Book reviews - Hachette books (page 2)

Hachette Books publish a wide range of books under the imprints of Wayland, Franklin Watts, Hodder and Orchard plus Wren and Rook, a new imprint for 2017. Below are reviews for just some of the books published from 2014 to date - generally, one example from a series is reviewed. Older books are reviewed on the general book review pages. To see the full range, please visit the Hachette Children's website. The books are ideal for schools and for libraries, or for children who are particularly interested in a specific topic. They are all fully illustrated and each non fiction book includes a contents page, glossary and index thereby helping pupils develop good study skills.  

Key stage 1 (KS1)

Tim Berners-Lee (Info Buzz: History) by Izzi Howell

Tim Berners-Lee was born into a family who worked with computers and this interesting book shows how his interest developed from his early life to his career and why he invented the World Wide Web. Photographs make up a large part of the book, adding interest and information, and showing how technology has developed world-wide. Children are encouraged to express themselves via a range of appropriate questions. "The Info Buzz series, for age 5+, helps children develop their knowledge and understanding of the world by covering a wide range of topics in a fun, colourful and interactive way. The books have a lively design, engaging text and photos, questions to get children thinking and talking and teaching notes. Each title is written in conjunction with a literacy consultant and features book band guidance and downloadable activity sheets online." It's a clearly presented series, with simple and engaging facts to interest KS1 children.

It's My Body: A Book about Body Privacy for Young Children by Louise Spilsbury

It's a sad reflection on modern life that we need books such as this, but as we do, then this book does present the necessary information in a non-scary way that gets over the essential facts effectively. This attractively illustrated title explains body privacy and why private parts should be kept private. It encourages children to say 'no' if they are unhappy about things. They'll discover what is inappropriate, and be encouraged to speak up if they are uncomfortable with how other people treat them. It also covers the related topic of secrets. Useful notes for parents and carers conclude the book. If, as a parent or carer, you have concerns, then this book will be an excellent way to raise issues and start discussions with your child; it's also an invaluable library/staffroom resource.

Birds Have Feathers (In the Animal Kingdom) by Sarah Ridley

In KS1, children will start to learn the basics of classification in the animal kingdom. This title explains what makes an animal a bird and how their characteristics are different from other groups of animals. It shows many examples of different types of birds in their natural environment, with excellent colour photos which put birds into their context. It's clearly laid out, with colourful backgrounds and effective use of labels and fact boxes to distinguish various types of information. The simple text is suitable for children aged 5+, and for children progressing through book bands it is suitable for reading at band 8: Purple.

How to Survive in the Arctic and Antarctic (Tough Guides) by Louise Spilsbury

By presenting this book to children as if they are actually in the polar regions, children will immediately feel engaged and responsive to the text, giving them an interest for the topic. They will discover the dangers that lurk in the Arctic and Antarctica and how people have overome these. It's an excellent way to learn about habitats with a personal touch. It is one is a series which examines how people can and do survive in some of the world's most hostile environments. Feature boxes examine key survival techniques and also offer case studies of people who have survived difficult situationsthere are also fact boxes about various associated places and animals. There are plenty of photos and a clear layout suited to late KS1/early KS2 readers.

My Dad's in Prison by Jackie Walter and Tony Neal

This sensitively written book, told in the form of a story, identifies with a child whose father is in prison. There are many sad facts relating to children with a parent in prison, and hopefully by encouraging discussion, this book will help overcome some of those issues including the isolation felt. It gently promotes understanding and provides reassurance and has been written with the advice and support of Storybook Dads, a charity that seeks to help children and parents maintain their relationship during imprisonment by providing CD recordings of fathers reading bedtime stories to their children.

The Awesome Night Sky (Look and Wonder) by Kay Barnham

Encourage children to wonder at the beauty of the night sky along with two young children and their dog, as they learn about the sky and space. Simple text and colourful friendly illustrations are perfect for the age group. 'Look and Wonder' is a fresh, bold and bright, narrative non-fiction picture book series, for children aged 4 and up, introducing children to life cycles and the natural world. The eye-poppingly colourful digital illustrative style will explain the scientific concepts while the light and fun text-style will make these books real home and classroom favourites. Already, a wide range of titles has been published, so do take a look.

Beans to Chocolate (Where Food Comes From) by Sarah Ridley

Children will enjoy learning about one of their favourite foods with the simple account in this book. They will learn where it come from, what it looked like to start off and how it ends up on the supermarket shelves. Follow the story of fair trade chocolate from bean to bar, through the farming process to manufacturing. The simple text in this book, suitable for children aged 5+, is accompanied by large, attractive photographs. For children progressing through Book Bands, it is suitable for reading at level 8: Purple.

Judaism (Info Buzz: Religion) by Izzi Howell

This is a good introduction to Judaism for KS1 pupils, giving them the basic facts they need to know,from what people believe, to a Jewish life, special days and festivals. The Info Buzz series is written for age 5+ and helps children develop their knowledge and understanding of the world by covering a wide range of topics in a fun, colourful and interactive way. The books have a lively design, engaging text and photos, questions to get children thinking and talking and teaching notes (these are extensive and very useful). Each title is written in conjunction with a literacy consultant and features book band guidance and downloadable activity sheets online. For children progressing through Book Bands, this is suitable for reading at level 9: Gold.

Get Outdoors: A Mindfulness Guide to Noticing Nature (Mindful Me) by Paul Christelis

Mindfulness is a really hot topic and it seems to be everywhere. Observing the natural world around us is an excellent way to reinforce the concept. It's a beautiful Saturday morning so Dad encourages Jada and her brother Michael to get outside by inventing 'The Garden Game'. Whoever notices the most interesting things is the winner. At first, they can't see anything. Just grass and flowers. But by looking slowly, more closely, and using all of their senses, they soon begin to notice lots of fascinating things. Small things they would not have noticed before seem so much bigger and interesting. And finally, their sense of smell leads them to the prize! The story shows how they use mindfulness - the ability to pay attention to the present moment with curiosity - to help them pay attention in everyday life.

Mental Well-being and Mindfulness (Healthy Me) by Ryan Wheatcroft

We don't need to feel positive and happy all the time - it's perfectly OK to experience feelings of anger, sadness, fear and frustration. The important thing is the way we cope with those feelings and that's where the simple approach of this book can help children, and the adults caring for them. In simple language, the book explores what mental health is, why it is important, and ways to deal with some mental health problems such as stress and anxiety. It includes mindfulness techniques and advice to help with relaxation and coping strategies. At the back are practical notes for parents and teachers that provide additional advice and support as well as further activity ideas and information. More thorough proof-reading would have avoided an error in the alphabetisation of the glossary, though.

The Bike Ride (Family Days Out) by Jackie Walter and Jem Maybank

Ben's excited when his mums suggest a family day out on their bikes, but sister Milly thinks it will boring. The day gets even worse when Milly realises she can't get a signal on her phone. But will a family day in the woods turn out to be more fun than Milly thought after all? This story in the Family Days Out series features a family with two mums. The stories have bold illustrations and a range of family set-ups including two mums, two dads, a young carer and a step-family. For children progressing through Book Bands, it is suitable for reading at level 6: Orange. I feel, however, that the age range gives a confusing message - as one of the teenage children is dependent on her phone, yet the book is apparemtly written for KS1 children. Not a good message, sadly.

Rhino Learns to be Polite - A book about good manners (Behaviour Matters) by Sue Graves

Oh dear - it seems that Rhino falls short on every occasion that calls for good manners. And when he misses out on an invitation to tea, he decides it's time to take action. Simply told, this is an effective story with an important message, conveyed in a way that will work well with young children. The Behaviour Matters series of picture books provide a gentle means of discussing emotions, boosting self-esteem and reinforcing good behaviour. Supports the Personal, Social and Emotional Development Area of Learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage, and is also suitable for use with children in KS1 and can be used to discuss values. Suitable for children under 5.

My New House (New Adventures) by Tom Easton

Moving house is a big change for young children and can be very unsettling. As this book shows, though, there's plenty that can be done to provide reassurance and make the transition easier. Rabia is worried about moving house and how she will cope. But her mum helps her by arranging a visit there before they move and by packing a bag of special things that she can keep with her rather than pack into boxes. This positive story shows what happens during a move, about the first night there and the excitement that comes when exploring a new home. It's perfect to read and share with children in the early stages of planning a move and helps adults understand the way children think. Practical notes for parents and teachers give plenty of good ideas.

Human Body (BOOM! Science) by Georgia Amson-Bradshaw

This hands-on book is a good way for KS1/early KS2 children to Discover how the human body works. This book is full of exciting experiments, fun puzzles, quirky humour and science facts to make you say WOW ... it's science with a BOOM! It's a clear and engaging presentation that children will love and a good way to encourage reading and experimenting. There are plenty of simple activities for children to carry out that will extend their scientific understanding. For children progressing through Book Bands, it is suitable for reading at band 12: Brown.

Exploring Emotions: A Mindfulness Guide to Dealing with Emotions (Mindful Me) by Paul Christelis

Mindfulness ains to help people put their awareness into the current moment, and as such is an eminently suitable approach for young children. The analogy used in this book contracts the bright sunny spprts day with the emotions children are feeling inside - excitement, fear, sadness among them. Through the story, readers are encouraged to stop and thnik about the feelings. As the book progresses, children learn that feelings chance. A positive, easy to use and thoughtful book.

Animals (Curious Nature) by Nancy Dickmann

Children are naturally inquisitive and are always asking questions. In the illustrated series Curious Nature, natural phenomena are introduced as questions and answered in a simple and comprehensive way, perfect to satisfy children's curiosity. This book will help children learn the answers to questions about the animal kingdom, including how animals feed, grow and survive. Each page answers a question, and expands on it through a series of clear fact boxes which are easy to read and assimilate. Photos and diagrams complement the text..

When parents separate (Questions and Feelings About) by Dawn Hewitt

Written with understanding and empathy, this is an excellent book to help adults explain the complexities of the situation to children. The simple reassuring text includes questions for children to answer, which will help parents and teachers understand how they feel. It can be hard for us, as adults, to understand the way children think, but with the help of this book, adults will be able to communicate better with children.

The Red Flag: Josh Learns How Rules Keep us Safe (British Values) by Deborah Chancellor

British Values are a key part of the curriculum and this clear straightforward series is ideal to introduce the topic. Told in the form of a story, which is easy for young ones to follow, the book explores the theme of rules and how they keep us safe. Josh decides to ignore the warnings on the beach and finds himself in danger. The book includes practical teacher notes for exploring the wider theme of laws. The story is suitable for children aged 5+ who are learning to read or to explore with an adult. A good way to get important messages home effectively.

Ten Fire Engines and Emergency Vehicles (Cool Machines) by Chris Oxlade

Children always find emergency vehicles fascinating and here they are intorduced to some familiar and some less familiar. Brightly coloured pages immediatley attract the attention, and the jazzy layout will really appeal. There are plenty of photographs and these are well labelled and explained. Information is presented in fact boxes with interesting statistics about the vehicles.

The Poo That Animals Do by Paul Mason and Tony de Saulles

This is a title guaranteed to appeal to children! This fascinating insight into the world of animal poo is filled with hilarious illustrations and fascinating facts. From the smelliest, biggest, smallest, and most expensive poo to poo camouflage and keeping warm, children will love to discover all there is to know about animal poop and its uses. Hunmour is rife throughout the book and makes a great way to encourage children to learn about the animal world. Good colour photos add to the information value, and even reluctant readers will be motivated to read this.

Muscles and Movement (Human Body, Animal Bodies) by Izzy Powell

This is one in a series for KS1 pupils which looks at the features and function of the human body in isolation and also in comparison to those of different animals, looking at similarities and differences. In this book, children will learn all about animal and human movements and muscles and their similarities and differences. From muscles, bones and exoskeletons to running, jumping swimming and flying, explore how humans and animals move and use their muscles. It's an excellent basis for KS1 science and the colourful fact-filled presentation is really enticing, with plenty of information presented in bite-size snippets. Excellently presented.

I Am Here, Where Are You? by Anita Jones and Sarah Horne

In our fast-moving world, where we have information from all around the country and around the globe comin g at us all the time, it can be hard for children to relate one place to another - and that's where this book comes in. Ollie tells the reader where he is, using a simple premise (rather like the way children used to write their name and address in books!)., Ollie starts off in the room in his house, then zooms out from this location to his road, his town, county, country, continent, planet, solar system, galaxy and finally universe. The book gives children a sense of their place in the world by zooming out from their own location. It provides a springboard for discussion of the reader's location , exploring cultural diversity, extended family, time zones and conservation of the planet. It also invites the reader to practise writing their own address. The book provides great support for the geography curriculum at key stages 1 and 2.

I Want a Dog by Ben Hubbard and Jason Chapman

Taking on a dog is a big commitment, and children need to understand this before the family acquires a new pet. This simple but thorough book gives all the basic facts that children need to know. Alex is keen to get a dog, but needs to convince his family. So he starts a scrapbook and finds out about different dog breeds; he chooses the place the dog will live and accompanies a friend on a walk with her dog. Soon the family are convinced showing that research really pays off, and together the family visit a puppy from a local family but they also visit a rescue centre and decide to get an adult dog from there. The book is endorsed and checked by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

Counting on Autumn: Maths in Nature by Lizann Flatt

Nature is used to encourage children to learn to count in this attractive book with its autumn scenes featuring squirrels, bears, raccoons, geese and whales. Questions are posed on every page, which encourage children to concentrate on the pictures and see what they can spot. My main reservation about this book is that it is obviously written for a US rather than a UK market, and for that reason I cannot totally recommend it.

