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The books in this section have been given a primary age range of 5+. At 5 many children are learning to read and this selection includes books to give children the opportunity to take off privately into worlds of their own. There are picture books and easy readers with a background of richer stories to further stimulate the imagination. All books are suitable for 5-6+. The books in this section might also be given a secondary age range. Suitable for 7+ year olds reading slightly below the average level and for 3+ ready to explore a more challenging read with the help of an adult.
June 2021 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | Andy Seed’s book puts us up close and personal with some of the amazing giants of the ocean. Using his special ‘tranimalator’ machine, which allows him to talk to animals and which works just as well underwater it seems, Andy dives into the sea and starts interviewing. Among those he questions are a bull shark, a blue whale, a giant squid and an anglerfish. He asks exactly the kind of questions kids would ask, and the answers are very revealing, full of information about where they live, what they eat, and what likes to eat them! Some of their answers are pretty funny – these creatures have a good sense of humour and like to tease Andy – but there are constant reminders too about the dangers they face from plastic pollution, fishing and global warming. With lively, appealing illustrations by Nick East, this is a quirky but really effective information book.
June 2021 Books of the Month | This clever and thoroughly charming picture book is full of information about emperor penguins and human dads too. Sam is waiting for his dad to come home and for their nightly storytelling session – his dad makes up brilliant stories. But Dad is late, arriving only just in time in fact, and Sam is put out; he refuses a dinosaur superhero story, normally his favourite. So his dad tells him a very different story, the true story of Papa Penguin who waits in the freezing cold, guarding his egg, hardly moving for weeks and weeks until at last the egg hatches and he sees his chick. I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate a father’s unconditional, superhero love for his child, no wonder Sam loves it and asks for the same story the next night. Momoko Abe’s illustrations are full of warmth and family love, even in Antarctica and like Sam, children will want this story again and again. A final double page spread includes more facts about how real-life Papa Penguins behave.
June 2021 Debut of the Month | From the 2019 Macmillan prize-winner this is a powerful, dramatic and inspirational story about the difference even a child can make if they take action and get their voice heard. The delightfully curious Rosa needsa book but her library is closed for redevelopment but Rosa dn her sister decide to protest and not give up , gradually bringing everyone onboard. The vibrant richly coloured pages create a filmic sense of an inclusive community and very real people. It makes a powerful statement about the place that libraries have in a community and the vital necessity that all children can have access to the books that they need. Unfortunately, it is a book with a very current and timely message. Libraries have suffered greatly in the pandemic and the future looks bleak as more budget cutting looms. This book empowers young children to demand their rights and to recognise that they matter too. It should prompt some very interesting discussions and debate and naturally should be stocked in every library.
June 2021 Book of the Month | Young readers who like animals and dream of exciting outdoor adventures with just a touch of magic, will love Alex Milway’s new series. Rosa doesn’t know what to expect when the tiny plane drops her off at her Grandma Nan’s house on Big Sky Mountain. It’s deep in the wilderness, about 200 miles from the shops, and the nearest neighbour is a moose called Albert. Albert is a talking moose in fact and Rosa quickly makes friends with a whole host of other animals, all perfectly able to have a chat. Adventures come thick and fast, and Rosa finds herself relying for help on these capable animals. It’s great wish-fulfilment stuff, who wouldn’t want to live with animal friends and an unflappable grandma in the middle of such beautiful countryside. The animal characters provide lots of humourous moments and beneath it all there are important messages about the environment too. Wild, and gently wonderful.
This is a story of true love, and one of the most heartwarming picture books you’re likely to read. It’s told by Moonimal, a very odd-looking (though still sweet) cuddly toy. Moonimal is found in a junk shop by Boy and from that moment the two are inseparable, it’s Moonimal and Boy forever. Until one terrible day when, on a walk in the woods, Boy falls, breaks his glasses and drops Moonimal. Poor little toy, alone in the woods and quite lost. Moonimal is adopted though first by a family of rabbits then by friendly deer though it seems unlikely the two friends will ever be reunited. But fate intervenes and against all the odds Moonimal is found by Boy by chance on an icy, windswept mountain. A new story begins then as Moonimal, washed, repaired and loved as much as ever, is tucked up with Boy’s new baby. Debi Gliori’s beautifully expressive illustrations catch all the drama, the loneliness Moonimal feels and the joy of the reunion. It’s a gorgeous story of lost and found, full of reassurance for little children about the everlasting nature of love and its power to magic happy endings.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2021 | Too much grumpy Gupper Fog is swirling around Rubbish Island. The moon has disappeared into the sea and everything has turned topsy turvey…How can the Tindims put things right and make Rubbish Island a safe and pleasant place to live again? There’s great charm to Sally Gardner’s zany story which is amplified in Lydia Corry’s illustrations.
