NEW TITLES

Elephant's Birthday Bells
Carrie Grant

Egmont Books Ltd

ISBN 9781405258340

Carrie and David Grant, the faces behind CBeebies' former Pop Shop music show, have now put their considerable talents to writing picture books and in the Jump Up and Join In series from Egmont, we take a rumbustious and carefully-crafted path into the world of music. Each of the stories - there will be six in all - focuses on an animal character who explores a particular musical theme, for example loud and soft in Elephant's Birthday Bells while others will feature fast and slow, keeping time, confidence, breathing and vocal care. The stories are simple and the illustrations full of humour and colour so there is plenty to appeal to younger readers, but as you reach the activities in the back with the accompanying CD and notes, you realise that there is much more to these books than a simple story. The CD, which links to the characters and the story, explores how sounds can be made and changed (softer or louder, faster or slower), but then it becomes more sophisticated with the idea of sequencing sounds and harmonising. So as well as using this series with Reception-aged children, it would fit very neatly into a Year 1 music class. See also Lion's Speedy Sauce. Lots of fun and an ideal way to introduce music lessons to the youngest classrooms! Picture book format / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Louise Gahan, teacher.

Elephant's Birthday Bells
The Paper Dolls
Julia Donaldson

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9781447220145

A warm and beautifully-told story from Julia Donaldson, illustrated by rising star Rebecca Cobb who brings her perceptive eye to the text about a girl who had 'tiger slippers, a ceiling with stars on it and a butterfly hairslide which she kept losing'. The girl also had a nice mother who made her some paper dolls - each is carefully named and coloured in - and so their adventure begins. The dolls leave the book's pages to explore the house and garden, escaping the clutches of a dinosaur and the oven glove crocodile - but the snapping scissors prove to be more of a threat. And then this story that began with something so simple - a chain of paper dolls - takes us into the bigger themes of time passing, growth, and the bond between mother and child. If you've not seen the gorgeous film trailer, do take a look here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYoVq1LfDIs. After sharing it with your class, these paper dolls could be the start of a class adventure, with children creating their own paper dolls and imagining a whole new adventure for their dolls either in a new landscape or in the classroom - what threats would there be for them here (a stapler? the toy hippo?), what would the dolls enjoy about visiting the classroom, and where would their adventure take them? It could lead on to making a wall display with a landscape peopled by the paper dolls they have made. Picture book format / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone

The Paper Dolls
And the Cars Go...
William Bee

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406309997

This is a book which positively demands to be read aloud and has lots of opportunities for noisy sound-making audience participation! It follows the same linear format as the very popular 'And the train goes...' also by this author. So we have a delightfully autocratic police traffic cop coming to a halt at the end of a line of traffic and he walks up the road past each very different and lovingly drawn road vehicle to find out what is causing the hold–up and to get the traffic moving again. Each quirky and beautifully detailed vehicle has its own story to tell and can prompt lots of talk. Who are they, where are they going? Each vehicle makes its own distinctive noise; hence the opportunities for joining in and interactive play. You can imagine the class making its own noisy traffic jam! The lovely rhythmic text builds to a climax as we come upon the cause of all the noise and mayhem - a farmer and some very stubborn sheep! We all know cars are many little boys' obsession and one definitely gets the impression that Mr Bee has not grown out of his! Indeed he confesses to owing three and to wanting to be a car designer when he grew up in this delightful interview on the Walker Picture Book Party, here: http://www.picturebookparty.co.uk/2013/05/and-cars-go-by-william-bee.html. This website is well worth bookmarking for its activity sheets, author videos and book trailers and this book will be endlessly useful for transport and journeys topics and, of course,very popular with all those little boys! Reviewed by Joy Court, School Library Services

And the Cars Go...
The Magic Bojabi Tree
Dianne Hofmeyr

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847802958

It is a hot, dry time and the animals on the African plain are all suffering from a lack of food and drink. They spot a marvellous tree laden down with sweet, juicy melon/mango/pomegranate fruit and are desperate to try some. Unfortunately, Python is wrapped around the trunk and won't let them near the fruit until they can tell him the name of the tree. Only one animal, the King of the Jungle, know its name. Who will be brave enough to visit him and ask, and more importantly, remember until they get back? One by one, Zebra, Monkey and Elephant set out, but all of them forget the name of the tree by the time they return. Tortoise has been taught to remember by his great-grandmother, so, singing his special song, he is the one who makes Python unwind to let the animals eat the fruit. Featuring humorous, vivid and detailed illustrations which evoke the African landscape with a few strokes of the paintbrush, this is a great book to share with young children. I've read it with several Reception groups and they have enjoyed joining in with Tortoise's song. They know that the name of the tree is bojabi! A variation on the Tortoise and the Hare theme, it also gently reinforces the message about listening and remembering. Ages 4+ / 32 pages / Reviewed by Jayne Gould, Librarian

The Magic Bojabi Tree
64 Zoo Lane: Georgina The Giraffe
An Vrombaut

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444912982

Keeping with the animal theme, it's good to see these 64 Zoo Lane stories (CBeebies) republished with their child-friendly illustrations and themes about friendship, helping others and working together. In this story, talented Georgina the giraffe wants to put on a performance for her friends to show just how talented she is - she can sing and dance and do amazing things with her neck! Unfortunately, Georgina gets a bit carried away about being the best at all these things and her boastful behaviour gets her into a bit of a twist and leaves her with a huge knot in her neck! Luckily, her friends know who can help her get rid of the pain in her neck. In doing so, they also remind Georgina that being a good friend is more important than being the best at everything. As well as Georgina's knotty problem, children will enjoy spotting some other funny knots in this story, including a lion with a 'Fly-Swatter-Knot', a chameleon with a 'Tongue-Twister-Knot' and a snake with a 'Very-Knotty-Sort-of-Knot'. All of which provides an excellent opening into devising their own knotty problems as a class or in pairs. See Also Zed the Zebra. Picture book format / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone.

64 Zoo Lane: Georgina The Giraffe
The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water
Gemma Merino

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9781447214717

This story is about a crocodile who can't swim and who hates being in the water. But little crocodile finds that it's lonely being the only one who can't swim, especially when all his siblings are having fun in the swim club... We have to admire little crocodile's attempts at inclusion, which include buying himself a rubber ring (with money left by the tooth fairy!) and simply jumping in. After an especially bad day in the pool, little crocodile discovers just why he can't swim - he isn't a crocodile at all... but what is he? The story is a great starting point for discussing themes of inclusion and belonging - and how the little 'crocodile' feels by his exclusion because he is different from his siblings. We love the illustrations in this story, they really engage you with the brave little crocodile and there's a lovely and satisfying twist at the end of the story. Watch out for somersaulting , synchronised, stupendously swimming crocodiles – and a small but rather fiery dragon.....

The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water