Memorable illustration Read-aloud-ability Opportunities for discussion Encourages language play and development
Brenda is the most popular sheep in the flock - but there’s something about her that’s just a little bit different… This hilarious book deals brilliantly with ideas of difference and acceptance, cleverly letting young readers work out the subtext - and possible implications - of the story for themselves. This makes it perfect for using as a springboard for early classroom discussions about inclusion, as well as beginning to consider the notion of the ‘unreliable narrator’ with older children. And of course, it is simply great fun to read, too!
Children and adults alike are bound to fall in love with Claire Alexander’s adorable Ploofers, who have been practising doing something together, all at the same time. But hang on a minute, what’s happening over there? This sweet celebration of uniqueness, with an uplifting rainbow glow, is a delight from start to finish.
Breadth of appeal Use of illustration Pacy, engaging story Learning opportunities
This playful, gloriously illustrated part-epistolary tale of one child’s attempt to persuade another out of his over-protected bubble to taste a little of the adventure the natural world has to offer is one that pupils will return to time and time again. Handily, it’s also an ideal way to start pupils thinking about the difference between formal and informal language - could they rewrite Emily’s letters in the same style of Frederick’s, and vice versa? How might that change the story?
Armadillo and Hare live together in the Big Forest - and are great friends, despite their differences. This charming collection of short stories is witty and engaging, with elegant illustrations; a worthy addition to any classroom shelf.
Originality Compelling plot Emotional depth Something to think about?
Ten-year-old Frank has trouble navigating his relationship with his five-year-old brother Max, who is autistic. Frank longs for the brother he was promised by his parents before Max was born - someone who was supposed to be his biggest fan, so he could be the best brother in the world. But when tragedy strikes, Frank finds a way to try and repair their fractured family and in doing so learns to love Max for who he is. This breathtakingly beautiful book has something special to offer every reader, and could certainly inspire some extraordinary and empowering classroom conversations.
Zoe Washington never met her father, who was sent to prison before she was born. So, when she receives a letter from him on her twelfth birthday, it's a huge surprise - and sets her off on a search to find the truth about the crime he’s supposed to have committed. Heartwarming and uplifting, this is an intriguing mystery with real substance (and cake!).
Quality of information Presentation Is the writing entertaining and age-appropriate? Will it provoke futher curiosity?
Sounds no-one can hear, scents no-one can smell, colours we can't see, magnetic waves we can't feel – but some animals can, and use them every day.
Without 'invisible nature' life on our planet would not exist. This fascinating book, combining Catherine Barr's words and Anne Wilson's beautiful illustrations, shows how animals use it, and also how humans have learned how to tap into its powers in all sorts of important ways.
Described as, ‘The book for inquisitive children with big ideas and busy brains’ (so, ‘children’, then!), this absorbing and creative exploration of some of the questions that have stumped philosophers for generations will keep pupils’ curiosity fed all year long.