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Who Do You Think You Are? meets You Choose! in this inclusive picture book that opens up discussions about what makes us who we are. Perfect for ages 3+, this is a joyful celebration of all the pieces, places and people that make us who we are. It is a wonderful way to get children thinking about and learning about their own families, and also opening up discussions about all of the other pieces that come together to make us all unique: from our friends and food we eat, to activities we get up to and the places we go.
September 2021 Book of the Month | Warning: this is the kind of book you can get lost in. Open at random for a quick bit of browsing, and you’ll find yourself engrossed, turning page after page to absorb its assortment of marvellous facts and weird true stories. Whatever takes your fancy, whether it’s space, animals, sport, vehicles or words or numbers, you’ll find information herein to boggle the mind, all brightly and attractively presented across large colour pages. Fun to look at, fascinating to read, this will prompt all sorts of ‘Did you know …?’ conversations. Great fun!
Testing friends’ and family members’ knowledge of birds, animals and insects is great fun with this clever riddle book, created by the team at National Geographic Kids. Pages of ‘What am I?’ questions are followed by pages with the answers, each illustrated with attractive colour photos of the relevant animals. The questions are intriguing, designed to get you thinking logically alongside those that are calling up remembered facts. Once thing’s for certain, you’ll learn lots of interesting information about lots of very different animals. Oh, and if you’re thinking about C*******s presents, this is definitely worth putting on a list!
How many children dream of flying? Of what it would be like to soar through the air like a bird? This beautiful book is the next best thing, giving readers insight into the lives of some very special birds. Each turn of the page introduces a new subject, and we learn about red-capped manakins dancing in the rainforests of South America, the long-legged godwit, which migrates from Alaska to New Zealand every year, and, closer to home, noisy long-tailed tits, woodpeckers and peregrine falcons. Full of information, it reads like an adventure story too as we discover more about the birds’ extraordinary lives and habits. Catherine Rayner is one of our best-known illustrators, a Kate Greenaway Medal winner, and captures perfectly the physical presence of her subjects in glorious illustrations that fill the pages. A book to open up children’s eyes to birds and the wonder of nature.
Discover the obstacles that many Black people faced on the way to making groundbreaking accomplishments. You'll find out how they created lasting change and paved the way for future generations. This fantastic resource pack for teachers and students is the perfect companion to support the teaching of Black history.
Right from the introduction, which explains that insects are not only the most numerous animals on the planet, out-numbering humans by 1.4 billion to one, but the most important, this excellent information book opens readers’ eyes to the wonders of planet insect. Attractive colour illustrations and diagrams support illuminating text which passes on facts in a way guaranteed to inspire and intrigue young readers as well as to inform them. The section on cockroaches for example, lets us know that while they have a bad reputation for breaking into buildings and spoiling food, they’re also some of the best recyclers in the animal kingdom. The book covers the huge variety of insects that exist, explaining the differences between groups and its author’s fascination with her subject is contagious. A final section encourages children to go out into gardens or parks to observe insects in their natural habitats and, inspired by what they’ve read, lots will be eager to do just that.
A set of 6 vocabulary workbooks to support home learning. This is quite a challenging task, but a much needed resource in the current times. Each book is geared to an age range from years 1 to 6 covering all classes in KS1&2 age range. The books cover the vocabulary expected within the National Curriculum, including words used in history, science and geography topics. The books are colourful and beautifully put together with imaginative and detailed graphics, making them appealing to children. There are some super creative ideas within the worksheets, with many fun exercises and act as a good first step to build literacy skills. All the pages are based on extending vocabulary, so anything new learned is a positive thing. Within a year of education, there is an enormous differentiation in ability which is a hard thing to tackle in a workbook with no teacher input, though the instructions are clear and helpful. Looking at the instructions, the children should be encouraged to attempt the first two levels, (grasshopper and Shinobi,) themselves without support, though this will obviously depend on the child’s ability. I think that children will enjoy the opportunity to discuss the pages with an adult, and the books provide lots of new ideas for the supporting adult which could be extended and developed. The idea of downloading a certificate of achievement is always a bonus and provides added incentive and motivation. In conclusion, they are a fun and engaging resource, providing much needed support for home learning.
