This weeks Friday Library Recommendations are all on the theme chosen by Year 6 – The Great Outdoors! Here is a selection of fiction and non-fiction highlighting the wonderful world around us.
Unplugged by Steve Antony
A delightful picture book about the fun you can have when you unplug yourself and get outside! From the author of the much-loved Mr Panda series. Blip spends all day plugged into her computer, playing games and having fun. But when there’s a power cut, Blip goes down the stairs and out the front door, where she discovers playing games and having fun… outside! Isn’t it wonderful to be unplugged? This simple story is perfect for families trying to strike the right balance between screen time and outdoor play.
My Big Book Of Outdoors by Tim Hopwood
Discover the great outdoors with this beautifully illustrated treasury that celebrates the wonder of nature in four glorious seasons. From vibrant springtime flowers to sweet fruits on summer trees, the falling of autumn leaves and snowdrops in winter, this book of four seasons is the perfect introduction to the big outdoors. Discover why birds fly south in winter, find animal footprints in the snow and learn to make the perfect snowflake; grow a sunflower, find a feather and make a daisy chain. Full of activities, poetry and fun facts to explore, this bumper book is jam-packed with amazing things to see and do outdoors – the perfect gift for every season.
Wild Child: A Journey Through Nature by Dara McAnulty
Wild Child: A Journey Through Nature is a beautiful book, illustrated in full colour by Barry Falls, and divided into five sections: looking out of the window, venturing out into the garden, walking in the woods, investigating heathland and wandering on the river bank. Dara pauses to tell you about each habitat and provides fantastic facts about the native birds, animals and plants you will find there – including wrens, blackbirds, butterflies, tadpoles, bluebells, bees, hen harriers, otters, dandelions, oak trees and many more. Each section contains a discovery section where you will have a closer look at natural phenomenon such as metamorphoses and migration, learn about categorization in the animal kingdom or become an expert on the collective nouns for birds, and finishes with an activity to do when you get home: plant wild flowers, make a bird feeder, try pond dipping, make a journey stick and build a terrarium. Dara ends the book with advice for young conservationists.
Zo And The Forest Of Secrets by Alake Pilgrim
Sci-fi meets myth in this heart-stopping race for survival in the Trinidadian forests. When Zo decides to run away from home, she isn’t scared; after all, she knows the island like the back of her hand. But, as she journeys through the once-familiar forest, terrifying creatures and warped visions begin to emerge. With a beast on her heels and a lost boy thrown into her path, could a mysterious abandoned facility hold answers? Zo must unravel the secrets of the forest before she is lost in them forever…
Not for the faint-hearted, this is a nail-biting thriller that doesn’t let up from them moment Zo strikes out on her own, and I cannot wait for the second book in this duology to answer the questions pinging around my head!
The Rewilders by Lindsay Littleson
Esme is annoyed and braced for boredom when she’s sent to stay with her gran for the weekend, until she discovers a terrible mistake. Cora, the abandoned kitten Gran found on the Rothiecraig Estate, is in fact a wild lynx kit and she is growing—fast! Suddenly, Esme find herself on a dangerous mission to rewild Cora, along with Callum Docherty for company, the school’s ‘bad boy’, and Shug, the worst guard dog in the world. The situation takes a terrifying turn when the children pitch their tents on a bleak Highland moor and hear wolves howling outside…
The Rewilders is such a captivating, immersive and thought provoking read. I felt as if I was walking the moors with Esme and Callum on their mission to rewild Cora. Told from both Esme and Callum’s perspectives we really get to know the two children on their journey. Without spoilers, there were two moments in the book that I read with wide eyed wonder and a hint of jealousy. This is a celebration of our natural world, a reminder of the delicate balance of ecosystems, and that we must take responsibility for looking after the world we live in before we damage it beyond repair. For those not sure of the Scottish dialect, there is a glossary at the end of the story, which came in handy as I had no idea what gowping meant!
Rewilding by David A. Steen, illustrated by Chiara Fedele
Discover inspiring stories of wildlife brought back from the brink of extinction in this kids’ non-fiction book about animals and the environment. Rewilding means returning animals or plants to places where they used to live. In this book, acclaimed conservation biologist and science communicator David A. Steen introduces children to the scientists determined to turn back the hands of time to create a greener future. Read about awe-inspiring rewilding projects, including:
• The wolves that returned to Yellowstone National Park and dramatically improved the ecosystem
• The beavers reintroduced to their old territories to build dams to stop them flooding
• The Galápagos giant tortoises who beat the odds to survive extinction and return to their island home
Throughout the heartwarming true stories, beautifully illustrated by award-winning artist Chiara Fedele, children will learn how different species evolved to live side by side and will see what it takes to be a conservation scientist. They might even be inspired to become a wildlife activist themselves! By the end of the book kids will be left with a key message: it’s not too late to fix the planet.
Tidy by Emily Gravett
A very funny rhyming woodland story about the perils of being too tidy. Pete the badger likes everything to be neat and tidy at all times, but what starts as the collecting of one fallen leaf escalates and ends with the complete destruction of the forest! Will Pete realise the error of his ways and set things right? Lush foliage and delightful characters abound in this cautionary tale of overenthusiastic neatness that delivers its message of environmental preservation with subtlety and humour. The freshness of the illustrations and the many comic details make this a very special book. Once you enter this forest, you’ll never want to leave.