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About Our Reviewers

The Word Pool reviews are organised by myself, Diana Kimpton, and all the reviews without a 'reviewed by' line are written by me (sometimes with help from other people). If you would like a book considered for review, please read our notes for publishers and authors.

Other reviewers, including those below, help us from time to time, especially when they have specific interest or expertise in an area.

Azaria Rees.
I'm 12 years old and studying for an NCFE certification in creative writing with Razbecks Writers. I absolutely love Doctor Who because of the ever high levels of excitement and unpredictability. I also like drawing in Manga style, reading inordinate amounts of books, eating nuts and going on the Internet.

Jill Bennett
I am an Early Years teacher in a multicultural school in outer London and also act as a consultant for Early Years education/RE and literature/literacy. I have an MA in Education and my particular interests are picture books, poetry and books with a spiritual dimension. I'm also the author of Learning to Read with Picture Books (Thimble Press).

Having spent all my time in education furthering the role of literature as a vehicle for literary (and literacy) development I have become increasingly concerned over the past year or so with the narrowly conceived, prescriptive views of literacy being promoted to teachers and hence, to children. With this present pre-occupation in schools with a largely functional approach to, and the mechanistic aspects of literacy, it is all too easy to forget the unique and fundamental role literature has in developing the imagination - in children's meaning making.

Essentially I see a story as a kind of sacred space: a place from which to become aware, to contact the spirit - that essential spark within. However for literature to act as sacred space it must take centre stage in the curriculum and be viewed, not primarily as a way of doing but rather, as a way of being or of helping children to be and become.

Jill Bennett





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