Resources

24 Jan 2017

A Busy Day for Birds video

Go behind the scenes with multi-award-winning author/illustrator Lucy Cousins (creator of Maisy) and find out about her new picture book, A Busy Day for Birds. Flap your wings, fly up high, open your beak and sing in this fun action rhyme story about fantastical birds! A bouncy read-aloud book, beautifully illustrated with bold, bright colours and packed with all sorts of wild and wonderful birds!

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24 Jan 2017

Also An Octopus Activity sheets

Download these fun Also An Octopus activity sheets for your Chatterbooks group, including colouring sheets and spot the difference

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19 Jan 2017

Chatterbooks Newsletter

The latest Chatterbooks Newsletter. This January newsletter has lots of exciting offers and competitions.

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13 Jan 2017

My Old Man: Tales of Our Fathers by Ted Kessler - an extract

If you were asked to write about your father, what would you say? No two paternal relationships are the same. Every experience, every bond, is unique. And whether happy or sad, fond or fraught, the memories and stories we have about our dads stay with us for ever. In this carefully curated collection, a dazzling list of contributors – including Florence Welch, Paul Weller, Nina Stibbe and the sons and daughters of Ian Dury, Johnny Ball, Roy Castle, Leonard Cohen and many others –...

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13 Jan 2017

Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba - discussion questions

“This is a fascinating book I couldn’t stop reading. She understands everything about the chic, loathsome collaborators and the Holocaust victims, and their stories are told in an irresistible narrative flood.” Edmund White, author of The Flâneur “Sebba reminds us that we should listen and put ourselves in their shoes, before leaping immediately to judgement, and backs this up with testimonies from many women whose voices have remained unheard.” Kate Mosse,...

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13 Jan 2017

Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba - an extract

What did it feel like to be a woman living in Paris from 1939 to 1949? These were years of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation and secrets until – finally – renewal and retribution. Even at the darkest moments of Occupation, glamour was ever present. French women wore lipstick. Why? It was women who came face to face with the German conquerors on a daily basis – perhaps selling them their clothes or travelling alongside them on the Metro, where a German soldier had...

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12 Jan 2017

Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge by Daniel Rachel - discussion questions

“A triumphant oral history of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge . . . a tale of resistance: first, against a surge of racism and bigotry that an inspired group of activists and musicians played a key role in rolling back; and then against a government, as the same spirit of defiance quickly resurfaced in opposition to the social revolutions of Thatcherism … a vivid portrait.” Guardian “Charts punk, 2 Tone and then Red Wedge’s subsequent battle for a...

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12 Jan 2017

Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge by Daniel Rachel - an extract

Walls Come Tumbling Down charts the pivotal period between 1976 and 1992 that saw politics and pop music come together for the first time in Britain’s musical history; musicians and their fans suddenly became instigators of social change, and ‘the political persuasion of musicians was as important as the songs they sang’. Through the voices of campaigners, musicians, artists and politicians, Daniel Rachel follows the rise and fall of three key movements of the time: Rock...

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12 Jan 2017

Stories from Around the World - Chatterbooks Activity Pack

In this pack are reading ideas for all ages: adventures, folk tales, stories in translation and non-fiction titles, which take you around the world introducing you to people and places, and their lives and experiences. There are also ideas for discussion and activities, linked to these books and to our round the world theme.

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06 Jan 2017

Full Marks for Trying: An unlikely journey from the Raj to the rag trade by Bridgid Keenan - an extract

Brigid Keenan was never destined to lead a normal life. From her early beginnings – a colourful childhood in India brought to an abrupt end by independence and partition, then a return to dreary post-war England and on to a finishing school in Paris with daughters of presidents and princes – ordinary didn’t seem to be her fate. When, as a ten-year-old, she overheard her mother describe her as ‘desperately plain’, she decided then and there that she had to rely on...

