Here are the occasional reflections of a joyful traveller along the strange pathways of fantasy and adventure. All my reviews are independent and unsolicited.

I started this blog intending to write only about children's fantasy ('magic fiction') but have since widened my scope to include any work of children's fiction that I have read and enjoyed. Fantasy will still probably predominate, as it remains a favourite genre, but I cannot now resist sharing thoughts on other wonderful books too. (MG and occasionally YA.)

Here you will find only recommendations, never negative reviews. If I read a book which I feel is less than wonderful (which happens far more often than not) then I simply don't write about it. This blog is, rather, a celebration of the most exciting books I stumble across on my meandering reading journey, and of the important, life-affirming experiences they offer. It is but a very small thank you for the wonderful gifts their writers give.

List: Other Recommendations

Sometimes I find myself reading children's or YA books that don't really fit with 'magic fantasy' but are nevertheless well worth recommending.

SUPERB:
A Boy and a Bear in a Boat, Dave Shelton [see my NATE article]
The Marvels, Brian Selznick [post Sept '15]
The Doldrums, Nicholas Gannon [post Nov '15]
Thornhill, Pam Smy [post Aug '17]
Where the World Ends, Geraldine McCaughrean [post Sept '17]
The Murderer's Ape, Jakob Wegelius [post Sept '17]
Illegal, Eoin Colfer & Andrew Donkin, Illus Giovanni Rigano [post Oct '17]
Morning Girl, Michael Dorris [post Oct '17]
The Goat, Anne Fleming [post May '17]
The Blue Cat, The Red Shoe, Ursula Dubosarsky [post Sept '18]
The Skylarks' War, Hilary McKay [post Nov '18]
The Midnight Zoo, Sonya Hartnett [post Jan ‘19]
Lenny’s Book of Everything, Karen Foxlee [post Jan ‘19]
Orphan Island, Laurel Snyder [post February ‘19]
Fish Boy, Chloe Daykin [post July ‘19]
The Colour of the Sun, David Almond [post August ‘19]

GREAT:
The Inventions of Hugo Cabret, Wonderstruck, Brian Selznick [post Sept '15]
Rooftoppers , Katherine Rundell [post June'14]
The Wolf Wilder, Katherine Rundell [post Oct '15]
No True Echo, Gareth P Jones [post Feb '16]
Death or Ice Cream?, Gareth P Jones [post Feb '16]
The Boundless, Kenneth Oppel [post March '16]
The Nest, Kenneth Oppel [post March '16]
Letters from the Lighthouse, Emma Carroll [post June '17]
The Explorer, Katherine Rundell [post Sept '17]
The Poet's Dog, Patricia MacLaughlan [post Oct '17]
The White Hare, Michael Fishwick [post Nov '17]
The Ravenmaster Trilogy, John Owen Theobald [post Nov '17]
Doldrums 2: The Helmsley Curse, Nicholas Gannon [post Dec '17]
Bob, Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead [post May '18]
Orphan Monster Spy, Matt Killeen (OLDER READERS) [post May '18]
The Game of the Goose, The Golden Day, Abyssinia, Ursula Dubosarsky [post Jan ‘19]
The Children of the King, Sonya Hartnett [post Jan ‘19]
Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson [post March ‘19]
To the Edge of the World, Julia Green [post April ‘19]
Ghost, Jason Reynolds [post April ‘19]
Hurricane Season, Nicole Melleby [post June ‘19]
The House of Light, Julia Green [post June ‘19]
The Good Thieves, Katherine Rundell [post June ‘19]
Fire Girl, Forest Boy, Chloe Daykin [post August ‘19]

VERY GOOD:
The Dogs of Winter, Bobbie Pyron [post June '14]
Sun Thief, Jamie Buxton [post Oct '15]
The Thornthwaite Betrayal, Gareth P Jones [post Oct '16]
The Adventures of John Blake, Philip Pullman [post June '17]
Maudlin Towers: Curse of the Werewolf Boy, Chris Priestley [post Oct '17]
The Book Case, Dave Shelton [post April '18]
The Legend of Sally Jones, Jakob Wegelius [post Oct '18]
The First Book of Samuel, Ursula Dubosarsky [post Jan ‘19]
High Rise Mystery, Sharna Jackson [post April ‘19]
Anna at War, Helen Peters [post May ‘19]
In the Shadow of Heroes, Nicholas Bowling [post May ‘19]
Call Me Alastair, Cory Leonardo [post June ‘19]
The Unexpected Find, Toby Ibbotson [post July ‘19]
The Boy Who Pressed Play, Chloe Daykin [post August ‘19]

POETRY:
The Lost Words (Nature through poetry and art), Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris [post Oct '17]
The Moon Spun Round: W. B. Yeats for Children, Edited by Noreen Doody, Illustrated by Shona Shirley Macdonald [post Dec '17]

NON FICTION:
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls (1&2), Francesca Cavallo & Elena Favilli [post Dec '17]   
Stories for Boys who Dare to be Different, Ben Brooks, Illus. Quinton Winter [post April '19]

PICTURE BOOKS (Older Children)
The Dam, David Almond, Levi Pinfold [post Sept '18]