NEW TITLES

This selection of books for KS1 includes more sophisticated picture books like No! and Greenling that will support wider discussion at upper KS1, as well as young fiction which can be shared or used as individual readers.

What's Up MuMu?
David Mackintosh

HarperCollins

ISBN 9780007463091

Author and illustrator David Mackintosh has an instinctive grasp on children's moods and preoccupations and in this story, Mumu has woken up in a bad mood and, despite her friend's best attempts to cheer her up, she seems set to remain in that bad mood. Until her friend absorbs her grumpiness - which immediately gets her out of her bad mood as she focuses on cheering up him instead. This is a lovely story for encouraging children to think about the things that sometimes make them grumpy and how their mood might affect their friends. It could also make them think about the things their friends like. I also really enjoyed the detail of all the places that Mumu and her friend visited in his bid to make her happy - having tried all the things she liked (shopping, a film, nature and food), he then shows her something he likes - a skyscraper - which he finds really interesting (although she doesn't). Mackintosh's illustrations are bold and expressive and each spread is very distinctive, making it a lovely book to share with a group as well as individually. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone.

What's Up MuMu?
What's Hidden in the Woods?
Aina Bestard

Thames & Hudson Ltd

ISBN 9780500650530

This interactive picture book encourages children to discover what they can see beyond their first glance at the page, to find out what is hiding in the woods. As they turn the pages, children are asked what they can see using the differently coloured 'magnifying glasses'; each colour reveals different secrets hidden on the page. What's Hidden in the Woods provides a clever, interactive introduction to themes such as camouflage, seasons and animal habitats - and is also beautifully done. I can see children spending hours pouring over the book, discovering its many secrets, for example what is hidden inside a beehive, or beneath the surface of a pond. It would be a useful book to share with children before they go out on a nature trail as it encourages them to look beneath objects and to search for what might be hiding behind leaves or inside logs. This could lead on to children drawing their own small creatures, perhaps with flaps on the page to hide them, or to map out their nature walk, showing what they found on the way. The designs on the pages, drawn from nature, could also be used to encourage children to really study the patterns on the trees, leaves and other natural objects they find. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone.

What's Hidden in the Woods?
William Heads to Hollywood
Helen Hancocks

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783703333

William is an international cat of mystery and detective extraordinaire! Amongst others, he has already solved the case of The Missing Masterpiece, and in this sequel he must now find out who has stolen the golden Cuckoo statues from the famous Cuckoo film studio. Can he crack the crime and impress the loveliest star in Tinseltown, Audrey Mieowski? Picturebook creator Helen Hancocks varies the design and layout of each page so that it presents William's hunt across the studio and Hollywood in different ways, emphasizing his experiences along the way. This is an enjoyable element of the book and there is plenty for children to look at in the illustrations as William sets off in hot pursuit. A notable example of this is when the cats drive across Sunset Boulevard, and the words are written on the road they take as it winds through the land. The humorous tone of the story is appealing, and language is also a source of play: William catnaps on an aeroplane, exclaims 'Oh, fishsticks!' when there is a chance he may not find the culprit, and at a party asks for milk, frothed not stirred. Though each element of the story is well thought-out, more could have been made of the criminal mastermind behind this mystery, as it seems fairly obvious who is responsible near the start. Perhaps two further suspects would have given the storyline a little more credence, though the comedy caper William embarks on is fun. I liked the ending, which suggests William's foray into acting alongside his beloved Audrey, and children who enjoyed Hancock's first book to feature this hero (William and the Missing Masterspiece) will likewise enjoy this one too. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Kerenza Gosh, lecturer.

William Heads to Hollywood
Levi Pinfold

ISBN 9781783700554

From the award-winning illustrator, Levi Pinfold, comes a modern fable about natures power, Greenling. Previous credits include Django and Black Dog. 'Mr and Mrs Barleycorn live a quiet life, alone and quite forgotten by the world. But something is growing on Barleycorn land. Something that Mr Barleycorn decides it would be best to take. And, with this, for better or worse, he brings the outside, inside'. This is a truly enchanting tale, Templar publishing use the term 'ensorcelling', meaning enchanting or to fascinate, and I think this is a great description. Greenling definitely requires reading more than once. The illustrations alone are so detailed that they draw the reader in and will keep you going back to spot more detail. Although a picture book, this could easily be used across the entire Primary range, depending on the focus. Greenling provides a variety of opportunities for discussion and debate on morality and the consequences of choices we make. As the story progresses the world beyond that of the Barleycorn's life begins to feel the impact of their choices and we are told of the world's reaction, which again provides an interesting discussion point, as you look into whether the response is justified or not. We also see Mrs Barleycorn move from a negative response, to one where she comes to Greenling's defence. There is then a sense of Greenling appreciating the support and as such there appears to be a positive response. Even though we know the premise of this story, there is still plenty of opportunity for individual interpretation of the story and its message, enabling an entire other level of interaction with the text and illustration. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Jennifer Niblett.

Rama and the Demon King
Jessica Souhami

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847806604

This is an easy to understand book that tells the story of Rama and how he defeats the evil king of all demons, Ravana. This is a story shared in many schools as children learn about Diwali and Hinduism - because of this, I'm familiar with a few versions of the story, and find that this particular version is well detailed and easy to follow. This story is detailed, but not over complicated; Rama and his wife Sita are banished to a forest by his evil stepmother. They kill some demons as they settle and build themselves a life, this angers Ravana who tricks Rama and then kidnaps Sita. Rama, with the help of some others, then rescue Sita and kill Ravana. They then return home to India where Rama becomes king. The text is accompanied by colourful but simple illustrations that help convey the story. As a stand alone story, I'm not sure that it's the most interesting one, but as a way of sharing a story from another culture it's accessible and enjoyable. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Lizi Coombs, teacher.

