A few favourites from 2022

There have been so many amazing books published this year that I haven’t been able to share because they didn’t fit with any of the weekly themes, so I’m taking the chance to share a few of them over the next two weeks as the year comes to a close.

First up, Gotcha! by Clotilde Perrin is an exquisite fairy tale lift-the-flaps hide-and-seek book from the international bestselling author of Inside the Villains.

“Quick, hide!” Chased by monsters – a hairball, a stinkwart and a creeper – each hairier and stinkier than the one before, a child needs to find shelter in three famous fairytale houses. The Three Little Pigs’ brick home, Sleeping Beauty’s palace and Hansel and Gretel’s gingerbread mansion. Lift the flaps big and small to discover curious places for the child’s best chance to hide. Knock on the door of the Little Pigs’ bathroom, open up Hansel and Gretel’s oven (if you dare!) or see who’s already inside Sleeping Beauty’s stopped clock. The hero of our story has read their story books and knows how to vanquish villains, causing the monsters to flee. This intricately produced large fold-out book is like no other: a celebration of fairy tales and child empowerment that’s full of humor and detail on every page. Over 40 interactive elements to mesmerize children and adults alike.

The Boy Who Grew A Tree by Polly Ho-Yen, illustrated by Sojung Kim-McCarthy is a charming story filled with black and white illustrations, perfect for younger readers looking to move on to chapter books.

Nature-loving Timi is unsettled by the arrival of a new sibling and turns to tending a tree growing in his local library. But there is something magical about the tree and it is growing FAST… and the library is going to close. Can Timi save the library and his tree, and maybe bring his community closer together along the way?

Highly imaginative yet easily relatable, children will be able to empathise with Timi, while immersing themselves in the magic that love, care and friendship can create.

Witty, warm, and wonderful, Wished by Lissa Evans is a true celebration of imagination, friendship and making the most of every moment while you can. I genuinely couldn’t love it more, and was left with a life-affirming, warm, snuggly feeling that comes from having enjoyed a fabulous adventure with friends.

Ed and his sister Roo are faced with the most boring half-term holiday in history: five days spent in the company of their elderly neighbour, Miss Filey, and her ancient, smelly cat. But when they find a box of birthday candles in a cupboard in Miss Filey’s house, their world is changed completely. Because these are no ordinary candles and every single one of them comes with a wish. There’s only one problem: some of those wishes actually belong to someone else…

First impressions, and how wrong they can be, are explored deftly within the story. I loved seeing their relationship with Miss Filey develop, and their opinion of who she is as a person change from first impressions of a strange old lady down the road to someone to enjoy adventures with.

It is not often that we see adults learning big life lessons from children, but Lissa does it brilliantly, and I am sure any reader will be assured that life is for living if only we are brave enough to make that leap, summed up beautifully towards the end of the story: “Because next month, or next year, everything could change, and all the things you thought were average and ordinary and forever might suddenly be difficult, and all the things you thought were difficult might suddenly be impossible…”

Tyger by S.F. Said, illustrated by Dave McKean is a breathtaking adventure that enthralls and entrances the reader whilst asking questions of us at the same time.

Adam has found something incredible in a rubbish dump in London. A mysterious, mythical, magical animal. A TYGER. And the tyger is in danger. Adam and his friend Zadie are determined to help, but it isn’t just the tyger’s life at stake. Their whole world is on the verge of destruction. Can they learn to use their powers before it’s too late?

Taking some of the very worst of our history and combining it into a disturbing dystopian world, this is a story that speaks to the soul, with illustrations that are as important to the storytelling as the words. It’s our world as it could have been had the Empire and the Industrial Revolution continued unchecked – the slavery of foreigners, the dismissal of the poor, and unadulterated greed for power and riches from those in a position to take advantage of their world. I loved the glimpse of our modern reality with the red and white lights speeding by!

This is the book we need in order to show children that dreams of a better future have happened and need to keep happening for everyone to be free from hate purely because of the way they look or what they believe.

 

 

 

 

 

National Non-Fiction November: STEM

It’s our final week celebrating fascinating non-fiction books, and this week I have chosen books that explore each of the STEM topics: science, technology, engineering and maths.

Science is such a broad term and covers a huge range of different fields. Scientist Academy by Steve Martin shows children the essential skills required to start their own scientific journey with this fun and engaging title.

Packed full of great illustrations, fun facts, and absorbing activities, this book guides young readers through different strands of science: Laboratory, Investigative, Space, Earth, and Life. Practical projects, each carefully designed to introduce skills of the sort required by real-life scientists, help kids pick up the basics in a fun, hands-on way. Create a pendulum, investigate a crime scene, uncover some fossils, and study the solar system. The sky’s the limit!

Technology around phones has changed beyond recognition in my lifetime, and the thought of being able to use one to help build a new app is boggling! Become An APP Inventor by Karen Lang and Selim Tezel is perfect for budding coders.

Design, build and share your own apps with the official guide from MIT App Inventor. Follow simple step-by-step instructions for six different projects using MIT’s free App Inventor website, and you can make a maze game, a translation game and even a personalized chat app! Use what you’ve learned to come up with your own ideas, then download your new apps to a phone or table, and share them with friends!

Along the way, you’ll hear stories of young app inventors from all over the world, who are using MIT App Inventor to create amazing apps that solve real-life problems. Learn, invent and change the world!

Engineering has seen massive changes in the way we design, build and operate a whole host of buildings and machines. We can’t fail to notice how HS2 is changing our local area as the UK’s fastest rail network is built.  Locomotion by Alastair Steele and Ryo Takemasa is a stunningly illustrated tribute to all things train,  celebrating the ingenuity and usability of trains past, present and future.

