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Are you fascinated to read about people and places? We have a collection of books about famous people, the jobs we do, the cities we live in and the world around us.
Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2021, Best Book with Facts | This engaging non-fiction book celebrates more than 50 incredible inventors from across the globe and throughout history. The importance of imagination and persistence when developing new ideas is emphasised, as well as understanding that failure is part of innovation, as it leads to improvement. Some of the featured designs have changed the world, while others have affected the lives of just a few people, but all are remarkable in their own way. A vast range of exciting inventions is explored, from early modes of transport to items that many readers may take for granted, such as the flushing toilet, television and frozen food. Children will learn that fireworks are thought to have been invented by a 9th century Chinese monk, while a windmill was built from scrap by a Malawian teenager to provide his remote village with electricity. A comprehensive glossary explains unfamiliar terms and a detailed index enables readers to easily look up the many inventions and their creators. Generously illustrated throughout, this is a fantastic introduction to the world of innovation for inquisitive children and may even inspire them to develop their own pioneering ideas that could transform the future.
October 2020 Debut of the Month | Winner of the Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing 2020 | Diary of a Young Naturalist recounts a year in the life of an autistic and highly gifted 15 year old, struggling with school, bullies, moving house and fearing the decline of the natural world whilst rejoicing in it. Dara McAnulty is clearly an extraordinary person and a beautiful and mature writer. His descriptions of his adventures in nature are inspiring for children, but also sure to brighten the souls of many an adult too. The intensity with which nature presents itself to the author is overwhelming, and his ability to share this with the reader is enthralling. It’s a rollercoaster ride being in the head of this young man, but the book has the magic to open our eyes and ears to what beauty is around us each and every day - if only we looked! McAnulty's knowledge of wildlife and nature is simply extraordinary. His autism is a burden but also a super-power, providing him with piercing insight to a world that simply cannot be ignored with all its truth, tragedy and hope pouring out of every hedgerow, pond and dry stone wall. This is a diary which highlights our essential connection with the natural world, the landscape and our history embedded within it - but more importantly, it is also about our futures. Dara McAnulty is on a mission, and if the quality of this book is anything to go by, he will have a huge impact. For many children, this book will be the beginning of a wondrous journey. ~ Greg Hackett Greg Hackett is the Founder & Director of the London Mountain Film Festival
Meet 29 inspiring people and discover their mental health stories | The book is a bright and, at first glance, light-hearted look at mental health issues and some of the famous people who live with them and overcome them in various ways. But, as Professor Peter Fonagy states in the introduction, the graphics are intended as a ‘help to see the lighter side of ourselves’. Twenty-nine differing famous people – from current singers and songwriters to famous historical figures are all examined - with a double page spread each - giving a brief outline of their issue and how they, as individuals, found ways to deal with it. Each spread has a number of related quotations from the individual picked out and emphasized – helping readers pinpoint the issues being discussed. The problems cover a huge range of problems - PTSD, Anxiety, OCD, Panic Attacks, Sexuality issues - to name a very few. Many have some form of depression as a symptom or result – but as something like 350 million people suffer with depression worldwide it is not as surprising as you might think. The fact that all the illness details are taken from publicly available sources just shows how much better we are becoming at talking about mental health issues generally. There are some straightforward messages that come from all the cases – that talking helps, that taking time for oneself is vital and that coping skills will be different for different people. The main message I took from the book is that it is important to be honest about your condition and that it’s OK not to be OK! This last phrase is actually the heading for the list of useful and important organisations – vital in a book of this sort as young people may well browse the title, recognise their own feelings and want to get some help. An ideal book to have in classrooms and libraries, very accessible and browsable.