A cheerful fly gives a tiger – and young readers – lessons in yoga in this entertaining story. Mula the tiger is dozing, dreaming of being able to hop, tumble and stand on her head, when she’s woken by a buzzing fly. Fly is determined to show Mula just what she’s capable of, once she’s learned to focus on her breathing and stretching. With Fly as yoga instructor, Mula is soon moving like she does in her dreams and keen to learn even more! It makes for fun and inspiring reading, children will be able to copy Mula as she does the Downward Dog and Crescent Lunge. The illustrations are bold and eye-catching too, Mula and her jungle vivid and bursting with life.
From an award-winning author, who knows how important friends can be through his own fight with cancer, and at a time when so many families have faced loss and grief, this is a perfectly pitched description of exactly what empathy means in real life. Even very small children will be able to find and recognise the situations and feelings so well described and captivatingly illustrated. They will know how they feel sad sometimes about such things as a broken toy or a dropped ice cream and know what helps them feel better. What it also captures so beautifully is that every single person is unique and no one thing will work for everyone. In very practical terms there are heartfelt suggestions here of things and suggestions that can and do and obviously have helped. There is an unmistakeable authenticity to the carefully crafted words which are the very opposite of sentimental verse in a greetings card.
Well we all love our bikes. Don’t we? This charming picture book tells the story of why this is. From the first push down on the pedal to the independence of making your own journey “I get to decide if I turn left or right. Not Dad. Just me.” The travails of the young (and old) cyclist - the ‘big huge hills’ where the bike gets lazy and the inevitable tumble after which ‘I’m never ever riding the stupid bike again’ - are endured and overcome. The greater joys of achievement, scenery and connection with the landscape will be familiar to everyone who has ever turned a pedal. “This is my place now all because of my bike”. Sam Usher’s illustrations capture the exhilaration and occasional panic of self-propelled speed and the rhythm of the writing echoes the rotation of the pedals and the whirring of the wheels and makes it perfect for reading aloud. ~ Sam Huby, Bikemonger
Good morning, class. Today we are going to learn about Earth Family. The latest in the Dr Xargle series! Learn all about Earth Families with Dr Xargle, our friendly alien teacher: brothers are Bothers, sisters are Sulkers, and the number of family members is always larger than the number of chairs at Christmas dinner...
Dot isn't like the other dogs: she doesn't like going out for walks, and she doesn't like going to the park. Her favourite thing is staying at home with her favourite toy and best friend, Peep. But when Peep goes missing under the garden fence, Dot might have to venture out into the world...
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2021 | In a spare, poetic text, Nicola Davies shows how easy it is to label someone as ‘different’ and how easy it is to treat them badly once that has been done. But she also shows how a new child can turn that hostility round by introducing the special things from her own life. Cathy Fisher’s illustrations capture the powerful but understated point of the story perfectly making this apparently quiet book speak volumes.
Swim around the world with Shark as he explores ocean forests and coastal reefs, meeting Hammerheads and Great Whites, stingrays and dolphins in a search for the place he calls home. The second book in the Wild Wanderers series written by Dom Conlon and illustrated by Anastasia Izlesou.
Claire Cashmore, MBE and Paralympic gold medallist, was born without a left forearm - but she never let being different stand in the way of her big dreams. Splash is based on Claire's real-life experience: this gold-medal-winning swimmer really was scared of water ... until one day, everything changed!
This is the question award-winning illustrator Dapo Adeola asked himself when writing his debut book Hey You! An emotional response to the events of 2020 including the brutal murder of George Flyod, the global protests that followed and the mass awakening to the impacts of structural racism. From that response the urgent and inspirational message of hope within a unique picture book collaboration between Dapo Adeola and 18 talented Black illustrators was born. Hey You! is a book that explores the words that Dapo Adeola wished he heard as a child, a letter to his past self and a letter to his future child, brought to life through the lens of illustrators from across the Black diaspora with their unique and varying styles throughout, jumping off the page in colourful celebration.
The Pirate Mums is a swashbuckling, high-seas adventure starring Billy and his two extraordinary mums, complete with a bad-tempered parrot called Bird-Brain, a sudden storm, a sea-sick teacher and a captain who gets stuck in the toilet. Billy wishes his family could be a bit more like everyone else’s, and just a bit more ordinary. But his mums aren’t like other mums. They are pirates. They wear outlandish pirate clothes, insist on dancing jigs and singing sea shanties when Billy’s friends come round to play, and they have decidedly fishy taste in home decor. When his mums volunteer to accompany Billy’s class on a school trip to the seaside, with a boat trip included (Billy’s mums love boats), he makes them promise to be normal. But when the boat gets into trouble, their nautical knowledge and salty sea-legs save the day. Billy discovers that it’s what makes his mums different that also makes them – and himself – special.
