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In the Reading Corner
25 minutes | Oct 27, 2021
Jen Campbell - The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers
With a background in bookselling, Jen Campbell is the author of Franklin's Flying Bookshop and the Sunday Times bestseller, Weird Things People Say in Bookshops.She has a passionate interest in fairy tales and runs a YouTube channel dedicated to discussing the history of different tales.In this episode, she talks about her own folk tale collection, The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers and other gruesome tales, fourteen stories that have been collected from across the globe.About The Sister Who Ate Her BrothersJen Campbell's collection of terrifyingly gruesome tales lends a modern edge to fairy tale collections for young readers. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of fairy tale history, Campbell's stories undo the censoring, gender stereotyping and twee endings of more modern children's fairy tales, to return both classic and little-known stories to their grim versions, whilst celebrating a diverse range of characters. Featuring 14 short stories from around the globe, The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers is illustrated in a contemporary style by Canadian comic artist Adam de Souza.De Souza's brooding illustrations are a highly original blend of 19th-century Gothic engravings and moody film noir graphic novels.
27 minutes | Oct 27, 2021
Yvette Fielding: The House in the Woods
Television presenter Yvette Fielding is well-known for her time on Blue Peter and as the co-creator and presenter of Most Haunted. In this episode, she talks to Nikki Gamble about her horror book for children, The House in the Woods. This is definitely not one for the faint-hearted.About The House in the WoodsWhen Clovis, Eve and Tom decide to play with a ouija board in an old abandoned house on Halloween, none of them foresees the horrors they're about to unleash. What starts out as a bit of fun, soon transcends into something far more terrifying when a distressed and determined spirit follows them home.Before long the friends are caught up in a series of events beyond their wildest imaginings and their journey as ghost hunters begins . . .
27 minutes | Oct 23, 2021
Oliver Jeffers - There's a Ghost in This House
Oliver Jeffers is a visual artist and author working in painting, bookmaking, illustration, collage, performance, and sculpture. He best is one of the foremost illustrators of children's books working today. Oliver talked with Nikki Gamble about There's a Ghost in This House, remarkable for its playfulness and seriousness, as well as the experimental design pushing the affordances of the book.About There's a Ghost in This HouseHello, come in. Maybe you can help me? A young girl lives in a haunted house but has never seen a ghost.Are they white with holes for eyes? Are they hard to see? She'd love to know! Step inside and turn the transparent pages to help her on an entertaining ghost hunt, from behind the sofa, right up to the attic. With lots of friendly ghost surprises and incredible mixed-media illustrations, this unique and funny book will entertain young readers over and over again!
24 minutes | Oct 22, 2021
Phil Hickes- The Haunting of Aveline Jones
Phil Hickes was born in the UK where he lived next door to a graveyard - a perfect breeding ground for a future writer of children's horror stories. He now lives with his wife in Portland, Oregon, where he works as an advertising copywriter. Phil has a passion for horror, ghosts, and all things that go bump in the night. His short stories have been published in adult horror anthologies, but Phil turned his hand to writing middle grade as he wanted to create the same visceral thrill he remembers from reading Alan Garner, Clive King and Roald Dahl.In this episode, Phil talks to Nikki Gamble about the Bewitching of Aveline Jones, the second book about a curious girl drawn to paranormal mysteries.About the Bewitching of Aveline JonesTurn on your torches and join Aveline Jones!Aveline is thrilled when she discovers that the holiday cottage her mum has rented for the summer is beside a stone circle. Thousands of years old, the local villagers refer to the ancient structure as the Witch Stones, and Aveline cannot wait to learn more about them. Then Aveline meets Hazel.Impossibly cool, mysterious yet friendly, Aveline soon falls under Hazel's spell. In fact, Hazel is quite unlike anyone Aveline has ever met before, but she can't work out why. Will Aveline discover the truth about Hazel, before it's too late?Join the world of Aveline Jones, where mysteries are solved, spirits are laid to rest, and everybody gets to bed on time.