Two little friends take a tour of the city in this bright and engaging book. What amazing things will they see – and what can we spot too as we follow them on their way? Each colourful double page spread is full of life and movement with lots for children to find in the pictures. Some things – train driver, camera, ice-cream van – are neatly labelled, and on each page readers are posed a little challenge testing counting skills, memory or comprehension. The illustrations are very appealing indeed, and with its combination of fun story and find, name and count element, this is a great book to share with young children.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | A picture-book biography of celebrated poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) is known for her poems about real life. She wrote about love, loneliness, family, and poverty-showing readers how just about anything could become a beautiful poem.
Dynamic and visually appealing, this book inspires young people to think, not only about the planet and the impact that humanity is having upon it, but also about the ways in which we treat each other. Covering a wide range of the sort of issues that young people are likely to be most concerned about, such as climate change, pollution, animal welfare, gender equality, social justice, homelessness and hunger. Each graphically striking double spread introduces a topic and the issues of concern in a lively and accessible way. Then it introduces the young activists that are making a difference around the world. Greta Thunberg is obviously there in several sections, but over 80 young change-makers from all around the globe are featured. Then there are the pages which suggest ways in which the reader can get involved right now. How they can change their own behaviour and how they can impact upon their home and school. It even has ideas for potential eco-businesses. At the end of the book there is a really comprehensive listing of where to find these featured activists as well as organisations, books, media and websites. There is also very welcome advice on maintaining your own safety and wellbeing – the “Don’t feed the trolls” page of advice for example. A comprehensive index and glossary of terms completes this no-nonsense, non-patronising call to arms. Full of useful information and fascinating life stories this will undoubtedly be regularly picked up by the young readers it is aimed at.
Is Harry Kane your ultimate football hero? He was the first player to score 100 goals for Spurs in the Premier League and is an awesome striker for England too, winning the Golden Boot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. But it hasn't always been easy for Kane. When he was just eight years old he was released by Arsenal, but Kane has never been one to give up. Discover how Kane signed for local rivals Spurs and then became their star striker and a living legend.
Is Kylian Mbappe your ultimate football hero? His quick feet and shooting skills have made him one of the world's top forwards and the youngest ever player to score 16 goals in the Champions League. Mbappe started playing at the age of six and his first coach was his dad. Find out how he went from playing on the pitch he created in his living room to becoming the second teenager in history to score in a World Cup final.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2020 | Taking a philosophical approach, this is a comprehensive look at the challenging question: What is Time? Having posed the question, author and illustrator Kathrin Köller and Irmela Schautz take readers through the past and present stories, myths and symbols of time from around the world which help to explain some of the mysteries which we all experience. These set the scene for a detailed look at the realities of how time is recorded and counted before closing with a section on travelling through time as in across time zones and in futuristic fantasies.
A Children's Book Inspired by Friedensreich Hundertwasser | A girl, her two friends and her parrot watch with curiosity, trepidation and then delight as their neighbourhood is transformed. Who is changing their big, gray, tidy city into a river of colour and pattern? They suspect a ‘wizard of the rooftops’, and so it is, in a way. The story is inspired by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, pioneer of ecological architecture and creator of the amazing Hundertwasser House in Vienna, which eschews straight lines in favour of the curves and lines we find in nature and trees grow inside rooms. The children in the story find that their favourite tree is protected, valued as much in their new look city as they are. A wave of colour flows through the book and almost seems to spill out of the pages – who wouldn’t want to live in – or build – a city like this? Photos and information at the end tell readers all about Hundertwasser and his ideas, and having experienced the brilliance of his vision in picture book form, they will be well and truly open to them. Unusual and original, it’s a book to build the mind and open eyes.
Become a leader like | Not only does this lively, smartly designed book tell readers lots about Michelle Obama’s story, it also conveys brilliantly her attitude to life and work, making it thoroughly inspiring reading. Beginning with a description of her schooldays, it lists the family members, people and events that shaped her early life, and the path that led to her becoming a top lawyer and influential First Lady of the United States. Her story reinforces her message that you can do whatever you want if you’re determined, focussed and confident in who you are and what you believe. A fascinating book with something to say to all readers.