Dot the hospital dog is a much-loved visitor on the Wallaby Ward; from a crying baby to a bored teenager – a pat, a stroke and a cuddle with Dot cheers everyone up! But the work of the hospital dog doesn’t stop there and when one of her patients is in trouble, it’s up to Dot to save the day! This exciting rhyming story full of bravery and friendship is the new hardback title from a stellar picture book partnership; Julia Donaldson's captivating storytelling is perfectly expressed in Sara's characterful and wonderfully rich artwork.
'Tiny Polly: The story of a brave chicken' is a little book with a big message. Written by Jinan Samman and beautifully illustrated in watercolour by Evgeniya Kozhevnikova, it can be shared with young children but is also simple enough to be tackled by beginner readers on their own. Polly lives on a farm with other chickens but because of her small size, she is not included in any of their activities. Desperate to be like the others, she tries to make herself grow but to no avail. It takes a serious occurrence when the farmer is away at market before the flock realises that Polly is more than worthy of their respect and friendship and that differences are to be praised not condemned. Her courage and ingenuity win acceptance in the end and her self esteem is really boosted. Children will more than likely pick up on the bullying by the bigger chickens and relate this to their own experiences, so the story is an excellent way to encourage the sharing of any concerns. Even if this is not a problem though, young children will surely appreciate the lesson the chickens learn in this delightful picture book and will read it again and again. Drena Irish, A LoveReading4Kids Amabssador
If Salah is your favourite football player then this is the book for you! Discover how he grew up in Gharbia, Egypt playing football for the youth team El Mokawloons to being named the African Footballer of the Year in 2019 by the BBC and CAF. Learn how he spearheaded Liverpool FC to the Champions League title in 2019.
If Neymar is your favourite football superstar, then this is the book for you! Discover how he went from playing street football and futsal in Sao Paulo to becoming one of the best players on the global scene playing for clubs like Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. Learn how Neymar scored over 300 career goals, competed in the Olympics twice, and became one of the most popular football players worldwide.
UKLA Longlist Book Awards - 2019 | Recommended by Stephen L Holland, Guest Editor, June 2021: An exuberant bundle of wisdom which wittily wraps its warm heart around the welcoming of strangers, this is more a Young Readers picture book than a comic, but the narrative is so image-driven and those pictures are so cleverly controlled that it counts. New neighbours move into some flats; they’re rats. That was succinct, wasn’t it? I love this book so much that we made a film of me reading from (and reviewing) it which you can watch below.
A funny and moving story about how a little girl copes with change after her parents separate. When Dad says that he's moving out, Lily-May feels all upside-down inside. But now Dad comes on Sundays, and they ride their bikes really fast and make secret dens together. Lily-May plays more just with Mum now, too - and when Mum's new partner Peter comes over, they play pirate ships! Sometimes, there are tricky moments - Lily-May hates it when Mum has to work late - but a birthday party with Lily-May's big fantastic family helps her realise just how many people love her. This reassuring celebration of non-nuclear families will help children to understand that they will always be loved, even if parents separate or divorce. Beautifully written in rhyme by the award-winning authors of the bestselling George's Amazing Adventures series, this uplifting story with a diverse cast of characters embraces all the positive aspects of becoming part of a blended family after a divorce or separation. Every Nosy Crow paperback picture book comes with a free Stories Aloud audio recording. Just scan the QR code and listen along!
Test your football knowledge with hundreds of funny and fascinating questions about your favourite players and competitions, plus enjoy a variety of other on-the-page activities. Find out more about the Football Superstars, an entertaining and informative series of biographies charting the success of some of our best known and admired global football players.
With wordplay, riddles and poems that are funny, fast-paced, lyrical and thought-provoking, this is an exciting debut from an outstanding new poet. The CLPE judges said: ‘These poems have a subtle distinctive speaking voice, lighting up shifts of thought and feeling that young readers will recognize but that clichés would conceal. Rachel Rooney relishes and shares the craft of poetry; gradually you spot exacting games of form and language beneath a surface that seems simple enough for youngest readers to approach, and the poems will grow in the reader’s mindwith re-reading, year by year.’
This lushly illustrated, full colour activity book is packed withfacts about every inch of this Sceptred Isle, and a kaleidoscope of 50 activities including colouring, puzzles, quizzes, and more. Bite-sized information and awesome facts about the UK are scattered throughout, with 50 fun activities to get stuck into.
