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Isabel Thomas is a science writer who has been shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize. She writes exciting non-fiction and fiction for children. When she's not writing, you'll find her experimenting, inventing, drawing, exploring and wearing out her library card. Her books include What You Need To Know Now, shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards.
Isabel read Human Sciences at Oxford University, before working in journalism and children's publishing. She lives in Cambridge, where she's zookeeper to three young sons and a primary school governor.
A Circle of Life Story | Life is everywhere, we read at the close of this exceptional picture information book, and every page prior is brimming with it, so vividly depicted in Daniel Egnéus’ illustrations that you can almost hear the yapping and gekkering of the fox cubs, their mother’s barks, and all the constant bustle and hum of the natural world. Even in death we see there is life: the mother fox is hit and killed by a car but immediately tiny creatures get to work. As the seasons roll round and winter turns to spring, new life grows again and the particles that made up the fox become something else. Text and illustration together explain the circle of life with an extraordinary clarity while retaining a sense of the sheer wonder of it all. Share this with children who want to know what happens when something dies, or who just want to understand our world better. You can find more wintry & festive stories in our Best Books for Kids this Christmas collection!
With a short, simple but often lyrical text, and through striking, beautiful illustrations, Moth tells the story of the peppered moth, and through that explains evolution and describes the changing landscapes of our world. The peppered moth provides a perfect example of natural selection: some moths are born with speckled wings, some are charcoal black. The speckled markings are most effective as camouflage when moths are resting on pale tree branches, but as the Industrial Revolution begins and trees are covered in sooty deposits from factories and chimneys, suddenly the black moths do better and their numbers rise. Then, as laws are passed to reduce pollution and the air clears, the situation is reversed again, and the number of speckled moths increases. Not only does this encapsulate natural evolution, it also reminds us of nature’s resilience and offers hope for the future. The final line encourages children to go out and observe moths for themselves, something this book will surely inspire them to do.
An inspiring introduction to the life of one of the UKs greatest scientist, Stephen Hawking. When he was still a young man, Hawking was diagnosed with a form of motor neurone disease which he knew would disable him and shorten his life. He was determined to achieve all he could despite this and he did. His research into black holes and the theory of the Big Bang was ground breaking and of the greatest importance to all subsequent scientific study.
Ferdinand Magellan, written by Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Dàlia Adillon is a charmingly illustrated biography of a brilliant and brave explorer. Ferdinand Magellan led the first expedition to sail all the way around the world. An intrepid sailor and navigator, he encountered lands and creatures that he could never have imagined, and the journey was fraught with danger and difficulty.
Anne Frank, written by Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Paola Escabar is a beautifully illustrated biography of a little girl who became a victim of WWII. Anne Frank was an ordinary girl living in extraordinary times. Forced to go into hiding to escape the Nazis’persecution of Jews in World War II, Anne kept a diary that would become one of the most famous books in the world. Meet one of history’s most inspiring figures in this beautifully illustrated guide to her amazing life.
Charles Darwin, written by Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Dàlia Adillon is a beautifully illustrated biography of a biologist who changed the world. Charles Darwin’s ideas about evolution caused both outrage and wonder, and quickly made him one of the most famous men in history. From his five-year voyage across the high seas to 20 years of research, readers can follow Darwin on his adventure to prove a theory that would change the world.
Frida Kahlo, written by Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Dàlia Adillon is a charmingly illustrated biography of a brilliant artist. Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist who endured great pain and hardship, but used her bright, vivid brushstrokes to express her emotions and reveal her true personality. She created over 50 self-portraits and is considered to be one of the most influential and inspirational artists of the twentieth century.
Amelia Earhart, written by Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Dàlia Adillon is a charmingly illustrated biography of an aviation pioneer. The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Amelia Earhart was a superstar of aviation in the 1920s and ‘30s and a pioneer of women’s rights. Her disappearance in 1937, while attempting to fly around the world, remains an unsolved mystery.
Leonardo Da Vinci, written by Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Katja Spitzer is a charmingly illustrated biography of the Italian Renaissance genius. Most famous as the painter who created the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci is also one of history’s greatest geniuses – he was a mathematician, architect, astronomer, scientist and musician… and he even invented the helicopter!
Marie Curie, written by Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Anke Weckmann, is a charmingly illustrated biography of one of the world’s most famous scientists. Marie Curie was a brilliant scientist who coined the term ‘radioactivity’, discovered polonium and radium, and helped develop treatments for cancer. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.
