NEW TITLES

This month's selection of books for 5-7 year olds ranges from picture books to early readers and have been selected by teachers and librarians. Children can enjoy these books individually, or as class reads, and there are plenty of ideas for using them to support work in the classroom.

There's No Such Thing as a Snappenpoop
Jeanne Willis

Little Tiger Press

ISBN 9781848691889

A delightfully wicked cautionary tale - Brothers beware! Little Brother desperately wants to play but Big Brother just won't let him! Big Brother always played the best games, but his very best game was not letting Little Brother join in. Little Brother begged and pleaded, 'I'll do anything!' he said. Finally, Big Brother agrees to let Little Brother join in with the fun, but only if he goes and fetches him a unicorn. So off Little Brother pops, and he is gone for hours. Big Brother is rather pleased with his plan to get rid of Little Brother. But, imagine his shock when Little Brother returns with a unicorn, asking if he can now join in the game. Unhappy with the size of the unicorn, Big Brother refuses to let Little Brother play unless he fetches him a lion with wings; a triceratops. Each time Little Brother sets off on his quest, he returns successful and ready to play too. But Big Brother always finds fault with the wondrous creature that Little Brother has fetched. Determined to be rid of Little Brother once and for all, Big Brother sends him off to fetch a massive, spiny snappenpoop! What is a snappenpoop you ask? Imagine the scariest monster times a million - that's a snappenpoop. The story ends, just like all cautionary tales should, with a 'mishap' for the character that needs to mend their ways. Although Little Brother could not find a snappenpoop, it just so happens that the snappenpoop had also been sent off to fetch something - a mini mouthy meanie. And he had found Big Brother! So, Little Brother did not get to join in the game after all, but he now knew a unicorn, a winged lion and a triceratops that were very happy to let him join in with the fun. There's No Such Thing as a Snappenpoop! is a devilish delight. Bright and lively illustrations fill the pages, taking the reader on each quest with Little Brother. This fantastic little tale is an excellent way in to looking at other traditional cautionary tales. The repetitive nature of certain structures and phrases through the story make it perfect for imitating. Children could learn and perform the story with ease as well as innovating it to make it their own, perhaps even changing the creatures to ones they know about. 'Snappenpoop' could be used to inspire so many other pieces of creative writing: from instructional writing (how do you actually catch a unicorn or a lion with wings?) to non-chronological reports on mythical creatures and newspaper reports on sightings of magnificent beasts or the mystery if Big Brother. This is a triumph of a story for all ages: an excellent story to read aloud and share and to inspire creative writing. Picture Book / Ages 3-7 years / Reviewed by Torie Walton, teacher.

There's No Such Thing as a Snappenpoop
Hannah Pang

360 Degrees

ISBN 9781848575066

Brimming with interesting facts and information, Wilderness takes readers on 'an expedition through a world of nature filled with surprises'. Visit a rain-forest, go on safari, see the ocean, fresh waters, the desert, mountains, forests and polar regions. Readers will learn about various habitats and animals from around the globe. The book's clever design makes for an interactive learning experience. With flaps to lift, pop ups, miniature booklets and wheels to turn, little fingers and minds are kept busy. The sophisticated paper engineering offers a multi-sensory reading experience with children both physically & mentally connecting with the book as they explore and manipulate its pages. With over 100 animals featured, there's lots of information to digest and discuss, making Wilderness a perfect book to dip in and out of for 'story time' and discussion. Readers learn 'interesting facts about animals, insects and their natural living environments. Did you know that while tropical rain forests only cover about 6% of the Earth's surface they provide a home for half of the worlds plants and animals?' Each double spread introduces a different habitat to explore. In an educational setting, this book is a valuable resource when covering themes or lesson plans relating to nature. Beautifully illustrated, the animals and plants are represented in their true to life form in an array of soft colours. The book is a sturdy build with thick,card pages and a gloss finish - those little flaps, turn-wheels and inset booklets are durable enough to handle plenty of little explorers. A lovely introduction to the animal kingdom, Wilderness is an informative and interesting read. A beautiful book, it's perfect for any classroom or home library. 16 pages / Ages 5-9 years / Reviewed by Elaine Ball (Missus Be's Picture Book Reviews)

