A hopeful review of The Book of Hopes

The Book Of Hopes
Credits: https://literacytrust.org.uk/

The Book of Hopes is pioneered and edited by author Katherine Rundell with contributions from over a hundred acclaimed authors and illustrators and is dedicated to the real heroes of this unprecedented time – the doctors, nursers, carers, cleaners, porters and everyone working in the hospitals. The book is available for a limited time free of cost on the Literacy Trust website. You can access the link here.

The Foreword by Katherine Rundell

Katherine begins her foreword- A very short note about hope, to let us in on how this book came to be and we get to know that this book is created to make readers become like ‘possibilityists’ – someone who’s not a pessimist but not an optimist either. It’s someone who can appreciate the infinite possibilities in the world, to bring a laugh, a snort or a smile, even wonder about the wonderful history of our human species with endless possibilities of change. Over a hundred writers and illustrators came together, at the behest of Ms. Rundell, to seek these moments of hope out for us and catch them in between the pages of this book- aptly called The Book of Hopes. Click on the link to read now or read on and check out our review.

The artwork

The book is studded with some gorgeous illustrations. It starts off with The Hope Tree by Alex Scheffler and the world through a window by Lauren Child- portraying the life in times of lock-down- a sad looking girl stands behind the window and watches myriad color birds chirp on the a tree outside. Plumdog Delight by Emma Chichester Clark- a glorious picture of black dog with starbursts shooting out above his head and many more. Do take a moment for them.

The works

The book features a series of short stories, texts, poems and artworks of a variety of different genres, and generally 500-words a piece. It’s perfect for all animal lovers – dogs and cats, birds and insects, there are whole sections devoted to them. Generally, the text is suitable for 8 years and above with interest level of 12+ (except the animal section that I felt the younger readers will also quite enjoy) I read through the first 108 pages of the 377 in this book, and typed out my reviews as I went. For the rest of the book, I cherry picked texts at random, some because of a favourite author, the others due to the title or an illustration or because i couldn’t contain my excitement to rush to the ‘Magic’ section and read the story of ‘The Hummingbird’s smile’ by Sophie Anderson. I do look forward to reading all the rest in time, and will add to this blog. This is a book to be enjoyed in snack bites, as Rundell recommends – after breakfast, then lunch and then maybe some more after dinner. There is something in every story for someone so do read them all.

The Monk & the Armadillo by Onjali Q Rauf– an anecdote about finding purpose in one’s life. The story of an accomplished monk in the mountains, who thought he’d found everything there was to know in the world. Whilst waiting for a sign, he finds his purpose- his true find. Purpose can bring joy to every life even if it takes time. The story flows instantly and catches your attention, and before you know it, its over. The monk may be symbolic of Ms Rauf herself and the Armadillo from the deserts probably the refugee families she worked with and supported or maybe her glorious writing. What did you think?

Hope by Anthony Horowitz

A lovely rhyming account of a hopeless town, ironically called the town of Hope. Hope cannot exist outside in a town but it’s what lives inside your heart. The poem ends with meaningful message – “It’s so much easier to cope, when you decide to live in hope.

A way to the stars by David Almond

A free verse poem that urges you to dream on, shoot for the stars and truly hope to reach them one day. But remember, it reminds you, not overtly but through its account, to make the journey count, who knows when and where you might land?

Bag for Life by Joseph Elliott

A father and a child walk for days across a forest, clutching onto a bag of hope, saving it for when they’re truly desperate. The account foretold the end somehow, but i enjoyed it, it is an interesting read. A story of how this dad, uses a tiny glimmer of hope to help his little girl make it through a jungle of despair.

Searching for treasure by Annabel Pitcher

An endearing story of two brothers and their quest to find treasure at the end of the rainbow, there is surely one out there says the younger one, or is there? What stands out in this story is not an adventure of a treasure hunt but the two brothers, who’re usually annoying to each other, but then help each other find a rainbow.

The Lamagaia Nest by Jaspinder Bilan

Is a beautiful story of bonding and adventure. Asha and her Nanijee walk up the mountains looking for a Lamagaia’s nest. What I loved about this story was how beautifully, Bilan paints a picture with words, you can almost feel, hear and taste the place.

