Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Escape with a great book!

"I am delighted to introduce my lovely twitter friend Joanna Hobbs, who is manager at my local Waterstones Bookshop in Cirencester and has kindly agreed to write a guest post, sharing her passion for books with us. 

When I finally met her in person a few weeks ago, she helped me find books for my son to read and also a great holiday read for me too, all whilst greeting customers in her store like old friends. So go and visit the store in person or just read on to enjoy her recommendations. Feel free to leave your own comments about these books or your own favourites below." 

The summer holidays present a fantastic opportunity for you and your family to spend some quality time with books. There is so much wonderful choice for children, whatever their tastes!

If your child can already read, then each new book opens a doorway into a different world of adventure - and the perfect escape on a rainy afternoon! For those who are learning to read, the holidays provide a lovely stretch of quality time in which to unhurriedly explore the pleasures of a great story. With little ones there is nothing like the shared fun of reading a story together - especially if you do all the voices!

My happiest memories of childhood summers are centred around being outdoors - reading in shady spots, climbing trees, looking for tiny frogs and fossils, building dens and rockpooling. There are many lovely books which capture the spirit of the great outdoors and will inspire you and your children to go on your own adventures! Here are some favourites:

Make it Wild! by Fiona Danks & Jo Schofield. Subtitled '101 Things to Make and Do Outdoors', this is packed full of superb ideas for all seasons! There are all sorts of projects from making nettle paper to the more ambitious making of go carts. 

The Eden Project have done two lovely Little Guides with wonderful picture book author Charlotte Voake on Wild Flowers and Trees. They're great to take out on walks and to have at home for inspiration.

The RSPB publish a popular series for young nature lovers. The bugs one always goes down well! Usborne Spotter's Guides are fab portable guides to take out and about & introduce a fun competitive element - how many things can you find!?

As I got older I wanted as much information and as many pictures as possible! I found I grew into any that were initially too advanced and always loved the great photography/images captured in adult nature guides. Two great series are the Collins guides:

and anything by the publisher Dorling Kindersley

If you want a treat for yourself, here are some real beauties - two relatively new kids on the block and the classic updated:

The River Cottage Handbooks are fab (above) and below The Hedgerow Handbook (below) is a lovely book to share with the family:   

The brilliant Richard Mabey, Food for Free;

Needing further persuasion...?
Have a read of this fascinating book and I challenge you to remain in your armchair!

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