NEW TITLES

From picture books through to early readers and young fiction, this selection covers a range of reading material and stories to be shared and discussed with children aged 5-7 years.

All Are Welcome
Alexandra Penfold

Bloomsbury Childrens Books

ISBN 9781526604071

All Are Welcome follows a group of children as they spend a day at their school, a school where diversity and community is welcomed, protected and celebrated. Both Alexandra Penfold and illustrator Suzanne Kaufman have created a beautiful text which really delivers the message that everyone is unique but everyone is special too. It highlights that children are not born with prejudices against others, they don't draw attention to the differences between their peers. Instead they just want to share a smile and play and learn together. You also get a great sense of community as you read this book especially as the parents of the children are welcomed into the group, all of whom are different too. Typically aimed at younger audiences, this text would certainly be a useful tool to prompt discussion with older children too and could even allow children to connect in a personal manner. The text flows throughout the book, aided by the rhyming couplets and the repetition of 'All are welcome here' and the images are colourful and eye catching. Overall, a very beneficial book for education settings to have in their libraries. I shall be sharing with my own school. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher.

All Are Welcome
The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac
Christopher Corr

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781786030658

This book retells the traditional tale of how each year gained its animal name. It explains how the Jade Emperor wanted to know how old he was but with no way of telling how much time had passed, it was impossible! He decided to gather all of the animals together to hold 'The Great Race' and decided that the first 12 animals that crossed the river would have a month named after them. The story shows how different animals cope in the Great Race and how some of the animals treat each other. It's a nice retelling of the traditional tale, accompanied by some very colourful illustrations. This would be a nice book to share with children of all ages when learning about and celebrating Chinese New Year - something many schools do each year. Lower KS2 children could enjoy enjoy this independently, however, younger children may enjoy it as a class text as they may struggle to access and understand it independently. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Lucy Newton, teacher

The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac
If All the World Were...
Joseph Coelho

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781786036513

This beautiful, moving picture book tells the story of the treasured memories that a child has of her grandfather. It shows the special times that they have over the course of a year and shows how these memories give comfort to the little girl after her grandfather has passed away. The poetic language that Coelho uses is perfectly complemented by wonderful illustrations in the text by Alison Colpoys. I love the contrast in the colour palette used in the pictures. It makes the illustrations feel warm and comforting, yet vibrant. The page with the text 'A kaleidoscope of memories' is a beautiful example of how well the text and the illustrations work together to create immediate impact. I absolutely adored this touching picture book. It moved me to tears, evoking memories of when my own grandfather passed away. It is reminiscent of another favourite book of mine, Granpa by John Burningham. I am sure that the book will not only become a well loved addition in our school library, but will also prove incredibly useful in opening up discussions with any child in our primary school who has lost, or is about to lose, someone special to them. Due to the depth of discussion that you could have around this book, I feel you could use it with both younger and older primary aged children. Highly recommended. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Leia Sands, teacher.

If All the World Were...
The Sea Saw
Tom Percival

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471172434

After a glorious day at the beach with dad and her perfect friend 'bear', Sophia was left gutted as the 'storm clouds rushed in, thunder clapped and lightening flashed'. Her day was ruined! Dad and young Sophia had to rush off quickly to avoid the rain and catch the last bus home. The pair were in such a hurry that Sophia left poor bear behind. Bear was tatty and very well loved but meant the world to Sophia and she was devasted that she had lost something she loved so dearly. This story is heart-warming and will resonate with anyone who has felt that heart-wrenching despair at loosing something irreplaceable. Luckily for Sophia the sea sees this and decides to help in a hope that maybe, just maybe, Sophia might be reunited with her beloved bear again. The sea finds a way to guide the bear through water and keep bear safe along its journey. This is an emotional look at how 'nothing is ever truly lost if you keep it in your heart'. This book is abundant with cross curricular learning links in both KS1 and 2. This story could be used as a great stimulus into History objectives. Children could look at the passing of time and changes within living memory, history of toys, family timeline etc. There are also great links to be made with Geography NC objectives looking at how we travel from one place to the next as the story talks about the journey Sophia and Dad take to get to the seaside on trains and boats etc. as well as looking at various landscapes comparing the seaside to urban settings. This is a great text for those teachers who teach literacy creatively and effectively, using high quality childrens literature at the heart of all learning. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Nikki Stiles, teacher.

The Sea Saw
Captain Cat and the Treasure Map
Sue Mongredien and Kate Pankhurst

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9781509883905

Patch is a cat aboard a pirate ship, crewed by a motley collection including a monkey and a parrot as well as a few human pirates. Patch's role in life is to save the human crew from the scrapes they get themselves into and, in this first book of a new series, Patch and her friends must prevent the pirates from finding some treasure, which also comes with a nasty curse. Chapters are short, the text is well spaced out and there are many illustrations, making this an excellent read for a young reader. The characters quickly establish themselves (the bickering monkey, the hopeless but ever optimistic cook, the daring but dim captain) and are sure to become firm favourites with young readers as the series progresses. Pirate stories (especially funny pirate stories) always go down well with young readers and this book is riddled with terrible jokes, which they will also love! 156 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by June Hughes, school librarian.