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06 Jan 2017

Full Marks for Trying: An unlikely journey from the Raj to the rag trade by Bridgid Keenan - discussion questions

“With flashes of Nancy Mitford wit … Brigid Keenan is as skittish as a kitten with needle claws, as stricken as a deer in headlights, and as smart as a cage of monkeys.” The Times “Keenan, I suspect, was quite possibly put on this planet with the express purpose of writing.” Katie Hickman, Sunday Times “A new comic genius – the sort that can make you laugh out loud three or four times a page.” William Dalrymple This memoir is a fabulous book to...

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06 Jan 2017

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell - an extract

Shortlisted for the Costa Book Award. Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Award. Shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award. This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell crosses time zones and continents to reveal an extraordinary portrait of a marriage. A reclusive ex-film star living in the wilds of Ireland, Claudette Wells is a woman whose first instinct, when a stranger approaches her home, is to reach for her shotgun. Why is she so fiercely protective of her...

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05 Jan 2017

My name is Leon by Kit De Waal - an extract

“Unforgettable, heartbreaking and uplifting – just read it.” “Leon is pure goodwill in a wicked world, and he won’t leave you when you put this unique book down. Authentic and beautiful, urgent and honest.” Chris Cleave, bestselling author of The Other Hand A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you’d least expect to find one. Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has...

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05 Jan 2017

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jack Arnopp - an extract

It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed. Then there was that video: forty seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account. Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed – until now. Here are some reviews of The Last Days of Jack...

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05 Jan 2017

Tuco: The Parrot, the Others, and a Scattershot World by Brian Brett - an extract

For thirty years, Brian Brett shared his office and his life with Tuco, a remarkable parrot given to asking such questions as “Whaddya know?” and announcing “Party time!” when guests showed up at Brett’s farm. Although Brett bought Tuco on a whim as a pet, he gradually realizes the enormous obligation he has to the bird and learns that the parrot is a lot more complex than he thought. Simultaneously a biography of this singular bird and a history of...

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05 Jan 2017

Tuco: The Parrot, the Others, and a Scattershot World by Brian Brett - discussion questions

Brian Brett is the author of Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life, which won the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize, and Uproar’s Your Only Music, a Globe and Mail Book of the Year. He has also written numerous books of poetry and fiction. Tuco: The Parrot, the Others, and a Scattershot World is biography about a history of bird/dinosaurs and the human relationship with birds, Tuco also explores how we “other” the world—abusing birds, landscapes, and each...

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04 Jan 2017

Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time by Michael du Preez and Jeremy Dronfield - an extract

“Thoroughly engaging.” Sunday Times, Books of the Year “Gripping, unusual, moving.” Times, Books of the Year “An irresistible little byway in 18th-century medical and social history.” Oldie “A scintillating portrait of Barry’s life…that feels almost Dickensian in style.” Guardian These are just some of the reviews about the fascinating non-fiction book, Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time. Dr James Barry was many things in his life:...

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04 Jan 2017

Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time by Michael du Preez and Jeremy Dronfield - discussion questions

Dr James Barry was many things in his life: Inspector General of Hospitals, army surgeon, duellist, reformer, lady killer, eccentric. He performed the first successful Caesarean in the British Empire, outraged the military establishment, and gave Florence Nightingale a dressing down at Scutari. At home he was surrounded by a menagerie of animals, including a cat, a goat, a parrot and a terrier. But most astonishingly, long ago in Cork, Ireland, he had been a young girl and a mother. Drawing...

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04 Jan 2017

The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler - discussion questions

We have attached some discussion questions for you to use with your reading group about The Tobacconist. From the bestselling author of A Whole Life, comes a moving account of an ordinary boy living through extraordinary times, and the lengths we will go to in order to protect what we love. “Set at a time of lengthening shadows, this is a novel about the sparks that illuminate the dark: of wisdom, compassion, defiance and courage. It is wry, piercing and also, fittingly,...

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04 Jan 2017

The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler - an extract

When seventeen-year-old Franz exchanges his home in the idyllic beauty of the Austrian lake district for the bustle of Vienna, his homesickness quickly dissolves amidst the thrum of the city. In his role as apprentice to the elderly tobacconist Otto Trsnyek, he will soon be supplying the great and good of Vienna with their newspapers and cigarettes. Among the regulars is a Professor Freud, whose predilection for cigars and occasional willingness to dispense romantic advice will forge a bond...

