Book reviews - non fiction ages 7-11 (page 5)

We have reviewed some of the best new non fiction available. There are so many wonderful books being published now that it can be hard to choose, so take a look at the ideas below and then browse in your local bookshop or library. Many of these books are also excellent classroom/library resources, so there's plenty here for teachers. 

Weird but True 2019 from National Geographic

Children who love weird and wonderful facts will love this book - and parents can prepare to be bombarded with all sorts of fascinating facts... and yes, they are all true! One thing you can guarantee with National Geographic books is excellent photography - and this is no exception. From the tiny harvest mouse to the mighty whale, everything is shown in superb photos as well as relevant infographics all accompanied by additional fact boxes. Facts and stories about geography, biology, the animal kingdom, social sciences, human achievement and innovation form the main part of the book. Ranging from geographical curiosity to animal wonders, gross inventions to weird food, the Weird but True! Annual 2019 is full of fascinating facts to fill children with awe and wonder. I am really pleased to see a comprehensive index which enables children to navigate through the book, honing their research skills.

Blazing a Trail: Irish Women Who Changed the World by Sarah Webb

The 28 Irish women in this book really deserve to be celebrated. From fearless aviator, Lady Mary Heath, the first woman in the world to parachute from an aeroplane, to Margaret Bulkley, the 18th-century surgeon who lived as a man, there are high achievers in many fields, who have had an impact, not just in Ireland but around the world. Children may have already heard some of their names, like Countess Markievicz and Dame Ninette de Valois, but others, like Anne Sullivan, Lilian Bland or Anna Haslam, may be new to them. I love the full page illustrations by Lauren O'Neill, which combine aspects of the achievements along with a portrait - cleverly done and a good way to stimulate discussion. Packed with fun, fascinating facts this book celebrates some of the trail blazers who have shaped the world we live in.

Body IQ from Priddy Books

Much more than just a book, this pack incorporates a spiral bound booklet about the human body, as well as a human skeleton to push out and put together, as well as a giant poster of the human body which shows internal organs and the skeleton. Together, these mean the package addresses a range of learning styles, making it an effective form of learning. Good use of graphics and a bright jazzy layout will appeal to children; the IQ facts are intriguing. The information is easy to assimilate and presented in a child-friendly way, making this an excellent resource to support KS2 science learning.

Island of Adventures: Fun things to do all around Ireland by Jennifer Farley

Whether you live in Ireland, are planning a holiday there, or simply want to know more about our close neighbour (Northern Ireland is included in the book), this book has lots to offer. Ireland has so much to offer, with plenty of adventure, exploration and activity. Just look at the map at the start of the book to get an idea - wildlife, whale watching, seal spotting, snadcastle championshiups, music and boating - there really is something for everyone, all enticingly described and illustrated, with plenty of interesting facts to learn. A lovely family guide to a beautiful island.!

One Day, So Many Ways by Laura Hall

Over 40 countries and dozens of children feature in this round the world exploration of how others live. As the title indicates, we follow a wide variety of children as they wake up, eat, go to school, play, talk, learn and go about their everyday routine over a 24 hour period. As the book goes through the day, so pictures and text show children living, working and playing.In many ways similar to our lives, but with so many differences to marvel at, this will be a real eye-opener for children as they visit a whole range of different countries. Loris Lora's illustrations help children to see the differences, and they will stimulate thoughtful discussion. Make use of the map, too, to ensure children are learning about where places are. It's an excellent way to raise awareness of other cultures, celebrating difference and promoting acceptance and empathy.

The Atlas of Heroes by Sandra Lawrence

Children will respond well to the personal approach of this book, which gives it a good structure and purpose. Alicea has to give a speech at school, and decides to use Aunt Helena's wonderful adventures as its basis. STarting in Ancient Greece and moving on to emcompass the whole world, Aunt Helena's adventures are full of interest. In this atlas, superbly illustrated by Stuart Hill, children will explore many of the great figures of mythology and their incredible exploits. From Heracles of Greece, to Maui of the Pacific, to the Empress Jingu of Japan, this lovely book is full of fascinating stories of bravery and cunning. The presentation and writing style is excellent and will really engage children's attention; the range of heroes (including heroines, of course) is fabulous. Good to see an index included so children can revisit favourites.

A History of Pictures for Children by David Hockney and Martin Gayford

A History of Pictures for Children takes readers on a journey through art history through the interesting and unusual approach of a conversations between the authors. Questions are posed by Martin Gayford, an art critic, and the responses are from artist David Hockney. The conversations are perfectly pitched for children and they will enjoy the insights into how the artworks were created as well as the fascinating observations by David Hockney. Had you noticed the dirty clogs in The Arnolfini Marriage, or did you know how quickly Monet had to paint to capture the ice before sunset in Breakup of the Ice? It's all really interesting and will give children plenty to look out for, whether they see the originals or enjoy the art works through books. The book takes the reader from early art drawn on cave walls to the images we make today on our computers and phone cameras. Rose Blake’s liveky illustrations illuminate the narratives of both authors to bring the history of art alive for a young audience. The book includes a useful glossary explaining art terms, and there is an index. A beautifully produced book that will really make art accessible to children, and stimulate their interest.

Raise the Flag: Terrific flag facts, stories and trivia! by Clive Gifford

Flags are fascinating and some can tell us a lot about the history and culture of a country. Children love to garner facts to amaze others, and this information-packed book with plenty of facts and trivia about 268 flags goes way beyond the normal book about flags. In that way, it makes the flags more memorable - and I, for one, struggle to remember all but the most common flags, so I am hoping this book will help! The history of flags, as well as many different types of flags, make this a comprehensive guide and an entertaining read. Each continent has its own atlas-style chapter with the history of significant flags fully explored; this is really useful to help children with geography too. Themed sections introduce the many different types of flags, great moments in flag history (flags at the poles and in space for example) and how we communicate using flags. To further engage readers, there's a design-your-own flag activity and a flag quiz. Tim Bradford's lively illustrative style complements the text ideally and by including the flags in many of the pictures, he makes it easier to remember them. A fascinating book with so much varied information to enjoy.

The Moon by Hannah Pang

360 degrees is a relatively new imprint from Little Tiger Books, and already they have produced some wonderful titles - and here's another. Mankind has always viewed the moon with awe and wonder, and this book is the perfect reflection of that. The moon has an impact on many aspects of our lives and throughout history it has inspired authors, astronomers, poets, mathematicians and artists, as well as having physical effects, such as tides, on the Earth. This informative book, which I think will appeal to all ages, tells the history of man's relationship with the Moon – the science, the myths, the facts and the fiction. The book includes two useful glossaries - terms and people - but I would like to see an index to guide readers through what is a substantial book. It really is a beautiful book, one to treasure, and the illustrations byThomas Hegbrook have a big part to play in this - they are beautiful pieces of art in their own right and I loved looking at them in detail. The book is wide-ranging, with plenty to interest everyone, whether they want to know all about the science, or are interested in the myths surrounding our moon - or even fascinated by the way the moon is said to affect our behaviour. Perfect as a gift.

Odd Science - Amazing Inventions by James Olstein

This book will have definite appeal to all those, young and old, who delight in collecting bizarre facts. The road to invention is not always smooth, and there are definitely some strange experiences had on the way, some of which are described in this engrossing book. Inventions are fascinating but even more so when you read about things like pens that work in the air to create 3D constructions; how looking for a replacement for rubber led to Silly Putty; how some trainers were made of spider silk and many, many more. Throughout, and with a picture for every invention, James Olstein beautifully illustrates these odd facts, and more, in a retro-inspired, quirky style which should be taken with a pinch of salt. It's a shame the book does not have an index, though - it would be good to be able to look up a specific invention. However, this is still a super book and great for sparking off conversations.

P is for Paris by Paul Thurlby

Paul Thurlby's books are simply wonderful - every illustration is a work of art in its own right, well deserving of wall space (and I was really pleased to see his work is available in calendar format). This A to Z is Paris as never seen before - and the artist's style is perfectly suited to the city. Join him as he visits all the famous sights, including the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Louvre, as well as meeting some famous people (it's a shame the page on the French Open is already out-of date though, as Nadal has now won 11 times - it would have been good to see a date included here) and visiting famous institutions. The feel of Paris is evoked perfectly. The generous size of the book and the heavy cream paper means the illustrations are done full justice. Far from being simply a child's A to Z, although it works excellently as such, this is a book which will appeal to all ages and would make a lovely reminder of a visit to Paris. Superb.

Dinosaur (Photicular) by Dan Kainen

This is, quite simply, stunning. It's a really thick book with a dramatic Photicular image on the front cover - people will be instantly attracted to this unusual looking book - and they'll be hooked once they start flicking through the pages. Many people are intrigued by dinosaurs, and here they are as you've never seen them before. The lifelike animations are sensational and the magnificent creatures are set against realistic backgrounds that really make them lifelike. Watch herd of giant sauroposeidons crossing sun-drenched plains; two triceratops fighting; an euraptor eating; a velociraptor standing tall and many more. Accompanying the images is informative and lively text by science writer Kathy Wollard, which includes useful statistics and facts. Donosaur fan or not, this is a fascinating book, beautifully presented - a real treat. Photicular books are an outstanding series - if you've not seen them before, I recommend you seek them out.

The Magical World of Ballet by Carlton Kids

Written in association with the Royal Ballet, this is a fascinating book that all ballet fans will love. The unique perspective offered through the involvement of the Royal Opera House makes this book stand apart, and the interviews included give interesting insights. The history of ballet is covered, as is its music. There are profiles of famous dancers and two page spreads detailing famous ballets. Those who aspire to be principal dancers will discover what it takes to become a professional dancer, with a chapter devoted to life at ballet school and one about ;ife in a ballet company. Those who love watching ballet can learn about how a production is created and how the beautiful costumes are made. Throughout, the book is enhanced by superb photos and imagery from the Royal Ballet. This is a beautiful book that will make a superb gift for ballet fans young and old.

Three Cheers for Women by Marcia Williams

I am a big fan of Marcia Williams' books. The lively comic strip style presentation is bound to appeal to children, and the books are always crammed with information, as well as quotes and jokes. This time, she celebrates incredible women from all over the world and from every period in history. Each person has a two page spread with her story told in a comic strip; speech bubbles, information paragraphs for each picture, and asides alongside present the information. Queen ElizabethI, Frida Kahlo, Anne Frank and Marie Curie are just a few of the women included; there are also brief biographies of many more women at the end of the book. Children can add the names of their own favourites on a banner towards the end of the book - a good way to encourage reflection. An inspirational book with a well-chosen range of subjects, covering achievements across a variety of areas - achievements which have had a lasting impact on our world and our lives.

The Skies Above My Eyes by Charlotte Gulliam

An amazing book which shows the skies in all their majestic glory as you unfold the book to an impressive 2.5 metres. Journey into the air, through the atmosphere, way out into space, and back down to Earth and revel in the superb illustrations by Yuval Zommer. It's a wide-ranging book, which stands apart from other books on the sky by including man-made technology, the insects and animals that inhabit the skies, before going on to the layers of the atmosphere, the solar system and the galaxies. I can just see children sharing this book, lying on the floor and pointing out features to one another - it's brilliant for sharing. A wonderful way to show children what lies beyond our earth, and to encourage them to explore further.

Bright Sparks: Amazing Discoveries, Inventions and Designs by Women by Owen O'Doherty

What instantly attracted me to this book was the varied and unusual range of inventions included; these include the pedal bin, aquarium, life rafts, correction fluid and brake pads. We all use or know of these things but do you know who invented them? All these practical kitems were invented by women. The book is superbly illustrated with sketches of the inventors and their inventions. Bright Sparks is an empowering book that celebrates the minds of women that resulted in some of the most striking discoveries, inventions and designs in history. Fancy yourself as an inventor? There's a step-by-step guide to inspire and encourage readers to come up with their own inventions. Make sure you check out the section on Looking After Your Ideas.


This book takes the reader deep into the world of Roald Dahl Dahl's wonderful stories with fascinating insights into the characters and events from Roald Dahl's writing in a humorous, exciting and downright gloriumptious way. For the very first time, the stories behind the stories are brought to life in this new title which is packed with Quentin Blake's iconic illustrations. There are previously unpublished reproductions of imagined letters, artefacts and posters, and editing notes from Dahl himself, to bring all of Roald Dahl's characters alive. Each of his children's books has a chapter to itself. Beautifully presented and superbly illustrated - of course - this book is a real treat. There is so much to enjoy, including some special pop up surprises, and it will make you take a fresh look at the books. This is a simply wonderful book; a book which should be in the library of every Roald Dahl fan.

Absolutely Everything!: A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention by Christopher Lloyd

Simply wonderful! The approach really appeals to me - the authors' aim is to connect knowledge together and make world history fun and accessible. Modern teaching has a sad way of compartmentalising subjects, and teaching history as a series of discrete time periods, rather than looking at the overall picture; this book counteracts that perfectly. Fact is stranger than fiction can certainly be applied to this book which starts with the creation of planet earth and the rise of animals, and moves on to globalization, wars and global warming. Here are some of the questions the book answers. How was our universe made from a tiny speck of energy? Where did the first trees, plants, animals and humans come from? What happened to the dinosaurs? What was so miserable about medieval times? How were railroads and electricity invented? What are the perils of global warming? This hardback book can be dipped into or read cover to cover - either way, you will be mesmerised by the fascinatingv accounts. The pages are edged with colour-coded timescales for easy reference and there's also a useful glossary and comprehensive index. The writing style invites questioning and further exploration and will appeal to both children and adults. Plenty of colour drawings enhance the book and add information value. An absorbing book with a superb approach to mankind's history.

Human World: A visual compendium of wonders from human (The Curiositree) by Amanda Wood and Mike Jolley

Curiositree is a new series of visually compelling information charts from innovative publisher Wide Eyed Editions. 60 charts take the reader from our earliest beginnings to the modern day. Instead of unlinked facts, the book explores the way every facet of human history is linked and shows just how by following the arrows that link to charts on related topics throughout the book. Charts are colour-coded - yellow are art and culture; orange human histoyr and blue are science, trade and technology. Readers can follow specific topics of interest or simply browse through the wonderful pages. The cahrts are accompanied by descriptive material much of which goes into good depth of detail. The book is packed with illustrations by Andres Lozano, and these will also stimulate interest. An exceptional book, beautifully presented; one to stimulate curiosity and to encourage different ways of thinking about and perceiving history. There is plenty of support for the KS2 curriculum and the many unusual facts will enhance children's appreciation for their studies.

Voyage Through Space by Katy Flint

Beginning at the centre of the solar system with the sun, the book joins a young astronaut and her space dog as they voyage through our solar system, seeing space as never before. Journey from the sun, to the planets, asteroids and Kuiper belt, and watch the amazement on the young astronaut's face as she discovers each new wonder. Full page colour illustrations by Cornelia Li form the background to each page, and there are plenty of accompanying notes to explain what is being seen. Enhance children's wonder as they unfold the superb glow-in-the-dark poster - just turn off the light to bring the incredible glow-in-the-dark ink to life.

Amazing Space by Raman Prinja

This atractive book takes the reader on a beautifully illustrated journey into space, which includes unusual and informative illustrations. Travel from the Earth's surface to the edge of the universe and then enjoy the fascinating infographics (a good visual way to present information) which simply explain facts and statistics about the universe. A comprehensive timeline of space exploration is a notable feature as it includes far more in the way of dates and information than is usual, and really helps to put it all into context. A lovely gift for space fans.

DK Findout! Maya, Incas, and Aztecs

The Maya, Inca, and Aztec people were unique, fascinating and colourful, and DK have done full justice to that in this engaging book in the findout! series. The highly visual approach combines illustrations and photographs with clearly arranged facts and information boxes. The book is perfect for supporting KS2 history, with just enough information to answer questions and then to stimulate further research. Plenty of fascinating facts of the type children enjoy will help them engage with these historical people. The quiz is a good way to consolidate knowledge, and the provision of the free online encyclopedia is an excellent resource.

The Everything Book of Dogs and Puppies by DK Publishing

This book takes a slightly different approach to the norm in its layout, which makes it instantly appealing and out of the ordinary. The arrangement is thematic, partly about different types of dogs, and then dog breeds. Highly illustrated, there are plenty of fact boxes and annotations alongside the pictures, making the book easy to read. Want to know what dogs are showing with their body language, what are they dreaming about, and what they are trying to say to you? Here are the answers. I do have a reservation about the cocker spaniel being described as a 'tiny' breed compared with a pekinese as 'medium' though, so please check the facts regarding the sizes of dogs, some of which are dubious as they are arranged by size according to category which children will find confusing.

Biographic Sherlock by Viv Croot

Understanding what lies behind famous fictional characters is so important in getting a full understanding and appreciation, and this unusual approach is really engaging with its unique perspective. The Biographic series takes 50 defining facts, dates, thoughts, habits and achievements of the subject, and uses infographics to convey all of them in vivid snapshots. They vare divided into life, work, world and legacy, giving excellent background information to the life and times of Conan Doyle's famous creation. This succinct approach will be really popular with today's readers and is interesting for any age. The visual approach will encourage less confident readers and hopefully will entice them to seek out the classic books. I was intrigued to learn that Sherlock Holmes investigated 60 fully documented cases, 46 of those cases began in his offices at 221B Baker Street; and only three of them involved his nemesis Moriarty. Totally absorbing and a wonderful picture of a great fictional character, set against plenty of information about his era and life. Published by Ammonite Press, August 2018, ISBN 9781781453148.

Kahlo: Great Lives in Graphic Form (Biographic) by Sophie Collins

Another fascinating and unusual look at a famous person - this time, a real life person, of course - and what better way to show the life of an artist than through graphics? Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist and a feminist icon - that will be well-known, but by the time readers have enjoyed this book, they will have a good all-round perspective on a fascinating and complex character. Such an effective way of presenting information, making it memorable and really fun - children can learn a lot about presentation of their own work through these books. There is a useful and comprehensive index and many of Kahlo's artworks are shown in the book in full colour. Published by Ammonite Press, August 2018, ISBN 9781781453414.

Children's Illustrated History Atlas by DK Children

The generous size of this atlas immediately makes it look inmpressive, and gives scope for the inclusion of plenty of information on every page. Over 40 colourful maps are included, under The Ancient World; The Middle Ages; The Age of Discovery; the Age of Industry and the Modern World, each introduced with a timeline to put events into context. Each map is generously ollustrated, with lines linking locations and plenty of interesting facts displayed on the maps. Using this atlas, children will learn how to read a map and use a key, compass, and scale; knowledge that can be usefully transferred. The maps are easy to use and the locations are shown on inset maps. The Children's Illustrated History Atlas is an essential addition to every child's library. It's an excellent way to help children put historical facts and dates into context, and a book that will be useful to refer back to frequently.

Cook's Cook by Gavin Bishop

Released to mark the 250th anniversary of Cook's journey, this is an unusual and interesting approach to the well-known account - refreshingly different. The story is narrated by the cook, one-handed John Thompson. Bringing history to life, there are real recipes from the ship's galley, accounts of events on board and information about places visited, all neatly interwoven to give an enjoyable narrative. A very personal (and ultimately sad) account, beautifully illustrated.

Mice in the City: Around the World by Ami Shin

Readers are invited to join Stanley the Mouse on an unforgettable journey through 16 iconic locations. Join Stanley the Mouse as he sets out on a trip around the world aboard Mrs Crombie’s airship! Readers will visit sixteen different locations, including London, Mexico City, the Great Barrier Reef, Namibia’s Etosha National Park, and the Black Forest - a super range of destinations to discover. Children will need to look closely to find what is hidden - a local food, flag, dress, building and greeting ... and a naughty black-and-white cat. The real plus of books like this is the way they encourage children to study the pictures in depth - a great way to find out more in a memorable fashion. The pictures are hugely detailed - this is a book to return to over and over again and one that will really capture children's attention.

The People Awards by Lily Murray

I love the cover of this book - the eye-catching gold embossing is just right for a book of celebration. And who doesn't love an award ceremony? Settle down - The People Awards are about to begin. The book celebrates equality with 50 famous people from around the world who have made history and changed the world for the better. This is a beautiful hardback book of biographies to treasure, with stunning and unusual art from award-winning artist Ana Albero. Each biography is the perfect length to incite children's interest and to give just enough information to set them on the path of discovery. Disappointingly though, the book does not have an index, so it's hard to locate a specific person, and I am not quite sure how the order of people has been decided, making it a little confusing which is such a shame as the concept is excellent.

