About Me

Welcome to my blog! My name is Ruth. I grew up in the countryside of North West England and went to school in Manchester. I lived in London for many years before moving to the USA.  I now live in Connecticut with my husband and our two children – and a lot of books.

I like to read, and I like to write, and I like to read about writing and write about reading.  I hope you enjoy this blog. Any questions, reflections or suggestions – do get in touch to talk more about children’s books!

Email me at contact@booksforourchildren.com

Why Do I Write?

I sometimes ask myself why I’m writing this blog. What can I add that hasn’t already been said by all the experts and reviewers and librarians and teachers who know children’s books? I suppose it’s a difference in perspective. Once I grew up, I stopped reading children’s books. I stopped going to the children’s section of libraries and bookshops. As my friends started to have children, I ventured back occasionally, for a baby present, a birthday. I didn’t know what had happened in the world of children’s books. That world had moved on for decades whilst I was away from it, exploring all sorts of avenues and byways full of books for adults (and some YA fiction too). And then suddenly, I had to re-enter that world. Excited, slightly trepidatious, and largely ignorant beyond the titles and authors I recognised from years ago. (Are children’s classics so popular still because they’re bought by people who haven’t set foot in the children’s section for 30 years?) And that must be true for many parents and grandparents and friends and aunts who suddenly need to know about children’s books. We’re not professionals, we haven’t stayed up to date with developments, but we need to know – our children are depending on us to bring books to them. And we will read them again and again and over again with them. Act them out, recite them at the breakfast table, on the bus, on long journeys. We will know these books in a visceral way. Travel with them, pack and unpack them, clean and mend them. Many of the books reviewed here are not the most recent. Some of them are by successful, lauded authors that you may never have heard of, because you haven’t needed to know for a long time. This blog is an extension of those eagerly given and received tips at the playground. It grew out of the emails I sent to friends with our favourites on mythology, or dinosaurs or art for pre-schoolers. I hope it’s a place for you to discover, share, ask – and never worry that we’re discovering this whole genre at the same time as our kids.