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Library Girl and Book Boy

Library Girl and Book Boy

By Jo Cummins
A podcast for parents and teachers to help keep you updated with the latest children’s books and recommended reads. Tune in for reviews, interviews and other special content. #Education #Kidlit #LibraryGirlAndBookBoy #FunnyBookChat
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Currently playing episode

‘The Last Spell Breather’ with Julie Pike.

Library Girl and Book Boy

‘Do Not Disturb the Dragons!’ by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Sharon Davey.
Today I get to interview the author and the illustrator of brilliant new chapter book, ‘Do Not Disturb the Dragons!’ - which is out NOW! Find out how Michelle plans her stories, why she dressed up as a sausage and how Sharon gets started on illustrating a story.
July 08, 2020
A conversation with Neal Zetter - poet, author and performer.
Find out how Neal has adapted to delivering poetry workshops during lockdown, why he shares his poems on YouTube & Twitter, and listen to him perform his brilliant poems. There are also pupil book reviews from Kempshott Junior School.
May 25, 2020
An interview with author & illustrator Amanda Addison about ‘Boundless Sky.’
I talk with author Amanda Addison about her beautiful picture book about the dual migration of a young girl and a bird. Find out where Amanda’s inspirations came from and how she found the process of creating a picture book. I also have reviews from the lovely pupils of Kempshott Junior School.
April 08, 2020
An interview with author B.B. Taylor about writing ‘The Vigilante Tooth Fairy.’
This episode forms part of the blog tour for #TheVigilanteToothFairy, so make sure you look for other posts and interviews too. Find out how being seriously ill in hospital led to the the first seeds of ‘The Vigilante Tooth Fairy,’ why it’s important to believe in magic, and the power of school visits.
March 10, 2020
The Library Girl and Book Boy podcast
Keep up-to-date with the latest in children’s fiction with interviews from its authors and illustrators. Perfect for busy teachers, parents or creators of children’s books.
February 22, 2020
Laura James - ‘Fabio the World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective’ & writing first chapter books.
I talk to children’s author Laura James about creating her vibrant first picture book series, ‘Fabio The World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective,’ and the ever so lovable ‘Captain Pug.’
February 22, 2020
An interview with the ‘PickleWitch’ and Knitbone Pepper’ author, Claire Barker.
I chat with Claire about her latest PickleWitch and Jack adventure - plotting, creating characters and writing rude ditties! I also have reviews of both PickleWitch and Jack titles from the pupils of Glenbrook Primary School and Steyning C of E Primary.
February 07, 2020
An interview with children’s author, Sylvia Bishop.
I chat with children’s author, Sylvia Bishop about her new title with Scholastic, ‘Trouble in New York.’ Find out how Sylvia chose her setting and how she likes to plot. You can also enjoy some reviews from our brand new pupil reviewers at Glenbrook Primary School.
January 25, 2020
The Laugh Out Loud Book Award Special - ‘Planet Stan’ by Elaine Wickson, illustrated by Chris Judge.
The #Lollies2020 is one of the only awards solely for funny children’s books. It’s run by Scholastic with Michael Rosen as head judge. Today, I’m interviewing one of the nominated authors, Elaine Wickson, about her book ‘Planet Stan’ and it’s illustrator, Chris Judge, who’s piecharts and graphs are integral to the story.
November 21, 2019
Picture books with multiple layers - ‘Shadow’ by Lucy Christopher.
Listen to author Lucy Christopher talk about the creation of her debut picture book, ‘Shadow’ from Lantana Publishing. Readable with multiple layers of meaning and with stunning illustrations, ‘Shadow’ would be an excellent vehicle to discuss loneliness with children. Make sure you visit Lantana’s website now to buy a copy because for every title purchased via their site, they’ll donate another to a U.K. children’s hospital.
November 03, 2019
Sibéal Pounder chats about Beyond Platform 13 and following in the footsteps of Eva Ibbotson
This is a must-listen for fans of Eva Ibbotson because Sibéal has written a sequel to her classic magical adventure ‘The Secret Of Platform 13.’ I was fascinated to hear about the level of research Sibéal did to ensure her sequel was faithful to the style and tone of the original text!
October 30, 2019
Aisha Bushby - writing for MG, drawing on her childhood & incorporating magical gaming elements.
Aisha talks to me about writing her first middle grade title, ‘A Pocketful Of Stars,’ (nominated for a CILIP Carnegie Medal 2020) and how it was adapted during editing to make it suitable for that age group. Also find out how inspiration for a major plot device struck after a night playing The Legend Of Zelda!
October 18, 2019
Illustrator Jennie Poh - the inspiration and processes behind ‘The Pirate Tree.’