Music Legends (40 Inspiring Icons) by Herve Guilleminot

This format is an excellent way to introduce children to a range of linked personalities; there's just enough information so they are informed and aware. For each person, there's a stylised illustration, short biography and a varied range of fact boxes alongside statistics which bring each star alive in a fun, accessible way. From Elvis and the 1950s to the modern-day Arcade Fire, this is an eclectic mix of famous popular musicians. The way aspects are pulled out for young readers, such as genre, look and famous performances, will stimulate discussion and enhance understanding of musical style.

Greek Gods and Heroes (40 Inspiring Icons) by Sylvie Baussier

These succinct biographies are perfect to support KS2 studies of Ancient Greece. Readers will meet gods, goddesses, heroes and heroines of Greek Mythology, including Gaia, Zeus, Prometheus, Pandora, Athena, Antigone, Orpheus, Helen and Achilles. Each portrait includes the person's genealogy, allies and enemies, history and the myths associated with them; excellent to encourage further research. There's plenty of trivia too - always a good way to present information to children, as they enjoy being able to relate it back to friends and adults. Attractive clear layout means the information is easy to take in and remember. Each book in the series follows the same format, so collecting all the series will build up into a really good refenence collection that will be useful for many years.

Children's Book of Art from Usborne Books 

As you'd expect, this is a sumptously illustrated book with all the paintings disussed illustrated, along with pictures of the artists, enlarged details and quirky cartoons to add to the enjoyment of reading. The high quality production and attractive layout showcases the paintings perfectly. The book includes masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet, Degas, Picasso and Georgia O'Keeffe, among many others - over 30 in all. Engaging, jargon-free writing is perfect for KS2 children and will encourage them to take an interest in art and hopefully to visit art galleries as well as trying out painting for themselves. The Usborne Quicklinks website is excellent for giving additional ideas.

Transport and Travel by Sandra Lawrence

This book, from 360 degrees, is a chunky landscape format book which is instantly appealing. It takes the reader on an exciting whistlestop journey through the past, present, and future of transport and shows the marvellous ways in which travel has developed through the centuries. Ever since the invention of the wheel, mankind has wanted to go faster and and higher and here we find out how, through succinct yet informative text accompanied by delightful illustrations by Jem Maybank. The book is set out in four sections - wheels, rail, air and water; it covers a fascinating variety of transport, many of which will be new to the reader. A super introduction to travel and transport - and man's ingenuity.

Wonders of the World: An Interactive Tour of Marvels and Monuments by Isabel Otter

Interactive books are perfect to capture children's attention and to encourage them to love books. The ancient to the modern worlds are featured in the book, which includes the natural wonders of the world. Interestingly and usefully, the book starts with the seven wonders of the ancient and modern worlds, illustrated on the map so children can locate them. After that, every page teems with amazing facts and vibrant illustrations. Lift the flaps and use the other interactive elements to discover the history and the secrets that lie behind many of the most amazing sights on Earth. It would be useful if the book had a contents page or index though. The outstanding illustrations by Margaux Carpenter, set against vibrant and vivid backgrounds complement the text perfectly

The Impressionists' Japan from Monet to Van Gogh by Catherine De Duve

The art books published by Happy Museum are brilliant for introducing children to art, and especially for their different and unusual approach. The books cover topics not found elsewhere and this look at the Impressionists in Japan is excellent to show a different aspect. The links between Japan and the West,opened up in 1868 brough to the attention of artists a new type of art, using new lines, shapes and techniques. Monet and Van Gogh collected Japanese objects and prints, and these are reflected in their art - and of course in Monet's famous garden. The book is excellently written and is full of opportunities for children to have a go themselves, with many pictures based on the paintings discussed to colour in - a great way to encourage appreciation and observation. Published by Happy Museum, July 2018, ISBN 978-2875751218.

Gustav Klimt from Kate'Art Editions

Gustav Klimt (who died in 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter, noted for a wide variety of work including paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d'art. This enjoyable activity book is perfect to introduce the the artist. It showcases full page colour prints of many of Klimt s most famous works, with accompanying outline drawings to colour in on the facing pages.The paintings are all identified at the end of the book, so children could do more research to enhance their knowledge. Published by Happy Museum, July 2018, ISBN 978-2875751140.

10 Reasons to Love... a Penguin by Catherine Barr

A die-cut penguin outline on the front cover encourages children to pick up the book - and who can resist a penguin? Inside the front cover, the 18 different species of penguin are shown, with clear identifying features. Readers will learn ten fascinating facts about penguins, which will make them appreciate their incredible lives and the places they live. Hanko Clulow's detailed illustrations show the penguins in their natural habitat and in family groups, showing us clearly how these birds live. Also, there are five ways in which each one of us can help look after the future of the penguin. This is a lovely series - not only does it inform and entertain, but it also heightens awareness of the ways in which we, and future generations, can protect our wildlife.

10 Reasons to Love… a Lion by Catherine Barr

In contrast to the penguin, there is just one species of lion. Again, the lions are depicted in excellent colour illustrations by Hanko Clolow, which show these magnificent beasts against a range of their natural settings, along with many other creatures (and plants too), all labelled in the pictures. The writing style is informal and appealing for children. Fascinating facts give 10 reasons to love lions. The suggestions for 'how to show you love a ...' are things that families can do together, such as watching Born Free and using recycled lion poo pellets in the garden. These are well produced hardback books and build up into a lovely collection with others in the series - perfect as gifts and important to heighten awareness of how we can care for the natural world.

What on Earth: Robots by Jenny Fretland Vanvoorst

Robots are no longer things of the future, but play a significant part in everyday  an important part of our world. No longer just science fiction, they are helping us in our homes, workplaces, space and more. This interactive book helps children explore the different types of robots and the tasks they perform; investigate how they work; and show how to create a robot. With experiments, investigations and hands-on activities, this is an excellent way to demonstrate to children the role robots play and how they do itL ively illustrations by Pau Morgan enhance the text and provide visual explanations. The chapters cover What is a Robot, Robot Bodies, Robot Senses, Robot Brains and Robot Jobs, giving an excellent overall picture presented in a lively and engaging way.

Space Number Crunch by Kevin Pettman

Today's children, with their familiarity with the internet and expectation of succinctly and brightly presented information will respond well to this fact-packed book. The presentation, with its clearly presented data graphics and high-impact artworks is oerfect for dipping into and seeking information (although the lack of an index is a shame). There's a vast amount of information, with each piece of data is based around a number; this approach makes the facts easy to remember, even for reluctant of readers. It includes features on the Big Bang, Mission to Mars, the Hubble Telescope and each of the extraordinary planets in our solar system, so it is really wide-ranging, covering all, and more, that KS2 pupils need to know about space.

The World of Vikings by Robert Macleod

Subtitled 'Discover the age of fearless warriors and epic legends', this is perfect to support a popular KS2 history topic. The Vikings combines breathtakingly vivid images with fascinating facts to unlock the world of these legendary warriors, traders and explorers. Covering bloodthirsty raids, weapons, heroic figures, as well as daily life and exploration, the author's passion for the Vikings comes across vividly and really engenders enthusiasm for the topic. Dramatic CGI scenes are really eye-catching and complement the rest of the visual material which is also high quality. Vikings are an exciting people for children to learn about and the lively highly visual presentation (over 160 images) which bring the Vikings to life will have immediate appeal.

Spot the Mistake: Journeys of Discovery by Amanda Wood and Mike Jolley

By encouraging children to hone their observation skills, this book really helps them to learn and remember more about explorers. The approach is not what you'd expect though - instead of the normal format of looking for specific objects, this book expects the reader to spot 20 things that don't belong in the picture. For example, Hillary's conquest of Everest shows awalkie-talkies, a beehive and a yeti - it really makes the reader think and I found it absorbing. There are 10 scenes and help is given by two young history detectives who feature in the book. A map at the front shows all the journeys. It's a fascinating way for children to make their own discoveries - and the answers are provided on the following pages, along with plenty of other snippets of interesting information. Engrossing.

Cave Discovery: When Did We Start Asking Questions? (The Curious Science Quest) by Julia Golding

Join Harriet, Darwin's pet tortoise, and Milton, Schrodinger's indecisive cat, in their time travel machine. Harriet and Milton start their investigations with trying to discover when humans started asking questions. First stop on the quest is cave paintings - who did them? What did they mean, and what can they show us about our ancestors? It's a fascinating exploration of the significance of these amazing paintings, that have so much from which we can learn. The lively and varied presentation of the book is very appealing for children, complemented by Brett Hudson's illustrations. This is a super way to satisfy children's curiosity, with lots to think about and plenty of activities to back up the facts, making them memorable for children. More titles in the series are due for publication in October 2018, so do look out for these.

Greek Adventure: Who were the first scientists? (The Curious Science Quest) by Julia Golding

This quest of discovery is told in narrative form, which engages the reader immediately. The Ancient Greek scientists made many amazing and significant discoveries and the book unravels scientific exploration and religious beliefs and explains how they fit together. Lively and entertaining illustrations by Brett Hudson add to the enjoyment of the book. Throughout the book, there are questions for children to answer, supporting facts which explain the background to the discoveries, and activities to enjoy. This is an excellent series from Lion Children's Books, which really encourages children to think and discover, as well as to find out about the way science and faith are linked and support each other. I would like to see an index in the book, though, as the contents page is fairly brief and doesn't facilitate finding specific topics.

Welcome to Our World: A Celebration of Children Everywhere by Moira Butterfield

This colourful book is a lovely way to introduce children to others from around the world - to see what they share and how they are different. They will learn about what people in other countries eat, wear and play, and how they speak and celebrate; this will lead to greater understanding and help the development of friendships with those they meet. The focus is very much on things that interest and are familiar to children - food, pets, families, school, celebrations and much more. There are some really amusing facts which will appeal to children - the 'Sayings Around the World' are great fun and will be lovely for children to use! The illustrations by Harriet Lynas are full of interest and talking points, and the coloured backgrounds to every page make them even more attractive. A fascinating book which children will thoroughly enjoy and which teaches so much about the way other children live.

Holes by Jonathan Litton

An amazing and extensive world lies beneath our feet, but we rarely think about it. Enjoy this fascinating book and discover discover a fascinating world of burrows and boreholes, subways and sinkholes - it will make you think every time you are out and about about just what you are travelling over. There are five sections to enjoy - Natural Holes; Manmade Holes; Animal and Plant Holes; Philosophy of Holes and Ordinary and Extraordinary Holes. The book is packed with information and the multitude of detailed illustrations by Thomas Hegbrook add detail to the text. Each illustration is accompanied by a snippet of information and the two page spreads have a common theme throughout, such as caves, freshwater holes, mines and living underground; this makes the book easy and enjoyable to use. Holes of all sorts have an amazing impact on our lives, and this book really helps us appreciate that and encourages further exploration and discovery, as well as an awareness of what is under our feet.

Elon Musk (First Names) by Tracey Turner

I was thrilled to see the first two books in this new series from David Fickling Books; enjoyable biographies for 8 to 12 year olds are in short supply but this series promises to redress that balance. Here we have the first two and many more are to come... so watch this space! Elon Musk may not be a familiar name but he has had a huge impact; he is an inventor who has revolutionised electric cars, and plans to soon be taking men to Mars with his powerful space rockets. Learn about Musk's childhood and what inspired him to become an inventor. The presentation is lively and appealing, with the text reading like a story, accompanied by plentiful cartoon-style illustrations that will really grab children's attention; the books in the series are good to encourage reluctant readers, especially those who prefer non-fiction. A great start to the series.

Emmeline Pankhurst (First Names) by Haydn Kaye

Emmeline Pankhurst fought a hard battle to win the vote for British women and she has been an inspiration to others - find out more about this iconic character and gain a greater understanding through this book. First Names are fun to read and highly illustrated biographies which introduce famous people to an audience of young readers; they are perfect to support KS2 learning. The child-friendly approach includes the star of the books chipping in with their own comments - a fun feature. I'm really pleased to see the books include comprehensive indexes, which are really useful. A fabulous series which will prove really valuable.

Moviemaking Magic of Star Wars:: Creatures & Aliens by Mark Salisbury

Wow! What a fantastic book for every Star Wars fan. It is, quite simply, absolutely superb in its presentation and content. Readers will be taken behind the scenes to find out how favourite characters, including Chewbacca, Yoda, Jabba and more, were created from concept to screen. The very special element of this collectible book comes with the 20 interactive elements which include six-page booklets, accordion folds, and flaps. These aren't just gimics, but really add to the informative value of the book. Aside from these, the book is highly illustrated throughout and the illustrations and text reveal the technology with concept sketches, moulds, digital imagery and more; learn how the talented teams behind the films made the impossible possible. This engrossing read includes creatures and aliens from all 10 Star Wars films. An unmissable book for all interested in the biggest movie franchise of all time.

How to Be an Engineer by DK Children

The consultant for this book is Carol Vorderman, who brings all her usual enthusiasm for encouraging children to try new things and thereby build confidence. This book ties in perfectly with the current emphasis on STEAM subjects. The book shows that engineering is all around us and being an engineer is about looking at the world and trying to figure out how it works. Threre are plenty of projects for children to enjoy, including making a set of gears, building a skyscraper and making a suspension bridge. These illustrate every facet of the book and are excellent for shoing children ho things work - practical work is so much more effective than simply reading. The book is illustrated throughout wwith photos and diagrams that really help understanding; throughout the book, children are encouraged to think like engineers. They will also be inspired by engineering heroes such as Leonardo da Vinci, Mae Jemison, and Elon Musk. The activities are ideal to support KS2 science, and they will really generate enthusiasm and extend understanding. A superb book, packed with information.

Science Squad by DK Children

Authored by Robert Winston, this book is subtitled An Introduction to Steam: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths. The Science Squad are on hand to guide children through the exciting world of the STEAM subjects; generating enthusiasm at this age will really pay dividends in future. The book breaks the subjects down into easily manageable chunks, and each is covered in a two page spread. Topics include the universe, the water cycle, ecosystems, time, materials and robots, among many others. There is a brief introduction to each topic hich is ideal for the 5 - 7 age range recommended by the publisher, folloed by more detailed information which is at to levels, and I feel this is better suited to loer KS2 children as the font is small and the vocabulary quite complex. The Science Squad characters are, of course, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Maths; children will respond well to their friendly approach and chatty explanations as ell as to the tips and fun facts. This colourful and ell presented book will really enthuse children for STEAM subjects and give them an excellent start in understanding them.

Creature Features by Natasha Durley

This unusual animal book will really encourage children to look closely at all the wonderful illustrations as they look for the anser to the question on each spread. Each creature on the double page is linked by a common characteristic, hether it be noses, ears, armour, feet or others. This vibrantly coloured book is a real celebration of the diversity (and unity) of animal life. There are many unusual creatures illustrated too, so it is a great way to extend knowledge of the animal kingdom. With board pages, this is a durable book that will provide many happy hours of browsing, with lots to wonder at and to encourage appreciation for the natural world.

A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women's Rights by Kate Hannigan

Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood was an American attorney, politician, educator, and author. She was active in working for women's rights, including women's suffrage, and constantly asked herself about the role of women related to men - are women not worth the same as men? A determined woman, her story is vividly yet simple told through the pages of this fascinating book. Belva Lockwood fought for equality for women in the classroom, in the courtroom and in politics - follow her through the wonderful crackle-graze illustrations by Alison Jay, which are so effective and evocative of the period. Lively and full of detail, take the time to appreciate them fully. A comprehensive timeline and useful bibliography complete a lovely and beautifully produced book which has contemporary relevance. Published by Boyd Mills Press, April 2018, ISBN 978-1629794532

Ultimate Interplanetary Travel Guide: A Futuristic Journey Through the Cosmos by Jim Bell 

This wonderful book will whisk readers young and old on a thrilling interplanetary journey which will leave them overcome with awe and wonder. It's set 200 years in the future, so if you can't wait for interplanetary travel, this is the next best thing! The book contains an unparallelled visual experience of our solar system making excellent use of superb photography well reproduced on semi-shiny good quality paper for the best experience. It also includes eight tear-out NASA travel-type posters perfect for a wall display. Factual, easy to read and recall nformative summaries of every destination are based on knowledge gleaned from more than 50 years of space exploration. This hardback book is one to treasure and which will be enjoyed by all the family as an inspiring and promisinglook into what the future might hold. Published by Sterling, May 2018, ISBN 978-1454925682.

The Book of Comparisons: Sizing up the world around you by Clive Gifford

Definitely a book to dip in and out of, with lots of engrossing information to captivate young and old. The facts are astonishing. Did you know that a cheetah and a Porsche can both accelerate from 0 to 70 mph/112 kph in just three seconds? That the moon is only slightly narrower than the width of Australia? That the tallest tree in the world, the giant sequoia, is the same height as a 26-storey building? Or that length of a blue whale is the same as 19 humans swimming one behind the other? Putting facts across in this comparative way makes it so much easier for us to appreciate their wonders. The subject range is wide - space, grand man-made structures, plant life, mega machines, sport, microscopic... the list goes on. It's highly visual, making for great appeal and easily remembered facts; the amount of information is hufe. A super book which offers a different perspective on the world; a book whichg enourages you to look at things with a new light; a book to make you think, appreciate and ponder over the marvels of our beautiful world.

Humanatomy: How the Body Works by Nicola Edwards

All you need to know about the human body in a highly visual and unusual presentation.At the front of the book is a pull-out booklet to be read alongside the main text as readers explore eight different body systems from intergumentary to urinary. Common questions children ask are answered, including How does skin heal itself? What is blood made of? What happens to food when we eat it? How does memory work? Its perfect to support KS2 science studies and to really encouage children to take an interest in how the body works. The unusual presentation is very effective and supportive to learning. The illustrations really clarify what is being learnt and the diagrams are clear and well-labelled. There's a useful glossary but sadly no index. A clear and easy reference book which covers all children need in an unusual and effective way.

The Totally Amazing, Fact-Packed, Fold-Out Atlas of the World by Jen Green

Christaine Engel's lively and attractive illustrations enliven the pages of this atlas, makinhg it appealing and informative. Technology means our world seems to be shrinking fast, and children often find it tricky to relate one place to another. The three lavish gatefold maps (Europe, Asia and the Americas) showing the major continents in rich detail and are complemented by a world map. The pages show people, places and animals, encouraging children to take a great interest in the world rich in discoveries that readers themselves can make on the pages of this atlas. Set out by continent, the maps also include biomes and terrains as well as wildlife, and further maps that show people, places and political boundaries. A vibrant atlas that packs in a lot of information, enticingly presented.

People of Peace: Meet 40 amazing activists (40 Inspiring Icons) by Sandrine Mirza

Another book in this super series that provides interesting information about a linked group of people - this time, well-known activists, past and present and from around the world. Children will meet and be inspired by people such as Victor Hugo, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and John Lennon. Each is described in a two page spread with appropriate illustrations and many fascinating facts. Good use of fonts makes for a consistent, easy to use layout; a pictorial timeline links some of the people - I'd like to see this a little fuller. A super introduction to these significant people, and one that will encourage further research. The series is building into a valuable resource.

Old Masters Rock: How to Look at Art with Children by Maria-Christina Sayn-Wittgenstein Nottebohm

At first thought, you might think Old Masters wouldn't appeal to children - but this book will make you look at them in a fresh light. Here are 50 paintings/artists ranging from the fourteenth through to the early twentieth century. The book really engages children;s attention by taking them straight into the story behind the pictyre, giving them lots of child-friendly facts about the painting and about the subject in its wider context. For example, The Nubian Giraffe by Jacques-Laurent Agasse has the background to the painting, what giraffes eat, fun facts, a brief biography of the artist and more - all quite fascinating and even tells us where to look for the signature on each painting, which is a great way to encourage close examination. The book is beautifully presented with high quality images and clear layout. A brilliant way to introduce great art and perfect for teachers planning a school trip as well as for parents; there's much to enjoy even without actually visiting an art gallery, but I am sure the book will encourage visits!

How to Speak Dog: A Guide to Decoding Dog Language by Aline Alexander Newman and Gary Weitzman

This fascinating book, as with the ones below, is brought to us by National Geographic Kids. If you've ever wondered what your dog is trying to say, you're going to love this. It explains just what dogs are saying, both when communicating with each other and with you. Excellent colour photos show the beahaviours which include tails, body language, sounds, demeanour and much more. There's so much more though, including vet tips, training suggestions and training ideas, making the book an excellent manual for all dog-owners - and would-be owners too. I am going to refer to this book a lot, to help me understand what my (very talkative) dog is trying to tell me. There's plenty here for adults to enjoy as well as children, and the better we understand our dogs, the happier they will be. A super book.

