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Sunday 27 February 2022

Remy Dean Reads 'This' for World Book Day

Last year, for World Book Day, Red Sparrow writer Remy Dean enjoyed a virtual tour of some schools across Wales to read extracts from This Book One: That Realm Wherein We Hume Do Dwell. This year, we are happy to present a recording of one of those readings for all to enjoy for World Book Day 2022. In the video below, Remy talks about his favourite book from his childhood and how it inspired him to become an author. He also talks about his fascination with folklore and reads a complete chapter from This classic fairy-tale fantasy adventure written with Zel Cariad...  

click image to play the 30-minute storytelling video

... and there's more! For a limited time, we will unlock all of This Part One as a free read on the Medium platform. Remy made This available as a Medium 'FreeBook' during the 2020 schools closures due to coronavirus controls in the UK. All we ask is if you do read and enjoy This Part One for free, please let others know how much you enjoyed it by writing a short review on Amazon, Good Reads, or your preferred social platform, or simply tweet us @RedSparrowPress and use the hashtag #ThisThatAndTheOther. 

Medium offers a smooth reading experience across most devices and you can access the free book without subscription via this special 'Friend Link'- simply click on the cover image below and let your imagination do the rest! (Tip: bookmark this blog post so you can continue to easily access the book for free.)

Happy World Book Day. Enjoy! 

Thursday 4 March 2021

This is World Book Day 2021

Red Sparrow Writer, Remy Dean has being having fun with a few virtual visits to schools up and down Wales for World Book Day... but as there are only so many hours in the school day, we also recorded one of his sessions from earlier today so others can enjoy, whether they are back at school or studying at home. 

In the video below, which will remain accessible for the rest of World Book Week (until 5 March), Remy talks about his favourite book from his childhood and how it inspired him to become an author. He also talks about his fascination with folklore and reads from This, his classic fairy-tale fantasy adventure written with Zel Cariad...  

 >> Video Link Has Expired <<

Thank you, Remy! 
(Maybe next World Book Day we can all be in he same place.)

Sunday 13 December 2020

Three Classic Christmassy Books

This Festive Season, more than ever is about escapism and nostalgia! So, why not share the following classic tales with the children in your life (or your inner child) and bring some of that old magic back to the holidays?

'The Little White Horse' 
by Elizabeth Goudge 

This book was published in 1946 and won the Carnegie Medal for that year. It's set in the 1840s and remains an enchanting read. Maria Merryweather is orphaned at 13 and, accompanied by her governess Miss Heliotrope and her dog Wiggins, travels to Moonacre, the Cornish estate of her cousin Sir Benjamin Merryweather. Here she unravels magical mysteries and rescues Serena, a magical hare. 

click cover image to preview or purchase

We don't want to spoil things too much but, in case you haven't already guessed from the cover, the little white horse is, in fact, a Unicorn! Through her bravery and friendships, Maria ‘heals the land’ along with some old rifts. It was J.K Rowling’s favourite childhood book so why not discover what helped inspired her to write Harry Potter when she grew up?

'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe'  
by C S Lewis

This may have been published seventy years ago but it’s still an enthralling read. Four children are evacuated during wartime to the country and discover a wonderful portal to another land which they must save from its ‘eternal winter but never Christmas’. Lucy’s meeting with Mr Tumnus the faun for the very first time is a great moment of literature and of course, the fact that the animals talk in Narnia is wonderful. 

click cover image to preview or purchase

Then there’s Aslan the lion, King of Narnia, who apparently came to C.S Lewis in a dream. Lewis dedicated the book to his god-daughter Lucy, and her namesake, the youngest of the children, is the true heroine of the story. Of course, there is a significant appearance by Father Christmas, too! The classic edition with the original illustrations by Pauline Banes was the most borrowed Library book at one point – and copies get handed down through generations. It has been continually reprinted and there are several handsome editions and omnibus collections. If you enjoy thie first trip to Narnia, you know there's more to explore in the follow-up sequels!

'The Fir Tree' in 'Tales of Moomin Valley' 
by Tove Jansson 

A Moomin tale first published 1962, this is a story with a different take on Christmas! The Moomins usually hibernate through the Winter and miss Christmas entirely, but on this occasion the Hemulin wakes them up and insists they get stressed about the fact that ‘Christmas is coming’just  like he does! Their misunderstanding about Christmas and its traditions is funny, charming and of course beautifully illustrated. 

click cover image to preview or purchase

The tale appears in this collection of classics. All the stories have a sophistication that means they can be appreciated by adult readers too. There's always a quirky sense of fun along with gentleness and warmth, even in the snowy Scandinavian landscape of Moomin Valley in winter. Truly timeless and magical.  