22 minutes | Oct 9, 2021
Frances Durkin: The Histronauts
Frances Durkin believes in making history both accessible and fun. The Histornauts series is a well-conceived project from Small publishing in which a group of children from the present-day go back in time to explore life in different historical periods through their encounters with ordinary people.Frances joined Nikki Gamble In The Reading Corner to talk about the series and her approach to historical study.About The Histronauts: A Greek AdventureWhen the Histronauts travel back in time to the ancient Greek era they'll need your help to uncover the secrets of the past. Visit the Acropolis, watch the activities that inspired the Olympic Games and paint masks for a thrilling Greek tragedy at the amphitheatre. An exciting mix of story, facts and activity!
26 minutes | Oct 7, 2021
William Grill - Bandoola:the great elephant rescue
The third book in William Grill's series with publisher Flying Eye, Bandoola: the great elephant rescue, tells the story of war veteran James Howard Williams and his encounter with elephant trainer Po Toke in Burma (now Myanmar) between the wars. Drawing on Po Toke's experience of raising elephants with kindness rather than punishment, they introduce a new training regime. When war breaks out again, the elephant Bandoola is instrumental in helping them on a perilous journey getting them across the border to safety.The story is set in the context of Burmese geography and history and is packed with fascinating information about elephants.William Grill talks to Nikki Gamble about his fascination with true adventure stories set in wild places and his creative process.
24 minutes | Oct 6, 2021
Dr Nick Crumpton: Everything You Know About Dinosaurs is Wrong
Nick Crumpton is a zoologist and children's author. He has worked as a science communicator at the Natural History Museum and as a journalist and researcher for the BBC, He specialises in studying extinct mammals.In this episode, Nick talks to Nikki Gamble about his book Everything You Know About Dinosaurs is wrong. Listen to learn about recent discoveries and the latest in scientific thinking.About Everything You Know About Dinosaurs is WrongDinosaur fans will quickly become dinosaur experts with this informative, inventive and entertaining take on a dinosaur book! Do you know all there is to know about dinosaurs? They're mean, green and not very smart, right? Well, this book is here to show you that you're WRONG! But don't worry, even the experts can't be right all the time . . .So, let's uncover the truth! From fossilised feathers to long-necked lookalikes, this ingenious book is packed with so many amazing dinosaur discoveries, you'll soon become a palaeontology pro. Including jaw-dropping research that will debunk many myths about all kinds of prehistoric creatures - you'll never look at a pigeon the same way again! With fascinating, friendly and easy-to-understand text written by zoologist Dr Nick Crumpton and amazingly detailed colour artwork on every page, this beautifully produced hardback gift book with an incredible tactile cover will delight dinosaur fans of any age.
22 minutes | Oct 1, 2021
Rob and Tom Sears:The Biggest Footprint
Rob and Tom’s creative partnership began in the 1980s when Tom (the younger brother) was born. Now, Rob is a bestselling writer and Tom is an illustrator. They’ve created everything from zoo exhibitions and ice cream van designs to books, sitcoms, newspaper cartoons and movie scripts. The Biggest Footprint was created as an experiment to try to understand the species that they are a part of.In this episode, they talk with Nikki Gamble about what we can learn from big numbers and why it's important to maintain a sense of humour in the face of catastrophe!About The Biggest FootprintMeet the mega human: colossal, clueless . . .and the biggest hope for life on Earth.There are eight billion of us humans. All breathing, eating, fidgeting and thinking deep thoughts. It's an unimaginably large number.Or is it? The mega human is the result of smooshing all the people in the world together into one spectacular giant (don't try this at home). Even though the mega human is not the smartest of creatures, it is slowly beginning to understand the problems it has created for Planet Earth's future...and how it might be able to fix them. Making use of brain-bending stats and smoosh theory, The Biggest Footprint is a journey of self-discovery suitable for anyone and everyone identifying as human.