Nelson Mandela, written by Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Hannah Warren is a charmingly illustrated biography of an anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist. Nelson Mandela’s journey from political prisoner to president of South Africa is an incredible tale of triumph in the face of adversity. ‘I will not leave South Africa, nor will I surrender. Only through hardship, sacrifice and militant action can freedom be won. The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days’.
Get ready to take control of the most important time of the year - and create your OWN Christmas! It’s time to take control of your festive destiny, says the introduction to this activity book with a difference. That sets the tone for what follows – bright, really attractive pages full of instructions on how to make Christmas decorations and games, from the conventional (paper chains) to the out-of-the-ordinary (catapult powered sleigh launcher). Good news for parents is that most projects use only scissors, glue, pens and pencils, though there are instructions on turning left-over Christmas dinner into paint! The book is livened up even further by the inclusion of Christmas jokes and quirky information boxes, how and why crackers bang for example, and will provide hours of fun. Andrea Reece
Dark Blue Band - KS2 - 9-10 Years | The award-winning book-banded reading programme from Raintree is precisely levelled to provide a reliable framework, perfect for guided, independent and shared reading. High quality design, contemporary illustrations and photographs ensure the books have real ‘shelf appeal’ to encourage even reluctant readers. A particularly pleasing design feature is the colour banded and numbered bunting on the reverse of the book which enables progression to be visually tracked. The 312 readers currently available are supplemented by comprehensive teacher support, extensive comprehension resources and interactive audio eBooks. A key feature of this programme is that In each band there are there are thematically linked fiction and information books, linked to the curriculum, using much of the same vocabulary for valuable reinforcement and really developing a child’s understanding and comprehension by giving context and background to the stories. The inside front cover of each title usefully summarises the key information: level, word count, text type, new vocabulary, inferential question suggestions and links to other titles.
May 2016 Non-Fiction Book of the Month The planet is under threat, but there are things we can all do to change that says this attractive guide book. It’s full of suggestions for practical – and enjoyable – things children can do to make a difference in their home or local area. There are projects to encourage wildlife for example, ideas for keeping rubbish out of landfill by turning it into something pretty or useful, and some clever gadgets to make that will help your family use less energy. With its clear, attractive design and easy to follow instructions this successfully challenges children to be more eco-friendly while having fun. There’s a useful list of websites offering more ideas and information at the back too. ~ Andrea Reece
Did you know that without insects, humankind could not survive? This illustrated, fact-filled title explores the huge variety of insects, with a focus on what makes an insect an insect, the differences between the groups, and why insects are the most important animal group on Earth. Broken down into sections exploring each of the main types of insect, each section takes a different, playfully visual approach to really capture the character of the insects in the order being explored. For example, on the dragonflies and damselflies spread, dragonflies are ferociously dive-bombing the very text itself, while damselflies sit serenely. Includes practical advice for observing insects safely and ways to encourage insects into a garden no matter how small.
Collins Big Cat supports every primary child on their reading journey from phonics to fluency. Top authors and illustrators have created fiction and non-fiction books that children love to read. Book banded for guided and independent reading, there are reading notes in the back, comprehensive teaching and assessment support and ebooks available. Part of the Shinoy and the Chaos Crew non-fiction series, this information book ties into The Day of the Purple Haze. Find out the answers to questions you've always wanted to know about viruses. Viruses are so tiny they can't be seen without a microscope. But, these tiny things can do a lot. Find out what viruses are, and whether they can ever be a force for good. Purple/Band 8 books offer developing readers literary language, with some challenging vocabulary. Ideas for reading in the back of the book provide practical support and stimulating activities.
Collins Big Cat supports every primary child on their reading journey from phonics to fluency. Top authors and illustrators have created fiction and non-fiction books that children love to read. Book banded for guided and independent reading, there are reading notes in the back, comprehensive teaching and assessment support and ebooks available. Part of the Shinoy and the Chaos Crew non-fiction series, this information book ties into The Day the World Was Weighed Down. Find out the answers to questions you've always wanted to know about gravity. Have you ever wondered why gravity doesn't weigh us down, or why astronauts can float in space? Find out all of the answers to these questions, and more! Gold/Band 9 books offer developing readers literary language and stories with distinctive characters. Ideas for reading in the back of the book provide practical support and stimulating activities.
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