Creative writing and fiction articles
Best time travel and travel slip books for children
Time travel is a topic that will never cease to captivate kids' imaginations. Ancient Rome, Victorian Britain, where would you time travel to? We've collected some of our favourite time travelling and time slip novels for children that will keep their noses buried in their books and excited for the next chapter. Enjoy!
Best rhyming books for children
Listening to repeated sounds, rhythms and rhymes offers children clear educational benefits and helps to make them into readers. Best of all, rhyming books are a pleasure to read out loud! Our pick of the best rhyming stories offers a brilliant selection of family favourites that you'll be reciting for years.
Best alternate reality books for kids
Who wouldn't want to live in worlds of floating castles, wizards and dragons, talking horses and endless summer nights? Writer Richard Lambert, author of The Wolf Road and Shadow Town, picks his favourite children's books set in an alternate reality to help your child find their own favourite land of magic and enchantment.
Best story retellings for children
Classic literature is reimagined, updated, revisited and reinterpreted in each of these brilliant retellings, which expand on traditional tales or use comic-strip illustrations or modern settings to make brilliant stories accessible to a new generation of readers.
Best graphic novels for children
In the past children were often discouraged from reading graphic novels because they weren’t seen as ‘real’ books but, in fact, the vocabulary, storylines and humour are highly sophisticated and offer reluctant readers a brilliant introduction to the world of books. Children’s book expert and founder of children’s book review platform Toppsta, Georgina Atwell, picks 10 of the best to capture children’s imagination.
Writing spooky stories: a guide for kids
Can you scare your friends silly with a spooky story? Are you a master of suspense and a lover of all things supernatural? Learn how to keep readers on the edge of their seat with a terrifying tale with writing tips from Phil Hickes, author of the spine-tingling Aveline Jones series for readers aged 9+.
Best detective stories for KS2 kids
With plots to uncover, mysteries to solve and codes to break you'll need to work hard to join the best junior detectives and super-smart sleuths in children's literature. Puzzle your way through our pick of the best detective stories for KS2 kids.
Best nursery rhymes and fairy tales apps for kids
For many children, nursery rhymes and fairy tales are the first step on the road to independent reading. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favourite traditional song and story apps for pre-school, Reception and beyond.
Why children’s books need more disabled representation
Actor, children’s author and former CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell shares what it was like growing up with a disability, and why children’s books need more disabled characters.
5 ways to bring stories to life for your child
Develop your child's creativity – and yours! – by telling and sharing stories. Performance storyteller John Kirk offers a few expert tips to help you make an ordinary retelling of a traditional tale memorable and magical.
Best literacy resources
Whether your child is just learning to read and print letters or looking for ways to put their creative writing skills to the test, we've rounded up some fantastic resources to help them practise phonics, grammar, story-writing and comic-creating at home. Plus there are loads of different ways to connect with authors and listen to stories.
Interviewing to write a biography
Writing an in-depth profile of a grandparent or family friend will help your child develop interview skills, learn to write up notes and introduce them to family heritage, stories and legends that they might never have heard! Use our suggested questions to help set up a conversation to remember.
How to teach your child to use a dictionary
Learning to use a dictionary is an important curriculum skill and will help your child expand their vocabulary. Here's how to help them find their way around it.
Why children’s books need black, Asian and minority ethnic characters
Diversity in books is important for children of all cultures and ethnicities. We asked children’s author Chitra Soundar how representation can change children's experience of books and reading and enrich their life.
Best cricket books for children
The Cricket World Cup is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world. If your child has been inspired, harness their enthusiasm with our pick of the best books for kids who love cricket, chosen by primary school teacher and children's literature enthusiast Scott Evans. These cricket-focused reads will knock them for six!
Best fantasy adventure books for kids
Are you ready to enter some magical new worlds, exploring the depths of the sea, dark forests, ancient civilisations and weird and wonderful landscapes? On your travels you're sure to meet some strange characters, lots of brave heroes and heroines and a few sinister creatures wrecking havoc... It's time to head somewhere far, far away for roller-coaster adventures with our pick of the best fantasy world books for primary school children.
Best detective stories for KS1 kids
Get your magnifying glass out and your thinking cap on: our selection of the best detective stories and books for KS1 kids will keep you guessing until the very last page! Packed with illustrations and plot twists, this selection of sleuth reads is perfect for newly confident readers.
Best traditional tales books for kids
Whether you like your fairy stories traditional or twisted, retold for modern readers or classic, the perfect length for bedtime reading or in book form, our selection is packed with great options. Introduce your primary-school child to some tales as old as time – and fall in love with some new favourites, too.
Why writing book reviews is great for kids
Writing book reviews can help your child engage more deeply with what they're reading, find their next favourite series or author and develop their writing skills. Georgina Atwell, founder of kids' book review website Toppsta, offers her tips for helping your child share their love of reading with other bookworms.