How to Speak Cat: A Guide to Decoding Cat Language by Aline Alexander Newman and Gary Weitzman

Cats can communicate with us, and with fellow felines, in many ways. This book illustrates more than 55 ways they communicate with excellent colour photos showing the behaviour, and engaging text to explain just what is going on. There's lots more to enjoy too, including facts, games and tips, as well as hands-on activities, a quiz designed to see if you really understand your cat, and a useful list of resources. Like the previous book, it's a valuable manual on cat care and well worth a read while making a decision on a potential new member of your household, as there's lots of practical guidance in n this book which is both educational and informative, especially the vet tips. It will be great fun for all the family to identify the various behaviours, and learn to respond appropriately. An attractive book which has equal appeal to children and adults.

How to Speak Emoji: A Guide to Decoding Emoji Language by Claire Strickett

Emojis are a common part of electronic communication; they are small digital images which express an idea or emotion. This entertaining guide will widen knowledge of the range of emojis, taking the user beyond the most common and encouraging digital confidence. to the popular emoji symbols with additional facts, games and tips, designed to entertain as well as encourage digital confidence.There are 100 of the most popular emojis featured along with examples of how to use them. Find out how emojis developed, the development of smileys, how emojis are created and how they’re used. Emojis can be used for story-telling and this would be a great way to encourage children who are reluctant to write stories. The book discusses emojis by subject area, so children can find just what they want - sections include recreation, nature, music, food and drink, flags and much more. It's good to see that Internet safety and friendly usage tip are featured. Each of the 'How to Speak' books includes an excellent contents page and index, so you can either read the book through or go to the particular topic you want at that moment. Great fun for children and a good way to encourage communication. Readers might like to design their own personal emojis too, thereby encouraging imagination and creativity.

Starry Skies by Samantha Chagollan

Every night, the sky is filled with stars that tell a multitude of stories. Join Banjamin, Luna, Sophia and a host of other children as they explore the skies and share in the stories the stars tell. This striking book features white on black pictures of each child having an adventure, faced by the constellation depicted with yellow stars and a shiny black shape - this works really effectively to help children locate the constellation and it's a great way to stimulate the imagination and to encourage story-telling about the stars.

A World of Birds by Vicky Woodgate

This beautifully illustrated book has instant appeal. It has the feel of a nature notebook with colourful drawings, line illustrations and annotations. It takes readers on a flying visit continent by continent, introducing birds from hummingbirds to hawks, and parrots to penguins. The annotataedline drawings are especially interesting, giving a slightly different perspective to many books and giving us lots of pertinent information. The well written factual information is easy to read and additional fact boxes keep interest high. A beautiful book that will appeal to all ages.

My First Book of Quantum Physics by Sheddad Kaid-Salah Ferrón and Eduard Altarriba

When I was first offered this book, I was very intrigued by the title - and I wasn't disappointed on receiving the book. It seems an impossible topic but the authors succeed brilliantly in making the world of quantum physics clear and understandable through the role it plays in our everyday lives. It's an incredible world, where quantum particles can do weird and wonderful things, acting totally unlike the objects we experience in day-to-day life. The book relies heavily on visual impact, with colourful layouts, masses of explanatory diagrams and friendly cartoon characters to help readers understand; the explanations are clear, concise and very user-friendly. Who would have thought quantum physics could be so engrossing? Perfect for all ages, to really encourage an interest in science and to de-mystify it.

My First Piano Book by Genevieve Helsby

Encourage children to enjoy the piano as they join Lion, Tortoise, Monkey, Seagull, Duck, Elephant, Snake, Horse, Frog, Penguin and Pig in celebrating the instrument. And that's not all - they will help children to play it, too! The first part of the book shows just why the piano is so special; written with great joy and verve and accompanied with charming illustrations by Jason Chapman, it is really engaging reading; accessible and empowering, showing that we can all understand and appreciate the piano. Each page is a treat to explore, as its animal characters show what they know. The second part of the book shows how to start playing the piano, and is best undertaken with an adult to help. The presentation is such fun and children will really enjoy the book; a great one for piano teachers to have to enthuse their pupils. The book comes with two CDs. The first has a comprehensive range of well-knowb piano pieces; the second is designed to help children play along. A very special book.

The Colours of History by Clive Gifford

What an intriguing title! The book is subtitled 'How Colours Shaped the World' and it takes a really refreshing view of history. It explores the stories behind different colour groups (reds, yellows, purples, blues and greens, and the roles they've played throughout history. Each colour group is introduced with a colourful and vibrant double-page spread , followed by informative entries exploring the colourful history of particular shades. With vivid, thought-provoking illustrations and engaging bite-sized text, this book is a feast for the eyes and the mind, ready to enthral budding artists and historians alike. This would make a super basis for a class project (and great display material) or cross-curricular work to include art, showing children how looking at a subject from a different perspective can bring a whole new dimension. A fascinating read.

Rock Explorer: Fossils by Claudia Martin

Fossils are the remains of animals and plants that lived thousands or millions of years ago and what makes them especially fascinating is the fact that we may all have the chance to find them. And this book shows where to find them, if we do, how to treat them with care. It is a complex subject, introduced here in a clear way that children will find accessible; the information is basic but plenty for lower KS2 children and it will encourage further research. The photographs are excellent and good text accompanies them; fact are shown in fact boxes that are distinct and easy to use. There is also a useful index.


Rock Explorer: Minerals by Claudia Martin

The inclusion of plenty of information about how we use minerals in our daily lives gives this book immediate appeal and relevance. Discover how and where minerals form, why some minerals are rarer than others, and how they are used to advance technology. The beautiful photis show these remaekable minerals in all their glory, making identification easy, especially with the useful mineral guide which shows photos and gives a brief explanation of common minerals. The book really helps us to apprecaite both the beauty and the practical value of minerals..

Journeys: Tales of Travel and Trailblazers by Jonathan Litton

This landscape format book initially captured my attention because of the striking binding, and I was engrossed as soon as i started reading. Beautifully laid out pages in heavy cream paper take us through the history of human journeys, on water, on land, through ice and snow and finally nam and machines. Journeys celebrates the human achievements accomplishments in travel and celebrates the successes. A lovely book to browse through and to encourage further research. Small point - I would like to see an index included. "360 Degrees is a non-fiction imprint of the Little Tiger Group with the objective to cfreate accessible and unique non-fiction, ensuring the highest production values and attention to creative detail."

The Little Leonardo Da Vinci (Happy Museum) by Catherine de Duve

Leonardo da Vinci is well-known, of course, as a multi-talented Renaissance genius, so he makes a fascinating subject for a book, with so much that could be included. He is a painter, engineer and architect and an inventor of incredible machines: flying machines, tanks and cannons; all this is covered in this book, along with many of the famous artists with whom Leonardo worked. The illustrations are excellent and give lots of information as well as showcasing the genius at work. Published by Happy Museum, July 2017, 97828750907. "Happy Museum! is a series of short, interactive books for juniors from 4 to 14 years of age. Its purpose is to spread the enjoyment of art and to inspire, turning family trips to the museum or art gallery into a fun experience through the creative, educational and, most importantly, enjoyable interactive activities. Games, drawings, tips and thoughts bring the colourful 32 page, richly illustrated books to life. With reading levels to suit all ages, young and old can discover new work and will be captivated as they explore the lives and masterpieces of the greatest artists in the world."

The Little Rodin (Happy Museum) by Catherine de Duve

Discover Rodin's secrets and techniques. Have fun while finding out about the life and work of the sculptor of genius. Throughout the book, children are drawn in bu being encouraged to look and reasn on the way the srtists worked, and there are activities for them to complete as well, which really help their understanding of the techniques. Happy Museum books are excellent for giving an overview of their subject; they are easy reads and the high visual content is perfect for books on artists, giving plenty of opportunity to showcase the work. A good approachable introduction to art, perfect for school or home.

HerStory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook the World by Katherine Halligan

50 incredible women make up Herstory, emphasising the vital role women have played through time to improve and develop our world. Many of them faced greater challenges than men, just to establish themselves and by telling their stories starting with their childhood, we are encouraged to look at this aspect of their impact. The book is arranged thematically, which I like because it makes for good reading flow - there are sections on Believe and Lead; Imagine and Create; Help and Heal; Think and Solve; and Hope and Overcome. Beautifully illustrated by Sarah Walsh with images of each woman along with other illustrations, the book is well presented and enticing to read. It covers a range of pioneering careers and the women included are not always the best known, giving the book a refreshing twist. From astronauts to activists, musicians to mathematicians and many more, it will inspire today's girls to follow their own dreams and to make the world a better place. Compelling, motivating and brilliantly illustrated in equal measure, this is the perfect introduction to just some of the amazing women who have shaped our world. EXcellently presented and a delight to read

Life on Earth: Space by Heather Alexander

Children respond well to the extra interest offered by lift-the-flap books; they give a good opportunity for them to think about what might be reavealed, encouraging them to reason on what they read. They also work well for adults discussing the books with children and encouraging them to see if they can guess the answers first. Space is a fascinating subject and one which elicits endless questions from children. What are the planets made of? What's the far side of the moon? How long does a star live? How big is the universe? These are just sonme of the 100 questions which are answered under the 70 flaps. Each two page spread is themed, including the sun and moon, stars and planets. An engaging book whichanswers a multitude of child-orientated questions.

Life on Earth: Ocean by Heather Alexander

This is another book from Wide Eyed Editions, who are producing some truly excellent non-fiction books for children which focus on just the things they want to know. 100 questions are answered, so make sure your child doesn't miss any of the 70 fpals to explore! The board format of the book ensures the book is durable, amking it good for school and library use as well as at home. Inquisitive children enjoy the Q&A format and they will learrn the answers to questions that include What aare krill? How do fish breathe? Why is the ocean salty? Why is a whale not a fish? The illustrations by Andres Lozano are simple but accurate and informative, and the boxy layout makes it easy to find each piece of information.

The Story of the First World War for Children by John Malam

Originally known as 'The Great War', what we now call the First World War was the world's first 'total war', which involved nations across the globe on an unprecedented scale. As it was the first war between modern, industrialised nations, it saw new and terrifying weapons deployed for the first time. These included airplanes, tanks, zeppelins, giant warships and poison gas, all of which brought about unprecedented devastation. The sombre colours used throughout the book reflect the terror it brought about, and really effective use is made of contemporary photographs to bring it home to today's readers. Presebted in landscape format, the book is an excellent mix of illustration and fact, all presented in a highly readable and interesting format, with the chronological format linking together all the different facets. An excellent overview which includes a useful glossary and index.

The Zoological Times by Stella Gurney

The latest title in the popular newspaper-style series of books is now available, packed with the latest news from the animal kingdom! I love this concept, which is really eye-catching and child-friendly. Find out who came out on top in the animal Olympics, discover the best swamps for getting a bit of me-time in the travel section and find out why pigeons are so concerned about climate change. There's lots of information in this hilarious spoof newspaper about animals; it's published in association with the Natural History Museum so you can be sure of its accuracy. There are facts, jokes, puzzles and activities, all set put just like a real newspaper with features, competitions, sport and much more; the artwork is by Matthew Hodson. The wide variety of material and the varied presentation means the book will appeal to even reluctant readers, who are bound to find something of interest. Children love to create their own newspapers, so this book could be an inspiration to them to produce a newspaper on a topic close to their hearts; or on a specific zoo animal, maybe - a great way to encourage research as well as developing creative and literacy skills. It would make a super class project too.

Wonders of the World's Museums by Molly Oldfield

Museums are fascinating places and they have so much to offer children. Sadly, we are unlikely to be able to visit more than a tiny proportion of the world's museums, but this book offers an intriguing glimpse into 43 museums through 50 amazing exhibits - and hopefully, children may be able to visit some. The range is interesting, from the well-known to the less familiar, designed to show just how varied museums are. The history behind the treasures is explained - how they were created, found and displayed. Through stunning photographs and glorious illustrations by Harriet Taylor Seed and Peter Malone, history, science and culture come to life for readers of all ages; the large format of the book means there are some stunning whole page images to enjoy. A beautifully presented book that shares a passion for visiting museums and which through its enthusiasm will encourage people of all ages to visit museums - many of the exhibits selected are in UK museums.

10 Reasons to Love... a Whale by Catherine Barr

A really key part of these books is the fact that they encourage children to be aware of conservation issues, and show them ways they can help protect nature. Blue whales, who are the topic of this book, are the largest animal on earth and they sing songs across the ocean. Discover ten reasons why blue whales are amazing and five ways children can show they love them in this gorgeously illustrated picture book - the illustrator is Hannah Clulow. These books are perfect for any young animal enthusiast and an ec=xcellent introduction to environmental issues. On some spreads, there is a feature box 'Show you love a whale', each of which highlights a way to help protect whales, showing children that they have a part to play and involving them with conservation issues. The books are produced in conjunction with the Natural History Museum.

10 Reasons to Love... a Bear by Catherine Barr

This book is full of just the sort of information children love to know. Bears can sleep for months on end; they hum when they are happy and a grizzly bear can run faster than a racehorse. In this book, children will learn all about why bears are incredible and 10 reasons why you should love them. The attractive cover of this hardback book features a die-cut bear shape with a friendly-looking bear inside - just one of Hanako Clolow's attractive illustrations which are very effective at showing the bears in their natural habitats. Other creatures are also included and labelled in the pictures.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

This is a really striking book, beautifully produced in a square format on shiny paper which makes the book feel special. It is the inspiring record of 40 amazing black women who have been forerunners in key events in our world's history. By reading the accounts of women who broke boundaries and exceeded all expectations, today's young peope will be motivated andd inspired. The author/illustrator pairs engaging and informative text with reamrkable illustrations that capture the essence of each woman. The women featured are wide-ranging, including nurse Mary Seacole, politician Diane Abbott, mathematician Katherine Johnson, sprinter Florence Joyner and singer Shirley Bassey. An insoiring book with just enough information to convey the characters portrayed and to stimulate further investigation.

Night Sky by Carole Stott

This is an ideal introductory book for children of 6+, who want to know about the night sky - there's plenty of information to satisfy them, without being overwhelming. They will discover what a star is, how the Moon looks close up, and what tools astronomers use to look at space - and much more besides. The book encourages children to get outside and there are plenty of practical tips to help the star-gazing go well. There are also plenty of indoor activities for times when star-gazing isn't possible; these include making a model of the moon and star patterns. The book covers all the key facts including meteors, comets, asteroids, the Sun, the zodiac, and the patterns we call constellations. Of course, as this is a DK book, there are superb photos and diagrams. The information is well presented and the activities really help with understanding and learning. Perfect to encourage children to explore the night sky.

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked The World by Penelope Bagieu

This is a fascinating and eclectic collection of famous - and not-so-famous - ground-breaking women through history. What really makes the book sparkle is the superb quality of the illustrations as the stories are told in comic strip format which works really effectively to accompany the text which is witty and entertaining - and often very unexpected. I found myself repeatedly going back for fear of missing something. Discover the life of an apache warrior dubbed “strong as a man and braver than most of them”, the only female Empress of China, three rebel sisters who toppled a fascist regime, a dancer who escaped poverty in America to become the darling of the Paris jazz scene and a resistance fighter, and a little girl who grew up to realise that being a witch is better than being a princess. The range of characters is vast, their stories engrossing and this is a marvellous testament to women, their strength and their impact on our world in so many ways. It's very unusual and well worth a read.

Corpse Talk - Ground-Breaking Women by Adam and Lisa Murphy

An unusual title, but don't let that put you off! Speaking from beyond the grave - the author 'interviews' famous women who changed the world. Another book in comic strip format, this will have wide appeal for its unusual nature. It well repays a read as it is packed with loads of fascinating information which goes well beyond being just about the women themselves but explores the whole of society It guarantees laughs, surprises, and a whole host of the most astonishing achievements by some of the most amazing women you'll ever discover. How did Elizabeth I smash the Spanish Armada? How did Anne Frank's diary help her deal with despair? Was Ching Shih the world's coolest pirate queen? Fascinating and enlightening - a novel approach which makes non-fiction highly entertaining.

How Does a Lighthouse Work? by Roman Belyaev

Lighthouses are fascinating places, icons of our coastline and always slightly mysterious. Now, children can find out just how they work, how we can we tell one lighthouse from another, what a lighthouse keeper does and where are the most unusual lighthouses in the world. The school children are off on a journey to discover the answers to these questions along with other fascinating facts about lighthouses and how they work; join them in this well illustrated book which gives an insight into lighthouses through history. An engaging journey through the science and history of lighthouses around the world which is great fun to read and very informative.

Anthology of Amazing Women: Trailblazers Who Dared to Be Different by Sandra Lawrence

The anniversary of women's suffrage has brought a plethora of books about famous women of the past and this, with its one page biographies accompanied by an outstanding full page portrait of each woman, is a worthy addition. This collection tells the awe-inspiring stories of 50 women who have pushed the boundaries of human excellence and endeavour. Each features a short and well-written biography. There are many well-known women including Elizabeth I and Malala Yousafzai, but it is great to see so many less well-known women featured and brought to our attention, like Chien-Shiung Wu and Aud the Deep-Minded. Children will be fascinated reading about these women's achievements in science, sports, the arts, politics, and history, and it is sure to inspire a new generation of extraordinary girls!Nathan Collins' illustrations perfectly portray the characters and there are plenty of little details to spot.

Amazing Women: 101 Lives to Inspire You by Lucy Beevir and Sarah Green

In contrast to most of the similar books recently reviewed, this book is all about women alive today or died relatively recently, giving it its own place in the collection. 101 women make up an international selection of female figures who have achieved significantly in their fields, ranging from science and politics to sport and the arts. It's a fascinating variety and includes JK Rowling, Rosalind Franklin, Beyoncé Knowles, Marie Curie, Malala Yousafzai, Angela Merkel and Serena Williams. The accounts make for good reading - a succinct overview to whet the appetite. I like the inclusion of inspirational quotes. An attractive book that celebrates the remarkable and crucial contributions women have made to our society.

50 Ways to Feel Happy: Fun activities and ideas to build your happiness skills by Vanessa King

Happiness - something we all want but sadly, cannot always obtain. We know how much pressure our children are under and the mental health issues that can arise, so this book is very timely. It is packed full of activities and ideas to try with family, friends and on your own and works well for any age. There's something for everyone to try in this collection of projects for creative, happy and thinking individuals, containing a mixture of step-by-step projects and shorter activity ideas that encompass happiness-inspiring crafts, mindfulness, relaxation, and positivity techniques, and fun ways to get active and boost happiness outdoors. The ideas are clearly laid out with step-by-step ideas and suggestions for further development. At no time does it feel preachy, as it is presented in such a lively fun way. For younger children, parents and carers may wish to work through the book with them, offering guidance and support, whereas more confident readers, 'tweens', and young teens will be able to enjoy engaging with the book independently. Each of the 50 activities relates to one of Action for Happiness’s 10 key evidence-based ways to increase happiness and wellbeing. An important book that will benefit any family.

Destination: Planet Earth by Jo Nelson and Tom Clohosy Cole

Jet off on an exciting journey to places even the most intrepid travellers can't reach with this vibrantly colourful book. It's like a field trip around the world, focusing strongly on visual material, with every page featuring a graphic full colour illustration. Set out on an adventure across Planet Earth, exploring volcanos, valleys, mountains and rivers, and learning about water, weather and earthquakes as you go. Fact boxes throughout take our young traveller on an exciting and informative journey of discovery. The explanations are child-friendly and easy to understand, and there are young travellers enjoying all the scenes. It makes geography enticing and engaging for children, presenting information in a compelling way that they will really remember, and which will inspire them to look further. There's even a big cdouble-sided map to pull out and stick on the wall, to allow readers to follow the account.

The Night Flower by Lara Hawthorne

What a beautiful over! Gold foiling and captivating illustrations have the reader eager to see what is inside. Just once a year, for one night, the night flower blooms - so it's a very special event. As the summer sun sets over the Arizonan desert, wildlife gathers to witness this event which we can follow through the lyrical rhyming text and stunningly detailed and intricate illustrations. The desert is transformed for just a short few hours and this lovely book celebrates and captures the wonders. There are pollinating fruit bats to howling mice and reptilian monsters to be spotted. Beautiful.

Dinosaur Number Crunch! by Kevin Pettman

Dinosaurs are a source of perpetual fascination to children; they are amazed by the statistics associated with these creatures, and this colourful book presents them in a really enticing way. It's packed with facts presented alongside bright infographics that leap off the page. The presentation is easy to follow and the amount of information included is fantastic. The amazingstatistics will really capture children's interes - the strongest bite, the deadliest claws, the fiercest horns, the high-flyers and the tiny terrors - so many different aspects are covered. The book contains all the essential info that dinosaur fans aged 8 and up need to know - and much more! Each piece of data is based around a number, creating an entire book of easy-to-digest information that will hook even the most reluctant of readers. A great way to get even non-readers hooked on books and a super insight into these creatures.

