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Mrs Griffith recommends...

As you scroll down you will see recommendations each for EYFS, KS1, Lower KS2 (Years 3/4) and Upper KS2 (Years 5/6). As well as selecting specific books, I have also compiled lists for each year group, selecting books for their breadth of content, a range of authors and genre. 

A Recommendation for EYFS

 

Harvey Potter was a very strange fellow indeed. He was a farmer but not like any farmer you've ever met. He didn't grow corn, okra, or tomatoes. Harvey Potter grew balloons. No one knew exactly how he did it, but with the help of the light of a full moon, one friendly child catches a peek of just how Harvey Potter does it. And keeps some magic for herself.

This is the best sort of fantasy: imaginative, inventive, and believable. Harvey Potter is a wonder -  he's the owner of a genuine U.S. Government Inspected Balloon farm. And Nolen's tale about this man, narrated by the African-American girl who learns balloon-farming magic from him, is equally wondrous.... This title should sail onto every library shelf. May Nolen grow a bumper crop of books. School Library Journal.

Downright glorious.Publishers Weekly(starred review)

 

An enchanting and timeless winter tale from one of today’s most celebrated picture book stars.

From award-winning and bestselling picture book creator Benji Davies, comes a brand-new Christmas classic…

High, high up in the clouds a tiny snowflake is made. Perfectly small, fluffy, crystal and white, it tumbles and bounces inside the cloud. But then she begins to fall…

Exquisitely told and beautifully illustrated, The Snowflake tells the tale of one snowflake and one little girl – both longing for something and looking for their own special place in the world. The Snowflake is an utterly unforgettable and classic picture book from the multi-award winning and internationally bestselling picture-book creator, Benji Davies.

Twice winner of Oscar’s Book Prize

“An author-illustrator destined to be one of this generation’s great talents” – Huffington Post

 

The third and final book in the best-selling, award-winning ‘Bear and the Piano’ trilogy.
 
The first book in the trilogy - The Bear and the Piano - has sold over 120,000 copies in the UK and won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, Illustrated Book Category for 2016

The Daily Mail - 
'Litchfield’s use of light is unequalled and this is a triumphant last movement in a great symphony.’

You probably remember the story of the bear who found the piano in the woods and grew up to become a huge star. He played his music in front of millions of adoring fans and all of his wildest dreams came true. But now, the audiences are smaller, the pianos less grand, and the applause is dying away. So Bear decides to retire. Back in the woods, he is sad that his dream is over but he soon has something to distract him: Little Bear! When Little Bear stumbles upon his piano in the woods, she can’t believe it when her father says that no one wants to hear his music anymore. So she comes up with a plan to prove him wrong.

The final book in the award-winning, best-selling trilogy shows that while fame and fortune might be temporary, the best songs stay in your heart forever. 

 

 

From Jill Murphy, creator of the classic Peace at Last, comes the long-awaited third story about the lovable Bear family.

It had been a long night . . . so Mr and Mrs Bear woke up late.

When Mr and Mrs Bear wake up late, it's raining outside – and Baby Bear is late for nursery. Then Mrs Bear sits on her glasses at work and Mr Bear spills his coffee! Oh dear – it seems this is just going to be one of those days! But the lovable Bear family muddle through cheerfully, and there's even a surprise for Baby Bear when Mr Bear gets home from work.

With all the hallmarks of an instant classic, Just One of Those Days is a gentle story about a family day, which parents and children everywhere will relate to – full of satisfying read-aloud repetition and rhythm – and with Jill Murphy's instantly recognizable, cosily-lit illustrations.

 

100 cats by Michael Whaite

 

The purrfect sequel to the award-winning 100 Dogs!

Sitting cat, spitting cat, tangled-in-your-knitting cat, paw cat, claw cat ruining your chair! New cat, shoo cat! Living in the zoo cat, swing cat, cling cat . . .

 

HANG IN THERE! This laugh-out-loud picture book is a brilliant read-aloud rhyming romp through a cornucopia of cats in silly scenarios. Follow the cat-and-mouse subplot and find endless funny details to delight read-after-read. Barking mad about dogs as well as cats?Not a cat kid?  Check out 100 Dogs - Winner of the Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards for Best Picture Book and Children's Book of the Year! Also by Michael Whaite: Diggersaurs Diggersaurs Explore

 

Hair Love by Michael Cherry

 

Based on the Oscar winning short film!

It's up to Daddy to give his daughter an extra-special hair style in this story of self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters.

Zuri knows her hair is beautiful, but it has a mind of its own!

It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Mum always does Zuri's hair just the way she likes it - so when Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn.

But he LOVES his Zuri, and he'll do anything to make her - and her hair - happy.

When I adopted my son, 25 years ago, his hair was bewildering! I didn't know where to start so this book resonates with me. Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair - and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.

 

 

A Recommendation for KS1

 

October is Black History Month and some of my choices this month have been chosen to reflect this.

 

New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the incredible life of Rosa Parks, ' The Mother of the Freedom Movement', in this inspiring story. In this true story of an inspiring civil rights activist, Rosa Parks grew up during segregation in Alabama, but she was taught to respect herself and stand up for her rights. In 1955, Rosa refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her decision had a huge impact on civil rights, eventually leading to the end of segregation on public transport. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts  at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

 

 

Kai is excited to go back to school after the summer holiday, but soon finds himself being mocked by his peers for being different. Kai s confidence is lowered and he begins to wish that he is normal like everyone else. 

With the help of his parents, Kai learns to be proud of himself and his unique qualities and values. Kai s mother explains how although the moon and stars are different they both shine beautifully in the sky. He learns an important lesson: that everyone is special and valuable in their own way. He realises that the things that make him different are the things that make him special. He makes a decision to use his qualities to shine his light . 

Shine is a touching and heart-warming story which encourages young readers to celebrate diversity and to recognise how our differences make us special. It deals confidently with issues including bullying, low self-esteem, self-confidence and forgiveness in a manner that children can comprehend.

 

 

Howl with laughter and squeal with delight at this monstrously exciting new picture book from number one bestselling author David Walliams, illustrated by the awesome Adam Stower!

Howler is a SMALL werewolf with a BIG problem.

He is just not SCARY! And that makes him the odd one out at Monster School…

But when Howler finds some new friends, he discovers that being the ODD one out might just make him the COOLEST one of all…

This hilarious new picture book is full of squeal appeal and has giggles on every page.

 

 

Issac plays in his favourite pool on the mountainside.
As rain starts to fall, he empties his little jar of water into the pool and races the sparkling streams as they tumble over waterfalls, rush through swollen rivers and burst out into the vast open sea.

Where will my little jar of water go now? Issac wonders.

On the other side of the world, Cassi welcomes
the rain to her parched village . . .

From tiniest raindrop to deepest ocean, this breathtaking celebration of the water cycle captures the remarkable movement of water across the earth in all its majesty. A stunning new non-fiction picture book from Greenaway medal-winner, Grahame Baker-Smith.

 

 

". . . a wonderful teaching tool for those who are welcoming refugees into their community."--The New York Times With haunting echoes of the current refugee crisis this beautifully illustrated book explores the unimaginable decisions made as a family leave their home and everything they know to escape the turmoil and tragedy brought by war. This book will stay with you long after the last page is turned. From the author: The Journey is actually a story about many journeys, and it began with the story of two girls I met in a refugee center in Italy. After meeting them I realized that behind their journey lay something very powerful. So I began collecting more stories of migration and interviewing many people from many different countries. A few months later, in September 2014, when I started studying a Master of Arts in Illustration at the Academy of Lucerne, I knew I wanted to create a book about these true stories. Almost every day on the news we hear the terms "migrants" and "refugees" but we rarely ever speak to or hear the personal journeys that they have had to take. This book is a collage of all those personal stories and the incredible strength of the people within them.

 

Look up

by Nathan Bryon and illustrated by Dapo Adeola

 

3 ... 2 ... 1 ... LIFT OFF

Let science-mad chatterbox Rocket launch into your hearts in this inspiring picture book. Rocket's going to be the greatest astronaut, star-catcher, space-traveller that has ever lived!

But...

First, she needs to convince her big brother Jamal to stop looking down at his phone and start LOOKING UP at the stars.

 

Bursting with energy and passion about space and the natural world, this heart-warming picture book will reignite your desire to turn off those screens and switch on to the outside world.

 

This book is the overall winner of Waterstone's "Children's Book Prize" 2020 and Waterstones says, "This joyous, life-affirming picture book introduces the lovable Rocket, a space-obsessed girl who wants everybody to be as excited as her about an impending meteor shower. Bursting with eye-popping, vivid illustrations, Look Up! is a book that all budding young astronauts will love."

A Recommendation for Lower KS2 (Years 3 & 4 )

 

Go back in time with No. 1 bestselling author David Walliams for a whizz-bang epic adventure of action, laughter and secret plots – and the extraordinary friendship between a little boy and a huge gorilla that just might save the day…

1940. Britain is at war with Nazi Germany.

Eleven-year-old Eric spends his days at the place that makes him most happy: London Zoo. And there’s one animal in particular he loves: Gertrude the gorilla.

With bombs falling all over London, Eric must rescue Gertrude.

Together with his Uncle Sid, a keeper at the zoo, the three go on the run. But while hiding out at the seaside they uncover a top-secret Nazi plot…

Released 5th November

 

 

A book about adventure, about family, about never giving up, and about what we can achieve when we work together.This is an inspirational picture book, published in support of the creation of the Captain Tom Foundation, which tells the incredible story of the man who walked 100 laps of his garden and captured the heart of a na

tion. Fully illustrated for younger readers, and following the key moments from Captain Tom's incredible life, the book shows what is possible when we come together and never, ever give up.

 

 

The electrifying No.1 bestselling adventure from the author of The Christmasaurus and The Creakers, Tom Fletcher!

Franky can't wait to move to his new town - although he wishes he didn't have to leave his best friend Dani behind.

But everything changes after the storm, when strange green lightning and powerful thunder crash down on the town. From that night on, the kids who live on Franky's street start to change. One by one, they become a little odd. A little unusual. A little... magical.

Franky's always wanted to be part of an amazing gang - just like his hero, super-spy Zack Danger! And soon, he realises that there's real danger in store for himself and his new friends.

And so the Danger Gang is born..

 

There are lots of laughs at every level in The 130-Storey Treehouse, the tenth book in the number one bestselling Treehouse series from Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, out in hardback.
 

 

This is our Treehouse, come on up!

We've added 13 news levels to our Treehouse, including a soap bubble blaster, a GRABINATOR (it can grab anything from anywhere at any time), a time-wasting level, a toilet paper factory (because you can never have too much toilet paper) and an extraterrestrial observation centre . . .

Which will come in handy when giant flying eyeballs from outer space come to gravitate US! Released on 20th October.

 

A Caldecott Honor BookA Coretta Scott King Award Winner
In this award-winning book, acclaimed author Carole Boston Weatherford and bestselling artist Kadir Nelson offer a resounding, reverent tribute to Harriet Tubman, the woman who earned the name Moses for her heroic role in the Underground Railroad.
I set the North Star in the heavens and I mean for you to be free...
Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman hears these words from God one summer night and decides to leave her husband and family behind and escape. Taking with her only her faith, she must creep through woods with hounds at her feet, sleep for days in a potato hole, and trust people who could have easily turned her in. But she was never alone.
In lyrical text, Carole Boston Weatherford describes Tubman's spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her north to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude. Tubman would make nineteen subsequent trips back south, never being caught, but none as profound as this first one. Courageous, compassionate, and deeply religious, Harriet Tubman, with her bravery and relentless pursuit of freedom, is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

 

 

Just Jack by Kate Scott

 

Since his mum and dad split up, Jack has moved around a lot. But that's OK, because he's figured out how to survive: his very own Sherlock code.

He seeks out safe friends, tries not to stand out too much, fits in with everyone else's interests, doesn't give away too much personal information – and, most importantly, he never lets himself get too close to anyone.

But when he moves to his new school and meets Tyler (a whirlwind of energy, with his spectacular inventions and Tigger-esque personality), will he be able to stick to his code or will he find himself in danger?

 

Just Jack is another charming story from Giant author Kate Scott, with a lovely message about the importance of being true to yourself. Tyler is a wonderfully realised character, a bouncing bundle of fun that fizzes off the pages. He's a wonderful influence on Jack, and a joy to spend time with.As Jack slowly comes to realise that fitting in might be safe but that it's also very boring, young readers will cheer him on. A joy of a read that skips along and makes you feel like you're wearing your very own pair of Tyler's Skater-Flyer Shoes.

A Recommendation for Upper KS2 (Years 5 & 6)

 

With the Black Lives Matter awareness and October's Black History Month, some of my choices this month will reflect that. 

 

The text for this year's Kent Test was written by 19th-century novelist, Lucy Maud Montgomery which demonstrates how important the classics are. My all-time favourite book, "Anne of Green Gables" is by the same author. I am, therefore including three classic texts that I recommend to any year 5 child who is thinking about doing the Kent test next year.  My other recommendations for October will follow.

