Top Texts for April

Lily Eastwood has chosen a great choice of humorous texts for April

Cloud Busting

by Malorie Blackman

Cloud Busting is one of my favourite texts that we read with children on The Literacy Pirates programmes. Malorie Blackman has been writing books that speak so clearly and persuasively to the experience of young readers for decades, and this one is no exception.

The early reveal that the narrator is a bully floors the group every time! The ensuing tale of friendship and bravery brings so much to discuss, with the added bonus that the whole book is in verse and uses a different style each chapter. We love it as an inroad into poetry and author intentions.

Pirate Mums

by Jodie Lancet-Grant and illustrated by Lydia Corry

Billy is really embarrassed because he has two mums who are pirates. He just wishes they weren’t always singing sea shanties and that they could have a pet that wasn’t a parrot.

This is a book that shows that families sometimes look different. It’s also a silly and adventurous joy to read. At bedtime with my daughter, we’re all invested in the nautical adventure, as well as Billy’s journey to pirate acceptance. My daughter’s favourite bit is when the captain gets stuck in the toilet and mine is the happy ending.


by Sue Cheung

When I read Chinglish I was gifted a nostalgic romp through the highly targeted tween girl fiction I eagerly consumed growing up. Often funny, often scathing and always focused on highly relatable teen worries.

In Chinglish, the universal horror of teenhood is transported to the very specific setting of a Chinese takeaway in 1980s Coventry. In this way it does what great books should: immerses you in a world you may not know and shows you a common slice of human experience.

Lily Eastwood

About this month's reviewer

Lily is Director of Delivery and Impact at The Literacy Pirates and a former secondary school English teacher. She is also Chair of Trustees of The Harbour Bristol. At The Literacy Pirates she works on creating joyful reading experiences for children who are falling behind in literacy. She is passionate about reading sessions that encourage choice, chat and representation. At home she works on the perfect library for a three year old and sometimes gets a say in what book is being read at bedtime.