The Hungriest Caterpillar by Isabel Thomas

I totally loved this story of ‘serendipity’- a chance finding of the superpowers hidden inside the anatomy of wax moth caterpillars, using which they were found to digest plastics, notorious for being undegraded for hundreds of years. The nature continues to amaze, if you pause and care to look.

Moses and the Watering Can by William Sutcliffe

Such a delightful tale of a cat named Moses (how lovely) and a mouse (called mouse in the story) A true story from (I reckon) Sutcliffe household that, after a gushing narrative, leaves a priceless nugget behind- “Bravery often isn’t about noisy heroics, it’s about patience and quiet resourcefulness”, a reminder Mr Mouse left at some point for all of us to enjoy today.

The Hummingbird’s Smile by Sophie Anderson

I love Sophie’s ability to instantly create a magical adventure that builds from a legend and reads like a classic. This story will definitely bring a smile to your face, as joyful as a smile, you can get only when you spot a glowing hummingbird in a maze.

The Young Bird Catcher by Katherine Rundell

What begins with Rundell’s ‘Short Note about Hope’, also ends with a glorious story by her of hope, birds, love and freedom and of wishes coming true. It somehow reminds me of Rooftoppers, even though the plots are nowhere alike. There are two kindred spirits- Robert and Elizabeth and a zany rich man who collects ‘luxury birds’ but cannot stand them cheep or flit. Robert wishes for three things – to not have to peddle live birds for dead money, to get the attention of Elizabeth and to never see a cage ever again, and then three things happen in one magical instant. Don’t miss it.

This blog is written by Bhavna Mishra, founder of Browzly, a reading for pleasure focussed teaching and learning edtech. Browzly securely connects school communities-teachers, parents and students, to share what they read- create text and video reviews. Students get age and Lexile levelled reading recommendations. Members can take book and topic quizzes created by teachers or curated from Browzly. Readers can also list and swap books in their personal home collections with members in their school and gain points for the quizzes they take. Teachers can create or curate self-marking multimedia quizzes for their students, parents and peers on Browzly. Download the free app from Apple App store or Google Play or login on the website https://browzly.com

Anne of Green Gables (Chapter 2)-20Minute Thursdays audio story

Listen to Chapter 2 ‘Matthew Cuthbert is surprised’ from the breathtaking 1908 novel- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Montgomerie in episode 4 of #20MinuteThursdays on Browzly. Up now on the Browzly app.

Parents & Teachers, try the free Browzly app and discover what all you can do to make your students’ online learning more engaging and fun. Teachers, you will be able to share lessons as audio, video or images and create self -marking multiple choice quizzes. Students will be able to watch the lessons and take the quiz, for you to be sure of their progress. You will be able to view quiz results for every child right from your app. Download the iOS app and try today. Android build is in process and should be up very soon.


Translated in over 36 languages and sold over 50 million copies, this episode brings alive the vivacious characters of both Anne Shirley and Matthew Cuthbert, as Anne is picked up from the train station by Matthew to spend a night at the Green Gables. After all, leaving her at the train station was not an option, now that the red-haired girl had accidentally arrived at the train station all the way from the orphanage instead of the boy that the Cuthberts had asked for. He would have to wait for Marilla to tell her about the mistake. The text here is the original text as first published. Lexile level 990. Age rating 8+

Browzly is a proven reading for pleasure program for families and classrooms, download the free Apple or Android app and try it now.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Part 1) 20-MinuteThursday audio story

|20MinuteThursdays bring Dracula (Part1) on Browzly

Click here to listen on YouTube https://youtu.be/XbhR85yLACw

#20MinuteThursdays on Browzly present Dracula (Part 1) by Bram Stroker. This audio story is rated 12 years and above so it will be available to listen, in the post feeds of students from Year 7 onwards, on their Browzly app accounts. Teachers and parents will also find questions to discuss in class or at home in their post feeds.


When solicitor’s clerk Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania on business to meet a mysterious Romanian count named Dracula, he little expects the horrors this strange meeting will unleash. Thus Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel of blood and passion begins, rapidly accelerating from Harker’s nightmarish experiences in Castle Dracula to a full-fledged vampiric assault on late-Victorian London itself. Dracula is an example of an epistolary novel as the story is presented in a series of journal entries and letters-chronicles making it appear very realistic.