The Messy Book
Maudie Powell-Tuck

Little Tiger Press

ISBN 9781848692800

What a mess! Cat has made an awful mess in this book, but who is going to tidy it up? Certainly not Cat! Dog tries to get Cat to tidy, but Cat has got other ideas: shoving it over there; hiding it under that; jumping on it! Each of Cat's ideas for 'tidying up' just passes the mess on to someone else or makes the mess even messier! Dog tries harder and harder to persuade Cat to tidy up the mess in this book but Cat really, really does not want to (and he is an extremely stubborn feline). Finally, after a rather catastrophic incident with a vacuum cleaner, Cat eventually agrees to tidy. And, with the help of Dog, a giraffe and two penguins, this book is made spick-and-span. But, just how long can such a messy book stay tidy? The Messy Book is laugh-out-loud funny! It is sure to have children (and adults) giggling away. The bright, colourful collage-style illustrations are quirky and highly entertaining. The charming characters of Cat and Dog are absolutely delightful. Cat's avoidance techniques are simply brilliant and reminded me very much of most of the children in my class. Whereas Dog, with his seemingly (but not quite) endless patience and unlimited methods of encouragement, is just like most exasperated parents who just want their child to 'TIDY UP!' This story is perfect for opening up discussions about taking responsibility. Children will be able to see that Cat really should tidy up his mess, even though he does not want to (just like they don't want to tidy). In addition, Dog shows kindness throughout, offering to help Cat tidy up. For older children, this is a starting point for exploring themes around pollution and the environment. Cat should take care of the mess he has made, responsibly, but it is easier to hide it somewhere or leave it somewhere else for others to tidy. This is what humans often do with their mess! From small-scale littering and fly-tipping to worldwide problems such as the vast quantities of rubbish dumped into oceans, children can investigate the problems created by the Cats of the world and take on the role of Dog in attempting to persuade others to help tidy this planet. Full of humour, The Messy Book is sure to become a firm favourite in classrooms and libraries. Picture Book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Torie Walton, teacher

The Messy Book
Feelings: Inside my heart and in my head...
Libby Walden

Caterpillar Books Ltd

ISBN 9781848575080

Children need to learn how to identify and recognize their own feelings, figure out how to manage them, express what's happening, adapt their emotions to their environment and along with this, develop empathy for others. This development of emotional literacy is an important life skill and one that supports mental health and well being. So, as becoming emotionally literate involves a whole LOT of learning - any book that supports this is always welcome on my shelf! Feelings offers a lovely opportunity for reflecting on and talking about emotions. The book deals with ten emotions including excitement, fear, embarrassment, loneliness and happiness. Importantly, it explains that, how we appear on the outside, may differ from what's happening deep within....while a person's feelings may not be visible, they are an important part of who we are. Each page has a cut out with a little boy character peeping out. Surrounding him are various colours and characters, each illustrating a different type of emotion. Through lovely rhyming text and metaphors,feelings are described:sadness is a river bursting it's banks, anger is a volcano erupting, while jealousy feels like a misty steam that 'churns and seethes'. Beautifully illustrated with warm tones, a variety of textures and mosaics, each page is atmospheric and dream-like. The scenes surrounding the main character change to convey each new emotion. There are animal characters too-tearful rabbits, dancing dogs, fluttering birds and happy crabs. A gentle and sensitive read, this book highlights how all feelings are important, while offering readers a chance to reflect and talk together. By sharing this book with children, we can develop self awareness, nurture empathy and build emotional literacy. Perfect for group story time, this book will also help individual children who need support and opportunities to recognize or open up about feelings. 32 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Elaine Ball (Missus B's Picture Book Reviews)

