NEW TITLES

Animals abound in this month's selection of stories, from the new Dr Seuss story, What Pet Should I Get?, to the lable-obsessed Mole in Warning! This Book May Contain Rabbits. These are all great stories to share but they will also help support a variety of different learnings in the classroom.

What Pet Should I Get?
Dr. Seuss

HarperCollins

ISBN 9780008170790

This recently-discovered Dr Seuss story, which was published in the US last summer, is now available as a hardback picture book in the UK. Sometimes, it is just impossible to make up one's mind and this is what Dr Seuss explores in this story, when two children visit a pet shop to choose a pet but can't make up their minds which one to get. As you'd expect from Dr Seuss, along with the traditional cat, dog, rabbit and fish comes a variety of strange and wonderful imaginary pets that the children might also want, and it is told with Seuss's expected verve: 'So you see how it is when you pick out a pet. How can you make up your mind what to get? The children only have until noon to make up their minds. The one they choose is left open to children's imagination - so there are lots of opportunities for following up the story with their own discussion and writing. The back pages offer an explanation of how What Pet Should I Get might have come about and an insight into Seuss's development as a writer. Highly enjoyable. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone.

What Pet Should I Get?
A Beginner's Guide to Bearspotting
Michelle Robinson

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

ISBN 9781408845554

I loved this book, which reads as a more sophisticated follow up to We're Going on a Bear Hunt. My children really enjoyed this book and it got a few laughs from my six year old along the way, especially when he used the bubble gum on the bears. This book provides loads of links to curriculum work in many areas. I am currently doing a wildlife topic and we are making fact files, I will definitely use this book as a stimuli to further work creating How to ....? Guides. I loved the way the author speaks directly to the character/ reader, which is a writing skill we teach when writing instructions and explanations. This book would be a great hook when covering either genre. But this book is also a very good story, with super illustrations which really capture the reader's imagination throughout. Although what happened at the very end is anyone's guess? I hope he wasn't really eaten by the bear? Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry

A Beginner's Guide to Bearspotting
Lionheart
Richard Collingridge

David Fickling Books

ISBN 9781910200223

Richard has a friend called Lionheart and he is his cuddly toy. But at night amongst the shadows Richard can feel the monster coming for him so he runs away through the streets until he reaches the magical jungle. There he meets so many different animals and finally Lionheart come to life as a giant lion. Along with all the other animals they play and explore the jungle and Richard forgets his fear. Then the monster appears on the horizon and Richard, Lionheart and their friends drive it off forever. This is a sumptuous book. The illustrations move from dark shadows to magical colours. The page is used well with single, double and three quarter spreads. Occasionally there are pencil drawings in the margins that enhance the narrative. The final illustration of the monster is truly terrifying, with fiery red eyes looming out of the dark skies. This is a beautiful book that will help some children deal with their night fears, teaching them how to be brave. And there is so much detail in the illustrations and clues to the story that it will keep people entertained for hours. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Caroline Downie, librarian.

Lionheart
Warning! This Book May Contain Rabbits!
Tim Warnes

Little Tiger Press

ISBN 9781848692022

A fun and exciting tale of two friends who love writing labels. They label everything on their journey through the woods and soon come across a mysterious object with a warning label. Temptation gets the better of them and they pick up the hat. It starts producing rabbits, which Mole quickly begins labeling with numbers. As more and more rabbits appear, it all becomes too much and they need to find a way to get rid of them. Eventually they solve the problem with carrots! Carefully, they replace the hat at its original spot using a safety stick, but discover another warning note on a stick. No doubt more trouble lies ahead! This is a great story for use in the EYFS or KS1, with endless opportunities for introducing and applying learning, through phonics, counting and story writing. Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Maria Faithorn.

Warning! This Book May Contain Rabbits!
The Little Book of Garden Bird Songs
Andrea Pinnington

Fine Feather Press Ltd

ISBN 9781908489258

This Little Book of Garden Bird Songs was actually published last year by Fine Feather Press but we didn't want to overlook it because it is such a find! Formatted as a sturdy board book, each spread features a different garden bird that you might find your garden - Song Thrush, Dunnock, Green Finch, Blue Tit, Blackbird etc - with some basic facts about habitats and food and a 'Did you know' about each bird, for example that the Blue Tit's yellow chest colour depends on the number of yellow-green caterpillars it eats, and that crows have the largest brains in relation to their size of all birds except some parrots. The greatest treat, though, is the little audio buttons down the side where you can play each bird's call so you can start to learn to recognise these birds' calls. The audio quality is really good - it's a lovely way to bring those sounds into a building (without caging birds) and it will have children spellbound. Ideal for accompanying any nature walks and work outdoors. 24 pages (12 birds included) / Ages 5 - 85 / Reviewed by ReadingZone.