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20 Dec 2016

LEGO® Winter Wonderland Activity Sheet

Download this free LEGO activity sheet and bring the snowy scene to life! Colour in the elf and his hungry reindeer, and search for some wintery words. Why not print them off for all the family to enjoy!

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20 Dec 2016

A Monster Calls - discussion guide

Download these discussion questions for A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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19 Dec 2016

Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction by Helen Pilcher - an extract

If you could bring back just one animal from the past, what would you choose? It can be anyone or anything from history, from the King of the Dinosaurs, T. rex, to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, and beyond. De-extinction – the ability to bring extinct species back to life – is fast becoming reality. Around the globe, scientists are trying to de-extinct all manner of animals, including the woolly mammoth, the passenger pigeon and a bizarre species of...

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19 Dec 2016

Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction by Helen Pilcher - discussion questions

De-extinction – the ability to bring extinct species back to life – is fast becoming reality. Around the globe, scientists are trying to de-extinct all manner of animals, including the woolly mammoth, the passenger pigeon and a bizarre species of flatulent frog. But de-extinction is more than just bringing back the dead. It’s a science that can be used to save species, shape evolution and sculpt the future of life on our planet. In Bring Back the King, scientist and comedy writer Helen...

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19 Dec 2016

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker - discussion questions

Edgar Hill is 35 and caught in his own headlock. Overweight slob, under-performing husband and reluctant father – for Ed, the world may as well have already ended. So when it does end in a catastrophic asteroid strike and Edgar and his family find refuge in an Edinburgh army barracks, it comes as something of a relief. His world becomes simpler, life becomes easier, things might just be looking up. But nothing’s ever that simple. Returning from a salvage run in the city, Edgar finds his...

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19 Dec 2016

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker - an extract

This is the ultimate race-against-time thriller. When the world ends and you find yourself stranded on the wrong side of the country, every second counts. No one knows this more than Edgar Hill. 550 miles away from his family, he must push himself to the very limit to get back to them, or risk losing them forever… His best option is to run. But what if your best isn’t good enough? Download and read your extract of The End of the World Running Club today.

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16 Dec 2016

The New Odyssey: The Story of Europe's Refugee Crisis by Patrick Kingsley - discussion questions

We have some discussion questions for your reading group about The New Odyssey. Europe is facing a wave of migration unmatched since the end of World War II. The author, Guardian’s migration correspondent, has reported on this crisis in depth. Throughout 2015, he has travelled to 17 countries along the migrant trail. In this book, he gives an account of who these voyagers are, and why they keep coming, and how they do it. “Patrick Kingsley writes from right inside the greatest...

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16 Dec 2016

The New Odyssey: The Story of Europe's Refugee Crisis by Patrick Kingsley - an extract

This extremely topical, non-fiction book is a fascinating read. Europe is facing a wave of migration unmatched since the end of World War II – and no one has reported on this crisis in more depth or breadth than the Guardian’s migration correspondent, Patrick Kingsley. Throughout 2015, Kingsley travelled to 17 countries along the migrant trail, meeting hundreds of refugees making epic odysseys across deserts, seas and mountains to reach the holy grail of Europe. This is...

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16 Dec 2016

Himself by Jess Kidd - discussion questions

Himself is a genre-bending crime story set in County Mayo in the 1970s. Abandoned on the steps of an orphanage, Mahony, a lovable car thief and Dublin charmer, returns to the town of his birth after an anonymous message suggests that his mother was taken from him. With the suggestion of foul play involved Mahony turns up to case the village but his familiar looks and outsider ways cause a stir amongst the locals, who receive him with a mixture of awe (the women) and suspicion (the...

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16 Dec 2016

Himself by Jess Kidd - read an extract

When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland’s west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the lies of his past. No one – living or dead – will tell Mahony what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite his certainty that more than one of the villagers knows the sinister truth. Between Mulderrig’s sly priest, its pitiless nurse and the caustic elderly actress throwing...

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