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81 items found for ""

  • Dwi eisiau bod yn Ddeinosor - Luned a Huw Aaron

    *For Welsh Review, see language toggle switch* (suggested) interest age: 3+ (suggested) reading age: 5+ Genre: #rhyme #healthandwellbeing #funny Yet more success for the Aarons Earlier this week, I was pleased to see that another book by Luned and Huw has had some mainstream recognition and has popped up on the shortlist for the Book of the Year Awards. That book was – 'Pam? ' – it scored very highly on my own personal best books list and I wish them every success in the competition. Read the review here. This is another book the dream team has released recently with Atebol. Doesn’t it just look awesome? It’s just so fresh, bright and modern looking – which just goes to show how far original Welsh books have come over the years. This is a better book than a number of adaptations currently on the market and is a great example of a perfect #original #Welsh language book. Dinosaurs, zombies and Frankenstein This book will no doubt appeal to children who are playful in nature. The book is funny, and just as well, because I think we need some humour more than ever. I'll have to buy another copy for my little cousin, because he’s definitely not having my copy! Don’t you think the scribbly-yet-impressive drawings are wonderful? Something I noted, was the large font, set against the white background looks good and will be easier to read for young readers. The rhyme is on-point, and as I've said before, I can see this as a darn llefaru unigol for the Urdd Eisteddfod! Believe in yourself In the first half of the book the little boy constantly puts himself down. He never feels good enough and compares himself to others. This is such an easy trap to fall into, and we as adults are just as guilty of doing it to ourselves too. Negative thinking like this leads to some of those self-sabotaging behaviours we could do without, and so it's important to try and keep a positive mindset at all times. I think the book’s main messages of 'accept yourself,' 'love yourself for who you are' and 'you are enough' are vitally important in today's competitive world, where there’s so much pressure on children to be 'successful. ' What’s the take-home message? The book manages to convey important messages without shoving them down our throats. It keeps the humour and light-heartedness throughout. For me, the main message is be happy in your own skin. At the end of the day, being nice, polite and kind is far important than anything else! Publisher: Atebol Released: 2022 Price: £6.99

  • Siani Pob Man - Valériane Leblond a Morfudd Bevan

    *For Welsh, see language toggle switch* (suggested) reading age: 6+ (suggested) interest age: 4+ Genre: #history #local #Wales #Sea This is a new book by Valériane Leblond and Morfudd Bevan. You may be familiar with Valériane's work after reading her lovely book The Quilt. This book, Siani Pob Man, is equally impressive and typical of Valériane's delicate and observant artwork. The colours on the canvas are reminiscent of the sand on the beach, and you’ll find some interesting information in the back of the book about the process of painting the illustrations. The author of the text is Morfudd Bevan, a curator at the National Library with links to the area. Before reading the story, I’ll admit, I didn't realise that this was a story about a real person! Siani Pob Man would often be seen sitting outside her whitewashed cottage on the beach, more often than not, with her chickens. A rather eccentric character, she became popular with visitors and would sing rhymes or tell the fortunes apparently. It’s so important that we remember individuals such as Siani Pob Man, as they are an important part of our local history. I can think of a few local characters from my own area who’ve left us, and I doubt that many people would even be aware that they existed at all. I’m pleased the author has decided to share this quirky little story, to ensure that the story of Siani Pob Man endures. Thanks to the author's diligent research and Valériane's artwork, Siani’s story comes alive and is shared with the rest of Wales, beyond the Ceredigion area. Reading the book is certainly a good excuse to visit New Quay next time I'm in the area. Publisher: Y Lolfa Format: Clawr Caled Released: 2022 Price: £7.99

