NEW TITLES

The Magic Bojabi Tree
Dianne Hofmeyr

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847802958

This is a truly delightful book about a group of animals who come across a magic tree covered in red, ripe fruit smelling of sweetest mangoes, fat as melons, juicy as pomegranates. But beneath the succulent fruit lies a python, coiled around the trunk. Only when they say the name of the tree will it release its grasp. There is but one animal who knows the name, the king of the jungle. In turn, the animals of the African Plane each go and ask the lion the name of the tree, return and try to remember; but who will succeed? And how? This is an enchanting book that lends itself well to Key stage one study of stories from other cultures. The repetitive structure provides perfect opportunity for retell and for an chance to change the story and create a different magic tree. The rhythm, rhyme and simple poetic verse at the end would entice children into having a go at simple poetry. Through the playful illustrations we get a glimpse of the landscape and colours of the African plane, stimulating children to find out more about the environment, plants and animals that live in Africa. Ages 5+ / Picture book format / Reviewed by Louise Gahan, KS1 teacher

The Magic Bojabi Tree
Snail Trail
Jo Saxton

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847804235

Snail Trail follows a snail's trail as he slides past eight modern paintings. Snail is seeking the picture that an artist painted of him and as we journey past each of the modern paintings, he comments on what he sees. The pictures include Jackson Pollock's Number 20, Picasso's Maya in a Sailor Suit and Henri Matisse's Goldfish and ends with Matisse's The Snail. This creates a wonderful framework for children going on their own 'snail trail' of art images. This could involve children selecting and talking about one modern image that has caught their eye, or they could recreate their own 'snail trails' using images cut up for them to choose. Or you could take a large picture, cut it up and discuss the parts of the picture before trying to put it back together again. This kind of activity will help children as 'reviewers', to be confident in their own judgement and preferences; we all like different things and that's okay. At Reception level, children could also be encouraged to choose pictures they like from some pre-cut images to create their own 'journey' of things they like to look at. Ages 5+ / Picture book format / Reviewed by Louise Gahan, KS1 teacher

Snail Trail

ISBN 9781408330029

What a fabulous combination of talent in one book! Best- selling Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) together with the Caldecott Medal winner and current Greenaway Medal shortlisted illustrator John Klassen. If that is not enough for you there is an audiobook read by Neil Gaiman available in the US. The trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgiRc3CytPM gives you a small sample of just what a delicious experience that will be! His mellifluous tones really emphasise the spare beauty of the language in a story which tackles head on the universal fear of the dark and which encourages all of us to face up to our fears. The artwork marries perfectly with the text and is a masterclass in the use of light, shade and perspective. We continually see things from different angles, in dramatic close up or from a scary distance and the action moves through the pages in an almost filmic sequence. Never has a black been so deeply and evocatively black nor light more warm and welcome. This is a philosophical and thought provoking book too, for it shows us that without dark we would not know what light is. This is of course perfect material for Light and Dark topics, but will be treasured for its mesmerising tension and empowering message. Reviewed by Joy Court, School Librarian Services

ISBN 9781847800190

This is a book about one girl's life. The life of Beatrice; a 13-year-old orphan in Kibera, Nairobi. It is a simple, honest portrayal of her life. It explores the very simplest routines of everyday life; her walk to school, the need to wash the mud from her shoes and her sense of fear and her worries. This book provides a perfect platform to explore other cultures, through non-fiction narrative; allowing children to compare and contrast different lifestyles in their writing. Children in KS1 (5+) could keep a diary, older children a journal, detailing key elements of their daily routines and with reference to time. This would book would also provide a perfect introduction into the exploration of materials and their properties, encouraging further exploration and understanding of houses and homes. Younger children could develop their learning further by building dens and making junk model houses. Older children through Design and technology by using different materials to build model houses at home and around the world. Through Beatrice, children can also develop awareness of her needs, how they differ from us and why this is. How and what we can do to make a difference. A perfect book to complement those special days in school like Red Nose Day and Children in Need.

The Case of the Stolen Sixpence
Holly Webb

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847153715

The Case of the Stolen Sixpence is the first title in a new Victorian crime series featuring aspiring detective Maisie Hitchins. The series is written by Holly Webb who is well known for her animal stories and illustrated with black and white illustrations by Marion Lindsay. The story ties in with Victorians in the History Curriculum and the reader should learn much about various aspects of life in Victorian London and the hardships many Victorians had to suffer. Maisie lives in London in her grandmother's boarding house, where life is rather dull. She dreams of following in the footsteps of her hero, the famous detective Gilbert Carrington, and finally gets her chance when she rescues and adopts an abandoned puppy. Planning to track down the puppy's cruel former owner, Maisie soon finds herself entangled in the mystery of the stolen sixpence. The plot moves along at a good pace from the start and, with some unexpected twists, holds the readers interest throughout. There are also a few humorous pieces which add to the overall enjoyment of the story, for example when Maisie goes out in disguise as a little old lady. The characters are well drawn and Eddie the adorable little puppy is a lovely addition. Although the main character is a girl who features prominently on the front cover, this story should appeal to boys and girls alike. Other titles in the Maisie Hitchins series are The Case of the Vanishing Emerald and The Case of the Phantom Cat. Ages 7+ / 176 pages / Reviewed by Valerie Christie, librarian.

The Case of the Stolen Sixpence
You, Me and Thing 4: The Mummy That Went Moo
Karen McCombie

Faber & Faber

ISBN 9780571272631

The You, Me and Thing books - there are now four in the series - are a treat for both boy and girl readers. As well as a strong environmental theme - 'Thing' lost his home when the local wood was cut down to make room for houses - the stories feature some great boy/girl teamwork and bundles of trouble in the form of 'Thing', the star of the books who is small, furry and has wings but can't fly. Thing also spits out sparks of magic and no one ever knows what effect they are going to have.... As well as the adventures in each story, which generally involve keeping Thing out of mischief, the series emphasis teamwork, anti-bullying and taking care of other creatures. Each chapter is nicely paced with decent-sized text and quality black and white illustrations. These all help deliver a polished and enticing package that will keep children hooked on Thing's adventures. Recommended. Ages 7+ / 138 pages / Reviewed by ReadingZone

You, Me and Thing 4: The Mummy That Went Moo