NEW TITLES

With a selection of picture books for children aged 5+ and some great young fiction, this month's highlights include plenty of ideas for the classroom as well as books that will keep children entertained.

Luna Loves Library Day
Joseph Coelho

Andersen Press Ltd

ISBN 9781783445486

When it is Luna's library day she remembers to take her books to return, her library card and book bag. She looks forward to all the adventures she will find on the shelves and between the covers of the books, but best of all is seeing Dad. Library day is the day that she spends with him; he's always there, waiting with his head in a book. Together they discover books large and small about dinosaurs, bugs and magic tricks. Dad knows how to disappear and Luna would especially like to learn how to bring him back. They share a book about the place dad grew up in, as well as a fairy tale, which echoes the relationship between Luna's Mum and Dad, and they share lots of hugs. This is a gentle, joyous and inspiring celebration of all that is to be found in libraries, from magic to information, refuge and memories. Luna and her father clearly enjoy their visits to the library where they can bond over books to enjoy together. The inclusion of a book within a book adds an extra element to discover, along with the quirky additions to the library shelves! This is an ideal readaloud as an introduction to libraries and the wonderful world of books. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Jayne Gould, librarian.

Luna Loves Library Day
You Choose in Space
Pippa Goodhart

Puffin

ISBN 9780141379296

Nick Sharratt and Pippa Goodhart have written a great book in You Choose in Space. This is the first You Choose I have read and I have to say I was very impressed with it. As a stand-alone read, it was a great one to share with my children and generated lots of discussions and chat about the pictures and using imagination to talk about what life in space might be like. I can see how this read would be different every time and how children would get something different from it during every read. I think this would be a great book to use as a guided reading text in class with KS1 and lower KS2 children as a way to generate discussion and speaking and listening skills. I would definitely use it as a stimuli for sentence writing and there is a vast scope for its use with descriptive writing. I will certainly be looking up other You Choose books as I think they will be a great resource to use in class and with the unmistakable Nick Sharratt illustrations, this will always be a popular choice. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry, teacher.

You Choose in Space
I Want to Be in a Scary Story
Sean Taylor

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406363463

Monster wants to be in a scary story - but is he brave enough? As he realises that scary stories have creepy witches, creaky stairs and dark hallways in them - maybe a funny story would be better after all? This is a great book that, as well as an entertaining and interactive storyline, teaches children how a story can develop, from thinking about the setting, the characters, the mood of the book and of course the conclusion. It encourages simple discussion and questioning and shows how ideas can evolve and change depending on how the story unfolds. This is a truly inspirational book which can be used in so many ways to develop early writing. It is also a lot of fun with its twists and turns and changes of direction and motivation. Jean Jullien's bold and fun illustrations will keep every young reader captivated. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Louise Gahan, teacher.

I Want to Be in a Scary Story
Izzy Gizmo
Pip Jones

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9780857075130

Izabelle Gizmo is a whizz at inventing things, carrying her tool bag wherever she goes, Izzy is ready to mend and make everything more splendid. The trouble is, Izzyis inventions never seemed to work out the way she hopes and this makes her really cross! When Izzy finds a crow with a broken wing she knows she has to try and make him feel better. With the support of her Grandpa, Izzy turns to her 'gadgety thing' and puts her resourcefulness and patience to the test to try again. A fantastic story to talk about some of those key values we hope to instill in young children; the importance of resilience, if you don't succeed at first try and try again. I like this as an assembly story to talk about Izzy's inspiring character. There are lots of engaging rhymes to explore with the children is this book and vibrant pictures, beautifully depicting the many different emotions Izzy goes through on her mission to succeed. This is a good book to use to talk about character's feelings, the children could write thought bubbles for Izzy and role play 'Thought Tunnel'. I read this book to year 1, who have all now decided they want to be inventors! Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Nikki Stiles, teacher.

