Posted in Reading, Writing

Summer Reading Ideas from Today’s Child

A post about my latest book review feature for Today’s Child Magazine

banner advert for Today's Child showing magazine cover For the last few years, I’ve been writing a regular books feature, reviewing and previewing children’s books for the free parenting magazine, Today’s Child. I first wrote for them when I was still working part-time for children’s reading charity Readathon, which provides free books and storytellers for children in hospital, and encourages children in schools to read for pleasure. But as the magazine has grown and I’ve switched roles, writing full-time from home now, we’ve changed to a freelance arrangement, though I still sneak in plenty of Readathon references!

Today’s Child is now a quarterly publication, distributed free as a print magazine to certain London postcodes It’s also available to read anywhere in the world, online, for free. I contribute enough copy to fill a double-page spread, celebrating children’s books and chatting informally about different aspects of children’s reading.

cover of Pip and Posy
The irresistible Axel Scheffler strikes again

The Summer 2016 issue is hot off the press/internet, and my recommended reads this quarter include:

  • Pip and Posy: The New Friend by Axel Scheffler
  • Captain Pug: The Dog Who Sailed the Seas by Laura James
  • Deep Water by Lu Hersey (a very popular guest at the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival this year)
  • A Summer of British Wildlife by James Lowen

You can read the article on their website here. 

Cover of Captain Pug by Laura James
Not to be confused with Captain Pugwash* by those of us of a certain age

I was thrilled to hear earlier today that as a result of the mention of Readathon in the feature, Laura James has very kindly donated lots of her books to the charity, and I know they will go down really well with children in hospitals throughout the UK. (If you’re too young to get the Captain Pugwash reference in the caption above, you can find out more about him here.)

Cover of Deep Water by Lu Hersey
A great read set on the Cornish coast, for older children – and adults will enjoy it too

Here’s hoping that none of us end up in hospital this summer, but if you do, be sure to take a good book! The therapeutic and distraction value of reading cannot be underestimated.

I have a vivid memory of sitting alongside my daughter in A&E (that’s the Emergency Room, for my American readers), when she was about six, in the early hours of the morning, surrounded by drunks, and captivating them as well as her by reading aloud from a Roald Dahl novel which I’d had the foresight to stick in my bag as we made our hospital dash.

Cover of Quick Change
20 very short stories to slip into your hand luggage – or get the free ebook by joining my mailing list

If you’re short of ideas of what to read yourself this summer, my slim collections of short stories will hardly make a dent in your baggage allowance!

Happy summer reading, wherever you’re heading!

Have you seen my book blog? A great place to get further reading recommendations all year round!




English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

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