ISBN 1405201304

The simple format and vivid illustrations will appeal to KS1 readers and the central storyline about the loss of a cat is a familiar hook for younger readers. The plot, which takes Tom out into the city, provides plenty of historical details, and the descriptions of the fire as a hunting cat work well to help children understand its power. Reading this story will help children to empathise with characters and events from the past. A time-line and factual information are included at the end of the book but within the text there are also plenty of other historical references which offer other pathways in and out of the text and which add to the texture of the story. National Curriculum links include the DFES History Unit 5 ‘How do we know about the Great Fire of London?’

ISBN 0099256088

This thought provoking story is a challenging read for older key stage one pupils. Shirley Hughes’ illustrations are evocative and magical and will help children to understand the story and empathise with the situation of the central character. Younger children may not understand all the implications of the story, but will relate to Lenny’s feelings of homesickness and isolation. Shirley Hughes’ story creates interesting tensions and will help children consider responses to evacuation as well as the bravery of ordinary people in war time.

ISBN 0862648432

The illustrations of the first part of the story depict the Roman setting and provide plenty of details about every day Roman life. Children will recognise key buildings and settings as well as being able to think about the activities that people pictured in the illustrations are engaged in. The juxtaposition of past, present and future will help children empathise with past by making links with places and events. The appearance of the shoes in museums of the future might also help children consider artefacts as a window on stories and people from the past. A museum visit could further reinforce this idea.

ISBN 0711211841

Meredith Hooper writes in a style that is both authoritative and affecting. Children will delight in discovering new information about parts of the ship. Detail about what life was like life on board a ship at this time, may also help them to begin to understand the kind of commitment of these explorers from the past. The pictures of the Antarctic convey both the wonder and the isolation of the landscape. The postscript offers children new reading pathways to pursue. This picture book will also be of interest to children in KS2 who might extend their reading with books about further voyages of discovery.

ISBN 0099417898

This wonderful book contains language and humour which is beyond the understanding of most key stage one pupils. However it will appeal to some older children within this age group, particularly those reading at NC level 3 as it provides opportunities for pupils to deduce and make inferences about character. The comic strip style means that children can access the story line and some aspects of the humour, which is derived from a literal interpretation of the label ‘Stone Age’ and Ug’s attempts to invent new things using materials better suited to other purposes, through the pictures. As well as providing information about the distant past (children may need support to sift the real from the comic), the book helps children to begin to consider the genesis and growth of many things we take for granted, including language.

ISBN 0099501716

For children, this book offers glimpses of a past civilisation and offers some comparison between now and then. More importantly it shows the powerful link that artefacts and imagination provide between the past and present. It offers children a way of accessing the past and also suggests a respect for past people which will encourage children to empathise with them. This is an interesting book for class discussion as well as group or paired reading. A selection of books about Native American peoples and their lore and traditions could be displayed in the class.

ISBN 0744582083

Like many of the books in the Read and Wonder series, this book offers fantastic opportunities to talk about the choices writers make. The main text draws us along with its compelling rhythm, magical lists, questions, rhymes and half rhymes. It engenders a sense of wonder about the many needs for and uses of string through the ages. This contrasts with the information text in both form and content. Here the children are offered some answers to the many questions. As well as providing some particular historical information about people through the ages and their inventions, this book inspires children to historical enquiry and should make them wonder about the inspirations and origins of other everyday essentials which we take for granted.

ISBN 0670871761

This engaging book perfectly illustrates the child learning about the world. For children reading it, the view through the peep-hole takes starts with a familiar close-up of a baby but as the page is turned, opens into a beautifully detailed illustration of an aspect of 1940s life. There are some specifics which the children may recognise as belonging to a particular era – the airship - and this may also lead children on to finding out more about this period.