A boost for family reading from Barrington Stoke

Posted September 22, 2015 by Barrington Stoke

More by Barrington Stoke (2)

A boost for family reading from Barrington Stoke

Aside from donating September’s competition prizes, this specialist publisher has given handy insights to their barrier-breaking books…

A team of heavy hitters bring two stunning new titles to the Picture Squirrels list!

These books are launched in tandem with video resources on the Barrington Stoke blog aimed at promoting adult literacy and helping parents who struggle with reading overcome a fear of books in order to support their children.


Mad in the Back coverMad in the Back

Michael Rosen and Richard Watson’s Mad in the Back is a hilarious spin on a familiar situation: mum is trying to drive, but the kids are going ‘mad in the back’.


Rosen’s love of language shines through, Watson’s lively visual storytelling is bang on trend and there are activities in the back to keep little ones entertained for longer (on car journeys for example...) Editor Emma Baker says

Mike and Richard have given us a joyous book and it made us laugh from the earliest drafts. We are also committed to diversity and while there’s no foregrounding whatsoever, the book does challenge the dominance of Caucasian characters in UK picture books.

Gawain Greytail coverGawain Greytail and the Terrible Tab

Cornelia Funke and Monica Armino’s Gawain Greytail and the Terrible Tab sees a new development for the Picture Squirrels – a hardback release with the softcover scheduled for autumn 2017. The book is the magical tail, sorry tale, of Sir Tristan of Raven Castle, his cat Terrible Tab and Snuffles, Shuffles and Scuffles, the only three mice in the castle to escape Tab’s clutches. Things look up for the survivors when the great mouse knight Gawain Greytail arrives at the castle to take on Tab. There’s a Borrowers-style charm and character to the gorgeous artwork in magical night-time palettes.

The blog resources

Adults who struggle with reading struggle to access written content online and so Barrington Stoke has created a short series of blog videos covering:


  • the new Picture Squirrels and their accessibility features
  • where to access support if you struggle with reading, with downloadable phone numbers for support organisations
  • ideas for ways to share books from a range of publishers even if you struggle, e.g. through audio, low-text books, activity books and so on, with downloadable selection sheets to take to the library.



How the Picture Squirrels work

The Picture Squirrels use text running top to bottom and left to right, in a dyslexia-friendly font and with a tinted background to reduce visual stress. These features are supportive to readers experiencing dyslexia, visual issues and other barriers and will also be comfortable for the general reader and supportive for small children learning key text concepts such as letter shapes and left-right orientation. Authors and illustrators are top flight and production values are high.

All I can say is: Hurrah for Picture Squirrels and their broadening of what it means for picture books to be inclusive

– Playing by the Book blog


Related posts

A box of delights from Boxer Books

A box of delights from Boxer Books

The independent children's publisher shares some lovely stories...

Add a comment