NEW TITLES

Florentine and Pig and the Lost Pirate Treasure
Jess Mikhail

Bloomsbury Childrens Books

ISBN 9781408824405

Florentine and Pig are an enthusiastic pair of characters and their adventures could be used as a starting point for many different avenues of exploration, including creating writing, language, numeracy and geography; there could be a whole week of creative exploration beginning with this one book. Publisher Bloomsbury also provides teaching resources including worksheets for KS1 and KS2 at: www.florentineandpig.com/#/teaching-resources/4573054164 In the story, Florentine and Pig, forced to play indoors because of the rain, invent a game of hunting for pirate treasure - the treasure being Florentine's lost button. Before long, they are drawing maps, writing recipes for their picnic lunch and searching high and low, under and over, beside and in between.... There are lots of opportunities to explore the language, with descriptive words like 'rumble', 'crash' and 'big drippy drops' drawn out in bold text and plenty of alliteration. Children could have lots of fun drawing their own pirate treasure maps and deciding what they would take on their adventure and what they were likely to see. The story also explores different forms of writing such as recipes and children could create their own postcards to send home, describing where their adventures have taken them. There is a dedicated website at: www.florentineandpig.com Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Louise Gahan, teacher.

Florentine and Pig and the Lost Pirate Treasure
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
Eleanor's Eyebrows
Timothy Knapman

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9780857078414

There is much to enjoy in this story about a little girl who wonders what eyebrows are for? It's obvious that eyes are for crossing, ears are for waggling and noses are for picking (!), but "What on Earth was the point of eyebrows....?" Fed up with being unwanted, Eleanor's Eyebrows decide to find another home and they try out many different jobs from being a magician's moustache to being hand-warmers for beetles. Eventually, Eleanor realises that she really misses her eyebrows and does her best to persuade them to come home. The story could make a useful to use to support children learning about 'Ourselves' at KS1 and for older children at KS2, to look in more detail at what characterises us and makes us different from each other and to value those differences. It's also just a nice book for storytelling, it's witty and moves at a quick pace, and children could be encouraged to think about another feature that might disappear from their faces and what life would be like without that feature or sense. Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Louise Gahan, teacher.

Eleanor's Eyebrows
Black Dog
Levi Pinfold

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781848770522

The winner of the Booktrust Best Emerging Illustrator Award for his first book has produced another stunning visual feast with gorgeous bare trees and wintry landscapes that has won another prestigious award - the Kate Greenaway Medal. The bleak outdoor settings of the story contrast to the warm-hued, jumbled scenes of the quirky Hope family home and again to the delightful little sepia drawings which accompany and extend the text. The language is a real descriptive treat too, as first the father, then the mother and then all the children see the mysterious black dog outside, which gets bigger with each sighting and like their fears, threatens to overwhelm them. Until, of course, the smallest child laughingly confronts their fears and leads the dog in a merry rhyming trail through the forest. As she shows no fear the dog gradually shrinks until small enough to pop through the cat flap where it becomes the new family pet. The positive message about not letting the disabling power of fear distort our view of reality will not be lost on the audience, who will also be enjoying the vivid language and pictures, making this a firm classroom favourite. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Joy Court, SLS Librarian

Black Dog
Claude in the Spotlight
Alex T Smith

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444909296

Claude is no ordinary dog. A gentle stroll through town leads to leg-kicking and bottom-shaking as Claude dances his way into the theatre and straight into the spotlight! Claude is a small, plump dog who wears a red beret and a stylish red sweater. He lives with Mr and Mrs Shinyshoes and his best friend Sir Bobblysock. Every day when Mr and Mrs Shinyshoes go off to work, Claude and Sir Bobblysock have some fun. Walking through town they follow some children into their dancing class and join in the fun. The dancers are going to take part in a talent show at the theatre and invite Claude to join them. When a ghost disrupts the performances, it is Claude who saves the day, remembering what he has read in his book of ghost stories. Illustrated throughout, this is fresh and funny, with a delightfully quirky sense of humour. I'm sure Claude will gain a loyal following! Ages 6+ / 96 pages / Reviewed by Jayne Gould, Librarian

Claude in the Spotlight