More Book Reviews
Paul Delaney came into our school and read some of his books and poems to us. We had a great time listening to him.
‘I’m fed up!’ by Paul Delaney was published in 2012
‘I’m fed up!’ is a wonderful collection of modern poetry for children. Indeed, every classroom should have a copy at hand! The poetry book is packed with 44 different poems, beautifully illustrated throughout. Although many of the poems are funny, many are thought provoking and poignant. Children, teenagers and adults alike will love reading the wealth of fresh, original poetry found inside the covers of this fascinating poetry book.
Another book by Paul Delaney – ‘Sparrowlegs’ – was first published in 2008.
When world famous writer and past English children’s laureate, MICHAEL MORPURGO read ‘Sparrowlegs’ in one sitting, he called it ‘a thrilling story’. So that’s a complement /recommendation for sure! This book is for both children and adults alike. The story delves into deep human emotions, exploring the relationship between a young boy and an old man – most adults cry when they read it! Malcolm Thomas is a struggling footballer who’s distraught when his best ‘footballing’ friends move to London. He’s all excited when his mum tells him a new family of ‘football mad’ young boys are moving in next door. But Malcolm is angry and upset as this doesn’t happen. An old aged pensioner moves in instead, who spends most of his time sitting in a wheelchair. However, Malcolm soon discovers that Juan Schiaffino is an old footballer himself, with an incredible secret…
A new book by David Walliams – ‘Grandpa’s Great Escape’ – was released on September 24th (2015).
Jack’s grandpa wears his slippers to the supermarket, serves tinned tongue for dinner and often doesn’t remember Jack’s name. But he can still take to the sky in a speeding spitfire ! A story of the bond between a small boy and his grandpa. Spitfires over London and great escapes through the city – a high octane adventure full of comedy and heart.
Michael Morpurgo has two new books on the way. The first of these – ‘My Father Is A Polar Bear’ – was released on September 3rd (2015).
Drawing on the author’s own childhood experiences, ‘My Father Is A Polar Bear’ tells the story of two young brothers rediscovering their birth father in the most unlikely of places. This is a warm and delightful tale of family bonds. Scroll down for more about Michael Morpurgo’s forthcoming ‘An Eagle In The Snow’.
The sequel to ‘The Day The Crayons Quit’ by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers was published over the summer (2015).
In ‘The Day The Crayons Came Home’, Duncan receives a stack of postcards from his lost, broken and forgotten crayons. This is really entertaining and every bit as good as its predecessor. Many children in school will already be familiar with ‘The Day The Crayons Quit’.
Year 2 have read this book and thought it was so funny! Check out their display.
Julian Clary has written several books for adults – but this is his first book for children.
‘The Bolds’ is very funny (in a Julian Clary sort of way) – and has lots of illustrations. The Bolds are hyenas living incognito in Teddington. Mr. Bold has a job – he writes jokes for Christmas crackers – and the whole family has to keep their tails tucked into their trousers. However, the man next door smells a rat….or a hyena ! Children in 4PK have read this book – and there’s a photo in the Reading Gallery.
Written by Carol Ann Duffy and illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli, ‘The Tear Thief’ was published a few years ago.
Each night, between supper and bedtime, the Tear Thief carries her waterproof, silvery sack – and steals the tears of every child who cries. But what does she do with all of those tears ? And why is she invisible ? It’s a poignant and beautifully illustrated story. A great story to sit down and read together.
‘Books Always Everywhere’ by Jane Blatt & Sarah Massini was published in 2013.
This is a fab celebration of the physical book – whether it’s used as a chair, a hat, as part of a tower – or simply as – erm – a book ! The text rhymes and the illustrations are lovely. With a maximum of four words per page, it could be shared with all ages.
Michael Morpurgo’s ‘An Eagle In The Snow’ – was published on October 8th (2015).
This is apparently inspired by the true story of one man who might have stopped World War Two ! It’s 1940 and a train is under attack from German fighters. Sheltering in the darkness of a tunnel, the stranger in the carriage with Barney and his mum tells them a story to pass the time . . . .
‘Frankie’s Magic Football’ books are written by New York City F.C. midfielder and Chelsea and England legend Frank Lampard.
All ten of these books are available from The Book People – and are aimed at age 5 years +. Combining a mixture of football and action, they are centred on the football-obsessed ‘Frankie’ character.
‘Where’s Will ?’ by Tilly (illustrator) and Anna Claybourne applies a ‘Where’s Wally ?’ approach to Shakespeare’s plays !
The book is organised into pairs of double page spreads. The first of the double pages gives an illustrated and brief narrative version of the play. The second double page provides a busy picture – children have to locate the bard himself and key characters from the play. It’s a hardback A4+ size book that is aimed at age 7 years +.
Katherine Rundell’s new book – ‘The Wolf Wilder’ – was published in September (2015).
Her last book – ‘Rooftoppers’ – was widely praised. A wolf wilder teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves and Feodora’s mother is a wolf wilder and Feo is in training. They live in the snowbound woods of Russia. When the Russian army threatens her existence, Feo is forced to go on the run. This is a story of revolution and adventure and standing up for the things you love and fighting back……and, of course, wolves !
