Book reviews - Raintree Books (Page 1)

The range of books published by Raintree Publishers just has to be seen to be believed. Below are reviews for just some of the books published from 2011 to 2016 - generally, one example from a series is reviewed. To see the full range, please visit the Raintree site. 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 contain fact boxes clearly laid out to make reading a pleasure. Every non fiction book includes a contents page, glossary and index thereby helping pupils develop good study skills. This page also includes a small selection of Raintree fiction books ideal for classroom use. Some more Raintree fiction, including their imprint Curious Fox, can be found on our fiction pages. Most of the Raintree books I have reviewed are on this page, but please see our Olympics/sport page for more reviews.

Raintree Books - Early Learning: Big Books

Seasons by Sian Smith

Big Books are spectacular and really capture children's attention. To see a group of young children lying on the floor absorbed in one is a lovely sight. They are wonderful for class teaching as everyone is able to see the book and enjoy sharing and discussing what they can see and read. This book brings together the four books in the Seasons series. and the text is kept simple. Words in bold are explained in the picture glossary and there are questions to engage children.A great way to introduce children to information texts and to explain how to use them.

Opposites by Penny West

This big book takes a simple look at something children encounter every day. The big book format means that the excellent photography is really seen to advantage and there are plenty of stimulating questions; the large format means it is easy to make this a whole-class activity. The book makes good use of coloured fact and question boxes and the layout is simple and clear. At the end of the book is a list of opposites, all with pictures, and there is also a quiz.

My Five Senses (These Are My Senses) Joanna Issa

This is a very simple book with minimal text and plenty of photos, all very attractively laid out. These books are a real asset to any Early Years setting - try using one as part of a display; the sheer size will draw attention! And the photos in this book are particularly stunning, with many being full page. Each of the books includes a simple index plus some very practical tips for teachers and parents on getting the most from the books.

Raintree Books - Early Learning and Picture Books

Teasing Isn't Funny: Emotional Bullying (No More Bullies) by Melissa Higgins

We all know that bullying can take many forms and this useful series from Raintree helps to raise children's awareness of some of the forms of bullying. Jesse and the other animals at the bus stop make fun of Kelly's fluffy fur and plain clothes; the use of animals rather than children allows for a less personal approach, so children don't feel 'got at'. The constant teasing makes Kelly the cat feel sad; as they are read the story, children watch Kelly struggle with the teasing and learn safe ways to make it stop. Sensitive illustrations of gender-neutral animal characters help all children relate to the issue of emotional bullying. It's well-handled and very effective - look out for the whole series. Perfect for the classroom.

Little Bo Peep and Her Bad, Bad Sheep: A Mother Goose Hullabaloo by A.L. Wegwerth

These twisted versions of fairytales are always fun and this one is no exception. Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep - so far, it's just as you'd expect. But in this humorous picture book lots of other nursery rhyme characters make an appearance, and children will love seeing how many they can spot. Bo Peep's sheep meet so many favourite characters in the pages of this wonderfully illustrated book, which is simply packed with detail. I am sure children will find something or someone new every time they read it. 20 traditional nursery rhymes are included at the end of this brilliant, havoc-filled book.

We Just Had A Baby by Stephen Krensky

A new baby in the house can take a lot of getting used to for the older sibling, especially when everyone thinks that whatever the baby does is amazing! So often the older one feels left out and this amusing picture book tells us just how the older sibling feels. It's wry and witty and will appeal to grown-ups too, who will enjoy sharing it with the older child and making sure he has a bit of special time to himself. .

Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson

Rabbit loves carrots and he likes to collect as many as possible. But there's a problem - he has so many carrots, there's no room in his house. So he tries to move in with friends, and unwittingly causes chaos. Rabbit is concerned for his friends, so he realises there is only one solution - after all, carrots are for sharing not for saving. With some lovely animal characters, this book takes an entertaining look at friendship and helping others out.

A Baby's Guide to Surviving Mum (Baby Survival Guides) by Benjamin Bird

This book will be enjoyed by adults and children with its quirky take on life with a new baby. It's the first-ever survival guide to help baby take on the dangers of Mum; babies don't come with instructions, so here's a baby's view on how to look after the new addition. Little ones will laugh out loud as parents read about (and recreate) these dangers, while adults will enjoy the wry humour and survival guide parody of this delightfully illustrated book.

Busy Little Dinosaurs by Betty Schwartz and Lynn Seresin

This colourful board book has plenty to engage young children. Rhythmic text flows through the book as we join in with the playful dinosaurs during a fun-filled day at school. The letters are introduced by means of coloured text within the main text as well as by upper and lower case letters on each page. For added interest, each spread has a texture and a peep-through die-cut hole.