Best books for kids who love superheroes
Is it a bird... is it a plane... no, it's super-books! With a mix of heroes and heroines (and some who do not wear a cape!), this selection from primary school teacher Scott Evans comes to the reading rescue of kids who love superhero adventures, on the page and on screen.
Best books for kids who love mysteries
As crime and thrillers fill the adult shelves of most bookshops, it is no wonder that this genre for children is going from strength to strength. Immerse yourself in clue-hunting and who-dunnit sleuthing with this choice of classic and magical mysteries from primary school teacher and children's literature reviewer Scott Evans.
Best books for kids who love scary stories
Boo! Feel the chill down your spine as you immerse yourself in these spooktacular reads, chosen by children's literature enthusiast and primary school teacher Scott Evans. The perfect mix of monsters, ghosts and ghouls will have you enjoying these hauntingly-good reads not just at Halloween but all year round.
Best Shakespeare books for children
From modern-English retellings to comic-book versions of the plays, there are wonderful books available to help you introduce Shakespeare's timeless stories to your primary-school child. Will you read The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream or Hamlet together at bedtime tonight?
Best story-making apps for kids
Help your child unleash their creative side with these brilliant apps that'll get them started with story-writing.
Best books about magic for Harry Potter fans
If your child, like millions of others worldwide, is spellbound by Hogwarts and dreams of shopping for school supplies in Diagon Alley and being sorted by the Sorting Hat, they might find any non-Potter reads unappealing. We asked primary teacher and children's literature reviewer Scott Evans to share his picks of the best books for J K Rowling fans to ensure that the reading magic continues.
Best children's literary festivals in the UK
Bring books to life for book lovers of all ages, from pre-school to teenagers, at one of the world's best literary festivals. Meet authors, learn writing and illustrating skills at a workshop or take part in a debate – there are a wealth of bookish activities on offer for families throughout the year, and many of them are accessible online from anywhere in the world.
Best apps featuring children's book characters
From the Gruffalo to Harry Potter, there's an app for just about every much-loved children's book character. We've rounded up our favourites.
How to build your child’s vocabulary
Help your child become a master of words with these great tips for boosting vocabulary at home.
Is your child’s vocabulary right for their age?
A wide vocabulary is a good indicator of how well your child will perform academically, but how can you tell if they’re on track?
Best children's books about Ancient Rome
What did the Romans do for us? From picture books to chapter books, this selection, chosen by primary school teacher Scott Evans, will help your children to discover for themselves if the Ancient Romans were as ruthless or as rotten as some say as we travel back to the time of gladiators, emperors and amphitheatres...
Best children's books about Vikings
Take a step back in time when Britain was being regularly invaded to find out more about the fearless raiders who travelled by sea in their long ships to settle here and who have left their mark on today's society. Primary school teacher and children's literature lover Scott Evans shares his pick of the best Viking historical fiction that will capture children's interest in this most interesting and exciting (and sometimes bloodthirsty!) of times.
Best children's books about Tudors
Divorced, beheaded, died! Divorced, beheaded, survived! During the Tudor period, arguably one of the most exciting times in history, one family dominated the country with two of the strongest monarchs ever to sit on the throne, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Find out about these rulers and more with teacher and children's book reviewer Scott Evans' pick of the best Tudor stories and novels.
Best books to read with eight year olds
Terrifying ogres, nasty pirates, a rainforest adventure, two evil toy thieves and a ghostly boarding school make these books the perfect choice for sharing with your eight year old. Snuggle up and get reading!
Best books for seven year olds: early readers
Mechanical pirates, hungry dinosaurs, a pair of talking mice, a mischievous group of creatures called the Gigglers and two clever dogs make these books the perfect choice for new readers who are seven.
Best modern classics for KS2 children
Ancient secret societies, a Stone Age boy and an Edwardian girl, a planet terrorised by jelly-like creatures and a 'practically perfect' nanny make these books the ideal twentieth-century classic reading choices for children in Key Stage 2.
Best books for six year olds: chapter books
A cunning fox, a haunted room, a terrifying cat, a broken time machine and a princess who fights crime make these short, accessible chapter books perfect for building young readers' confidence.
Best kids' books by best-selling adult authors
When you find an author you love you want to share your discovery with everyone – including the next generation! Thankfully lots of the world's best-selling adult authors have also written junior fiction so you can get the kids hooked on John Grisham or Jenny Colgan sooner rather than later!
Best apps for new readers
Reading doesn't always have to involve books. We've rounded up the best apps for children who are learning to read, ranging from traditional tales to interactive games that will improve their reading as they play.
Best books for eleven year olds
Armoured bears, flying witches, adventures on the rooftops of Paris, a magical shop and an island with a terrifying secret make these books perfect for eleven year olds looking for a challenging, enthralling read! You might be tempted to dive in yourself, too...
Best books for six year olds: independent reading
Lonely rainclouds, tea-drinking dogs, dastardly dragons and grumpy giants make this selection for six year olds the perfect choice for developing readers. The illustrations are wonderful and there isn't too much text, so these books are perfect for a first foray into the world of independent reading.