The Story of the Titanic for Children by Joe Fullman

This sumptuously illustrated book allows the reader to explore the majestic ship, marvel at the luxurious design and then relive the tragic events that lead up to the sinking of the world's most famous ship. Fascination with the story never wanes and it's always good to see freshly presented material. The book explores real-life stories and introduces little known facts that will absorb young readers. The excellent images are accompanied by bite-sized nuggets of information, bringing the Titanic to life. Although described as a book for children - and being eminently suitable for children - I think that many adults will also find there is new information to be discovered from this book. A fascinating read.

What Would She Do? by Kay Woodward

These are the real-life stories of 25 rebel women who changed the world. It's a fascinating account of a wide range of women who have had a significant and lasting impact on our world. They include Cleopatra, Ada Lovelace, Frida Kahlo, Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai. The book is arranged chronologically, giving a good overview of how women's role has shaped history. There's plenty of information about each woman, accompanied by stylised portraits and inspiring quotes. Attractively laid out with good use of colour, it's a book that encourages you to read. It's thought-provoking too, as readers are encouraged to ponder over what each person would do in a range of different situations - this is a great feature of the book.

StoryWorlds: A Moment in Time: A Perpetual Picture Atlas created by Thomas Hegbrook

Instantly eye-catching, this is three books cleverly bound into pne to bring us a remarkable picture of what is happening around the world at a specific moment in time. Make sure you read about how to use the book first, and make use of the world map so you can find your way around. It makes you think - the text is minimal, just giving the location, and the pictures are what makes the book. Look at them, enjoy them, and discuss what they show us. They are full of detail and life, bringing us a completely unique book that can be dipped into endlessly. It's beautifully produced too, in hardback with glossy pages that show off the artwork perfectly. Fascinating for all ages.

What Do Animals Do All Day? by Wendy Hunt

I love the books produced by Wide Eyed Editions. They are beautifully presented, to high traditional values, and are always appealing and engaging, to encourage children to love books and reading. This cloth-bound hardback is no exception. Although the book is promoted for 3+, and young children will revel in the simple but colourful and accurate illustrations, I have marked it for older children because of some of the language used. With over 100 animals featured, each section has a two page spread setting the scene, then the individual animals feature on the next pages, showing their role in that scene. There are fourteen scenes set in diverse habitats – including a jungle, a desert and savannah. This is the perfect book to introduce little ones to animals big and small, and to explain how they work together in nature. A stimulating book that will encourage lots of discussion and further research

Meet the Ancient Romans by James Davies

Is your child daunted when faced with pages of text? If a visual approach to learning is preferred, then these books really hit the spot. This introductions to Ancient Rome is ideal to stimulate children's interest before they study the topic in more depth - it's bright presentation in black, red and white on shiny paper is eye-catching yet still easy to read. are just the thing for readers who are beginning to explore ancient history. All the basics on Ancient Rome are here - there are gladiators, actors, emperors, gods and many more, all giving us a picture of a busy world. The humorous text ensures children give the book plenty of attention. The vibrant artwork and infographics bring a fresh look to non-fiction, making it up-to-date and relevant.

Meet the Ancient Egyptians by James Davies

This time, striking yellow and black illustrations make for a book that children will eagerly grab from the shelf. The text is easy to follow and children will enjoy the touches of humour, which do help recall. Small niggle - I do like to see an index in a book. However, aside from that, the book is easy to navigate, with a good contenvts page and clear sidebars which highlight the order of the book. Children in KS2 will study ancient history and we need to make it interesting - these books with their visual approach achieve that very well, and it's amzing how much information is packed into the pages, all memorably presented

The Story Of Civil Rights (DK Readers Level 3) by Wil Mara

Some amazing men and women who fought for equality during the US Civil Rights Movement are featured in this book, including the well-known accounts of Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington, and Rosa Parks and the famous Montgomery Bus Boycott. But there is much more here, to give a background to the best-known events and to put them into context. The book covers the history of civil rights in the US, including slavery and the abolition of slavery, and segregation. It discusses the momentous US Civil Rights Movement, from sit-ins and protests, to marches and inspirational speeches, to legislation for equality. There's also information about modern-day issues, and how children can use their voices to become activists in their own communities. Perfect for 7-9 year olds starting to read alone, I think this is not a book that will be read to teach reading, more that the level given is useful for teachers/parents to assess the reading level suitability for their child. DK's Level 3 Readers include in-depth information presented through more complex sentence structure with increasing amount of text to expand the reader's general knowledge and confidence in reading.

World War I (DKfindout!) by Brian Williams

This is an excellent series, which presents information succinctly with lots of visual material to keep children's attention. From the causes of the conflict to the most important events, discover key World War I facts and hear from people who lived through it. this looks at all aspects of the Second World War, ensuring children have a good foundation of knowledge. The book is well set out and the accounts are easy to follow and interesting to read. The flexi binding is resilient yet comfortable to use, making the book ideal for class/library use. Good use is made of contemporary photography. One little feature I like is the inclusion of a notebook-style sheet at the front where children can write what they want to find out - a good way to get them thinking before they srart the book.

Politics for Beginners by Louie Stowell, Alex Frith and Rosie Hore

Help children make sense of the world around them with this excellent introduction to the complex world of politics. This informative guide covers the key topics, from elections and government to the contemporary issues of fake news, immigration and human rights. It features bright, infographic-style illustrations and I am pleased to see there are good index pages for easy reference. For those wanting more - and the engaging presentation will ensure there are many - there are links to specially selected websites with more information. What could have been a dry subject has been approached with great skill and excellent presentation. By putting so much detail in fact boxes, the book manages to be highly informative and very accessible, with the information presented in a way that makes children really understand and take an interest, making them aware of their place in this world.

Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamia Wilson

52 inspiring people make up this empowering book. They come from all walks of life, showing children the huge variety of achievements in all aspects of life. Included are Barack Obama, Jesse Owens, Josephine BAker, Kofi Annan, Oprah Winfrey, Naomi Campbell and Usain Bolt - a variety indeed. The information on each is succintly presented, accompanied by stylish illustrations to give a feel for the character. A good round-up of some high-achievers, to nspire and inform.

Dear Katie: Real Problems. Real Advice by Katie Thistleton

Children, tweens and teens will respond well to thi book packed with practical everyday advice from children's TV and radio presenter Katie Thistleton. The book answers real questions from real children and teens and is wide-ranging in its remit. From falling outs with friends to disagreements with family, trouble at school to concerns about mental or physical health, it's all here. On a professional note, there is additional guidance from TV and radio doctor Radha Modgil, as well as psychotherapist Sally Angel, which is reassuring for parents. It's a great book to have around as your child grows up - they will refer to it for many years as different topics crop up, and hopefully, reading it will encourage them to discuss the issues openly with their adults.


Women's place in history is assured through the strength many women have shown to step outside the constraints of their times, and this book showcases just a few of them including Hatshepsut, Valentina Teseshkova and Mary Shelley. Find out jow these, and many more inspiring women put their talents to good use to have an impact on our world. The book is engagingly presented, with colour illustrations and captivating text mingling to produce a very informative and hugely enjoyable read. Alongside the information about each woman, readers will find a plethora of historical detail to put their work into context. It's a shame there is no index or contents page, though, as the information is not easy to find if you want something specific. And in case you are wondering, yes, Kate is a descendant of Emmeline Pankhurst - and what an appropriate subject matter for a book!

Girl on Pointe: Chloe's Guide to Taking on the World by Chloe Lukasiak

Chloe Lukasiak is a former cast member from the hit reality TV show Dance Moms, a teen social media star, dancer, actor, and clothing designer. She believes that things happen for a reason and knows that life would be easier without disappointments, bullying and medical issues - but sometimes it takes challenges to inspire you to achieve big things. Chloe has found that self-acceptance and kindness are the key to getting over the rough spots in life and realising your passions. This full-colour, heavily designed book, featuring never-before-seen photos, inspirational quotes, and Chloe's own doodles and poetry offers exclusive insight into Chloe's world as well as a message that will inspire all readers to pursue their dreams and be true to their selves.

Women in Sport: Fifty Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky

Whatever sport your child is interested in, they are likely to find a successful player featured here, with more than 40 sports covered. From megastars like tennis player Serena Williams to lesser-known pioneers like Gertrude Ederle and Keiko Fukuda, the book covers a fascinating range of women who have made their mark on sport. To add to the interest for sports-mad youngsters, it also contains infographics on topics such as muscle anatomy, pay and media statistics for female athletes, and influential women's teams. An inspiring book that shows how much women can achieve in sport, with unusual and absorbing illustrations for each person, by the author.

Big Book of How: 1,001 Facts Kids Want to Know (Time Kids)

This new edition is perfect for inquisitive children, who will happily spend many hours finding out all sorts of facts - and then delight in retelling them! The colourful presentation, good use of graphics and diagrams, along with excellent photos make this a highly visual and attractibve book. The information is clearly presented and easy to read and gives plenty of information to help children learn how the world around them works. The range of topics is great and includes the human body, space and buildings among many others. Hands-on activities at the end of each chapter are fun to do and reinforce learning. I am especially impressed by the comprehensive index, which makes it easy to search for information. An excellent book. Published by Liberty Street, ISBN 978-1683300106, November 2017.

Rebel Voices: The Rise of Votes for Women by Eve Lloyd Knight

The first thing that struck me about this book was the stunning illustrations by Louise Kay Stewart; they are striking and unusual with minimal use of colour - very effective in setting the tone of the book. The book takes a universal look at the issue of women's suffrage and how it has been achieved, and it packed with fascinating information. Did you know that it was never illegal for women to vote in Ecuador, or that 40,000 Russian women marched through St Petersburg demanding their rights? The range of methods used by women to get the vote is interesting and unexpected - a play, text messages, a lion inthe streets of Paris are just some. This empowering movement spread from Oceania to Europe and the Americas, then to Africa and Asia - and it's still going. Revealing and powerful, this is an excellent history.

Horrible Histories 25th Anniversary Yearbook by Terry Deary

This is a must-have for all Horrible Histories fans... and if there are any children out there who haven't yet enjoyed reading Horrible Histories, now's the time to start! After 25 years of being the very best, despite a whole host of imitators, this celebratory yearbook brings young readers a whole plethora of fascinating facts and engaging activities to make history fun. Meet the class of 1066, discover which king won the prize for worst attendance and find out about some of the vilest villains who ever lived. Make strawberry fritters, look for Ratttus, work out how to make a mummy and enjoy lots more varied activities. An engrossing look at history presented in a lively way and packed with information.

Life-Sized Animal Tracks by John Townsend

This generously sized book has plenty of scope for the to-scale representations of a wide range of animal prints. It features animals from around the globe as well as giving a range of interesting facts. I love the inclusion of collective nouns for the various animals. Each page also includes a map so children can see where in the world the creatures are found. It will help young readers to identify an animal by the tracks it leaves, opening their eyes to the wonders of nature and encouraging them to explore and appreciate their local wildlife. Attractively and clearly laid out, this is enjoyable and informative.

Robot Wars: The Official Handbook

Fans of Robot Wars, young and old, will love this book. Join the House Robots with Top Trump-style profiles and tour the battle arena. Get involved by becoming a Roboteer and learning the tricks of the trade to engineer your own winning robot. This hands-on book encourages creativity by including space for creating your own profiles and scribbling down inventor notes. The A to Z of official rules ensure your creations comply! It's full of facts and statistics about the incredible machines, plus fascinating behind-the-scenes details. Fun, fascinating and revealing.

Horrible Histories Special: Wicked Words by Terry Deary

Perfect for anyone who loves playing with words, this is a fascinating look at words and how they can be used... and how they have been used throughout history. Children will love to discover how to be very rude ... without anybody knowing! They will enjoy some dubious Medieval jokes, find out what mundungus, hackum or Jabbernowlmean, learn about the varied sources of our language and much, much more. Illustrated throughout with lively black and white cartoons, there is plenty here to keep children happily occupied for many hours - and to extend their vocabulary amazingly! Packed with humour and fun.

50 Wacky Things Humans Do: Weird & amazing facts about the human body! by Joe Rhatigan

Take a novel loom at the human body with this fascinating account of some of the weird and wonderful ways in which our body works. The facts are amazing and will astound everyone. 50 Wacky Things Humans Do covers 50 unbelievably weird things about the human body, many of which will be totally new to children. Whether amazing, silly, or just plain gross, these peculiar and fascinating things about the human body will surprise and delight fun-fact lovers of all ages. Lively illustrations and plenty of facts make fascinating and easily remembered reading. A brilliant way to make science fun whilst also being very informative and revealing.

The Big Book Of Snow and Ice by Stepanka Sekaninova

This is a fascinating look at wintry weather that includes a huge amount of interesting information. The worlds of snow and ice are full of both hidden and obvious wonders and this book looks at many aspects of snow and ice from around the world. Each two page spread covers a specific topic with plenty of illustrations by Marta Daeuble to make the book appealing and easy to read. From igloos to ski slopes, arctic animals to wintry myths and legends, there is plenty to marvel at and enjoy. I would like to see a contents page, although there is a useful glossary. Fold-out pages through the book offer the opportunity for larger pictures which offer two sides of a picture, for instance showing the inside and outside view of a polar expedition. Colourful and full of interest.


The Big Book Of Everything Underground by Stepanka Sekaninova

This attractive book offers plenty of information, presented in easily assimilated bite-size sections which are well laid out across the pages to encourage young readers. The information is easy to read and written with children in mind. The fold-out pages have detailed scenes on the front which open up to display interesting well labelled pictures giving more detail. The lively illustrations are full of detail, offering plenty of opportunity for discussion, and to encourage further research. A well presented series which will encourage children to read and discover.

Amazing Animal Friendships: Odd Couples In Nature by Pavla Hanachova

The more we learn about the animal kingdom, the more amazing it becomes. This fascinating information book showcases some of the wonderful relationships found in nature - and I can guarantee that you will be amazed by the way vastly different creatures support one another. The book explores a wide range of symbiotic relationships including shrimps who clean anemones and who are protected in return, and coyotes and badgers who work together to hunt.The book is superbly illustrated with colourful quirky illustrations and the layout is visually excellent. Plenty of facts support learning in this engaging and fascinating book that has something to teach us all.

Great Art in 30 Seconds: 30 awesome art topics for curious kids by Susie Hodge

This is an excellent series from Ivy Kids - the format draws children in and stimulates them to explore the subjects further. Learn about great art, from what makes great art, through a brief chronological history divided into six eras from the art of ancient civilisations to contemporary art. Jam-packed with fast facts, mini missions, and engaging artwork, the presentation is appealing and easy to assimilate. 30 topics are covered in 30 second summaries, with three second soundbites for even quicker reference. A good way to introduce art, excellently illustrated to make the book really enjoyable to read.

Vikings in 30 Seconds: 30 fascinating viking topics for curious kids by Philip Steele

Vikings are one of the world’s most fascinating cultures, and KS2 children will be learning about them as part of the curriculum, so this good value book will be a good purchase for parents to support their child's learning. In brief summaries, the book teaches about these amazing warriors, including where they came from, their incredible skill as boat builders and seafarers, and how they traded with and settled in other lands. Children's interest will be stimulated by the fun, active elements, encouraging them to test, explore, and discover more. Each section has its own glossary, which builds up into a really comprehensive reference source. These books are a great resource for teachers too, to stimulate learning in the classroom - and with 30 facts in each book, they are ideal for use with a whole class, giving each child his or her own topic to explore and, perhaps, to present to the rest of the class.

Dinosaurs in 30 Seconds: 30 Amazing Topics for Archaeological Adventures by Sean Callery

A great way to introduce a perennially popular topic. The layout of the books is excellent with a good variety of illustrative material to support the text. The amount if information packed into the 30 second format is amazing. The 3 minute missions are a good way to encourage children to do some hands-on activities. The information is split in to text and fact boxes, which makes it easy to assimilate and encouraging to read. High production values include shiny paper and excellent quality graphic material. The 30 second format is a good way to get children interested in the topic - even reluctant readers can be persuaded to read just a few examples from the books, and once they have done so, the interesting way in which the information is presented will encourage them to continue reading and discovering. An excellent series.

The Ways of the Wolf by Smriti Prasadam-Halls

This beautiful book can be enjoyed by younger children as a picture book and by older ones as a fascinating non-fiction book. Enter the world of the magnificent and mysterious wolf and find out all about the lives of wolves. Why are they so feared by man, and are we right to fear them? The wolf remains one of the most misunderstood of all creatures, frequently cast as our mortal enemy; in fact, wolves and humans are more closely connected than we dare to admit. Expressive language leaves us with haunting memories as we enjoy the book; phrases like "the heartrending howl that hangs in the night air, echoing eerily" are unforgettable. The lyrical prose is quite superb and the author will change our perceptions of these creatures. Wildlife illustrator Jonathan Woodward brings the creatures to life with breathtaking papercut collage artwork, set against various coloured backgrounds, which perfectly complements the text. A book to inform and to treasure.

StarFinder for Beginners from DK

This is, as the cover says, a step-by-step guide to the night sky. It may be for beginners, but it is certainly not just for children, as all ages will find it a really useful guide to finding their way around the night sky. When we first look up at the sky, it can be really hard to know where to start looking - but not with this innovative guide. This straightforward guide to star hopping uses easy-to-spot stars to create journeys around the night sky's most famous constellations. Each of the four routes starts by spotting a constellation, and that then leads the viewer on to more and more stars and constellations (over 20 in all), as well as planets, galaxies, and nebulas. As the picture builds, you can follow in the book one-by-one. In addition, readers will discover the fascinating stories behind each constellation and learn to spot some of the stunning as in our Universe. The presentation is stunning and the photography superb, making us really appreciate the wonders of the night sky. The clever glow-in-the-dark night sky viewer that comes with the book shows all four of the routes so you can follow them in the dark. A superb book which will introduce all ages to the night sky in an unusual and very informative way.

All About Virtual Reality from DK

Virtual reality has revolutionised the way we see things - but how does it work? The answers are right here, along with a wealth of fascinating information about this modern-day phenomenon. The book explains how we see in 3D, how a VR world is created, how VR works on a smartphone, how VR can feel real and who uses VR. Learn everything you've ever wanted to know about VR, from its early use in aircraft simulators to the more recent developments such as Oculus Rift and Curiscope's Virtuali-Tee, an augmented reality t-shirt. To help understanding, the book includes a make-it-yourself VR viewer that can be used with a smartphone to experience the wonders of VR. THis can be used to explore the five amazing experiences that come with the book - come face-to-face with a T.Rex, explore the inside of a volcano, go back in time to the Colosseum in Ancient Rome, visit the International Space Station and jump into a pond. These are tremendous! All About Virtual Reality has been developed with educational VR company Curiscope to create a perfect introduction to an out of this world digital experience! It's a complex subject but the book explains everything really clearly, giving a good understanding and a real appreciation for the marvels of VR. "IMPORTANT INFORMATION: In order to experience virtual reality with this book, children will need to ask a parent or guardian to download the free DK Virtual Reality app from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play." The book also includes important safety messages about using VR. A fascinating book for anyone interested in our modern world.

A is for Art (National Gallery) by Paul Thurlby

Paul Thurlby's books are simply amazing! Works of art in themselves that deserve to be displayed, they really celebrate art and make it accessible, and this book does that especially well. A book to return to over and over again, to relish the wonderful pictures and spot something new every time. The book is based on works in the National Gallery, seen here with a completely fresh approach From Da Vinci to Monet, from medieval masters to the French Impressionists, as well as lesser known paintings, the range is wide and draws children's attention to the wonders of the collection, inspiring them to visit. This unique book is packed to bursting with the world's greatest paintings and the stories behind them. See Degas' painting of acrobat Miss La La and enjoy Paul Thurlby's version of an audience watching acrobats; look at Constable's Hay Wain then enjoy another version of the countryside. Superbly done and beautifully presented, this is a wonderful way to encourage an appreciation of art.

Girls Who Rocked The World by Michelle Roehm McCann and Amelie Welden

A really empowering book that will show girls that nothing need stop them from achieving greatness. What sets this book apart from others on famous women achievers is the fact that the women in this book made their mark on the world before reaching the age of 20. The achievements are wide-ranging, so girls will find inspiration, whatever their chosen path in life. Covering a wide period of time and from all around the world, these remarkable women include Florence Nightingale, Anna Pavlova, Coco Chanel, Eva Peron and Indira Gandhi. Also featured are powerful young women who are changing the world right now. It's a densely packed book, full of information and inspiration.!

