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Geography is the study of Earth's landscapes, peoples, places, and environments and helps us to understand the world in which we live.
October 2021 Book of the Month | It’s a big world out there and when you’re little it’s difficult to know where to start. The World Book makes it easy. It's a fantastic resource for young minds to get their heads around the customs, symbols, histories and … well, identities of the 199 countries explored within. The Contents page is sub-titled “Where do you want to go today?”, and that’s just what you do - pick a country, head to the page, and within ten minutes you’ve very easily built an accurate picture of a faraway place that one day you may just be lucky enough to visit. You couldn’t give a book such a big title as this without making it a substantial thing to hold. The World Book doesn’t disappoint and is reminiscent of some of the hefty picture atlases that used to lie around my house when I was a kid. There is a little mapping but more helpful are the abundant colourful illustrations that portray each nation. Dig a little deeper and the detailed short paragraphs that zoom in on particular facts and figures provide substance to the uniqueness of the place. The book is very accessible and punchy and I particularly liked its sense of equality and the way in which it is not dominated by the bigger nations. Sierra Leone, for example, enjoys as much space as Greece, and there is as much to learn about Canada as there is the USA. The World Book is a triumph in how it neatly and simply explains the world - even to an oldie like me! It seems there are still countries out there I’ve never even heard of...
Yuval Zommer’s enchanting picture book conjuration of the majesty of the northern lights and Arctic landscape is a seasonal delight that little ones will want to return to time and time again. Both the poetic text and magically stylised illustrations are mesmerising. This is a beautiful book to read aloud to share the wonders of the northern lights, and also a book children will adore poring over in their own time, delighting in the illustrative details while reciting the beguiling text. Much like the lights it describes, Zommer’s language dances - it skips off the page and over the tongue. The story is also suffused in a sense of light-through-darkness hope and togetherness. With subtle sparkles on its cover providing additional seasonal appeal, this is an utter joy.
The Editor at Nosy Crow says: "This stunning book is packed full of inspirational activities that any family can enjoy. A seasonal structure means that there’s always something to do – from recipes to crafts to gardening – at every time of year, while beautiful illustrations and a vibrant text make this is a book to be treasured for years to come.”
Wonder: The Natural History Museum Poetry Book is a beautiful gift hardback collection of poetry with poems inspired by The Natural History Museum. It covers everything from the depths of space to the very centre of the earth - there are poems about the solar system, planet earth, oceans and rivers, birds, dinosaurs, fossils, wildlife, flowers, fungi, insects, explorers and palaeontologists. This fantastic collection speaks of the wonder of nature and shows us why we need to look after our incredible planet.
July 2021 Book of the Month | The Ordnance Survey Kids’ Adventure Book is an inspiration, guide and introduction to map-reading and navigation that will give both competence and confidence to young explorers. Ever since I was a kid, looking at a map has been imagining an adventure. Learning the symbols, colours, abbreviations, lines, dashes and fonts that illustrate an Ordnance Survey map is like cracking a secret code that makes it possible to visualise what is around and beyond. In this new Kids’ Adventure Book, OS has made the learning even more fun - packed cover to cover with puzzles, quizzes and tips that will keep the young adventurer in your family (and you!) entertained for days. Then, once they are ready to step out on their first expedition, the book also provides everything they need to know about how best to prepare, deal with difficult weather, injuries - and even where they might go in Britain and what to do if they get lost! Perfect to equip curious kids aged 8+ with the confidence and skills to explore the outdoors and get adventurous. Kids who love the outdoors will find more inspiration in our collection, A World of Adventure.
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.
