NEW TITLES

From nature and space to detective stories and miniature dragons, there are plenty of fiction and non-fiction books for this age range with some great ideas for using them in class.

Magical Maths
Chris Oxlade

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783704217

In the past with year 5 and 6 pupils I have made maths fact books with flaps and pull outs etc... I've always had to make the model myself - well never again! Magical maths is a fantastic maths fact book which gives a whole wealth of information from across the maths curriculum. The interactive nature of this book engages and entices the reader to read on and find out more and Wizard Plusminus is an appealing character for both boys and girls. My Year 1 son and class loved this book as it was aimed exactly at the end of year expectations for them. I will be showing this to our upper school and encouraging them to use this as inspiration for a DT project to create a bank of interactive maths activity books that our younger children could use. I think this will be a book, I'll be leaving it in the book corner and I am sure it will be a popular choice with all the children. I love the fact that there are aspects of this book that can be accessed by all children at all levels. Definitely recommend this one for the KS1 classroom. 16 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry, teacher.

Magical Maths
This Is Not A Bedtime Story
Will Mabbitt

Puffin

ISBN 9780141357386

Will Marbett has captured the mind of the modern six or seven year old very cleverly in this book. I thought this was a really funny book. How many times have I picked up a very dull story and had to trawl through the twee tale which can be very sickly and not engaging at all for children. I love how in this book, Sophie uses her imagination to turn what might be a rather dull story into one that is exciting, adventurous and everything our modern children are into. I might have a go at this in the future - by choosing a similarly dull story and letting my class do their thing with it! From a parent's point of view, I loved how dad gets completely sucked into the story, light Sabres are a staple toy in our house, so I totally get Sophie's need for one in her story. It even had the perfect thriller ending with the twist as Pink Kitten seemingly eaten by the Robo dinosaur, emerges victorious as she rips the batteries right from its insides!!! Love the drama! Well done Will Mabbitt - great story and Fred Blunt, from your final illustration, you know us parents too well!!!! Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry, teacher.

This Is Not A Bedtime Story
Fact Finders: Space
Ruth Martin

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783702237

Let's explore space - what is it? What is a star? And what is the solar system? The new Fact Finders SPACE book answers all these questions and more - and all through the wonder of pop ups! Meet the scientists who have changed our view of the universe and discover a map of the cosmos where the planets and stars literally jump out of the pages of the book. With sections that expand, flaps to lift and mini books to open, this incredible book is filled with space to explore (no pun intended). The Fact Finders SPACE book consists of eight double page spreads covering such topics as- what makes a star, the role of the sun, the planets in our solar system and even our beautiful planet earth. Our favourite spread includes details of space travel, a wall of honour listing the names and facts of famous cosmonauts and astronauts; information about the first lunar landing and exploration of other planets; and the astronauts home away from home, the international space station. Taking centre stage is a fabulous pop up of the 'Eagle', the lunar lander module used in the Apollo 11 moon landing, complete with fun fact labels! Factual information is presented clearly throughout the book in bite sized chunks. Author Ruth Martin makes astrophysics easy to understand. It actually is rocket science! Science that young enquiring minds will really grasp and comprehend. Nick Malands fun illustrations add an additional level of entertainment and aid understanding of tricky concepts that even adults seem to debate - such as the question of whether pluto is a planet, or not? This collaborative book project is a real team success, Kim Hankinson & Richard Ferguson's paper engineering skills should also be acknowledged. After all, who doesn't love a good pop up book? And this is one of the best around! Images that leap from the page are eye catching, but when paper engineering is mixed with educational facts and brilliantly presented information, then pop up books become an engaging delight! This book has to be seen and handled to be truly appreciated but take it from me, the children at school will be clambering over themselves to get their hands on it! The Fact Finders SPACE book will be loved by pop up enthusiasts, budding astronauts and fans of non fiction. It's supernova! Review by Emily Beale, primary school librarian. 16 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Emily Beale, school librarian.

Fact Finders: Space
Little Explorers: Outer Space
Ruth Martin

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783702497

A quirky guide to space that is also packed full of information, including lots of flaps that will get children exploring the spreads and wanting to find out more. Beginning with the planets in our solar system and descriptions about what they comprise (with the help of an alien or two), the book moves on to describe stars and galaxies as well as what is more immediately around us - meteoroids, the asteroid belt, comets and so forth. What I think will really grab children's interest, though, are the final spreads that show what an astronaut wears - and what's underneath the uniform - together with diagrams and flaps of rockets, satelites and telescopes. While the text is bite-sized, it does have quite complex vocabulary and concepts so although this looks like a book for younger readers, it is actually aimed at those aged seven years plus. Board book / 16 pages / Ages 7/8+ / Reviewed by Alice Hall.