Izzy Gizmo
Red and Lulu
Matt Tavares

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406376920

Red and Lulu is a beautiful and wonderful tale of love, dedication and companionship that I would recommend to anyone who loves a good book. I opened the envelope with this book with with my year 1 class and what followed was one of the best book discussions we've had. The children were completely hooked and immersed in the story of Red and his search for his beloved Lulu. The addition of wordless pages allowed for deeper thinking opportunities and really made the children consider what the author is trying to say without saying it. The illustrations are part of what makes this books so special and they allowed the children to make links to their learning as well as give them clues to where the story was heading. From start to finish, the children simply loved this book. It didn't matter one bit that we read this Christmassy tale at the start of October and I am sure the children will be requesting it once more when we get closer to the big day in December. What I also found lovely was the additional information about the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, which gave the story a real context and something the children wanted to learn more about. I would happily add this to my Christmas story collection and think everyone else should do the same. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher.

Red and Lulu
Tug of War
Naomi Howarth

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847808509

Tug of War is a beautifully illustrated story with an important message.....no matter your size, you are still brilliant. The story is set in the African jungle where we meet the main character tortoise and join him in his attempts to make new friends. He asks two of the biggest and toughest animals in the jungle and his request for friendship is laughed at and cruelly thrown back at him. Feeling dejected and sad, tortoise receives advice from another creature on how he can get his own back and teach the mean animals a valuable lesson. I enjoyed sharing this story with the children in my class and it was very relevant for a circle time session as they had been experiencing friendship problems in recent lunch times. It was nice to see the children make links to how the tortoise was feeling and identifying that how mean and unkind the other animals were being, there were even gasps of disapproval from the children as they listened to what the animals had to say. The illustrations that accompany the book are beautiful and really help set the scene. I would recommend this book to all ages within the primary age range as a great tool to support discussions about friendship and self worth. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher.

Tug of War
Amelia Earhart
Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847808851

Outlining some of the amazing achievements of a fearless young woman with a passion for flight, one in a series of picture books by Little People, Big Dreams based on famous women who achieved remarkable things. Amelia Earhart was the first women to fly up to 14, 000 feet, fly solo across the Atlantic and attempt a round the world mission. The balance just seems so right in this book. The text is kept simple throughout with just a few short sentences on each page surrounded by art like illustrations kept simple but meaningful. I really liked the end paper, like pages spread throughout the book. At the back of the book there is a useful 2-page biography and photo timeline for adult reference. With real photos of Amelia Earhart for the children to look at. As History Lead in a primary school, I have managed to excite other teachers in school with these stunning picture books. We are going to use these as a planning tool for a whole school History theme week focussed on 'significant historical figures'; as per guidelines in the NC programme of study for History. KS1 especially will be using this book along with some of the others in the series as a hook into learning about a significant figure in history. Amelia Earhart will support learning about transport and changes within living memory. All children across the school will be working to produce their own picture book (cross curricular writing) telling a historical story in the style of the 'Little People Big Dreams' series. These books will work beautifully as a stimulus for writing as well as a reference for research. Children in KS1 could use these as an accessible starting point to form a timeline of the lives of these individuals. A must have resource for all schools! Picture books / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Nikki Stiles, teacher.

Amelia Earhart
Piggy Handsome: Guinea Pig Destined for Stardom!
Pip Jones

Faber & Faber

ISBN 9780571327546

This book is nothing short of a delight. Who could not fall in love with a portly little guinea pig with a hugely inflated sense of his own importance? He likes to keep his quiff impeccably groomed, is not averse to donning a superhero cape in the interests of self-publicity and likes to think that he is something of a kung fu expert, even though the best he can manage is a cartwheel, a roly-poly and a few star jumps. Piggy is feeling the pressure of having some very illustrious ancestors and so longs to prove just how brilliant he is. His best friend, Jeff, a cockney budgie, does his best to support Piggy Handsome in his quest to become an internet sensation and all round global superstar but this is looking increasingly unlikely. The ensuing adventure is both charming and hilarious and is sure to have young readers aged 6+ in stitches. The illustrations by Adam Stower add to the quirky humour of the story and I hooted with laughter at the sight of Piggy with his freshly coiffed vertical quiff; what a character! I challenge you to keep a straight face as Piggy attempts to break the world hula hooping record and when he is careering towards the seafront with Jeff alongside him via his chosen mode of transport: a runaway roller boot. Finally, I should say that I have added Piggy's expletive of choice ('Oh, PARSNIPS!') to my own repertoire. A piggytastic five stars to Piggy Handsome! 188 pages / Ages 6-9 / Reviewed by Emily Marcuccilli, School Librarian

