What’s in your Heart Today?

Written by Louise Bladen

Illustrated by Angela Perrini

Listen to your heart, what does it say? Are there secret cares dancing a twirly ballet? Are they warm and kind like a big happy bubble…or heavy and sad and in need of a cuddle?

This lovely book is a wonderful window into our hearts and minds. It enables children to explore their emotions through familiar everyday situations that evoke strong feelings such as anger, fear and disappointment. Children will be able to identify with how they would feel after that argument with a friend over a ball at playtime, how it feels to not get their turn on the play equipment or to come last in a race.

Through simple visualisation and meditation techniques, the book encourages children to find inner warmth and peace to resolve personal conflict and find forgiveness.

Each day on the blog tour we explore a different emotion depicted in the book and today we shine a light on anger.

Children need to know that anger is a normal and useful emotion that can tell them when things are not fair or right.

With very young children try drawing it – red is an excellent colour for depicting anger – it could be a volcano erupting.Shake up a bottle of pop and watch it it bubble up.

Help children spot the changes to their bodies when they are angry. Their heart might beat faster, they might notice their muscles tense or clench their teeth or fists.

In calm moments, try to talk to children about their anger – can they say what makes them angry? Teaching children to recognise triggers is important so that they know when to use strategies for managing anger.

What’s in you Heart Today encourages children to use deep breathing and if they like, sit quietly and close their eyes in a calm space. This could be done with a trusted adult. Other strategies that might help could be counting to 10 or walking away from a situation.

I’m a firm believer that how we as adults respond to anger in turn influences how children manager their anger so it’s important to remain calm, give children space and remain positive.

So how are we feeling, have you listened to your heart today?

What’s in your Heart Today? Is available now courtesy of Little Steps Publishing.

Also in the series:

The Bewitching of Aveline Jones

Phil Hickes

You know that feeling…when you sense someone or something is watching you…you look over your shoulder but there’s nothing there…

I was thoroughly bewitched! Phil Hickes had me under his spell from the very first chapter. This is spooky storytelling at its spine-chilling best with a plot so powerful it has the ability to completely enchant you. I was helpless to resist it’s charms, totally entranced, unable to tear myself away.

It’s the end of the summer holidays and Aveline has swapped spooky seaside location Malmouth for an equally eerie cottage in the remote village of Norton Wick – the village setting feels so authentic I found myself Googling to see if it really existed!

Steeped in superstition and folklore, Norton Wick has a pagan history and links to witchcraft. It seems almost deserted… lonely…yet Aveline constantly senses a mysterious presence.

Totally obsessed by all things supernatural, Aveline’s absolutely delighted when she discovers that the cottage her mum has rented is right next to an ancient stone circle that the locals refer to as The Witch Stones. She feels sure strange and scary things have happened there – sorcery, rituals druids making sacrifices – and can’t wait to investigate.

Then almost out of nowhere, Hazel Browne appears at the stones. She has a mysterious, almost ethereal quality and brims with confidence and coolness. Hazel is completely unlike anyone Aveline has ever met before and she’s instantly and completely taken by her. But there’s something about Hazel niggling away at the back of Aveline’s mind, a feeling that something is not quite right, a feeling of unease that gets stronger and stronger…

Aveline is joined at the holiday cottage by her floppy-fringed, slightly geeky side-kick Harold and ‘the oldies’ Aunt Lillian and Harold’s uncle, eccentric bookshop owner Mr Lieberman. Being reunited with these familiar characters from The Haunting of Aveline Jones felt like being back amongst good friends and the wonderful camaraderie between Aveline and Harold is stronger than ever. But Hazel Browne seems intent on breaking that bond and will stop at nothing to totally possess Aveline. Will Aveline find out the truth about Hazel before it’s too late?

In Phil Hickes’ signature style, a chain of chilling events build to a blistering conclusion with terrifying consequences – you really will be looking over your shoulder throughout. So gather yourself some herbs, polish those crystals and make sure you chant a protection spell before pre-ordering!

The Bewitching of Aveline Jones was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021 and it was everything I hoped it would be and more. I feel absolutely bereft that I’ve finished it and wish I could go back and read it all again for the very first time.

Thankfully the adventures with Aveline are not over yet – phew! At the end of the book there’s a teaser for The Vanishing of Aveline Jones, for which there now lies another agonising wait…

The Bewitching of Aveline Jones will be published by Usborne Books on the 16th September.

With thanks to Usborne Books and Netgalley for approving me to read an advance e-copy of this incredible book.

Incase you missed the first book…

Read my review of The Haunting of Aveline Jones here

The Red Gloves & Other Stories

Catherine Fisher

Gripping stories of myth, magic and folklore…

This a super collection of the strange, spooky and supernatural in nine short stories that will send a shiver down your spine and stay lingering in your thoughts long after closing the book.

I feverishly devoured one story after another in one greedy sitting. Deliciously dark, headline story ‘The Red Gloves’ is the type of tale I would’ve enjoyed scaring myself silly with as a child. It’s one of the stories that children will retell to one another again and again until it becomes an urban legend.

When Sarah buys a pair of elegant red velvet gloves from a charity shop, she gets more than she bargained for. In the middle of the night, she begins to hear scratching and knocking from the drawer she put the gloves in. Things start moving around in the bedroom with no explanation and then the messages start appearing…the suspense builds to a terrifying crescendo which will literally have you reaching for your throat!

‘The Hare’ is equally as tense and will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. When Owen’s father finds a snow white hare in the road on a stormy night, the family take it in to care for it. Owen’s sister Becca is instantly smitten but the creature makes Owen uneasy, staring blankly at him with it’s black eyes. When the hare refuses to leave the cottage and strange things start to happen in the night, Owen starts to question what or who the creature really is…

I don’t want to reveal too much about the remaining stories in the book and spoil the suspense but just to whet your appetite, you can look forward to step-brothers who get stuck in the same nightmare, a dark and dingy changing room where a mysterious stranger asks you to swap lives and a Victorian ghost story featuring a boy, a girl and a deep well…

Due for release in September, The Red Gloves is the perfect Autumn read for when the nights are drawing in. It’s no surprise that many of the stories have connections with Catherine Fisher’s Welsh homeland and the lonely village settings, remote countryside locations and threatening weather make for an atmospheric experience. This would be an excellent collection to read aloud that will have children begging for one more chapter.

I’m a huge fan of The Clockwork Crow trilogy and Catherine Fisher has crafted nine spells that cleverly combine just the right amount of fear, fantasy, a pinch of wit and a sprinkle of magic.

The Red Gloves and Other Stories will be published by Firefly Press on the 16th September.

With thanks to Netgalley and Firefly Press for approving me to read an advance e-copy of the book.


Sinéad O’Hart

Roll up! Roll up! The circus is in town; get your tickets and take a front row seat in the Big Top for an utterly captivating quest story that had me enraptured and enthralled from cover to cover. Hear the drum rolls crescendo, the thunderous applause from the audience and feel the adrenaline pulsing through your veins in heart-stopping scenes.

The story will have you oooing and aaahing and gasping like the audiences of the circus tent. Bursting at the seams with steam punk vibes, an eclectic cast of circus folk, death-defying acts, airships, a lost city and so many secrets…it is unputdownable!

Ringmaster and tyrant Cyrus Quinn’s circus has seen better days. Since the death in the ring of star performer Esther, who enchanted audiences with her perrilous ‘Dance of the Snowflakes’ ariel routine, crowds are dwindling.

But for Bastjan, the circus is home. After the tragic death of his mother, he has been raised by his circus family of acrobats, animal handlers and tumblers. He shares a caravan with Strong Man Crake who is like a father to him and the warmth and love of this relationship for me was an ongoing highlight of the story throughout. This huge beast of a man with an even bigger heart shows such tenderness and care for the young orphan and then runaway Alice when she joins the adventure.