Growing Up: Girl Talk by Lizzie Cox

The friendly approach of the two books in this series will encourage girls and boys to read and to trust in what they are reading. They are suitable for children aged 8 - 11, which is a good age range to introduce many of the topics. Puberty, relationships, social media, school, body image, bullying and many more topical issues are covered in this essential guide for girls growing up. It's practically written and sensitively handles tricky issues. Children will identify with and enjoy the case studies and questions from 'real-life' anonymous readers. Written by a former teen magazine editor and with funny illustrations and diagrams throughout, this is the go-to guide for any girl going through or approaching puberty. Well written and presented, this is a very useful book.

Guy Talk (Growing Up) by Lizzie Cox

In the same format as Girl Talk and covering many of the same issues, but approached from the viewpoint of boys, this is equally valuable. The subject headings are boy-friendly and appealing; they include hair we go, all things feet, body shaming and depression. Down-to-earth and approachable as well as being authoritative, the book has a good balance of information. The books are wide-ranging and there's a lot of ground to cover, so each topic is covered relatively succinctly. However, that's not an issue, as the important thing is to use the book as a springboard to further discussion, based on its reliable and trustworthy articles. Two excellent books which are perfect to have to hand so young people can read them at their leisure.

Dinosaurium (Welcome To The Museum) written by Lily Murray

What better way to showcase these magnificent creatures that in one of the Big Picture Press' giant-sized Welcome to the Museum series. Step inside the pages of this beautiful book and imagine you are in a museum, discovering galleries of expertly curated dinosaurs. Dinosaurium features a wide range of dinosaurs from the well-known such as Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex to lesser-known species such as Coelophysis and Tsintaosaurus. The stunning artwork from Chris Wormell vividly depicts these beasts in astounding detail, and the pictures are accompanied by informative text and detailed descriptions of the illustrations. This series really is the next best thing to visiting a museum in person, and dinosaurs are the perfect topic to engage children. Beautifully done.

Be Cool Be Nice from Studio Press

This is a highly significant book that should be compulsory reading for girls and boys, parents and teachers. "Be Cool Be Nice launched with Willow Smith and Kendall Jenner on the covers of Garage magazine in an unprecedented Snapchat collaboration. Be Cool Be Nice beautifully advocates kindness, good manners and civility and encourages us all to interact and use social media in a positive way so we 'check it before we wreck it.'" Social media is rife with bullying and this book and the campaign aim to combat cyber-bullying, and to encourage use of social media for food. Here are some groups it can help - those who deal with drama, have experienced bullying, suffer from selfie addiction, experience Chronic Bad Attitude Syndrome (CBAS) and have goals (squad or otherwise). Part journal, part interactive manual, part friend, this is a beautiful book which promotes values that will last a lifetime. With beautiful artwork, motivational advice, and positive affirmations plus clever activity pages, it encourages the reader to reflect and learn. An unmissable book.

The Little Book of Ocean Animal Sounds by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham

For each creature, there are lovely close-up photos as well as information, statistics and 'Did you know?' boxes. What really sets this book apart, though, are the 12 sound buttons, so children can experience the wonderful range of sounds made by ocean creatures. I am really impressed with the quality and the duration of the sounds - children will get a really good idea of the sounds to listen out for if they are lucky enough to spot one of these animals. You can make a fun game with the book, too - once your child has read the book and heard the sounds, see how many they can identify. A lovely book from Fine Feather Press to encourage children to take an interest in nature.

Legendary Journeys: Space by Mike Goldsmith

This engrossing interactive journey is a fascinating journey through the history of space travel. Starting with the race to put the first person on the Moon, it moves on to manned stations in space and missions to Pluto and the outer planets. Many famous names in space history feature, including Yuri Gagarin, Valentina Tereshkova and Neil Armstrong - find out their claims to fame. Stunning photography shows the beauties of the Solar System and there are detailed pictures of many spacecraft. The book is packed with flaps and pull-outs to reveal even more detail, and to engage readers. A beautifully presented book which will amaze and astound with its information and interactivity.

Bugs by Simon Tyler

Who knew that bugs could be so fascinating and so beautiful? We tend to dismiss bugs as being nuisance creatures that we want to get rod of - but this book will change your perception. Illustrated by the author, we learn about over 50 different and fantastic bugs from all around the world. An overview of bugs, including their structure, habitats and food, is followed by sections on the various types of bugs, including beetles, butterflies, flies, grasshoppers and termites - a varied world. Each one is illustrated in colour on a full page, along with useful information and facts. The book is beautifully presented, with coloured backgrounds to every page, which really set off the pictures. A lovely book.

Legendary Journeys: Trains by Philip Steele

Train enthusiasts, young and old, will love this book which takes a novel look at the history of rail transport. From steam engines to high-speed rail, this interactive guide gives a fascinating look at trains all around the world - the differences are immense and really interesting to discover. There's far more than first meets the eye - there are nine pull-out pages, each of which contains another four pages. Then there are flaps to explore as well - find out about some famous travellers, real-life and fictional. Who can you spot? In addition to the history of the railway, this unique guide contains activities and has clever features that pull out to reveal amazing details of the world’s iconic trains and their inner workings. An engrossing book, beautifully produced, which showcases the wonder of train travel.

Into the White: Scott's Antarctic Odyssey by Joanna Grochowicz

Read about Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova expedition, and the amazing people who accompanied him in this narrative-style non-fiction book; the compelling writing really draws you in and has you anxious to read more. Against overwhelming odds, the team battled storms at sea, impenetrable pack ice, man-eating whales, crevasses, blizzards, bad food, extreme temperatures, and equal measures of hunger, agony and snow blindness. Full of questions and answers - will the weather hold? Will their rations be adequate? How will they know when they get there? And who invited the Norwegians? Into the White will grip you. Of course, we all know what happens, but it's fascinating to read about Scott's epic journey, even if we have to be prepared for the ending. There's an interesting selection of photos from the expedition included, which give even greater insight.

Explanatorium of Nature by DK

We have come to expect superb books from DK, but even by their high standards, this one is particularly outstanding, right from the tactile cut-out on the cover. It's not just children who are going to be engrossed in this book - all nature lovers will find it irresistible. It starts with the basics of life and moves on to microorganisms and fungi. Following on, we have plants, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and habitats. Each topic occupies a two page spread, with facts and labelled diagrams; but the outstanding element comes with the dramatic close-up photography using never-before-seen cross sections, macro, and electron microscope images. Discover how spider silk works, how mammals burrow, how frogs communicate, how fish care for their young, how seeds travel... the amazing facts go on and on. Despite the c=vast amount of information, the clear presentation makes the book easy to read; it's easy to navigate too, with the detailed contents pages and index. This really is a book that will be picked up and enjoyed over and over again, with new discoveries and marvels to be amazed by every time. Simply superb.

Illumanatomy by Carnovsky, written by Kate Davies

See the human body as never before in this totally immersive book. You will take a journey through the human body using the magic three-colour lens. Use the red lens to reveal the skeleton, the green to see the muscles working, and x-ray your organs with the blue lens to find out what they do day and night to keep you alive. Once readers have marvelled at the images of each part of the body, they turn the page to find information about what they have seen; the visual approach makes the facts easy to remember and will be excellent for children who find it hard to absorb facts. The book follows up on the internationally best-selling Illuminature. It's just as stunning - another success for Wide Eyed Editions. The stunning design and generous size of the book make it outstanding, and will capture interest and attention.

50 Things You Should Know About the Vikings by Philip Parker

This is an excellent series, packed with facts which are presented simply and succinctly so children will find them easy to remember. Our view of the Vikings is often of a bloodthirsty nation, but this book gives an insight into the other side as well. Between the early 700s and the 1100s, they terrorized the world in their hunt for land and power, but they also had a rich culture in art, literature and law. The clear layout and attractive appearance is complemented by maps, infographics and photos, with useful sidebars outlining the page content. Learn where they came from and who they conquered, their commerce and culture, their travel and trade and the reasons why they lost power. An excellent insight.

This Book is a Planetarium: And Other Extraordinary Pop-Up Contraptions by Kelli Anderson

This outstanding book is a masterpiece of paper engineering. Children will be awed and amazed when they open the book to discover six working contraptions: a planetarium which projects the constellations, a musical instrument complete with strings for strumming, a geometric drawing generator, an infinite calendar, a message decoder, and even a speaker that amplifies sound. Each is accompanied with usage instructions and explanatory text which explains the scientific principles. This is an amazing book which encourages us to take a fresh look at books and takes them into new realms. Inspirational.

Urban Jungle by Vicky Woodgate

This gigantic book (another gem from Big Picture Press) includes 38 animal-packed city maps, showing is just what a haven for wildlife our cities are. Travel around the world, visiting every continent, discovering the wild side of cities in this stunning collection of urban maps - cities as you have never seen them before. Some of the stories are almost unbelievable; others will be familiar to every resident of that city. Mexico City has its own famous pig who roams the streets; leopards can be seen in Addis Ababa; porpoises and dolphins have been seen in the Thames. It's a book to return to time and time again, as you will spot something new every time you turn the pages; its size makes it great for sharing, as children lie on the floor seeing what they can spot, and taking on the challenge on each spread. Absolutely fascinating, and packed with detail.

My First Encyclopedia of Trees: A Great Big Book of Amazing Plants to Discover by Richard McGinlay

This giant size book is perfect to show children the wonderful world of trees, as the super-size gives scope for the inclusion of lots of detailed pictures. The book can be read on the floor, held up by a teacher or parent to show and share with a group, and enjoyed by all children whether alone or with others. Thematic spreads include giant trees, mountain trees, coastal trees and unusual shapes; these come from all around the world. Beautiful large illustrations by expert natural history artists are full of detail, and there is a bonus at the back of the book with an entire pictorial forest of even more trees to explore; it's a shame there is no index, though. Fascinating facts are given for each tree illustrated in this stunning guide.

My First Encyclopedia of Fish: A Great Big Book of Amazing Aquatic Creatures to Discover by Richard McGinlay

Eight themed spreads introduce fascinating underwater animals of all kinds, including lots of the most popular and well-known creatures that children might recognise, as well as intriguing and unusual species to find out about. The creatures are found in seas, oceans, lakes, rivers and swamps all around the world and represent a fascinating variety. Full of fascinating facts, the engaging presentation makes learning appealing and enjoyable. These books are a perfect classroom resource, as they are ideal to share with groups of children; they are excellent value too,

The Variety of Life by Nicola Davies and Lorna Scobie

This gorgeous hardback book makes really good use of its supersize to show children the diversity of the natural world.Our planet is full of life! Did you know there are 400,000 species of beetle - but only eight species of bear? The book is arranged by species, so we have, for example, spreads on bats, parrots, penguins, crabs and mushrooms, bringing something to delight on every page with fascinating facts about mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects. There are basic facts about each species, with every individual one described too. The exquisite illustrations are delicately coloured and beautifully detailed. This book will encourage children to treasure the world's biodiversity and help to stop it slipping away - endangered species are noted. Readers are bound to be awed and amazed by the huge variety of wildlife that calls the earth home. A useful glossary and tree of life are included, but sadly no index.A really beautiful book which will help us all appreciate the wonder of the natural world.

Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures: Step Into a Prehistoric World by Emily Hawkins

Another beautiful oversize book from Wide Eyed Editions, who are team behind the best-selling Atlas of Adventures. This is a superb journey of discovery, continent by continent, which shows the amazing variety of dinosaurs which inhabited our world. Travel back in time to lock horns with a triceratops, stalk prey with a T-Rex, and learn to fly with a baby Pteranodon. Children's attention will be grabbed by the hundreds of things to spot, and they will enjoy all the fascinating facts. The quality of the illustrations by Lucy Letherland is exceptional, with plenty of attention to the detail of the habitat as well as the dinosaurs themselves. It's perfect for lying on the floor and poring over, enjoying the detailed illustrations and engaging collection of facts - a joy of a book which will delight for years to come.

Pirates Magnified by David Lang

History's most notorious pirates are all here - Blackbeard, Captain William Kidd, Anne Bonny, Henry Avery and many more. This is a swashbuckling search-and-find adventure, packed with over 200 things to spot while finding out about life on the high seas. This engrossing book comes complete with a 3x magnifying glass so readers can revel in every last detail - and the pictures are so detailed you will really appreciate the help! Pirates are a popular school topic, so this unusual book will be a welcome addition to teaching resources. A book which will appeal to a wide age range - younger ones will enjoy the spotting element and older ones will revel in the plethora of facts.

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark

Grace Hopper was an American computer scientist, a pioneer of computer programming, who coined the term computer bug and taught computers to speak English. Her impact on computer science was immense and it's great to see her work celebrated and brought to children's attention. It's an inspiring account of a woman with a passion for maths, and an insatiable curiosity; her story is perfect to encourage girls to have confidence in their abilities to achieve whatever they want. Charmingly illustrated, this is a highly readable account. Published by Sterling, June 2017, ISBN 9781454920007.

Do You Know About Space?: from DK

Subtitled 'Amazing answers to more than 200 awesome questions!', this book will fascinate inquisitive children from 6+, and will be perfect for supporting school studies. It covers the Solar System, stars, galaxies, space exploration, and much more, with a two page spread answering each question. This engrossing book takes the reader on a galactic journey, answering their questions and stimulating their interest in this exciting subject. We all love DK books for their superb photography and this one is no exception, with the most amazing space pictures from NASA. It's up to date with the latest space news. The book has clear and simple text, so information is easily accessible; clear layout ensures that, despite the huge volume of information, it is easy to use and not confusing for young readers. There's a quiz at the end, plus a glossary and index to hone research skills.

All Aboard The Discovery Express by Emily Hawkins and Tom Adams

Readers are invited to 'Open the Flaps and Solve the Mysteries' in this fascinating and unusual book which draws the reader in with clues to solve. It's 1937 and a professor on the verge of a brilliant discovery has disappeared. It's the reader's job to help to solve the clues; on the way, they will travel the world, learn about the history of transport and even see the design of the world’s first jet engine. There are flaps to explore on every page, and these accompany dramatic illustrations and contemporary accounts to give a real sense of history. Wide Eyed Editions are really finding themselves a niche in the market for beautifully presented and totally engrossing non-fiction books which take a slightly unusual look at their topics - I always look forward to receiving their latest books.

We Travel So Far by Laura Knowles

We never cease to marvel at the amazing journeys that some birds and animals make during the course of a year, and here we have 25 creatures from around the world, each telling its own story. From the huge - the humpback whale - to the tiny - the hummingbird, the reader will be taken on a journey around the world, learning why and how these immense journeys are undertaken. Superbly illustrated by Chris Maddeen, some more of the creatures featured are wildebeest, butterflies, polar bears and Leatherback turtles - a huge range of different creatures and many unexpected. A fascinating book that gives an insight into the wonders of nature.

This Book Will (Help You) Change the World by Sue Turton

Sue Turton is a TV reporter who knows what is takes to mount a successful campaign, so she is well qualified to write this book. Notable contributors include C4 news anchor Jon Snow, founder Jeremy Heimans, leader of Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution Joshua Wong and more. Learn about the political system that rules our daily lives and be empowered to change the status quo. Disrupt the system from within by joining political parties or inspire change through protest. It includes hilarious tongue-in-cheek illustrations from activist-illustrator Alice Skinner. The book includes protest against injustice, campaign for change, vote for your future, avoid fake news, win arguments, disrupt, inspire change and get media attention. An empowering book, forthright and topical.

Dinosaurs: and Other Prehistoric Creatures by Matt Sewell

Young dinosaur fans will respond well to this colourful book by a fellow dinosaur fan, whose love for the subject shines through in the fascinating descriptions which manage to include a plethora of fascinating and unusual facts, perfectly written to appeal to children. The book takes into account up-to-date findings on dinosaur appearance, colour and habits. The lovely illustrations are as child-friendly as the text and give a new perspective on these creatures with the colourful and characterful depictions. The book is wide-ranging, with other prehistoric creatures included as well as plenty of unusual dinosaurs. Lovely.

13½ Incredible Things You Need to Know About Everything from DK

Children love facts and absorb them like sponges - and there are facts galore here for them. Learn something about everything with 13 mind-blowing facts about an amazing range of topics, including fruit, planets, rock stars, chocolate, molluscs and warriors. As well as the 13 facts there is a little myth-buster for each topic Exploded images of everyday objects from cars and skeletons to pianos and chocolate take young readers on an incredible factual adventure. This is a book for the upper end of the age range - the detailed information is in quite small print. Did you know that one in every four animals on earth is a beetle? That white chocolate isn't technically chocolate? Or that the planet Pluto is so small that two could sit side-by-side across the USA? 13½ Incredible Things You Need to Know About Everything includes over 1000 facts on 80 different subjects to satisfy a child's thirst for knowledge. Accompanied by DK superb photographs, this is a wonderful book to dip into, or use the extensive index to research specific subjects.

Real-Life Mysteries: Can You Explain the Unexplained? by Susan Martineau and Vicky Barker

From mysteries like Shackleton's ghostly companion to the Loch Ness Monster, haunted objects to unexplained appearances, children can read the evidence and look at the clues in the pictures and then make up their own minds about the likely solution. Things are not always what they seem - until they are, then you might wish you had never asked - just don't take it all too literally! Ideal for children who continually ask questions, this book will keep them happily occupied for many hours, stimulating their thought processes and giving them plenty to think about.

Wild (A Photicular Book) by Dan Kainen

The photicular images is this book are quite stunning - they move as you look at them, due to a clever technique which reveals different images when you turn the pages of the book - the amount of movement is quite impressive. The panda on the cover really seems to be eating his bamboo shoots. Both informative and fun, the book answers the question: what exactly does it mean to protect or save an endangered animal? It includes stories about conservation efforts, which show how important it is for us all to be aware of the predicament of the world's wildlife. The profiles accompanying each animal image include information on conservation efforts for that particular species. Animals featured include: Amur Leopard, Pangolin, Panda, Honey Bee, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Albatross, Gorilla. An unusual and eye-catching book.

The Picture Atlas by Simon Holland

Children really need to know how the various countries of the world relate to one another and there's no better way than through a colourful picture atlas. This engaging approach will really enthrall children as they discover natural wonders, man-made creations and world cultures. Arranged by continent, from the freezing Arctic Circle with its powerful orca whales, to the amazing Sydney Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef, children will learn about, explore and be amazed by the wonders of the world. Illustrated throughout by Jill Calder, the vivid and detailed pictures really highlight the key features of each country, with people, animals, buildings and much more included. Bursting full of beautiful artwork, informative maps and astounding facts, take a trip around the world like you've never seen it before. A fascinating look at our world.

iExplore - Micromonsters from Carlton Books

Definitely not one for the squeamish, this book takes an amazing close-up look at some of the myriads of miniscule creatures that share our world. This amazing book reveals the tiny creatures all around us that are normally invisible to the human eye - I think I'd prefer them to stay that way! Marvel at these incredible mini monsters - and watch as Digital Magic brings them to life, making them even more gruesome. Fact-filled spreads with plenty of information boxes accompanying the stunning photos give the reader background information on each tiny beast: where it's found, what it does and how it survives. Then open the app on your smartphone or tablet to trigger the AR action and awaken the Digital Magic. The book comes to life using the latest technology of augmented reality with the free companion app; it's very clever and children will find it awesome.

The Fantastical World of Beasts by Stella Caldwell

Another sumptuous book from Carlton, richly illustrated in glowing colours that really bring these mythical creatures and ferocious beasts to life. From dragons to hippogriffs, children (and adults) will revel in these beautiful images which make good use of modern technology being produced in amazing CGI. To add to the amazement, there are detailed spreads containing glass-box displays of their most interesting features: from dragon eggs to sea serpent skin, this book has it all. Eighty pages of scary, mythical, beautiful and awesome beasts. A dramatic book.


iExplore - Extinct Animals by Camilla de la Bedoyere

Sadly, our world has lost some magnificent creatures over the years - but this book brings them as close to life as possible with its use of augmented reality; just download the free app to see them in all their glory.See some of the biggest, strangest and most fascinating of the world's extinct animals as they are brought back to life in front of your very eyes, thanks to the digital magic of Augmented Reality. You can see a woolly mammoth grow to full size, fly a Pteranodon around your bedroom, and much more - amazing! Alongside the superb images, there is plenty of information, clearly laid out in a series of fact boxes. Hopefully, seeing the creatures that have already been lost will encourage ever-greater conservation efforts.