Poppy's Puppy (Perfectly Poppy) by Michele Jakubowski

This is a charming series for young children learning to read and there are plenty of Poppy's adventures to enjoy. Poppy always finds the bright side of life, even when things don't quite go to plan, so she's a positive and appealing character. In this story, she has persuaded her parents to get her a puppy - luckily best friend Millie is on hand to help out with all the work!

Time Together Me and Grandma by Maria Catherine

A delightful celebration of all the fun times children share with their grandmas. All sorts of grandmas and grandchildren are found between the covers of this book as they enjoy gardening, shopping, playing cards and all manner of other activities together. A lovely book to share.

Ten Playful Tigers: A Touch-and-Feel Counting Book (Curious Fox: Touch and Feel Board Books) by Betty Ann Schwartz

One, two,three, how many tigers can you see? This gloriously tactile book encourages young ones to poke their fingers through the die cut holes and feel the soft tiger skin at the end of the book. Count along as one little tiger turns into ten playful tigers and share the simple text together in this early counting book. This touch and feel counting board book is perfect for toddlers and there's an extra treat at the end as you turn back through the book - clever.

I Can Share (Me and My Friends) by Daniel Nunn

Always an important topic with young children, the simple text in this book is ideal for sharing when - or before - the issue of sharing arises. The levelled text with repeated use of high frequency words is ideal for beginner readers and the heavy emphasis on illustrations helps get the message across as well as engaging the reader.

Alphabet Fun: Making Letters With Your Body (Early Years) by Isabel Thomas

Each letter of the alphabet is shown with both lower and upper case letters for children to copy the shape. It's a great way to link literacy learning with a physical activity. Each letter is made by one, two or three children and children can extend the activity by finding their own ways to make letter shapes. There are useful suggestions for parents and teachers at the end. Simple suggestions that can be used without needing any equipment, this is a perfect book for any childcare setting or for fun learning at home.

ABC At the Shops (Everyday Alphabet) by Rebecca Rissman

A colourful ABC of some of the many things children can spot in the shops - fruit and vegetables feature heavily but there are lots of other everyday items too. An Alphabet runs along the top of every page, with the appropriate letter highlighted, and snippets of information are given about each object. The superb colour photography is really eye-catching. At the end of the book, children are encouraged to compile their own ABC. ABC at the Park (Everyday Alphabet), ABC at Home (Everyday Alphabet) and ABC in Nature (Everyday Alphabet) are the rest of the books in this series.

Ladybirds (Creepy Crawlies - Rhyme Along) by Sian Smith

The combination of catchy rhyming text and brilliant colour photos makes this series a winner! Eye-catching design frames the wonderful photography, which show ladybirds in all their colourful glory. Among the other titles to enjoy are Bees (Creepy Crawlies) , Dragonflies (Creepy Crawlies)  and Centipedes (Creepy Crawlies) - the whole series is perfect for those Foundation Stage topics on minibeasts - a perennially favourite topic for young children! And you can be sure the information is accurate as an expert from the BBC Natural History Unit has been consulted.

Counting At Home (I Can Count - Rhyme Along) by Rebecca Rissman

Encourage children to look around them, spot familiar objects and then count them. The text highlights the number and this is reinforced by the number line at the top of every page. Big bright photos will capture the attention of young readers, who will enjoy counting the colourful objects. Counting at the Park (I Can Count!)Counting in the Forest (I Can Count!) and  Counting in the Sea (I Can Count!)

Inside or Outside: Where's Eddie? (Hide and Seek) by Daniel Nunn

This series introduces children to a series of concepts which they need to understand but which can be hard to grasp. Daniel Nunn is an experienced children's author who explains the concepts simply, as children are asked to spot Eddie the Elephant in a range of places and decide if he is inside or outside. The books are generously sized, making them good to share for reading aloud and in the classroom. The cartoon character of Eddie against the photos makes a pleasing contrast. Other books cover Front and Behind, Left or Right, Near or Far and On or Under.


Raintree Books - Key stage 1 (KS1)


Diggers (Little Pebble: Construction Vehicles at Work) by Mira Vonne

Big vehicles are a source of amazement to young children, so they will enjoy the simple text and colourful photographs in this attractive book. The first part of the book shows readers the various parts of the digger with labelled diagrams. The second part show the machines at work. Short sentences are easy for beginner readers, and they will enjoy reading this book for themselves.

Red Foods (Little Pebble: Colourful Foods) by Martha E. H. Rustad

It's good for the youngest children to learn about food and healthy eating, and this colourful book is just right to stimulate discussion. It is divided into four sections - red foods, red fruit, red vegetables and red meals. Ask children what red food they can think of, before you open the book, then see how many of the foods they can name. With a glossary, index, and read more and websites sections, this is an ideal example of an early non-fiction book.