Weather and Seasons (Curious Nature) by Nancy Dickman

Inquisitive children will find this book just right to answer a multitude of questions about the world around us, and specifically that favourite topic, the weather. Have you ever wondered why we have seasons, where the wind comes from or how we predict the weather? Why is the sky blue? How long does a forest take to grow? Is it Mist or Fog? These are a few of the questions that are answered in the illustrated series Curious Nature. Natural phenomena are introduced as questions and answered in a simple and comprehensive way. Perfect for readers aged 6 and up, the book answers the questions clearly and succinctly, accompanied by excellent illustrative material.

What's My Family Tree? by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom

You can be sure that any book by these two talented authors will be written in a way that will really engage children and help their understanding, and this new series is no exception. Many children today are part of blended families, and the book sensitively introduces the idea of step-families, half-brothers and adoption. It is a celebration of the family. In the same series is How Should I Behave?. Tricky questions about behaviour are clearly answered in a child-friendly way. These books are part of a loosely-related series which takes an informative but friendly look at some of concerns of young children that relate to their immediate world and which they need to understand as part of 'growing up'. In doing so, they also provide an indispensable resource for any parent or teacher who is helping children understand these issues.

Look Where We Live: A First Book of Community Building by Scott Ritchie

Five children (plus Max the dog and Ollie the cat) are on a quest to help raise money for the local library at a street fair. Come along and join in as five friends (and) find adventure close to home. Join the children as the journey around their neighbourhood - and follow their journey on the map. Along the way they learn about the businesses and public spaces that make up their community, and meet their many neighbours who make it a safe and interesting place to live. It's a great way to introduce young children to their concept of neighbourhood, and to see the multitude of activities which go on. The lively presentation and activity filled pictures paint a really good picture and show how important our local communities are.

The Great Big Water Cycle Adventure (Look and Wonder) by Kay Barnham

This is a good way to introduce KS1 children to the concept of the water cycle, as they follow raindrops falling to the ground, into rivers, down to the sea and back into the air to form clouds. Join a little boy and a little girl as they travel through this exciting journey on land sea and air. The illustrations show the process of the water, along with colourful pictures of the children exploring and discovering. An engaging presentation which makes science interesting and easy to understand.

My Brother (Family World) by Caryn Jenner

Families are all different. This book is part of the 'Family World' series which looks at key family members and the variety of roles that they play in children's lives all around the world. In this book, children will find out about brothers and their families all around the world. The book has short easy to read sentences, and questions on each spread to engage children and to encourage them to discuss their own families. There are plenty of colour photos showing brothers and families from all around the world.

Wild Ideas by Elin Kelsey

We all know that many of man's inventions are based on the way nature works - and now children can find out all about that for themselves. Wild Ideas looks into the natural world to explore how animals solve problems - the animals in our world can teach us a lot about problem-solving. Lyrical text and beautiful artwork combine to make this a thought-provoking and very special book, with an unusual and very effective approach, which will encourage children to ask questions and do further research by stimulating their inbuilt curiosity.

I am Josephine - and I am a Living Thing by Jan Thornhill

Children are expected to learn about classification as part of their science learning. It can seem a complex topic, but I love the approach this book takes, which is friendly yet informative, and perfectly pitched to capture children's interest. Josephine is a little girl, a big sister and a human being. She's also a mammal, an animal and a living thing; this book helps young scientists understand how we all fit into various classifications. Inspired by science and nature writer Jan Thornhill's many school visits, this book is intended to help children recognise themselves as part of the natural world, with an emphasis on how all living things share similarities. The simple text combines with informative illustrations bring us an unusual and extremely effective book.

Look at that Building: A First Book of Structures by Scot Ritchie

Sally's dad has built her a new treehouse, but when she and her friends realise that Max the dog can't climb up to it, they decide to build him a kennel - and they need to find out about buildings to do that. So they set out on a fascinating quest to find out all they can about buildings and how they are constructed. By checking out structures, both big and small, Sally and her four friends (and Max and Ollie the cat!) learn about how buildings are made, what makes them strong and how they stay standing. After a fun day of exploring they are ready to build Max the best doghouse around! The book relies heavily on the excellent illustrations to convey much of the information and these, coupled with the informative and easily understood text, make the book a really good read.

Horse (Farm Animals) by Katie Dicker

This is one in a series of books on farm animals which is perfect for young readers of 5+. They will learn all about what horses need to keep them happy and healthy, and the generous number of excellent photos will interest children as they show how horses are cared for. There is a list of useful words and a simple index to introduce reference skills. These simple, friendly books look at some of the most common farm animals, showing how they live, what they eat, how they are cared for and why they are important to us. Each book takes on animal and explains its life cycle and its place on the farm

The Moon (Our Solar System) by Mary-Jane Wilkins

It's easy to interest children in learning more about the moon, as they will be used to seeing it and will want to know more about why we can see it sometimes and not others, and why its shape changes. The book explains, in simple language with plenty of clear illustrations, how Earth's Moon formed and what it is made from. Discover how the Moon changes, what happens during an eclipse, and how spacecraft and astronauts have explored the Moon. It is one in the Our Solar System series of books that explore the exciting topic of space and are specially written for younger readers. With stunning photographs and explanatory artwork, the books are the perfect introduction to our solar system. Other titles in the series: Asteroids, Comets and Meteors; Earth; The Inner Planets; The Outer Planets and The Sun

Minibeasts (Creature Crafts) by Annalees Lim

This book is a great combination of mini-beast facts and activities - it will be perfect for KS1 studies of this very popular topic. There are easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions to make spiders, beetles, dragonflies, termites and many more. The finished creatures will be perfect for a topic display in the classroom. Whether at home or at school, the materials are easy to source. It is a very good way to introduce children to a range of crafting techniques, including cutting out, tracing, papier-mâché and painting. A useful additional feature is the inclusion of QR codes that link to step-by-step videos, showing how some of the crafts are made. Colourful and engaging, these are great crafts.

My Friends (Our Special World) by Liz Lennon

Perfect for use in any Early Years setting, this simple yet effective book is written and child-friendly language that is perfect for stimulating discussion on one of the most important things children will be learning - how to make friends. It explores different sorts of friends and includes topics such as playing together, being kind, sharing and having fun. The colourful photos can be used as a basic for discussion, and there are questions to help engage readers. Our Special World is a series of books offering a simple text and photographs that help young children learn about the world around them. The books seek to show the diverse nature of the world with lots of photographs of children with a disability and from different ethnic backgrounds. Each book includes questions to promote speaking and listening skills. They are perfect for early years learning.

Mapping a School by Jen Green

Maps can be complex for children to understand but this straightforward hands-on book makes it easy for children to understand a range of maps and ways to use them. At the same time children will learn about the features of a school, so this would make an excellent topic basis for the start of school. It covers a range of topics including a bird's eye map, symbols, compass points, plan maps, scale, land use maps, grid references and street maps. There are clear diagrams to show the various concepts, with explanatory text that is easy to follow. With a good glossary and index, this is an excellent way to introduce a skill that children will find helpful throughout life.

Rainforests (What Animals Live Here?) by M J Knight

This colourful book with its excellent photos and easy-to-read text is the ideal introduction to rainforests - a topic that will crop up again for most children during their school career, so it's good to get them interested early. Single and two page spreads feature a range of animals including frogs, orang-utans and jaguars, all beautifully photographed and set out on attractive yellow and green backgrounds, with main text and fact boxes. Simple rainforest facts are found at the end of the book. What Animals Live Here? is a series of four books that explore four of the Earth's most interesting biomes and the variety of animals that live in them. Readers will encounter some familiar and some strange mammals, fish, reptiles, birds, insects and other invertebrates and learn about some of their incredible adaptations that mean they can survive in these environments. Short and simple blocks of text make these perfect books to dip into at random or read from cover-to-cover for readers aged 5+.

Ocean Animals from Head to Tail by Stacey Roderick

The unusual presentation of this book will excite children's curiosity. On one two page spread, there's a picture of part of an animal with a question to see if children can identify it; flip the page, to find the complete creature along with explanatory text which is simple, informative and engaging. Discover a variety of ocean animals, from a hammerhead shark's head to a seahorse's tail, in this interactive picture book with plenty of learning for the very young.

Farm Animals (Tadpoles Learners) by Annabelle Lynch

Bright colourful photos are accompanied by a simple text for young readers. The book is Book Band 4 Blue. Tadpoles Learners are an ideal introduction to non-fiction for beginner readers, blending accessible text with big, striking photos.

Food Chains (Fact Cat: Science) by Izzi Howell

Fact Cat is a great series for KS1 readers; the books offer plenty of information, making them ideal for homework help and topics. The lively approach is colourful and enticing, with excellent photos, informative text and good use of text labels and text boxes. Fact Cat Facts add even more knowledge. Which animal only eats fifty times a year? Where is a starfish's mouth? How do plants make food under water? Just a few of the questions answered as young learners find out about food chains and how plants and animals depend on each other for food. They will discover the diets of carnivores, omnivores and herbivores and see what food chains look like in different habitats in this good introduction to the subject. A simple fun picture quiz helps readers to recall what they have read, and the glossary adds to learning value.


Go Green!: Join the Green Team and learn how to reduce, reuse and recycle by Liz Gogerly

Setting the book in the aftermath of a birthday party, with all the ensuing waste, is a really good way to encourage children to think about this vital topic. The children find out what happens at a recycling centre and find out from others how to take action outside by helping nature, reducing waste at school dinners, and saving energy and water at home. There are plenty of ideas that we can all use in our everyday lives. 'Stop and Think' panels encourage readers to think about the problem in their local area and 'Take Action' panels give advice for how readers can get involved. As readers follow the thoughts of the ecologically-aware children in the story, so they too will be encouraged to think about how to avoid waste - it's excellently done.

Impressionism (Inside Art Movements) by Susie Brooks

When the Impressionists first started exhibiting, they took the art world by storm with their new style, which was not always favourably viewed. Now, however, Impressionism is celebrated as an international success story, making artists such as Monet, Renoir and Degas household names. There are lots of paintings included as well as information about the painters, their lives, painting locations and their relationships with each other. For readers aged 9 and up, this is one of a series, Inside Art Movements, which provides an accessible and in-depth guide to some of the most popular and significant art movements. I like the way the book is full of questions for children to answer, which encourage them to ponder over the works of art and study them in more detail, giving them greater thought and encouraging a deeper level of interest.

Roman Britain and Londinium (Time Travel Guides) by Ben Hubbard

This is the must-read travel guide for visitors to Londinium! Written in a friendly and approachable manner, there are facts galore about life in the London of Roman times. Travel up the Thames, find out what to wear, where to go, where to stay and what to eat... and all about bathing, of course. Colourfully presented, the information is easy to absorb with plenty of top tips to help the traveller. It's a great way to make history come alive and involve children in the life of the period. Excellently done and perfect to support KS2 history.

What is Race? Who are Racists? Why Does Skin Colour Matter? And Other Big Questions by Claire Heuchan and Nikesh Shukla

This is one is a very topical and relevant series which handles tricky issues sensitively and with understanding, to help children get a clear unbiased overall picture. The book shows race is not a subject to be avoided, but to discuss. It explores the history of race and society, giving context to how racist attitudes come into being. It looks at belonging and identity, the damaging effects of stereotyping and the benefits of positive representation. The authors talk sensitively about how to identify and challenge racism, and how to protect against and stop racist behaviour. Informed children can make sensible decisions.

The Legend of Tutankhamun by Sally Morgan

Tutankhamun fascinates young readers, and learning about him informs their studies of Ancient Egypt. Mesmerising and dramatic illustrations by James Weston Lewis take readers on journey from the deserts of ancient Egypt to the excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb and the artefacts visible to us today. As the pages turn, you can witness the passing of a great King, his tomb being lost to the sand dunes, and its thrilling rediscovery. It's full of fascinating facts, such as the two page spread that shows all the young king was expected to need on his final journey - including 130 walking sticks! The book really does bring the history, discovery and treasures of this young boy and his reign to life and it's beautifully produced to do full justice to the subject matter.

Heroes of Light and Sound (Superpower Science) by Lin Brown

Children will be attracted to this book (and the rest of the series) by the jazzy cover which reflects the comic book style of the book itself - a great way to engage even reluctant readers. The series looks at powers commonly associated with superheroes and investigates whether they can actually be found in real life. It's an interesting premnise abd one that will capture children's interest. The series Superpower Science focuses on the superpowers commonly associated with superheroes and reveals just how scientifically realistic they could be to us mere humans. This book focuses on four superpowers relating to light and sound and explains which science principles would come into action if the superpower existed and what effect these science principles would have on the body. It's an exciting way to present science and the story builds in anticipation. The quirky and humorous explanations turn what would be considered by many as dry physics principles into high interest exciting books to capture the attention.

The Food We Eat (Eco STEAM) by Georgia Amson-Bradshaw

This topical book is one in an important series that looks at how we, through daily living, put our environment and the climate under stress. What are the problems and challenges we face around the world when it comes to food and the materials we use to package it? How can we produce food without causing pollution and habitat destruction? How do we eat healthily and minimise food waste? Interactive 'Solve It!' design challenges give readers the information they need to develop sustainable solutions to the problems discussed, and step-by-step 'Test It!' activities encourage them to explore putting principles into practice. It's a book that really encourages children to think about the part they play in conserving precious resources. It's well presented, with good use of colour to make the information stand out.

This Drop of Water: A Look at the Water Cycle by Anna Claybourne

I like the way this book starts off with a common occurrence - a drop of water falling. The little girl wants to know where it came from and the reader follows her on a superbly illustrated journey of discovery as she finds out what water is, where it comes from and how essential it is to life here on Earth. It explores topics as important and wide-ranging as how the Earth formed, the water cycle, clouds and the tides. It also highlights just how precious a resource water is and how we need to take care of it. The approachable nature of the book makes it an easy read, and it's packed with a huge amount of information to keep the reader informed. Most water cycle books are far more basic, but this really does investigate the topic in depth and brings in a whole host of additional information about water and its effects on our world.

The Good Guys: 50 Heroes Who Changed the World with Kindness by Rob Kemp

This book takes a refreshingly different approach to what matters and how people can change the world - not through great discoveries but by simple acts of kindness, large and small. Readers will find stories of extraordinary, and sometimes unexpected, men including Muhammad Ali, Professor Green, Patrick Stewart and Lionel Messi, as well as unsung heroes such as James Harrison, who has spent fifty years donating his rare blood to save millions of babies. Each person has a single page biography, faced with a specially drawn image by Paul Blow. Especially good for young readers is the section celebrating ten boys who didn't let their young age stop them from helping others, such as Matthew Kaplan, who responded to his brother's bullies by setting up an anti-bullying programme for schools - superb role models and worthy of further study.

On Planet Earth (Cause, Effect and Chaos!) by Paul Mason

Following a narrative chain throughout every book in the series which means that it's excellent to have the whole series together, each spread focuses on a different action, process or phenomenon with illustrations and arrows guiding the reader through the chain of events, making good use of infographics and other visual material for clarity. The series reaches into different core areas of the science, geography and history curriculum and provides a reassuring look at likely outcomes, despite the title. Intended for readers aged 9 and up, the lively presentation and short snippets of factual information make the book easily accessible even for reluctant and struggling readers. Younger competant readers will also enjoy the book.

Comparing Countries: School Life (English/Spanish) (Dual Language Learners) by Sabrina Crewe

This excellent series serves many purposes, making the books a really good buy for schools. Comparing Countries is a novel non-fiction dual-language series looking at ways of life around the world; how they are the same and how they differ. Childfren always enjoy learning about the lives of other children, so this is a good approach. Each book is written in English and another language. The series supports languages, geography and cultural studies. School Life takes the reader around the world to compare how children get to school, what they learn, how they have fun, what they eat for lunch and more. Succinct fact boxes in the two languages accompany super colour photos. The glossary and index are also dual-language.

Pioneers of Science and Technology (Brilliant Women) by Georgia Amson-Bradshaw

Curious, provocative, engaging, brave, and funny - women who change the world are diverse, intriguing and brilliant. Created by an all-women team (somehow, to me, this is an unnecessary refinement - should we not choose by skill level rather than gender?) and filled with wonderful illustrations, and engaging activities that will nurture your own varied skills, the Brilliant Women series compiles the stories of inspiring women from every field. Retelling their triumphs and adversities, this beautiful series of four books reveals and celebrates the women who have shaped the world we live in now. Suitable for readers aged 9 and up.


We should encouage our children to make their own healthy eating choices - but those choices need to be well-informed. So many books about vegetarianism are written for adults, so it's great to find a book which is written from a child's perspective, giving a balanced and unbiased view of the topic, helping them make a sensible choice. It describes why people give up meat and how a healthy diet can still be enjoyed. Key terms are explained, making this a good book just to increase knpwledge, even if not considering becoming vegetarian; small changes may well be made after reading this book. On a practical level, it looks at the costs and benefits of this change in lifestyle with information about food groups and adequate nutrition. There are also plenty of easy-to-follow recipes which show how varied and tasty a vegetarian diet can be. An excellent introduction.

Making with Sound (Science Makers) by Anna Claybourne

Harness children's natural inquisitiveness and desire to experiment with this hands-on book which really helps learning about this KS2 science topic. Readers will find ou all about SOUND by following in the footsteps of famous scientists, artists and inventors. The varied range of experiments includes transforming your voice into beautiful patterns like singer Megan Watts Hughes; creating sci-fi sound effects like composer Delia Derbyshire and catching intruders with Augustus Russell Pope's pressure mat alarm, and much more! Based on the work of famous scientists, the book gives an interesting insight into the way discoveries evolve. Each title in this series contains ten 'makes', prompted by featured profiles of great scientists, artists and engineers. Children will learn about and create the experiments that have led to world-changing discoveries, amazing machines and inspiring artworks. The presentation is particularly attractive, with excellent page layout that combines a mass of information with easy readability.

Ancient Greece (Facts and Artefacts) by Tim Cooke

Seeing the actual objects people use gives a real sense of history and enables us to relate to the period and its people. The Ancient Greeks were a cultured people who left us many objects to admire. To accompany the photos, the book tells stories about the people. This book combines facts about the ancient Greeks with photographs of the artefacts they left behind and the stories they shared with each other to present a full picture of life at the time. Facts are presented succinctly and relate well to the accompanying photos; overall, the presentation is eye-catching and easy to use.

On Land (The Fighting Forces of the Second World War) by John C Miles

The more sombre presentation of the book, with muted colours, reflects the topic in an appropriate way, whilst still remaining clear and attractive. How did the forces that fought on land affect the outcome of the Second World War? This book explores the units who slugged it out to gain precious territory in the Second World War, from the French Foreign Legion and British SAS, to the Afrika Korps and Chindits. Along the way, readers will discover the key battles, tactics and weapons that helped the Allies to victory.

In the Human Body (Cause, Effect and Chaos!) by Paul Mason

I love the title of this series - it's bound to catch the attention. This series looks at why and how things happen, the effects, and the consequences of when things go a bit wrong. When things go wrong in the human body - a bone is broken, it gets a shock or has an allergic reaction - it reacts in different ways, some of them not pleasant. The highly visual presentation makes the book perfect for reluctant readers and the information makes for fascinating reading, supported by scientific facts. Perfect support for KS2 science and bound to interest young readers.

What is Right and Wrong? Who Decides? Where Do Values Come From? And Other Big Questions by Michael Rosen abd Annemarie Young

This is an excellent classroom resource to encourage discussion and provide plenty of ideas to stimulate debate. The ideas included are presented in an unbiased manner and are clearly laid out for ease if use. Where do our ideas of righ t and wrong come from? Where do our values come from and who decides which values are used in a society? This book looks at topics that are strongly connected to the values people hold and their ideas of right and wrong, such as democracy, justice, fairness, prejudice and discrimination, education, climate change and war. Contributors including Laura Bates, Richard Rieser, Tulip Siddiq and Alex Wheatle discuss how their ideas of what is right and wrong have been shaped by their life experiences. Readers are encouraged to think for themselves about the issues discussed and decide which values are important to them. A thought-provoking book.

Health and Disease (Our World in Crisis) by Izzi Howell

Health problems affect people in countries all around the world, often with devastating consequences. This book looks at the factors that influence life expectancy and at what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. It explores the fight against disease throughout the world and the role of healthcare industries. It asks readers to think about what they can do to promote good health, in their own lives and the lives of others. The Our World in Crisis series features in-depth explorations of major issues faced by people across the world today. Each book features case studies, photos and infographics to present statistics. They are a great resource for children aged 10+ who want to look behind the headlines in a world of fake news or for citizenship education.


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 in the 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.

The Nineteenth-Century World (Parallel History) by Alex Woolf and Victor Beuren

I have often felt that it is a shame that history books frequently focus on just one country, making it hard for children to relate the events and impact from around the world. This excellent series addresses that concern by looking at parallel events from around the world. So, in the nineteenth century, we visit countries including the USA, Italy, Australia and France. Well set out, with enticing illustrations and very clear and detailed timelines on every page, this is informative and engaging, with easy to remember facts.

Australia: An illustrated guide to an extraordinary country by Kevin Pettman

Australia really is a fascinating country, as this book shows really well. It's packed with the sort of engaging facts that children love - a 17 metre tall lobster, 40,000 tennis balls, a diamond mine, 170 species of snakes... find out the facts behind the stats. This highly visual and brightly coloured book has everything children want to know about Australia, from its amazing landscapes and fascinating wildlife to the country's most famous sports people and important dates in history. A good index makes the information easy to find.

Global Pollution (Our World in Crisis) by Rachel Minay

Pollution is a topic that is very much to the fore at the moment. Help children to understand more about what they are hearing in the news, and find out how they can play their part to reduce pollution, through this clearly explained book. Humans are creating more pollution than ever before and this is threatening the balance of our planet and its perfect conditions for life. This book looks at the causes and effects of different types of pollution, considers the greenouse effect and what is being done to tackle climate change. Effective use of photography shows our impact on the earth. It is relevant to children, who will enjoy learning how important a role they can play.

When People Die (Dealing With...) by Jane Lacey

This sries features case studies appropriately presented for young children. This book helps children to understand when they need help coping with their emotions, and helps adults handle the situation through a series of case studies. It has a positive slant, helping them understand life after someone dies. It features seven case studies from children who have a range of issues from a girl who misses her mum to a boy who is worried he might die. The end of the book features a short playscript to act out and discuss. The book has engaging illustrations throughout. Sensitively handled.

Habitats (Science in Infographics) by Jon Richards and Ed Simpkins

Infographics are an exciting way to present information, suitable for readers of all types and ensuring books cover a wide age range. This book showcases the wonderof the wordld with a wide ranging journey including the deepest oceans, grasslands, wetlands, deserts and more. Diiscover how living things survive - all visualised in beautifully designed infographics along with snippets of information and statistics. I did find the index a bit quirky - not sure of the benefit to children of the different font sizes.

Dot.Common Sense: How to stay smart and safe online by Ben Hubbard

This is just what we need - a clear, down-to-earth book about online safety. It points out the dangers clearly without being sensationalist and alarming, giving valuable guidelines for teachers and parents to share with the children in their care. Olivia and Sam are your child's guide as they discover the wonders of the Internet but learn about how to be safe while they explore. They learn how to keep personal information private, all about viruses, how to be a good digital citizen and much more. At the end of every chapter the 'Awesome Internet' feature reminds us about all the great things you can do on the Internet, too - this is a superfeature. It works well for children reading it alone as well as for sharing - and, please, encourage your child to discuss the issues raised.

Making with Light (Science Makers) by Anna Claybourne

Hands-on science - the best way to learn, and there are 10 experiemnts suitable for children of 9+, which can be done at school or at home. Through history, people have explored light through practical activities; now our children can learn from them. Make sun prints like photography pioneer Thomas Wedgwood; be inspired by artist Tracey Emin to make your own neon sign; create your own fibre optic lamp like engineer William Wheeler ... and much more! Each title in this excellent series contains ten 'makes', prompted by featured profiles of great scientists, artists and engineers. Children will learn about and create the experiments and builds that have led to world-changing discoveries, amazing machines and inspiring artworks. It is the range of activities that is particularly inspiring, going beyond pure science into other fields.

Materials (BOOM! Science) by Georgia Amson-Bradshaw

This exciting new series takes an engaging look at science for children of 6+. The book is full of exciting experiments, fun puzzles, quirky humour and science facts to amaze children ... The statements will make children think about the way we use everyday materials, and how to choose the most suitabe for each job. Plenty of straightforward hands-on activities enhance learning and give a deeper understanding. The other BOOM SCIENCE titles include Electricity, Forces, Human Body, Light, Materials, Plants, Seasons and Sound. Perfect for the science curriculum, this book will really make children think.

A Hindu Life (Following a Faith) by Kath Senker

Give KS2 children an insight into what it means to follow a faith and to be immersed in it through life - its way of life. history, celebrations and traditions. Following a Faith: A Hindu Life explores some of the cornerstones of what it means to be a Hindu today, through Sacred Thread and Divali celebrations, christening and wedding ceremonies, what happens in a mandir and why many Hindus go on a pilgrimage to the Ganges. This book supports the national curriculum guidelines for religious education and promotes religious tolerance and consideration through clear explanations to help children understand. Copious illustrations and photos bring the subject alive, with plenty of images of children worshipping and sharing their faith.

Super Senses: Sight, taste, smell, touch and hearing (Science is Everywhere) by Rob Colson

This book really engages readers by giving them lots of 'Try This' suggestions which show how our senses work. It shows how special body parts collect signals, allowing us, as well as other creatures in the world, to detect and understand the world around us. Jazzy presentation is eye-catching and will appeal even to reluctant readers. This book is part of the Science is Everywhere series, which demystifies the key science topics and shows how they relate to the world around us with fun, colourful graphics. These books are ideal for children aged 9 plus who are studying science, or for young readers who want to get to grips with science in a fun way.


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.