This Book Isn't Safe by Colin Furze

This hands-on inventions book for children is a first from by YouTuber Colin Furze. Colin is on a mission to inspire a new generation of budding inventors to be creative and make things! It's just what children need to really get them inspired and to instill a genuine enthusiasm for science - and it will really help with curriculum work, too. This Book Isn't Safe! contains ten awesome inventions for girls, boys and parents everywhere to make at home with a basic tool kit. As well, readers will learn more about the author and his passion for science, discover some of his greatest inventions and learn tips and secrets from his shed. It's an absolutely fascinating book to dip into,' packed with information, photos and diagrams.

Don't Bug the Insects: Fascinating Facts about Nature's Most Misunderstood Creatures by Ben Richmond

However much we might revile them, insects are essential to life on our planet. vWritten from the point of view of the bugs themselves, children can gain an insight into the lives of 12 insects, including ants, spiders, bees, ladybugs, and beetles. Engaging text plus remarkable photos explain just why these tiny creatures are so important, how they help humans and the planet, and why we need to treat them well. ISBN 9781454921370, published by Sterling Books, August 2017.

The Awesome Book of Animals by Adam Frost

Children love to learn amazing facts, and there are certainly enough here to keep them entertained for a while. Just some of the fantastic facts - there is a tree-climbing fish; some bees drink crocodile tears; a jellyfish was sent into space. Readers will learn disgusting, hilarious, weird and wacky facts with this awesome book! Adam Frost writes in a way that appeals to children, on topics that interest them, and that explains the popularity of his books.

This or That by Brandon T Snider

THIS . . . OR THAT? You've got to pick one! Based on the game Would You Rather? where you ask a friend to choose between two equally unappealing options, this book is chock-full of fun questions. It's sure to provoke hours of hilarity and silliness. Ask these questions, and expect an avalanche of laughter. Would you rather brush your teeth with rotten milk OR take a bath in salad dressing? Would you rather drink a gallon of garbage juice OR eat a softball-sized clump of dog hair? Packed with age-appropriate off-the-wall queries, this book is perfect for a slumber party or play date. It's great fun. Published by Sterling, August 2017, ISBN 9781454921035.

Festivals and Celebrations by Sandra Lawrence

Travel around the world, sharing with people as they enjoy just some of the huge range of festivals and celebrations that are marked in different countries. Wherever they are in the world, people love to celebrate; as the seasons change, so do the festivities. This vibrantly illustrated book takes a look at some of the brightest, strangest, funniest and most beautiful festivals on the planet. It is arranged seasonally, from New Year celebrations, to the shortening of the days.This book is one in Little Tiger's 360 Degrees series; I like the landscape format which makes the books stand out and gives great scope to show off the lovely illustrations by Jane Newland.

Super Earth from DK (Author John Woodward)

It's easy to take for granted the wonders of our planet; this book will certainly avoid us overlooking the sheer awesomeness of our world. As always with DK Books, it's the superlative nature of the illustrative material that stands out. This highly visual encyclopedia showcases the most amazing things about our planet; as well as traditional photography, photography, brand-new CGI artworks will really appeal to today's younger generation. This wide-ranging book includes natural structures, weather patterns, ocean phenomena and constantly changing features of Earth. The book looks at the earth from different perspectives - readers can look down from above, up from deep underground, and around from the middle of a raging storm - giving a real insight into the wonders of the natural world. The artwork is complemented by clear descriptions that will really enhance children's knowledge and understanding, and this is a book that will appeal to all ages. The informative text is based on the latest discoveries and scientific research, and dashboard-style fact files provide information at a glance. A superb book.

Baby Animals (Animal Planet Animal Bites) by Dorothea DePrisco

Children will adore this book, which includes over 200 photos of cute and adorable baby animals. The book is arranged thematically, but if you want to find a specific creature, there is a comprehensive index. There's also a useful glossary to extend children's vocabulary. The relationships between animals are highlighted, with associated animals grouped together. Special features make the book especially suitable for KS2 children and include simple infographics and 'All Grown Up' animal facts. Published by Liberty Street, ISBN 9781618931788, July 2017.

My Book of Rocks and Minerals: Things to find, collect, and treasure! by Devin Dennie

Children love to collect rocks and minerals, as we see when we take them to the beach - they can't resist coming home with a collection! Now they can learn about the things they find with this excellent book which is appropriately written for young children. This is a fantastic introduction to the world of rocks, gems, and minerals, and the excellent colour photos and illustrations really make the topic enticing. Readers will discover where rocks and minerals come from, what a fossil is, and how they can go about starting their own rock collection, as well as how to identify any rocks they find. From amethyst to sandstone, common rocks and minerals are shown alongside fun facts and simple bite-sized chunks of information. A "Which mineral have you got?" section allows children to find and match rocks and gems in their collection to those in the book - this is a really good section. The book is very comprehensive and there is plenty to satisfy the needs of older collectors too.

Invent It! by Rob Beattie

This is a super way to inspire children who know they have brilliant ideas but don't know what to do with them. It goes right back to the beginning of how to invent things, but it does not have the ideas - that's up to the child! They will learn the process step-by-step from light-bulb moment, through to making a prototype, to marketing their clever invention. Along the way, they will discover real-life inventions to inspire them, from the spectacularly stupid to those of ground-breaking genius. A fascinating mix of practical advice, the weird and wonderful and successful ideas.

A Journey Through Transport by John Haslam

Vehicles of all kinds fascinate children, and here they will find a wide range, From steam engine to spaceship, tractor to tandem, and many more. There is transport both common and unusual here as the book takes readers back in time as they explore the first bikes, cars, trains, and planes and then move forward in time to discover shiny new modes of transport and explore the amazing ways machines transport us around today. Full of attractive and colourful drawings plus fun facts and activities, this is an excellent introduction to transport; there's even a full colour poster to accompany the book.

Follow the Link: A Journey Through Transportation: From Spider Silk to Spy Rocket by Tom Jackson

This book takes a really unusual approach to the study of transportation, by looking at the amazing range of materials which have been used to fashion methods of transport. It explains how man worked out the way to unlock the materials found in nature and then put them to work to transport us wherever we want to go. Cold rocks were turned into hot metals, invisible forces were picked up by carved stone - and sand and soot were used to make the toughest spacecraft ever. Find out about lava bombs, lost cities, lodestones and magnets, how the pyramids were made, who invented the coach trip, and why plumbers are called plumbers in this fantastic journey through the history of transport. It's a fascinating approach and really encourages us to look at transport from a different angle.

iExplore The Brain (Digital Magic) by Jack Challoner

This is a series which really makes the most of modern technology by using Augmented Reality to scan the pages of the book and watching the sections light up. It's a fascinating journey about the marvellous way the brain works. This in-depth book looks at how the brain works works in close detail: from senses to memory, automatic and voluntary movements all the way to how the brain uses neurotransmitters to give us emotions. It gives a whole new insight into the brain and children will be fascinated to see just how the brain works. Good colour photographs and clear diagrams explain the topic at just the right level for KS2 pupils; the book is great to complement the teaching done at school.

Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus rex! by Caroline Rowlands

Wow! Just watch as these amazing creatures almost jump off the screen as children use the Augmented Reality feature with 10 life-size dinosaurs. Children will be enthralled. Fans of Jurassic Park and children who love dinosaurs will enjoy this brilliant overview of the Jurassic Park trilogy and Jurassic World. It includes genetically engineered, terror-inspiring dinosaurs from the whole series, including new profiles for Tyrannosaurus rex, Indominus rex and Velociraptor, as well as other favourites from the original films. Uses the most advanced Augmented Reality: walk a lifesize Jurassic Park dinosaur across your floor, photograph friends with favourite dinosaurs from across the movie series and connect with another device in dual user mode to roam and explore. Fascinating.

Football Number Crunch by Kevin Pettman

A brilliant way to get children interested in numbers! Every football statistic they will want to know is here - longest unbeaten runs, goal-scoring streaks, record attendances, head-to-head player match-ups and much more. Football Number Crunch! is a snappily written, fact-packed overview of world football, bursting with colourful, punchy data graphics and action photographs; even reluctant readers will find it absorbing, with its highly visual presentation. Each piece of data is based on a number, creating an entire book of easy-to-digest information that will hook the most reluctant of readers. It's wide-ranging, including football from all around the world

10 Reasons to Love an... Elephant by Catherine Barr

I hink elephants are one of the most fascinating creatures on our planet and this enjoyable book has really reinforced my opinion. The die-cut elephant shape on the cover gives the book instant appeal and Hanaka Clolow's detailed drawings really bring the world of the elephant to life. Elephants go on incredible migrations, know that granny knows best, can incredibly clever and can scare off lions with their huge ears. And how can we help these magnificent animals? The book tells us we can show we love them by buying FSC products and NEVER buying anything made of ivory. Discover ten reasons why elephants are amazing and five ways you can show they love them in this gorgeous picture book which really highlights environmental concerns.

10 Reasons to Love a... Turtle by Catherine Barr

Another fascinating creature, maybe less well known but nonetheless a creature that needs our attention and care. The facts are presented in a really interesting way, guaranteed to appeal to animal lovers, as we learn 10 reasons why we should love turtles and 5 ways in which we should show that love by making sure we personally don't do anything that could harm these creatures. This beautifully illustrated book shows us the amazing variety of turtles and clearly shows their habitats in the lovely pictures. An interesting and thought-provoking approach.

Life on Earth: Dinosaurs by Heather Alexander

With 100 Questions and 70 Lift-flaps, this is a really good way to encourage children to engage with books. Presented as a series of questions, such as "When did the dinosaurs live? How did they hunt? And why is the T-Rex the scariest dinosaur?", children can find the answers to these and many more questions by lifting the flaps. With stunning, detailed illustrations throughout, both under the flaps and on the main pages, this is the perfect introduction to the world of dinosaurs for young children; a book they will return to over and over again.

Life on Earth: Jungle by Heather Alexander

Jungles are amazing places and their rich variety is brought to life for children to wonder over in this fascinating book. A hundred questions are answered, with those answers revealed under 70 flaps for children to explore; under each flap is the answer plus an attractive picture. Which animals live in the jungle? What noises will you hear? And how do the plants grow? Find out the answer to these and many more questions in this fun fact-filled lift the flap book. This is the perfect introduction to the world of the jungle for young children.

Time Atlas: An Interactive Timeline of History by Robert Hegarty

It's really important that children learn to put historical events into context, and timelines are perfect to do this. This interactive book, packed with flaps and novelty elements, takes children on a journey through time From dinosaurs to DNA, and from reed boats to rockets, celebrate the landmarks and inventions that have made our planet what it is today and pose the question: where do we go from here? The layout is excellent and a huge amount of information has been packed into a relatively small space, whilst still keeping facts clear and understandable. This book has been very well thought out and will really help children gain an overview of historical periods.

Al's Awesome Science: No.1: Egg-Speriments! by Jane Clarke

This is an intriguing combination of story and science that will really engender an interest in science and experimenting. Al's wacky experiments have the most unexpected and messy consequences in this new science-based adventure series. Al is experimenting to invent a time machine which would also be really useful to get him out of trouble! As a young scientist who never gives up Al is surprised to find out that his 'egg-speriments' can lead to very sticky situations! Great fun and with a solid scientific foundation.

Where On Earth?: Geography Without the Boring Bits (Buster Reference) from Buster Books

This is a great way to show children just how fascinating geography can be. From how to make a raindrop to cool ways to remember the world's wonderful waterfalls, longest rivers and most desolate deserts - plus all the countries and continents in which these fantastic features are found. The perfect learning companion to help all school children get to grips with discovering the world around them. The lively line drawings add to the fun of the book for children.

Out of this World: All the cool bits about space from Buster Books

This fascinating book is packed with everything children (and many adults) need to know about space - from facts and statistics to real-life adventures. Boys and girls can find their way around the solar system, learn if aliens really could exist and discover the origins of the universe. Entertaining and educational, this learning companion would make the perfect addition to any school child's bookshelf. It's perfect to dip into and will lead to a greater interest in space.

The Story of Tutankhamun by Patricia Cleveland-Peck

This book takes an intriguing look at the life of Tutankhamun, and tells us about the 20th century explorer who discovered his tomb. Tutankhamun did not have an easy life - as a young king, ruling from the age of nine, he faced many problems. Learn how he fared as a young king, how he died, and his legacy, which lay hidden for centuries.Part Two shows how Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun's hidden tomb, and describes how people today still seek to learn more about Ancient Egypt. Perfect to support KS2 history studies, and a fascinating and informative look at a king who captures everyone's attention.The book is beautifully produced with superbly evocative illustrations by Isabel Greenberg, who captures the richness of Egyptian life.

Cool Physics: Filled with Fantastic Facts for Kids of All Ages by Sarah Hutton

Physics can seem a daunting subject for children... and for their parents! But not with this handy guide to hand to demystify even the most complicated of concepts. Handy bite-sized chunks cover all that KS2 children will need to know, from Archimedes' Eureka moment, through to Newton's discovery of gravity to the Higgs Boson. Children and curious adults will enjoy the light-hearted but very informative approach, and the entertaining illustrations are a real boon. There are also 10 practical experiments to give even more insight; these include making a pinhole camera, a whirlpool in a bottle and electric circuits with Play-Doh. A fascinating read.

Operation Ouch!: The HuManual by Ben Elcomb

This is definitely the human body as you have never seen it before - and children will love the presentation. Readers will learn what makes us tick, from the wonders of the human brain to the tingling in your ticklish toes. From crazy bodily functions to bizarre real-life medical cases, this is the ultimate guide to getting to know yourself, inside and out. The jazzy presentation, with masses of photos, cartoons and diagrams, will draw in even the most reluctant of readers - and once they are engrossed in the book, they won't be able to put it down... except to try out some of the many experiments which support the learning. Operation Ouch! is a BAFTA-winning CBBC series, from the makers of Embarrassing Bodies and 10 Years Younger. It's presented by real-life doctors (and twin brothers) Chris and Xand van Tulleken.

Picture This!: A Kids' Guide to the National Gallery by Paul Thurlby

Created in consultation with the National Gallery, this fascinating book introduces one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world, including famous works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Velázquez, Degas and many others - and masterpieces by less familiar artists. Featuring beautiful reproductions, fascinating facts and behind-the-scenes tours, as well as games and activities inspired by the art, young readers will be encouraged to find out more and get creative. The engaging presentation will really draw children in and encourage them to have a go themselves. You don't need to be planning a visit to the National Gallery to enjoy and learn from this book, but if you are going, then it will be marvellous to enjoy the book beforehand so you and your child can benefit fully; it's great for teachers planning class trips too (and the practical spiral binding makes it an ideal companion).

My Burptastic Body Book (Dirty Bertie) by Alan Macdonald

Dirty Bertie, the boy with the revolting habits, is a favourite with children and they will find this look at the human body totally engrossing - with the emphasis on gross! Bertie tours the human body on a search for the weird and wonderful things that take place in the body - and the more disgusting, the better! From bad breath, smelly sweat and blood-sucking nits to funny bones, amazing brains and bionic burping, this is one book you may encourage your child not to share with you. On a serious note though, children will actually learn a lot - and the wacky illustrations by David Roberts just add to the fun.

Hidden World: Forest by Libby Walden

This is a lift-the-flap book with a difference, because every page is completely taken up with flaps, making the book really eye-catching. Each flap conceals information about the natural object named and pictured on the flap. Beneath the flaps are larger pictures plus a simple informative sentence. Readers will learn about the flora and fauna of the forest in the themed spreads. This book is perfect for introducing children to the wonders of the woodland and it will encourage them to get out exploring for themselves. A lovely and unusual book.

Bees (What on Earth?) by Andrea Quigley

We can't fail to be aware of the plight of our bees, and of the essential part they play in our world, so it's really excellent to see this book for young readers which will help them understand every aspect of these vital creatures. The book encourages children to explore the different kinds of bees and how they make honey; to investigate the best flowers for bees by making a nectar cafe; to create a bumble bee home and learn to dance like a bee - and much, much more. The book is really informative and the text is presented in a lively enjoyable way that will really involve and stimulate children. The colourful illustrations are full of life and wonderful detail. This is an excellent way to inform children and to encourage them to care for the natural world.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Stories of Extraordinary Women by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

We have an excellent book here which should be top of every girl's reading list - and boys too, so they can see the vital role played by women throughout history. This crowdfunded book has become a smash hit, and quite rightly so. Written to inspire girls and to counteract the prevalence of boys in stories, this inspiring collection of stories is testament to the power of women. Illustrated by sixty female artists from every corner of the globe, the book introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don't need rescuing. It's a fascinating read, perfect for dipping into and ideal to inspire readers to find out more about these amazing women,

Out and About: Night Explorer from Nosy Crow

Ideal for parent and children to get out together and explore the wonders of the night, this kit has all you need to get started - an LED torch (plus batteries), a neat little backpack, a fold-out constellation guide, glow in the dark star stickers and a book which enables identification of over 100 insects, animals, birds and stars. The book is clearly set out with child-friendly illustrations to aid positive identification, plus activities such as making a creepy-crawly home. The explorer's guidebook is packed with fun activities and useful information about how to identify creatures whilst out and about, whether in a garden or adventuring further afield on a night-time nature walk.This complete kit is the perfect introduction to nature once the sun has gone down, for children aged 6+! The pack is published in conjunction with the National Trust - look out for this, and other Nosy Crow books, in their gift shops.

British Museum: Maurice the Museum Mouse's Amazing Ancient Book of Facts and Jokes by Tracey Turner

Instill an interest in ancient history in your child with this fun-packed book. This joke book is full of side-splittingly hilarious jokes and fascinating facts about civilisations found in the British Museum. "Which ancient civilisation was the most untidy? Mess-opotamia". Full of bite-size facts about amazing ancient worlds and jokes that will have you howling, Maurice the Museum Mouse's comical collection is just as entertaining as the British Museum's own collection. It's a great way for children to learn the facts and have fun at the same time - be prepared to have lots of jokes read to you!boring, but is full of interest for everyone. It's also an excellent way to learn that the British Museum is not staid and boring.

In Focus: Cities by Libby Walden

Take a journey around the world and discover 10 famous cities - London, Paris, Moscow, Tokyo, Rome, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Cairo, Istanbul and Sydney. Each city is illustrated by a different illustrator and this is an excellent feature, as each illustrator has managed to capture the essence of the cities in their own way. This super-sized book delves into the cultural, social and historical identities of ten world-famous cities.The giant flaps for every city allow further exploration of the culture, character and civilisation of each city. The information is succinctly presented and 'Did you know... ' boxes give additional detail. 360 Degrees is a new non-fiction imprint from Little Tiger Press.

The Great Big Body Book by Mary Hoffman

This is a good way to support children at KS1 and early KS2 in their learning about the human body. It is the fourth book in an excellent series which is approachable and friendly for young children, giving them a good insight into the topic. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and they change throughout our lives as we change from babies to children to teenagers to adults. Find out about growing and learning, keeping fit, breaks and bruises, the five senses, using our minds, how we are the same and how we are different – and lots more. With copious cartoon-style illustrations by Ros Asquith, the approach is easy and enjoyable and the facts are presented in a memorable way.

Cool Coding: Filled with Fantastic Facts for Kids of All Ages from Pavilion Books

Coding, which is now part of the National Curriculum, can seem a daunting topic, but books like this really help to demystify it for both children and adults. A fun, accessible guide to computers and coding for older children and curious adults. This fun book is arranged into handy bite-sized chunks, making the information easy to assimilate. Cool Coding contains all the basics about computers and coding, from the very basics of binary code and how it works, on to the myriad things that coding can actually do, and concluding with the brave new worlds of artificial intelligence, robots and cloud computing. Scratch and Python, which are commonly used in schools, are included and the book shows how coding can be used to create websites, games and apps, and make robots and moving vehicles, with the help of nifty devices such as the Raspberry Pi. Attractive illustrations and good use of diagrams and text boxes make the book easy to use - and there is a huge amount of information to be found.

Go Wild in the Woods by Goldie Hawk and Rachael Saunders

This hardback book is the perfect size to slip into a pocket or a rucksack, all ready to go exploring. All the essentials for woodland explorers are here - what to pack, how to build a shelter, how to craft your own tools, how to cook food over a campfire...and even how to get drinking water from wee! Children will also learn exactly what not to do, from eating poisonous mushrooms to starting a forest fire. With fun games to play in the woods, advice on tracking animals, and a useful chapter on first aid, this is an excellent book. A lovely way to help children appreciate all the wonders of nature, packed with informative advice and plenty of guidance on keeping safe. We may not be able to give our children the freedom their predecessors have, but this book really encourages outdoor exploration in a safe and practical way. It is another produced in conjunction with the National Trust.

