No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...Find out more
Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month
Each month Julia Eccleshare, a leading authority in children's literature, chooses a small selection of her favourites from the month. They will be generally new releases but occasionally she may select a new edition of a firm favourite and we will list them here. All are highly recommended with Julia's seal of approval.
Winner of the UKLA 2016 Book Award in the 12 - 16 year old category. WINNER of the 2015 COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR and Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award Award-winning Frances Hardinge is spellbinding is this hugely entertaining and dramatic Victorian thriller. When Faith’s father dies suddenly she knows she must try to find out exactly what he was hiding in the local caves she had recently visited with him. Discovering the extraordinary Lie Tree which thrives off hearing lies and, in turn, reveals secrets long kept hidden Faith begins to uncover a web of secrets and mysteries that will change her view of the world forever. Faith is a feisty heroine whose courage combined with a determination that girls can be brave and resolute leads to the exposure of much dishonesty and many deceptions. ~ Julia Eccleshare. Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016. The Lie Tree is only the second children’s book to take the overall Costa Book of the Year prize, and the first since Philip Pullman won with The Amber Spyglass in 2001. James Heneage, chair of the final judges, said: “Part horror, part detective, part historical, this is a fantastic story with great central characters and narrative tension. It’s not only a fabulous children’s book but a book that readers of all ages will love."
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, May 2015 Stuck at home with chicken pox, Joey needs a spotty friend to play with. Surely leopard, giraffe, snake, cheetah or even ladybird would all be fun to play with? But no one wants to play with Joey! Every animal takes a look at his spots and runs! Luckily Lottie has got spots too. Joey and Lottie have lots of fun playing together and, when they are spot-free, they return to the park to play with the animals. Will everyone want to play now? It looks like it until they take a close look at Joey’s face! A great story with a surprise ending. ~ Julia Eccleshare .................................................. Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for May 2015 - Spotty Lottie and Me by Richard Byrne Bomber by Paul Dowswell The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, May 2015 A welcome return for Poppy, the brave young nurse in World War One. Poppy thinks her heart will break when she finds that Freddie whom she loves so much is to marry Philippa Cardew. Rather than mope at home, Poppy signs up to serve as a VAD nearer to the action of the war. Here the casualties are in a far worse state than in London and Poppy longs to help in any way she can. But first she must prove how useful she can be and overcome the view that VADs are not properly trained. With new work and new friends, Poppy flourishes and even gets over her broken heart! Mary Hooper captures the horrors of World War One, the bravery of those who served in all ways and, above all, the ups and downs of romance! ~ Julia Eccleshare Click here to read more about the story behind Poppy in the Field from the author herself. .................................................. Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for May 2015 - Spotty Lottie and Me by Richard Byrne Bomber by Paul Dowswell The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge What the Jackdaw Saw by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt Poppy in the Field by Mary Hooper Soon by Timothy Knapman
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, May 2015 Patrick Benson’s superb illustrations bring to life this touching adventure for a baby elephant. Early one morning the little elephant Raju sets off with his mother. On their way they see off a snappy crocodile and then both a slithering snake and a prowling tiger Raju gets tired and longs to be going home. But Raju’s mummy has a plan… When Raju sees what it is he knows it was all worth while! ~ Julia Eccleshare .................................................................... Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for May 2015 - Spotty Lottie and Me by Richard Byrne Bomber by Paul Dowswell The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge What the Jackdaw Saw by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt Poppy in the Field by Mary Hooper Soon by Timothy Knapman
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, May 2015 When Jackdaw tries to invite all his friends to his birthday party he can’t understand why first the octopus and then the horse, the cat and the squirrel are all touching their heads. Soon the wise owl puts him straight. Each of the animals was warning Jackdaw of a dangerous storm coming in sign language! Using his wings, Jackdaw learns sign language too and then he can talk to everyone! Written with the help of deaf children in a workshop run by The Life and Death Association, former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson has created a very special picture book for all. ~ Julia Eccleshare .................................................. Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for May 2015 - Spotty Lottie and Me by Richard Byrne Bomber by Paul Dowswell The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge What the Jackdaw Saw by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt
One of our Books of the Year 2015 - Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Year 2015 A simple game of hide and seek turns out to be far more significant in this brilliant near-wordless picture book about the destruction of the forests in Brazil. Elephant, Snake and Parrot all love to hide in the lush foliage of the plentiful trees. Just a bit of each of them is showing. What fun it is to spot them! But then the forest starts to disappear from the pictures. There are tree stumps where there were trees; there are houses where there were trees. Then there are roads and cars where there were trees. Suddenly, the three friends have nowhere to hide. How will they ever be safe again? Barroux’s illustrations tell a vivid and shocking story about the destruction of the forest. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month April 15 Slug Needs a Hug by Jeanne Willis You Can't Take an Elephant on the Bus by Patricia Cleveland-Peck Where's the Elephant? by Barroux Migloo's Day by William Bee
