Tuesday, 23 December 2014

November & December 2014 Chatterbook sessions at Egham Library

In our December 2014 Chatterbooks session we read:
The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson.

''High on a Himalayan Mountain, a young explorer is a sleep in her tent. At midnight she is snatched by a gigantic, hairy monster - and never seen again.
Agatha Farlingham has been kidnapped by a yeti. But she soon discovers that he is a brave and noble beast. His family is in danger - and he needs her help'' by Eva Ibbotson.

Ten children read & reviewed The Abominables.
6 Thumbs up.
3 Maybe.
1 Thumbs down.
Reviews on the book:

'' I enjoyed this book as it has a twist and unusual view of yeti's, it is a joyful and lovely book'' By M.
'' I would give this book 8/10, it was very good because the yeti's went on an amazing journey throughout the book''.
''It was a creative and fun book, I felt it could have been a bit happier'' by SR.
In the session we also completed crosswords and a word searches on the book.
As it was the last session before Christmas, our craft this week was to make a Christmas peg person.
In the November 2014 Chatterbooks session we read
 Monkey and Me by David Gilman.
''Nine-year-old Beanie’s coping with more than most kids his age, including treatment
for leukaemia. But Beanie’s not bothered about that, he just wants to be part of his
big brother’s gang of friends. To show he’s got what it takes, Beanie braves a scary
deserted house where he finds a young chimpanzee. But where did Malcolm the
chimp come from, how does he know sign language and who are the sinister men
pursuing him?'' by David Gilman.

Ten children read & reviewed Monkey and Me.
7 Thumbs up.
2 Maybe.
1 Thumbs down.
Reviews on the book:
''Very interesting, fun adventure story with a scary ending''
''A very entertaining story but there could have been more illustrations''.
In the session we enjoyed learning about the different methods of non-verbal Communication, and learnt a few words in semaphore.
We used the computers in Egham Library to complete a quiz on facts about Monkeys, and used the Children's online Reference shelf through the Surrey Libraries website to help us answer the questions.


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Caterham Chatterbooks #3

Caterham Chatterbooks were lucky enough to be chosen as Star Reviewers for the Reading Agency, meaning we will be reviewing 2 as yet unpublished books.

The first of these was 'Diamonds and Daggers' by Elen Caldecott, and is the first in the Marsh Road Mysteries series. It is a story about a stolen necklace and a group of friends who team up to solve the case and prove the innocence of Piotr's father before they are forced to move back to Poland.

All the members of Caterham Chatterbooks really enjoyed the story and the ratings were all 8-10 out of 10! They described it as 'engaging' and 'interesting', thought the book was best for 8-10 year olds, and would recommend it to fans of mystery and detective stories.

As our activity for this book, we made our own newspaper front covers as the mystery of the stolen necklace hit the headlines in the book. Have a look at the stories our group came up with - there are several libellious accusations against Santa Claus...

Next month we will be reviewing 'The 13-Story Treehouse' by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Caterham Chatterbooks #2

A belated update on our November meeting!

We each read a book from the 'Adventure Island' series by Helen Moss. Reviews were positive, all of the members liked the characters and the mystery plots, and would read more of the series.

As our craft, we all designed our own adventure islands. Ideas got very outrageous! They included wacky ways to travel to the island, strange places to live, and crazy creatures lurking on land and in the sea. Here is the group leaders drawing:

But she was put to shame by all the members! Here is one example:
Caterham Chatterbooks is lucky enough to be reviewing two unpublished books for the Reading Agency as our December and January meetings so look out for those posts!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Teen Book Group

Here at Addlestone Library we also run a Chatterbooks group for older children aged 11-14 year olds, which they called Captured! after their first book, "I Capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith. Our last meeting was on Wednesday 5th November and we were discussing the book, "The Child's Elephant" by Rachel Campbell-Johnston. The young people found it a hard book to get into but those that did perservere with it found it a heart breaking story of loss and hardship.

Following the elephant theme we then wrote poems about elephants using only certain words available. Here is one of the poems they wrote:
Here are the words of the poem in case you can't read it clearly in the photo:
Elephant tusks taken by poachers
Roughly 100 a day
Wanted only for the ivory
family split up.
Loyal blood pouring out
babies left feeling lonely
only poachers left happy
across the world, elephants dying
Our next meeting is on Wednesday 3rd December at 4pm.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Superheroes, comic books and cartoons

The latest Chatterbooks Activity Pack is all about superheroes, comic books and cartoons.  As well as reading suggestions, there are activities such as making your own comic books and becoming a superhero.  Check it out here:


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Fortunately, the Milk...

At Addlestone Library's Chatterbooks in October we discussed Fortunately, the Milk... by Neil Gaiman. This is a review by Maya, one of our 11 year old members, which sums up the general feeling of the book in our group:

"Personally, I didn't find this book that challenging, so I would aim this book for year 4 children (ages 8-9). Even though some parts in this book were humorous, the rest I found a bit childish.

If I had to choose who would be my favourite character it would probably be Tvilight Tina because she is suspicious. My least favourite character is Splod the God, I just find him creepy.

A few changes could make this book more interesting for me, like less pictures and more exciting vocabulary.

Finally, I would give this book 5 out of 10 stars."