Captain Cat and the Treasure Map
Elvis the Squirrel: A Bloomsbury Young Reader
Tony Bradman

Bloomsbury Education

ISBN 9781472950536

One of a selection of stories from Bloomsbury Education for young readers. This story shows the importance of working together and thinking carefully before rushing into decisions! Elvis and Chuck are two squirrels who enjoy scampering around together. Elvis is a little more careless than Chuck, however, and one day this carelessness gets Chuck into some trouble as he is captured by Ronnie the raven. Elvis feels guilty about his mistake and landing his friend in trouble, however, the birds are reluctant to help his as he hasn't always been the nicest to them either! Eventually, Elvis manages to see the error of his ways and wins the other animals over to help him to save his friend. This is an exciting adventure story for young readers aged 5+ with a valuable lesson on working together, looking out for others and thinking carefully before we rush into bad decisions. A nice story to read at home with top tips for adults to engage in discussions with their children and optional activities for children to complete afterwards. 48 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Lucy Newton, teacher.

Elvis the Squirrel: A Bloomsbury Young Reader
It Wasn't Me: A Bloomsbury Young Reader
Joanna Nadin

Bloomsbury Education

ISBN 9781472955555

This is another story from Bloomsbury Education that forms part of its new young readers programme. Alfie is the main character in this story where he has many adventures! He is a troublesome character who seems to get himself into lots of bother, although he usually blames Dave, the gremlin that lives in his sock drawer. But suddenly, Dave really does appear and manages to cause even more trouble than Alfie had expected! Follow his adventures as Alfie tries to find his way out of his new problems. This is a nice story for children aged 5+. The language and punctuation is quite advanced, however, there isn't an overwhelming amount of text so it would be ideal to build stamina with more technical vocabulary. The story is also accompanied by some detailed pictures to bring it to life. These would be great for children to enjoy at home when they are learning to read. There are helpful tips for adults who may be reading with them inside the front cover as well as suggestions of activities to complete afterwards. 48 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Lucy Newton, teacher

It Wasn't Me: A Bloomsbury Young Reader
National Trust: 2019 Nature Month-By-Month: A Children's Almanac
Anna Wilson

Nosy Crow Ltd

ISBN 9781788003391

This great little almanac is a fantastic book which provided much interest in our household. The book is set up month by month across a year, and provides interesting seasonal facts, important dates, and fun, wholesome activities to try throughout the year. The book will definitely inspire a love of nature in a child, through fun activities such as cloud spotting, flower pressing and instructions for casting animal prints. The explanations of how festivals and traditions came into being will also fuel an interest in history. Not only is the book an interesting and informative read but credit needs to be given to the illustrator, Elly Jahnz. I love the beautiful pictures scattered throughout the book, in particular the spotter's guides. The interesting layout and range of text types e.g. fact boxes, recipes, instructions and a glossary, make the book easily accessible and easy to dip in and out of. I also love how our multicultural society is celebrated throughout the book. Different festivals and celebrations from a range of world religions are included, alongside traditional English customs and celebrations such as Beltane and May Day. I highly recommend this little book. As it is a hardback, it is very durable and is the perfect size to pop in a rucksack and go off exploring the outdoors. For my family, it has fuelled fascinating discussions, an interest in nature and provided us with lots of great activities to try together as the year progresses. 192 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Leia Sands, teacher

National Trust: 2019 Nature Month-By-Month: A Children's Almanac
Moth
Isabel Thomas

Bloomsbury Childrens Books

ISBN 9781408889756

This is a visually stunning picture book, from the midnight blue and sparkling silver cover to the intense colours of the internal pages - you can almost feel the soot coming off the page! It tells the story of the peppered moth and how it adapted to changes in the environment to ensure its survival, from the days when the moth's brightly coloured speckled wings helped it blend into the trees and foliage, to the dark days of heavy industrialisation when those same brightly coloured wings stood out a mile and made the moth easy prey. The moth adapted to have salt and pepper coloured wings that blended into the smog and gloom of the factories, thus ensuring the survival of its species. Following measures to clean up the air and the environment, both variants of the peppered moth now thrive. This is one of those picture books that takes a difficult theme (natural selection and evolution) and makes it accessible to children. Though the book does not delve heavily into the science of how these adaptations occur, it serves as a clear introduction to the whys and wherefores of evolution and would make an excellent starting point for deeper conversations about the subject. The illustrations are colourful and striking while the text in the main body of the book is clear and in short, sharp sentences. For the child eager for more information, the book ends with a double page spread telling the scientific story of the peppered moth's evolution, introducing Darwin, air pollution and climate change. The recognition that picture/heavily illustrated books have a value for children (and adults) with developed reading skills is growing. The development of 'visual literacy', of sparking further thought, conversation and research in particular topics, is well served by picture books of this quality and Moth would be a worthwhile addition to a library of such books. Picture book / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by June Hughes, school librarian.