I chat with Jennie Poh about her route into illustrating children’s books and what inspires her work. Find out about the process behind creating the artwork for ‘The Pirate Tree’ by Brigita Orel (Lantana Publishing) - a gorgeous book about making friends and the power of the imagination. We also hear reviews from our brand new pupil reviewers at Ryefield Primary School.
October 01, 2019
‘Level Headers’ mental health activity book series from Beth Cox & Natalie Costa (BSmall Publishing)
I talk with inclusion expert Beth Cox and confidence coach Natalie Costa about their new series of books (Level Headers) aimed to help develop self-confidence and help children aged 6+ manage their emotions. A brilliant mental health tool for parents and teachers alike.
September 09, 2019
Children’s books in translation with Antonia Lloyd-Jones.
My first interview with a translator of children’s books (from Polish to English). I chat with Antonia Lloyd-Jones about translating ‘Oscar Seeks a Friend’ by Pawel Pawlak and the role she plays in promoting literature from other countries to U.K. publishers. Fascinating!
August 31, 2019
Imagination, childhood games & naming characters: ‘The Land of Roar’ with Jenny McLachlan.
I chat with the author of Waterstones’ August Children’s Book Of the Month, Jenny McLachlan, about her new middle grade title ‘The Land of Roar’. Find out how her own childhood games inspired the magical kingdom of Roar and just what exactly playing the game ‘Witches and Glue Pots’ entailed! I also have have reviews of two new titles by the pupils of Steyning C of E Primary School.
August 22, 2019
’Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Spiders’ with Katie & Kevin Tsang.
I talk to writing and real life partnership about the newest instalment in their Sam Wu series (perfect for chapter book readers aged 6+). Find out how their own fears and families inspire their writing and their thoughts on BAME representation. The pupils of Steyning C of E primary also review titles from Eoin Colfer, Claire Barker and Morag Hood.
August 11, 2019
‘Peace and Me’ with Mickael El Fathi
Listen to illustrator and author, Mickael, talk about the illustration process for his book with Ali Winter, ‘Peace and Me’ (Lantana Publishing), his involvement with Empathy Day and exciting future projects.
July 26, 2019
Sibling rivalry and dystopia - Kirsty Applebaum chats The Middler
I chat with debut novelist Kirsty Applebaum about the inspiration and process behind creating her fantastic book - ‘The Middler.’ I also recommend some other titles by fellow Bath Spa MA alumni.
July 16, 2019
‘The Last Spell Breather’ with Julie Pike.
I chat with author Julie Pike about her debut novel, world building, the darker side of magic and medieval manuscripts! There are also plenty of recommendations for other magical titles to enjoy.
July 11, 2019
An interview with Lorraine Gregory - fantasy worlds and underdogs.
An interview with author Lorraine Gregory about her latest book, ‘The Maker Of Monsters.’ We chat about Frankenstein, creating monsters and rooting for the underdog. I also recommend some more creepy, gothic-tinged titles for middle grade readers.
July 04, 2019
David Solomons - Superheroes and sentient domestic appliances!
I chat with David Solomons about the final instalment in his brilliant superhero series, ‘My Cousin is a Time Traveller,’ and find out about how to get the most from author visits. Make sure you follow #MyCousinIsATimeTraveller to join the blog tour fun and read exclusive interviews.
June 24, 2019
The CLiPPA poetry award with AF Harrold
On the 3rd July, the 2019 CLiPPA winner will be announced. This is a long-standing award for poetry books run by the CLPE aimed at children from nursery to secondary school. I talk to chair of judges, the author and poet AF Harrold, about the short-listed titles, the selection process and the importance of poetry in schools.
June 18, 2019
Christopher Edge - The Longest Night Of Charlie Noon and mind-boggling Science.
Hear me chat with award-winning children’s author Christopher Edge about his latest middle grade title, discuss how to explain complex scientific theories so children can understand them and find out about his upcoming event at The Royal Institute in London.
June 10, 2019
Jennifer Killick - time travel and unusual superpowers
I chat to the lovely Jennifer Killick about her latest funny, sci-fi laced book ‘Mo, Lottie and the Junkers,’ and recommend some other great reads with a time travel/ science theme.
June 03, 2019
An interview with Duncan Beedie - Picture Books, strong storylines and collaborations.
In this episode I interview author and illustrator Duncan Beedie about his latest title ‘Molly’s Moon Mission’ about a Little moth with lofty ambitions and a bucketload of determination. I also have two more reviews from the lovely pupil librarians at Steyning C of E Primary School.
May 27, 2019
Barnes Children’s Literature Festival 2019
Book Boy and I were invited to play roving reporters at the 5th Barnes Children’s Literature Festival. We have exclusive interviews from Steven Butler & Steven Lenton, S.F. Said and The Parrot Street Book Club for you to enjoy.