‘How To Live Forever’ by Colin Thompson was published 20 years ago – but is well worth checking out.
Peter and his family live among the Quinces in the cookery section of a mystical library – and at night, when the library comes to life, Peter sets out to find one missing volume: ‘How To Live Forever’. The art work in this book is fabulous. You’ll spend as much time looking at the pictures as reading the short text.
This could be shared this with KS1 children and older. It’s definitely a book to read and explore with a partner – and could provide lots of ideas for writing.
Michael Rosen’s ‘Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed’ was published in June.
The website www.lovereading4kids.co.uk named this as their June 2015 Book of the Month. A member of Year Five is reading this at the moment – and it’s very funny. There are lots of illustrations and different fonts to break up the text. Possibly for Y3 and upwards. Children in KS2 listened to the first few chapters of this story in assembly on Thursday 24th September.
‘Whistling in the Dark’ by Shirley Hughes (daughter of T.J.Hughes – yes, him of the shop !) is set in and around Liverpool.
This is Shirley Hughes’s second book for older children. It’s a story of air-raids, rationing, blackouts, the black market and friendship. As the Blitz worsens, teenage Joan and her friends make a discovery that will tear the whole community apart. Y4 and older – and ideal for those interested in WW2.
Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell has teamed up with Michael Rosen for ‘A Great Big Cuddle’.
This is a new poetry collection – full of sound, rhythm, energy and laughter. Year One teachers have shared this book with their classes. Ideal for children from Nursery age and upwards.
An illustrated edition of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ was published in October (2015).
It has brand new illustrations by Jim Kay (winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2012 for his art work in Patrick Ness’s ‘A Monster Calls’). You can have a look at some of the illustrations at www.jimkay.co.uk
Brian Selznick’s ‘The Marvels’ was published last week.
Brian Selznick wrote ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’, which was adapted for the big screen as ‘Hugo’ – directed by Martin Scorsese. The art work in Selznick’s books is amazing. Approximately two thirds of ‘The Marvels’ is illustrations. You can tell yourself the story by looking at the pictures !
‘Molly Maybe’s Monsters: The Dappity Doofer’ by Kristina Stephenson was published at the end of August (2015).
Molly Maybe lives in Smallsbury, a sleepy town where nothing much ever happens. At least, not above the ground ! Underneath is a magical world that is accessed by Molly’s ‘Mundervator’ machine. Children in Reception and KS1 listened to this story in assembly on Thursday 24th September (2015).
Judith Kerr – author of ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’ and the ‘Mog’ stories – recently published a new book.
Now 92 and still writing and illustrating, Kerr’s 1971 autobiographical novel ‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit’ tells the story of her family’s escape from Nazi Germany in 1933.
‘Mister Cleghorn’s Seal’ (published on 10/9/15) is a lovely little story about a man who saves a seal pup. The text is broken up by the author’s own illustrations. The book is quite short – an adult could easily read it in about half an hour. Possibly for Y2 to Y4.
I Wish I Had A Pirate Hat’ by Roger Stevens
Described by www.lovereading4kids.co.uk as ‘poems to chase the clouds away’, the book is split into three sections: Fun Time, School Time & Home Time.
Look out for Billy, who is impervious to teacher’s fairy dust:
‘She sprinkles it on naughty boys / It stops them being silly / And helps them work, and sit up straight / It doesn’t work on Billy !’
For age 5 years+…….but could be read to younger children.
Bob Graham’s ‘How The Sun Got To Coco’s House’ was a summer 2015 publication.
The book follows the sun across the sea and different lands and people, chasing the night, until it barges through Coco’s window ! Sounds wonderful !
Bob Graham is Australian and is a winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal. For age 3 years+…but could be shared with all ages.
This book explores an array of pictures that tell stories – from battle scenes, fairy tales and timeless myths – and from artists as diverse as L.S.Lowry, Edward Hopper and Matisse. Each artwork is paired with an activity for children to do themselves. The book is one of a series. For age 7+
The author of ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ returns with another WW2 story. Pierrot lives in France. His mother is French and his father is German. When Pierrot is orphaned, he is claimed by his father’s aunt Beatrix – who lives in the mountains – worryingly close to Hitler.
A moving story, with echoes of ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’.
The website www.lovereading4kids.co.uk has it as age 11+. Published: 1/10/15.
‘Aliens Love Dinopants’ by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort was published on 8/10/15.
When aliens crash-land in the jungle, they have no idea that they are about to stumble on the biggest stash of pants ever ! Dinosaurs, aliens, underpants and bags of fun for all !
A new book in this bestselling series.
For age 3+.
‘Once there was a girl called Harper who had a rare musical gift. She heard songs on the wind, rhythms on the rain and hope in the beat of a butterfly’s wing.’
And so begins a charming story of a special little girl – and her adventures with a magical umbrella.
For age 7+.
‘Poetry Pie’ – a new collection of poems from Liverpool’s Roger McGough – was published in October 2015.
McGough taught at St.Kevin’s Comp in Kirby and was a lecturer at Mabel Fletcher College.
