Project BFG

Given the chance we like to incorporate a bit o schoolwork into any given dote day. Some times tables, a bit of reading, a little experiment…

When handed a week of dote time we dream big. BFG big.IMG_4487

Camp Dote had a schedule to keep.  One novel, one week. Each chapter to be summarized and compiled so that by the end of our week we could have our very own version of the BFG to show off to parents and aunties.

Lil D barely flinched as I described how I saw the project going. 5 chapters a day, 5 index cards to fill. At the end of the week if we had achieved our goal we would go to the cinema to watch the movie.

To set Lil D up for success we came to an agreement. A couple of chapters after breakfast, another with lunch and a couple in the afternoon – as long as they were sandwiched between other makes, bakes and park time. Challenge accepted!


And didn’t she do well.  Listening to her observations during the movie was a delight.  “Oh! I expected Sophie to have long hair”, “I thought Sophie wore glasses”, “I didn’t expect her to be that mean”. She really took it in. Especially the whizzpopping (^-^)

She now basks in the glow of our pride and praise and the knowledge that no other P.4 would be reading a whole book like this in a week. How whoopsey-splunkers!


Little library loves


We grew up with libraries.  That’s where you got books to read before bedtime.  Back then, dear reader, there was no Amazon.

Of course there will always be books that you just *have* to own but a daily reading habit sometimes makes the choice of what next difficult.  Charts have little meaning when they seem only reflect the 99p bargain of the day rather than a really good read.

This year I’ve really enjoyed getting into Children’s Literature so what makes more sense than taking advantage of Eims’ workplace? Lots of beautifully borrowed classics and new releases. Happy days! The Iron Man alone confirms the importance of libraries and oh! what fun the BFG is making for me.  Lots of project ideas for Lil D’s next visit.

Eims may have already known this but libraries really are a treasure worth rediscovering.


When I grow up…

Lil D recently revealed that she’d like to be a vet when she grows up, or as she really said, she’d like to work at Pets at Home, but the teacher encouraged her to think bigger.  Animals (and dance) are her passion and we’re all for following your dreams.

When I was younger I knew what my dream job was…to work in a library, but somehow or other I got sidetracked (by retail, then banking, then the civil service, then teaching…it was quite a big sidetrack). Until I came back to libraries, and found a job that puts a smile on my face- and surely that’s the dream.

So why is working in a library so awesome?

  • you get to pretend to know everything.  Which I’ve always been good at.
  • you have stories you just don’t get in other places. Like the time we took the Christmas tree out of the cupboard and a bat swooped out with it; or when a student claimed to have returned books only to find them in their laundry basket the next day.
  • sometimes you’re a mind reader: ‘a black book with a picture on front?’ You must mean Research Methods in Education.  Yes. We are that good.
  • you get to say shhh (though less than you’d think- we officially have whisper zones).
  • you get to work with some of the funniest, smartest people in the world. Librarianship is a profession- you work hard to prove that you are more than a checkout assistant sometimes, but we know that we are.  And we tell each other that often!  Every person I work with is a ‘character’, good and bad sometimes, but always interesting. Serial job appliers, constant travellers, stern phone answerers, bakers, and a strangely high proportion of history graduates.
  • every day you work with thousands of books. It’s a book lover’s dream.  You can tell the people you love that you can get them that book that answers their questions (sometimes you can even deliver on that promise)
  • you can amaze people with your technological skills- computers, printers, wifi, any of it, I’m an expert (remember when I said you get to pretend to know everything?)
  • sometimes, if you squint, you can imagine you are in the library from Beauty and the Beast…I did say sometime…squint harder!
  • you provide a service to people who need it, more than books- guidance in a world of referencing, online journals, youtube videos, and they tend to be grateful.

Lucky me;-)

So follow your dreams Lil D.  Maybe a dancing vet who moonlights at a pet store?



April book club: Jim Reaper


Jim has a dream. He dreams that his parents will buy him a limited edition Bazoom!, an awesome scooter, and his best friend’s sister will think he’s as cool as she is.   The problem is that there are only a limited number of Bazooms! left and mum’s definitely not going to buy it given her obsession with staying healthy.

So that leaves dad.

Except while trying to convince dad, Jim and his friend Will discover that the mathematically challenged accountant may not be spending his days (and nights) crunching numbers…

This is a fun story with a cast of characters that make you laugh: from Will, Jim’s best friend, with his jelly brain and obsession with snails, to Jim’s little sister Hetty, whose worldly wise attitude sits alongside her love of blackmail.

The language is accessible to young readers and the pace keeps everyone moving along nicely. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading more about Jim Reaper.

February Book Club


Violet and the Pearl of the Orient

Violet has new neighbours.  On first impressions they’re not the type of people Violet and her family would normally take to but everyone deserves to be given a chance, right?

As events unfold in their little community Violet begins to suspect the newbies of more than just unpleasantness.

Her favourite neighbour’s valuable pearl has been stolen and the police aren’t listening to Violet’s suspicions.

It’s time to do some detectiving.


Lovely illustrations by Becka Moor and more to enjoy from Violet in Harriet Whitehorn’s series of books.

The Three Ninja Pigs


Are you ready for the three ninja pigs?

An adventure that brings the three little pigs into the path of the Big Bad Wolf, and it seems that each encounter (in Granny’s house, huffing and puffing, Cinderella’s shop) gets the three ninja pigs into more trouble than the Wolf.

But these aren’t our ordinary three little pigs, no way.  A ninja always has a cunning trick.  Maybe the wolf will get his comeuppance…

Fun little picture book, with entertaining illustrations.

December Book Club

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig. Illustrated by Chris Mould.

This is the story of how Father Christmas came to be the man we know today.

Everyone is young first –  this story follows Nikolas, our Boy called Christmas on his path to becoming the jolliest man in the world.  An adventure that teaches us that saying something is impossible is merely a restriction we put on ourselves.

A Boy called Christmas is a beautiful tale about finding your path.  It shows us the importance of kindness and altruism whilst challenging what’s thought of as impossible. It also explains the old chimney trick nicely.

We’re looking forward to reading this for many Decembers to come.