Sea and Sky Monsters (Dinosaur Infosaurus) by Kate Woolley Perfect for KS2 readers this unites a perennially popular topic with the modern appeal of infographics, which suit our modern desire for highly visual dynamic information. THis book may correct a misassumption - did you know that dinosaurs weren't the only creatures that roamed the earth all those years ago? There were also terrifying sea creatures like plesiosaurs and incredible flying reptiles too. Explore their world in Sea and Sky Creatures . Learn about their special features, how much they ate and when they lived... From Chronosaurus to Quetzalcoatlus, you'll find out all kinds of fascinating facts about these fierce and violent beasts. THe layout is good, with a range of differently shaped fact boxes linked appropriately to the illustrations.
Giant Sloth (Graphic Prehistoric Animals) by Gary Jeffrey THe comic book style of tis book will appeal particularly to reluctant readers, and it's good to see thn non-fiction format which will attract many children. Learn all about giant sloths whole size, armoured skin and large claws meant that they had no natural predators. Read what happened to one Megatherium in this exciting story from the prehistoric past. Fossil finds and animal gallery add to the information value. In the series Graphic Prehistoric Animals, each of the four books centres on an animal from the age of mammals and tells an exciting, fast-paced story full of action and colour. Illustrated in a comic book style these books are an irresistible source of information for readers aged 8 and up, who are fascinated with our long dead megafauna.
Space: Adventures in STEAM by Richard Spilsbury Through this book, children will find out about man's knowledge of space through history. The wonders of space, from Earth and the Moon, to the solar system, Milky Way and beyond!are all here, presented in vibrant blocks of colour alongside photos and diagrams. Discover how rockets overcome gravity to blast into space, how spacesuits protect astronauts on space walks and how rovers and probes explore planets that are many light years from Earth. On a practical level, and ideal for classroom use, children can test understanding with fun projects such as designing a reusable spacecraft and microgravity gym..
Comparing Countries: Festivals and Celebrations (English/Polish) (Dual Language Learners) by Sabrina Crewe This is a very practical series that combines language learning with discovering about the different ways of life in countries around the world. Take a trip around the world, looking at the many different ways that people celebrate special days, holidays, religious festivals and traditional celebrations. Each page is in the two languages, and the clear layout and good use of colour ensures the text is easy to follow. Comparing Countries is a groundbreaking non-fiction dual-language series which compares and contrasts ways of life in different countries around the world. Presented in two different languages, each title explores a topic common to all children, from homes to festivals, highlighting what makes us different and what we all have in common. This series provides great support to geography learning, as well as helping young language learners improve their reading skills. This cross-curricular approach will be warmly welcomed in the classroom.
Volcanoes (Geographics) by Izzi Howell This book takes a comprehensive look at volcanoes, including their history, the varying types and specific famous volcaboes. Learn about volcanoes around the world and see how they are created. Discover what happens during a volcanic eruption and the deadly risks of getting too close. Find out about the role of volcanoes in the rock cycle and how they affect tourism, farming and renewable energy. The text is well set out, with good use of colourbackgrounds to give the book appeal. The illustrations are quite small though and don't always do justice to the subject. Geographics is an engaging series with colourful infographics and photos used to illustrate universal geography topics such as volcanoes, rivers and earthquakes. It covers the geography curriculum at KS2 and is suitable for children aged 8 and up.
Stone Age (Writing History) by Anita Ganeri This is one in a series which explores different types of writing in six key historical period which children will study at school. The books use a variety of ways of presenting information such as diaries, letters, stories and even poems. Examples of original sources are also given. It's a good way to encourage them to carry out their own investigations into history. In this title, they will learn about life in the Stone Age, from prehistoric homes to flint mines and mammoth hunts. Read about archaeological discoveries such as the 'Red Lady of Paviland' and discover amazing cave art. An excellent aspect of the book is the way children are encouraged to have a go themselves with their own writing projects (eg letters, postcards and an estate agent's blurb) using the information they have read; great to encourage research.

Amazon Basin (Expedition Diaries) by Simon Chapman

The very personal approach of this expedition diary is a great way to make children feel really involved. Simon is heading off to a region of the Amazon Basin in northern Bolivia, and the reader follows him every step of the way, meeting the people he meets and visiting places with him. Despite its size, it's a fragile biome, of mixed forest and river habitats. Simon plans to document his journey down the River Enatahua, but things go wrong right from the start: a rucksack is missing, along with his canoe ... The tension of the journey builds as Simon travels, making for a gripping account that will really foster an interest in geography. Excellently done and very well illustrated.

Who is Donald Trump? (Who? What? Why?) by Julia Adams

After a fierce and divisive election, on 8 November 2016, some 130 million people in the USA cast their vote to decide who should become their next President. The ensuing Trump presidency would not only affect the citizens of the USA, but billions of people around the world. This book gives readers a balanced and accessible account of Donald Trump's campaign for the presidency and his uncompromising and highly controversial policies and behaviour as President. The unbiased nature of the book gives readers the opportunity to develop their own opinions in an informed manner. The book also includes plenty of information about the presidency of the US and the way it works.

Dealing with Bullying by Jane Lacey

Reading this book, children will not feel they are alone in facing bullying. It combines real-lfe case studies with plenty of practicak advice to help children cope. It empowers children to ask for help - and to decide when they need help. The seven case studies cover a range of commonly experienced bullying problems from a girl who is being left out by her friends to a boy bullied for the way he speaks. It features both verbal and physical bullying. The end of the book features a short playscript to act out and discuss as well as useful notes helping adults understand the scenarios. The book has engaging illustrations throughout. The approach is friendly, easy to read and supportive of children throughout

First World War (History in Infographics) by Jon Richards and Jonathan Vipond

Infographics are a hugely popluar way of presenting information, and rightly so. They appeal especially to visual learners, and to reluctant readers, both of whom find the information easy to assimilate. The First World War was war on a scale never seen before - help children understand its immensity through engaging infographics. They will learn the size of each country's army, see how many km of trenches there were, learn about the average age of soldiers and the amount of underage soldiers fighting, how many people were taken prisoner, how many zeppelins were built, how big the tanks were, what were the major battles and much, much more. There are lots of other illustrations too, making this a highly visual book, nonetheless packed with facts.

Understanding Transgender (My Life, Your Life) by Honor Head

A difficult subject, sensitively handled. It explores the issue of people who feel they do not belong to the gender they were born with, exploring the way it impacts on every aspect of life, including family, issues around school policy, bullying and discrimination and explores the journey of transitioning. The series My Life, Your Life is ideal to support PSHE, taking a sensitive and positive look at some of the issues that concern children and young people. By thinking creatively and critically, children can learn to accept their differences, embrace diversity and improve their sense of self and how they fit into the bigger picture. Each title also provides advice in the form of practical ways to cope with distressing or difficult situations.

The Classical World (Parallel History) by Alex Woolf

Often, the way history is taught does not help children to link together events in different parts of the world. This series redresses that balance, by looking at the global developments of a single period, side by side. Significant events are matched with striking illustrations in this book for readers upwards of age nine. It explores the classical world chronologically, with useful timelines to show when major events and achievements took place. An approach which is really useful, with straightforward simple information presented with a global view, helping children to understand how things took place in different cultures.

Vote for Me!: Democracies, dictators and decision-makers by Louise Spilsbury

Children need to understand the concept of politics and know who's in charge across the world from presidents, prime ministers and dictators, to kings and queens. This easy to read book is a good introduction to different systems of leadership that exist globally, looking in particular at how democracies work and what voting and elections are. Written in a child-friendly way, the book encourages thinking and discussion, with clearly presented material. It looks at the seven main types of governments/ways of ruling - Anarchy; Dictatorship; Monarchy; Theocracy; Totalitarian; Republic; Democracy. This could be a dry subject but it's well handled to make it interesting and the humorous illustrations are a huge asset to the book, adding an element of fun.

Rapunzel: fix fairytale problems with science and technology (STEM Solves Fairytales) by Jasmine Brooke

This book is one in a series that takes well-loved fairytales as the basis of a story which needs the use of STEM skills to solve problems - an excellent way to give science the practical application that makes it meaningful. We all knw that Rapunzel let down her beautiful hair so the prince could climb the tower... but could she have used more scientific methods? The book encourages children to think of science-based solutions to problems, and gives them full step-by-step instructions to carry out the experiemnts. Great for cross-curricular learning.

The Book of Saints by Paul Harrison

The names of saints such as S George, St Patrick, St Francis of Assissi and S David will be familiar to children, but how much do they actually know about the person behind the name? This book tells the remarkable life stories of over 25 saints from around the world. The information puts the siants clearly in their hostorical and geographical context, encouraging children to think about the world as it was when they were alive. Information on feast days, patron saints and the process of becoming a saint complements the rest of the book. It is well illustrated with ood use of contemporary material. Fact boxes clearly delineate key information, making for easy reference.

Loos Save Lives: How sanitation and clean water help prevent poverty, disease and death by Seren Boyd

We take loos for granted, but children need to be aware that an incredible 2.4 billion people across the world don't have somewhere they can go to the toilet safely;over 1 billion people don't have access to any kind of sanitation or clean water at all. The impact is huge, preventing children (and especially girls) from going to school, forcing people to walk miles to access safe drinking water and causing death. Loos Save Lives unravels the facts about poor sanitation across Africa, Asia and parts of South America. It also highlights how the work of one charity - Toilet Twinning - is working hard to help communities build toilets and access safe drinking water, and educate people about the importance of washing your hands. It's a fascinating look at a vital subject, a real eye-opener. The facts are presented forcefully but with a light touch, ensuring our children are really enlightened about the plight of others.

Forces (Science in Infographics) by Jon Richards

Infographics uses icons, pictograms and graphics to present information in a way that is ideal for today's informtion-rich world, making facts easily accessible and memorable. Read about how gravity keeps the planets orbiting the Sun, find out how machines make life easier, and discover how magnets work - all visualised in beautifully designed infographics. The accompanying text is informative and well laid out, in bite-size chunks of information which make good use of different font sizes to differentiate the information. Colourful backgrounds make the book appealing but can make the font hard to read for struggling readers, especially as the pages are quite shiny.

The Unofficial Guide to the World Cup by Paul Musson

This is a good introduction to the World Cup, suitable for all fans, new and old. this books is a mine of fascinating facts, interesting insights and tremendous trivia into the world of the football World Cup; the sheer volume of information means the pages are pages with details and the font may be a little small for younger KS2 readers. It explores the tournament's history, its biggest successes, controversies and flops and looks forward to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The World Cups' top teams and players are also profiled. Plenty here for the most ardent fan, with super action photos.

Geographics: Earthquakes by Georgia Amson-Bradshaw

This book covers all that KS2 children need to know about earthquakes as part of the geography curriculum. They will learn what are, how they are caused, how scientists can measure them and what makes some earthquakes so much more destructive than others. Looking forward, the book shows how people can be better prepared for the future. Geographics is an engaging series with colourful infographics and photos used to illustrate universal geography topics such as volcanoes, rivers and earthquakes. Easy to follow and enjoyable to read, this is a well presented and clearly laid out book that will appeal to today's young readers.

Adventures in STEAM: Buildings by Izzi Howell

This colourful, activity-packed series is a great way to interest girls and boys in STEAM subjects. Starting with the basics of how structures are built, the book gives clear step-by-step descriptions of all that goes into building structures. It isn't just modern structures, either - there is plenty of information about ancient and medieval structures too. Take a look at how skyscrapers were designed, how engineers make sure they stay upright and how the science of gravity means they don't fall down. Find out about scale, plans and perspective, explore interesting architecture from bridges and tunnels to cathedrals and stadiums, and admire the work of some of the world's most famous architects. Try activities such as designing your own skyscraper using marshmallows and spaghetti. A fascinating read which is very informative.

A Muslim Life (Following a Faith) by Cath Senker

In our multi-cultural society, children need to understand the faiths of others; it is also a fundamental part of the RE curriculum. Readers will learn about the key celebrations of Id-ul-Fitr and Id-ul-Adha and christening and wedding ceremonies. Learn what happens in a mosque and why many Muslims go on a pilgrimage known as Hajj. This book is one in an appealing and informative series with a bright, bold and modern approach. Ideal to help children understand the key tenets of Islam and what it means to follow that faith in daily life.

Gigantic Dinosaurs (Dinosaur Infosaurus) by Katie Woolley

As befits a book on gigantic dinosaurs, this book is large format A4 size, meaning there's plenty of room for excellent illustrations alongside the factual information. The presentation is highly visual, with bold coloured backgrounds and information presented in a series of linked circles. Learn how to pronounce the names, find out some of the dinosaur vital statistics, learn where they lived, dscover what they ate and much more. A useful glossary extends children's knowledge and they can find their way around using the comprehensive index.

Far From Home: Refugees and migrants fleeing war, persecution and poverty by Cath Senker

A very topical subject and one that our children really need to know about. For millions of Syrian and Iraqi citizens (and for people from many other nations around the world), these are the question they face. The book examines the root causes of mass migrations from both a historical and current perspective, using a telling blend of istorical sources and first-hand accounts. racism, religion, life in refugee camps and the challenges migrant and refugees face on arrival in new lands, alongside the response of host countries. The book is an open and balanced tool for opening discussions around these sensitive issues, well illustrated with contemporary illustrations. It helps children and young people to really understand the plight of refugees, encouraging them to think about the situation.

Self-Esteem and Confidence (My Life, Your Life) by Honor Head

Children's self confidence often seems a fragile thing, yet it is so important we nurture and strengthen it. This upbuilding book, which is one in a practical series, is perfect to do just that. Topics covered are very relevant to today's young people - body image, bullying, shyness, peer pressure and the effects of social media are all included. Practical tips on becoming more assertive are a key part of the book, which examines all the aspects in just enough detail for the age group. Attractive layout draws the reader in, and gives the book a friendly and approachable feel.

The Girls' Guide to Growing Up by Anita Naik

Girls can often feel shy about asking sensitive questions of adults, so this is an excellent book to give them so they can dip into it to get the answers - and then, hopefully, gain the confidence and understanding to continue exploring the topic with an adult. Topics covered include trying your first bra, dealing with spots, building your confidence and preparing for periods. The lively presentation and approachable style of the text make this an easy book to read.

Suffragettes and the Fight for the Vote by Sarah Ridley

We all, women and men, owe a great deal to the brave Suffragette women, and this book provides an excellent introduction to the cause for KS2 and KS3 readers, interestingly told through 14 significant objects. From photos of key people in the campaign through ephemera such as force-feeding equipment, banners and medallions Sarah Ridley brings the story to life. Beginning by looking at the role of women in the 19th Century and ending with the continuing struggle for equal rights for women in all parts of society, this is an essential read for young people aged 10 plus to understand the history of the women's movement on suffrage.

The Student's Toolbox: Tips for Better Writing by Louise Spilsbury

Writing, both factual and creative, is often a focus for attention in schools. Teachers will welcome this wide-ranging book which helps pupils improve their writing skills in many fields. This title divides writing into three main areas that students will come across at school, writing opinion pieces, writing informational text, and writing fiction. Full of practical ideas, this is an easy to use book.

Oil (Question It!) by Philip Steele

There's plenty of food for thought in this book, which does an excellent job of posing questions. Petroleum has utterly changed the way we live. But has the cost to the planet been too great? Has oil overheated our climate? Is the Oil Age already being replaced by smarter technologies? Is there enough of the black stuff to go round, and will it keep flowing? This book, in the Question It! series for readers upwards of age ten, will explore these important topics in a balanced and objective way, encouraging readers to take a questioning approach to the issues surrounding the use of oil and natural gas

The Artist in You by Julie Brunelle and Peter Wood

This is a very approachable introduction to the world of great artists and their works. Taking some of the great works of art, it explores the language and techniques of art, and guides the reader through the main elements. It has two objectives. One is to introduce the basics of art and the art making process in an easy and accessible way with fun and engaging projects, while exploring various techniques and mediums, including photography and printmaking. Secondly, it introduces much of the basic art terminology to give the reader the vocabulary to discuss and share their appreciation of art. An engrossing book, full of inspiration.