This new collection has over 50 poems, with themes ranging from food and animals to school and ghouls.
The collection includes many of the poet’s own line drawings. For age 7+.
Published September (2015), www.lovereadingforkids.com describes it as ‘a truly unique work of art’.
Sometimes, with a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, an imaginary friend might appear when you need one. An imaginary friend like Fred. Fred floated like a feather in the wind until a lonely little boy wished for him and found a friendship like no other. For age 3+.
Moone Boy: The Fish Detective by Chris O’Dowd and Nick Vincent Murphy was published on 22/10/15.
This is another episode in the life of hapless eleven year old Martin Moone.
Christmas is coming, but money in the Moone household is tight – and Martin realises that he’s going to have to buy his own Gameboy (it’s the 1980s) – and this means getting a job. But something fishy is going on in Francie ‘Touchy’ Feeley’s Fishatorium ! For age 9+.
An illustrated version of Walter de la Mare’s poem ‘The Ride-by-Nights’ was published at the beginning of September….
Up on their brooms the witches stream, Crooked and black in the crescent’s gleam……
Carolina Rabei’s illustrations do full justice to de la Mare’s beautiful poem.
As with his ‘Percy Jackson’ series, Riordan takes ancient myths as his inspiration for this new book. Norse mythology – with its flawed gods, epic battles and larger than life stories – provides excellent source material. The highly recommended website www.lovereading4kids.co.uk says: ‘The writing is concise, punchy, spiced with humour and the adventure is unbeatable !’
For ages 11+…but capable Y5 and Y6 readers could easily manage it.
David Baddiel allows his imagination free-rein – with hilarious results. Ellie is – understandably – upset when her video game controller gets stuck in the cheeks of her father’s Y-front-panted bottom. It no longer works properly, and anyway, she doesn’t want to touch it – would you?
A weird online encounter with someone calling himself the Mystery Man results in the arrival of a brand new controller, and then things get very strange indeed. Kids who enjoy computer games will relish this nutty fantasy adventure. For ages 9+
Children in KS2 listened to the start of this book in assembly on 10/11/15.
‘The Last Wild’ by Piers Torday
This book was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Prize in 2014.
Do not miss this magical and astounding debut. A wonderfully imaginative tale of magical self-realisation and endless possibility. A truly inspirational book for kids – that they’ll love. Age 9+
Children in Key Stage Two listened to the first few pages of this book in assembly on 5/11/15. Many children were keen to collect a free promotional copy of the first chapter.
This was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2012.
It is a hilarious book with a wonderful surprise ending.
You can watch a trailer for this book at www.lovereading4kids.co.uk
Children in Year 1 have been reading books by Oliver Jeffers
‘The Bear Who Went Boo !’ was published on 5/11/15
From Number One bestselling picture book duo, David Walliams and Tony Ross, comes this bear-illiantly funny adventure for children of 3 and up.
At the top of the world, surrounded by snow and ice, lives a very cheeky polar bear cub who loves to go…BOO! But this little bear cub doesn’t always know when to stop…
Presenting a mischievous new picture book packed with snow and surprises, from two standout talents!
‘The Seal’s Fate’ by Eoin Colfer
Eoin Colfer’s ‘The Seal’s Fate’ was published on 15/10/15.
It’s a short and often very funny novel that tells the story of a boy facing a difficult decision: should he follow his father’s instructions or ignore his responsibility.
Illustrated throughout. For age 9+.
‘My Parents are Driving Me Crazy’ by Pete Johnson was published on 1/9/15.
It is the sequel to ‘How to Train Your Parents’ and ‘My Parents are Out of Control’.
Louis is a would-be comedian – and in this book, his parents are forced to swap roles – and total chaos follows.
Brilliantly funny. For Age 7+.
‘Robot Rumpus’ by Sean Taylor and Ross Collins
This won the Scottish Book Awards 2015 in the age 3 to 7 category.
Cook-bot, Clean-bot, Wash-bot and Book-bot are all designed to let mum and dad go out, leaving their daughter in safe hands.
What could possibly go wrong ? For age 3+.
‘Harry Miller’s Run’ by David Almond
This was published on 5/11/15. It tells the story of three lads and one girl who set off one hot summer morning to run from their homes in Newcastle to South Shields – a distance of 13 miles – exactly half a marathon. Old Harry (now walking with a frame) tells Liam the story of that run that took place many, many years ago….and Liam has just got a place in the junior ‘Great North Run’. A joyful and uplifting story with full colour illustrations by Salvatore Rubbino. For readers aged 7 years and older.
‘Finding Winnie’ by Lindsay Mattick and Sophie Blackall
This is the moving and true story of the real bear named Winnie who eventually met up with a boy called Christopher Robin at London Zoo.
In 1914, Canadian vet Harry Colebourne was on his way to tend horses in World War 1. He followed his heart and rescued a baby bear – and named her Winnie.
Harry Colebourne’s real-life great granddaughter, Lindsay Mattick, tells this true story – with great illustrations by Sophie Blackall. The book has an album at the back that contains archive material from a century ago. Age 3+.