NEW TITLES

Books for this age range include more sophisticated picture books as well as young fiction readers, with themes ranging from pirates and aliens to bullies and kittens.

There Is a Tribe of Kids
Lane Smith

Two Hoots

ISBN 9781509814008

There is a Tribe of Kids (now available in paperback) is one of the most beautiful books I've seen in a long time! No doubt why this is a Kate Greenaway winner! Lane Smith has produced a stunning book that has endless possibilities for use with children. Firstly as a read aloud story - the gorgeous illustrations will create rivers of discussion. I could spend hours on each page exploring everything going on in each picture. I'm a big fan of The Power of Reading programme and immediately can see this book becoming a future text to use to support a unit of writing. I would love to write a narrative with children to accompany the illustrations! However the simple description of all the collective nouns running through the book create their own resource that is incredibly valuable. Such a wealth of rich vocabulary is used through the text and would stimulate further development of more examples and getting children to use them within their writing. I'm a firm advocate of quality books that inspire imagination and encourage children to want to write! There is a tribe of kids is just such a text. If you're a parent - buy this book to share with your children, it'll be a treasured addition to your family library. If you're a teacher, buy this book to read and use with your class- it'll make a beautiful class read and a valuable asset to use alongside English, art, music and many other areas of the curriculum! Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry, teacher.

There Is a Tribe of Kids
What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday
Julia Donaldson

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9781509837328

What the ladybird heard on Holiday is the sequel to the well-loved book, What the Ladybird heard. This beautiful book sees our friend the ladybird going on holiday to London. While there she visits London Zoo and meets all the animals. However then she spots Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh, those dastardly villains from the previous stories, and in her familiar quiet manner rounds up all the animals to help her stop them from stealing the monkey that they want to use to rob the Queen of her Crown. For any lovers of the previous books - What the Ladybird Heard and What the Ladybird Heard Next, What the ladybird heard on Holiday is sure to win adoration. The familiar style of this story engages children brilliantly and the rhyming couplets encourage children to respond and call back the words that are coming next. As with the previous books, the illustrations are just stunning with the added bonus of glitter on every page! This book and the sequence of books by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monk are brilliant to use as part of classroom teaching. This most recent story compliments the KS1 teaching objective to name and locate characteristics of the four countries of the UK. We have recently done a project based on The Queen's Handbag by Steve Anthony and this story would add a fantastic narrative link to this project. It would be great to look at narrative from another character's point of view and story maps and 'Talk for Writing' techniques would fit in brilliantly with this text. The repetitive nature of all three books makes them excellent texts to use with Talk for Writing and there would be great opportunity for innovation to write a different story eg 'What the ... Heard'. The use of descriptive language in this text is excellent and every page offers a hook to use to develop writing. I can see this book becoming a firm favourite on the bedtime reading list, but also a valuable tool to help inspire, develop and encourage younger writers. Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry, teacher.

What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday
Little Explorers The Farm
Dynamo Ltd.

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783708161

This is a charming 'lift the flap' book that tells children all about different aspects of a farmyard. From the buildings to the animals, each page is bright and interesting, with short sentences that introduce children to subject specific terminology and jobs that children might not be familiar with - such as farriers or different farm machinery. The illustrations are cartoon like in style which makes the book more appealing, in my opinion, and the flaps make the book more engaging for children. This is a good book for children who are keen to learn more about farms, or could be used to introduce an 'on the farm' topic to children. It is informative but easy to understand. 16 pages / Ages 4-6 years / Reviewed by Lizi Coombs, teacher.

Little Explorers The Farm
The Thing
Simon Puttock

Egmont Books Ltd

ISBN 9781405283717

The Thing is a book that constantly leaves you asking questions. Throughout the book, we never find out just what is The Thing that just suddenly appears one day. We are left to use our imaginations. My Y1 children decided that it was an alien spaceship, an egg, a cocoon, a butterfly and most interestingly of all, Mickey Mouse (the shape of it does look similar). The book is set around four strangers who are brought together by chance after they stumble upon The Thing. None of them have any idea what it is and as the story develops, their curiousity towards The Thing draws them closer together. Before too long, The Thing has become a huge part of their lives and has become a global phenomenon. It is very clear to see that author has deliberately chosen to use strangers at the beginning as a way to show the journey friendship can take. This allows the book to be used as a great tool during PHSE lessons around making and maintain friendships. The sense of mystery around the object is something that I enjoyed - even if we never find out what The Thing is. It would be quite interesting to see this text used within English lessons as initial discussions around a picture of The Thing could inspire some excellent deeper level thinking. Work around writing questions using correct punctuation could also be a lesson linked to the text as the animals think about what to ask The Thing. Lots of art opportunities could be woven in a learning sequence and I would even be inclined to allow children to create their own 'Things' With many hidden meanings and massages, this text could easily be used across the primary age range.