Please note: the click-through links will take you to an amazon page where you will have an option to read previews and reviews with options to purchase the books in suitable formats. If you do choose to purchase one of the books, please check the delivery date is still in time for the date required. The Red Sparrow Press will receive a small referral fee which doesn't cost you anything extra. (Thank you for your support!)

Saturday 15 August 2020

Octonauts Ahoy!

The Red Sparrow Recommends 

After the outdoor fun of summer, it’s just as much fun to sit and enjoy a good picture book with your little ones especially before bed time. It’s great to be able to relax away from a screen and this can lead to all sorts of interesting conversations!

It’s hard to find the time to sift through the bewildering choice to find good quality books for you and your younger kids to enjoy together, so we plan to post here are a selection we recommend (tried and tested by homeschooling parents) that you may not have already discovered which could appeal to you and yours!

Today's recommendations are for Toddlers and upwards:


You may already know the animated series which is available on BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and Netflix but have you explored the array of picture books the series is based on?

The Octonauts are described as ‘Star Trek meets Hello Kitty’. Captain Barnacles Bear, Dashi Dog, Professor Inkling Octopus, Kwazi Kitten, Peso Penguin, Shellington Otter, and Tweak Rabbit explore the Oceans from their Octopod sea base, meeting many different sea creatures along the way. 

The picture books are written by Meomi – Vicky Wong and Michael Murphy – and although a slightly different feel from the TV versions the picture books are beautifully illustrated, so any young fans would sit down happily with you just to look at the marvellous detail in the pictures while you read the story. Some books have vertical illustrations, some are glow in the dark, and they are pleasure to look at for adults too! 

Most of the beautiful original editions are now hard to get hold of, but worth keeping an eye out for sellers offering them at good prices - or asking at your local library. 

The Octonauts and the Growing Goldfish is available to purchase as a paperback on Amazon UK, and whilst the larger format illustrations of the physical books are very inventive and encourage interaction, there's also a range available as e-books on Kindle.

Now, though, the Octonauts phenomenon has grown bigger than the books and the official Meomi website has more information and some lovely printable resources. 

Also, there are good online resources available on the CBeebies Octonauts website

There’s even an Octonauts corner on the  NOAA Office of Exploration and Research with facts about sea creatures and lovely illustrations to print out and colour! By the way, that's the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - yes, many of the creatures the Octonauts meet in the TV series (such as the Vampire Squid and Yeti Crab) are very real sea beasties!

A new full-length animated adventure, the Octonauts and the Caves of Sac Actum, has just been released on Netflix, and premiers this weekend!

 Long may the Octonauts ‘Explore, Rescue, Protect’! 

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Make Books Your Thing This Spring

So, it's a good time to stay in and read a book...

read several books...
read together...
read to each other...
read to learn...
read to escape...
read and let your imagination soar!

You may not be able to travel, but you and your family can still go anywhere... in a good book!

For a limited time (during the national UK Schools Closure) you can read This part one for FREE on the Medium platform 

- we hope to add more free reading for you HERE...

We've just added our new shop-shelf - HERE - you'll find a choice of exciting, funny, fantastic, inspiring, adventure books where you can still go to a café and have madcap adventures with dragons and talking fruit. Or you can help two brave young girls save an injured dog, solve the mystery of the missing standing stone, and explore a whole new world of fantasy and friendships... more than enough to enthral, entertain and even educate in these strange times

...you'll also find some content you can read for free!

Also, it's a good time to get outside and enjoy the freshness of the spring season with a fresh book... Remember to wrap-up warm, though, and find a nice quiet spot in a garden. Be sure to remain aware of Social Distancing if using a public outdoor space, and please enjoy your portion of the outdoors responsibly.

...become and aviator of the imagination this spring with The Red Sparrow!

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Join the Red Sparrow Writers for a Nature's Christmas

The Red Sparrow Press will be back at RSPB Conwy for their very special Christmas Fair on Sunday 1st December. We will have a stand in the Look Out with authors in attendance for chats and book signings...

a selection of Christmas cards and gifts
available in RSPB reserve shops...