Signup on the Browzly app for your students to get age leveled audio-stories delivered to their feeds to listen and develop fluency, comprehension and a love of reading. A discussion question for teachers and parents to optionally use in class or at home is also shared. Teachers can create their account on the free Browzly app on ios devices, create posts such as this one and select classes/ parents or other teachers to share with. You may also create self-marking multimedia multiple choice topic or book quizzes with video, audio, pdf, url, image or books as attachments.

How to make the most of a winning book review?

2019 Browzly Summer Reading Challenge Results
2019 Browzly Summer Reading Challenge winners and winning reviews

Well! we’d say, print them on a bookmark, and stick it in your library copy! You can do exactly this for the winning book reviews from the 2019 Browzly Summer Reading Challenge! Read on to see which books did the winners of our Summer reading challenge read and review and download their book reviews as bookmarks for your library copies! Video reviews can be viewed by scanning the QR code printed on the bookmarks! If you wish to read what our winners said read this article that appeared in Gulf News, the biggest English daily in the UAE

The Shapeshifter’s Guide to Running Away by Lari Don- Winning Book Review (Text) by Belle Herrera, Student of Dubai British School

Buy the book here or download the bookmark for your library copy

“I re-read this trilogy of books by Lari Don during the summer holidays. The books follow the fortunes of Molly and her friends Innes (a Kelpie), Atacana (a sphynx), Beth (a dryad) and Theo (an elemental desert magician). The friends make a vow to help each other lift their curses, Molly’s curse is to turn into a hare every time a dog growls. Imagine how inconvenient that would be! The book is exciting with some great humour especially from Ines who really made me laugh. Recommended if you enjoy books like Harry Potter or First Aid for Fairies.” -Review by Belle

Call Me Alastair by Cory Leonardo- Winning Book Review (Video) by Belle Herrera, Student of Dubai British School

Buy the book and download the bookmark for your library copy. The bookmark has the QR code encoded so children can scan them with their devices to watch the review

Video Review of Call Me Alastair By Cory Leonardo

Belle Herrera Winner- 2019 Browzly Summer Reading Challenge

Belle Herrera: Student of Dubai British School won two titles this year in 9-13 age category- ‘Writer of the best text review’ for her review of ‘The Shapeshifter’s Guide to Running Away’ by Lari Don& ‘Creator of the best video review for ‘Call Me Alastair’ by Cory Leonardo.

Keep scrolling for more reviews and bookmarks…

Esio Trot by Roald Dahl– Winning Book Review (Text) by Karthika Manoj, Student of The Millenium School Dubai

Esio Trot By Roald Dahl

Buy the book here and download the bookmark

“Esio Trot” is the story of a man who tries to please the woman he loves. Mrs. Silver is a tortoise crazy, and is unhappy that her lovely little tortoise, Alfie, is not growing up to be big! Mr. Hoppy seizes this opportunity to make her happy. He writes a few lines claims they’re magical and asks Mrs. Silver to repeat them until Alfie becomes bigger. Mrs. Silver follows his advice religiously. Mr. Poppy is able to get all different sizes of tortoises with the same shell colour as Alfie, and keeps replacing them one by one instead of Alfie, to create an illusion that Alfie is slowly growing in size! Finally, he makes Mrs. Silver so happy and asks her to marry him. Mrs. Silver, finally, becomes Mrs. Hoppy! “Esio Trot” is a wonderful book! It is so ridiculously simple and funny, and yet so lovable!- Review by Karthika

Co-winner Writer of the Best text review- 2019 Browzly Summer Reading Challenge

Karthika Manoj, student of The Millennium School Dubai was the co-winner of the title ‘Writer of the Best Text Review’ for her review of ‘Esio Trot’ by Roald Dahl in 9-13 age category

Matilda by Roald Dahl– Winning Book Review (Video) by Isha R Nair, Student of Kings School Nad al Sheba

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Buy the book here or download the bookmark for your library copy. The bookmark has the QR code encoded so children can scan them with their devices to watch the video review Scan the code to watch video review of Matilda by Isha R Nair