Little Explorers: Outer Space
There Is a Tribe of Kids
Lane Smith

Two Hoots

ISBN 9781509812882

A small child explores the natural world in this colourful journey of discovery. Coming down from the snowy mountains, he waddles across the ice with penguins, dives under the ocean, flies with ravens that leave him on top of rocks and weaves through the jungle. Along the way he meets an array of creatures, joining in their adventures. But all he really wants is a tribe to call his own. A trail of seashells along the beach leads him to a happy conclusion. The text consists entirely of a playful selection of collective nouns including a band of gorillas, a parade of elephants and a troop of monkeys, whilst the story is told through the pictures, which are made to be pored over. The technique used for the stunning illustrations give them texture and an almost luminous quality. The pictures are very expressive, with simple lines and colour conveying the emotions of the child as he travels; some of them are quite melancholy, highlighting his loneliness. But the last spread is a joyous celebration of play and togetherness. This is a perfect book to share with children in Early Years and Key Stage 1, but should by no means be confined to these age groups - there is so much for every reader within the pages. 40 pages / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Jayne Gould, librarian.

There Is a Tribe of Kids
Migloo's Day
William Bee

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406365603

If you love Where's Wally, then Migloo's Day (now available in paperback) is one for you. In this search and find story book, Migloos day unfolds with lots of great tales of everyday adventures. The search and find pages are great fun and offer lots of discussion opportunities. These books would work well as a support for speech and language teachers developing narrative work. There is so much to talk about in the pages with many different characters doing all sorts of different things. I would find this book really useful as a stimuli for writing simple sentences as children could write about all the different characters in the story. It will also offer lots of opportunity to develop vocabulary. My children enjoyed this book and it provides a multiple read by keeping children engaged and interested. 38 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry, teacher.

Migloo's Day
The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight
Elli Woollard

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9781447254812

This is a really fun, slightly longer picture book, about a boy and a dragon who become friends in unlikely circumstances, that has loads of appeal to boys and girls. A small dragon called Dram is packed off by the larger, meaner ones to 'find a bite of a dribblesome, nibblesome, knobble-kneed knight' (to eat!). When James sees the young dragon in trouble in a river, he rescues him, thinking he is a duck; Dram, meanwhile, has no idea James is actually just what he is looking for - a (tasty) young knight in training. But after various mishaps and misunderstandings, the two put aside their traditional emnity since they have become great friends. The rhyming text in this story is a treat, as are Benji Davis's illustrations. It will make a great read-aloud, or independent read for children who are ready for longer texts but who still want plenty of lively illustrations. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Helen Young.

The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight
Nature's Day: Out and About
Kay Maguire

Wide Eyed Editions

ISBN 9781847808004

This is a really useful activity book which I could see using with KS1. Because it's seasonal, it could be used for ongoing projects across a year. The book shows children how to spot different leaves, birds, flowers, and insects, and there are ideas for example for making a bee hotel and how to make a daisy chain. There are seasonal scenes to colour and boxes to fill with things you have found. As well as using this as the basis for whole class displays on nature, it can also be used to encourage children to think about how to use their own nature journals at home and for homework, creating more detailed diagrams and observations, with examples of information text including text and examples of layout such as tables and subheadings. I'll definitely be using this in my class and other groups like Brownies and Beavers would also find it useful. 56 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Louise Gahan, teacher.

Nature's Day: Out and About
Beasties in my Backyard
Camilla de le Bedoyere

QED Publishing

ISBN 9781784934361

Beasties in my Backyard is an amazing insect information book. At first glance, I thought this book was more suitable for older children, but when I began reading it with my six year old I found he was engaged and also keen to read lots of it by himself. It introduced lots of technical vocabulary about the insects and the pictures and layout were interesting and easy to follow. I would use sections of this book with my Year Ones as a research tool as they can read the vocabulary and there is lots of opportunity to use phonic skills to decode. It would make a good guided reading text for children of an appropriate level as it offers a high quality non-fiction text. We really enjoyed this book, and I am sure it will be one that we open up many many times in the future. 80 pages / Ages 6+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry, teacher.

