Non-Fiction November: Our World

This week, for National Non-Fiction November, I’ve chosen books that celebrate our world and are perfect for curious geographers and explorers.

Where In The World Are You? by Marie G. Rhonde

Where are you in the world? Can you imagine what your home would look like if you saw it from above and zoomed out further, and further, and further…? Join the mischievous pet cat on a journey of discovery that encourages young readers to think about their place in the world. Inspired by the feeling of being trapped inside and imagining the world beyond during the worldwide lockdowns, this enjoyable picture book reminds us that even when we are apart, we are all connected. The world keeps turning, a cat keeps purring and children will find their happy place in the world.

Earth Is Big: A Book Of Comparisons by Steve Tomecek, illustrated by Marcos Farina

Earth is big, compared to a frog. Earth is small, when it’s hiding in a galaxy.

And that’s not all. Earth is wet and dry, hot and cold, round and jagged, fast and slow. You get the idea. It depends how you look at it! Get to know our planet in a whole new way by comparing it to a huge variety of other incredible things – from tiny particles to giant star clusters. Did you know soap bubbles are some of the roundest objects in the universe? Or that we humans are totally outnumbered by chickens? Or that the driest desert on Earth isn’t scorching but freezing? Tour some of the most extreme places on the planet and beyond it, take a look at life forms from bacteria to elephants to redwood trees and explore what makes our planet the perfect home for us.

You’ll never see Earth the same way again!


 Amazing Islands by Sabrina Weiss, illustrated by Kerry Hyndman

Get ready to embark on a breath-taking tour of over 100 islands found all around the world!

Discover over 100 of the planet’s most magical islands their wildlife, history, diversity, people, cultures, treasures and more in this beautifully illustrated book. From islands that have been taken over by animals to disappearing islands, islands made of shells, artificial islands and even islands that were once prison colonies, this book takes you on an exciting tour of some of the smallest land masses in the world.

The book also includes a world map, which plots all the islands found in the book, plus fold out flaps with engaging lists of island facts, including the top 10 biggest and 10 smallest inhabited islands in the world.

Join author Sabrina Weiss and Blue Peter Award-winning illustrator Kerry Hyndman in this fact-filled celebration of some of the most Amazing Islands on Earth!

Explorers: Amazing Tales Of The World’s Greatest Adventurers by Nellie Huang, illustrated by Jessamy Hawke 

Live and see the world through the eyes of 50 of the world’s greatest explorers and their trusty companions!

This book for kids is brimming with first-person accounts of gripping adventures in explorers’ own words. Find exciting tales complemented by rare maps, specially commissioned photographs, and artworks that re-create history’s greatest expeditions. Get ready to take a leap into the unknown…

An adventure book that will surely rival even the most thrilling adventure movies! You’ll meet some of the most famous explorers and adventurers of all time in this exciting non-fiction storybook for children.

Great explorers have one thing in common – a desire to leap into the unknown, no matter the dangers it presents. This book will take you through Ferdinand Magellan’s first circumnavigation of the world 500 years ago to Barbara Hillary’s treks to the North and South poles while in her seventies, and beyond. This knowledge book documents the stories of men and women who rewrote our understanding of the world and inspired us by pushing the boundaries of human capability.

And finally, as it is Remembrance Day, I couldn’t let this week pass without sharing Please Write Soon by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Michael Foreman.  

Inspired by a true family story, Michael Rosen presents an astonishing account of perseverance, love and hope in wartime.  With breathtaking illustrations by beloved illustrator Michael Foreman, this is an unforgettable story of courage and love, perfect for the whole family to share.