May 12, 2019
Airships, STEM and Sugar-Coated Villains: an interview with author Vashti Hardy.
In this episode I interview author Vashti Hardy about smash-hit debut ‘Brightstorm,’ her hotly anticipated second novel ‘WildSpark,’ and try to get some juicy tidbits about Brightstorm 2. I also recommend some other STEM-themed girl power-infused titles for fans who may have already enjoyed Vashti’s current titles.
May 09, 2019
Dinosaurs, pirates and Harry Potter - an interview with author/illustrator Jonny Duddle.
I get to chat dinosaurs, pirates and Harry Potter with the fantastic author/illustrator Jonny Duddle And also hear some hot (approved) gossip about a collaboration with the beetle girl herself, M.G. Leonard.
April 23, 2019
Laughs and scares: ‘Mutant Zombies Cursed My School Trip!’ By Matt Brown.
In this episode I chat mutant zombies with author Matt Brown and recommend some other spooky, funny fiction for fans of frights and giggles (Tony de Saulles, Barry Hutchison, Pamela Butchart, Adam & Lisa Murphy).
April 11, 2019
‘Charlie Changes Into a Chicken’ with Sam Copeland and Sarah Horne.
Listen to find out more about this brilliantly funny but poignant story featuring involuntary animorphism and a good dollop of toilet humour (published by Penguin Books). You can also hear more reviews by the fantastic pupil librarians of Steyning C of E primary school. #FunnyBooksMatter
April 03, 2019
Jo Loring-Fisher chats about illustrating ‘Maisie’s Scrapbook’ and diversity in publishing.
I chat with Jo Loring-Fisher about the process of illustrating the beautiful diverse picture book ‘Maisie’s Scrapbook,’ written by Samuel Narh (Lantana Publishing.) How are picture books now starting to reflect the realities of many families across the country?
March 25, 2019
‘The Boy Who Flew’ blog tour with author Fleur Hitchcock - ballgowns and baddies!
This podcast is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Boy Who Flew,’ by Fleur Hitchcock and published by Nosy Crow. We chat about subjects as diverse as ballgowns and baddies, as well as hearing about what Fleur has planned next. In case the interview has whet your appetite for some more brilliant titles by Fleur, I’ve rounded up her other Nosy Crow publications for you too. Remember to subscribe so you don’t miss out on next week’s episode featuring Jo Loring-Fisher chatting about diversity in children’s books.
March 17, 2019
‘A Witch Come True,’ by James Nicol - The Blog Tour! (Chicken House Books)
I get to quiz James about the final instalment in the Apprentice Witch series, ‘A Witch Come True’ and reflect on the story now that I’m lucky enough to have read it! All as part of the book’s magical blog tour.
March 09, 2019
‘Sign Here’ - Gabrielle Djanogly chats insightful form-filling and millinery!
Gabrielle Djanogly joins me to talk about her innovative and insightful form-filling book ‘Sign Here’ (Prestel Publishing) and we have reviews from the pupils of Steyning C of E and Somerleyton Primary School.
February 26, 2019
World Book Day With Steven Lenton
In this episode I interview illustrator and author Steven Lenton about his involvement with World Book Day 2019, and his MANY upcoming new releases including an out-of-this-world ‘Shifty McGifty And Slippery Sam’ chapter book with Tracey Corderoy and the third instalment of the hilarious ‘Nothing to See Here Hotel’ written by Steven Butler and titled ‘Sea-ing is Believing.’ There are also more fabulous picture books in the pipeline - he’s a busy man! I also give you a rundown of this year’s exclusive £1 World Book Day titles and how you can get them in Braille or as audiobooks for visually impaired children.
February 18, 2019
An interview with Stuart Atkinson about ‘A Cat’s Guide to the Night Sky.’
In this episode I interview space enthusiast Stuart Atkinson about his beautiful non-fiction title ‘A Cat’s Guide to the Night Sky,’ as well as recommending some of my other favourite space-based titles from the Professor Astro Cat series, Mini Grey, poet and performer James Carter, Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre, and S.F. Said.
February 05, 2019
Amber Lee Dodd Interview, ‘Lightning Chase Me Home.’
In this episode, I chat to Amber Lee Dodd about her magical new title with Scholastic: ‘Lightning Chase Me Home,’ as well as finding out more about her experiences of dyslexia whilst at school. You can also enjoy listening to pupils of Steyning C of E Primary school review titles from Nosy Crow (The Snow Sisters) and Studio Press (The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes: the Cherry in the Cake.)