Beasties in my Backyard
A Journey Through Nature
Steve Parker

QED Publishing

ISBN 9781784934491

The 'A Journey Through...' books (see also A Journey Through the Weather, A Journey Through the Human Body) offer a useful glimpse into the world around us that can be shared with reception and year 1 children, and which is also great for older children to browse as individual readers. The spreads in A Journey Through Nature are clearly laid out and explore different landscapes - the city, a river, the rainforest, under the ground, in a wood, a desert etc - showing what kinds of animals live there and what you can expect to find in different landscapes around the world. Each spread is clear and bright, with eye-catching, stylised illustrations, and short paragraphs of text to support these, and questions at the end that children can go back and discover the answers to. A lovely set to have in the class or school library. 48 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Clare Andrews.

A Journey Through Nature
There's a Dragon in my Backpack!
Tom Nicoll

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847156761

Pan the miniature dragon is back and he's up to even more mischief! There's A Dragon in my backpack is the hilarious fast paced sequel to Theres A Dragon in my Dinner, where we were first introduced to the loveable minuscule prawn cracker-guzzling dragon, when he is delivered to Eric's house with the beanspouts in his Chinese takeaway meal. They instantly become friends and find themselves getting into all sorts of trouble. In the sequel, Pan hitches a ride to school in Eric's backpack to beat the boredom of staying home alone. Unfortunately, he is spotted by the Eric's evil and heartless cricket bat wielding teacher Miss Biggs and only narrowly escapes extermination. Eric doesn't get off quite so lightly and his actions concealing the whereabouts of a 'rodent' who is actually a mini dragon result in a detention. The following day Pan again decides to stow away in Eric's backpack again: you'd have thought he had learnt his lesson by now and matters only get worse! Eric's backpack - with Pan inside - is misappropriated by Toby the spoilt boy next door for his show and tell assembly at his 'La-Di-Da' school. An ingenious master plan unfolds as Eric and his friends attempt a daring rescue mission whilst still serving detention. Eric again discovers that whilst mini dragons make terrible pets they do make the best kinds of friends! You do not have to read the first book to be enthralled by the second. With an equal measure loveable and loathable characters this is a funny calamitous riot of a tale. Sarah Horne's illustrations bring the story to life and the injection of Eric's side notes make fantastic additions to the book and a rest from the dialogue of the story. The pace and length of this book make it ideal for both the 'reluctant' reader and the emerging independent reader. Readers will love the discovering what happens when you take a mini dragon to school with you in your backpack! 144 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Emily Beale, primary school librarian

There's a Dragon in my Backpack!
Dotty Detective (Dotty Detective, Book 1)
Clara Vulliamy

HarperCollins

ISBN 9780008132491

This is a witty little book told first hand by 'Dot', a zainy girl with an obsession for stationary and solving puzzles! This story follows Dot as she starts at a new school, makes a friend and then sets up a detective agency. Together they help the school talent show to run smoothly (though it's not without hiccups!). The story is laid out like a scrap book, the text amount on each page is quite little and its a very visual book, supported by illustrations that look like Polaroids stuck in! This book would be great for under-confident readers who want a humouous story that isn't intimidating. It's friendly, easy to read and easy to follow. Dot is a lively girl and I think many children will relate easily to this character - from living with her chaotic younger siblings, to planning up a new design for her bedroom, this story is friendly and funny..but also very real! 176 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Lizi Coombs, teacher.

Dotty Detective (Dotty Detective, Book 1)
Captain Pug
Laura James

Bloomsbury Childrens Books

ISBN 9781408866368

Pug is going on a seafaring adventure. He's had jam tarts for breakfast. He's wearing a smart sailor suit. There's just one problem... Pug is afraid of water! Pug is the adored, pampered pet of the equally pampered Lady Miranda. When housekeeper Wendy announces that, today, Lady Miranda, is attending a birthday party at the boating lake, she immediately finds Pug a sailor suit to wear and declares him to be Captain Pug. As Pug would prefer to stay on dry land eating jam tarts, he is not too sure about this adventure. And an adventure it turns out to be, as due to a series of mishaps, mostly involving food, Pug finds himself sailing aboard a variety of vessels, with Lady Miranda in pursuit to try and rescue him. This is the first title in a planned series, with Cowboy Pug due early next year. There are a burgeoning number of colour illustrated stories for newly confident readers, which help to bridge the gap from picture books to longer novels and Captain Pug is a welcome addition to the shelves. Funny and exciting it will appeal to young dog lovers of 7+. 128 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Jayne Gould, librarian.

Captain Pug