From early steam engines through to the modern high-speed trains of today, Locomotion is a spectacular look at the history of trains throughout the world, and the wonder and escapism they evoke. Packed full of iconic trains including the famous Flying Scotsman and the grand Orient Express as well as encompassing scenic journeys like the majestic Trans-Siberian railwayLocomotion makes a stunning gift or reference book for train lovers of all ages. Beautiful artwork by the award-winning artist Ryo Takemasa, makes this book one that can be enjoyed over and over again.

And finally, Maths is a staple of everyday life as We Use Maths by Kim Hankinson and Jenny Jacoby shows us.

Reveal the hidden maths all around us! People use maths every single day in their jobs, sometimes without realising! From a football coach studying the stats to a chef making sure everyone’s food is ready at the same time, the jobs and occupations at the heart of this super-creative non-fiction read will inspire all children to seek out the everyday maths in the world around us.

Happy reading!

Spanish Culture

Today, Year 3/4 enjoyed a talk from a Warwick University language student, who has recently been on a year abroad. The children learned a little more about what life is like in Spain, including food, music, geography and culture.

 

Energy Awareness Session

Please see below from NEA

Are you worried about your energy bills? Are you pregnant or do you have young children?
If you are, then charity National Energy Action may be able to help you.

We’re inviting parents of young children (or those who are expecting) to attend a FREE online event at 1 – 2:30, Tuesday, 22nd November 2022. We can help you understand your energy bill and how much energy you really use. And, we can help empower you to access all the support available to increase your income and reduce your costs.

At the end of the session there will be a Q&A with National Energy Action advisers Molly Chambers and Shelly McDonald.

This event will be held online via Zoom. To register please visit

https://www.nea.org.uk/events/warm-welcome/?parent=work-with-us/latest-events/

Kind Regards

Free Radio Mission Christmas

Hi all
This year our school will be supporting Mission Christmas with Free Radio
All we ask is you donate a new gift to help ensure every child in Coventry receives a present on Christmas day.
If you can donate a gift,  please send it in with your child and we’ll make a display in the reception area.
If you feel you would benefit from receiving a gift, you can apply to Free Radio using the link below.
Thanks in advance for your support
Mrs Smith

National Non Fiction November: Our Past

This week, we are looking at amazing books about history, the greatest story we can every tell and share. No book can tell us everything that has happened in history, but these books all pick out some of the major events that have shaped the world we live in today.

The History Atlas by Thiago De Moraes

Prepare to embark on a global tour through time. You might want to take a map…

But this is no ordinary atlas. The maps in History Atlas are rich visual extravaganzas, packed with kings, queens, heroes, villains, inventors, artists and explorers.

Travel from Ancient Egypt and Rome to Ethiopia, Russia and China, and meet movers and shakers of world history from Genghis Khan to Martin Luther King. With quirky facts, astonishing characters, humorous details and compelling stories, this is history at its most entertaining.

Tales Of Ancient Worlds by Stefan Milosavljevich, illustrated by Sam Cadwell

What links shipwrecks, Egyptian treasure, and fossilised Viking poo? They’re all things that have been discovered by archaeologists!

Pick up your shovel and Indiana Jones hat and dive into the world of archaeology in this nonfiction kids’ book by YouTuber Stefan Milosavljevich. Alongside beautiful illustrations by Sam Caldwell you’ll find incredible tales from history, including:

• The ancient Egyptian city found at the bottom of the ocean
• The terracotta army that hid underground for 2,000 years
• The mysterious Ice Age temple made from mammoth bones

Along the way you’ll also find out if you have what it takes to be an archaeologist, unearth (literally) groundbreaking scientific techniques, and meet the pioneering women and men who have brought the past back to life

It’s Her Story Series, featuring Rosa Parkes, Rosalind Franklin , Marie Curie and more

These books are special because they are all artfully illustrated and perfectly bridge the gap between picture books and graphic novels, and are part of an expanding series featuring amazing, inspirational women.

Rosa Parks was the courageous thinker and leader known as the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement. Long before the Montgomery Bus Boycott made her famous, she was a social justice activist and organizer. In honor of her work, she received a Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Rosalind Franklin was a British chemist during the 1940s and 1950s, when few women worked in the sciences. During WWII, she expanded our knowledge of the physics of coal and carbon, and later she studied viruses. Her Photo 51 was central to understanding the double-helix structure of DNA, groundbreaking work she was never given credit for in her lifetime.

Marie Curie was the brilliant, trailblazing scientist who discovered radium and coined the term radioactivity. She is the only woman ever awarded two Nobel Prizes–one in physics and one in chemistry. She helped develop the use of X-rays and radiation therapies that have had a lasting impact on medicine and human health.

Big Ideas From History by The School of Life

The present can loom very large in a child’s mind: all the crises and challenges of the modern world can feel overwhelming and at times dispiriting. This book is a big history of the world, from the beginnings of the universe to now, which places the reader at its centre. It encourages them to think about how and why they experience the world as they do and offers a helpful perspective by placing their thoughts and feelings in the context of our history and evolution.

Big Ideas From History is an immense story of what has happened through time that speaks personally and constructively to a growing mind. What might the dinosaurs or the ancient Egyptians, the Aztec warriors or the Enlightenment thinkers of the 18th century tell us that could be interesting and useful to hear now? The insights we need are scattered in time and place, waiting to be discovered.

The book also looks to the future and asks the reader to imagine a world they would like to live in. What might they learn from self-knowledge? How can they grow, develop and create their own place in history? It is a thoughtful and inspiring introduction to the world around us, which encourages the child to engage with themselves and others through history.

Happy reading!