FREE ENTRY to this festive event... toast marshmallows, browse stalls, make Christmas crafts, enjoy pond dipping, meet local wildlife, authors and artists... and Santa!

10am to 4pm

BOOK NOW TO VISIT SANTA: Booking is required for the 'Search for Santa' activities at 11am, 1pm & 3pm (£4 per child & £2 for each accompanying adult.) Limited spaces available.

For more event details and bookings see the RSPB Conwy website

See you there! We're sure Yule like it!

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Red Sparrow Writers at RSPB Conwy

We're very excited to announce that The Red Sparrow Press will be hosting a full day of exhibitions, storytelling, creative workshops and fun for Halloween Half-Term this October, and appropriately enough this will be at RSPB Conwy! We'd love to meet you there!

Will you spot the Red Sparrow at RSPB Conwy 
on Tuesday 29th of October?

10:00 a.m - 12:30 p.m 

Pop-up Exhibition 
of Fun Fantasy Illustrations 
in the Look Out 
with authors and illustrators present for chats 
and book signings. 
Prints and books available for purchase.


2 p.m - 4 p.m

Storytelling and fun activities 
with Kim Vertue, author of 'Welcome to the Dragon Café' 
and Remy Dean author of 'This, That and the Other' 
who will be joined by young illustrator Zel Cariad 
for workshops 
where you can try your hand at illustration.

This is a ticketed event in the Look Out,
suitable for ages 7 - 14. 
RSPB members £3 / £4 non-members
(ticket sales support the RSPB - limited spaces so book yours soon)

by telephone : 01492 581025
by e-mail : conwy@rspb.org.uk

check-out the RSPB Conwy Reserve website HERE 

- did you know they already have their own Dragon and Café?

Wednesday 12 June 2019

Welcome to the Dragon Café by Kim Vertue with Zel Cariad


Do Dragons really exist? 

Do they visit the mysterious café in the middle of the mountains? If so, what would be their favourite breakfast? Would a world-famous wildlife expert keep the secret or give them away? 

Join Sara and Andy on their summer adventures seeking the answers to many such random questions, some of which may be explained in this book…

‘A thrilling boingy read!
...mainly chapter five, which is all about ME!’ 
Smiley Lemon

‘Just read it already!
...and make up your own mind!’ 
Jess the Dragon

The Dragon Café
Opens for business this Solstice!

The new book by
Kim Vertue & Zel Cariad 
- available now -
(click cover image above for more)
to order the paperback book click HERE

Dragons will fly,

Macaws will talk,

Fluffies will float,

Pirates will fling cake,

Hairdressers will arrive,

Lemons will boing,

Limes will snooze,

Film crews will appear,

Portals will magically open,

and Jack will still be an octopus...

Sunday 8 January 2017

THIS (part two) by Remy Dean and Zel Cariad


This spring, the epic Fantasy adventure continues...

Rietta and Carla have stepped into another realm and are lost in a wonderful world of natural beauty, magical wonder and very real peril. They find reluctant allies among the spirits of the great Greenwood, before setting out to find Dreamers Dell in the hope of fulfilling their promise to help the Fair Ones. Along the way, they meet a mechanician, with his amazing mechanical animals, and fall-in with a band of Elfyn warriors.

When they are introduced to a mysterious and sinister mumblebone, they soon realise that things are getting much more dangerous than they ever expected. Though, as the girls discover more of This extraordinary realm, they also discover that they, themselves, may be even more extraordinary.

This, That and the Other
by Remy Dean with Zel Cariad

book one : part two

click cover image to read for FREE
[ This offer ends Saturday! ]

This (Part One) is available HERE

This, That and the Other is imaginative fantasy, on an epic scale. The story follows the special friendship between two girls who embark on a magical adventure together, across the three realms. It is a modern fable inspired by Welsh fairy tales and folklore, in the tradition of The Neverending Story, The Box of Delights, The Chronicles of Narnia

Book One is being premiered exclusively through amazon in four parts through 2017. Each part will be FREE on release for a strictly limited period only. Part One is is still available at a special introductory price of 99p - this special offer price will be held until release of Part Two.

Find out about reading it on your device and download Free Kindle Reader Software:

Kindle App for mobile devices
Kindle for PC or Mac
...or buy a Kindle Reader