But can Crake protect Bastjan from the evil ringmaster? Quinn is convinced Bastjan must have inherited some of his mother’s talent and forces him to take to the skies to perform a routine so dangerous, his life literally hangs on the bar of a trapeze. But Bastjan isn’t Esther and when he takes too long to draw in the crowds, Quinn becomes impatient. He makes a deal with a mysterious man by the name of. Dr Bauer

Bauer wants a box that belonged to Bastjan’s mother and came from her birthplace – the faraway land of Melita. Bastjan is desperate to keep the only momento of his mother and as the circus moves on from town to town, he discovers more about the strange objects contained within it…he realises it’s not only the circus that’s in terrible danger and he and Crake are forced to go on the run to pursue the villainous Cyrus Quinn.

Along the way, the pair meet Alice, an upper-class runaway with a distinctive scarlet firemark on her face. Alice joins them on their quest but Cyrus has his circus spies or ‘rousties’ everywhere. Can they rescue the box and preserve the secrets within?

O’Hart’s world-building is faultless; the characters are so effortlessly developed they leap off the page and as a reader I became so invested in their quest I read the book greedily in a matter of hours.

Skyborn is a thoroughly entertaining adventure with excitement, mystery and suspense st the turn of every page. It is a must read this summer.

Skyborn was published on the 10th June by Little Tiger books and I count myself very privileged to have been invited to read a copy in advance and be a part of the Blog Tour.

Please do check out the other fantastic stops on the tour for reviews, readings from the book and exclusive interviews.

When the Sky Falls

Phil Earle

Inspired by a true story.

I’m a big fan of Phil Earle’s writing, so when I won a signed copy of When the Sky Falls I couldn’t believe my luck – this book has received so many positive accolades from well-renowed children’s authors and quite rightly so.

This is a powerful and moving story full of raw emotion. A story of two people who have lost everything and suffered the most unimaginable grief but together, with the help of a mighty beast, learn to love again.

It’s 1941. War is raging and one angry boy has been sent to the city, where bombers rule the skies and death and destruction dominate the landscape. Unable to cope with his unruly behaviour since his dad marched off to war, Joseph’s grandmother has packed him off to live with Mrs F, a gruff woman with no fondness for children. Her only loves are the rundown zoo she owns and its mighty silverback gorilla, Adonis.

Joseph must earn his keep. This means hard labour mucking out the few remaining animals in freezing conditions and on the most meagre of food rations. And if life wasn’t hard enough, Mrs F insists Joseph should attend the local school with a handful of other children, however this exposes the fact that he is unable to read. Classroom bullies quickly pick up on this and it’s not long before Joseph’s anger gets the better of him and his fists do the talking.

Although not explicitly mentioned in the book, it’s clear Joseph’s difficulties are due to Dyslexia. No matter how hard Joseph tries, the words dance on the page and unfortunately in the 1940s, there was little understood about the condition. Children such as Joseph were often thought to be lazy and in heart-breaking scenes, we see Joseph brutally punished and humiliated at the hands of despicable Head Master Gryce, adding to his misery and suffering.

Joseph keeps himself safe in the only way he knows – by putting up barriers and shutting everyone out. Talking about his feelings is too painful and even when he works up the courage to ask for help, the words just won’t form. All he has ever known is rejection and so he pushes away any small gestures of kindness. But Joseph finds an unlikely connection in the majestic and somewhat deadly silverback. Adonis proves that love can blossom in the unlikeliest of places and teaches Joseph to trust again.

As the weeks pass, bonds deepen and secrets are revealed, but if the bombers set Adonis rampaging free, will Mrs F or Joseph be able to end the life of the one thing they truly love?

The true story that Adonis’ plight is built upon is absolutely remarkable. I’ll let you read about how the book was born in Phil’s Author Notes but Mrs F and Jospeh’s impossible decision is made all the more heart-wrenching when you’re turning the pages knowing that elements of it actually happened in real life.

Gorillas are considered highly intelligent. They are able to laugh and develop strong family bonds. They are also observed to grieve, and we see Adonis’ pain in the story is palpable.

Although the story is unapolegitically gritty and harrowing, Phil Earle’s trademark wit and dry humour peppers the plot and shows where there is darkness, there also must be light. The overwhelmingly positive character of Syd, a schoolgirl turned zoo keeper that Mrs F has taken under her wing, also sows seeds of hope in Joseph’s misery. The setting is so vivid and the characters so real and down-to-earth that by the final pages they feel like family. Mrs F is outstanding. Despite her own suffering, she manages to make space in heart for Joseph and when the sky falls for him, she’s there to hold him up.

When the Sky Falls has won a place on my bookshelf and in my heart alongside some of my favourite wartime stories such as Goodnight Mr Tom, The Midnight Guardians and The Valley of Lost Secrets. It already feels like a classic and I’m delighted I was fortunate enough to enjoy an early copy.

When the Sky Falls is published by Andersen Press (3rd June)

About the Author

Born and raised in the north of England, Phil is the author of over twenty acclaimed, award-winning books for children and teenagers. He has worked as a carer, a dramatherapist, a bookseller and a publisher, and loves talking at schools and festivals around the world. He lives on the side of a very steep hill with his partner, their five children and two dogs.

I’m a huge fan of Phil’s work and his ability to write so effortlessly for children of all ages. Here are two recently published books by Phil I also thoroughly enjoyed:

To read my review click here

To read my review click here

The Small Things

Lisa Thompson

The small things in life shine brightest as Lisa Thompson returns with an uplifting story of honesty and friendship, inspired by a very special robot.

At school, Anna’s been given a special task to partner up with the new girl Ellie. But it’s not as simple as it sounds.

Ellie can’t come to school because she’s unwell, so she attends class using a robot. Money is tight for Anna’s family, and she can’t really understand why the teacher has picked her to hang out with Ellie. Anna doesn’t have any fun hobbies or interests to talk about – not like Nia and the other girls. She listens enviously to their stories of swimming, street-dance, skiing and horse riding. Next to them she feels so small…

So when the girls are chatting at school one morning and Ellie asks Anna about what she did the previous evening, a little white lie pops out. Homework and the supermarket sound so dull but bowling and and a trip to the new ice cream parlour in town will surely impress Ellie.

Anna feels so much lighter, but soon one lie turns into another and before she knows it, she’s stuck in a tangled web – a fantasy life of ice skating lessons and meals out she wishes she had. When the web starts to fall apart, will she lose Ellie’s friendship forever?

At a time when the global pandemic has stripped back holidays, play dates, shopping trips and extra-curricular activities, the message about appreciating the smaller pleasures of life in this poignant new novella couldn’t be more pertinent.

When the truth is exposed, Ellie is able to show Anna that it’s the little things in life that are most important

“Sometimes it’s those small things that are best, we forget to enjoy them.”

Ellie teaches Anna that reading, baking and crafting are just as worthy pass-times as the more expensive activities the other girls partake in. Anna also learns that Nia’s exciting lifestyle isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and her overly busy schedule leaves her exhausted and unhappy.

There’s so much pressure on children and families to ‘keep up’ with what can feel like an overwhelming array of clubs and activities. Anna felt on the edge of so many conversations because she didn’t have these activities in common with her classmates and I’m sure there are lots of children who can identify with this.

We realise, it was in actual fact Ellie who was chosen to be a support for Anna by wonderfully intuitive class teacher, Miss Burnell. This is such a sensitive depiction of Anna’s struggles and worries and as with all Lisa’s books, help children to understand and empathise with others.

About the author


On The Small Things Lisa says:

“I think that this year, more than ever, many of us have begun to appreciate the small things in our lives. This is what is at the heart of my story – a reminder to take a moment to appreciate that sometimes the little things are enough.”

Lisa was inspired to write the story after after a school visit, where a member of the audience was a robot being controlled by a child who wasn’t able to attend in person. Further research led her to No Isolation,a company which enables children to take part in school and other activities through the use of telepresecence robots that act as the child’s eyes, ears and voice in the classroom.

Lisa Thompson is the acclaimed author of several books for children, including the Carnegie Medal and Branford Boase nominated The Goldfish Boy and the Blue Peter Book Award shortlisted Owen and the Soldier.

Lisa’s other bestselling titles include The Light Jar, The Day I was Erased and The House of Clouds.

To find out more about Lisa’s work, visit Lisa Thompson Author here

The Small Things is published by Barrington Stoke and will be released on 3rd June 2021.

Barrington Stoke are an amazing publisher. Their accessible, novella length titles by top authors tempt me every time. The shorter length make for such a satisfying read – they’re irresistible!

With thanks to Barrington Stoke for sending me an advance copy of Lisa’s book to review.

Pinkie & Boo

Chae Strathie

Illustrated by Francis Martin

A fabulously funny story about a feisty little girl, her toy monkey and the mischievous adventures they get up to. There’s chaos, mess and whole load of love to look forward to.

Pinkie loves being the smallest in her family, but the arrival of a baby means everything is about to change. It seems like the tiny new addition to the family will get all the attention . . .and Pinkie isn’t happy about that.

To cheer her up Mum and Dad give her a lovely toy monkey called Boo. But it turns out there’s much more to him than meets the eye – at least in Pinkie’s imagination.

Their outrageous efforts to regain some attention lead to a whole lot of mess and mayhem, but everything works out happily in the end.

Pinkie & Boo! sums-up perfectly the behaviour of most youngsters when a new baby sibling arrives; attention seeking, sulking, face-pulling, general baby-scaring and perhaps the lesser-known fish-finger milkshske-making!

The two little tearaways get up to some serious monkey business and leave a trail of destruction in their wake – because scrubbing crayon off the walls and cleaning the contents of fridge off the kitchen floor is just what every sleep-deprived, new mum and dad need!

Pinkie has so much sass – just look at that cover illustration! It screams take on this preschooler at your peril and accurately depicts the stage in a child’s life, between the ages about 2 and 4 years when they are permanently in wellies! She’s is every diva-like tot you have ever met, stubborn, strong-willed and deadly if left alone for five minutes.

Pinkie, means business when it comes to ‘the baby problem’ and shows it’s not uncommon for young children to be a tiny bit mean to a new baby brother or sister. Children of this age haven’t really mastered sharing yet and sharing mum and dad is just…well…not going happen without a fight.

But after the tears and the tantrums (and that’s just mum and dad!) We’re reminded that even though our terrible-twos test us to the limit, they’ve got us wrapped around their little finger (or pinkie) again before you can say Boo! And there’s enough love to go around for everyone.

About the author

Chae Strathie

Chae Strathie is an award-winning children’s author and journalist who lives in the vibrant city of Dundee. He has written 24 books for children, from picture books toyoung fiction and non-fiction, and has won the Bookbug Children’s Book Award twice. He is also the winner of several other picture book awards, from Sussex to Dundee.

His most recent work includes a historical non-fiction series called So You Think You’ve Got It Bad with the British Museum. Chae is renowned for his high-energy, zany live shows that combine reading with music, dance, puppetry, and comedy, and have captivated audiences in schools as far afield as Romania, and at major book festivals such as Edinburgh, Hay, Wigtown, Borders and Aye Write.

About the illustrator

Francis Martin

Francis studied sculpture at Liverpool School of Art in the Eight-ies. Unfortunately he developed an allergy to marble dust so he gave it up and joined a rock ‘n’ roll band.