'I'm Proud of Who I Am: I Hope You Are Too' is a series of 15 books by Barbara Woster, for young readers of eight to 12 years. They take the format of a one page 'letter' from a young inhabitant of a country, region or state somewhere in the world, in which they describe unique facts about where they live and share their hopes and aspirations for the future. In Book 5, for example, the areas covered range from Aruba to Wyoming, Japan to Venezuela and each 'letter' is accompanied by an artistic impression of the contributor superimposed on an actual image or images of things that have been described. I particularly liked and related to the page from Izan, a Spanish teenager, who describes the tradition of eating one grape on each of the 12 strokes of midnight on New Year's Eve (which I've tried and failed to do myself!) and La Tomatina, the late August festival of throwing tomatoes at other people, which has always fascinated me. I was very surprised to learn that it only began in 1945. The accompanying picture of the festival and Izan's image also contains a photo of a vet treating a dog, which is his ambition. This book is very interesting and informative but not one to read cover to cover, rather it is insightful, sympathetic and well researched and ideal for reference. It succeeds in it's aim to illustrate that all the differences in the world cannot outweigh our common humanity. Drena Irish, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2021 | Packed full of illustrations, exciting experiments - and even comic strips - That's Life! encourages young scientists to start looking for the living things around them. Life is everywhere on planet Earth. Jungles, deserts, seas, plains, fields and forests - all of them teem with life but, amazingly, you can also find lots of living things hidden in your home, and even hidden inside you!
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2022 Information Books 3-14 | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2021 | Until approximately 100 years ago wolves had roamed freely in Yellowstone Park and their existence had shaped the eco-system of that vast expanse of wilderness. But, over the years, hunters killed off the wolves and everything in Yellowstone Park began to change. Elk took over the valleys eating everything they could so many plant species disappeared, bears went hungry and many of the familiar birds flew away. Yellow stone Park was changed! A plan was hatched to put wolves back into the habit making sure that their arrival would only do good. It was complex and daring but, once it had been carried off, fourteen wolves began a new life and the ecology of Yellowstone Park began to change again… Catherine Barr tells most of the story as narrative non-fiction which brings the environment and the animals vividly to life. Further facts are added in an additional, fact-filled section. Jenni Desmond’s illustrations evoke the wild and mysterious background of Yellowstone Park perfectly.
Filled with breath-taking double-page spreads, this beautiful picture book not only encourages children to stretch, uncurl and spread wide like a tree, it demonstrates how very similar we are (Your skin is bark/protecting what’s within), and shows how our good health is mutually dependant. Glowing illustrations depict a variety of trees, viewed from different angles and perspectives, but always centre stage while human beings, often tiny in comparison, walk or play underneath or climb the branches. The text doesn’t say it outright – it doesn’t need to – but this is a depiction of the world as it should be, one of harmony and community, where we are all reaching for the sun. There’s so much to enjoy and so much to wonder at and learn; the final pages feature facts and information about trees, their anatomy as well as what you can do to help them, and instruct readers too on how to be a tree in their community. This is one of those books that makes you see the world differently.
50 Things to See and Discover | Beautifully presented, packed with puns, and shot-through with an environmental ethos, Heather Buttivant’s Beach Explorer is the perfect companion for days at the beach, with fifty activities and oceans of facts that are sure to inspire and astound children and adults alike. Highlights of the practical projects include finding fossils, starfish bums and mermaid purses (yes, you read that right!), and the step-by-step instructions for pressing seaweed and making your own plankton net. What’s more, alongside all the “how to make and find” activities, Beach Explorer is packed with facts that are sure to enliven even the most dedicated of beach bums, from finding out about the world’s largest poo (which, by the way, is the “bright-orange rancid-smelling poo” of the mighty blue whale), to discovering how fish camouflage themselves. The book ends with an excellent chapter on how to “Be a Wildlife Champion” that highlights how “humans are creating environmental problems”. Importantly, the author shares lots of ways young eco-minded explorers can help combat these problems through the likes of picking litter and planning climate-friendly beach trips.
Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2021 | Hike is a book in which dreams become memories through adventure. It’s a wordless, wonderfully illustrated story of a boy and his father stepping out into wilderness for the day. My own memories of favourite walks with my father are very often just fleeting moments, lasting impressions and scenes which have somehow stayed with me and have no doubt gained colour over the years. Hike is a story about love. Love for the world, love for nature and love for family. Pete Oswald has portrayed adventure in a way that will inspire children and evoke happy memories for their parents.
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