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How To Track A Sabre-Toothed Tiger
by Caryl Hart & Ed Eaves

Have you discovered Albie yet? He’s the star of a bestselling series by Caryl Hart and Ed Eaves and his 11th adventure – How To Spot A Sabre-Toothed Tiger – has just been released.

Albie is an ordinary boy who finds himself in extraordinary situations. At the start of this new story we find him playing in his garden when he spots an unusual animal. It looks like a kitten but it’s striped like a tiger and has very sharp pointy teeth. When the kitten runs into a bush, Albie follows – and is magically transported back to the Stone Age!

The small boy soon makes friends with a girl called Thorn and the two work together to find the tiny sabre-toothed tiger. They follow a variety of tracks and meet a whole host of animals, including a deer, a woolly rhinoceros, a bear, a warthog and a mammoth – but their little pal is nowhere to be found. Can they find him before it’s too late, and what else will Albie discover before he returns to modern times?

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Henley Literary Festival:
Creative Competition for Children Aged 4-11

Looking for something your kids can get their teeth stuck into over the summer hols?

Henley Literary Festival is running a creative competition for budding authors & illustrators aged 4-11 with the opportunity to win fab prizes!

Here’s what Harriet Reed-Ryan, the Event Director for Henley Literary Festival, told us about the event and the competition…..

This October, Henley Literary Festival is returning with an exciting children’s line-up jam-packed with fun events for children of all ages to enjoy.

This year’s festival features authors and illustrators including Sir Michael Morpurgo, Rob Biddulph, Serena Patel, Clare Balding, Joe Wicks, David Melling, Liz Pichon and many more. From storytellings to writing workshops, space detectives to rapping princesses, there is something for everyone.

If you can’t wait until the autumn, Henley Literary Festival is hosting a fantastic Creative Competition for children aged 4 – 11, designed to get imaginative brains whirring.

Taking inspiration from the magical Henley Literary Festival programme cover, illustrated by one of this year’s festival authors Chris Riddell, budding writers are encouraged to write a story or poem of up to 500 words. For all the artists out there, there is an illustration competition too!

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Buster Books Hits 20!

On July 8th, 2021 Buster Books will be celebrating a big birthday! Here, Publicity Manager Alice Furse looks back on the last 20 years and gives us a sneak peek at some upcoming titles.

Buster Books was founded in 2001, the children’s imprint of independent and family-run publishing house, Michael O’Mara Books Limited. Since the beginning, the focus has always been publishing books that children would love to pick up and enjoy reading, and this has been the beating heart of Buster ever since – poo jokes and unicorns abound!

Early success came from spotting the unicorn craze. Where’s the Unicorn? is now a classic search-and-find title and has sold just over 680k copies while the fascinating mythology and stunningly beautiful illustrations behind The Magical Unicorn Society have captured the imaginations of young readers everywhere.

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The Importance of Learning Through Play

Georgina Durrant is a private tutor for children with special educational needs and the author of ‘100 Ways Your Child Can Learn Through Play’. Here she talks about the importance of play and how families can use it to help children develop new skills.

“Over the course of the pandemic there’s been a lot of concern over children, in particular those with Special Educational Needs, missing out academically and whilst this may be true, I strongly believe that we need also to focus on the fact that children have also missed out on play. Playing with friends, playing outside, playing with grandparents, playing at their friend’s house…the list goes on. And whilst play might be seen as something trivial it’s actually imperative for children’s well-being and their development of important skills. I’d go as far as saying that for young children, play is learning.

Play is everything, it’s squishing play dough and in turn developing those important fine motor skills that help them learn how to write. It’s walking and balancing on that fallen log in the park and learning how to take risks and finesse their gross motor skills. And it’s falling out with a friend over  who has the best sequins for their craft and learning those really important social skills and language/communication skills.

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A Day in the Life of Caryl Hart,
Children’s Author

My typical working routine has changed enormously over the past year. Part of this is down to all the recent restrictions, but also because my youngest child left home in September and we started house renovations in February.

In the normal world, my days would include a mixture of working from home, travelling to schools and libraries to run workshops, and the occasional trip to London for meetings and socials.

But these days there are no journeys or jollies and all my visits have gone virtual.  So here’s a flavour of how life has been for this author during the last 14 months.

My day starts around 7.15 with a cup of tea in bed from my lovely husband.

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Nature Puzzles
by Vicky Barker & Ste Johnson

Ivy is a big fan of puzzles so when this neon book of ‘brain boosters’ came through the door she was very excited indeed!

It contains over 40 pages of fluorescent, nature-themed puzzles and there’s lots of variety to keep children engaged. Ivy’s personal favourites are the mazes and the ‘spot the difference’ pages but it also contains little maths problems, dot to dot pictures, word searches, pattern repetition puzzles, code-breaking, quizzes and colouring pages.

As well as being educational, it’s a great book to have at home to keep kids entertained when you need to focus on work or household tasks! Now that we’re able to get back out to cafes and restaurants again I have also been popping it into my bag as a boredom buster to play with at the table.

The book is aimed at children aged 6-9 but Ivy is 5 and she has really enjoyed it. I highly recommend it if you have a child who likes maths and logic (or if you’re trying to find a fun way for them to find it more enjoyable!).

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Interview: Ian Eagleton,
Author of ‘Nen and the Lonely Fisherman’

A young Ian Eagleton

Hello Ian! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your debut book ‘Nen and the Lonely Fisherman.

Could you give us a little overview of what the book is about?

At its heart, Nen and the Lonely Fisherman is about hope and finding that someone special in your life. Nen spends his days exploring his underwater kingdom, but is lonely and wants more from his life. He ventures to the surface and meets a lonely, quiet fisherman who spends his days looking after the beaches. But Nen’s father, Pelagios, is furious that his son is spending so much time with a human – humans are destroying his precious oceans. So, he creates a terrifying sea storm and Ernest is thrown into the waves. Can Nen save him and can they convince Pelagios that two people from two very different worlds can be together?

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Interview: Kate Dalgleish,
Author of ‘Edmund The Elephant Who Forgot’

Hello Kate! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your new book ‘Edmund The Elephant Who Forgot’. Could you give us a quick overview of what the book is about?

Edmund is a little different from other elephants in that he’s quite forgetful. And so, when his mother sends him to the shop to collect things for his brother’s birthday party, his ears wiggle with worry. Equipped with a little memory song to sing, he makes his way around town with hilariously disastrous results. There is a hidden message that good can come from even the trickiest of situations!

What inspired you to write this story?

I’m a big collector of notebooks! And whenever an idea, be it a title, funny word, or character’s name pops into my head, I have to scribble it down there and then. One day I think I was joking about elephants never forgetting and Edmund’s little memory song just popped in my head; the story just unfolded from there.

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Isobel Lundie: How To Draw Edmund The Elephant Who Forgot

We recently shared a review of ‘Edmund The Elephant Who Forgot‘ and it was very popular indeed!

Ivy and I were extremely fortunate to get the opportunity to do a Q&A with author Kate Dalgleish (which you can read here) and the wonderful Isobel Lundie has created us our very own step-by-step guide to drawing lovely Edmund.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your kids and your colouring pencils and dive in!

Download the step-by-step guide now

We would love to see your creations. Make sure you post them on instagram and tag us @ivylibrary . We’ll share the best ones in our stories!

Interview: Hannah Carmona,
Author of ‘Anita and the Dragons’

Hello Hannah! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your new book ‘Anita and the Dragons’. Could you give us a quick overview of what the book is about?

Hi Shelley and Ivy, wonderful to chat with you! Anita and the Dragons is about a young girl named Anita who lives in the Dominican Republic. She watches the planes come and go from her island, which she refers to as dragons. One day the time comes for her to face the dragons and leave the island she loves. It’s a story of bravery and finding the power within.

What inspired you to write this story?

It was inspired by my mom’s immigration story from the Dominican Republic to America when she was a child. I admire her courage to make that transition so young. She’s always led by example in showing us how to face our fears and take big steps in life.

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