January 29, 2019
Amy Wilson and ‘Snowglobe’ (Macmillan Children’s books) - an interview.
I chat with Amy about her newest title, ‘Snowglobe,’ and fill you in on her previous two titles: the CILIP Carnegie nominated ‘A Girl Called Owl’ (2017), and ‘A Far Away Magic’ (2018). We also hear the pupils of Steyning Church Of England Primary School review Octopants (Little Tiger Press) and The Elephant Who Ate the Night (Everything With Words).
January 22, 2019
‘Little Bird Flies’ by Karen McCombie (Nosy Crow) Blog Tour Special
This podcast is actually a part of the blog tour for Karen McCombie’s newest middle grade title which has just been published by Nosy Crow: ‘Little Bird Flies,’ a historical novel set on the remote Scottish island of Tornish, where free-spirited Bridie longs for something more then the narrow, predictable life she currently leads. As well as this interview, you can find a written review on my blog I also recommend another more light-hearted series of Karen’s, the St. Grizzle’s School for Girls titles, published by Stripes Books and illustrated by Becka Moor.
January 14, 2019
Winter Warmers with Chitra Soundar and Poonam Mistry
In the first episode of the New Year, I interview Chitra Soundar and Poonam Mistry about their new title, ‘You’re Snug With Me’ from Lantana Publishing and chat about the importance of diversity in children’s books. I also share recommendations by Benjamin Read & Laura Trinder, Cerrie Burnell and Kiran Millwood Hargrave. You can also discover more about who will be my next magical interviewee.
January 01, 2019
Christmas Crackers - Part 4 (with Nicola Davies)
This is the final episode of the year, where I chat to the Book Trust writer in residence, Nicola Davies, about her Christmas title ‘The Dog That Saved Christmas’ featuring a little boy with ASD for whom Christmas is a tricky time of year (Barrington Stoke) I also recommend some fantastic first chapter books for readers aged 6+ (Winnie and Wilbur-The Santa Surprise, Lavinia and the Magic Ring, Shifty McGifty & Slippery Sam - Jingle Spells). Merry Christmas!!!
December 17, 2018
Christmas Crackers Part 3 (with Elys Dolan)
In this third festive podcast, I interview one of my favourite illustrators and authors, Elys Dolan, about her Christmas book, ‘Santa’s Wonderful Workshop,’ (and chat workers’ rights in Mr Bunny’s Chocolate Factory) and recommend some more brilliant books to give as Christmas presents this year (Sammy Claws, Last Stop On the Reindeer Express, Christmas Gremlins, and How to Hide a Lion at Christmas.) At the end, I reveal my next interviewee (it’s a great one!)
December 10, 2018
Christmas Crackers - Part 2 (with Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet)
The second of my special festive podcasts featuring an interview with the hilarious picture book-creating duo of Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet. We chat about their latest title, ‘Snowball,’ as well as one of my favourites - ‘Supertato.’ I also share some more bookish Christmas gift suggestions and recommend some football-based titles for one of my listeners (including: Football School, Ultimate Football Heroes and Girls FC.)
December 03, 2018
Christmas Crackers - Part 1 (with Tracey Corderoy)
In this Christmas episode, I interview author Tracey Corderoy about her new winter titles: ‘The Boy and the Bear,’ ‘The Christmas Extravaganza Hotel,’ and ‘It’s Christmas!’ I recommend some of my top Christmas book gifts for primary school-aged children (think Alex .T. Smith and Abi Elphinstone for the big ones, Madeleine Cook and Nicholas Allen for the littlies), and help out a listener looking for dinosaur book recommendations for a three-year-old - you can’t go wrong with Sarah McIntyre, Penny Dale and Emma Yarlett! #Christmas #gifts #dinosaurs
November 28, 2018
The Laugh Out Loud Book Awards (#Lollies2018) - Michael Rosen, the nominees and how to get involved!
This is the very first episode of the Library Girl and Book Boy podcast, with a very special ‘Laugh Out Loud Book Awards’ theme (#Lollies2018.) Find out more about why poetry legend Michael Rosen was so keen to get involved with Scholastic to head up the judging panel, listen to this year’s judges being grilled by school-aged interviewers and learn a little more about all the fantastic nominees in each of the three categories (Picture Books, 6-8 readers, and 9-13 year old readers.) We also hear from Library Manager, Zak Collingwood about the impact being involved with the Lollies has had on his school. Finally, I give out some recommendations for a reader looking for alternatives to Wimpy Kid and some new graphic novel suggestions. Hear about the special guest (Tracey Corderoy) whom I’ll be interviewing on my upcoming Christmas podcast..... #Kidlit #LibraryGirlAndBookBoy #FunnyBookChat #Books
November 19, 2018