 

The Call of the Wild is a novel by Jack London published in 1903. The story is set in the Yukon during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush—a period when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The novel's central character is a dog named Buck, a domesticated dog living at a ranch in the Santa Clara valley of California as the story opens. Stolen from his home and sold into the brutal existence of an Alaskan sled dog, he reverts to atavistic traits. Buck is forced to adjust to, and survive, cruel treatments and fight to dominate other dogs in a harsh climate. Eventually, he sheds the veneer of civilization, relying on primordial instincts and lessons he learns, to emerge as a leader in the wild. 

 

 

 

Anne of Green Gables is a 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery (published as L.M. Montgomery). Written for all ages, it has been considered a classic children's novel since the mid-twentieth century. Set in the late 19th century, the novel recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl, who is mistakenly sent to two middle-aged siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, who had originally intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in the fictional town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island, Canada. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way through life with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town.

 

Rediscover the favourite childhood classic.

What little girl can turn a whole household upside down and breathe new life back into a strange, old manor? The wonderfully contrary, strong-willed, angry, misunderstood Mary Lennox.

When Mary Lennox is sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle, everybody says she is the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It is true, too. Mary is pale, spoilt and quite contrary. But she is also horribly lonely. Then one day she hears about a garden in the grounds of the Manor that has been kept locked and hidden for years.
And when a friendly robin helps Mary find the key, she discovers the most magical place anyone could imagine...

 

 

SHORTLISTED WATERSTONES BOOK PRIZE
SHORTLISTED NORTHERN IRELAND BOOK AWARD
SHORTLISTED NORTH EAST BOOK AWARD
WINNER PORTSMOUTH BOOK AWARD
WINNER SOUTHWARK BOOK AWARD
WINNER SEFTON SUPER READS

'Boy 87 is an original and beautifully written page-turner of a novel about love, survival and the strength that can be found in a hopeful human spirit' -- Sarah Crossan, Carnegie Medal Winner

'Shif is an unforgettable character, and his story should be read by everyone who cares about one of the unfolding tragedies of our time' -- Award-winning author Elizabeth Laird


Shif is just an ordinary boy who likes chess, maths and racing his best friend home from school. But one day, soldiers with guns come to his door - and he knows that he is no longer safe.

Shif is forced to leave his mother and little sister, and embark on a dangerous journey; a journey through imprisonment and escape, new lands and strange voices, and a perilous crossing by land and sea. He will encounter cruelty and kindness; he will become separated from the people he loves.

Boy 87 is a gripping, uplifting tale of one boy's struggle for survival; it echoes the story of young people all over the world today.

 

 

Erased. Ignored. Hidden. Lost. Underappreciated. No longer. Delve into the unique, inspiring, and world-changing history of Black people.

From Frederick Douglass to Oprah Winfrey, and the achievements of ancient African kingdoms to those of the US Civil Rights Movement, Timelines From Black History: Leaders, Legends, Legacies takes kids on an exceptional journey from prehistory to modern times.

This DK children's book boasts more than 30 visual timelines, which explore the biographies of the famous and the not-so-famous - from royalty to activists, and writers to scientists, and much, much more. Stunning thematic timelines also explain the development of Black history - from the experiences of black people in the US, to the story of postcolonial Africa.

Did you know that the richest person ever to have lived was a West African? Or that the technology that made the lightbulb possible was developed by African American inventor, and not Thomas Edison? How about the fact that Ethiopia was the only African country to avoid colonization, thanks to the leadership of a brave queen?

Stacked with facts and visually vibrant, Timelines From Black History: Leaders, Legacies, Legends is an unforgettable and accessible hive of information on the people and the issues that have shaped Black history.

 

I RECENTLY FINISHED THIS ONE AND IT IS BRILLIANT!

 

The breathtaking fantasy adventure for fans of His Dark Materials that The Times calls 'Unputdownable'.

The City was built on a sharp mountain that jutted improbably from the sea, and the sea kept trying to claim it back. That grey morning, once the tide had retreated, a whale was found on a rooftop.

When a mysterious boy washes in with the tide, the citizens believe he's the Enemy - the god who drowned the world - come again to cause untold chaos.

Only Ellie, a fearless young inventor living in a workshop crammed with curiosities, believes he's innocent.

But the Enemy can take possession of any human body and the ruthless Inquisition are determined to destroy it forever.

To save the boy, Ellie must prove who he really is - even if that means revealing her own dangerous secret . . .