Moth
Voices of the Future: Stories from Around the World
Irina Bokova

Bloomsbury Education

ISBN 9781472949431

Voices of the Future: Stories from Around the World is a delightful anthology of stories written by children from every corner of the Earth. These stories provide interest, humour, culture and fun while an engaging section on the UN's Sustainable Goals provides educational background to the project. The text is beautifully illustrated and a visual delight. Biographies of the individual authors provide interest and a place to start research. Adults and children alike will delight in this text both for educational reasons and pure pleasure. 144 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Bryony Davies, teacher.

Voices of the Future: Stories from Around the World
I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree - A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year: National Trust
Frann Preston-Gannon

Nosy Crow Ltd

ISBN 9780857637703

This is a treasure trove of delights. A weighty tome of visual pleasure, this hardback book of poems will indulge the senses of anyone who reads it, shares it, pores over it and ultimately loves it. One of the many beauties of this compendium of poems is that there is a poem for every day of the year and so its uses are endless. My family and I had a wonderful time reading aloud the poems for our birthdays and then we picked random days just to indulge ourselves further. There really is something for everyone - some poems are quite short, some are funny, some are from our heritage and others are anonymous. Each double page spread is awash with colourful, slightly quirky illustrations of nature at its best. Many of the illustrations skilfully entwine elements of the range of poems spread across the page. In June, for example, the poems are The Moon, Cat and In The Blue Night and the beautiful image encapsulates all of these themes. With 366 poems to choose from it would be impossible to pick a favourite; each time I have returned to this collection I have come across yet another treasure. That is, I think, one of the many beauties of the collection; every time you open its thick glossy pages, you are in for a treat. This is a poetry collection that is timeless, it is a gem for small children and adults alike. It can be read over a luxuriously long session or just dipped into. Binding the collection together is the theme of the beauty that is all around us. From city foxes to skyscrapers and from fallow deer to snails, this is a celebration of the spectacle of nature. Perhaps this book will inspire a generation to raise their eyes from their tablets and to stop and look for a while at the glory of the world. This is a luxurious delight that will never cease to enchant. 336 pages / Ages 6-11 years / Reviewed by Jo Clarke, teacher.

I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree - A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year: National Trust
Royal Rabbits of London: The Great Diamond Chase
Santa Montefiore

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471171475

At Buckingham Place, the headquarters of the Royal Rabbits of London, Shylo Tawny has fallen asleep whilst on duty. It is his responsibility to protect the palace but his secret hiding place in the permits of the Queen's curtains was so comfortable, he dozed off. While he slumbered, thieves entered the state rooms and stole the Queen's favourite jewel, the Siberian Diamond. Shamefully, Shylo explains to his superiors what happened and humbly hopes that he will be allowed to help recover the stolen treasure. Having been on many adventures in the past, battling against corgis, rats and foxes, Shylo has proven himself to be both brave and reliable but this mission may require even more skill. Underneath number 10 Downing Street, Shylo meets with fellow Royal Rabbits and foxes at the Fox Club. Whilst sipping butterscotch on the rocks they discuss the matter in hand and their suspicions about the jewel thieves. Whilst the Royal Rabbits suspect the Russians may be involved, the foxes are swift to dispel rumours in order to keep foreign relations intact. When reports emerged that Minks from the Kremlin have been spotted in London, the Royal Rabbits suspicions appeared to be confirmed. However, Shylo's instincts tell him not to trust the obvious. When Horatio, Shylo's friend from the countryside and General Nelson's brother, returns to the Grand Burrow, Shylo appears to have a supportive brother-in-arms. Together, Shylo and Horatio, try to discover the true identity of the diamond thieves. Through disguise, wit and a huge amount of bravery, they contend with ferocious minks, wolves and a spoilt Siberian Tigress; enemies they could never imagine defeating without working together. They uncover a complicated plot, where the real thief of the diamond turns out to be someone completely unexpected. The Royal Rabbits of London books have a charming and inspiring hero; they are fast paced and full of humour. With so many lessons for a young buck rabbit to learn, readers will easily identify with such a courageous character. Readers are unlikely to anticipate the real culprit of this diamond mystery and will enjoy discovering where the story leads. Even once the mystery is solved, readers will also enjoy learning how to stop a thief, how to spot a mink from the Kremlin and how to go undercover. As the third book in the Royal Rabbits series, readers will enjoy this tale just as much as the previous books and can look forward to a fourth book later in 2019! The perfect adventure story for newly independent readers. 224 pages / Ages 7-10 years / Reviewed by Emily Beale, librarian

Royal Rabbits of London: The Great Diamond Chase