In spite of limited musical talent he took part in five John Peel sessions, made five albums and he went to New York, invented ‘Grunge Rock’ fact! He came back to Liverpool, designed record covers and drew cartoons that were published in The Guardian, Private Eye and other magazines and he never stopped drawing and telling stories.

When he became a dad he read picture books to his child and realised that this was a world that he would like to be a part of. So off he trotted back to Art School in order to complete his date with destiny – Cambridge this time where he found out he wasn’t allergic to ink and that drawing was fun.

Francis is the author of Daddy Hair Do which won the Oxfordshire Book Awards in 2020

Out 21st May

Charlie & Boo! Is published by Little Door Books and is released on the 21st May.

Purchase a copy of Pinkie & Boo on Bookshop.org here

Be sure to check out all the other brilliant stops on the blog tour.

The Misadventures of Nicholas Nabb

Jenny Moore

Oliver Twist meets The Greatest Showman…

I absolutely adored Bauble, Me & the Family Tree by Jenny Moore (if you haven’t read it you really should!) so I was super excited to read The Misadventures of Nicholas Nabb.

There’s villanous Victorians, all the fun of the fair, magic shows, sewer rats and generous helpings of mutton and eel pie!

Orphan Nicholas Nabb has been living in the sewers since he escaped from a harsh life of cruelty at the orphanage. He’s a proper urchin. Ducking and diving in the shadows and back alleys – our Nick could show the Artful Dodger a thing or two.

That’s until a botched bread roll robbery spells trouble for the stinky sewer scamp and it looks like there’s no escaping long arm of the law.

But when a mysterious veiled widow, Annie, steps in to save him, it looks like his luck might finally be changing. Only Annie vanishes before they can become properly acquainted, leaving Nick with nothing but questions.

Who is the lady behind the black veil? Why does she have a baby photo of him inside her locket? And, most importantly of all, where is she now? Nick will stop at nothing to find out.

Jenny Moore balances dark themes of cruelty and exploitation with her trademark humour and Nick’s exploits and cheeky wit will have you chuckling away.

I don’t want to risk spoiling some of the big reveals in the book but you can look forward to hapless coppers Chalk and Cheeves, fortune teller Madame Mystica, and Nick’s unlikely sidekick who is also harbouring a huge secret of their own. Mrs Grubson’s Pastry Pie Emporium is absolutely epic – guaranteed to get your mouth watering!

There’s so many twists, turns and seriously close shaves along the way whilst a major mystery is unravelled. Will Nicholas ever find out the truth about his past?

Want to read more?

If that’s whetted your appetite (and not just the pies!) why not read the first chapter of Nicholas Nabb here

The Misadventures of Nicholas Nabb is out in the UK on the 28th May.

Pre-order here

With thanks to Kate at Maverick Books for sending me an advance copy.

Also by Jenny Moore…

Did I mention just how much I love Bauble, Me & the Family Tree? Blistering banana skins, I can’t recommend it enough!

Read my review here

Uncle Pete & the Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep

David C. Flannaghan

Illustrated by Will Hughes

I had the pleasure of reviewing picture books for fantastic indie publisher Little Door books in 2020, so when it was announced that they were releasing their first early-reader chapter book, I was absolutely thrilled to be invited to be a part of the blog tour.

Aimed at 6-9 year olds, Uncle Pete and the Boy Who couldn’t Sleep is the first title in a brand new, magical fantasy-adventure series.

The tale features the eccentric Uncle Pete and his nephew Harry, a young boy who has never slept in his entire life – no matter how hard his parents try to help him. Coming to Harry’s aid, Uncle Pete embarks on a magical and hilarious adventure alongside his fearless female sidekick Tiny Mouse.

With themes of collaboration, determination, ingenuity, kindness and acceptance, Uncle Pete is the perfect book for young readers who enjoy adventure, quirky fun and loveable characters.

