Assembly books for teachers
This section lists books which will help teachers in preparing assemblies, both Christian and other faiths. We have also reviewed some picture books with a religious theme, which will be helpful to you in preparing for assemblies or planning RE lessons.
Siddhartha and the Swan (White Wolves Fiction) by Andrew Fusek Peters
White Wolves Fiction are written for KS1 readers. This, and the two books which follow, fit with the requirements fo the National Literacy Strategy for genres of book which should be read. They are also useful for KS1 RE studies.
Prince Siddhartha finds a wounded swan and he wants to save it, but his cousin Devadatta, who shot the swan, claims it as his property. They cannot agree but decide to take advice. A wise man tells them to do what the swan would want. A compassionate tale which shows how the Buddha came to be kind to all creatures. Vivid illustrations by Miss Swanne complement the story excellently.
Rama and Sita (White Wolves Fiction) by Malachy Doyle
Rama and Sita live together happily in the forest but one day Sita is abducted by the demon king Ravana. Can the little white monkey and all the other monkeys rescue her? A simple retelling of a traditional tale, ideal for early readers with its short chapters and carefully chosen text. An excellent way to introduce beliefs and traditions from other cultures. The bright colourful illustrations by Christopher Corr are atmospheric and depict the story beautifully - I think the style could encourage children to draw their own pictures of the story.
Noah's Ark (White Wolves Fiction) by Annie Dalton
A new character takes part in this well-known tale. The city is in chaos and Noah is determinedly building his ark, despite the jeering of his compatriots - and even his wife. A boy, along with his stray dog, offers to help Noah but can Noah build his ship in time? Finally, the ark is built and then a strange procession is seen - the animals are coming, two by two - enjoy the picture of them on the cover. A happy story with an optimistic ending - maybe some good discussion points here? Again, the illustrations complement the story perfectly.
Brother William's Year by Jan Pancheri
This is the story of the year in the life of Brother William, a monk at Westminster Abbey in medieval times. Written and illustrated in a totally appropriate style, just like a medieval manuscript, this book is a delight. It captures the peaceful routines and simple lives of the monks and their close-knot community in an exceptional and sometimes humorous way, such as when Brother William's dog jumps up at the Abbot with muddy paws! Additionally, we are given pictures of the abbey buildings and gardens, so we can imagine the brothers going about their routines. There is also useful information about monasteries., and even some recipes. The insight of this book is such that the reader is not surprised to know that the author is the current Head Gardener at Westminster Abbey. A lovely book.
The Baby Birds by Gill Vaisey
The baby birds are flying for the first time and the men are fascinated by them in this Muslim story - but Muhammad remembers that Allah tells us to take care of all creatures, so the birds are kept safe. Louise Gwillym's simple bold and colourful illustrations are just right to help convey the story to Early Years children. This teaching resource comes with a DVD in English and Welsh, with digital versions for whiteboard use. The two Welsh versions are written at different levels, allowing use at FS and KS2.
Seven New Kittens by Gill Vaisey
This traditional Muslim story, which tells of the arrival of seven kittens is retold here in a perfect style for Early Years children. The story tells of Muhammad whose cloak becomes a bed for seven very new kittens, and how he values them so much he is prepared to sacrifice his cloak, thus obeying Allah's command to take care of all creations. Colourful pictures and simple text convey the message perfectly. The Tiny Ants: A Muslim Story is by the same author.
Puddles Lends a Paw by Gill Vaisey
After she finishes her lunch, Puddles is off to church to meet the various helpers. She has lots of fun 'helping' everyone and gives the Reverend Freddie Fisher inspiration for his sermon about helping people. There is also a soft toy Puddles and Freddie Fisher with four sets of vestments to go with the books. There are more books about Puddles, including A Wet and Windy Harvest for Puddles, A Wedding Day Wish for Puddles (The Adventures of Puddles and Freddie), Puddles and the Christmas Play and Puddles and the Happy Easter Day (The Adventures of Puddles and Freddie). Altogether, these make an excellent teaching resource for Early Years.