  • Dirgelwch y Dieithryn - Elgan Philip Davies

    *For Welsh see language toggle switch* (suggested) reading age: 7+ (suggested) interest age: 6+ Gwales Description When Iwan, Mair and their friends spot a stranger in the empty house near the park, they know at once that something’s amiss. He must be a thief, and they need to hatch a plan at once to catch him. Join the friends on their summer adventure! REVIEW BY ELA GRIFFITH, YEAR 9, YSGOL Y CREUDDYN The book ‘Dirgelwch y Dieithryn’ by Elgan Philip Davies is a wonderful book full of adventure and fun. The book is great for families to read together or to read independently. In my opinion I would recommend for the 6 - 11-year age range because it’s short and easy to read. The story has been set in the garden of one of the friends and follows Iwan, Mair and his friends as they have had an experience that they have not had before. An unknown and strange new man has arrived, but there is something suspicious about him. Is he a thief? Is he a criminal? Is he a pirate? Their task is to find out and catch him! My favourite character is Mair because she’s a character like me. She loves adventure and is determined and assertive. She helps Iwan and his friends try to catch the stranger and keeps everyone safe! The only negative thing about the book is to start understanding the story at the start. As a pupil in year 9 I felt that the book was for quite a young audience. But when you're reading it you feel like one of the friends and on an adventure, yourself trying to catch the stranger. So read ‘Dirgelwch y Dieithryn’ and join Iwan, Mair and their friends on their adventure! Publisher: Y Lolfa Released: 2021 (1993) Series: Gorau'r Goreuon Price: £5.99 ISBN: 9781800991378 What is the Gorau'r Goreuon series? GORAU’R GOREUON: INTRODUCING THREE STORIES FROM THE PAST TO YOUNG AUDIENCES IN 2021 The Books Council of Wales is launching the first three titles of Gorau’r Goreuon (The Best of the Best), a selection of books for children and young people. Gorau’r Goreuon aims to introduce a selection of books that are considered classics in children and young people’s literature to a new generation of readers. Full article: MORE BOOOKS IN THE GORAU'R GOREUON SERIES...

  • Dim chwarae, Mot! - Lawrence Schimel ac Elīna Brasliņa [Addas. Mari Siôn ac Elin Haf]

    Genre: #amrywiaeth #teulu #iechydalles Oed diddordeb: 0-3 Simple and colourful books that convey the diversity of our families. I thought I’d draw your attention to these cute little rhyming boardbooks for young children (I’d say under the age of 3). They’ve been translated from Spanish and I thought they were great examples of diversity in our children's literature. One book is about waking up in the morning, and the other is about bedtime. In Yn gynnar yn y bore, we see a little boy waking up early before his parents (something I’m sure you’re all too familiar with!) as we follow the boy, and his cat during their morning routine. In the second book, Dim chwarae, Mot! The girl and her dog are full of energy, despite it being bedtime – they’d much rather play than go to sleep! The books are unique in that they contain same-sex parents any and this fits in naturally as part of the story. Great! It hardly needs mentioning really, other than the fact that this is the first time I’ve seen it in a Welsh book. I’m just glad that the diversity in contemporary Wales is reflected in our books and that this normalizes the idea of 'mami and mami' or 'dadi and dadi' from a young age. Also available in English under the titles Early One Morning and Bedtime, Not Playtime! Publisher: Canolfan Peniairth Price: £5.99

  • Yn gynnar yn y bore - Lawrence Schimel ac Elīna Brasliņa [Addas. Mari Siôn ac Elin Haf]

    Genre: #amrywiaeth #teulu #iechydalles Oed diddordeb: 0-3 Simple and colourful books that convey the diversity of our families. I thought I’d draw your attention to these cute little rhyming boardbooks for young children (I’d say under the age of 3). They’ve been translated from Spanish and I thought they were great examples of diversity in our children's literature. One book is about waking up in the morning, and the other is about bedtime. In Yn gynnar yn y bore, we see a little boy waking up early before his parents (something I’m sure you’re all too familiar with!) as we follow the boy, and his cat during their morning routine. In the second book, Dim chwarae, Mot! The girl and her dog are full of energy, despite it being bedtime – they’d much rather play than go to sleep! The books are unique in that they contain same-sex parents any and this fits in naturally as part of the story. Great! It hardly needs mentioning really, other than the fact that this is the first time I’ve seen it in a Welsh book. I’m just glad that the diversity in contemporary Wales is reflected in our books and that this normalizes the idea of 'mami and mami' or 'dadi and dadi' from a young age. Also available in English under the titles Early One Morning and Bedtime, Not Playtime! Gwasg: Canolfan Peniarth Pris: £5.99

  • Y Pump - Various Authors [ed. Elgan Rhys]

    ♥ Tir na n-Og Awards 2022 Winner: Secondary♥ Genre: #fiction #YA #teen (suggested) reading age: 13+ (suggested) interest age: 14+ (some themes may cause distress but overall, we believe that these would be suitable for 14+) The series Innovative. Ambitious. And more importantly – authentic. These are only some of the words I associate with this project. As far as I’m aware, nothing like this has been done in Welsh, and this leads the way for how books should be published and marketed to teenagers/YA going forward. When the books were published, a considerable amount of marketing was done on social media, such as a new Insta page specifically for #YPump and the use of platforms such as AM to share the content e.g. playlists associated with the novels. The series, edited by Elgan Rhys, contains 5 unique novels about 5 very special young people. What is really exciting about the series, however, is that published, experienced writers have co-worked and co-written the novels with young people who have lived some of the experiences mentioned in the books. What a good idea - to have young Welsh writers nurturing and mentoring the next generation of writers. By working together in such a way, we ensure that the stories are honest and genuine, presenting real issues and experiences in a real and credible way (rather than having writers talking about subjects they have no experience of). There's nothing more cringe, than old people trying to sound cool and 'down with the kids.' Fortunately, there's none of that here, just the voices of real young people reflected on the pages. The element of collaboration between the authors is exciting, and something that should be done more, moving forward, particularly when tackling challenging topics. It’s also worth remembering is that the authors and editors were able to do all the collaborative work in very unusual circumstances in the midst of the pandemic and this should be a source of pride for everyone involved in the project. Who are the Five? The series follows the lives of five friends in Year 11 at Ysgol Gyfun Llwyd. It addresses some of the complexities of being a young person in this day and age. We follow the stories of Tim, Tami, Aniq, Robyn and Cat as they meet, and join together to form a crew of friends – Y Pump [The Five]. This is a group of young people who have been socially marginalized, as they may not have fitted the label of what is considered 'normal.' (an ugly word, I might add!) Each character gets their own 20,000-word novella (which I think is a good length for a YA novel - not too short, not too long). Each novella stands firmly on their own but, much like Y Pump, I feel that the series is strongest when they are together. Each one of the Pump are unique and special, and the novels shed light on some of the contemporary issues that are important to young people today, as well as being a celebration of the diversity that can be seen in modern 21st century Wales. Although themes such as mental health, race, gender, sexuality and depression are introduced to name but a few, the novels succeed in avoiding being preachy, and the experiences of the characters and their relationships are at the heart of each one. The novels are in the first person, and it’s fascinating to see the world through the eyes of the different characters, and how they interact with each other. Each character brings another perspective and dimension to the table. Here’s the order of each novella: 1. Tim – Elgan Rhys a Tomos Jones 2. Tami – Mared Roberts a Ceri-Anne Gatehouse 3. Aniq – Margin Elen Wiliam and Mahum Umer 4. Robyn – Iestyn Tyne a Leo Drayton 5. Cat – Megan Angharad Hunter a Maisie Awen Novels 4 and 5 are the standouts from the series in my opinion. Although it’s perfectly possible to enjoy any of the stories as stand-alones, the best way to enjoy them is as part of a series. You can get the books in a snazzy box-set if you want – quite the bargain at £25! Teachers – if you’re teaching Welsh in secondary school, please consider introducing these to your classes. Tir na n-Og Awards Congratulations to everyone involved in the project on your success at the Tir na n-Og Awards 2022. The judges felt that the series deserved to win, rather than one of the books individually, which I think is a first for the awards. Well done to the authors, co-authors, editors, mentors, marketers and Y Lolfa for taking a risk and giving the idea a chance. It was a privilege to be at the ceremony in the Urdd Eisteddfod, Denbigh. I could see how much the award meant to each of the ones present. I’m looking forward to seeing future projects from the #YPump writers. Publisher: Y Lolfa Released: 2021 Price: £5.99 each or £25 for box-set Elgan Rhys talks to the other authors about #YPump