Harry never went to sleep. Not EVER. In fact, Harry had been wide awake since the day he was born

Join Uncle Pete and his courageous little companion TM on a hilarious magical adventure with lots of beans, sandwiches, cheese and plenty of pants!

Uncle Pete was our Easter holiday read. My son aged 8 years read it to me and his sister aged 6 years. We were all totally spellbound by the story and the children would beg to have one more chapter each night! They are absolutely thrilled that there are going to be more books in the series and keep asking me when Uncle Pete and the Forest of Lost Things is coming out. It’s a massive hit in our house!

About the Author

David C. Flannaghan is an award winning writer and journalist based in Orkney. Uncle Pete & the Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep is David’s debut children’s book, reflecting his passion for adventure stories, his love of animals and his slightly whacky sense of humour.

“This is my first story for children and I’m thrilled to be in the capable hands of Little Door Books who have done a fantastic job bringing it to life.

I’m also delighted to be working with the hugely talented Will Hughes, whose illustrations perfectly capture the characters and atmosphere of the story, and equally gifted book designer Augusta Kirkwood.

I can’t wait to share more Uncle Pete adventures and I hope children enjoy reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them”

About the Illustrator

Will Hughes is a young illustrator and cartoonist who graduated from Edinburgh College of Art. Bis ‘Quentin Blake-esque’ line drawings were first seen in his debut picture book What to Give an Ogre for his Birthday. Little Door Books are thrilled to have Will on board as the Illustrator for their first early-reader chapter book.

Uncle Pete & The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep was published by Little Door Books on 30th April 2021.

With thanks to Little Door Books for our advance copy of the book and inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

Digger and Me

Ros Roberts

I love this book so much! I’m a big softie when it comes to pets and I wasn’t sure I could put myself through it after reading the synopsis, but I am so glad I did! Digger and Me shines a light on blended families, loving step-parents but most of all, it’s a love letter to all the wonderful teachers out there that literally change lives every single day.

‘The new teacher wants us to write poetry. What we like, what we don’t, what we’ll share, what we won’t. I like my dog Digger.’

James can tell you plenty of things he doesn’t like – that his dad doesn’t have time for bike rides with him any more & his mum’s boyfriend always wants to watch the football. The list of things he likes is shorter but he knows exactly where to start; Digger, his dog and best friend. He’s the glue that holds the two halves of James’s life together.

So when James finds a lump on Digger’s leg, everything changes. Digger is the one he can talk to about anything. But when it’s Digger he needs to talk about, where can he turn?

In the final weeks of Year 6, supply teacher Mr Froggart, tasked with taming a somewhat unruly and unwanted class encourages the children to write. Through his patience and poetry prompts, James and his classmates find a new way of expressing themselves. The words flow without boundaries, as did my tears at times.

This is such a relatable book in so many ways – family, friendship and the unconditional love we have for the fur Babies in our lives.

This did not feel like a debut at all! With notes of I Cosmo and Jaqueline Wilson, Ros Roberts has asserted herself as a stunning new voice in Middle Grade fiction.

About the Author

Ros Roberts grew up when phones were attached to the wall by wiggly wires and music was taped on to cassettes.

Amazing teachers encouraged her love of writing, setting her daily challenges to create poems to read to the class. She became a teacher herself; in her own classroom, free writing was a daily necessity and she felt privileged to watch the children’s progress when words flowed without boundaries.

Ros loves the rain, eating brunch, tennis and TV. She loves dogs too – Texi, their beautiful Bernese mountain dog, inspired her debut book DIGGER AND ME. Ros and her family have enjoyed living abroad in Vancouver, B.C. and Austin, Texas, but she is very happy and proud to be back living with her husband and three sons in the north of England, where her roots lie.

Digger and Me is published by Little Tiger on 13th May 2021

With thanks to Little Tiger Books for my advanced copy.

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