The Halloween Book by Annalees Lim

With its range of fun facts, craft ideas and recipes, this book will make an excellent foundation for topic work based around Halloween. The Halloween Book brings together lots of ideas for Halloween costumes, crafts, recipes and games, along with poems and spine-tingling ghost stories. It also takes a look at Halloween traditions around the world. Ideal for readers aged 7+ who love craft activities.

Bridges (Awesome Engineering) by Sally Spray

Bridges are amazing achievements, and this book really shows how awesome they are. Get to grips with the mind-boggling advances that have been made in engineering. Find out about awe-inspiring buildings and technology. he books in the Awesome Engineering series are filled with high impact artwork, diagrams and explanations that make the awesome feats of engineering easy to understand. Bright and bold artwork really does show the skill and knowledge that go into building bridges, and the clear explanations and diagrams guide the reader through a chronology of landmark engineering achievements from around the world.

The Story of You by Anna Claybourne

A complex subject, but one which is clearly explained, with brief summaries of each topic clearly set out on vividly coloured pages. From genetics and evolution to our environment and our families, the book looks at all the factors that shape us into the people we are. It explains how physical characteristics and abilities are passed down through generations, and why some things are inherited and others not. It explores how evolution has shaped us as a species, and at how the world we live in has impacted on and shaped us. It also looks at intelligence, where it comes from, and how we learn. The brain and the mind are explored, as are concepts such as personality, how we build relationships with other people, and how and why we form memories. A very well written and accessible book.

Biomes (Geographics) by Izzi Howell

This highly visual book makes excellent use of illustrative material to really appeal to all KS2 pupils, even reluctant readers. The information is presented in easily assimilated form and well and appropriately supported by the visuals. Discover the biomes of our planet, from lush rainforests and sweltering deserts to deep oceans and fast-flowing rivers. See how seasons and climates vary across the globe and find out about amazing animal and plant adaptations. Learn about people who live in different places around the world and the dangers that threaten our natural environment. I really like the approach this book takes.

The International Space Station by Clive Gifford

Just what is it like living on board the International Space Station? Well, now you can find out in this fascinating book.What is the space station and how did it get into space? How do astronauts get there and what do they do once they're there? How do astronauts eat, sleep, or even breathe, in space? This book answers all of these questions and more. Find out what it takes to become an astronaut and about the essential science experiments that are being carried out there. The illustrations have a really key role in this fascinating book - they are are technically accurate and provide true representations of the mechanics, modules and equipment on board the ISS.

Monarchy (Systems of Government) by Sean Connolly

Monarchy shows the inner working of this type of government, setting it in the context of history and relating it to today's current affairs. Readers will learn how a monarchy functions internally and within the wider world community. They will also encounter some of the dilemmas, contradictions and compromises that seem to be an essential part of even the most idealistic politcal systems. It's a well presented book, with fact boxes, timelines and carefully chosen images that complement informative text that is packed with case studies and first-hand accounts. Voting Booth panels invite readers to consider thorny issues, both historical and current, and to form their own opinions - these are an excellent way to encourage young people to formulate their own thoughts and arguments.

Clever Crafts for Kids by Annalees Lim

Designed to appeal to both boys and girls, there are craft ideas for home or school projects - teachers will find the book useful for supplementing classroom projects or for after-school clubs. The projects include making a colour wheel, a farmyard from hand prints, a wax crayon batik owl, finger print fireworks, a scrunched seascape, snowflake wrapping paper, a 3-D rainbow, river reflection painting and foil print birthday cards. The instructions are set out step-by-step; none are too long and all are easy to follow with the accompanying photos which illustrate each step. The materials are easy to find and inexpensive.

Being a Bee by Jinny Johnson and Lucy Davey

We all know how important bees are to human life, and how their numbers are declining, so I am really pleased to see this lovely book which will educate children about bees in an enjoyable way. Children will be familiar with seeing bees collecting pollen, but there is so much more to learn - and this book teaches children a great deal. Life in the hive, bee families, how older bees work together to look after and raise baby bees, beekeeping, how and why bees make honey, and how they dance to communicate with other bees are all covered. Simple but effective illustrations complement the text.

Italian Supercars - Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pagani by Paul Mason

Encourage reluctant readers by offering them a colourful and inviting book on a popular topic. Get your young petrolhead into gear with the perfect introduction to the newest, hotest, fastest Italian supercar marques on the planet. Supercars is a series Written specifically for car lovers aged around 9 years old, and is ideal for reading on the go and to encourage reading for pleasure. Each title features superb photography and easy-to-read, informative text.

A Robot World by Clive Gifford

Robots are everywhere in today's world - even if we don't always see them. They are in movies, in space, in computer games - maybe even walking among us. This is a look at the rise of robots: how they've developed over time, from early sketches to terrifying battlebots and factory operatives, to the latest AIs running free from their workshops. Presented chronologically, this robot history will focus on landmark robots that have captured the imagination, including creations from popular culture. It's a fascinating read, which shows the amazing things that robots can achieve. Attractive presentation, with plenty of photos, make the book appealing and enjoyable as well as informative.

Endangered People (Last Chance to See) by Anita Ganeri

We are familiar with the fact that many animal species are endangered, but how about endangered groups of people? This book takes an in-depth look at some of the most endangered people on Earth, inclusing Maasai San, Inni and Batak - these people come froma wide range of environments. Find out why they are in danger, what we would lose of they were to disappear completely and what, if anything, is being done to save them. Last Chance to See is a series that looks at the devastating impact pollution, global warming, habitat loss and deforestation are having on our planet. Explore why time is running out to see some of Earth's most endangered people, places, plants and animals. Covering the UK geography curriculum and aimed at students aged 9 and up, these are significant issues.

The Iron Age (Writing History) by Anita Ganeri Once children have learnt about a topic, they need to be able to express their discoveries in words, and this interesting series helps them to just that. Part of the KS2 history curriculum, children will learn out about the Iron Age in Britain, from Celtic life and culture, to typical jobs and roundhouse settlements; read about Boudica's battles with the Romans and discover ancient festivals and stories. The book is excellently laid out, with good use of fact boxes and illustrations to help readers navigate the information. Ideal for readers aged 9+, the Writing History series combines written evidence from the past with engaging writing activities to explore the fascinating worlds of ancient civilisations. Children can learn exciting facts and be inspired to write their own historical documents including diary entries, recipes, letters, speeches and much more!

I'm a Python Programmer (Generation Code) by Max Wainewright

Python is a great introduction to real-world coding languages. In this book, learn how to write programs that ask questions, draw shapes, throw dice and even build you a clock. As you go, get to grips with key coding concepts like loops, variables and functions. The Generation Code series is a hands-on guide to computer coding, designed to train you in the coding languages used by real-world computer programmers. You'll discover how to code exciting programs, web pages, apps and games, and learn how the tools and functions you're using can be applied to other situations.

The Power of Advertising: How adverts have you hooked

This eye-catching book looks at the complex world of advertising from adverts of the past to the modern day. It examines how adverts work and how they affect our daily lives. Chapters explore the techiques of the industry, the power of pictures and when and why words matter. The book is a great primer on the world of advertising for children studying the form aged 10+. It also helps children develop critical thinking and debating skills and is a fantastic resource for art and design, business studies and those studying persuasive writing.

Cultural Issues (My Life, Your Life) by Honor Head

This book looks at cultural issues between family and school friends including religion, diet, clothes and attitudes. It looks at family expectations and the desire to blend in with peers. It emphasises respect for cultural differences in and out of school and tolerance and an acceptance of a different way of behaving. The book includes practical advice and links to organisations that can help. The consultant is the chief executive of the Race Equality Foundation.

Fairground Rides (Awesome Engineering)

A great title to appeal to children! Follow the development of fairground rides, as they have grown taller, scarier, and more fantastical through engineering skill, design and ambition. Get to grips with the mind-boggling advances that have been made in engineering. Find out about awe-inspiring buildings and technology. he books in the Awesome Engineering series are filled with impactful artwork, diagrams and explanations that make the awesome feats of engineering easy to understand. Bright and bold artwork, alongside clear explanations and diagrams, guide you through a chronology of landmark engineering achievements from around the world.

Stories From China (Multicultural Stories) bu Saviour Pirotta

The curriculum requires a knowledge of stories from other cultures. This beautifully illustrated collection of stories from one of the world's richest story-telling traditions are ideal for young readers and for reading aloud to 7-11 year-olds. There are stories of how the world began, Chinese dragons, zodiac monkeys, legendary monsters, Chinese New Year and hopping ghosts. Each story is introduced with information about its origins and the people who first started telling it, and maps locate the places associated with it. The book includes a glossary and sources of further information as well as ideas for activities that children can do to explore the stories and their culture further.

Robbers, Cops, Crime: An Illustrated History of Policing (National Archives) by Roy Apps

At the first sign of danger we call 999, but what did people do before the police force existed? Learn about the evolution of the service that protects us - from keeping invaders in order to the first bobbies on the beat and the latest crime-fighting scientific developments. Wayland have partnered with The National Archives to bring you this incredible photographic record of one of the most revered professions around: policing. Trace policing through history, beginning with the Romans. Then learn about Scotland's first organised police force, smuggling, poaching and street crime, the River police and the Industrial Revolution, the evolution of police vehicles, the world's most famous detective and the introduction of women to the service

From Your Computer (How to Make Money) by Rita Storey

Do you have a fantastic business idea but don't know where to start? Or perhaps you love your computer and want to make some money from something you enjoy doing. This book is a fantastic guide containing all the tips and tricks you need to your computer into a profitable enterprise and become a young entrepreneur (a Kidpreneur!). Sample areas covered include: blogs, vlogs, youtube, monetising your content, video gaming and online surveys. There is a strong emphasis on how to keep safe and what dangers to be aware of, for example in dealing with people in your money-making enterprise.

Proud to be Deaf by Ava, Lilli and Nick Beese

Ava is like any other 7-year-old. She likes to talk and laugh with her friends, is obsessed with dogs and loves being active. Ava is also deaf - and she's proud of it. She loves her Deaf community, that she's bilingual, and that she experiences the world differently from hearing people. In this book, Ava welcomes her hearing peers to her daily life, the way technology helps her navigate the world and explains common misconceptions about deaf people - and introduces some of her deaf heroes who have achieved amazing things. She talks about her experiences at school making friends with hearing children, and teaches readers the BSL alphabet and BSL phrases. Featuring photos of Ava, her friends and family throughout, plus illustrations of hand signs. An excellent way to understand and empathise.

Communism (Systems of Government) by Sean Connolly

Different countries are governed in different ways and children need to know about these. Communism is a way of governing a country and its people. The basis of this type of government is the idea that one person is not more important than any other and all citizens work for the benefit of everyone, not just for themselves This book offers a detailed and non-judgemental look at specific countries that are governed in this way. It looks at how communism becomes established, problems and successes that it may encounter and what the future may hold for communism.

My Bed and Other Home Furniture (Well Made, Fair Trade) by Helen Greathead

My Bed and Other Furniture explores the problems faced by people around the world who produce and assemble furniture, and environmental problems, such as deforestation, associated with the harvesting of materials used in furniture-making. Case studies show how fair trade projects are helping people achieve better working conditions and a fair price for their products, and how using renewable materials is helping to save the world's precious resources.

Bronze Age (Britain in the Past) by Moira Butterfield

Children will study the Bronze Age in KS2 history and the emphasis in this book on how people lived and the artefacts they used will really encourage young readers to imagine themselves taking part in life in the Bronze Age, from around 2500 BCE until 800 BCE. A useful glossary and comprehensive index help children's understanding. Britain in the Past aims to give younger children (Years 3 and 4) an understanding of everyday life in Britain for both rich and poor through fact-filled text, exciting illustrations and photographs of artefacts and re-enactors. Feature boxes, maps and lists complete the picture.

Bronze Age (Found!) by Moira Butterfield

This book follows on very well from the book reviewed above, being ideal for readers of 9+. Many artefacts have been found from this prolific era in history, and these really inform our knowledge of Bronze Age life and culture. All of these objects can tell us a lot about ancient people. We know about the animals they kept from burials of animal bones. We know about the tools they used from axes, swords and arrowheads that have been found, and we know about their everyday life and culture from the remains of the homes they lived in, objects dug out of graves, the boats they built and the sacred objects they threw into lakes and rivers. All over Britain, Bronze Age artefacts have been Found!. Uncover the stories of thirteen incredible finds, what they can tell us about life back then and how they might relate to your life today. These in-depth accounts are really informative and give a new dimension to history. Found! is a series of six books that span British archaeological finds from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages, Roman Britain, the Viking Age and the Anglo Saxons. Ideal for readers aged 9+ studying history topics at Key Stage 2.

Greek (Stars of Mythology) by Nancy Dickmann

The presentation of this book is bound to capture children's interest - it's been very well thought out, to entice children into the book. From daring heroes to scheming gods and goddesses and terrible monsters such as cyclops, there are exciting adventures, betrayals and incredible stories to read. The book is structured as a 'Who's Who' of the culture's myths and legends and has a gossipy, informal tone, allowing the characters' personalities to come through. It's just as if they are talking directly to the reader. The chapters begin with a spread featuring fact files of two characters. Each of these has an "In His Own Words" section, where the character himself (or herself) gives fast facts such as parents, powers, crowning achievements, and "Not to be confused with...". This is followed by a myth re-relling, presented in a magazine-style, featuring the two characters. In total there are six spreads of fact files (12 characters total) and six different re-tellings. Excellent - the book would form a really good basis for classroom work based on the individual characters.