Isha R Nair

Isha R Nair, student of King School Nad al Sheba was the winner of two of our very coveted titles- ‘Creator of the Best Video Review’ for her review of ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl & ‘Reader of the highest number of books’ in 6-8 age category

Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants by Dav Pikey– Winning Book Review (Text) by Edward Menadue, Student of Dubai British School

Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants by Dav Pikey

Buy the book here or download the bookmark

George and Harold cause trouble at school again. The evil new science teacher Professor P wants to get rid of children’s laughter and Captain Underpants too. He shrinks the school with George and Harold in it. They get Mr. Krupp or “Mr. Pottybiscuits” help by turning him into Captain Underpants who saved the day (and the school)- Review by Edward

Edward Menadue- Winner 2019 Browzly Summer Reading Challenge in 6-8 age category

Edward Menadue, student of Dubai British School was the winner of the title- ‘Writer of the Best Text Review’ for his review of ‘Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants’ by Dav Pikey’ by in 6-8 age category

Haneya Multani, a student of Dubai British School, took the title of ‘Reader of the Highest Number of Books in the 9-13 age category, winning this title for the third time in a row! Haneya participated in the very first reading challenge by Browzly in 2017 and has been a regular and avid reader on Browzly since then. Haneya is not only a big reader but is also an accomplished writer having written a short children’s story called ‘The Cursed Fang and the Magic Paws’. The book is available on Amazon! You can order it here!

Sophie Anderson Jury 2019 Browzly Summer Reading Challenge and author of Children's Books The House with Chicken Legs and The Girl who Speaks Bear
Sophie Anderson
Simon Jodrell

“We are very thankful to our jury – author Ms. Sophie Anderson & Mr Simon Jodrell Principal Dubai British School for taking the time to assess the winning reviews and motivating the participants to give their best”

Browzly- A Proven Reading For Pleasure Program

Browzly is a proven Reading for Pleasure program created with the purpose of making reading enjoyable for every child. We have options to support and sign up families, classrooms, and schools of all different abilities and resources. All we are looking for is your belief in the power of reading for enjoyment! Learn more on http://browzly.com

‘How to make Slime’ books and supplies- Fun Summer Activity

Summer is here and the days are long, what’s an afternoon without a bit of messy fun. Here are our picks of best books about ‘How to make Slime’ and also some cool resources to get you going.

Our Top Spot Goes to

Ultimate Slime: DIY Tutorials for Crunchy Slime, Fluffy Slime, Fishbowl Slime, and More Than 100 Other Oddly Satisfying Recipes and Projects–Totally Borax Free!
If you think playing with Slime is fun, creating it is even better! That’s why we are doting over Ultimate Slime, which has over 100 borax-free recipes from the CraftySlimeCreator Alyssa Jagan

Popular Instagrammer  @CraftySlimeCreator alias Alyssa Jagan came up with the Ultimate Slime that makes creating gorgeous, satisfying slime look easy! 

Starting with the basics, the recipes, include kid-safe slime, fluffy slime, clear slime, slushy slime, slime with vibrant colors and all kinds of mix-ins to create confetti slime, iceberg slime, floam—and many more. Here is a look at the contents page of this book to see what you can make, if you wish to buy Ultimate Slime, you may click here







To make the recipes, we also found you a supplies kit that will give you possibly everything you need to try them out.

106 pack Slime Making Kits Supplies, Gold Leaf, Foam Balls, Glitter Shake Jars, Fishbowl Beads, Fruit Slices, Fake Sprinkles, Glitter Sequins Accessories, Slime Tools,Sugar Papers (Slime Kits), will give you all that is needed to try out the  recipes in the Ultimate Slime, so if you are going to get your hands all slimy then do it in style, with this kit.

On number 2 is Karina Garcia’s Next-Level DIY Slime
Gives you 15 borax-free recipes from YouTube sensation Karina Garcia.

In this book, the follow-up to the bestselling Karina Garcia’s DIY Slime, Karina provides recipes with new and mesmerizing scents, textures, and shine- with names like Mermaid Dream Fishbowl Slime to Teddy Bear Slime, these recipes look surely amazing, if not next level. Check out Holographic, Super Gloss, Ultra Crunch, Color Changing, Instant Clear, Slushie, Butter, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Cloud, Candle, Jelly Cube, Highlighter, Cereal, Fishbowl, and Taffy slime-all with crazy, cool modifications!