27 minutes | Sep 27, 2021
Alastair Chisholm: Adam-2
Alastair Chisholm has developed a reputation for writing exciting middle-grade science fiction. Orion Lost, a futuristic story about a the crew of a spaceship abandoned in deep space received widespread positive reviews. He is also the creator of picture books and puzzles.In this episode, Alastair chatted to Nikki Gamble about his second thrilling science fiction adventure Adam-2.About Adam 2With incredible twists and turns and an action-packed story, this is a thrilling, unputdownable adventure. The robot Adam-2 has been locked in the basement of a lost building for over two hundred years - until one day he is discovered by two children, and emerges into a world ruined by a civil war between humans and advanced intelligence. Hunted by both sides, Adam discovers that he holds the key to the war, and the power to end it - to destroy one side and save the other.But which side is right?Surrounded by enemies who want to use him, and allies who mistrust him, Adam must decide who - and what - he really is. From the author of the highly-acclaimed Orion Lost, Adam-2 is an exciting and hugely gripping science fiction thriller - perfect for fans of Eoin Colfer, Anthony Horowitz, and Philip Reeve. "Brilliant - one of the best middle grade books I've read this year ...
25 minutes | Sep 25, 2021
M G Leonard and Sam Sedgman :Adventures on Trains
M G Leonard and Sam Sedgman are the co-authors of Adventures on Trains, a gripping, page turning mystery series that takes in train journeys across different continents. The partnership has produced a clutch of very successful books, but I wanted to know more about the process of working together. Can friendship survive when there may be competing ideas and deadlines to be met. If you are curious then listen to this episode.About Danger at Deadman's PassA mysterious letter from an old friend asks Hal and Uncle Nat to help investigate a spooky supernatural mystery. Legend has it the Kratzensteins, a family of rich and powerful railway tycoons, are cursed, but there is no such thing as a curse, is there . . .? Hal and Nat take the night train to Berlin and go undercover. From a creaking old house at the foot of the Harz mountains, they take the Kratzenstein family's funeral train to the peak of the Brocken Mountain. Can Hal uncover the secrets of the Brocken railway and the family curse before disaster strikes?
25 minutes | Sep 25, 2021
Chella Quint - Own Your Period
Chella Quint coined the term ‘period positive’ in 2006 while touring her free Adventures in Menstruating comedy show and workshops in school holidays while teaching drama and PSHE. She kept meeting audiences who wanted her to speak at their school or university and share the concepts she was developing around period positivity more widely. Finally, she went back to university, completed an MA in education, and started researching issues in menstruation education to find out how she could do more.Chella developed Period Positive and devotes her time to promoting period positivity to counteract the frequently negative public discourse about menstruation.Read more about Period PositiveChella chatted to Nikki Gamble in The Reading Corner about her new book, Own Your Period, a guide for young people about periods and the reproductive cycle. About Own Your PeriodThis fact-filled guide to periods is bursting with positive, honest advice on managing and understanding menstruation. Having a period is an incredible thing - Own Your Period celebrates what the body can do and provides young people (age 9+) with everything they need to be prepared... and empowered.Includes the fascinating science behind why things happen, with all the details of menstruation through to menopause. Answers all essential questions like what's a vulva and what does it look like, what do periods actually feel like, and what happens if blood stains your clothes? Chella Quint's witty text slays superstitions, busts common myths and fights period shame, while providing practical information about menstrual products, tracking cycles and sharing her own personal stories. Funny, insightful and warm illustrations with friendly chatty text make this an everything-you-need-to-know essential handbook, which pre-teens can refer to before their periods start, and will appreciate when their cycle is more established.