The Story of the Car by Giles Chapman

This will appeal to adults just as much as to children, with its large format and absorbing range of cars, ordinary and extraordinary. Of course, cars are an essential of everyday life but they are also vehicles of beauty that allow drivers to determine their own destination. From Benz's first motor wagon to the jet-propelled ThrustSSC, find out about the history of the motor car, accompanied by stylised drawings by US NOW. It also gives an insight into social history, as we learn how the upheavals of the past 140 years diverted the car's journey: two world wars, economic crashes, the digital revolution and more. The book concludes by taking a look at the future - the fantastical cars that have been imagined in film and the incredible vehicles that await us.It's a fascinating look at the place of the car in our lives.

DK First Science Encyclopedia

Inquisitive children will love this colourful science encyclopedia, which is perfect for inspiring KS1 and KS2 children to take an interest in science. Whether it is for homework, or just dipping in to answer questions, children will learn all they need to know about science. Filled with fun science facts about many different subjects, the book answers the question 'What is science?@, and is then divided into life science, materials science, physical science, earth and space science, with a final useful reference section. There are many useful devices to help learning, and to make navigating the book easy. These include Turn and Learn boxes to link to other pages, and hands-on experiments. The layout is excellent, with many different ways of presenting information - and there are, of course, masses of exceptional photos and diagrams.

Discovery Atlas by Anita Ganeri

This bright and colourful first atlas, packed with illustrations and photos on every page, will really help children understand our world and learn to locate different countries. It starts with introducing biomes, and is then set out by continent, ending with a quiz. Regions are shown using physical and political maps, and feature iconic animals, natural wonders, famous landmarks, and much more, making the atlas really appealing for children. Each spread includes ‘sight-seeing’ features to whet young explorers’ appetites. The layout is clear and easy to follow, with good use of colour and information boxes; fast facts cover the basics succinctly. A good introductory atlas.

A Canadian Year: Twelve months in the life of Canada's kids (A Kids' Year) by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling

Join Liam, Ava, Oki, Chloe and Noah - five children from very different Canadian backgrounds. Join them as they enjoy a year of Canadian, from celebrations, traditions and events, to the everyday way of life. All aspects of Canada are celebrated through engaging colour pictures and informative text that winds its way through the pages. It is a fascinating snapshot of Canadian childhood, full of life and joy and a perfect commemoration of the country, with facts both familiar and unfamiliar to enjoy and learn.

A Kiwi Year: Twelve months in the life of New Zealand's kids (A Kids' Year) by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling

Charlie, Ruby, Oliver, Mason and Kaia are here to take children on a very personal journey through a year in New Zealand. From everyday life, like shopping and going to school, to celebrations and festivals, the book encapsulates what makes New Zealand the country it is. Informative text interweaves with colourful pictures to make the book really engaging, and a fascinating read.

Children's Illustrated Thesaurus from DK

A thesaurus could be daunting for children, but this excellently produced book is far from boring - children will find it fascinating just to dip into, as well as for using when they want to extend their vocabulary. With plenty of colour photos as well as infographics for many popular words, the presentation is excellent. Coloured edges plus highlighted letters make it easy for children to find their way around the book. There are synonyms and antonyms for around four thousand entries, each supported by a definition and example sentence to help boost a child's confidence in using and choosing words. Thee child-friendly design will help inspire children to build a rich and vibrant vocabulary, standing them in good stead throughout life.

The Prehistoric Times by Stella Gurney

This book is described as the newspaper for discerning dinosaurs - an approach which will really capture children's attention. It is full of activities, including paleo puzzles, fearsome facts and giganto games. Children can meet real-life reptiles and read fascinating features, such as Doomsday Dino Predicts Disaster and Allosaurus Outtogetus. Packed with similar articles which, although light-hearted in approach, are also very informative, this is a fascinating and unusual way to present information. With all the activities, children will be engrossed for hours.

The Ancient Greeks (Discover) by Isabel and Imogen Greenberg

I was really impressed by the first two books in this series, so am delighted to see two more books in the same format. The approach is engaging and light-hearted, perfect to stimulate KS2 pupils to take an interest in ancient history, which forms part of the curriculum. Packed with facts which are wittily and memorably presented, the book includes a fold-out map and timeline,both of which add greatly to the learning experience. two page spread explores a different theme or topic, such as Hall of Fame, Greek Rule and The Olympic Games. Created by graphic novelist Isabel Greenberg and her sister, Imogen Greenberg, the Discover series offers a fresh and accessible entry point to history for children 8+.

The Aztec Empire (Discover) by Isabel and Imogen Greenberg

Find out lots of fascinating facts about the Aztecs, some well-known but with plenty of more unusual and lesser-known facts to intrigue children and make this ancient civilisation come alive. The information is presented comic-strip style, with factual information in the text accompanied by speech bubbles which add to the text in an amusing way to captivate children. There's plenty of detail to learn from in the illustrations too. Topics include Art and Poetry; Origin Story; Aztec Calendar and Archaeology. There is also a pull-out map and timeline to help children put events into context. An excellent series, a little out of the ordinary.

How To Be a Scientist by Steve Mould

As this book shows, being a scientist isn't just about wearing a lab coat and performing science experiments in test tubes. It's about looking at the world and trying to figure out how it works - and that is something all children can do as they go about their everyday lives, as this book clearly demonstrates. As well as simple science projects for kids to try, How to Be a Scientist will teach them how to think like a scientist - a skill that will stand them in good stead for the future, both in and out of formal education. For every scientific concept the child learns they will be encouraged to find new ways to test it further. So, for example, children are encouraged to make jellies with various fruits, including pineapple; the book then explains and demonstrates why the pineapple jelly does not set. THe book relies heavily on illustrative material, making it accessible and appealing to children. Fun questions, science games, and real-life scenarios make science relevant to children. A great way to inspire children to enjoy science and to see the role it plays in daily life.

Truly Foul & Cheesy Body Joke Book (Truly Foul & Cheesy Joke Book) by John Townsend

Another hilarious, fact-packed joke book that young readers will love to laugh at as they learn. It features dozens of gut-busting gags that children can share with their friends, themed around the gross and gruesome aspects of the human body, along with bite-sized information about the topics covered. It's great fun for children, perfect to encourage reluctant readers - and highly informative too.

All Aboard the London Bus by Patricia Toht

Whether you live in London, are visiting or just want to learn more about the iconic landmarks of our capital city, this book has plenty for you to enjoy. Join a family of four as they spend a day exploring London on a big red bus. Well-known landmarks like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the London Eye are all featured and described in evocative and descriptive poems which are very child-friendly. The map showing the River Thames is great to show children the exact location of all the landmarks in the book. The book never forgets this is London - so it includes iconic features like rain and taking tea. Non-fiction facts on every landmark provide more information at the end of the book. Sam Usher's illustrations bring it all to life with style and humour. A lovely book which will make a perfect gift for visitors to London.

Above and Below by Hanako Clulow

This unusual approach is an excellent way to introduce children to a range of habitats, and to generate enthusiasm. Half page flaps lift to show what goes on that above and below the surface. Eight habitats are featured - ocean, rainforest, North Pole, river, mountain caves, savannah, clifftops and forest. It is beautifully illustrated and the various creatures are well labelled and described, making the book both attractive and informative. It's a different approach from many books, and very effective.

Old Masters Rock: How to Look at Art with Children by Maria-Christina Sayn-Wittgenstein Nottebohm

You may feel that children won't be interested in art, and especially not in Old Masters. Once you have read this book, you will definitely change your mind! Written with a true appreciation of the subject, this book shows how to make looking at art with children become fun.It demystifies western art and demonstrates that it is accessible to all of us - adults and children alike. The book introduces the type of questions that help us discover things about a work of art and how we feel about it. Features such as 'Art Detectives' encourage children to solve clues and 'Fun Facts' help them remember the pictures. The book is set out in thirteen themes including Animals, the Natural World, Action Heroes, Myth & Magic, Fabulous Faces and others, 50 paintings from the fourteenth century through to the early twentieth century are featured. It's perfect for teachers who are taking classes on school trips, as it's full of ideas to enthuse children.

History Jokes and Facts (Truly Foul & Cheesy) by John Townsend

History is far from boring in this hilarious, fact-packed joke book will have young readers laughing as they are learning. And that's the real point - there is so much to be learnt through this humorous approach, and the way the information is presented means it is very memorable. It features dozens of gut-busting gags that children can share with their friends, themed around the gross and gruesome aspects of history, along with bite-sized information about the topics covered - and plenty of hilarious illustrations. Prepare to hear lots of grizzly and gruesome facts!

Science Jokes and Facts (Truly Foul & Cheesy Joke Book) by John Townsend

Books like this are brilliant to encourage children to read - just leave a copy lying around and they won't be able to resist dipping in; and once they do, they will be hooked! There are plenty of unpleasant things in science, from the horrible death of astronomer Tycho Brahe to the top ten odd habits of Nikola Tesla; no, I'm not telling - you'll have to get your own copy of the book to find out! The humour is blended with plenty of factual information which children will absorb as they enjoy the book, increasing their interest in and knowledge of science.

Animal Jokes and Facts (Truly Foul & Cheesy Joke Book) by John Townsend

Another fascinating blend of joke and fact, perfect to give children plenty of quotable quotes. Riddles, jokes long and short, and plenty of interesting facts combine with hilarious illustrations to offer children plenty of laughs on every page, whilst increasing their knowledge about wildlife. A series which children are going to love.

Vet Academy: Are you ready for the challenge? by Steve Martin

Many children dream of becoming a vet - but have they got what it takes? I love this book, with its hands-on approach that really shows children what a vet's life is like. This unusual activity book includes sections about the three main different types of vet – Pet Vet, Zoo Vet or Farm Vet. A wide range of topics are covered, from learning about baby animals and everything they need to grow strong and healthy to finding out about vaccinations and diets for different animals. You will also learn about animal body language, exercise, and keeping animals happy and healthy! Key skills are practised with a variety of fun activities, including observation, speed and accuracy tasks, and matching and finding games. The friendly approach and appealing illustrations work well together to bring us a book which is a real pleasure to read, for everyone who loves animals - even if they don't aim to be a vet!

Engineer Academy: Are you ready for the challenge? by Steve Martin

With the current emphasis on STEM subjects, and especially on engaging girls with science, this is a really timely book that shows the huge range of opportunities available in engineering - and gives children the chance to try out some activities to see how they get on. There is so much to enjoy in this book as children learn the essential skills to start their own engineering journey. Packed full of great illustrations, fun facts, and absorbing activities, this book guides readers through each strand of engineering science – Mechanics, Aerospace, Robotics, Energy, and Materials. Practical projects, each carefully designed to introduce skills of the sort required by real-life engineers, help kids pick up the basics in a fun, hands-on way. Design a robot, learn how to construct a simple car, create your own levers and pulleys, and build paper planes, plus many other educational and inspirational activities – the sky's the limit! The enticing presentation and huge variety of different ideas is really impressive - I do hope there are more to come in this ingenious series from Ivy Kids.

Spot the Mistake: Lands of Long Ago by AJ Wood

I love the way this book makes children really think about what they are seeing; it's a really good discipline for them to learn to question what they see. Would a Mayan warrior have worn a watch? Would a Viking have used a compass? There are 20 mistakes in every scene for children to spot, then they turn the page to see whether they were correct, and to learn more fun facts about ancient civilisations, including the Ancient Greeks, the Ancient Egyptians, the Romans, the Mayans, the Vikings and many more. A brilliant concept which will stimulate all sorts of discussion - a great classroom resource and a book which will help children learn and remember. It's attractively illustrated, without too much detail to obscure the true reason for studying the pictures; the explanations of the mistakes are clear and informative. Wonderful!

Pirates: Dead Men's Tales by Anne Rooney

Pirates have been around on the High Seas for hundreds of years, and their history is one that intrigues, alarms and delights children, so this fascinating book is bound to be popular. They will come face-to-face with some of the most notorious villains ever, including Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, the Barbarossa Brothers and Mary Read and Anne Bonny. Atmospheric and dark illustrations bring the real life stories of pirates to life, accompanied by in-depth pirate profiles and highly visual maps which will really help children with their knowledge of geography, showing where the events took place and putting them into context. A fascinating and fact-packed insight.

The Big Book of Beasts (Big Books) by Yuval Zommer

The tall portrait format of this book immediately caught my eye - it really gives scope for the beautiful illustrations to be shown off at their best. It's a friendly, approachable book, which devotes a two-page spread to each creature, with succinct facts and questions chattily answered against the backdrop of those superb illustrations. Each creature is illustrated many times, giving scope for all sorts of different poses and expressions - clever. This book opens with introductory spreads explaining that beasts are wild animals that can’t be tamed and gives tips on how to spot them in their natural habitats. The book is really wide-ranging too, as the final spreads approach the world of beasts thematically, looking at mythical beasts, Ice-Age beasts, beasts on your street and how to save beasts in danger. A superbly presented book with wonderful illustrations, enticingly written so children will pore over it for many enjoyable hours - and remember the facts because of the engaging presentation.


The Periodic Table Book: A Visual Encyclopedia of the Elements from DK

You could well think this is going to be a dry and boring book, but far from it. It's a fascinating look at the elements that make up our world. This eye-catching encyclopedia takes children on a visual tour of the 118 chemical elements of the periodic table, from argon to zinc. A clear contents page helps navigate the book, by showing the elements under specific groups. It explores the naturally occurring elements, as well as the man-made ones, and explains their properties and atomic structures. Throughout, the photos (as we always expect from DK) are simply superb, and highlight the beauty of the natural world as well as showing what man creates from the elements. The Book shows the many natural forms of each element, as well as a wide range of both everyday and unexpected objects in which it is found, making each element relevant for the child's world. If you want your child to engage with the periodic table, then get this book and you will succeed in your aim. It is quite fascinating.

Birds (Nature Explorers) from DK

Written at just the right level to start children off on an interest in bird watching, Birds is the perfect companion for children eager to understand the world of ornithology. It is not a bird identification book, but a way to discover all about various types of birds, from birds of prey to tropical birds, and how a bird makes its nest, how they feed, how birds hatch and much more. This is complemented by hands-on activities, including how to make a bird feeder and a bird bath, and plenty of fun facts. It's well laid out, easy to read and very enjoyable - ideal to stimulate an interest in birds.

Secrets of Our Earth: A Shine-a-Light Book by Carron Brown

This intriguing and unusual series is growing rapidly, with plenty of new titles to enjoy. In this book, children will embark upon a memorable journey of discovery with a combination of natural landscapes, animal habitats, and geological wonders. The earth is explored in all its diversity, from icy mountains to busy cities and children are involved throughout by questions about the pages. The unique design of the book allows children to discover a “hidden“ image by holding the page up to a bright light. Although the publishers recommend the books for children aged 3 and up, I feel they are better suited to older children, as a three year old will find it hard to hold the books up to the light, as they are hardback and quite big for little hands; they are fine for 3 year olds to share with adult help and this is, of course, the best way to encourage a love to books.

Wonders of the USA: A Shine-a-Light Book by Carron Brown

Children can view the USA as they have never seen it before with this unusual see-through book. Hold the pages up to a bright light, and see what is happening inside the White House... find out what is inside the Statue of Liberty's crown... find animals living in the Grand Canyon... Make the most of the book by asking children what they think will be the answers to the questions before they look at the solution. The book looks at natural and manmade landmarks and really shows the diversity of the country, taking children from Hawaii to the Everglades and from Mount Rushmore to the Golden Gate Bridge. A fascinating book.

Exploring Space: From Galileo to the Mars Rover and Beyond by Martin Jenkins

Learn about the history of space exploration told in an engaging narrative style that makes reading easy and enjoyable - it is very well written, pitched at just the right level for 8 - 12 year olds, but informative enough for adults to enjoy too. The story of space exploration covers early astronomy, the history of flight, the Space Race, the day-to-day of astronauts in the International Space Station and the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and considers where future missions might take us. It's a refreshing change from the two page single subject spreads we are so familiar with, making the narrative flow rather than being disjointed. Stephen Biesty's magnificent cross-section illustrations lay bare the intricate workings of space probes and shuttles, the Mars Curiosity Rover, spacesuits and Soyuz rockets. Back matter includes a comprehensive timeline and glossary of terms. An excellent book to inspire an interest in space exploration.

Rock Pool Secrets by Narelle Oliver

Children are fascinated by rock pools and they are a miniature habitat that children can explore easily, so it's excellent to ssee a book that will encourage this. The book encourages children to look into rock pools by lifting the flaps to discover what is waiting to be found. This book, with its large colourful flaps Features beautiful linocut artwork by award-winning author/illustrator Narelle Oliver. There is also a useful glossary of rock pool creatures. A lovely book.

The Earth Book: A World of Exploration and Wonder by Jonathan Litton

Stunning! A superb insight into the marvels of our world, natural and man-made - a book that will have you going "Wow!". Whether you choose to dip in at random, or read cover to cover, this book is a revelation. Readers can marvel at the physical planet, travel back in time to primordial Earth, explore all branches of the tree of life, discover habitats from oceans to deserts, learn how the weather works and take a tour of the human planet from the Maasai steppe to Manhattan. The generous format of the book gives scope for excellent illustrations; my only caveat is that I think the text is rather small, especially when against deep coloured backgrounds. Otherwise, a wonderful book.

The Gadget Inventor Handbook by Mike Warren

This book is an excellent way to help children understand how the science behind their favourite gadgets actually works. Gizmos, gadgets, circuits, and LEDs all have their part to play and here's the book for children to use to make their own gadgets. From drawing a robot, and practising on a breadboard, to building a racing machine, all the projects here have detailed step-by-step instructions and ample illustrations to guide young scientists as they master core electronics skills. My favourites have to be the LED slippers - perfect for walking around a darkened house. To further extend children's learning experience and imagination, every project can be customised to make it personal and unique. The 14 projects range from easy to advanced - some can be tackled without adult help, others require adult supervision, including a few which use a soldering iron

Design, Animate, and Create with Computer Graphics (How to Code: A Step by Step Guide to Computer Coding) by Max Wainewright

Here's an excellent way to encourage children to use computers, not just to play games, but to really make full use of the computer's power to design, animate, and create digitally, from birthday cards to 3D cities and more. There are five chapters, each building on learning from the previous one, covering bitmap painting, vector graphics, photo-editing, animations, and 3D drawing. It really encourages children to see the power of the computer and to develop their imagination and creativity. Step-by-step instructions include plenty of pictorial examples, ensuring children can tackle the projects confidently on their own - and be proud of the results. An Excellent book.

iExplore - Bugs by Hannah Wilson

Be warned - you will never look at bugs in quite the same way once you have read this book, with its free app that brings giant bugs to life! It's amazing what digital magic can do, bring us up close and personal in ways that only scientists used to enjoy. Get set to see the biggest, scariest and most awesome bugs of the world come to life right in front of your eyes, thanks to the power of Digital Magic. Watch a Goliath bird-eating tarantula crawl across your table, a Giant Wetapunga Cricket jump on your friend's hand, two Hercules Beetles battling against each other, the world's biggest butterfly flutter around your bedroom, and much more. There's plenty of factual information, and excellent colour photos to enhance the value of the book - a book to engross all young nature lovers; it's a fascinating approach.

Ella Queen of Jazz by Helen Hancocks

Ella Fitzgerald sang the blues and she seemed unstoppable until prejudice hit when the biggest club in town refused to let her play because of her colour. But when all hope seemed lost, an unlikely person stepped in to help - none other than Marilyn Monroe. This is the inspiring, true story of how a remarkable friendship began – and how they worked together to overcome prejudice and adversity. It's excellent to see this touching story brought to a young audience, and to see how these iconic characters worked together. Simply but very effectively told.

The School of Music by Meurig and Rachel Bowen

Welcome to the School of Music, a place bursting with talent, creative energy and special encounters. Split into three terms of activities, with 40 sections in all, thi would work wonderfully for non-specialist music lessons in schools as it is full of inspiration for teachers and children. Meet The Boss! He’s called Sergio Trunk. Some people call him The Maestro, and he, along with his team of talented musicians, will lead you through 40 lessons that help you to learn about classical music, the theory behind music, and the fun you can have making it. It's a hugely ambitious project in a single book but the authors succeed admirably - and the book is kept really accessible by the excellence of Daniel Frost's illustrations The authors' love and passion for music really shines through the book and I really hope that young people, musical or not, will have the chance to enjoy this book and discover a love of music for themselves.

