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How? Why? When? What? And Where? Kids are fascinated with the world around them and are like sponges ready to absorb details and statistics - and take great pleasure in remembering all sorts of wonderful and weird facts! This section picks a selection of non-fiction titles - we also have specialist collections on all sorts of subjects including History, Music, Science, Space, People & Places and much more!
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2022 Information Books 3-14 | Have you ever wondered how a forest gets started? With huge trees growing up close and dense undergrowth covering the ground, their scale is so mighty that it is hard to think that they could ever have been small. Are they man made? Did an enormous giant or a massive business enterprise put them there? In a gentle and elegant story matched by simple, evocative illustrations Who Makes a Forest? helps children explore the multi-faceted ecosystem that sustains the many forests that cover so much of the earth’s surface. From the soil, made from the decay left by tiny clinging plants such as lichen and the insects that feed on them, through the first flowers that grow in that soil and the butterflies and bees and birds that feed off them to the massive trees and shrubs that we see today all stages of forest growth are covered. The book ends with 5 pages of useful facts about forests.
Fifty great Britons are celebrated in this book, people who have played an important part in these islands’ history, brought greater understanding, or simply entertained us. From Alfred the Great to Malala Yousafzai, it features a wonderfully varied set of subjects, but all of them have called Britain home. Their life stories are told across double pages, via accessible, information-packed text, often featuring those quirky memorable details that we all love, and equally lively colour illustrations. The biographies follow one another alphabetically by subject surname, rather than chronologically, the emphasis very much on personality and individual achievements. There’s a real sense of excitement, both for these people and for the way Britain has encouraged and welcomed the talented. Indeed, for that it brings to mind the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, high praise in our house. Lovely to see some top children’s authors feature too, including Malorie Blackman, and Judith Kerr. Highly recommended.
This book results from a unique, direct collaboration with children and young people aged from 8-18, where Alex Strick, co-founder of Inclusive Minds, asked them what they would say to their younger selves to inspire, reassure and enthuse them about the future. Their responses have been worked into a truly remarkable text, which follows 14 characters from babies to toddler through to young adults. Each character is brought vividly to individual life by the beautiful, richly detailed illustrations of Steve Anthony and reflects a truly diverse range of different interests, identities and friendships. Each vignette tells a continuing story as they grow and change, and a clever and subtle use of colour enables even very young readers to track their development. The language is beautifully paced and the scenes depicted are absolutely redolent of authentic life experiences. Inspirational, aspirational, reassuring and hopeful, this important book deserves a place in every classroom and will truly allow every child to feel seen, heard and respected.
The Editor at Nosy Crow says: "This stunning book is packed full of inspirational activities that any family can enjoy. A seasonal structure means that there’s always something to do – from recipes to crafts to gardening – at every time of year, while beautiful illustrations and a vibrant text make this is a book to be treasured for years to come.”
Young chefs get an excellent introduction to culinary skills with Annabel Karmel's Fun, Fast & Easy Cookbook. The recipes have been designed for children and grown-ups to cook together and are divided into Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks & Treats, with easy-to-follow steps, tempting photos and cooking tips. The recipes are a lovely mix of both healthy dishes, with fresh fruit and vegetables added in creative and appealing ways, and twists on old favourites such as sunshine paella, vroom vroom bolognese and pesto pizzas. Amongst the recipes there are informative double-spreads on essential food groups and nutrition plus useful rules to keep kids safe in the kitchen. There are also ideas for cooking for those with food allergies and dietary requirements, with suggestions of simple ingredient-swaps to turn the recipe into a vegetarian or vegan meal. This sturdy, colourful hardback makes a great gift, giving hours of entertainment and teaching an essential skill in a fun way.
Following the enormous success of Kay’s Anatomy, this is another tour-de force of informational writing. Children will be rolling around with laughter at all the gags, including a scribbled commentary from Great Aunt Prunella, who does not approve of the author’s obsession with farting and poo, and the hilarious comic strips and copious illustrations from the talented Mr Paker. But don’t be fooled – they will be learning an enormous amount about how humans came to understand the workings of the human body and how to fix it when it went wrong. Kay obviously relishes the ridiculous theories that abounded from ancient times through to relatively recent history and the frankly bizarre and terrifying treatments that were developed, as well as having a sincere respect for the pioneers who took the science forward. There is a great Doctorography section at the end to remind readers of all the stories they have read in the course of chapters which look at different parts of the body as well as individual sections on Surgery, Infections and Genetics. Each chapter ends with a look at the Future and Adam’s Answers where he explains facts and fallacies too good to miss out! The pioneers of medicine generally have a little feature Five Facts and A Lie about them, so the author is actively encouraging critical reading as he does with True or Poo fact boxes about some familiar misconceptions. He is also at pains to highlight the women who, despite being banned from medicine throughout most of its history nevertheless managed to innovate and discover. In a hugely enjoyable, page-turning read, this librarian particularly enjoyed he fact that the excellent index also contained jokes. Do see if you can spot them!
The authors of this excellent book have been friends since school and the book grew out of their own experiences of life as teenagers, the things they wish they’d known or been told. They write as if they are addressing younger sisters, recognising the extra challenges their readers will face growing up as Black girls, and that makes this an extraordinarily direct, authentic and empowering guide. There are chapters on subjects such as identity, friendship and understanding your body, as well as on hair, make-up and feeling your best, plus an excellent section on managing your finances. Quotes, anecdotes and advice from other influential Black women is included too, making the book even more effective and inspiring, and establishing a wider sense of community. “My wish is that this book can be the safe space you turn to when you need inspiration or comfort” says Natalie A. Carter in her introduction and the book is all that, and more.
Following up their Blue Peter Award winning science information book A Day in the Life of a Poo, A Gnu and You, Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley take readers on a tour though history. Once again, they use ingenious, information-packed comic strips to bring the past alive for children. The first section looks at Ancient History, from early humans to the Romans, followed by tours through the Middle Ages and the Modern Age. There are three types of full colour entries too: Day in the Life strips give a snapshot of different points of history and are recounted by subjects such as a wheel in Mesopotamia, a Russian beard and – my favourite – a dead sheep, later to become the Magna Carta. Pages called Secret Diaries provide readers with an inside view, e.g. that of Isaac Newton’s cat, Spithead. Newsflashes helpfully bring headlines from around the rest of the world, explaining what was happening elsewhere at the time. It makes for a lively and engaging presentation; a book children will want to go back to again and again for all the stories and jokes learning lots each time. There’s a useful world map at the beginning and a glossary at the end. A clever and memorable way of teaching history.
Fascinating, easy-to-understand text by zoologist, researcher and writer, Dr Nick Crumpton is complemented by amazingly detailed dinosaur artwork on every spread from talented illustrator, Gavin Scott. It features jaw-dropping research that will debunk many myths about all kinds of prehistoric creatures - If you want to be able to do more than tell a Tyrannosaurus from a Triceratops, then this is the book for you! The LoveReading LitFest invited Nick Crumpton to the festival to talk about his informative, inventive and brilliantly entertaining dinosaur book! The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event here and sign up to become a member.
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!