28 minutes | Sep 22, 2021
Flavia Drago - winner of the Klaus Flugge Prize 2021
Flavia Drago is an illustrator with a broad portfolio covering branding, packaging, character development and children's books. She is a recent graduate of the MA in Children's Book Illustration from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.Flavia was born and raised in Mexico and the influence of the traditions on the patterns, colours and artefacts can be seen in her debut children's book Gustavo: The Shy Little Ghost. Flavia has been awarded the Klaus Flugge Prize for being the most exciting and promising newcomer in children's book illustration.About Gustavo: The Shy GhostWith exquisite detail and humour, Flavia Z. Drago's vivid illustrations tell a sweet and offbeat story of friendship and courage. "A great story about making friends by being yourself and the illustrations are a constant visual delight" Malorie BlackmanGustavo is a ghost.He is good at doing all sorts of paranormal things, like walking through walls, making objects fly and glowing in the dark. And he loves playing beautiful music on his violin. But Gustavo also has a problem.He is SHY. This means some things are harder for him to do, like getting in a line to buy eye-scream or talking to the other monsters. But Gustavo longs to be a part of something, he longs to be seen.More than anything, he wants to make a friend. So, plucking up all his courage, he sends a very special letter: "Dear Monsters, I would like to invite you to my violin concert at the Day of the Dead party..."
26 minutes | Sep 18, 2021
Yasmin Abdel-Magied: Listen, Layla
Sudanese-Australian writer and media presenter, Yasmin Abdel-Magied is something of a superstar. Following an early career as a mechanical engineer and formula 1 commentator, she is now a published writer for children. Yasmin was named Young Queenslander of the year in 2010 and Queensland Australian of the Year in 2015 for her engagement in community work.In this episode, Yasmin talks about her clever, forthright and well-meaning heroine, Layla.About Listen, LaylaThe hilarious follow-up title to You Must Be Layla by Yassmin Abdel-Magied. I am Layla Kareem Abdel-Hafiz Hussein, the greatest Sudanese Australian inventor the world has ever seen. And if they don't know my name yet, they soon will. Inshallah!School's out for the summer! And Layla's going to spend it getting her inventions ready for the Grand Design Competition. But when her grandmother falls ill and her family must rush to Sudan to be with her, Layla feels like she's being pulled in many different directions. Family, friends, home, inventions - there's a lot to navigate.With big protests looming in Sudan, could Layla save the day with her revolutionary ideas?
26 minutes | Sep 18, 2021
Sara Pennypacker: Pax the Journey Home
Sara Pennypacker's Pax was a huge hit with children and adults alike. Many readers wanted to know what happened to Peter and his pet Fox after the story ended and now Sara Pennypacker has written a sequel.In this episode, she talks to Nikki Gamble about why she felt compelled to write a sequel and the things that are important to her in the stories.About Pax: Journey Home It's been a year since Peter and his pet fox, Pax, have seen each other. Once inseparable, they now lead very different lives.Pax must protect his litter of kits in a dangerous world. Meanwhile, Peter, orphaned after the war, has left his adopted home and joined the Water Warriors, a group determined to heal the land from the scars of the war. When one of Pax's kits falls desperately ill, he turns to the one human he knows he can trust.And no matter how hard Peter tries to harden his broken heart, love keeps finding a way in. Now both boy and fox find themselves on journeys toward home, healing - and each other. A breathtaking novel about chosen families and the healing power of love.
25 minutes | Sep 16, 2021
Rob Biddulph: Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City
Rob Biddulph is well-known for his picture books and the phenomenally successful Draw with Rob YouTube channel. Now he has turned his talent to writing longer fiction and his first book Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City is an absolute triumph.In this episode, Rob introduces the world of Peanut Jones and also describes his process of creating longer illustrated fiction.About Peanut Jones and the Illustrated CityDrawing feels like magic to Peanut Jones.But art can't fix her problems. Her dad has gone missing, and she's stuck in a boring new school. Until the day she finds a unique pencil turbo-charged with special powers.Suddenly she's pulled into a world packed with more colour, creativity, excitement and danger than she could ever have imagined. And maybe, just maybe, she might find out what happened to her dad. '
23 minutes | Sep 12, 2021
Peter H Reynolds introduces International Dot Day
Small dots grow into bigger dots and before you know where you are the small dot has grown into International Dot Day.Peter Reynolds the author and illustrator of The Dot joins Nikki Gamble #InTheReadingCorner to explain how a simple dot can help to encourage children's confidence in their own creativity.The DotOne little dot marks the beginning of Vashti's journey of surprise and self-discovery in Peter H. Reynolds' multiple award-winning modern classic. In this inspiring, award-winning story of self-expression and creativity from Peter H.Reynolds, illustrator of Ish and the Judy Moody series, Vashti thinks she can't draw. But her teacher is sure that she can. She knows that there's a creative spirit in everyone, and encourages Vashti to sign the angry dot she makes in frustration on a piece of paper.This act makes Vashti look at herself a little differently, and helps her discover that where there's a dot there's a way... With wit, charm and free-spirited illustrations, Peter H. Reynolds encourages even the stubbornly uncreative among us to make a mark - and follow where it takes us.
