What we’re reading: Solà, Riley & Rosen

Each week we bring you a sample of the books we’re reading, the films we’re watching, the television shows we’re hooked on, or the music we’re loving.


Emma Clarke is reading When I Sing, Mountains Dance by Irene Solà

There’s a special kind of magic to this book that I’ve only experienced a few times. After reading the first page, I became hooked on the expressive language, the languid and hateful Mountains of Catalan and the intimate lives of the villagers that we’re invited into as readers.

Solà is truly a gift to any reader, with such imagination and creative rigor, that explore the perspectives of the clouds, the roe-dear, the mushrooms during rain and the people that exist within this vibrant biosphere. Such a beauty!


Karl Sagrabb is reading My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley

This is a perfect little sad book. It is about a daughter’s fraught relationship with her mother, and the way in which generational social expectations and class divisions are so tightly interwoven with our social and emotional lives and relationships. The prose is beautiful: clean and clear, and I devoured this book in a day.


Dani Solomon is reading Michael Rosen’s Sticky McStickstick written by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Tony Ross

This week I read Michael Rosen’s Sticky McStickstick. For those who don’t know, 2 years ago Michael Rosen (former UK Children’s Laureate and author of Going on a Bear Hunt among many hundreds of other excellent books) got Covid-19 and ended up in an induced coma for 4 months.

This book is not about that. It’s about the bit after that, when after 4 months of lying down Michael had to relearn how to walk. In a calm, honest way Michael explains how each time the nurses encouraged him to do something new he would gasp and pant and feel shaky. He goes through the steps of recovery, first sitting up, then a walking frame, then a wheelchair when the walking frame was too hard (which is ok) and finally, physical rehab where he describes the exercises he was taught which included playing soccer with a balloon!

I adore this book, every page oozes with the kindness and patience of the nurses and the effort and understanding of Michael himself. I can’t think of a better book to give any child in for – or who knows someone in for – a long stint in hospital.

When I Sing, Mountains Dance

When I Sing, Mountains Dance

Irene Sola, Mara Faye Lethem

$27.99Buy now

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