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The Independent’s Children’s Books Blog: Rebecca Davies signs off

The Independent’s Children’s Books Blog: Rebecca Davies signs off

Sad news from the world of The Independent (UK) – Rebecca is hanging up her blogging boots, for now:

I’m sorry to report that today will be my last post on the children’s book blog. I’ve had an absolute blast writing it over the past couple of years, but it’s always been a labour of love and real-life work sadly has to take precedence.


But she leaves on a high note with some great recommendations including … Dog on Stilts, Tom Gates, The Deadly 7, The Door that Led to Where and the new Patrick Ness: The rest of us just live here.

Go read what Rebecca is most excited about for 2015!

Now to try and tease her back to blogging … *sends cake*





(Pic via Getty Images)



There are TONS of things I could talk about from today … but the one thing that doesn’t conflict with any embargo or exciting news:

The milk and cookies from Gail’s Kitchen in Bloomsbury. Gooey, oozing centre and a crisp cookie. These are not just cookie, these may be THE cookie.



Kids and Family Reading Report

Kids and Family Reading Report

It’s US based – but interesting none the less.

The annual Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report analyses data from 2,500+ parents and kids – asks questions and crunches the numbers to give an indication of where things are.

Only 51% of children said they love or like reading books for fun (That was 58% in 2012, and 60% in 2010.)

The report found that reading enjoyment drops after the age of eight.

And why the steep drop – particularly in boys? – sixty per cent who enjoyed reading more when they were younger put this down to there being “so many other things that I now enjoy more than reading”

What makes a ‘frequent reader’? 

The report found that a six to 11-year-old is more likely to be a frequent reader if they are currently read aloud to at home, if they were also read aloud to five to seven days a week before starting nursery, and if they are less likely to use a computer for fun.


I’m still reading the report, (sssh, it’s early), have a look here.

Late Night Double Feature: Ex_Machina and It Follows

Late Night Double Feature: Ex_Machina and It Follows

This isn’t a review.

The pic is the calling card that the studio PR team handed to everyone after the screening of It Follows (super creepy 70’s nostalgia horror) The team went all out too – as a kid on screen screamed of being followed by a woman in a yellow dress that no one else could see, a woman in a yellow dress stalked the dark cinema. (Successfully creeping EVERYONE out) After the film there was a tweet: “Much like Jaws isn’t about the shark. It Follows isn’t about what is following you.” The right combination of fear, humour and sex (you’ll see why).

Before that there was pizza and beer. And prior to that we were bundled into a screening of Ex_Machina. Alex Garland’s stylised robot movie. The science and invention of iRobot, Bladerunner and AI – with the look and feel of 2014’s Lucy or, maybe, Her.  Thought, sex, style, passion, humour … and Oscar Isaacs as the faultlessly charismatic villain. Ex_Machina is the precursor to The Matrix – the laboratory moment where the machines first discover themselves.

Both DEFINITELY on the radar.