Feelings: Inside my heart and in my head...
Ada Twist, Scientist
Andrea Beaty

Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

ISBN 9781419721373

From the moment Ada is born she is a whirlwind of exploration, running through each day chasing sights and sounds. When she finally learns to communicate her thoughts her first word is 'why'. 'Why does it tick and why does it tock'; 'Why don't we call it a granddaughter clock?'. Her bewildered parents reply is simply 'You'll figure it out'. At school, the high flying Ada continues to be quite a handful but she is also recognised for having all the traits of a great scientist. This prompts her to begin creating her own experiments and hypothesising about the world around her. When her experiments go a little to far she finds herself in disgrace on the 'thinking chair'. However, a thinking chair is exactly what Ada needs to help her to continue pondering the questions that fill her mind. Later Ada's family are more then a little overwhelmed to find that in their absence Ada has used her time on the 'thinking chair' to create a 'thinking wall', covering it with scribbles and doodles and notes to aid her scientific mind organise ideas. Exasperated they realise that they must do what any good parent should do and assist Ada in her curiosity of the world, acknowledging that together 'we'll figure it out'. Another gorgeous picture book from the dynamic author/illustrator duo Andrea Beaty and David Roberts the same team that brought us Rosie Revere Engineer and Iggy Peck Architect. Following the same format as their other books, this is a beautifully illustrated story, told in rhyme, and begs to be shared in a classroom. With the current curriculum focus on philosophy for children, Ada's questioning mindset is the perfect model for developing questions - why, what, how and when, promoting a fantastic 'fact-finding spree'. The important contribution of female scientists should not be overlooked in the primary classroom and Beaty's notes at the back of the book inform us of the importance of Ada as a representative of these great women throughout history. The character Ada Marie Twist is named after Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace - two incredible female scientists whose life and work deserve further classroom attention. 32 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Emily Beale, school librarian.

Ada Twist, Scientist
Double Trouble for Anna Hibiscus!
Atinuke

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406365719

Loved this book. I've never read an Anna Hibiscus story before, but I will definitely be looking at them now. In double trouble we hear all about how Anna Hibiscus' world is turned upside down when her mother gives birth to twin bothers. Atinuke tackles the issues surrounding a new baby in the family beautifully. We see how Anna can't cope when everything she is used to doesn't happen as it did and everyone seems to be more interested in the 'double trouble' twins rather than her. I especially loved the big paddy tantrum that Anna has when it all gets too much. If you've had a new baby in the house, you'll know all too well how siblings struggle to adjust to the 'shared love'. But it all turns out well in the end. A big cuddle with papa and the realisation that all her family love her just as they did reassures Anna that everything will be fine; that she really does love these 'double trouble' brothers and wants them to be part of her amazing family. In addition to the gorgeous subject, the African setting is beautiful and Atinuke addresses mixed race families beautifully. When I had my daughter, someone brought me The Small person by Lauren Child to read to my son. But when my next friend has their second baby I'll be buying double trouble for them, as I think this is the perfect book. I'll be recommending this book to our learning mentor team in school to use with children struggling with a new sibling. A fantastically illustrated and told, must-read story. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the collection. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry.

Double Trouble for Anna Hibiscus!
Dotty Detective and the Pawprint Puzzle (Dotty Detective, Book 2)
Clara Vulliamy

HarperCollins

ISBN 9780008132453

Dotty Detective: The Paw Print Puzzle is an enjoyable read for children between five and eight. The story is part of the Dotty Detective series and is a good introduction to the diary genre. Presented in a very similar way to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, children will find this book accessible and may relate to many aspects of the story. The story revolves around Dotty, with the help of her pet dog McClusky and best friend Beans, trying to solve the mystery of strange sounds and going-ons in her house. The text is easy to read and is presented in a fun way. With there not being much text on each page, younger children will feel some form of accomplishment by reading this 140 page story. In school, this book could be used to introduce the diary genre to KS1 children as well as dipping into PHSE by following one of the key messages within the story - Get Proof. 140 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher.