26 minutes | Sep 11, 2021
Chris Thorogood - When Plants Took Over the Planet
Chris Thorogood is Deputy Director & Head of Science, University of Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum, His recently published book When Plants Took Over the Planet has plenty to interest children from around 9 all the way to adultIn this episode he talks to Nikki Gamble about the evolution of plants and igniting children's interest in plant life.When Plants Took Over the PlanetDiscover the incredible story of how plant life grew to cover the surface of planet Earth, from long before human life existed up to the present day. This large-format, highly illustrated book will guide readers through the key aspects of the life of plants, from early ferns which were most certainly munched on by dinosaurs, to carnivorous plants that snap and 'attack' their prey, or powerful medicinal plants that can heal ailments and boost health. Mysterious and wonderful plants and trees are explored through the diverse habitats they're found in, from the Amazon Rainforest to the Sahara Desert, and through the animals found living on them or amongst them.This book also explores how humans use - and abuse - our precious plants, and how reliant we all are on the survival of our planet's network of botanical life.
24 minutes | Sep 9, 2021
Samuel Langley-Swain and Monika Singh Gantora introduce Owlet Press
Samuel Langley-Swain has a background in fine art but following the arrival of his two children, he decided that needed to write his own story. After self-publishing and marketing his own book he realised there was more to be done and set up his own publishing house Owlet Press.Monika Singh Gangotra's Sunflower Sisters exposes the impact of colourism and breaking the cycle. It's an uplifting and empowering book about colourism and sisterhoodSam and Monika introduce Owlet Press in conversation with Nikki Gamble.
26 minutes | Sep 6, 2021
Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston
Kiran Millwood and Tom de Freston are creative partners as well as being married to each other. Their recently published novella, Julia and the Shark is a profound exploration of mental illness and its impact on children and families.The text is poetic and the illustrations enigmatic, giving this story a mythic quality that gives it universal significance. It is both a physical and psychological exploration.In this interview, they tell us more about the book.Julia and the SharkThe shark was beneath my bed, growing large as the room, large as the lighthouse, rising from unfathomable depths until it ripped the whole island from its roots. The bed was a boat, the shark a tide, and it pulled me so far out to sea I was only a speck, a spot, a mote, a dying star in an unending sky...Julia has followed her mum and dad to live on a remote island for the summer - her dad, for work; her mother, on a determined mission to find the elusive Greenland shark. But when her mother's obsession threatens to submerge them all, Julia finds herself on an adventure with dark depths and a lighthouse full of hope...A beautiful, lyrical, uplifting story about a mother, a daughter, and love - with timely themes of the importance of science and the environment.
21 minutes | Sep 5, 2021
Mya-Rose Craig - We Have a Dream
Dr Mya-Rose Craig is a bidder, and activist and the youngest holder of an Honorary Doctorate, which was awarded by the University of Bristol. In November 2020 she was included in the Woman's Hour Power List 2020.Mya has written a book featuring 30 other young activists campaigning for a better world, many of them teenagers. In this interview, she talks to Nikki Gamble about We Have a Dream.We Have a DreamIndigenous people and people of colour are disproportionately affected by climate change, yet often aren't heard in global conversations. In this book, British-Bangladeshi environmentalist and race activist 'Birdgirl' Mya-Rose Craig speaks to campaigners from around the world about what needs to be done.From wildlife conservation to clean water, air pollution to plastic waste, climate justice to climate strikes, the time has come to listen to a generation of young people of colour demanding urgent change for the world they will inherit.
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