April 2015 Book of the Month - Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month There’s lots of laughs here! An elephant on a bus, a whale on a bike, a hippo in a hot air balloon – none of these is a good idea as soon becomes clear in the attractive and bouncy rhyme of this witty picture book. The catastrophes that lie in store in each case such as the bus toppling over when nudged by the elephant, the enormous whale teetering on a tiny bike and hippo on a collision course with a chimney pot are wittily illustrated by David Tazzyman, much loved for his illustrations for Andy Stanton’s delightfully disgusting Mr Gum. Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month April 15 Slug Needs a Hug by Jeanne Willis You Can't Take an Elephant on the Bus by Patricia Cleveland-Peck Where's the Elephant? by Barroux Migloo's Day by William Bee
A Reader Review Panel Pick of the Year 2015 - chosen by Ruby Laverty, aged 6 - Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month From the company that launched Where’s Wally comes this super new search-and-find storybook. Little dog Migloo leads readers through Sunnytown, and very bright and busy it is too. He visits the town square, the fire station, the garage and the school and each one is packed with characters and incident! You can spot Migloo’s friends, including Eric and Ernie the builders, and Mr and Mrs Dickens (he sells the books and she teaches with them, one of a number of nice extras for grown-ups) while author William Bee is himself a character in the book, popping up with a placard and questions relevant to each page! There’s a narrative to follow too involving the breakdown of the school bus. Lots of fun, this will keep children entertained and busy for hours. ~ Andrea Reece Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month April 15 Slug Needs a Hug by Jeanne Willis You Can't Take an Elephant on the Bus by Patricia Cleveland-Peck Where's the Elephant? by Barroux Migloo's Day by William Bee
Shortlisted for the Laugh-Out-Loud Book Awards 2016 -Picture Book Category - April 2015 Book of the Month - Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month Best-selling Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross have created many fabulous picture books together. Here, the weedy and whiny little slug is just longing for a hug! How can he make his mum give him one? All the animals he asks give him tips. A furrier and fluffier look, trotters and a tail, horns and a moustache, a pair of wings, and any number of noses. Will all of those tempt the slimy slug’s mum to give him a hug? Tony Ross’s hilarious illustrations of the misguided slug match Jeanne Willis’s ebullient rhyming text perfectly. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month April 15 Slug Needs a Hug by Jeanne Willis You Can't Take an Elephant on the Bus by Patricia Cleveland-Peck Where's the Elephant? by Barroux Migloo's Day by William Bee
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2019 | | A classic title that is loved by all, Badger’s Parting Gift is still as special and as important as when it was first published 35 years ago. Badger is very old. While he misses some of the things he used to be able to do when he was young, he is not afraid of dying. He warns his friends that one day he will go down the Long Tunnel and he encourages them not to be too sad when it happens. But, when Badger doesn’t come out from his home one day, all the animals are very sad. To help them to get over their deep emotions they each think of the special things they did with Badger. Sharing their memories brings great comfort and helps them to come to terms with the absence of their very special friend. A wonderful book for the very young – and their parents.
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month June 2016 Award-winning Penelope Lively’s classic story humorously captures the dreamy and imaginary world of eleven year old Maria. An only child, Maria is used to quietly observing the world around her. When her parents rent a house by the sea full of the objects and curios of previous occupants, Maria finds herself drawn into the life of Harriet, a child who lived there previously. Imaginative Maria, who can converse with the grumpy and opinionated cat, weaves a story around Maria but is it what really happened? Penelope Lively elegantly explores how the lives of children are effected by lives in the past. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for June 2016 The World's Worst Children by David Walliams Seacrow Island by Astrid Lindgren The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively Street Child by Berlie Doherty Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero by Francesca Armour-Chelu The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month June 2016 Twice the winner of the prestigious Carnegie Medal, here Berlie Doherty movingly captures the life of an orphan in Victorian London. Based on the true accounts of children whose lives led the famous philanthropist Dr Barnardo to set up his homes for children without families, Street Child is the troubling story of Jim Jarvis who is just a little boy when his mother dies leaving him all alone. Initially rounded up and taken to the workhouse, Jim soon escapes and finds a way of survival – and some friends. But surviving as a child in such a tough environment is tough. How can Jim stay out of trouble and be safe? Berlie Doherty makes the past come vividly alive in this story that will encourage all young readers to fight injustice. ~ Julia Eccleshare Click here to download a specially produced teachers resource to help children get the most from this Collins Modern Classic title.
Julia Eccleshare has spent her working life to date within children’s books as a critic, an editor, an author and a commentator. Apart from her current role with Lovereading4kids as Editor-at-Large and as one of our editorial expert reviewers, she is the children’s editor of the Guardian and Head of Policy at the Public Lending Right.
She has co-edited and is the author of a number of books including the Rough Guide to Teenage Literature, the fascinating and insightful Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children’s Writers, which is a celebration of a century of children’s literature, as well as Treasure Islands: the Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Books. She also spent some considerable time as a children’s fiction editor in UK publishing.
She has been a selector to the Children’s Books of the Year, a guide to the best books published annually, a member of the advisory board of a children’s book club and for some while was children’s books editor of The Bookseller. In addition, she regularly appears as a judge or Chair of judges on some of the major children’s book prizes.
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.