Rama and the Demon King
No!
David McPhail

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847807137

This book has no words; just fantastically detailed images. The book starts with a little boy witnessing a variety of quite distressing events, planes with bombs attached flying over his town, tanks rampaging through the streets, businesses being shut down, soldiers breaking down doors... pictures that make you think, pictures that are a little distressing. As a teacher, these pictures are great for discussion - looking at inference skills, discussing how the boy feels, how the images make us feel, but I think that if you were to read this book by yourself as a child, or 1:1 as a parent to your child, these questions would be much harder to discuss. As the story moves on, the boy confronts a larger boy, simply by shouting 'No!'. The previous pictures are then revisited, but reimagined; the soldiers are breaking down doors to give gifts, the tank is pulling a plough for a farmer... images that make you think even more. The book almost restored a faith in humanity for me, the concept that one person saying 'no' could change so many things. The last image in this book is a letter written by the boy to a 'president', explaining that at his school they have rules. A fantastic way to get children to think about world events in relation to their own lives - and to consider the importance of some of the rules in place at school. The last page is a message from Amnesty International, who endorse the book, explaining what they do. This book is a great way to introduce human rights to children; where I work, our PSHE is focused around the UN rights of the child conventions, and I can think of so many ways that this book would prompt discussion that would enable children to see the importance of their rights. Although this is a picture book, it's definitely one for older children; 7/8 year olds could interact with this book with an adult, but older children would probably take more from it. I'd say this is a little bigger than your average anti bullying book - the context is greater and would be trickier for younger children to understand. Four stars for this, it has left a lasting impression on me as an adult - I can't wait to share it with some children and get their opinions. See also We Are All Born to be Free / Dreams of Freedom, both published by Frances Lincoln. Picture book / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Lizi Coombs, teacher.

No!
Puppy Academy: Scout and the Sausage Thief
Gill Lewis

Oxford University Press

ISBN 9780192739209

Scout is a German Shepherd puppy at the Sausage Dreams Puppy Academy for working dogs in Little Barking. Her parents are both well-known working police dogs and Scout hopes to follow in their paw prints when she grows up. The story is set on an important day for Scout, as she gets ready to take her 'Care in the Community' test at school. Unfortunately, helping reunite a little girl with her lost teddy makes Scout late for school and causes her whole day to go terribly wrong. She fails two tests and is put on guard duty at the Food Shed, however, when the treats inside the shed mysteriously disappear even her best friends doubt her innocence and she runs away from school. Gill Lewis, the author of this book, is more well-known for her beautiful and thought-provoking fiction for older children but this book demonstrates that she can translate important messages for younger children too. The book is a fun, fast paced read and the reader is presented with lots of moral issues and happy solutions. The lovely, simple, black and white illustrations by Sarah Horne, which feature on each double page spread will keep younger readers entertained and reading on. The facts pages at the back of the book were interesting and informative too, I'd never even heard of the charity Sniffer Dogs UK and International until reading this book. I read the first three chapters to a Year 3 class during their library session at school, it only took 15 minutes, and they were all enthralled and wanting to know more about Scout's adventures. I am sure that Gill's latest series of books will be a success and will definitely be getting more for my younger readers! 112 pages, large print with simple black and white illustrations / Ages 6-8 (but my 10 year old loved it as a quick read!) / Reviewed by Kerra Dagley, school librarian

Puppy Academy: Scout and the Sausage Thief
Vivian French, David Melling

ISBN 9781444922288

This is the second book in the Knight in Training series but the first that I have read. I will definitely look out for number one and look forward to numbers three to six! A Horse Called Dora sees our hero , Sam J Butterbuggins, musing over his diary about such things as trees that wave (in a 'hello' kind of way) and the ancient scroll, which he presumably found in Book One, which contains a list of tasks to be undertaken by anyone who wishes to be a Truly Noble Knight. He is currently staying with his aunt and uncle and his cousin, Prunella, in their castle. As you will have guessed, Prunella- or 'Prune' - is his sparky companion. The second task is that Sam must gain a snow white steed by performing good deeds. And so we're off on the quest to achieve this and on the way we will meet a quirky collection of characters, from a warthog called Horace to a talking tree called Hazel. This is a very pleasing little read with charming illustrations which nicely break up the text, making it very accessible to those reluctant boy readers. My only tiny pedantic gripe would be that the characters seemed to be dressed in clothing from a mix of eras , but this is totally outweighed by the refreshing use of the subjunctive on page 37! Told you I was pedantic! I can envisage this book being used in school to demonstrate problem solving, and as a lesson in generosity, and as an example of diary writing. In the library I would aim it at both boys and girls who enjoy a bit of fun and fantasy- who doesn't?- and promote it as a 'How To Train Your Dragon' for younger readers. The six tasks would provide fertile ground for little reading rewards - a dragon card, a horse card etc maybe. Very enjoyable read. 128 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Rose Palmer, librarian.

Dino-Dinners
Mick Manning

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847806659

From The Natural History Museum, this book presents facts about Dinosaurs, hand in hand with playful rhyming verses that bring the animals to life. This book is more accessible than 'Wooly Mammoth' of the same series and has a more jokey approach to the description of the dinosaurs in the verses on each page. The adjectives are powerful but comprehensible with the more specific, technical vocabulary being in the glossary at the back of the book. This book would be great for a child learning about dinosaurs, or any who have expressed a keen interest in them! Dinosaur facts are presented in a fun, exciting way and then supported by the straight facts that border every page. 32 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Lizi Coombs, teacher.

Dino-Dinners