  • Ynyr yr Ysbryd a'r Dylwythen Deg - Rhian Cadwaladr a Leri Tecwyn

    *For Welsh review, please see language toggle switch* (suggested) Interest age: 3-7 (suggested) Reading age: 6/7+ Genre: #picturebook #fiction #ghosts #friendship Boo! The cutest ghost you’ve ever seen is back, but I don’t think he’ll be winning any awards for being scary anytime soon! On his second outing, the young little ghost declares that he has no friends (bless him☹) and he’s sent out by his mother to go and find some! I’m sure we’re all familiar with that stomach-churning feeling of going somewhere new where we don’t know anyone. Fair play to Ynyr for giving it a go. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, the people and animals are too scared of ghosts to even consider being mates with him. It ain’t easy being a ghost is it? But after he sees the Tylwythen Deg (fairy) struggling with some socks, he sees an opportunity to make a new little friend. The problem is, she's not interested at all in being friends! Does our see-through friend give up? Not a chance! It’s very easy to judge someone the first time you meet them, and sometimes, you have to give someone a second chance in order to get to know them better. Speaking from experience, one particular girl didn't have much to say to me when we started in uni, but over time, we became friends and now we’re married! Sometimes, perseverance is worthwhile, and I think that’s something that comes across in this story. It’s a mother and daughter team behind this series, and I was already impressed with daughter Leri's artwork from her earlier efforts in the Tomos Llygoden y Theatr series. Whilst those are pocket-sized booklets, the Ynyr yr Ysbryd series are huge in comparison. The large, A4 size does justice to the amazingly rich, warm illustrations that fill some pages. I get traditional, even classical vibes from the pictures, which remind me of children's books from days gone by. This is a simple story about friendship, kindness and perseverance, yet there is more reading than one would think. This is, therefore, a good one to read with an adult at bedtime. And much like the '007 will return' you see at the end of the James Bond films, it's good to see that Ynyr will be back yet again… Publisher: Gwasg Carreg Gwalch Released: 2022 Price: £6.50 ISBN: 9781845278274

  • Gan Bwyll a Gwyddbwyll - Stewart Foster [addas. Bethan Gwanas]

    *for Welsh review, see language toggle switch* Interest age: 12-14 Reading age: 12+ Genre: #fiction #ADHD #neurodiveristy #mystery A REVIEW BY BECA JONES, YEAR 9 YSGOL Y CREUDDYN. ‘Gan Bwyll a Gwyddbwyll’ is a hefty novel about a schoolboy called Felix Schopp who has ADHD. The original author of the novel is Stewart Foster, but the book has been adapted into Welsh by Bethan Gwanas. Felix Schopp is the boy who is constantly in trouble in school, and is always in the detention room. Felix finds it difficult to concentrate and to sit still in lessons. But one day Felix's parents go for a short holiday over the weekend and he has to go and stay with his grandfather. His Taid has been very sad since Nain died, and the only thing he was doing was playing chess. Of course, Felix wasn't looking forward to the weekend, but he didn't know how great his grandfather was at playing chess. He insists on teaching Felix how to play! There’s a clear and powerful message in this novel, namely that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and not everyone excels in everything. Because Felix has ADHD, he's always in trouble for lack of work and concentration. Still, there’s a happy turning point in the novel, as Felix has discovered his inner strength. There are also themes of self-confidence, determination and perseverance in the novel. In my opinion, unfortunately this novel is not to my taste. This book is a little bit flat, as not much actually happens in it. But maybe that's just my opinion, because normally I love exciting, action-packed and adventurous novels. So, if you're looking for an exciting and adventurous novel, I wouldn't recommend you buy it. However, this novel is an interesting and calming read, so I don't want to give you a poor impression of the book. I would say it’s suitable for year 7-9 children and young people, as it’s easy and enjoyable to read. Publisher: Y Lolfa Released: 2021 Price: £6.99 ISBN: 978-1-80099-066-1 More reviews and info about the book on the BookTrust website:

