The North recommends: Rhyme and Reason

Rhyme & Reason is Sheffield’s only independent bookshop, which people often describe as an Aladdin’s cave when they see the vast range of children’s books, for babies right up to young adults. We also stock the best of adult fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Our staff offer advice and recommendations and we have a swift ordering service for any book in print.

We proudly represent Sheffield, showcasing local authors and local interest books. Sheffield-born poet Michael Glover’s recently published 111 Places in Sheffield that you Shouldn’t Miss, a guide to the often overlooked gems of the city. Illustrated with striking photographs, it includes the delights of Frog Walk (a gennel next to a snuff mill) and the Stanage Pole (a way marker on the bleak Hallam Moors). Other new local interest books are Sheffield in 50 Buildings, by Ian D. Rotherham, and Aspects of Nether Edge, the story of the local suburb compiled by the Nether Edge history group.

We also support local children’s authors, and these include Sheffield-based writer and illustrator Lydia Monks, who uses collage and vibrant colour in her award-winning books. Mouse’s Big Day is a warm and funny story about first-day-of –school nerves. Berlie Doherty is another award-winning writer for children of all ages and many of her stories are based in local history. Deep Secret is set in the recent past in a Derbyshire valley that is due to be flooded and deals with themes of love and loss.

There are a growing number of issue-led books for younger readers. Whereas humour and adventure were the main staples for 9-12 year-olds, it’s now more common for topics such as war, first love, unconventional families and bereavement to be tackled.

Steve Tasane’s Child I follows the perspective of a 10-year-old boy in a refugee camp piecing his life together. Muhammad Khan’s I Am Thunder is a first novel about ordinary young girls questioning their culture and the radicalisation of Muslim classmates.

David Almond’s Colour of the Sun, published in May, pulls no punches, exploring the lives of people in a northern community in the wake of a boy’s murder.

Leeds based Kate Pankhurst has followed up her first book about Fantastically Great Women with an equally good Fantastically Great Women Who Made History.

Sue Hendra’s latest picture book Cake (illustrated by Paul Linnet), tells the story of Cake who has been invited to a birthday party without knowing his part in it!

Find out more about Rhyme & Reason here, or follow them on Twitter.