Why the World is Not as Bad as You Think | From the same stable as the very excellent Dosh: How to Earn It, Save It, Spend It, Grow It we have a clear, accessible, fact packed analysis of the crises facing the world, charting the progress that has been made and the grounds for hope. I think everyone has recognised that this generation of young people may feel completely overwhelmed by what they have experienced and be suffering serious mental health issues as a result. This book aims to help re-set their view of the world. The fascinating introduction explains psychologically the human fascination for bad news and how media focuses on the memorable story, which is inevitably horrific. There is an excellent summation of what fake news is and the difference between disinformation and misinformation and then some brilliant tips on how to fact check and spot fake news. But this is by no means a recipe for complacency since every section: Humans, Politics, Planet, Health, Society and Arts, begins by outlining the problems, before the mix of quotes, anecdotes and fact boxes and case studies shows exactly what has been achieved already and what is in progress. This includes many projects that I certainly had never heard of, such as the Great Green Wall of Trees being built across the whole of Africa. Every section also includes Challenges – empowering ways in which an individual can contribute to solving and not being the problem. It is highly admirable that this book goes beyond the obvious environmental issues to include politics and society and it is salutary to remind ourselves of the progress made on human rights, education and equality. Also admirable and entirely fitting with the concept is a list of information sources and the origins of all the quotes used. An invaluable and much needed resource from an author with a real facility for straight talking and not talking down to young people. The LoveReading LitFest invited Rashmi to the festival to talk about Good News. You can view the event by subscribing to the LitFest programme for as little as £6 per month - or you can pay per view. For just £2, go, see Rashmi in conversation with reading ambassador and guest presenter 13 year old Jack and find out why every child should read this book. Check out a preview of the event here.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2021 | Thoughtful and inspiring, Protest! covers the theory of protest – how it works, why people take part, why it is so important in bringing about change – and, above all, the tactics to bring about change that were used in any particular protest. The individual protests are grouped together under headings including: Independence and Resistance which contains ‘Resisting the Nazis’; Rights for Women from ‘Suffragettes’ to ‘Women’s Lib’ and, bringing the subject up to date, Global Uprising including ‘Arab Spring’, ‘Hong Kong’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ and New Grassroots including ‘Extinction Rebellion’ and ‘School Strikes’. In the text and illustrations, Alice and Emily Haworth-Booth make these campaigns from the past vivid. Through their telling of these stories – which they acknowledge are the campaigns that they themselves are committed to -they inspire all those with a cause to support to get involved.
The Magic of Exploring the Outdoors After Dark | Calling all outdoor adventurers who want to walk on the wild side by the light of the moon! While there’s no shortage of brilliant books to inspire and guide nature exploration in young adventurers, Chris Salisbury’s Wild Nights Out is the first nature guide to focus on night-time activities, which gives both the book and its activities a distinct and decidedly magical edge. With a foreword by Chris Packham, this is a brilliant book for grown-ups to use with 7+-year-olds who share their passion for the great outdoors. The text addresses adults, as opposed to chattily speaking to children direct, but with a background in theatre and environmental education, and currently working as professional storyteller alongside directing the Call of the Wild Foundation programme for educators-in-training, the author is well-placed to advise on how to engage young explorers. As for the activities, the book covers a blend of games, walks and sensory experiences, the latter of which form an excellent foundation from which to explore the world at night, with exercises designed to focus and enhance one’s sensory perceptions. Then there are practical activities covering the likes of learning to call for owls, detect bats and understand the night sky alongside immersive theatrical activities, such as hosting nocturnal animal performances and fireside storytelling. With black-and-white illustrations throughout and activities to last the entire summer holidays, this certainly shines an inspiring and informative light on night-time nature.
June 2021 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | Andy Seed’s book puts us up close and personal with some of the amazing giants of the ocean. Using his special ‘tranimalator’ machine, which allows him to talk to animals and which works just as well underwater it seems, Andy dives into the sea and starts interviewing. Among those he questions are a bull shark, a blue whale, a giant squid and an anglerfish. He asks exactly the kind of questions kids would ask, and the answers are very revealing, full of information about where they live, what they eat, and what likes to eat them! Some of their answers are pretty funny – these creatures have a good sense of humour and like to tease Andy – but there are constant reminders too about the dangers they face from plastic pollution, fishing and global warming. With lively, appealing illustrations by Nick East, this is a quirky but really effective information book.
How to Be the Best You Can Be | Dedicated to every young person who is trying to find their way and his mum for helping him to believe that dreams can come true, this is a motivational book by the man of the moment, the inspirational Marcus Rashford, and co-writer Carl Anka. It’s a positive and inspiring guide for life, packed full of stories from Marcus’s own life and calling for the readers to be their OWN champion, and that if they believe in themselves, incredible things can happen. With engaging black and white illustrations and infographics, it’s a great book to inspire any child to be the best they can be. Marcus Rashford MBE is Manchester United’s iconic number 10 and an England international footballer. His lobbying of the UK government during the pandemic made Marcus a household name, outside of sports fans, as he successfully lobbied a u-turn of their policy around free school meals. Before he became a global star, Marcus was just a young boy, an average kid from Wythenshawe in South Manchester – with a dream. This book gives every child the tools they need to reach their full potential. With chapters covering everything from building your confidence to navigating adversity, finding your team, using your voice and stand up for other. And never stopping learning. With action points at the end of each chapter featuring brilliant advice and top tips from performance psychologist Katie Warriner, this is a practical guide for every child to believe that their dreams can come true.