Books, Books, Books by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom

My favourite pairing ever have brought us another wonderful book - and what better than to celebrate books. Visit the largest library in the world, the British Library and discover its wonders, including handmade gospel hidden in a saint's coffin; a HUGE atlas that takes six people to lift it; a tiny prayer book carried by a queen to her execution; the original handwritten manuscript of Alice in Wonderland; AND books so rare and valuable they are kept in a bomb-proof store-room... and much, much more. The British Library is an amazing place as this fascinating book shows. From man-eating monsters and brave knights to wicked witches, lost children, haunted moors, magical creatures and flying machines. This lavishly illustrated book shows them all to us through narrative text and evocative illustrations - it's nearly as good as visiting the library yourself, and will definitely encourage children to visit the library - and library.

Taking Flight: How the Wright Brothers Conquered the Skies (Dare to Dream 1) by Adam Hancher

We take flight for granted today, but it seemed an impossible dream in the days of the Wright Brothers - and that's why this book is such a good start to a new series called "Dare to Dream". From childhood, the pioneering Wright brothers dared to dream of being the first men in the world to fly… but would they ever see their dreams take flight? The golden age of aviation is brought vividly to life in this story of determination, ingenuity and courage. It's inspiringly written, to encourage children never to give up on dreams; the account is told in narrative form, making it an easy and enjoyable read. Colourful drawings throughout set the scene to perfection. The book also includes a page about the Wright Brothers' life and legacy.

100 Steps for Science: Why it works and how it happened by Lisa Jane Gillespie

Divided into 10 sub-sections - space, wheels, numbers, light, sound, particles, medicine, materials, energy and life - this books takes a fascinating look at the impact of science on our everyday lives. It shows the significance of the early scientific observations made by ancient civilizations and how they went on to shape our world today, and explains how technology evolved over time in ten breakthrough moments for each of the ten key discoveries. It's an interesting way to view the subject and ties in well with the way children are taught science. The unusual illustrations are a striking feature of the book, and they provide many memorable images to help memory and understanding. A fascinating book.

National Trust: Ned the Nature Nut's Nutty Nature Jokes and Facts by Sarah Horne

This is another result of the collaboration between Nosy Crow and the National Trust and I can see many happy children picking up a copy of this in the gift shops! This nutty, nature joke book is full of side-splittingly hilarious jokes and fascinating facts based on nature. It's all perfectly geared to children and they will absorb a surprising amount of knowledge as they enjoy the humour. Full of green-fingered giggles and wildlife witticisms, as well as incredible facts about nature, Ned the Nature Nut will turn you into a nature nut too! A great way to encourage an interest in nature.

The Book of Me by Adam Frost

This is really a book for children to get totally immersed in, as they doodle, draw and complete it with their own data. Here are some questions for children to ponder: "If you ran your school, what would the rules be? Would you rather talk to animals, or speak every language in the world? How fast can you run?" These are just a sample of the questions children will encounter, and which will really stimulate their thinking. A lively, fun book which is bound to intrigue and amaze.

What's Where on Earth? Atlas: The World as You've Never Seen It Before (Children's Atlas) from DK

This book certainly lives up to its claim, as you would expect from DK - it really does take us way beyond the ordinary. With over 60 unique specially commissioned 3-D maps and artworks, this wonderful atlas will take children (and adults will be entranced too) on a continent-by-continent tour of the world. There are themed maps for each continent, on topics such as major geographical features, cities and monuments, population, and wildlife; these will fit perfectly with the KS2 curriculum, really stimulating children's interest in the wider world. With fast travel today, it's easy for children to lose sight of the inter-relationship of countries, and this atlas is the ideal way to address that balance. The artwork is really stunning and it is accompanied by masses of interesting and practical facts. An ideal gift and home reference for children aged between 8 and 11, guaranteed to stimulate an interest in the world around them.


Lesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown

Martin Brown's illustrative style will be familiar to most children, as he has illustrated the hugely popular Horrible Histories - but what a treat, as we can now enjoy his illustrations in full colour, along with his instantly appealing text. If you are tired of the same old animals, then you will love to discover the brilliant beasts you never knew you needed to know about - the ongar, the sandcat and zorilla are just a few of the creatures you will meet and who really come to life through humorous text and illustrations, with plenty of jokes thrown in. A great read.

The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Gullian

This is a quite extraordinary book. The double-sided foldouts take the reader on a fascinating journey deep underground in the city and in the country. One side of the foldout shows the ground beneath the city, whilst the reverse side shows the ground beneath the countryside. The underground scenes include tunnels and pipes, creatures' burrows, layers of rock and the planet’s molten core, and run seamlessly into the next.It's very cleverly done, and every time you look, there are new things to spot and appreciate. There's plenty of helpful text to explain what is being seen and the text is well linked to the illustrations. The fold-out, 'laperello’ style, which extends to 2.5 metres in length, is ideal for spreading out on the floor to pore over for hours.Just imagine a group of children marvelling over what they can see! Fascinating.

Lots by Marc Martin

Travel all around the world and enjoy the author's gathering of facts, thoughts and observations about our planet in this wonderfully illustrated celebration of the world we travel far and wide. You will travel from to Hong Kong, the Amazon, Antarctica, India through the villages, towns and cities where most people live, to the deserts and vast oceans that cover the surface of the planet. There is so much to discover - lots of people, lots of places, lots of different landscapes and cultures. All the rich variety of human and animal life is here in a multitude of tiny pictures which together make each page a sheer delight. A wonderful book - a book to dip into time and time again.

Star Wars Rogue One: Mission Files

Top-secret! This book contains files about the characters from the new movie, Star Wars: Rogue One, including in-depth profiles, mission briefings, and more. An imperial weapons test of some kind is imminent; it's time to act to save the empire. Set before Star Wars: A New Hope, Rogue One follows a rag-tag group of rebel commandos who must steal the plans to the Empire’s new superweapon, the Death Star. This standalone story transports fans to unseen corners of the Star Wars universe and strange new planets not to mention an encounter with a familiar adversary, Darth Vader. Perfect to accompany the film.

Super Optical Illusions (Carlton Kids) by Gianni A. Sarcone and Marie-Jo Waeber

This intriguing book uses colour, angles and ambiguity to trick the eye.. and then comes the interesting bit - it gives you fascinating explanations of what you are seeing and why you see it. I found myself having to go back to the pictures over and again to see what I really had seen! Often, optical illusions are black and white but here we have a fantastic range of colourful illusions. Enthralling - you'll never believe your eyes again!

LEGO: The Book of Everything from Scholastic

This is a great way to encourage children to take an interest in general knowledge. From the cut-out and embossed cover throughout the book, a wealth of information about our world is presented with the help of LEGO people. Chapters include history; heroes and villains; earth is awesome; home on earth; invention and discovery; 3,2,1, Blast off; cool vehicles; sports crazy and fun stuff. Each spread contains a LEGO scene to enhance the learning journey: a vignette, mini story, or icon featuring LEGO models and characters. The clever graphic design combines the LEGO illustration with real-world photography and facts for an immersive experience. It's an unusual way to present information but it has been cleverly done and it's really effective. LEGO fans will love this highly informative and excellently presented book.

The Pop-Up, Pull Out Human Body from DK

Help children to answer their questions about the human body with this exciting pop-up, pull-out book which will really engage their attention. Packed with facts, the book is perfect to support lower KS2 learning about the human body; the book makes it easy for children to understand how the body works. There's just the one pop-up which is a seated human skeleton who jumps out of the first page. After that, the book explores each organ in turn, looks at how muscles work, what makes the brain tick, and how the body is pieced together. Colourful illustrations show body parts in detail, while slide-out pages add lots of facts. Q and As throughout the book help children to reason on what they have learnt, making learning more effective. The effective layout features information about organs on one side, with the opposing page showing how the organs and other body parts work. Attractive and clear, this is a good introduction.

Australia Illustrated by Tania McCartney

Everything that goes to make Australia the country that it is, is showcased in this fascinating book that gives a real insight into life in Australia. Not only does it celebrate the well known Australian flora, fauna and landmarks, such as The Great Barrier Reef and Sydney Harbour Bridge, it also highlights the everyday quirks and idiosyncrasies that make Australia unique. Some of my favourites are the Kite Festival, iconic foods, the variety of wild flowers and chocolate factory. Laid out in Australia-wide entries as well as state and territory specific elements, readers will learn an amazing range of fascinating facts. The detailed drawings are full of intriguing elements, with masses to spot and learn about. A superb book which will keep readers engrossed for hours.

What on Earth? Water by Isabel Thomas

Readers are encouraged to explore and discover this essential element in a variety of ways. There is plenty of emphasis on hands-on tasks - the best way to help children to understand and remember science facts. Children can make a rainbow, a water-powered sprinkler, a mini-pond and secret salt pictures, among a whole range of other activities. Many of the KS2 science topics are covered, including the water cycle and make a precipitation gauge or grow your own stalactite. Children can explore this fascinating book as they like, following the internal links encourage children to choose their own path through the book, with each spread providing a new adventure. The explanations are clear and easy to follow and plentiful illustrations and diagrams help understanding; there are also lots of snippets of interesting information in this excellent book.

What on Earth? Wind by Isabel Thomas

Perfect for enquiring young minds, this is an engaging look at the importance of wind and the myriads of ways in which it affects our lives. It's packed with information, ably supported by the wide-ranging illustrations; the clear layout makes it easy to take in the information. Again, the book is full of hands-on activities to enhance learning, and there are plenty of out-of-the-ordinary ideas - perfect for classroom use as well as at home. How about a wind trap, a sail racer or a wind-sock? A practical flexi-binding makes the books easy to use. These are excellent cross-curricular books which incorporate a whole range of subjects, including English, science, geography and creative activities.

Star Wars: Galactic Atlas by Lucasfilm

This is a superb poster-sized book and a must-have for all Star Wars fans. Illustrated in full dramatic colour by Tim McDonagh, the atlas covers everything from Alderaan and Naboo to Tatooine and Yavin 4, taking in the epic stories, strange creatures and glorious vistas of the entire saga. "Taken from the holdings of the Graf Archive and found in the underground Shadow Stacks, these ancient hand drawn maps were unearthed from the Shadow Stacks. The Head Curator's theory is that they are the work of the great Ithorian artist Gammit Chond. Chond never travelled off-world but he was fascinated by travellers' tales, and many of his works depict their stories of adventure and discovery in the rest of the galaxy. While we know that many of the things he has included are a matter of fact, some may merely be tall tales spun by explorers; but all presents a unique view of a fascinating slice of history." With dozens of maps, star charts, character profiles, and a timeline of the entire saga, this book is the perfect gift for Star Wars fans of all ages .A fantastic and superbly produced gift book that will be returned to over and over again; the perfect companion to the films and one which will enhance enthusiasts' enjoyment.

A First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies

This follows the author's wonderful A First Book of Nature, and makes the perfect companion. Wonderfully lyrical text about the animal world is illustrated in outstanding detail by Petr Horacek. Showcasing the marvellous variety of animal life, the book gives us an insight into animals everywhere including polar bears playing on the ice, tigers hunting in the jungle, fireflies twinkling in the evening sky and nightingales singing in the heart of the woods. The perceptive words give us a new slant on the animal world, and this is far from being just a book for children - adults too will appreciate the engaging text and the beauty of the illustrations. The artwork completely fills every page and the vibrancy and liveliness are a real joy. This book is a glorious celebration of life in the wild in all its variety and splendour, and belongs on every family's bookshelf. It really heightens our appreciation of nature and it will make a perfect gift.

Hands-On Science: 50 Kids' Activities from CSIRO by Sarah Kellett

Inquisitive children will love this hands-on book which answers all sorts of questions. Did you ever wonder why some insects can walk on water? Or how the Ancient Egyptians made mummies? Are you curious about why a guitar sounds different from a flute? All the experiments use everyday materials from around the home, and many can be done without adult supervision (where adult help is needed, it is clearly indicated).  The activities cover electricity and magnetism, sound and light, heat and motion, water and gases, living things, shapes and our planet Earth; this is ideal to support KS2 science as many of the main topics are covered. Each activity includes a list of materials required, and gives easy to follow step-by-step instructions and drawings. The range of experiments is really good and many of them produce really exciting and often unexpected reactions. Fast facts and quiz questions help consolidate knowledge, and alongside each activity is a practical explanation of the science behind it, as well as examples of how each principle works in the real world. How about these ideas? Dancing slime; rubbery bones; a ping pong ball shooter; ghastly ghostly photos; and fizzy dinosaur eggs - an enticing collection.

The Hello Atlas by Ben Handicott

Covering more than 130 countries, this informative atlas gives readers an insight into the lives of children all over the world. It celebrates one of humanity's greatest achievements - written and verbal language, through the pages of the book and through the app. Each continent is introduced with a map showing the children who live there, and some of the languages they speak. There are then pictures depicting children's lives in the various countries along with English and native language words. The one- book features more than 100 languages, from well-known and lesser known indigenous languages that introduce us to some of the world's most remote communities. The book has a foreword by ethnobotanist and explorer, Professor Wade Davis. Download the free app to hear more than 100 different languages - sometimes, I feel that apps are included with books as a bit of a gimic, not serving any particular purpose, but this app has real value and it's fascinating to hear the variety of languages. An engrossing book that helps children put languages and peoples into their geographical context.

British Museum: Secret Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Discover the Sunken Cities by Kate Sparrow

This superb book accompanies the British Museum exhibition Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost Worlds (May - November 2016). The book tells the story of two magnificent ancient aquatic cities, Canopus and Thonis-Heracleion, which once stood at the mouth of the river Nile. Now the ruins, which first started to be explored in 1997, reveal how their inhabitants lived, worshipped and interacted with their foreign visitors. It's a fascinating account, which will enthrall young and old, as they marvel at the wonders discovered, and the new light thrown on an ancient culture. The book is superbly presented, with an engaging mix of test and visual material, which includes photos and delightful colour drawings, which are in themselves, packed with information. And if that's not enough, there are 120 stickers, a fold-out sticker scene, a press-out-and-make animal sarcophagus, a fold-out map and an illustrated timeline. Wow! A quite fantastic book - I love it.

Gaming Record Breakers by Clive Gifford

Children can have a refreshing break from playing games by reading this engrossing book which is packed with facts, including the longest Minecraft marathon, the most expensive computer game ever made, the richest gaming prizes, the biggest games console... Boys and girls are big fans of all sorts of gaming, and this colourful book will astound them with its facts; there is plenty to lean about the games themselves as well as about the records that have been set. A great way to get keen gamers engaged with a book.

NY is for New York by Paul Thurlby

This is a superb series, one that gives the reader a real insight into cities. Join Paul Thirlby as he takes you on a tour of the Big Apple including the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square and the Yankee Stadium, as well as discovering some lesser known gems. The atmosphere of the city is excellently conveyed, with brief but very informative text. The illustrations are works of art, with a superbly retro feeling, reminiscent of 20s and 30s railway posters - good enough for anyone's wall! The book is produced on heavy cream pages which set the pictures off to perfection. A book which will appeal to all ages - an ideal coffee table book and a perfect gift.

Atlas of Miniature Adventures: A pocket-sized collection of small-scale wonders by Emily Hawkins

This is a perfect pocket-sized book to take with you on a long journey - it's packed with amazing facts that will keep you enthralled through the most tedious of journeys. The book takes the reader on a whistle-stop journey across seven continents, learning about the best small-scale adventures on Earth. Would you like to find a primate that can fit inside a teacup, travel on the world's largest miniature railway, meet 3000 people in a miniature village or find a butterfly as small as a fingernail? They are all here in this absorbing book - and to make sure you haven't missed the tiniest thing, there are 'Can you find? pages at the end. A lovely little book.

What's Below? by Clive Gifford

Encourage children's natural curiosity by discussing with them what might lie beneath their feet - and then amaze them with this lovely book with its cleverly engineered pop-ups. From lush rainforest to mysterious underwater kingdoms, what goes on beneath the snow, the undersea world and a secret world beneath the streets, this gorgeous and captivating pop-up book shows them all in wonderful detail. Compelling facts are told by the expert author and contributor to Encyclopedia Britannica, Clive Gifford, winner of the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize. It's stunningly illustrated, with a wealth of detail to explore and enjoy - for adult and child alike.

Destination: Space by Dr. Christoph Englert

Wide Eyed Editions can be relied on to produce books that are stunningly illustrated and packed with amazing facts - it's always a pleasure when I receive their books for review. The book invites young readers to hop on board the space shuttle and get ready for the ride of their lives as they explore deep space with five fellow space cadets - it's an approachable way to help children get involved with the book. The book takes young explorers into and beyond through our own solar system, to galaxies far and wide. There's a big poster included showing the stars and constellations of the Southern and Northern hemispheres - perfect for a bedroom or classroom wall. Questions are asked and answered as children learn more about the science behind the stars, planets, meteors and comets in our sky, and the history of our universe. The book is superbly illustrated, and will have children in awe at the marvellous universe in all its beauty. A superb book for young and old.

Day of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte

There's is always room for another book about dinosaurs, as it is such a popular subject with children. This book presents facts in a simple but informative way, allowing the reader to compare the biggest, fastest and fiercest creatures of the land, sea and sky from four different prehistoric periods: the Triassic, the early Jurassic, the Late Jurassic and the Cretaceous. Sections on diet, weapons and defence and dinosaur senses make this a comprehensive introduction to one of the earth's most successful animals. Full of information, all beautifully presented against coloured backgrounds with plenty of clear, dramatic illustrations that really help the reader understand the world of these creatures. A thrilling and very informative read for any budding paleontologist, brilliantly presented.

50 things you should know about The Tudors by Rupert Matthews

This is an excellent series, with succinctly presented facts in a layout that will appeal to children and make learning easy and enjoyable. In fact, there are far more than 50 facts, because there are 50 two-page spreads, each one containing several facts linked by a common theme. The book covers the exciting and dramatic Tudor period (1485 until 1603). It shows the impact the Tudors had on history, through the lives and actions of the monarchs, and also famous people of the era. Starting with the Wars of the Roses and ending with the linking of England and Scotland, this was an exciting period, and this excellently illustrated book will encourage children to take an interest in history - and supports KS2 learning excellently.

Pharaoh's Fate: Solve the ancient Egyptian mystery by Camille Gautier

This engrossing book takes young readers on a fascinating journey back in time as they learn about ancient Egypt in this thrilling interactive adventure. Someone is plotting to murder the pharaoh and it's up to you to stop them. From the glittering riches of the royal tombs to the bustling markets of ancient Thebes, your journey will require you to decipher hieroglyphs, learn about gods and goddesses, hunt for clues and unmask the culprit before it's too late. It's such a good way to get children to really engage with history, as they work out how to solve the clues. The book is packed with information, and there are lots of informative illustrations too. The challenges will really stretch children, helping them to reason and deduce and the format ensures the learning will be thoroughly embedded. Fascinating and unusual.

Coming to England by Floella Benjamin

This special edition has been produced to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first publication of the inspiring story of Floella Benjamin and her experiences when she first came to England. The start of the book tells of her idyllic life in Tobago. Separated from their parents for 15 months before coming to England, Floella and her siblings were reunited with their parents on arrival in England in 1960. Leaving behind the island paradise of Tobago, they found themselves in a society which rejected them, despite the fact the government had encouraged West Indians to help rebuild the country after the Second World War. Floella realised that she would have to prove herself by working twice as hard and being twice as good as anyone else. By doing so, she has become an inspiration to others, and that message is powerfully conveyed in her account. Michael Frith's wonderful illustrations are poignant and touching, reflecting the feel of the book to perfection.

Secrets of the Sea by Kate Baker

Big Picture Press produce stunning books, always superbly illustrated - a real feast for the eyes. This book is no exception This book takes you on a journey which showcases the beauty of marine life. The reader is taken on an awe-inspiring journey from the shallow sea, to coral gardens, out into the wide blue sea and into the depths of the ocean. Creatures familiar and less-known are illustrated in detailed drawings, which show the patterns off to perfection; each has an accompanying description with plenty of enthralling facts. As you read, you will discover the tiny organisms that are the very building blocks of life - some harmless, some deadly, some alien in appearance, yet others incredibly beautiful. A superb book that will have the reader marvelling at nature's beauty.

Halloween (Flip-Flap Journeys) by Richard Platt

How much do you really know about Halloween? Now's your chance to find out as you join in the Halloween adventure and learn about trick or treating, dressing up, celebrations around the world, spooky creatures and much more. Did you know that the world’s largest pumpkin weighed more than 14 adults? Or that during the Day of the Dead in Mexico, people picnic in graveyards? The engaging approach of this colourful book includes over 50 flaps to explore, each adding to your knowledge of this, the spookiest of festivals. Don't read this one under the bedclothes!

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