'Unputdownable' - The Times
"Enthralling' - The Daily Express
'Sumptuously atmospheric . . . tirelessly inventive' - The Daily Telegraph
'Gripping' - The Guardian
'Energetic and inventive' - Sunday Times
'Gripping and original' - The Observer
'Singularly brilliant' - Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Girl of Ink and Stars and The Mercies
'Compellingly inventive and unpredictable' - Piers Torday, author of The Last Wild
'A terrific debut of strange myths and dark secrets' The Bookseller (Editor's Choice)

 

Three for you that I have just finished.

 

How to Fly with Broken Wings by Jane Elson

 

Twelve year old Willem has two important aims in life: to fly and to make two new friends his own age. But Finn and his gang of bullies are getting in the way, until one day Sasha Barton steps in to help. While the gangs on the Beckham Estate are rioting, and with the help of community worker Archie, Willem and Sasha form an unexpected friendship as they discover they share the same dream…

 

With themes including gang culture and bullying, friendship and love, combined with a brilliant mix of eclectic characters, this is a compelling and ultimately uplifting story about making the most of life despite its challenges. This was the first book I have read by Jane Elson and I liked her writing style so much, I am going to read more.

 

Can you see me by Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott

 

Endearing, insightful and warmly uplifting, Can You See Me? is a story of autism, empathy and kindness that will touch readers of all ages.

 

Tally is eleven years old and she's just like her friends. Well, sometimes she is. If she tries really hard to be. Because there's something that makes Tally not the same as her friends. Something she can't cover up, no matter how hard she tries: Tally is autistic.

Tally's autism means there are things that bother her even though she wishes they didn't. It means that some people misunderstand, her and feel frustrated by her.

People think that because Tally's autistic, she doesn't realise what they're thinking, but Tally sees and hears - and notices - all of it. And, honestly? That's not the easiest thing to live with.

 

Perfect for fans of Wonder and The Goldfish Boy, this sucker punch to the heart is valuable reading for children and adults alike. What makes this book unique is the fact that the story is interrupted by real diary extracts from co-author, 11-year-old, Libby Scott who is autistic herself and talks about her experiences. I learned more about autism through this book than any course I have ever been on. I think it is an amazing book. 

 

Seaglass by Eloise Williams

 

SeaGlass is Eloise Williams 3rd novel. It's a gorgeously creepy book set in Wales on a misty beach. Just like seaglass itself, this book dazzles and is definitely not for the faint hearted. The story perfectly combines the chill of a ghost story with the warmth of a family tale.

 

She will come for you... Lark struggles when her family and their friends go on holiday in a lonely caravan site on the Welsh coast for the autumn half term. Her mother is ill, her little sister has stopped speaking and she has fallen out with her best friend. Is a girl in a green dress following her in the fog? Or is her sister playing tricks on her? When a local woman tells her the girl comes to take sisters, Lark finds herself the only one who can save her family.

 

Perfect for fans of Emma Carroll and Lucy Strange, Seaglass is a chilling contemporary ghost story with a determined 13-year-old heroine defending her family and learning to handle her emotions.  Superb book. And SO creepy.

A Recommendation for Parents and Carers

 

If reading Thomas the Tank Engine or Frozen night after night is leaving you frazzled, here is my pick of bedtime story books that are great fun to read and are sure to become favourites ......of yours, if not your children. 

 

 

The Incredible Journey meets The Mouse and His Child, an enchanting tale that begs to be read aloud.  It is absolutely beautiful. You will need a tissue!

The magical story of the adventures of a lost toy rabbit from a New York Times bestselling author, twice winner of the Newbery Medal. Abilene loves her blue china rabbit, but Edward Tulane is extremely vain and only loves himself. On a voyage from New York to London, Edward falls overboard and from there finds himself on an amazing journey. He travels with tramps, works as a scarecrow, comforts a dying child ... and finally learns what it is to truly love

 

 

Penguin Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith.

 

In this hilarious first collaboration from Jory John and the multi-award winning Lane Smith, a penguin levels with human readers about what penguin life is really like ... and it isn't all fun and games!

 

Have you ever considered running away to Antarctica? Of course you have! Because it's a land free of worries and responsibilities! Think again, my friend. This penguin has come to tell you that his life down there is no picnic. For starters, it is freezing.

Also, penguins have loads of natural predators. Plus, can you imagine trying to find your mum in a big crowd of identical penguins?

 

A feel-good read-aloud for readers of all ages, and the perfect  gift. It's dry, cynical humour might not reach the spot as far as the children are concerned, but I dare you not to love it yourself. 