The Thing
The Night Box
Louise Greig

Egmont Books Ltd

ISBN 9781405283762

The Night Box is a truly wonderful tale of how day becomes night and night becomes day. Centred around the main character of Max, we see how day slowly begins to get ready to 'sleep' and how the environment around him begins to show these signs, too. What I really enjoyed was how the author made day and night feel like 'real' beings, with their own feelings and senses. Max, without referring directly to it, comes across as someone with immense power purely because of the fact he has the special key. A key that opens the night box, a midnight blue box where night is stored away until day has finished. I found myself asking why has Max been chosen to have the box? What made him so special? Does his mum know about his special key and what he is responsible for? This book, although initially aimed at a younger audience, would be fantastic to use across the whole primary school range as each year group would find a deeper and different level of meaning. The text is supported by some beautiful illustrations which are in keeping with the calm nature of the book. Open to innovation, this book could be used within a English lesson or sequence in both KS1 and KS2. I read this to my Y1 class and they all enjoyed the way day was drawn back into the box as night swooped out. I also feel that a wonderful art project could stem from this book with children creating their own night boxes and filling them with 'night' or 'day'. A lovely text which I enjoyed very much. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher.

The Night Box
Man on the Moon: a day in the life of Bob
Simon Bartram

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781840114911

'Everyone knows there aren't any aliens.' Man on the Moon: A Day in the Life of Bob (newly re-issued by Templar) is a truly wonderful piece of art and story alike. Simon Bartram (author and illustrator) fully engages an audience of any age, you will never tire of reading this story. The illustrations are beautiful and unlike any children's story I have come across before; detailed and realistic, they are wonderful discussion points with your children or school class. The story tells the narrative of Bob and his daily life. Bob's job is to maintain the moon and he goes about it dutifully and enthusiastically. As the story progresses, the humorous narrative tells the reader that of course there are no aliens and that Bob is a Moon expert, but the illustrations clearly show aliens on each page - stealing his cake, hiding in a crater, in the bath tub. My son whole heartedly loves proving Bob wrong and pointing out all the illustrations on each page, laughing in delight when he sees a 'cheeky alien' hiding from Bob. As a picture book, all parents will enjoy reading this story during the daytime or bedtime, the narrative is engaging and the children are fully absorbed in the images. Although at first it doesn't jump out as a 'typical' children's story as the illustrations are of an older style, this is what makes it unique and also what draws the children to it. Bob is a wonderful character and the story itself is simplistic enough to engage any child from three years upwards. I can imagine this story would be wonderful to teach in a Primary setting as there are many directions you could take with the concept of the 'man on the moon' - Space topics, looking at difference and developing visual literacy, among them. Personally, I loved the adult humour - the fact it only takes Bob 15 minutes to get to work on the Moon - and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this to my children; it has become a firm favourite at bedtime. It might not jump out to you on the shelf, but once you have picked it up, Bartram will not disappoint you or your children. Picture book / Ages 3-7 years / Reviewed by Joanna Hewish, teacher.

Man on the Moon: a day in the life of Bob
Bob's Best Ever Friend
Simon Bartram

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781840119398

A truly heart-warming story that all readers - children and adults alike - will be thrilled to read this wonderful tale. This story is a companion to 'Man on the Moon - a day in the life of Bob' (both newly re-issued by Templar) and the stories are purely delightful to read. The illustrations are beautiful and, although of an older style, they replicate more like art than illustrations in a children's picture book. Each page has something different to spot and you will find yourself noticing something different each time you read the story. The narrative tells the tale of Bob, the man who works and maintains the Moon. It is Bob's job to ensure the moon is clean and tidy for moon visitors and entertain any who stop to visit the moon. But, in this story, Bob has realised that he is in fact very lonely - a thought that comes upon him as he watches television alone and he wishes he had someone to watch it with. It then becomes his mission to find himself a 'best friend'. Personally, I love the moral of the story and the elements of 'companionship' and 'friendship' I could discuss with my children. The narrative is beautiful with some challenging words for more advanced readers but easily accessible enough for a younger audience. Children cannot seem to get enough of Bob and I think this is due to the straight forward narrative and the game of finding the aliens on each page. Although Bob is a Moon expert, the children find it hilarious that he doesn't know aliens are all around him as he goes about his daily work. The ending of the story is a lovely talking point - that we find friendship in the most unusual ways, shapes and sizes. Read to my children frequently, I have yet to tire reading Bob and we have lots of fun counting and spotting all the different aliens and the dog throughout the story. I would highly recommend this book, it has an old fashioned values feel to it and that it what makes it unique. Picture book / Ages 3-7 years / Reviewed by Joanne Hewish, teacher.