  • Genod Gwych a Merched Medrus 2 - Medi Jones-Jackson

    *For Welsh review, see language toggle switch on top of page* A chance to get to know 12 inspirational women. ♥Children's Book of the Month: Sept 2021♥ Genre: #factual #girls #inspirational #Wales #empowerment Reading age (suggestion): 7+ Interest age (suggestion): 6-14+ Given the success of the first book, Genod Gwych a Merched Medrus, it’s hard to see how the author, Medi Jones-Jackson, could have improved on what was already in print. The first book received a great deal of attention following its publication in 2019 – it went on to secure a place on the Tir na n-Og Awards 2020 shortlist AND the shortlist for a brand-new award -Welsh Book of the Year for children and young people. Not bad for her first book, eh? So just how do you ‘top’ the first book when expectations are already so high? When you think about it, the answer’s really quite simple - if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Just publish another volume filled to the brim with amazingly talented women! Genod Gwych 2 These really are extremely useful and informative books, which deserve their place on any bookshelf, whether that be at home or in school. As I said about the first book, don't make the mistake of thinking it’s a book for girls only. Boys, as well as girls will benefit greatly from reading it, and hopefully will be driven and inspired by some inspirational women from Wales’s past and present. What I like most about factual books like this is the mix and variety found between the covers. Given how small Wales is in terms of size, it’s amazing that we’ve produced so much talent! I can imagine that one of the most difficult things the author had to do was pick which girls to include and which there was just no room for in this edition, because we’re lucky to have so many to choose from. If you like that sort of thing, you can find out more about the process of putting the book together at the back of the book, where a Q&A with the author has been included. Fascinating. In addition to well-known celebrities such as Shirley Bassey, its good to learn more about lesser-known women, but who have made equally valuable contributions. I think most people who read this book will learn something new, or discover an amazing female that they were unaware of. It certainly opened my eyes, and I found out some really interesting things about women I hadn’t come across before such as Ann Pettitt, the peace campaigner and Professor Meena Upadhyaya, the scientist and genetics researcher. I’m glad these individuals, as well as the more well-known ones, are being recognized for their work. There no space in a blog like this to discuss them all individually, and it would be impossible to choose a 'favourite' from the collection. What is clear is that all of their contributions are different and unique, but equally important. These are the remarkable girls included in this volume: This is a book that shows off their achievements and is a lovely way of honouring their legacies, by presenting them to the next generation of girls. It is hoped, of course, that their stories will inspire the girls (and boys) of Wales to do incredible things, and their accomplishments and endeavours will hopefully fill several future volumes of this series! "Not only does this colourful book burst with interesting facts, but it also includes a variety of activities to entertain the reader. " Publisher: Y Lolfa Released: 2021 Price: £5.99 ISBN: 978-1-180099-055-5 "I dare say that this book has improved on the first volume. An example of this is the inclusion of some real photographs to enrich the modern cartoon drawings of Telor Gwyn.”

