Library Girl and Book Boy

‘The Last Spell Breather’ with Julie Pike.

An episode of 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
More places to listen

More places to listen

‘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 9, 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 4, 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 3, 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 9, 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 3, 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 9, 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 5, 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 1, 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 3, 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
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