Dotty Detective and the Pawprint Puzzle (Dotty Detective, Book 2)
Claude: Lights! Camera! Action!
Alex T Smith

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444919608

Another fantastic serving of that lovable, funny dog - Claude, and now available in paperback. This time, Claude and his trusty friend Mr Bobblysock find themselves on the set of a film! After causing a few...problems... they then find themselves starring in the film too! I've read many 'Claude' books, and have a collection in my class library that are always in demand. The books are pretty much graphic novels; every page has fantastic illustrations of funny characters with hilarious names - like Mr Lovelybuns! The book is short but sweet with an easy to follow plot line. A great book for reluctant readers (without looking like an 'easy' book!), none of the pages are overloaded with text and quite often the text is laid out in different ways. It's an entertaining book with lots of chances to giggle at the funny details. This book is suitable for both boys and girls and is a fantastic tool to help expand children's vocabulary. 96 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Lizi Coombs, teacher

Claude: Lights! Camera! Action!
A Walk on the Wild Side: Filled with Facts and Over 60 Creatures
Louis Thomas

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847808783

What a fun way to introduce a variety of different creatures to younger children. The young narrator gives us a 'snapshot' of each of the animals, fish and insects he has come across in his travels; these are mapped on an atlas at the front of the book, according to the different habitats - jungle, woodland, grassland etc. The snapshot of each creature includes a lively, painted illustration together with a couple of short facts about that creature and its habitat. So for example, crocodiles open their mouths to cool down rather than sweat; adult tigers can grow to three metres long. The style is informal and chatty and the facts are chosen to pique the interest of a child, with the narrator making frequent appearances in the drawings with the creature being described. A lovely book to have in the library for children to browse, as well as being full of useful facts to demonstrate how 'fact boxes' needn't be dull! On the final pages the reader is asked, 'Where do YOU want to go,' so the book can also be used to encourage children to create their own travel adventure. A handy index at the back will introduce them to using non-fiction texts and how to looking up the animals they want to see. 80 pages / Ages 6+ / Reviewed by Alyson Dove.

A Walk on the Wild Side: Filled with Facts and Over 60 Creatures
23 Ways ECO
Isabel Thomas

QED Publishing

ISBN 9781784933418

With so much being spoken about climate change and how it will affect the planet, it's good to be able to prompt children on things they can do that can make a small difference. While the book's promise - 'a 'step-by-step guide to creative ways you can save the world' - is unlikely to be fulfilled, it does introduce ideas and activities that will help children better understand issues like why trees are important and why we need to recycle. Ideas range from conserving water and recycling clothes and paper by making things with them, to creating ponds and growing a small wildlife-friendly garden. Any of these activities could be adapted for the classroom as well as being used at home and children could be encouraged to take on one of the projects for homework. The text is also a great example to use for 'following instructions'; there are lists, box-outs and notes together with useful illustrations, so children could use these to write up their own instructions for helping wildlife or making something out of recycled materials. 64 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Lucy Deal.

23 Ways ECO
Circle
Jeannie Baker

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406338010

The bar-tailed godwits, we learn in a note from the author, make the longest unbroken journey of any animal in the world, as they migrate 11,000km from Alaska to Australia and New Zealand, without stopping, On their return to the north, they must stop and feed in the wetlands of Southeast Asia; however these areas are quickly disappearing as the result of human development. This picture book is both an homage to the bird's tenacity and a celebration nature; but it is also a warning about the impact of human development on nature. As Baker warns, 'The changes we make on one side of the world can have consequences in another'. The text draws us into the birds' migration as the sweeping illustrations, combining photography, collage and painting, remind us of the scale of the landscapes the birds are traversing. Circle delivers a message about our impact on our planet that we must all hear; that we are all bound into this 'circle of life', and in this picture book, that message is eloquent and strong. It's a beautiful book that can also help inspire children in creating their own landscapes; finding out about other migratory creatures; and learning about endangered species and the loss of habitat. Highly recommended - as is Jeannie Baker's earlier book, Mirror. 42 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Emma White.

