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ALEXANDRIA NEONAKIS is an illustrator and graphic designer. Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, she now lives in Los Angeles where she has a brilliant job developing video games.
Interest Age 5-8 Inspired by the Blue John stone found in the hills around her Derbyshire home, Berlie Doherty has created a myth that already feels as if it has been always been in our memories, just waiting to be remembered again. Her Blue John is a magical boy, created from glaciers and the sun, ice-blue and golden, who lives deep underground with his mother, the Queen of Darkness. He’s drawn to the light where he meets a girl, one of a group of children exploring the caverns. They have one golden day together before Blue John must return to his mother. Berlie Doherty takes care over each sentence and this short story, beautifully and simply told, will intrigue and move young readers. ~ Andrea Reece With the evocative charm of a fable, Blue John is inspired by the semi-precious mineral found in the caves of Mam Tor by Berlie’s home. Berlie says: The internationally celebrated violinist Peter Cropper invited me to write a ‘story to music’ for a Christmas children’s concert. I chose the haunting piece by the Czech composer, Smetana, ‘From My Life’. The music made me think of ice and darkness and sunlight, loneliness and joy. I walked over the Mam Tor mountain with the music in my head, and looked down at the caverns, and I knew immediately what I was going to write about. So I invented a character called Blue John, a little boy who is made out of stone … About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers.
Dream a little, Kulu, this world now sings a most beautiful song of you. This beautiful bedtime poem, written by acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic. Lyrically and tenderly told by a mother speaking to her own little Kulu; an Inuktitut term of endearment often bestowed upon babies and young children, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants. A perfect gift for new parents.
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