Dog (Pet Pals) by Pat Jacobs

If they don't already have a dog, be warned! This book, with its photos of lots of adorable dogs, is bound to make children want a dog! From where they sleep to what they eat, and how you can make them feel safe and at home, this book provides all the basic pet care advice children need. They will find out how dogs communicate, the games they like to play and the treats they like to eat, as well as how to care for them. The colourful layout incorporates plenty of photos of dogs, and of owners caring for them, and these are explained through the fact boxes. The information is clearly presented and there's a good index to guide readers to specific information.

WOMEN IN SCIENCE: 50 FEARLESS PIONEERS WHO CHANGED THE WORLD BY RACHEL IGNOTOFSKY The history of science is full of the achievements of women scientists and they are celebrated in this fascinating book which will be an inspiration to all young people looking to a career in science - and will hopefully encourage those who still feel science is a man's world. Going right back to antiquity, the book chronologically highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The artwork really makes this book stand out - each scientist is illustrated in stunning graphics, surrounded by the ideas and objects which are part of her claim to fame. Also included are infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, as well as an illustrated scientific glossary. A fascinating and superbly presented book from Hachette's new imprint Wren and Rook.

Ground Control to Major Tim: The Space Adventures of Major Tim Peake by Clive Gifford

A multitude of children will have been inspired by Tim Peake, and now they can learn more about this intrepid and inspirational character. Major Tim Peake became the first British astronaut to live and work on the International Space Station. During his time on board the ISS, Tim Peake carried out experiments, performed a crucial spacewalk and took some awesome photographs. He also found time to run a marathon, present an award to Adele and read a bedtime story to children listening 400km below him on Earth. Packed with amazing photographs, this book reveals how Major Tim's fascination with flight and science began and how his career as an astronaut developed, documenting his inspirational journey into space. It's a fascinating read which really shows what life is like on the International Space Station, with lots of insightful photos to reveal what happens.

Refugees and Migrants (Children in Our World) by Ceri Roberts

Words and pictures combine to excellent effect in this book which discusses a topical issue of which all our children need to be aware. It is told in the form of a story, but it is no less effective for that; it really brings home the plight of these people in a way that reaches the heart. By reading the book, children can begin to understand who refugees and migrants are, why they've left their homes, where they live and what readers can do to help those in need. An excellent way to develop empathy and understanding. The Children in Our World picture book series helps children make sense of the larger issues and crises that dominate the news in a sensitive and appropriate manner. With relatable comparisons, carefully researched text and striking illustrations. The series forms an excellent cross-curricular resource that looks at refugees, war, poverty and racism making them ideal for tying into Refugee Week and current affairs discussions.

Mayans (History in Infographics) by Jon Richards

Infographics are an excellent way to present information for children; the visual format makes facts easier to memorise, and it will appeal to visual learners and those who don't find reading easy. This book encourages children to explore the Mayan civilisation in a new way, making the book an excellent addition to the school or class library, with its different perspective. KS2 pupils will enjoy finding out how people lived, what they ate, what they wore, how they were ruled, the games they played and how the civilisation died out. The bright presentation and eye-catching layout will really engage readers, and it's surprising just how much information can be presented through infographics with carefully selected linked text.

The Vikings (Discover Through Craft) by Anita Ganeri

Books which encourage children to create artefacts linked with a history topic are an excellent way to support learning. Not only does it extend interest (and provide teachers with some excellent resources for displays), it also gives children a hands-on feel for the way people lived. The Vikings were fearsome warriors as well as being sailors, traders and craftspeople. Readers will discover how Vikings lived, worked, created and celebrated during this fascinating period in history each topic has a craft to create and these are clearly shown with step-by-step instructions and pictures. Quick facts, quizzes and 'have a go' features all help to make these books really interactive and promote further learning. It is far more than just a craft book - plenty of factual information is included, clearly laid out and well illustrated. This is one of the 12-part series Discover Through Craft, which explores key curriculum topics using a mixture of activities, quizzes, facts and crafts. For children aged 7-9.

The Top Secret History of Codes and Code Breaking by Roy Apps

Codes are fascinating and they are also extraordinary and unexpected - how about The Haircut Code, used by the Persians to convey messages in war? Codes are all around us and have a key part to play in history, from Ancient Hebrew ciphers and pictorial codes of the Egyptians Mayans to ciphers used in Tudor England and the key part code-breaking played in World War II. Find out about modern-day codes, such as tennis players Laura Robson and Heather Watson's 'back slang' when playing doubles and computer codes in the 21st century including the safety of passwords. Children will enjoy the practical activities and the chance to break a range of codes themselves in Code Breaker's Corners.

With Hands and Feet (Let's Make Art) by Susie Brooks

Equally useful at home and school, this inspiring book has a range of activities that can all be done with minimal outlay. They promote reuse and recycling, and make good use of objects that would otherwise be discarded - a good way to encourage children to think about recycling. Attractively designed, the book is clearly and appealingly illustrated with step-by-step instructions and engaging artwork that shows children what can be achieved. Each activity is straightforward and achievable, as well as being great fun to do. They are relatively simple, with good results almost guaranteed, making them ideal as a form of therapy for stressed or anxious children, allowing them to make things by themselves, and to have confidence in their own abilities. Activities include a fingerprint sweetshop, fist-print fish, a thumb-print circus, a handprint zoo, a footprint space rocket and more.

Spartans (Fearless Warriors) by Rupert Matthews

The Spartans' amazing fighting ability came from their strict training - they were prepared for battle from the age of five. No wonder they were so fearsome! Learn all about what makes a great Spartan in Fearless Warriors: Spartans. Discover the customs and traditions, the training and the stars of the most intrepid warriors of Ancient Greece. This is one in a series which examines some of history's most fearless fighters. It looks at their training, weapons and fighting methods, as well as examining some of their most famous battles and fiercest warriors. Each title has sections focusing on aspects of their training, their battles or biographies of individual warriors. A useful timeline and a quiz to test knowledge are at the back of each book. Ideal for readers aged 9 and up, and excellent classroom resources.

Our Universe (Infographic How It Works) by Jon Richards and Ed Simkins

To be of real value to the reader, infographics books need to be backed by plenty of text and other informative material, and this book succeeds in that - in fact, the infographic element is rather underplayed. It is attractively laid out and the information is presented in a range of formats to help learning. Readers will learn, among many other facts, how stars are born, how black holes are made and how the Sun shines. There are Try This challenges on every two-page spread, and these will help children appreciate the wonders of space. Both the glossary and the index are exceptionally comprehensive; really good features of the book.

Alex Ferguson (Real-life Stories) by Sarah Eason

This is an excellent way to get even reluctant readers to engage with books, as reading about a football legend is a great incentive. The vibrant approach of the book is good too, as it will really appeal with its use of bright colours and stand-out headers. The information is clearly set out in information boxes which use a range of styles. Alex Ferguson has had an amazing career in the beautiful game. He is famed for his dedication to Manchester United, his passion for football and his determination to win. Today, he is widely credited as the most successful coach in English football history.

Aircraft (Technology Timelines) by Tom Jackson

I really like the way this series puts events into their historical context for students; it makes things so much more meaningful. From the first hot air balloons to military supercraft, this book follows man's never ending quest to fly. A host of famous flying machines throughout history show how inventors and engineers have developed and improved on technology to make aircraft such an important part of human history. This book also dissects some major developments, such as the jet engine and wing shapes and also explains what happens in a sonic boom and how thrust, gravity lift and weight are all crucial to flight to give a rounded picture of these amazing machines. Detailed diagrams show the technology, and the timeline flows right through the book, on the bottom of every page, and includes a good level of detail. Technology Timelines is a series of six book aimed at upper KS2 and early KS3 readers, tracing the development of specific technologies through the ages.

Origami Crafts (10 Minute Crafts) by Annalees Lim

As well as being a useful book to have on hand at home when there is a little time to fill, this will also be useful for busy teachers, as the activities can be easily slotted in at the end of a lesson, or used as part of after-school activity sessions. These are easy, fun and exciting projects for children aged 5+, who can craft their way through this book, creating models by closely following the detailed step-by-step instructions and photos, or improvising as they go. They can make a cute origami kitten, a litter of puppies, fold a delicious ice cream cone and create colouring pencils from paper - just a few of the ideas. Using readily available materials, the 10 Minute Crafts series is packed full of fun crafts for special occasions. The perfect tool for teachers looking for original ideas as well as parents looking for fun ways to keep kids entertained. A great way to develop creativity, easy to start and minimal clearing up - and all that is needed is a pack of paper and perhaps some crayons.

Royals, Rebels and Horrible Headchoppers: A bloodthirsty history of the terrifying Tudors! (Awfully Ancient) by Peter Hepplewhite

The Tudors were certainly a bloodthirsty crew! Find out all about their dastardly deeds in this exciting history book. In a similar vein to Horrible Histories but with the benefit of being in full colour, discover everything about the terrifying Tudors: from horrible King Henry and the perilous plague to roasting the religious. Why did doctors wear beak masks? Why were cats buried under Tudor homes? What did Tudor tennis involve? Dip into these annals of Tudor times and find out the answers to all these intriguing imponderables and many more... It's a great way to really engage children with history, as they will love the approach.

Mad About Art by Judith Heneghan

Introduce children to the history of art in a simple but very effective way. Help them discover the relevance of art to them - what it means, how it can be made, and what it has meant for people throughout history. This book is packed with top tips to spark kids' creative imaginations and is packed with ideas that can be used in teaching. It shows children how to find inspiration and introduces the idea that art can be a powerful way to communicate. It explains some key art movements and artistic techniques, from pencil drawing and papier mache to watercolour, oil and acrylic painting, giving kids the confidence to express themselves through art. It's wide-ranging and well written.

Ancient Greece (The Best and Worst Jobs) by Clive Gifford

Just imagine you are job-hunting in Ancient Greece; here's the definitive guide to the jobs you would and would not want to do. What sort of work could job-hunters in Ancient Greece expect to find? Throughout the book, job adverts give an idea of the qualities and skills needed for each role and there's a verdict at the end to evaluate whether it was one of the best or worst jobs available. Architect, slave, sportsman, politician, market trader... every job is described and evaluated in this lively book which gives an excellent picture of daily life in Ancient Greece. Photographs of artefacts from the period are married with humorous artwork to bring the workers of the era to life. The book includes quiz questions, and an extensive glossary and index.

Your Breathtaking Lungs and Rocking Respiratory System (Your Brilliant Body) by Paul Mason

This attention-grabbing book is well designed to ensure children's interest is immediately captured by the amazing science facts that introduce each topic. It then goes on to explain how scientifically this is possible. The illustrative matter is good, with detailed diagrams and superb photos. The book looks in depth at the structure of the lungs and the process of breathing. The Your Brilliant Body series includes: 'See for Yourself' features - practical activities that help readers understand key ideas; amazing fact panels to intrigue the reader; advice on keeping in good shape, and warnings about common health problems.

Emmeline Pankhurst (History VIPs) by Kay Barnham

The life of Emmeline Pankhurst is fascinating - and how much we owe her. She attended her first women's rights demonstration at the age of 10 and that was the start of a lifetime's work. The book takes readers from her early campaigns for the rights of women to vote, through the formation of the Women's Social and Political Union, to the triumph following the First World War of the granting of rights for women. The wider role played by women in Victorian and Edwardian society is shown by the book. Key to the presentation is the fact that children will learn to draw conclusions from the evidence provided - a great basis for classroom discussion. History VIP biographies each look at the life of a famous Briton telling the stories of these Very Important People with clear, lively text. Amazing facts are added with feature panels and graphic-style illustrations give visual information of the time and society the VIP lived in. With these key biographies students learn how individual people's actions have shaped the course of history.

Manchester United (Big Business) by Adam Sutherland

This is bound to capture children's interest and they will enjoy the insight this gives into such a well-known brand. This title takes an in-depth look at Manchester United and the business behind one of the most well-known football brands in the industry. From small beginnings, this club has found international success and a global fan base. the book shows how the business came into being, the successes and failures over the years, key facts about the industry and its impact on the global market. It's a really interesting read and a good way to show children that business can be fascinating. Ideal for budding young entrepreneurs with an eye for opportunity! A brilliant read for Manchester United and football fans keen to find out how the business behind the brand works.

Razia's Ray of Hope: One Girl's Dream of an Education by Elizabeth Suneby

This book is an excellent way to stimulate discussion and to show children how fortunate they are to receive a good education. It is the story of Razia's dream of getting an education and attending a new school in her village in Afghanistan. She must persuade her father and brother it is a good idea? When she learns that a girls' school is being built just down the road from her home, she is filled with hope... Exploring the themes of education, war, poverty and cultural traditions, this is a compelling story of one girl's aspirations to go to school in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime. It is a moving account of how she finally persuades her father and older brother to let her go. It's touching and perceptive and really brings home to us the value of things we accept as our right.

Where on Earth? Rainforests by Susie Brooks

This colourful and picture-filled book really makes geography interesting, with succinctly presented information and plenty of fascinating facts. Find out where you can drive through a tree; which is the only animal that can crack a Brazil nut and where to find the world's stinkiest flower. Go on a journey through the world's rainforests, from the Amazon rainforest to Costa Rica, answering questions such as why on Earth does it rain so much? Where are there forests in the clouds? And how can a tree cure disease? Many of the facts are presented in fact boxes, which makes for an attractive layout that is easily read and remembered. There's an excellent index and glossary as well a a useful further information section.

