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Pick a poem with Valerie Bloom

A photo of the author Valerie Bloom
The book cover of Stars with Flaming Tails, by Valerie Bloom

Our author of the week is Valerie Bloom!

It's the half term holidays! Spend some time with our author of the week, Valerie Bloom, and choose poems to read from our free book this week, Stars with Flaming Tails, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max. There's everything from limericks to riddles and animals to colours that appear in dreams. You can also find out Valerie's top three children's books, watch an exclusive video and read her top tips for improving your reading.

If you enjoy reading this book, your local library service has loads more ebooks to borrow for FREE. Ask your parents to help you join.

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Author of the week - Valerie Bloom

Valerie Bloom's recommended reads

Peace at Last by Jill Murphy

Poor Mr. Bear is tired but there are all sorts of night noises keeping him awake. A classic picture book enjoyed by generations of readers and listeners and a favourite in my family.

Just us Women by Jeannette Caines, illustrated by Pat Cummings

A young girl and her aunt plan a trip together – just the two of them. A great story of bonding and self-empowerment.

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman, Illustrated by Peter Sís

Jemmy is an orphan living on the streets who is taken to live in the palace as companion to the prince. That must be every homeless boy’s dream, but for Jemmy it is a nightmare. He is the whipping boy and is whipped whenever the spoilt prince misbehaves (which is often). There is no way these two can become friends…can they? A thrilling tale of runaways, kidnapping, ransom, disguise and friendship.

Q&A with Valerie Bloom

If you could be a storybook character, who would you be?

Handa, from Handa’s Surprise. She’s a thoughtful girl and she has a basket of fruits. I love fruits!

What is the best thing about reading?

Losing yourself in different worlds, different times and different characters. It can be quite disappointing coming back to earth sometimes.

What is your all-time favourite book?

Are You My Mother, by P D Eastman. It’s the first book I can remember reading by myself, and the one that made me want to learn to read when it was read to me.

What can you do to get better at reading?

Read more. Listen to poems and stories and read books about things you’re interested in.