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The non fiction books in this section all have a theme of conservation, raising environmental awareness and/or championing green issues.
The latest title in the Changemakers series offers another inspirational collection of 12 real-life stories from across the globe. The author herself set up a company to build bridges between rural communities and the global fashion market and has selected some brilliantly diverse examples here of sustainable enterprises working to improve the world. As in the previous books, each story has a beautifully illustrated double page spread with lively images of busy young people. The layout guides your eyes to the fact boxes and nuggets of information that describe succinctly the problem and how the young person set about changing things. Covering genuinely global topics such as reducing paper waste, period poverty, sustainable farming and green energy through to fashion and healthcare, the examples show that children are making a difference to the future of our world with their resourceful actions. Inevitably the amount of information on each scheme is brief but, at the back of the book, the reader is directed to all the project websites that they can access ‘with the help of an adult’ for more information, which will be useful for teachers and older pupils. They can also find ten suggestions of how they could help to build a more sustainable world and ten ways to be a responsible consumer. This refreshingly positive series strikes just the right note to energise and engage young eco-warriors and will be a useful support to environmental studies.
Prize winning illustrator Mini Grey has used her many talents to create this wonderful tour of the development of our planet and all its inhabitants. Our guide in this amazing show is Rod the Roach and he and his insect pals all put on the most amazing stage show illustrating each of the developmental stages of the world. Where the stages’ wings would be there are side panels packed with information, small illustrations, and useful guides to how life might have been. The orchestra pit is where we can see the tape measure which gives us a timeline with lots of annotations, tiny illustrations and notice of when all the ice ages or warm ages happened. This is a visual delight that will have children poring over it as they look at the amazing planet that we live on. Each double page spread has so much to read and marvel at on it, that children will find it engrossing and informative in equal measures. I can see this being a classroom favourite for many years to come. This reader certainly gained a lot more knowledge about microbes than she had ever thought possible - and in such an entertaining way. The last double page spread is a full glossary of all the unusual and difficult terms that readers may not have come across before. This makes it into so much more than just an illustrated book but into a vital information resource for young readers.
A Story of Hope for Us and Our Planet | Whenever a new story by Michael Morpurgo, the nation’s most beloved storyteller, is published, it’s worth taking note for, as we know, the charm of the tale usually contains a vital and important message. In this wonderful story, told with Sir Michael’s trademark gentleness and empathy, he starts with a ‘conversation’ between himself and a blackbird that starts an idea which one animal passes to another and so travels the world through each animal’s song, whisper, call or cry until the whole of the world is singing together in gladness. It is a delightful whimsy that conceals the truth that everything on the planet is interconnected, that we are all reliant on each other’s place in the natural order of things. In so very few words Sir Michael gently reminds us that we are merely the custodians of our planet and that we are responsible for its preservation, that each and every one of us is a part of this world and needs to care for it. Gloriously illustrated by Emily Gravett, who makes sheep look fun and crocodiles kind, this is truly a book to gladden hearts, young and old alike. ~ Paul Blezard The LoveReading LitFest invited Michael Morpurgo to the festival to talk about his books, A Song of Gladness and the urgent need for us to join together in caring for the planet and every creature in it. The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event and sign up to become a member.
This wonderful picture book explores themes of empathy, mindfulness and personal growth through the eyes of a child. Beautifully written and illustrated by the aw ard-winning artist Emma Carlisle, What Do You See When You Look At a Tree? urges readers to reconnect with nature by asking questions that encourage critical thinking and reflection on their own development, as well as helping to establish a deeper appreciation for the environment and their place within it. Stunning watercolour and hand-finished artw ork draws parallels to the bestselling The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, and evokes the classic nostalgia of E. H. Shephard's much-loved Winnie-the-Pooh.
Rosie Raccoon was up to no good out and about in a grand neighbourhood. It seems Rosie is up to no good as she breaks into the houses of Bear, Flamingo and Snake, but when Officer Skunk catches her in the act all she has taken is junk! But Rosie has a plan to recycle these treasures and make something new. With a topical environmental theme, Lou's fantastic rhyming text and Julia's adorable illustrations, this picture book will be irresistible to young readers.
We are all on Earth but for a fleeting moment, yet no two lives are the same. From the delicate mayfly, which lives for just a few precious hours, to the death-defying immortal jellyfish, this book about animal life cycles is a celebration of creatures big and small. Beautifully written by bestselling children's author Lily Murray, this book explores lifespans across the animal kingdom. Beginning with the very shortest, and ending w ith the longest, learn about the lives of the incredible monarch butterfly, the mysterious axolotl, the grand Galápagos tortoise and many more in this uplifting and eye-opening book. It has never been more important to appreciate and understand the diversity of life. Stunning illustrations by highly-commended artist Jesse Hodgson perfectly capture each animal in their natural habitat, making this the ideal gift book as well as educational.
TV scientist Ben Garrod presents the biggest extinction events ever, told from the point of view of evolution's superstars, the most incredible animals ever to swim, stalk, slither or walk our planet. Whether you're 9 or 90, his unique exploration of the most destructive, yet most creative, force in nature makes top level science fun. Here are the superstars of the story of life, from the super-weird to the super-ferocious. Usually a species has 10 million years or so of evolving, eating, chasing, playing, maybe doing homework, or even going to the moon before it goes extinct. Thylacine was super-hunted. Wiped out by humans. The last wild thylacine was shot in 1930, and the last captive one died in 1936. We humans are the only species with the power to eliminate other species from the story of life. But who are the winners and losers? Collect all eight books about animals we have lost in mass extinctions caused by asteroids or mega-volcanoes, clashing continents and climate change.
Shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2022 | Notes from the Klaus Flugge judges; A small child begins a magical journey on the back of a huge and beautiful baleen whale. Together they sail the oceans, dancing with dolphins, diving through the blue seas and exploring the ocean beds. The judges admired the way the illustrations carry the story “so that you are swimming with the whale”. Padmacandra’s images are full of atmosphere and beautiful to look at.
When Jonas the lighthouse-keeper is rescued from the stormy sea by a whale, they become friends. But soon Blue the whale is in great danger too, and now he needs help from Jonas. This touching love story from world-renowned picture book creator, Barroux, beautifully highlights the urgency of saving our whales and our oceans.
‘What is the most important animal of all?’, asks a teacher of a young class after they’ve spent a term learning about animals big and small. They all have different suggestions. George thinks it’s elephants, Nimmie puts forward bees, Seb votes for sharks and Kai nominates beavers. Others namr bats, tigers and even krill. As they make the case for their chosen animals, the children explain just why they’re so important, describing the effect they have on the environment and fellow creatures. Illustrations are perfectly combined with photos, fact boxes and text to demonstrate just how interconnected is our world and its ecosystems. The book provides a wealth of information presented clearly and in a way that will inspire young readers. The final spreads explain ‘keystone species’ and provide a glossary and ‘Find our more’ section. A very impressive and well-thought-out information book.
From its formation from a fiery rock, to the modern day, Anne Rooney’s The Story of Planet Earth is an exhilarating expedition through our planet’s 4.5 billion-year history, with Margarida Esteves’s rich illustrations further bringing this astounding story to life. Opening with interesting information about the creation myths devised by cultures around the world, readers are then given scientific explanations of the origins of the universe, the formation of Earth, and the early collision that gave our planet a new moon. From here we discover how Earth “settled into its orbit around the Sun, with its companion Moon going around it”, and then the beginning of life — though “scientists are not sure when or how life first started”. After explaining the three fundamental geological stages of Earth (snowball, icehouse and today’s greenhouse state), we then discover more about the likes of tectonic plates, volcanoes, mountains, and the explosion of life that happened 540-million years ago. Packed with facts, this is a great gift for confirmed young scientists. Moreover, the lively text and brilliant design (think fact boxes, clear headings and engaging diagrams) will surely spark an interest in science and geography in those who’ve yet to discover the delights of these subjects.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2022 Information Books 3-14 | Have you ever wondered how a forest gets started? With huge trees growing up close and dense undergrowth covering the ground, their scale is so mighty that it is hard to think that they could ever have been small. Are they man made? Did an enormous giant or a massive business enterprise put them there? In a gentle and elegant story matched by simple, evocative illustrations Who Makes a Forest? helps children explore the multi-faceted ecosystem that sustains the many forests that cover so much of the earth’s surface. From the soil, made from the decay left by tiny clinging plants such as lichen and the insects that feed on them, through the first flowers that grow in that soil and the butterflies and bees and birds that feed off them to the massive trees and shrubs that we see today all stages of forest growth are covered. The book ends with 5 pages of useful facts about forests.
Imbued with infectious personal passion as it shares expert information and plenty of practical guidance, Vicki Hird’s Rebugging the Planet is a brilliant book for bug-lovers of all ages and, given bugs’ vital importance to the upkeep and well-being of Planet Earth (let’s pause for a moment to acknowledge the fact that bees contribute more to the UK economy than the Queen), it deserves to be enjoyed and implemented far and wide - at home, and in classrooms too. In fact, this is perfect for reading and implementing during longer holidays from school, or over the course of a term, especially chapter four which presents an extensive range of how-to ideas for re-bugging your own patch of the world. But back to the beginning. The book sets out its inspirational stall in the opening chapters by explaining all the vital things bugs do for us, among them pollinating plants, feeding birds, feeding humans, defending our food crops, cleaning our water, controlling pests, and healing us. Maggots, for example, can remove (munch) and disinfect rotting flesh, leeches can stop clots, and the honey made by bees has anti-inflammatory properties. To play a role in the author’s re-bugging initiative, readers might find themselves inspired to build a bug palace, buy bug-friendly food from bug-buddy farmers, and much more. This is packed with plenty of ways to live a bug-better life, which in turn means living on a better planet.
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.
December 2021 Non-fiction Book of the Month | ‘What is the most important animal of all?’, asks a teacher of a young class after they’ve spent a term learning about animals big and small. They all have different suggestions. George thinks it’s elephants, Nimmie puts forward bees, Seb votes for sharks and Kai nominates beavers. Others namr bats, tigers and even krill. As they make the case for their chosen animals, the children explain just why they’re so important, describing the effect they have on the environment and fellow creatures. Illustrations are perfectly combined with photos, fact boxes and text to demonstrate just how interconnected is our world and its ecosystems. The book provides a wealth of information presented clearly and in a way that will inspire young readers. The final spreads explain ‘keystone species’ and provide a glossary and ‘Find our more’ section. A very impressive and well-thought-out information book.
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