Our activity for the month was making milk cartons out of card and then illustrating them in the way that they would illustrate the book. If you would also like to do this you can find the template here, along with lots of other Fortunately, the milk related activities: http://media.bloomsbury.com/rep/files/fortunately-the-milk-activity-pack-web.pdf

In Fortunately, the Milk the character Professor Steg uses descriptive names for objects. So for example she calls a coconut a 'hard-hairy-wet-white-cruncher'. Because of this I challenged the members of our group to come up with alternative names for every day items which the rest of the group had to guess what it was. Here are the names they came up with:

A tongue, tingly squashed thing in a glass

A chewy mouth thing

A yellow round thing


Big metal box on wheels with a window

gardening object that squirts water

hot blowy air dry hair machine


wordy picture page turner

Can you guess what any of them are?! Put your answers in the comment box!

Watch this space for the next instalment of Addlestone Chatterbooks Adventures on Awful Auntie by David Walliams...

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Review of Fizzlebert Stump

Review of Fizzlebert Stump.
We thought the book had many good characters, had a good storyline, descriptive settings and imaginative ideas; such as false teeth for a lion.
However the title gave away the story sligthly and there could have been a few more illustrations.
Review by HS & DA.

Overal group rating:
2 Thumbs Up.
7 Thumbs Okay.
2 Thumbs Down.

In the session we designed and decorated clown faces.
We are currently reading Monkey and Me by David Gilman.
Our next session is on 11th November 2014 at 4.30pm. 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Guildford Chatterbooks - How To Make Easy Envelope Bookmarks

Hello everyone!

We're Guildford Library Chatterbooks. We've been running for about 18 months and currently have a group of ten year old boys and girls. Places are unfortunately limited but you're always welcome to enquire either by calling 0300 200 1001 or sending an email to guildford.library@surreycc.gov.uk and asking for Jessica or Susan T. who run the group.

We meet on a Saturday morning once a month to discuss our set book and do a craft activity or creative writing task.

For our first post we thought we'd share one of our favourite craft activities from last year:
Easy Envelope Bookmarks

As the name suggests they're very easy, quick, cheap and fun to make.

You'll need:
  • Different coloured envelopes
  • Glue
  • Coloured foam sheets/pieces
  • Pens
  • Mini fluffy pom-poms
  • Googly eyes
  1. Get the children to cut the corners off the envelope large enough to fit over the outer edge of a book page.
  2. Decorate and allow to dry. Simple!

Here are some our group made:

Caterham Chatterbooks #1

Caterham Chatterbooks meets roughly every 4 weeks on a Saturday from 3pm-4pm.

We have just restarted again after the summer so at our meeting on October 4th, we didn't discuss a specific book but instead talked about the Chatterbooks Week theme - books that make you happy! The Caterham Chatterbooks leader (Rebecca) has arranged a display of childrens books along this theme.

To celebrate, we drew pictures of some of our favourite book characters to decorate the display - Mr Men and Little Miss characters were our most popular choice!

We each took home a book from the Helen Moss 'Adventure Island' series, which we will be discussing at our November meeting.

Egham Chatterbooks


We are a group of 12 who meet on a Tuesday once a month at 4.30p.m for a lively discussion about books. We play games, make crafts, do quizzes and book related activities. We are currently reading Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Ran Away From The Circus (and joined the library) by A.F.Harrold.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Addlestone Chatterbooks - Mythical Beasts!

We meet every four weeks on a Friday at 3.45pm for an hour. At our last meeting we designed our very own mythical creatures as a celebration of the end of the Summer Reading Challenge 'The Mythical Maze'!

We also did a quiz where the children had to guess the book from just one word clues. Our winner was Billy who won an activity pack including a puzzle book, pen, pencil and bookmark.

Our next meeting is on Friday 17th October so watch this space for what we get up to next!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Chatterbooks Chatterday

Every summer, all of our Chatterbooks Groups get together for our annual Chatterbooks Chatterday.
Children, parents and group leaders enjoy a celebration with food, a visiting author and the fiercely-contested Chatterbooks Quiz.

This year’s special guests were the fantastic 2 Steves (Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore), who kept everyone  entertained with lots of hilarious audience participation.

The Quiz was won by a joint team from Egham and Camberley Chatterbooks groups, who keep the splendid Chatterday trophy for the next year.

As one Chatterbooks member said, the day was “literally awesome mega epic-ness!”

Friday, 12 September 2014

Addlestone Chatterbooks and the 2014 Book Award

Earlier this year Addlestone Chatterbooks group were involved in our 2014 Children's Book Award. As well as reading the fantastic 5 books that were shortlisted for the award they also wrote reviews of them and created some great artwork.

They were inspired to create comic strips, just like the hero in "Oliver Fibbs and the Attack of the Alien Brain".

They also created sock puppets just like Sir Bobblysock in "Claude in the spotlight".

We wonder what other creative things they will be adding to this blog in future?

Welcome to the blog

Welcome to Surrey Libraries' Chatterbooks blog.

Chatterbooks are reading groups for children aged 7 to 11 years old, which are run regularly in some Surrey libraries. Chatterbooks is a project co-ordinated by The Reading Agency.

This blog is a place for Chatterbooks group members to share their thoughts and ideas about the books they are reading or have read, as well as activities they have been taking part in as a member of the group.

The following libraries run Chatterbooks group. If you would like to join a group or find out more information please ask at the library.
  • Addlestone
  • Ash
  • Ashford
  • Bookham
  • Camberley
  • Cranleigh
  • Caterham Valley
  • Dittons
  • Dorking
  • Egham
  • Esher
  • Guildford
  • Shepperton
  • Staines
  • Sunbury
  • Walton
  • Weybridge
  • Woking