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd 
ISBN: 9781406379150 

 

If you enjoy reading this book, you'll love Giraffe Problems too - by the same authors.

Next on my list of books adults will enjoy reading to their children is ....

 

Mr Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

 

Funky, funny and beautiful, this is an irresistible addition to every wild child's bookshelf."
– The Times

 

Are you bored with being sensible? Do you want to have more fun? Mr. Tiger knows exactly how you feel. Fed up with tea parties, top hats and talking about the weather, he astounds his friends when he decides to go... WILD. But does he go too far? After all, the wilderness can get pretty lonely.

Mr Tiger Goes Wild is a beautifully illustrated and brilliantly funny book from Caldecott Honor-winning artist Peter Brown that shows that there's a time and place for everything... even going wild. Peter Brown is also the creator of many other books including the fantastically funny My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not). I think this is a great read aloud book for KS1 children. 

 

Third on my list, is....

 

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

 

This one is for older children, KS2, and is older than I am!!!!! Written in 1961, you will need a box of tissues as you read this, but I guarantee your children will LOVE it and you will too,

 

Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own—Old Dan and Little Ann—he’s ecstatic. It doesn’t matter that times are tough; together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks.

Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan’s brawn, Little Ann’s brains, and Billy’s sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy awaits these determined hunters—now friends—and Billy learns that hope can grow out of despair, and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past.

 

Parents and Carers, please don't stop reading to your children as soon as they become free readers. I was still reading to my teenager until she went off to university in September. She read to me too. It remained a special time for both of us and I am glad to have fostered a love of literature in her. Reading is the most successful way to build vocabulary and the comprehension skills needed for Kent Test and across the curriculum in secondary school. No tutor can ever teach the skills of being an enthusiastic, vocabulary rich reader. 

 

Finally, in this section, books for you as adults.

 

Keeping with the Black History Month theme, my choices deal with diversity.

 

This is a startling, haunting book. With forceful simplicity, this wordless book narrates its tale of loss. The migrants must leave the leafless forest. Borders are crossed, sacrifices made, loved ones are lost. It takes such courage to reach the end. At last, the journey is over and the migrants arrive. This is the new place.

 

Watanabe takes extraordinary care to show the individuality and humanity of each migrant--through the detailed patterns on their clothing, their care of each other as they set up camp, the symbol of the blue ibis showing the connection between past and future, life and death.

 

Wordless, but with an amazing narrative. I was so moved by this book. Perfect to explain why migrants and refugees seek sanctuary in a new place. 

 

 

Asiya's hijab is like the ocean and the sky, no line between them, saying hello with a loud wave. It’s Faizah’s first day of school, and her older sister Asiya’s first day of wearing a hijab – made of beautiful blue fabric. But not everyone sees the hijab as beautiful. In the face of hurtful, confusing words, will Faizah find new ways to be strong?

 

This is an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond shared by siblings, and of being proud of who you are, from Olympic medallist Ibtihaj Muhammad who was the first American athlete to wear a hijab when competing.

 

 

A short, essential introduction to Black British history for readers of 12+ by award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga.

When did Africans first come to Britain?
Who are the well-dressed black children in Georgian paintings?
Why did the American Civil War disrupt the Industrial Revolution?

These and many other questions are answered in this essential introduction to 1800 years of the Black British history: from the Roman Africans who guarded Hadrian’s Wall right up to the present day.

This new children's version of the bestseller Black and British: A Forgotten History is Illustrated with maps, photos and portraits. Macmillan Children's Books will donate 50p from every copy sold to The Black Curriculum.

 

Fierce, Bad Rabbits - The Tales behind Children's Picture Books by Clare Pollard

 

I am reading this currently and I am really enjoying it. It connects on so many levels and picks up the picture books and characters we have all grown up with.

 

What is The Tiger Who Came to Tea really about?
How is Meg and Mog related to Polish embroidery?
And why does death in picture books involve being eaten?

Fierce Bad Rabbits explores the stories behind our favourite picture books, weaving in tales of Clare Pollard's childhood reading and her re-discovery of the classic tales as a parent. Because the best picture books are far more complex than they seem - and darker too. Monsters can gobble up children and go unnoticed, power is not always used wisely, and the wild things are closer than you think.

 

'A gem . . . hard to put down. Thoroughly enjoyable' Spectator

'Essential reading for every thinking parent' Penelope Lively

'An enlightening, perceptive analysis of the books that build us' Sunday Telegraph, 5 star review

'A happy way to reconnect with old friends' Times

 


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