There are also some personal tips on removing slime from clothing, keeping slime fresh, and becoming a professional with slime. This book is recommended for crafters ages 10 and up. We also found you a smaller kit of supplies called the 70PCS Slime Add-Ins Slime Kit for Girls and Boys Floam Beads Fish Bowl Beads Mreaind Unicorn Slime Charms Glitter Jars Slime Supplies Kit.

On Number 3 is Slime: 23 Kid-Friendly Slime Recipes with Everyday Ingredients By Mia Kennedy
This book shows you how to make kid-friendly slime without spending on extra supplies as the recipes use everyday ingredients available in most homes and kitchen cupboards. Plus, You may not have to worry about getting a shouting, as these slimes are water soluble and hence easy to clean too!!! Win-win for both parents and kids!

This guide gives:

  • 23 borax and gum-free recipes that are simple and need everyday ingredients like liquid starch, condensed milk, toothpaste
  • How to make simple slime recipes, some containing only two ingredients like the Edible candy Slime!
  • How to make glowing slime, with the most unlikely ingredient, this one would mesmerize everyone.
  • Step by Step fail-proof and clear directions
  • How to avoid common slime making mistakes, and troubleshooting for faulty slimes.
  • How to safely make and preserve slime

We hope you like our recommendations of ‘All about Slime’ books and supplies, use the links to buy or leave us a comment. Keep reading, keep having fun!

Browzly helps make reading in school fun and also helps schools communicate with each other, check out our website. To enroll in our upcoming 2019 Summer Reading Challenge or try Browzly in your school or class, write to us on support@browzly.com.

Happy Sliming!


Please note: Slime is not edible, so don't ever eat it. Also, be careful not to stain any walls, sheets or sofas in your house, best to head to the garage or spread a newspaper on the floor before you start, so everyone is happy. Non water soluble Slime stains can be hard to get rid of.As an Amazon Associate, Browzly earns from qualifying purchases

3 easy books for children to learn about Ramadan

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims around the world but in the Middle East, its celebration and observance impact fasting, as well as non-fasting folks alike. The school and work timings are changed, eating in public places and many restaurants may not be acceptable during daylight hours and children and families find it quite incredible that some children as young 8 years old, start to fast! Non-muslim expats especially children become quite curious at this time, whilst wondering what may or may not be the acceptable behavior to follow. Whilst a general etiquette of tolerance and respect is a perfect guideline, here are 3 easy to read books, that Browzly recommends for all little ones to get to know about Ramadan and Eid.

  1. It’s Ramadan, Curious George by Hena Khan & H.A Rey, is a widely recommended children’s book about Ramadan. A picture board book with colorful illustrations, it will make an interesting and easy read to read aloud in class or at home, as it presents both the life of Kareem and perspective of Geroge the monkey as he sees his friend Kareem fast for the very first time. Find & buy It’s Ramadan, Curious George here

2. Owl & Cat Ramadan is… by Emma Apple is our pick because of its fun illustrations, bright colors and easy short texts that give an essence of the spirit of Ramadan. Loosely based on the characters from the timeless children’s poem The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear, this book helps children learn about friendship, family and tolerance with humor that transcends differences of cultures and religion. Again a good read for multicultural classrooms. Buy Owl & Cat: Ramadan Is… here 

3. Nabeel’s New Pants by Fawzia Gilani Williams is a light-hearted picture book telling the tale of Nabeel who is shopping for gifts for his family for Eid. Nabeel buys a pair of pants for himself and asks his mother, wife, and daughter to hem them for him, but no one has the time as they are all busy preparing for the upcoming festivities. The tale comes to a humorous end when Nabeel finds out that everyone including himself hemmed the pants and he ended up with a pair of shorts instead.  Find and buy Nabeel’s New Pants here 

Share these books with your students in class or recommend to parents for a read at home. Browzly makes is easy to communicate with parents, students and teachers using the Browzly app and dedicated school portal- write to us on support@browzly.com to know more about how to make communication within your school and class members easier or watch this video here and read more about Browzly communicator here






As an Amazon Associate, Browzly earns from qualifying purchases