Circle
The Magic Necklace - Bumper Special Book!: Book 1
Rosie Banks

Orchard Books

ISBN 9781408336083

I was never a 'girly' girl, choosing to spend my childhood playing with boys toys and reading scary stories. So when I received this book I groaned. However I was pleasantly surprised the instant I chose to really look at it. The cover is very pretty, the animated characters and bright colours are eye catching. The blurb is basic but succinct. It's also noted that it shows this as being the start of a series so it aims to hook fans into reading more than just the one title. The plot is about two best friends who are suddenly and sadly separated when one of them is forced to move to the other side of the world with her family. Magic soon reunites them when a special necklace (of which they are each given half) invokes a spell that takes them to a magical world where they are both welcomed as 'princesses in training'. The pair join a group of super cool teenage princesses who each have specialties. However, their magical world is under threat from a rogue princess, the nasty Princess Poison. The only way to save their world is to take up a mission to help people in the real world and stop Princess Poison from ruining both worlds completely. The plot moved fairly quickly and the writing style was wonderfully simple, allowing me to 'devour' the book in little time at all. The only downside was a lack in the range of vocabulary. However, this was not necessarily a bad thing, as this would be enticing for more reluctant and first time independent readers. I think this book would be ideal for 6-8 year olds (girls in particular) who have just started independent reading. A great way in for reluctant readers! 208 pages / Ages 6+ / Reviewed by Sarah-Louise.

The Magic Necklace - Bumper Special Book!: Book 1
Princess Smartypants and the Missing Princes
Babette Cole

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444929782

I remember reading Princess Smartypants growing up and finding it hysterical, and this new addition to the Princess Smartypants collection definitely did not disappoint. Set in Totaloonia, Princess Smartypants needs to find the missing Princes of her dear friends Snow White, Cinderella and Rapunzel before their engagement party. With the help of her trusty best friend Eric the Annihilator - a giant - she goes on her mission to outwit the very naughty Araminta Allspell who has tricked the Princes and got them lost! It is down to Princess Smartypants to find the Princes and make sure all her friends are engaged - no pressure! The story would be great for children 7+ to read independently as well as being read to. It is packed full of humour and wit and was a real joy to read. This would be great for mixed-up fairy tales and comparing the stories of the traditional tales in the classroom. After 30 years Princess Smartypants is back in a big way! 130 pages / Ages 7+ ages / Reviewed by Lauren Maidman, teacher.

Princess Smartypants and the Missing Princes
David Roberts, Lynn Roberts

ISBN 9781843652915

Set in the 1950s, Annabel - lover of science fiction - is living under an evil spell. Cursed on her first birthday by a spiteful witch to prick her finger on a needle and die, Annabel lives with her two aunts, who have done their best to lessen the spell. Despite their care, she does prick her finger on her 16th birthday - will she be saved in time? This is a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty with an interesting twist. The needle Annabel pricks her finger on is that of a turn table; the rose bush is her aunt, Rosalind; she sleeps for a thousand years. Her saviour is a young girl called Zoe who uses the library to research the history of the giant rose tree. The illustrations in this book are wonderful. Colour is used to amazing effect as green washes those around Morwenna (the evil witch) as she curses the baby; rings of colour surround the baby as the years she'll be safe encircle her; the briars come alive from Rosalind's dress as she transforms to a rose tree, keeping her precious niece safe. Each picture contains details and clues, making them a delight to explore. Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-Century Fairy Tale offers a new look at one of our favourite tales, making it a great addition to school / class libraries as well as a lovely book for sharing. Picture book / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher.

Painting Pepette
Linda Ravin Lodding

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783705931

This lovely little story follows Josette, a young girl who lives in Paris. Josette lives in a grand house and wants to find an artist to paint a portrait of her beloved rabbit, Pepette, to hang on the wall with her ancestors. Her journey takes her to Montmartre, where she stumbles across painters (who are named in an authors note at the end, as Matisse, Dali, Picasso and Chagall). None of these painters paint Pepette as Josette sees her. Eventually, Josette realises that she must paint a portrait herself - after learning that an artist can paint however she/he sees fit! Every page has wonderfully detailed illustrations, with plenty for children to look at and enjoy. The story is relatively simple, but interesting. It introduces some french words to children, so is great for younger children who are learning French or perhaps about to visit Paris! Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Lizi Coombs, teacher.

Painting Pepette