Vincent van Gogh (In the Picture With) by Iain Zaczek

This title looks at the life and works of Vincent van Gogh; it's good size means that the many reproductions of his paintings are generously sized so children can really appreciate these masterpieces. The paintings discussed include Sunflowers, Starry Night, The Artist's Bedroom in Arles, The Night Café, The Potato Eaters, Portrait of Père Tanguy and Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear. It looks at the techniques and colour palette that van Gogh used in these works, encouraging readers to look more closely at the interesting elements of each painting. It also includes a timeline of his life, information on museums and galleries where his work is currently displayed and a chance for readers to use what they have learned to make their own painting in the style of Vincent van Gogh. The approach is friendly and accessible and the layout is extremely attractive, making the book a real pleasure to read.

Bonkers Boffins, Inventors & other Eccentric Eggheads (Barmy Biogs) by Paul Mason

Children will really enjoy this humorous and light-hearted approach which introduces some very strange characters from history. Find out which world-famous inventor's last breath has been captured in a test tube, which boffin loved nothing more than a roasted armadillo for lunch, and which scientist fell in love with a pigeon. It's all very entertaining and along the way, children will pick up plenty of useful factual information. The books in the Barmy Biogs series are full of the facts that history books don't mention about some of the most famously crackpot characters in world history! Read them and history will never be the same again...

Child Soldier: When boys and girls are used in war by Jessica Dee Humphreys

This exceptional book really brings home to us the plight of children forced to take part in wars which they do not understand. Michel Chikwanine was only five-years-old when he was abducted from outside his school by rebel soldiers in The Democratic Republic of Congo. Child Soldier tells the story of his happy life before the abduction, his time with the rebel militia, his escape from their clutches and finally the worsening situation and growing unrest for Michel and his family and his eventual immigration to Canada with his mother. By discussing this story and the accompanying information, we can help our children understand and take their stand against war in the future. It's very well told, and the personal perspective has a big impact.

Science (Amazing Jobs) by Colin Hynson

This is one in an excellent series that encourages children in KS2 to look at the range of jobs that may be open to them in the future; they provide a good incentive for children to make the most of their learning opportunities. Readers will discover the amazing array of jobs within the field of science that they never knew existed. From the exoplanet hunters who use powerful telescopes to look for planets orbiting stars, to the forensic scientists who help detectives by using forensic chemistry to link suspects to crime scenes. Read about the academic and vocational routes you can take to reach these jobs and how to get ahead in these exciting professions whilst you are at school and college. I really like the way this series is ideal for younger readers than the average 'career' book - and it certainly puts the world of work in an excellent light!

Infomania: Awesome records, top 10s and facts by Jon Richards

Totally fascinating! This excellently laid out book makes the most of infographics, colour and clear layout techniques to bring us a book which is jam-packed with information so well presented that it never becomes overwhelming. From awesome record-breakers to amazing Top 10s and fascinating facts on the fastest, tallest and most exciting things out there, Infomania has it all. Includes information on an amazing array of topics, including the biggest bugs, longest sleepers, killer creature, longest survivors, super strong, iconic art, melodic music, driest places, oldest buildings, biggest bridges, distant worlds and size of the Universe, to name just a few topics in this fact-filled book. I love the presentation, which makes the book really addictive - children will want to read just one more page... It's a good way to encourage children to investigate school and homework topics in more detail.

Get the Measure: Units and measurements (Maths is Everywhere) by Rob Colson

This book is an excellent way to help children put measurements of all types into context. It explores many aspects of measurement from the size of an atom or how to calculate a country's coastline to finding out the speed limit of the universe or how a computer tells the time. It explores all the different measures we use for lengths, areas, volumes and speeds, and shows how to calculate them. By putting measurements into real-life situations, children will understand more easily, and it's a fun way to approach what could be a rather dry maths topic. A great way to stimulate interest. The book is part of the Maths is Everywhere series, which demystifies all aspects of maths and shows how it relates to your everyday world with fun, colourful graphics. These are fantastic books for children aged nine plus who are studying maths, or for anyone who wants to get to grips with maths in a fun way.

I love this tree: Discover the life, beauty and importance of trees by Anna Claybourne

Trees are vital - they shape our landscape and are inestimably valuable in creating habitats for all sorts of creatures. Help children appreciate their importance through this fascinating book which looks at the life of an old living deciduous tree and through it explores the amazing life of a tree and the creatures that inhabit it. Using a well-planned mixture of photos and artwork the book shows how the tree has changed and how it acts as a habitat for other life. The presentation of the book is superb - it's stunningly laid out and illustrated and the facts are fascinating and absorbing in their level of detail. It will really make young readers appreciate the beauty of trees and would make a super basis for classroom topic work and outdoor activity.

Sewing (Get Into) by Jane Marland

Probably not a particularly popular hobby, but hopefully the colourful and straightforward projects in this book will inspire children. It goes right back to basics with clear well-illustrated instructions and helpful illustrations, showing children how to sew from scratch and create awesome colourful projects. The book includes eleven fantastic sewing projects, from bunting to a cushion cover and even a tote bag. Each project will introduce a new technique for you to practise and includes a variation to try once you've mastered the skill. The Get Into series is designed to get kids excited about being creative. Fun, easy to follow and with colourful illustrations and photography, each book is a comprehensive introduction to a popular hobby. It's a great series for use in school clubs and after school activities.

Children Growing Up With War by Jenny Matthews

Photojournalist Jenny Matthews takes our children on an unforgettable and emotional journey through the lives of children affected by war. This book takes a very personal approach as Jenny recalls some of her most memorable assignments, and the people and children she encountered along the way. The book features photographs with a human and environmental message from some of the world's war-torn hotspots - with a focus on children. The photographs are structured around key themes relating to children's lives and their rights. It really showcases the plight - and, often, the resilience, of these children and it's really important that our children learn about this. The supporting text voices Jenny's reactions to what she has seen and gives information about how children have been affected by war in specific conflicts. It also relates the background to wars and conflicts, case studies, key child-related facts, a map and website links. An excellent way to stimulate discussion - and compassion.

Why Do Zebras Have Stripes? Questions and Answers About Animals (Science FAQs) by Thomas Canavan

Q&A books are a popular approach for children, as they identify the sort of questions children ask, and then respond in a friendly and informative way. And this book is no exception, answering questions such as "Do animals have belly-buttons? Can birds sleep in mid-air? Which animal has the longest teeth?" The lively presentation, bold colours and excellent images combine to make a really appealing book, packed with all sorts of interesting information. Bitesize chunks of information mean this book is full of stuff you've never even thought of on everything that is unique or impressive about the world we live in. Science FAQs is a series of 6 books that answer questions on everything from black holes plant-eating insects in a fun and engaging way.

The Human Body (My Infographic Sticker Activity Book) by Jo Dearden

This interactive journey around the human body is a really good way to help children remember the facts about the body. It includes more than 200 stickers and printed on high-quality paper that's perfect to colour in with felt-tips or crayons.; it's good quality and as well as the stickers and activities, it is full of factual information. Children can build a skeleton out of stickers, discover what goes as fast as a high-speed train, and find out how many supertankers your heart could fill with blood. The book is excellently presented - it's value as an information book is high, and even when the activities are complete, it will serve as a useful reference guide for KS2 science.

Christmas (Origami Festivals) by Robyn Hardyman

Combining information about Christmas and the story behind it with crafts adds an interesting extra dimension. The attractive book shows how people around the world celebrate Christmas both in church and at home. Attractively designed, its simple text combines well with full-colour photos. The origami activities are clearly explained with step-by-step illustrations. Perfect for children to create personal gifts and decorations. The book is part of the Origami Festivals series, which bring religious festivals to life through origami art. Each festival is examined in detail, from its history to its significance today and the manner in which people worldwide celebrate it. Origami craft activities engage the reader in each festival and add a fun art and design element to the series. A religious and interactive craft series for children aged 9+.

Warriors, Exploration and Trade (Discover the Vikings) by John C. Miles

This book explores the Viking world by examining - among other things - longships that were designed especially for fighting, the places they travelled to in order to populate new lands or trade goods such as silver and slaves, and the gods they worshiped to give them victory in battle or ensure a glorious afterlife. It showcases the craftsmanship and ingenuity of the Vikings excellently, helping to give children a real insight into their world. The presentation of the book is particularly attractive, with its crisp, clean layout which really helps the reader navigate the book. The book also invites readers to use their own imaginations to think about what it would be like to live in Viking times. Would you have been brave enough to take part in a battle to capture an enemy town?

Ancient China (Explore!) by Izzi Howell

The Shang dynasty ruled over ancient China for over 500 years. Readers will learn why the Shang changed capital cities, how Shang kings fought in battle, and how the Shang spoke to their gods. There are many other fascinating topics covered in the book, including dynasties and kings; how to make a Shang bronze pot; oracle bones and fortune-telling; the life of a craftsman; burial and the afterlife. Facts are clearly presented, mainly through fact boxes linked to photos and illustrations, which makes the book very appealing.

An Undercover History of Spies and Secret Agents (Blast Through the Past) by Rachel Minay

The new curriculum places emphasis on children finding out for themselves and drawing their own conclusions about historical events. This book really encourages that, with its chronological look at a fascinating variety of spies and secret agents. As they read, they can discover if they would have had what it takes to be a real life James Bond, be a mole who might wait years to become 'active in the field', send covert signals or try and overthrow the queen of England! Blast Through the Past takes a look at some of the weird jobs people in the past had to do and the skills they needed in order to explore new lands, win battles or make amazing breakthroughs in science. Get under the skin of the most famous and infamous, the cleverest and some of the the barmiest people who have shaped history.



Transglobal: Transgender then, now and around the world by Honor Head

This book is for young people aged 12+ and it supports the study of the fascinating long history of transgender around the world. The whole concept of gender identity is being increasingly challenged and words such as non-binary, pansexual, transgender, cisgender and gender dysphoria are becoming commonplace. This book explores the cultures and people of the past who have embraced, challenged or quietly subverted society's expectations about gender. It features the current stories of openly transgender people around the world in positions of power and authority, who are helping to increase recognition and acceptance of the trans community. And, as trans people often start their journeys in their teens, the book explores the experiences of some young people just at the start of their journeys. Useful and informative; a tricky issue sensitively handled.

Mary's Monster: Love, Madness and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lita Judge

This is a sumptuous looking hardback, beautifully presented with red fioling on the cover and illustrated throughout with a fantastic array dark and brooding black and white illustrations - the perfect reflection of the story. Just who was Mary Shelley, the author behind the archetypal monster? The book marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein. When her fractured bond with her beloved father, and her elopement with the mercurial (and married) poet Percy Bysshe Shelley at the age of 16, led her to Switzerland, few could have imagined the consequence would be such a book. But, in the crucible of societal disapproval and tenuous circumstances, Mary Shelley created Frankenstein, and his monster, forged in the fire of her troubled and tragic life. An amazing creation for the period and a book that has never ceased to enthrall - and horrify. Part biography, part fantasy and part feminist allegory, Mary's Monster is an engrossing take on one remarkable woman and her creation. It really is a compelling read and a book which sheds so much new light, so revealingly written. Superb

What is Consent? Why is it Important? And Other Big Questions by Louise Spilsbury and Yas Necati

Young people have many questions, but they don't always want to ask them of their adults, so this book is an excellent starting point - but when introducing it, do emphasise the importance of discussion and sharing concerns. In a clear straightforward manner, the book explores how consent works, and why it matters. It explains how consent plays a part in almost every interaction or relationship we have, and how it affects almost every area of life, from healthcare to the law. The book encourages children to think about what consent means to them, and about the importance of personal boundaries - both knowing your own, and respecting other people's. It talks about how to say no, and what to do if you feel your consent has been violated. Well written and an excellent starting point for further discussion.

Roller Coaster: In 10 Simple Steps (How to Design the World's Best) by Paul Mason

Ask students to design something they would actually like to use, and they will be much more enthusiastic - and this book does just that. Readers are asked to imagine someone has them given them a sackful of money and told them to build a roller coaster. The book starts with introductory ideas, and then goes on to outline the process in 10 steps - all looking just like a professional brief would. This is excellent, as it shows students how they should present work, whatever they are designing. The book shows how the combination of imaginative ideas and practical research can transform a fantasy design into an actual dream product. The book is very practical, showing how real-world design considerations can be applied, refining the design to make it workable and achievable as it takes shape. Work It Out boxes at every step clarify the research that needs to be done, and these are an excellent practical guide.

Banksy: Art Breaks the Rules by Hettie Bingham

Who is Banksy? Unfortunately, this book can't tell us that, as he has kept his identity a secret ever since his work was first noticed in the 1990s. He is known for his subversive, often political, stencil art and dark sense of humour. Today, he is known around the globe, not only for his art, but also for his exhibitions, film work and books. This neat little hardback book packs in a huge amount of information - Banksy's childhood, what inspires him and how he went from local graffiti artist to global fame. See some of his most iconic imagery, and find out how his art provides clues to his personality and political views. A fascinating and enlightening read about a fascinating and deep personality.

Who are Refugees and Migrants? What Makes People Leave their Homes? And Other Big Questions by Michael Rosen and Annemarie Young

This really topical book is an excellent way to introduce children to the topics of refugees and migration, to ensure that they are informed, unbiased, and can form opinions based on accurate facts. It explores the history of refugees and migration around the world and the effects on people of never-ending war and conflict. It compares the effects on society of diversity and interculturalism with historical attempts to create a racially 'pure' culture. With an international perspective, it offers a range of views from people who have personal experience of migration. The book includes a role-play activity asking readers to imagine themselves in the situation of having to decide whether to leave their homes and seek refuge in a new country. This is really valuable, as it encourages pupils to really think about the implications of war, refugees and immigration. Part of the groundbreaking and important 'And Other Big Questions' series, which offers balanced and considered views on the big issues we face in the world we live in today.

Illustrated Compendium of Birds by Virginie Aladjidi and Emmanuelle Tchoukriel

This lovely book has a definite retro feel to it, and as such, I think it will appeal across the age ranges. It is produced on heavy cream paper with beautifully detailed coloured drawings of over eighty different types of birds from all over the world - some exotic, others more familiar. They are classified by species, which makes it less than ideal for identifying birds, rather it is a book to enjoy to admire the beauty of the natural world. The illustrations recall the style used by naturalists and explorers such as Charles Darwin and John James Audubon. There is detailed text accompanying each bird; this includes their size, their song and a good description. A beautiful book.

