that really takes off! This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/05/27/air-hostess-ann-by-pamela-hawken/
04:08
March 6, 2021
Janet Carr: Journalist by Josephine Kamm
This could have been me! This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/05/26/janet-carr-journalist-by-josephine-kamm/
02:09
March 4, 2021
Margaret Becomes a Doctor by Joan Llewelyn Owens
Medicine for beginners. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2020/05/25/margaret-becomes-a-doctor-by-joan-llewelyn-owens/
04:37
March 4, 2021
Helen Dore Boylston
An introduction to this series about career novels. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2009/07/07/helen-dore-boylston/
06:17
March 3, 2021
Suffragette: the battle for equality by David Roberts
David Roberts' art is always fascinating but the subject matter of this book is what sold it to me initially. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2018/08/30/suffragette-the-battle-for-equality-by-david-roberts/
02:30
March 3, 2021
Wave by Paul Dowswell
Paul Dowswell, the First World War and Barrington Stoke: three excellent reasons to read this novel. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2017/05/17/wave-by-paul-dowswell/
01:04
March 2, 2021
Exposure by Mal Peet
Mal Peet wrote too few novels in his too short life and I loved them all.  This panegyric comes from 2008 and I stand by every word of it. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2008/10/17/exposure-by-mal-peet/
06:10
February 27, 2021
More Desert Island Books
Here are three more recent books that would make it on to my desert island. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2009/03/30/more-desert-island-books/
03:58
February 26, 2021
The Light Between Worlds by Laura Weymouth
This was a book of the year for me when it was published.  I had a promotional postcard which asked the question: How can you live in one world when your heart is in another?  That is what the novel considers. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://picturesandconversations.co.uk/2018/10/28/the-light-between-worlds-by-laura-weymouth/
02:43
February 26, 2021
Comfort Reading: The Big Three
My children's book collection started many years ago and three authors featured strongly in it.  The familiarity of these books makes them special to me.
03:57
February 25, 2021
A Sense of Community and Place
In which I introduce you to my enthusiasm for the books of LM Montgomery.
03:34
February 24, 2021
What's in a Name?
The important elements of a book for me.
03:32
February 24, 2021
How It All Began
Once upon a time I was introduced to the wonder of reading.
02:48
February 23, 2021
Dorita Fairlie Bruce's Song of the Clyde
At a push, Dorita Fairlie Bruce is the author whose books I'd keep above all others.
04:20
February 22, 2021