  • Ga' i fyw adra? - Haf Llewelyn

    *For Welsh review, see language toggle switch on top of page* A novel set during the hard winter of 1981, a period when house prices were rising and young people in rural Wales could not buy homes in their localities. Reading age: 10+ Interest age: 9-16+ (adults will also enjoy) Genre: #fiction #Nationalism #Welsh #History I can’t think of a book that made me think so many different and often conflicting emotions as Haf Llewelyn’s new novel, Ga i fyw adra? As a (fairly) young person myself, who’ll soon be on the hunt for a house, the subject matter is close to my heart and I was literally shouting to myself at some points whilst reading, moving between sighs of relief and bouts of indignation the next. As suggested by the title, the book refers to a burning issue (no pun intended!) that is extremely important here in Wales currently, and although the novel is set in 1981, it’s fiercely relevant to us today. Dafydd and Llinos, like many young couples, are keen to live in their local area, in Dafydd's Nain’s former home, Ty'n Drain. With her having to move into an elderly home due to declining health, the old lady is keen to pass on the reins on to the young couple. Unfortunately, Dafydd's greedy uncle has different ideas for the cottage as he realizes there’s money to be made by selling it on the open market as a potential holiday home – something that would go against Nain's wishes. Unfortunately, this is a situation that is all too familiar across our communities. In this case, it’s enough to create a large rift in the family, as some start to argue and others are caught in the middle trying to keep the peace. The frustration and disappointment of the young couple is evident, and as the tension between the characters increases throughout the novel, the situation reaches boiling point! Several storytelling strands come together in the novel, and the author was adept at showing the 'kaleidoscopic variety' of views on the issue, and that’s just within one family! Each member of the family, and indeed the community, is affected by the issue in different ways, which is something I hadn’t considered before. We also get a glimpse of life during the times when the Meibion Glyndŵr movement was active in the area. The ‘Meibion’, [Sons of Glyndŵr] if you don’t know, were a secretive group of ultra- Nationalist individuals who were wholly opposed to the growing number of second homes in Wales. As the Police get more and more desperate to find those responsible for the burning of holiday homes, everyone becomes a suspect and fingers start to be pointed… The fox was a recurring theme throughout the book, with a number of references to R. Williams Parry's famous poem. Much like the Meibion, who operate silently in the shadows, the image of the fox is very suitable here. Whilst reading, I sympathized greatly with Dafydd and Llinos, who just wanted to live and raise a family where they grew up, and that the opportunity was so tantalizingly close yet so far away from their grasp. The young couple's dilemma raises a big question - do we have a fundamental right to live at home in our cynefin? We’ve come a long way since the days of burning buildings to make a political point, and quite possibly it’s through meaningful and open dialogue with those in power that brings about real change. It’s very encouraging that peaceful campaigns such as ‘Hawl i Fyw Adra’ have opened a dialogue with the Welsh Government on how to go about solving the problem. Having said that, achieving real change will be a long process, which is of little comfort to those needing a house now. In the meantime, then, the question of 'can I live at home?’ remains… A review from, with the permission of the Books Council of Wales. Publisher: Gwasg Carreg Gwalch Published: 2022 Price: £7.95 ISBN: 9781845278250 LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HAWL I FYW ADRA CAMPAIGN...

  • Y Soddgarŵ - Manon Steffan Ros

    *For Welsh review, see language toggle switch* Don't go into the forest! says everyone. That's where the greedy Soddgarŵ lives! I knew my way through the fields, so off I went... Audience: 3-7 Genre: #friendship #kindness #fiction #empathy Empathy Lab Very recently, I had the privilege of collaborating with Empathy Lab UK, which works with schools, libraries, publishers and authors to use the power of books to develop and share and develop empathy skills with children and young people. For the first time this year, they have released a Welsh collection of special books that do exactly this. As part of my work on the Welsh judging panel, I came across a quirky little book that was released in 2021. So many books are published annually, I must have missed it when it came out. What is safe to say is, that it fully deserves its place in the new empathy collection. To view the complete collection, follow this link: Soddgarŵ – what's one of those I wonder? This is a lovely story about a strange and mysterious creature living in a forest. The villagers, who are very much against the creature, warn a little girl to stay away from it. The creature is blamed for all sorts of problems, but the truth is, they fear it because it's so different and unusual. The brave little girl however, had no fear at all, and away she went to the forest, eager to meet him. After spending time getting to know the creature, the little girl comes to realize that the creature is not something to be feared – he’s just trying to live! After being accused of stealing food, the little girl helps the Soddgarŵ find a new source of food – beans. Lots and lot of beans! By the end of the book, the Soddgarŵ and the girl have formed a friendship and the villagers have even started to accept the creature. Main Message Other than the fact that strange forest-dwelling creatures seem to love baked beans, I think the main message of the book is 'don't be afraid of what you don't understand.' This is a very important message for curious young children, who are going to be coming across all sorts of new and varied situations and individuals. It’s important that we make time to get to know people and give them a chance. A little bit of trivia... At first, I didn't notice that the book was the result of a competition from the Urdd and the Books Council – it might have been worth putting something about it in the back of the book! Anyway, Lily Mŷrennyn, a young artist from the Rhondda, was the winner of the special competition to find new talent in the field of children’s book illustration. The task required young artists aged 18-25 to prepare original artwork to accompany a story written by the incredible Manon Steffan Ros. To be honest, I don't know much about illustrating children's books, but I can appreciate good artwork when I see it. I agree with every word that the competition’s judge, Derek Bainton, says about Lily's work: “Here is an artist whose work shows an understanding, confidence and command of narrative illustration. The artworks are exceptionally executed, combining a number of well-tuned skills such as traditional and digital techniques. The colour palette has a personal and warm feel, which binds this submission together beautifully in a delightfully cohesive, professional and original way.” I’m very pleased to see an exciting, new competition as part of the Urdd Eisteddfod, especially as they provide a platform for talented new artists who are based here in Wales. It’ll be very interesting to see the output of this competition over the next few years... Publisher: Atebol Released: 2021 Price: £6.99