Piggy Handsome: Guinea Pig Destined for Stardom!
Witch for a Week
Kaye Umansky

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471160905

Elsie helps out in her family's shop, the grandly named Pickles Emporium. Unfortunately, the grandest thing about it is its name and it struggles to win customers and sell its wares. On one run-of-the-mill afternoon, however, the shop is visited by Magenta Sharp, a local witch looking for a caretaker for her home while she visits her sister. Elsie somehow ends up employed for the task and makes her way to the forest the very next day, where she makes the acquaintance of the tower (the witch's home) and Corbett (the raven). Elsie is determined not to try out magic but cannot resist for very long and, in response to a plea from Sylphine Greenmantle (known to everyone apart from herself as Aggie Wiggins), creates a love potion that ends up causing no end of trouble, but, thanks to her new-found skill in creating a storm in a teacup, Elsie saves the day. This is the first in a new series by the very popular author whose engaging stories are enjoyed by many young readers. The characters are appealing, the language accessible for the newly independent reader and the magic of the humorous variety (who would not like a larder that produced cake if you just asked for it?!) 192 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by June Hughes, school librarian.

Witch for a Week
Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure: Book 1
Alex T. Smith

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444932065

Claude is one of my favourite series so I was pleased to hear that a new series would be coming from Alex T Smith for slightly older children, and Mr Penguin is it. When I saw the book, it reminded me of the Claude books in its stylish presentation, spot colour (the illustrations are black, white and orange) and the off-the-wall humour; we are, after all, talking about a detective penguin whose spider friend, Colin, is a kung-fu expert who has to get him out of many scrapes... But that aside, Mr Penguin is a wonderful character in his own right, keen and enthusiastic but just not brilliant at solving the mysteries he sets out to. Thankfully, his friends are there to help out. In Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure, Mr Penguin has his first case - to find the treasure hidden at The Museum of Extraordinary Objects and, after many twists and turns, the real adventure begins when Mr Penguin discovers a hidden staircase to a whole new world beneath the museum. There is plenty of action, surprises and laughs through the course of the story and younger readers aged seven to nine years are sure to be thoroughly entertained. Some of them might also spot the twist coming up in the ending, if they follow the textual and visual clues carefully enough. This is a wonderful start to the new series; I can't wait to see what Mr Penguin (and Colin the spider) get up to next! 208 pages / Ages 7-9 years / Reviewed by Alice Green.

Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure: Book 1
Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball
Laura Ellen Anderson

Egmont Books Ltd

ISBN 9781405286725

What a gorgeous little package this book is, an eye-catching cover, orange page edging and fabulous maps and black and white illustrations - together with a story that is packed with adventure and full of heart. Amelia Fang is a vampire and the author / illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson sets up a wonderfully imaginative vampire world with plenty of giggles: Amelia has a pet pumpkin called Squashy; glitter is the equivalent of cow-poo; Sweat-shakes are the favoured pre-dinner drink; and these are served by a ghost butler called 'Wooo'. When the spoiled (but unhappy) prince of Nocturnia takes Squashy away to be his own pet, a daring rescue by Amelia and her friends - Grimaldi, - a young 'grim reaper', and a yeti called Florence - follows. There are so many child-friendly jokes and puns that I can see children giggling through this. My nine year old loved it but it is very accessible to younger children, too - and not just girls! 224 pages / Ages 7-9 years / Reviewed by Alice Green.

Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball