Tanuja Bocquet is the owner of Tell Me Their Story. Tanuja provides bespoke children’s book consultations to parents, helping them find the right books for their child, whether they are a reluctant reader, a voracious bookworm or looking to develop comprehension and vocabulary skills for the 11+. The ultimate aim is to create a tribe of happy young readers, whether they are 7 or 17 years old.
Here are some more book recommendations from Tanuja to spark imaginations, inspire and deliver reading pleasure.
My children’s absolute favourite poetry book by the brilliant Michael Rosen. We’ve read, rapped and sung his poems over and over through the years and they never ever fail to make us all smile. Poetry is a wonderful way for younger readers to get small bursts of reading pleasure.
A really wonderful first chapter book that celebrates a young girl’s determination and the power of working together. Anna inherits the crumbling Hotel Flamingo from her great aunt. But, this is no ordinary hotel – all of her staff and her guests are animals. Will she have the courage to make it a success again? Warm-hearted and a delight to read. It’s packed full of really lovely illustrations too.
A warm-hearted wonder of a book. Lovely to read out loud to younger readers who enjoy fantasy, fun and magic. The story features a portal to a magical island located under Platform 13 of Kings Cross Station, a young prince stolen from his pram outside a fish and chip shop, a wizard, an ogre and a young hag sent on a mission to rescue said stolen young prince and a spoilt rich boy called Raymond Trottle. Another classic from Eva Ibbotson.
Sophie Hatter, a shy, unassuming hatmaker, who thinks everyone is cleverer and prettier than her, is turned into an old woman by a witch. In this new unflattering guise, she finds her feminine power and courage and sets about trying to break the witch’s spell by entering the home of a wizard (feared by everyone within the kingdom) who just happens to live in an enchanted moving castle.
Profound, poetic and heartfelt. Set in America, post depression, Ellie and her family have lost all their worldly wealth and must make a home for themselves in the wilderness. An accident that leaves their father unresponsive, alters the course of their lives and makes Ellie all the more determined to save him. Ellie is such a rare young girl. Unrelentingly optimistic, with a deep, magical relationship with the wild, and an unswerving kindness that makes you love her immediately.
A slim, powerful book that tells the story of Matthew Henson, the first man to reach the North Pole in 1909. Henson, whose staggering self belief, persistence and hard work carried him to the frozen north, was ultimately denied the prestige and honour due to him because of the colour of his skin. It shines with the decency and remarkable attitude of it’s hero. Super-readable format, makes this book great for dyslexic readers.
Young Adult Readers
This is a story about being a refugee and of being displaced, alone, feared and resented. It is also a story that speaks of the innocence and good humour of the young and the integrity of people willing to stand up for acceptance and tolerance. It is Alem’s astonishing story. A fourteen-year-old left in England by his parents so he can escape the horrors of the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict.
Gaiman confronts death head on in his novel that has echoes of The Jungle Book running throughout. It is the story of Bod, who escapes being murdered by the rather sinister Jack, and takes up residence in the local graveyard, where the ghosts and ghouls become his educators and replacement family. All eight chapters of this book are wildly inventive, creepy and thrilling to read. The illustrations by Chris Riddell are splendid. Remarkable storytelling.
It is 1727 and a group of fowlers from St Kilda are rowed out to Warrior Stac – a gathering of rock rising up from the sea – so that they can bring home bird meat, oil and feathers. When no-one returns to collect them, they presume the worst. Has the world ended? Will their lives be confined to this barren, isolated place for evermore? Wild, beautiful writing, suffused with despair. Based on a true story.
Please do get in touch to join Tanuja for a Children’s Book Consultation and let her help you find the right books for your child.