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How? Why? When? What? And Where? Kids are fascinated with the world around them and are like sponges ready to absorb details and statistics - and take great pleasure in remembering all sorts of wonderful and weird facts! This section picks a selection of non-fiction titles - we also have specialist collections on all sorts of subjects including History, Music, Science, Space, People & Places and much more!
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2022 Information Books 3-14 | September 2020 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | This is a non-fiction book with a difference! Using his amazing ‘tranimalator’ machine, which, he tells us, translates animals’ sounds into words, author Andy Seed ‘interviews’ a horde or scary animals, including a tiger, a fierce honey badger and a snow leopard. He asks them some really interesting questions too and we learn all sorts of things – why humans are scared of wolves, how a massive animal like a giant anteater survives eating teeny little insects, what lionesses think of male lions (not much actually!). It’s quirky and lots of fun – some of these animal celebs have wicked senses of humour – but genuinely informative (I had no idea that jaguars eat caimans, or that giant armadillos build new dens every couple of days, or that sloths have mould growing on them!). It reminds us how many of these animals are threatened too and what we can do to help. The illustrations match the tone and it’s bright and engaging throughout. This is a book that children will be keen to share and to return to.
Over 90 non-fiction activities for children | Having reviewed and enjoyed Creative Writing Skills last year, I was excited at the thought of another book by Lexi Rees. Wicked Writing Skills, as with its predecessor, is a book packed with original ideas for busy teachers. It is clear and concise, and it is easy to dip in and out of the extremely creative chapters. As an English teacher, I am a firm believer in mixed ability classes and lessons that can be differentiated happily and successfully. This book achieves this so well as the ideas are varied, clearly laid out and interesting, with enough stimulus to appeal to the reluctant, and enough thought provoking phrases to appeal to the most eloquent and able. The layout is fun and eye-catching, with helpful hints from the author, dotted throughout. The author’s obvious enjoyment in writing this book, certainly shines through. I like the variety of ideas, from debates and newspaper articles, to instruction and diary writing. It is a book packed with ideas and inspiration. This is a super resource for the classroom or as a 'home school' resource. The diversity of the material allows you to dip in and out throughout the term, using the pages as and when appropriate. I also found that as many of the themes were quite broad, they can easily be adapted to link in with an ongoing theme in the classroom. The layout of the pages makes it quick and easy to photocopy and a great addition to the Creative Writing shelf.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2022 Information Books 3-14 | Modern Art Explorer is a witty and brilliantly illustrated introduction to modern art for children that takes readers undercover to discover the stories behind thirty famous artworks from the Centre Pompidou's collection in Paris. Modern art has never seemed so exciting!
Winner of the Blue Peter Book Awards 2021, Best Book with Facts | A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu and You is packed with facts, laughs and amazing illustrations you can dive into all day long. Meet your grumpy liver that has to do practically EVERYTHING; your trusty hands that are very, well, handy; the spiky porcupines ready to charge; lonely Mars rovers abandoned on the Red Planet; raging tornadoes ready to rip through the pages of the book and bubbly volcanoes ready to blow. All entries are told in the fun, friendly and informative style of Mike Barfield, and are brought to life by the colour-explosion of Jess Bradley's awesome illustrations.
Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2021, Best Book with Facts | This highly-illustrated reference book celebrates the incredible achievements of various ancient civilisations, exploring their lifestyles, discoveries and inventions, many of which have influenced modern-day society. A brief introduction outlines how humans evolved from apes several million years ago, and explains that homo sapiens, who originated in Africa, are the only species of human alive today. Maps on each page help children to visualise the location of the different civilisations, while a useful timeline at the end places them together in chronological order. Stylish, full-page illustrations provide a colourful and informative backdrop to the wealth of facts contained within this marvellous book.
Your Tour of the Universe | Armed with the maps in this large-format, attractively illustrated book, young readers can embark on a tour of our solar system, discovering a wealth of information along the way. It opens with a series of maps of the night skies, demonstrating how their appearance differs depending on where the viewer is, and at what time. It also provides an equatorial map of the sky and illustrates the way different cultures mapped what they could see, comparing the outline created by the ancient Greeks with that drawn up by those in ancient China and the San in South Africa too. Thoroughly inspired, their interest piqued, readers can then explore the Milky Way, the sun and the planets in our solar system and even go beyond that, with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope. Some of the most fascinating and beautiful pages provide close ups of the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Crab Nebula, Tommaso Vidus Rosin’s illustrations photographic in their detail but rich too with a sense of awe and wonder. It concludes with a section on humans in space, from first steps on the moon to the International Space Station. Perhaps some of the young people who will read and be inspired by this mind-expanding book will be travellers in space one day too.
Rob Ramsden is an exciting new arrival on the picture book scene and We Planted a Pumpkin is a really lovely book, just the thing to get young children excited about nature, eager to plant seeds and see them grow. It stars two very young gardeners and follows them through the process of planting a pumpkin seed, from watching and impatiently waiting for it to grow as the seasons change. The children bring liveliness and action to every scene, but there’s always lots going on – new shoots appearing, mini-beasts flying in and out. Though it feels beautifully simple, it’s actually chockful of information and opportunities for learning. A gorgeous book to share with the young and likely to be the start of many adventures in the garden.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2020 | Emotionally rich and full of the kind of questions that need discussing and answering, Britta Teckentrup’s beautiful picture book explores the complicated relationships and emotions that are commonplace for every child in any school. The soft focus illustrations capture the different moods of the characters perfectly and are well- supported by brief stories which provide some background which, in turn, throws up a raft of questions: Why are some children bullied? Why does no one stand up for them? How can it be right that a teacher can put a student off a subject by being mean to them? How can you help someone who is lonely? Why do some children exert power over others? Children will enjoy this on their own but it will work best as a spur for important conversations.
September 2020 Book of the Month | Viking voyagers. Arctic adventurers. Female fossil-hunters. A professional pirate queen - this inspirational encyclopaedia is a feast of facts for inquisitive 5+ year-olds. Divided into sections covering explorers and discoverers, scientists and inventors, trailblazers and pioneers, builders, creators and thinkers, and daredevils and risk-takers, this covers all corners of the globe through history. What’s more, the appealing visuals (a mix of photos, drawings and funky graphics) draw young readers in and will surely spark plenty of off-the-page exploring. There’s excellent coverage of inspirational female and BAME trailblazers, from 16-year-old Idris Galcia Welsh who embarked on an epic round-the-world driving trip in 1922, to Emily Roebling, who completed the construction of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge in the late 1800s. Then there’s Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist and political activist who risked her life helping slaves flee their owners, and dare-devil pilot Bessie Coleman, who made history when she became the first African American – male or female – to gain a pilot’s licence in 1921. All in all, this is a great gift that will keep on giving.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2022 Information Books 3-14 | From architecture to engineering (and other STEM subjects!), scale new heights on an enchanting journey with the school children in this book to discover answers to these questions along with other fascinating facts about bridges and how they work.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2022 Information Books 3-14 | Winner of a 2020 Creative Play Award (Books for Children 6+ category) | In the UK alone, over a million tonnes of clothes are thrown away each year and around GBP140 million worth of clothes head to landfill. Learn how to love your clothes by reusing, swapping and mending what you already have and discover how to choose wisely when you do buy something new. This practical, positive and empowering book will open eyes to the impact our clothing choices have on people and the planet and empower children to demand answers to questions and take action.
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