  • Dere i Dyfu gyda Dewi Draenog a Beca Broga - Adam Jones

    *ForWelsh review, see language toggle switch* Genre: #ffeithiol #CymraegGwreiddiol #garddio #natur #CyfnodSylfaen Interest Age: 3+ Reading Age: 7+ Time to raid the garden shed… Now that spring has arrived, and the weather is warming up (allegedly), there’s no better time to fetch the gloves and the trowel and start tackling that garden after the winter break. It’ll be full of vibrant colours in no time! With so many digital distractions these days, it's easy to sit on the sofa and spend hours in front of a screen. Adam Jones, however, is on a mission – to inspire the young children of Wales to venture out into the garden and try their hand at a bit of gardening! Personally, I can’t think of an activity that’s better for the soul – giving you the opportunity to engage with nature, get some fresh air and do a bit of exercise in one go! As a bit of an amateur gardener myself, when I saw this book was being published, I was quite excited, and you can see that the author is very passionate about his work. Although Adam only started his Instagram account in 2018, I'm sure he’s got over 10,000 followers now. He’s been gardening since he was a child and has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience. And just like him, I learned all I know about gardening from my grandparents – their generation was truly inspiring! Dere i Dyfu (Come and grow) Using cute, recognizable animal characters, Dewi Draenog and Beca Broga, Adam introduces gardening to our youngest children and their parents (let’s face it, no 3-year-old will be doing unsupervised gardening!) Although the book keeps things simple and suitable enough for the age, this is full of gardening facts surrounded by colourful artwork by Ali Lodge. I think combining the illustrations with real photographs works well, and has been thoughtfully done by Tanwen Haf. Organised under sensible chapters, we are presented with simple advice on how to grow different things like vegetables or flowers. When it came to the tools and equipment, I wasn’t all that familiar with some terms like ‘rhaca’ (rake), because we use ‘cribin’ up North. It might have been beneficial to include both terms to avoid confusion. Some of the Welsh names for the flowers and birds are just wonderful. As well as clear step-by-step instructions on how to sow seeds and how to get planting, Adam explains the importance of some of the little creatures and wildlife found in our gardens. One of these is the hedgehog. According to some reports the number of hedgehogs in the UK has fallen by 75%, so I was pleased to see instructions for creating hedgehog-friendly gardens in the book. It’s so easy to do. What will you grow this year? I can't stress how important books like Dere i Dyfu are. Our children are the future, and they’ll be responsible for the planet (or whatever’s left of it) after we’re gone, so helping them to form a close and respectful relationship between with nature from a young age is essential. Remember, you don’t need huge allotments and fancy raised beds to experience the joys of growing plants. I've seen people in flats growing potatoes in pots on the balcony, so there's no excuse. At the very least, you can grow cress on the window sill with nothing more than an eggshell. As well as the countless skills that the children (and adults) will learn whilst gardening, just think about how good those roasties and parsnip will taste after all that hard work. There’s never been a better time to start gardening – grab your tools and give it a go… Publisher: Y Lolfa Released: 2021 Price: £6.99 ISBN:9781800991309

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