Beginning in 1939, young Solly in London exchanges letters with his teenaged cousin, Bernie, in Poland. While Solly is evacuated and tries his best to adjust to life in the English countryside, Bernie’s parents know that as Jews they’re not safe staying in Warsaw, so they send Bernie to the Russian-occupied side of the country in the hope that he’ll be safer there. Soon, though, he is arrested and sent off to a forced labour camp in Russia. As the cousins exchange sporadic letters, they try to keep their spirits up, trading jokes and observations about the world changing all around them. Then Bernie seizes the opportunity to join the “Anders Army” and fight the Axis powers, and tells Solly all about his experiences in Iraq and eventually Italy, where he fights alongside the British at the famous Battle of Monte Cassino. Does Bernie survive and find a safe place to call home?

Happy reading!


Non-Fiction November: Words and Language

Without words, we wouldn’t have many of the books we love, whether fiction or non-fiction, so this week’s choices all celebrate words and language.

Britannica’s Word Of The Day

Become a word virtuoso in just one year with 366 zany words aimed to impress. This charmingly illustrated book features captivating words selected by the masterminds at Britannica to highlight the best of the English language.

Follow a menagerie of animals as they teach one new word for each day of the year, including a pronunciation guide, definition, sample sentence and interesting trivia about the word’s usage or etymology. Each month concludes with an outlandish story that features all the new words learned.

Today’s word is: erratic

Literally by Patrick Skipworth and Nicholas Stevenson

A feast for the mind, Literally is a mesmerizing journey around the world, old and new simultaneously, as we discover the origins of words and how their meanings have changed over time.

The stunning illustrations cleverly combine both original and current meanings of each word, capturing where the word originated from. Who knew that Caribou originally meant snow shoveller in  Mi’kmaq (an indigenous language of eastern Canada)? And when you see them nosing through the snow for food, their name makes perfect sense!

The linguistic diversity through the words chosen show just how far and wide the language we use has been influenced by the rest of the world. The map at the end shows in fascinating detail the language families spoken around the world, and the extent of their spread, or demise, is clear to see. A fabulous non-fiction browser that is sure to ignite the budding etymologist in anyone who reads it.

Journeys In Creative Writing by Rudi Haig, illustrated by Kim Hankinson

See how far your imagination will take you! Guide Ms. Adjective and Fluffy the dog through the Land of Creative Writing. There are 18 inventive landscapes buzzing with storytelling potential. Read the story openers then tackle the challenge using the fab fivers and top tips on each page. At the end of the book, you will have created your own unique story based in this fantastical world. And then you can do it all over again for a different outcome! A must for budding authors to channel their creativity.

The Hanmoji Handbook by Jason Li, An Xiao Mina and Jennifer 8. Lee

Learn Chinese with a new twist! This full-colour illustrated handbook introduces and explains Han characters and idioms through the language of emoji.

Even though their dates of origin are millennia apart, the languages of Chinese and emoji share similarities that the average smartphone user might find surprising.

These “hanmoji” parallels offer an exciting new way to learn Chinese – and a fascinating window into the evolution of Chinese Han characters. Packed with fun illustrations and engaging descriptions, The Hanmoji Handbook is entertaining, accessible and educational – as well as a quirky, visual gift book.

Support Group

Stoke Heath Family Centre is delivering the Freedom Programme from Monday 7th November 9am-11am.  This is a women only group for survivors of DA.

Each session is a stand-alone session so women can dip in and out as they choose.

If you would like to be referred to attend, please contact Mrs Smith at the school.

Remembrance Day

As we approach November, the children have been busy created poppies and writing poems to mark Remembrance Day. The children’s learning is up on display at Cannon Park Shopping Centre. Please do pop in to take a look at the fantastic display.

Support for Clothing

Coventry Clothing is a charity in Coventry which supports anyone in need of clothes, shoes, trainers wellies etc.  Their aim is to work in partnership with schools to ensure all children in Coventry have the uniform they need.

Research has shown that a lack of school uniform is a significant barrier to learning and school attendance.

At Cannon Park, we do still have our uniform bank in the foyer, and are happy to accept donations, but if there is anything you need and not there, please follow the link below to find details of this charity.

If you need support with this, I can also refer you to this service.

As ever, please let us know if we can support your family in any way.

Mrs Smith