'Eve's Ducklings', written by Maria Monte and illustrated by Emelie Wiklund, is a lovely picture book aimed at three to five year olds. It starts with an experience that almost every young child will relate to, that of going to the park with a much loved older family member, and takes us through all the emotions Eve feels there and how she learns and grows because of them. When Grandpa takes Eve to the lake for the first time, they are delighted to see that the duck family has two ducklings. Eve runs to try to catch and hold them, hug and pat them but grandpa warns her that their mother will not be happy about that. On every visit she still tries to show them her love in the only way she knows but the ducklings just retreat to the middle of the pond until one day Eve falls in the water in her efforts to reach them. This makes her really start to think about her approach and, taking a step back, she scatters sunflower seeds for them instead. Before long, the ducklings come for the seeds and Eve is at last able to see them close to. This book is an excellent encouragement for children to start thinking about their relationship with wild creatures, how to show them respect, give them their own space and love and care for them in a suitable and responsible way. A charming and inspiring story. Drena Irish, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Lilac – Level 1 | My Little Friend : Making friends is always fun - especially when your new friend is a cute little caterpillar! But wait - what's this? Where did my little friend go? Growing On Me : Babies are no fun. They're stinky and they cry a lot. What is the point of them? Maybe they're just one of those things that end up growing on you...
The World Cup, the Europa league, the League Cup, Serie A – you name it, Paul Pogba’s won it (Serie A four times in fact). But if you want to know about the man behind the stats then this is the book for you. It’s jam-packed with information on Pogba’s early life and his playing career from its beginnings at the academy at Le Havre to his glory days at Juventus and Manchester United. There’s lots about his goals of course – especially those amazing volleys, Pogboom! – but other details too, his friendship with Jesse Lingard, his favourite music and yes, his hairstyles. Author and illustrator, who appear throughout in the comic style illustrations, are proper football fans and there’s a real sense of their enthusiasm for their subject. Lively and entertaining, and hugely accessible thanks to the mix of text and illustration, this is another winner in a top-ranked series.
Interest Age 5-8 | From worldwide bestseller Holly Webb comes The Beach Puppy – the adorable story of a puppy’s exciting first trip to the seaside. Well-known for her heart-warming animal stories, Holly’s Barrington Stoke debut is no exception. Featuring gorgeous full-colour illustrations from Ellie Snowdon, The Beach Puppy is a sweet, summery delight for all animal lovers.
Gramps and Grandad were adventurers. They would surf, climb mountains, and tour the country in their amazing camper. But after Gramps died, Granddad hasn’t felt like travelling anymore. So, their granddaughter comes up with a clever plan to help cheer him up... This beautiful picture book honours love and reminds us not only to remember those we have lost, but to celebrate them.
With charming illustrations by Jenny Lovlie, and a perfectly-pitched story-in-rhyme by award-winning Davina Bell, I Love Tractors is a wonderful ode to the joys of finding your thing through books. It will surely strike a special chord with toddlers who know exactly what they’re interested in, and with long-suffering parents who think they’ve heard everything there is to hear about their child’s favourite subject. When Frankie McGee visits the library, his mum despairs when he wants to borrow yet another book about tractors: “There are more than a squillion good books here to try. Why is it always those tractors, Frank, why?!” In response, Frankie enthusiastically proceeds to explain exactly why it’s always tractors. The rhyming text is a work of elegance - the words slip smoothly from the tongue, making it a delight to read aloud, and an enthralling listening experience for little ones, whether you’re reading it as a pre-bedtime treat, or in a classroom context. Oh, and special mention must go to lovely librarian, Miss Squid, who promises to be on hand when Frankie fancies reading about another topic - “When you want something different, just come and find me. A boy who likes books is a nice thing to see.” We’re with you on that, Miss Squid!
There are sure to be hundreds, maybe thousands of books written about the pandemic and its impact, but few will match Outside Inside for insight, power or truthfulness. In 48 pages and less than 500 words, LeUyen Pham manages to describe and explain the events of the last 18 months, how we all moved outside inside (except those who needed to carry on – the doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, hospital porters). The words are beautifully simple; the pictures, a mix of full double page spreads, smaller montages and vignettes, seeming so but full of details, nuance and meaning. In a key moment, a page turn answers the question, ‘So why did we all go inside?’ with, ‘Mostly because everyone knew it was the right thing to do.’ Featuring people from across the globe, it unites us all, no matter how different our lifestyles and, though it’s not afraid to acknowledge loss, it ends on a message of hope: the arrival of spring, inside and outside. A timely, welcome book, composed with immense care and attention.
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