20th Century Russia: A Century of Upheaval by Heather Maisner

This book examines the impact of the Russian Revolution in 1917, reflecting on the reasons for the revolution, key people, events and its legacy. Perfect for the KS3 history curriculum, as the curriculum requires, it takes its evidence from archive photography, posters, artefacts and eyewitness accounts, so pupils learn to use and understand source material. The book focuses on, not just political leaders, but also ordinary people, making history seem more relevant to today's students. It explores the roles of the Bolsheviks, the Mensheviks and the secret police, and it also looks at the arts, education, family life, sport, and the revolution's impact on global politics and cultural attitudes. The book discusses change in the context of the many wars that took place, and explores Perestroika and Glasnost and how 21st-century Russia emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union. A comprehensive book, packed with authoritative information.

Sex and relationships (Healthy for Life) by Anna Claybourne

The information is clearly presented in a factual, matter-of-fact way, which makes the book excellent as the basis for provoking further discussion. It explores what sex is and what it's for, examines sexuality and identity, what healthy relationships are like and tackles modern-day issues that confront teenagers such as sexting and online pornography. The writing style is perfect for young teens - it is down-to-earth, with a real understanding conveyed of the issues faced, and how to manage situations. It is part of the series Healthy for Life, which gives factual information on a range of health issues so teens can get the information they need to be healthy. The books feature fun infographic style illustrations.

Minecraft (Big Brands) by Chris Martin

Encourage students to find out how business works by letting them learn about an iconic brand that will be familiar to them. They will learn how Mojang, the makers of Minecraft, grew from a small tech start-up into a gaming company worth $2.5 billion in under 10 years. They will discover some of the brightest business minds behind Mojang's meteoric rise and take a look at what the future might hold for Minecraft under Microsoft's ownership. This is a fascinating look at Mojang, and the gaming industry as a whole. The Big Brands series delves deep into the amazing stories behind the world's most iconic businesses - their business plan and marketing strategy, and how they present themselves to consumers through logos and advertising campaigns. It is an excellent way to show pupils the world of big business.


Bitra and the Witch (Viking Adventures) by Andy Elkerton

The Viking period is an exciting time in history and a good way to get childfren to develop a love for history. Viking Adventures are thrilling stories that nicely blend the historical facts with plenty of excitement. Boy hero Oolaf is on another quest for adventure. This time he meets a girl named Bitra, who leads him to a terrible Sea Witch... The highly visual presentation of this first chapter book is pitched perfectly for 6-8 years olds and will provide good background reading to the study of the period.

The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen

This is a beautifully written biography which really tugs at the heartstrings - and makes us all the more aware of the plight of refugees at any period in history. Lisa Jura was a musical prodigy who hoped to become a concert pianist - until Hitler's armies advanced on pre-war Vienna, and her parents chose to send gifted Lisa to London for safety (although her siblings had to remain). A memoir of courage, survival, and the power of music to uplift the human spirit, this compelling tribute to one special young woman and the lives she touched will both educate and inspire young readers. Based on the true story of a 14 year old girl Lisa Jura, who had to flee her home in Vienna and rebuild her life in London, the story brings home the reality of the Holocaust to readers aged 12 and up. A moving story of hope and courage.

Little Red Riding Hood: Le Petit Chaperon Rouge: English and French fairy tale (Dual Language Readers)

This is an excellent way to introduce French, as children will already know the story, giving them a headstart on recognising the words.The English text appears first on each two page spread, with the French underneath in alighter font, and using the French convention fr inverted commas. Colourful illustrations help to tell the story, and puzzles and activities enable teachers to check understanding.

Dragon's Hiccups: Independent Reading Orange 6 (Reading Champion) by Jenny Jinks and Martin Remphry

Oh dear! Dimpy the dragon has hiccups - and dragon hiccups mean breathing fire! Her freinds try to help her but nothing work, leading to all sorts of problems. Luckily, there is a solution to end this entertaining story. Engaging artwork and reading activiies add to thetvalue of this lovely story. Independent Reading: Orange stories are perfect for children aged 5+ who are reading at book band 6 (Orange) in classroom reading lessons. Each book has been carefully graded so that it can be matched to a child's reading ability, encouraging reading for pleasure.

Finding Winnie: The Story of the Real Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Lindsay Mattick and Sophie Blackall

Before Winnie-the-Pooh, there was a real bear called Winnie, who was the inspiration behind probably the best-loved bear ever. In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a vet, was on his way to tend horses in World War I. He followed his heart and rescued a baby bear who he named Winnie, and he took her to war. Harry Colebourn's real-life great-granddaughter tells the true story of a remarkable friendship and an even more remarkable journey - from the fields of Canada to an army base in England. And then to London Zoo, where Winnie made another new friend - a boy named Christopher Robin. It's touchingly told and gives a fascinating insight into all that Winnie experienced before finding herself in the safety of London Zoo - with a very special friend. Great to know that this lovely book was the well-deserved winner of the 2016 Caldecott Medal. It is beautifully illustrated, in effective muted tones.

Oolaf the Hero (Viking Adventures) by Andy Elkerton

Oolaf is desperate to be like his dad and go on an adventure... but he is too small, so adventure must come to him. An engaging mix of fantasy and history is an excellent way to stimulate an interest in the Vikings, as Ooolaf and his friends as he stirrs up trouble in the Viking village and suddenly a simple joke becomes something far more dangerous... The Viking Adventures series are vividly colour illustrated first chapter books, pitched perfectly for 6-8 year olds.

Feeling Jealous (Feelings and Emotions) by Kay Barnham

This book provides an excellent way to help children understand their emotions, and gives plenty of opportunities for parents and teachers to develop conversation and sharing of thoughts about jealousy. This story follows the day of one small boy who tries to help friends and family who are feeling jealous, but then ends up feeling jealous himself and having to follow his own advice. Illustrating scenarios of why people get angry will help readers to identify their feelings and work out the best way to deal with this emotion. It is suitable for children aged 4 - 8.

Making Friends: Emily learns about tolerance (British Values) by Deborah Chancellor and Elif Balta Parks

When Emily makes friends with her neighbour, Amira, she feels Amira is very different - she goes to the mosque and sometimes speaks a different language. Can Emily and Amira become friends despite their families' differences? A gentle introduction to the theme of tolerence, this story explores prejudice and how we should have respect for those with different faiths and beliefs and respect other cultures. British Values are, quite understandably, very high on the agenda at the moment, and it's something that needs to be instilled in the youngest of children, so this is a practical and topical series.

Viking Kong (EDGE: Tommy Donbavand's Funny Shorts)

What do you get when you cross a monster Viking baby who won't stop growing, two kids, a Viking clan and a very big stinky nappy? This book of course! Hold on to your nose as Erik and Freya battle to keep Olf under control, feed him and stop him crying (because he floods the village). Tommy Donbavand's Funny Shorts is a series of hilarious full-colour, rip-roaring reads for kids that will have them bawling with laughter. They are perfect to encourage reluctant readers.

Bob's Cab: Independent Reading Red 2 (Reading Champion) by Sue Graves and Michael Emmerson

In this story, Bob stops to pick up lots of passengers and their animals...but his cab gets very full! Reading Champion offers independent reading books for children to practise and reinforce their developing reading skills; at the heart of the series is really good fiction that children will take pleasure in reading. Each book has been carefully graded so that it can be matched to a child's reading ability, encouraging reading for pleasure; a reading activity helps learning. Independent Reading Red 2 stories are perfect for children aged 4-5 who are reading at book band 2 (Red) in classroom reading lessons.

Dad Gets the Cat (Independent Reading Pink 1A) by Sue Graves and Mike Byrne

The naughty cat is always in trouble - and it's Dad who has to rescue her in this simple early reader which is accompanied by hunorous illustrations. Reading Champion offers independent reading books for children to practise and reinforce their developing reading skills. Fantastic, original stories are accompanied by engaging artwork and a reading activity. Each book has been carefully graded so that it can be matched to a child's reading ability, encouraging reading for pleasure. Independent Reading Pink 1A stories are perfect for children aged 4+ who are reading at book band 1A (Pink) in classroom reading lessons.

Sid's Red Car (Tiddlers) by Hilary Robinson

This lively story with cartoon-style illustrations is a good way to encourage children to enjoy books. Every time that Sid drives off in his car, he hears squeaks. Whatever can be causing all the noise? Perhaps Mummy Cat has an idea! Perfect for children aged 4+ who are reading at book band red. The Tiddlers series features fun stories with a word count of fewer than 50 words for children who are just starting to read. A word list at the beginning of the story allows for a quick check of the reader's ability to read and understand words before reading, and a puzzle at the end of the story encourages rereading for pleasure.

Ninja (EDGE HERO: Immortals) by Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore

Just imagine that you are a highly trained ninja and when your village is attacked by a warlord called Raiden, only you can stop him. Well, with this interactive book, the reader really does put themselves in that position. In this action-packed series of books, the reader makes choices all the way through that affect how the story progresses. It's an excellent way to get children - and especially reluctant readers - to really engage with books. It also ensures that they are reading and understanding what they read.

The Lion and the Mouse (Must Know Stories: Level 1) by Jackie Walter

When Mouse wakes up Lion, Lion is about to eat him up, but Mouse convinces Lion to let him go. The Lion did not believe that Mouse could ever help him, but one day, Lion really needs Mouse. This beautifully illustrated retelling of a favourite Aesop fable is told in carefully selected language and it's a great way to introduce children to the story. Must Know Stories includes favourite tales, celebrating the diversity of our literary heritage. Level 1 stories are told in under 500 words, for children to read independently. The series perfectly fulfils the curriculum requirement of reading stories from different cultures, and reading fables and traditional tales.

Aye-Aye Captain! Pirates Can Be Polite (Pirates to the Rescue) by Tom Easton

When Captain Cod decides he has had enough of his crew's rudeness, they find that they have to change their ways if they want help to avoid the ship being overrun by a band of Rotten Pirates. All it needs is one word, and the Captain comes to their rescue with a very clever idea. The notes for discussion at the end of the book are excellent and give a good opening for making sure children appreciate the importance of good manners. Learning it from a lively and humorous story like this is ideal. The books in the 'Pirates to the Rescue' series are designed to help children to recognise the virtues of generosity, honesty, politeness and kindness. Reading these books with children will help them to understand that their actions and behaviour have a real effect on people around them. The books will help young readers to recognise what is right and wrong and what to do when faced with difficult choices. An excellent series, pitched perfectly for its audience.

Cactus Joe's Cowboy Caper (Race Ahead With Reading) by Sam Hay

This fun and engaging story with its lively full colour illustrations, is ideal to show children just how enjoyable reading is. When giant tumbleweeds blow into town, Cactus Joe and his friend Little Bo have lots of fun playing dodgeball. But then Little Bo gets trapped in a tumbleweed and it takes off! Cactus Joe knows he needs help to rescue Little Bo - so he asks his Uncle for some magic cactus juice - the problem is you never know quite what it's going to do! It's a really lovely story - children are bound to enjoy it! Race Ahead with Reading is the perfect introduction to reading chapters with brand new page turning reads in five short bite size chapters, to encourage children to take the driving seat with their reading. An excellent series.

The Terrifying Teacher (Race Further with Reading) by Claire O'Brien

Horrible Histories meets Wimpy Kid in these really funny stories which mismatch characters with careers. The stories are colour chapter books perfect for the independent reader. Mr Bloodaxe is not like any other teacher at school, he is quite simply, terrifying! He has a marked resemblance to a famous Viking of the same name and his lessons are definitely strange! A hilarious story which will be really enjoyed by children. Race Further with Reading is a series designed to build reading confidence with illustrated stories in manageable bite-size chapters, which encourage a sense of achievement at completing each one. They follow on a level from the Race Ahead with Reading series with stories of 2,000 words. The books are perfect for children aged 6-8 or who read book band 11.

Monster Movie (EDGE: Monsters Like Us) by Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore

Another fun book from popular pairing Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore, who really do know just what will appeal to children. Classmates Sam, Lin and Danny are making a monster movie and they want it to be really scary... and they certainly succeed! The graphic style of this book is ideal for reluctant and struggling readers, with its high ratio of picture to text; the colourful illustrations really capture the attention and go a long way towards telling the story.

Aesop: The Hare and the Tortoise & The Fox and the Goat (First Graphic Readers)

This hardback book is an excellent introduction to Aesop's Fables, with its simple text and vibrantly coloured pictures. It will really enthuse children for the fables and encourage them to progress to more detailed re-tellings in the future. Who will have the last laugh in The Hare and the Tortoise? Plus find out why trusting too easily can cause problems in The Fox and the Goat. First Graphic Readers is an original approach to well known fables,for very young readers. Here are much loved, read again stories in a form proven to entice emergent readers. Beautiful artwork accompanies clear narrative text in art panels and direct speech in speech bubble, giving readers an introduction to reading in comic form. Each book contains two stories and has two different illustration styles to help differentiate the stories and give a compendium feel. The books also include puzzles and a story quiz.

Night of the Toddlers (EDGE: Tommy Donbavand's Funny Shorts)

A mad scientist called Professor Troppy has invented 'Born Again' cream, which promised to keep people young... but it turns out to make them a bit TOO young! And it's very catching! What are you going to do when your parents become toddlers? Phone the police - they're toddlers. Call the army - they're toddlers. Even the Royal Family are toddlers! Luckily, Bobby and Gail, are so unloved that nobody has hugged them so they haven't been affected... A hilarious story. Tommy Donbavand's Funny Shorts is a series of colour illustrated, chapter-based readers published by Franklin Watts EDGE designed to get kids reading with confidence.

Sign in