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April 2019 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2019 | Take an inspiring journey into sixteen very special and important landscapes each of which is brought to life in glorious large-scale illustrations. These set the scene for amazing dramas of nature that are taking place within them. From tropical rainforest to scorching deserts, these protected environments are home to rare and beautiful animals and plants which are shown here in glorious illustrations that display their finest details. While the illustrations will draw the readers in, there is also a wealth of information included in the fact file at the end making this a book that is full of value as well as beauty.
The author, an acclaimed headteacher, author and international speaker, talks a lot about empowerment and this inspiring read should empower teachers, governors and parents to have the confidence to resist a data and results-driven efficiency agenda from usurping the true function of education. As he says “The human race has not evolved and developed through history because of a focus on efficiency; it has evolved because of our natural-born curiosity and our desire to learn, to challenge, to innovate and to be better”. The 2013 OECD “Skills Outlook” report which he references emphasises that education has to fit young people for a rapidly changing future. He is emphatically child-centred and believes that empowerment extends to them as well. A successful school works in partnership with learners and with the external community it serves but is, in and of itself, a collaborative learning community too. His mantra is “systems and structures change nothing; people do” A school can only be as good as its teachers and for both teachers and students it has to provide trust, security and a common purpose. His thoughtful analysis of what and why change is needed, with examples learned beyond education will provide a sustaining boost to morale for any teacher struggling in difficult circumstances and a timely reminder to those in charge to raise their heads above the parapet and stand up for the future of learning. This valuable read is not a practical how-to guide at all, nor an angry polemic, but rather a genuinely heartfelt plea to put purpose and people over structures and tests. He successfully advocates Ghandi’s challenge: “Be the change you want to be”
Tara comes up with a big safety idea, but can it save her own skin and can she prevent a fatal crash? The old dressing up box in the attic propels Tara Binns into a new job each time she lifts the lid. She never knows what challenges she will face and we can all enjoy finding out with her. Luckily she is always accompanied on these pacy adventures by Ayesha and Ortez who work alongside her and encourage faith in her own abilities. Her powers of deduction are really tested here by problems on the factory floor and inspire her to think like an engineer. She comes up with a design solution for personal protection, but can she act in time to avert a terrible accident? Each title in this colourfully illustrated, inclusive series progresses to another levelled book band offering more depth and engaging detail to develop readers’ thinking, inference and reasoning skills alongside this inspiring, anti- stereotypical heroine. An excellent choice for the classroom or library. I can see that Tara Binns is all set to be the Mr Ben of this generation and this time we have a female role model! David McKee’s book and TV series no doubt inspired many boys in the 1980’s to reach for their dreams- whatever they may be. But as the WISE campaign for gender balance in STEM professions, which endorses this series from Collins Big Cat, tells us: only 8% of girls go on to study STEM subjects and only 22% of women are employed in STEM careers. Tara Binns could help to change that and inspire girls to open their eyes to their full potential! Each story in this book banded series has a reading guide at the back providing practical support and stimulating activity ideas. There is a full teaching guide and lesson plan available on the website https://collins.co.uk/pages/tara-binns and WISE are providing real life case studies for each of the careers featured. High-Flying Pilot and Double-Quick Doctor are available now and 3 more STEM career titles will follow later in the year.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2018 | A stunning and original book and a useful one too. Subtitled ‘A Celebration of Nature’s Greatest Show-offs’ in glorious pictures it introduces over 600 different plants grouped together under all kinds of headings. There are some nice indoor plants under the heading ‘Air-fresheners’, a dramatic spread of ‘The Magical’ and some beautiful spreads of ‘The Ornamentals’. It’s a book that will whet any child’s interest in plants and excite them about the very many possibilities that they offer. There’s a useful index for helping readers revisit some of the amazing plants that have caught their eye. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for May 2018 Square by Mac Barnett A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge A Perfect Day by Lane Smith Gaspard the Fox by Zeb Soanes & James Mayhew Wonder Goal! by Michael Foreman The Sand Dog by Sarah Lean The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell Plantopedia by Adrienne Barman
A world of prehistoric wonders awaits young readers in this excellent information book. Divided by continent it features maps of each followed by scenes depicting the area’s different dinosaur species in their natural habitats. There are notes on each dinosaur represented with detailed information on 30, from the really familiar – T Rex – to more recent discoveries such as the Gigantoraptor. The information is filled with memorable comparisons such as ‘steak-knife teeth’ and quirky visual jokes too: many of the big predators have got napkins round their necks and one is holding a knife and fork. Lucy Lethbridge’s illustrations capture the essence of the dinosaurs in bold, unfussy but arresting images and this will spark real and lasting interest in its subject. ~ Andrea Reece
For over 27 years, Top 10s have been delighting readers with fascinating lists and mindboggling facts. Ever wondered in which country you would find the fastest roller-coaster in the world? Or wanted to know the terrifying size of the biggest shark known to man? Ever wondered who could be the biggest selling musical artist of all time? This is the book for you.Top 10 of Everything 2018 is divided into genres including Epic Structures, Outer Space, Forces of Nature and Humankind, and includes lists, charts and tables to break down the details of each amazing fact. Packed full of photographs and incredible information, this is the perfect book for anyone with a curious mind and an insatiable appetite for facts, stats and trivia.
August 2017 Book of the Month Take a tour of one of the most complex, diverse and downright unusual places on the entire planet - the human body! Find out all about what makes YOU tick, from the wonders of the human brain to the tingling in your ticklish toes.
April 2017 Fascinating Facts Book of the Month This beautiful information book explores all aspects of our planet, this ‘tiny sphere that orbits an ordinary, middle-aged star in a quiet backwater of the Milky Way’. It examines the inner workings of the Earth; looks at life, from the smallest beings to the mightiest, past to present; opens up the huge variety of ecosystems; and ponders the impact humans have had and are having. The tone is one of conversation as author Jonathan Litton explains often complex topics in relaxed and accessible language. Thomas Hegbrook’s soft, ethereal images do more than illustrate the text. An inspiring book to send readers exploring even further. ~ Andrea Reece
Gotta catch 'em all! Immerse yourself in the Pokemon universe with this ultimate guide to the Pokemon animated series. Become a true Pokemon expert with this ultimate guide to the Pokemon animated series! 272 pages jam-packed with Pokemon stories, lessons, facts and figures, this amazing book features Pokedex references of each explored region, and the Pokemon encountered throughout Ash's incredible journey. The Pokemon Encyclopedia is the definitive reference for key characters, battles and places - it's an absolute must-have for all Pokemon fans. Immerse yourself in the Pokemon universe and learn the highest levels of Pokemon training. Gotta catch 'em all!