Bob's Best Ever Friend
King Coo
Adam Stower

David Fickling Books

ISBN 9781910200605

Bullies in stories need to get their just desserts and in this story Monty, Bertie and Gertie are certainly the recipients of theirs. Adam Stower's fast paced story illustrated by the author, is full of innovative ideas and some very clever drawings of King Coo's inventions. Ben Pole, usually known as Bean Pole, is bullied at school and is hoping to get away without encountering Monty and his friends until the end of term, only a few days away. But this is not to be and escaping from them he falls into a whole and ends up in the kingdom of King Coo, who is actually a girl with a long beard! At this stage the reader has to just sit back and enjoy the ride and laugh at the way in which the pair get their own back on the bullies. The Map of King Coo's Trap Alley on pages 92-3, which shows the Drop'n Plop Bridge, and the Flusher give the flavour of the story well. There is a plot of sorts in which Monty thinks he will capture Ben and gain a huge reward along with the Mayor but Ben and King Coo outwit this very cleverly and King Coo turns up sans beard at this point which is quite a shock. It isn't really explained why she has a beard but I am not sure it really matters! This is a small book to handle with drawings on every page, sometimes across two pages, and will delight particularly boys partly because of the toilet humour, but also because of the message that bullies don't win. 175 pages / Ages 7/8+ / Reviewed by Janet Fisher, librarian.

King Coo
Pirate Blunderbeard: Worst. Pirate. Ever. (Pirate Blunderbeard, Book 1)
Amy Sparkes

HarperCollins

ISBN 9780008201807

Barnacles Blunderbeard's problems are piling up. Unless he finds some treasure soon, he will lose his ship for 'bringing disgrace to the name of pirate'. His mum has also entered him for the Pirate of the Year Award - something he's unlikely to survive - and even his parrot, Daggers, has deserted him. And just when things look like they couldn't get any worse, his replacement pirate pet turns out to be a chicken called Boris....! Can Barnacles redeem his pirate reputation - and survive his attempts to do so? Told in short chapters, letters and diagrams, and with some great illustrations by Ben Cort, there is lots to appeal to younger readers and those gaining confidence in reading. There is loads of humour in the story, making it a very funny read-aloud if your topic is pirates. I can also see children having fun describing their own pirate pets and the kinds of monsters pirates might face in their own Pirate of the Year challenge. As well as discovering more about prirates, the story is also about Sam's willingness to carry on, despite the odds being endlessly stacked against him, so can encourage discussions around perseverance and finding your own special talent. 140 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Elen Grace.

Pirate Blunderbeard: Worst. Pirate. Ever. (Pirate Blunderbeard, Book 1)
A Kitten Called Tiger
Holly Webb

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847157881

This cover illustration is so cute you will just want to pick up this book and read it. And once you do you will not be disappointed. Ava and her sisters have longed to own a kitten but they have had to wait until the smallest one is old enough to be responsible. Finally the day comes and they choose the most adventurous of the litter, an orange and black striped kitten they call Tiger. Tiger is trouble and always getting into scrapes, chasing flies, falling off walls and finally getting stuck up a tree. They are all everyday events but they are given a real sense of peril by Holly Webb's writing. We really feel Ava's affection for the cat and concern when he gets into situations. And we also get a real sense of Tiger's sense of adventure and attachment to Ava without his character being overly anthropomorphised. Sophy William's illustrations of wide eyed children and kittens are very appealing and are deceptively simple; giving real movement to the animals and impetus to the narrative. A good read for any child who loves their cat or longs for a pet. 128 pages / Ages 6+ / Reviewed by Caroline Downie, librarian.

A Kitten Called Tiger