The Little Book of Garden Bird Songs
We are Not Frogs
Sam Usher

Barrington Stoke Ltd

ISBN 9781781125120

Barrington Stoke's Picture Squirrels range has been created so that parents who might struggle with reading and who may be dyslexic can still share books with their young children. For children who are reluctant to move away from fully illustrated books, the series also provides highly illustrated, longer reads. We are not Frogs is a gentle and funny story about the rivalry between frogs and toads; the story will also help children to distinguish between the two. When two children come into the garden to collect frogs, not everything goes to plan; they start by finding the garden toads (children are encouraged to count the creatures on each page), then end up forgetting the frogs they have collected. However, all ends well with freedom for the frogs and chocolate cake for the children. In the classroom, it's a good story to share alongside nature topics; it can also be used for different styles of writing, for example writing lists of differences between frogs and toads. Picture book / Interest age 5+ / Reviewed by Lucy Young.

We are Not Frogs
Could a Monkey Waterski?: Hilarious scenes bring monkey facts to life
Aleksei Bitskoff

QED Publishing

ISBN 9781781715888

This 'What if a...' series from QED offers a lively introduction to non-fiction for younger readers. Each book asks, how would a particular creature cope with life among humans? This title, about monkeys, could also be used alongside work on rainforests as it features capuchin monkeys. So, could a monkey waterski? Yes, it can - on its legs or its arms. It would also love bathtime and helping about the house - but you might not enjoy having dinner with it because these monkeys like to cover their food with spiders and ants. They'd be great at sports day, because they can leap three metres through the trees, and at the fun fair because they are so strong and good at throwing for the coconut shy. There is a fact file about the monkeys, their habitat and how they live at the back of the book. See also, Could a Tiger Walk a Tightrope. Informative and fun. Ages 7+ / 24 pages / Reviewed by ReadingZone.

Could a Monkey Waterski?: Hilarious scenes bring monkey facts to life
One Day on Our Blue Planet 2: In the Antarctic
Ella Bailey

Flying Eye Books

ISBN 9781909263673

This is a wonderfully-illustrated book that features the Adelie penguin but also covers so many other creatures that inhabit the Antarctic continent, making it a useful book for covering this topic, as well as a gorgeous book to look at. We follow an Adelie penguin chick through the spreads as it takes one last meal from its parents before heading off across the ice to find the sea. We learn how it searches for food, what it eats - and how it avoids being eaten, and how it stays warm. The backdrop for each page is filled with other creatures from the Antarctic, which are described and named on the final page, 'Under the Ice in the Antarctic'. 32 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone.

One Day on Our Blue Planet 2: In the Antarctic
Polly and the Puffin: The Stormy Day: Book 2
Jenny Colgan

Little, Brown Young Readers

ISBN 9780349131924

This is the second book about Polly and her puffin friend, Neil, after she rescued him in the first book, Polly and the Puffin. In this story, Polly is waiting for her fisherman father to come home and, when Neil flies off into an incoming storm, she is anxious for both her father and the bird; her concern, and that of her mum, is evident and Polly finds just waiting very hard. These books are beautifully produced with nicely designed pages, including black and white and spot-colour illustrations, so they are not at all daunting for readers developing in confidence. There are also additional pages after the story that include recipes, activities, information about lighthouses and so on. I look forward to seeing more of Polly and the Puffin's adventures. 96 pages / Ages 6+ / Reviewed by June Wells.

Polly and the Puffin: The Stormy Day: Book 2
Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit's Bad Habits: Book 1
Julian Gough

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444929317

What a treat this little book is! Not only does it have a funny and warm story that is full of heart, it is also gorgeously presented with spot-colour illustratins by Jim Field. In the story, Bear is woken from her hibernation when a thief takes her salmon and honey. Bear decides she may as well get up, now she's awake, and enjoy the snow by making a snowbear. That's when she comes across Rabbit and in between making snowballs and arguing about food, a friendship starts to develop. The child reader will soon start to realise that it was the cantankerous Rabbit who stole Bear's food and understand the discomfort that Rabbit feels about this. But before Rabbit confesses, they have snow creatures to make and much to learn. This comes with a lot of humour, especially when Bear catches Rabbit eating his own poo (something rabbits need to do, apparently, to keep up their energy levels - which is why Rabbit is so grumpy, and hungry!). Lots of fun, highly recommended. 99 pages / Ages 6+ / Reviewed by Anna Flinn.

Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit's Bad Habits: Book 1
There's a Dragon in my Dinner!
Tom Nicoll

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847156716

I can already think of many young readers (aged seven to nine years) who will really enjoy this new series by Tom Nicoll. Eric loves Friday night takeaways but this particular week the bean sprouts come with more than he'd anticipated - a Mini-Dragon, called Pan, which has lost its way (it should be in Mexico) and ends up in the UK under Eric's care. Pan loves reading comics, and flying, but still has many things to learn about human life, while Eric has lots to learn about Mini Dragons. Unfortunately, Eric finds that there is also a lot that can go wrong with a Mini-Dragon in the room and he ends up being blamed for most of it, but through their ups and downs, a firm bond develops. The text is easy to read, the story moves quickly and it's very funny - in short, it has bags of appeal for young, independent readers. I'm looking forward to reading more about this duo! 160 pages / Ages 7-9 years / Reviewed by Ella Reece.

There's a Dragon in my Dinner!