Edinburgh (Young Explorer: Capital Cities of the United Kingdom) by Chris Oxlade

One of a series which covers the four capital cities, this is an excellent way for children to learn about cities. The book looks at the history of Edinburgh, what it looks like, famous places, celebrations and much more. The layout is very clear and straightforward for young readers; headings are in large text and the remainder of the text is a good size; glossary words are in bold. The informative text uses simple language, and the colourful photos are well labelled to add to the information value.

Rabbits (Pebble Plus: Woodland Wildlife) by G.G. Lake

We might see rabbits racing away from danger on the forest floor, their bobbing white tails probably all we see. But there is more to rabbits than escaping predators, as this engaging book shows. Learn about their life cycle, diet, and appearance through simple text in short, easy-to-read sentences. Superb colour photos make the best of the large format of the book and children will really enjoy these.

Asking Questions and Finding Solutions (Pebble Plus: Working Scientifically) by Riley Flynds

Children are expected to know, not just the answers, but how those answers have been reached. This is a discipline that needs instilling from a young age and this excellent book is the ideal way to do this. It shows children the importance of asking questions, and applying them to problems. The book shows how scientists ask questions, and concludes with a sample experiment that can be easily done. Excellent illustrations give further opportunity for adults to encourage children to ask questions and reason on problems.

Cat Behaviour (Pebble Plus: Cats, Cats, Cats) Christina Mia Gardeski

Why does a cat meow? Or purr? Or hide in boxes? Or rub against your legs? Children will be helped to understand a cat's actions and habits with this easy reading book which is packed with the most gorgeous photographs. Comprehension questions check understanding and also make good starting points for further discussion.

Octopuses (Pebble Plus: Sea Life) by Elizabeth R. Johnson

The octopus is a strange-looking creature and the superb photographs in this book will enthrall children as they see all sorts of octopuses set against colourful marine backgrounds - in one picture, the octopus is so well camouflaged he is hard to spot. Four page sections teach children about its life cycle, its environment, its food and much more. For those who want to know more, there are websites to enjoy and books for furher reading.

Pet Rabbits: Questions and Answers (Pebble Plus: Pet Questions and Answers) by Christina Gardeski

Why do rabbits have long ears? How well can rabbits see? Why do rabbits chew? Can I train my rabbit? These are just some of the questions answered in this book which is ideal for any family with a pet rabbit, or thinking about getting one. The answers are simply expressed, in short sentences and using simple vocabulary. Lovely photos accompany each question, and the book includes comprehension questions, as well as an index and glossary.

Do Goldfish Fly?: A Question and Answer Book about Animal Movements (Animals, Animals!) by Emily James

Who swings through trees? Who paddles through water? Who digs through dirt? Children will find the answers to these and many other questions in this colourful book. It's a good approach, which makes the most of children's natural inquisitiveness. Th question is posed on the right-hand page; turn the page for the answer, which shows which creature does do the action. Excellent colour photos show the creatures performing the action in question, and the text explains how they achieve it. A most attractive book; one that will really engage children.

Electricity (Pebble Plus: Physical Science) by Abbie Dunne

A complex subject is brought right down to basics to bring us an informative book for KS1 pupils just starting to learn about electricity. Simple text with short sentences and child-friendly language, along with bright photographs explain the concept of electricity, answering questions such as 'How does electricity make a light come on?' and How does electricity get from one place to another?'. The book concludes with a simple, child-friendly activity and comprehension questions, as well as a glossary and index.

Alpacas (Farm Animals) by Michelle M Hasselius

Alpacas are not the first creatures that come to mind when we think of farm animals, but it's great to see them included in a series on farm animals. As they become more popular, it is increasingly likely that children will come across them, so it's good they can learn about these creatures. Alpacas have an important role to play in farming, being valued for their fleece. With bold, full-color photos and simple, yet engaging text, readers are introduced to these woolly animals. Readers learn all about an alpaca's physical features, diet, life cycle, how they are cared for and what life is like on the farm. It's a simple approach, with attractive presentation to engage young readers.

How Do Animals Give Us Food? (From Farm to Fork: Where Does My Food Come From?) by Linda Staniford

There is an increasing emphasis in KS1 on teaching children where our food comes from, and it's good to see that children are being shown how our food gets to us. This simple introduction explains how meat is produced for us to eat, looking at how beef comes from cows. The excellent colour photos illustrate the topic well and the easy-to-read text explains the journey that the meat we eat typically has to go through to end up on our plates, without giving unnecessary detail - it's pitched just right.

Sea Anemones (First Facts: Faceless, Spineless, and Brainless Ocean Animals) by Jody Sullivan Rake

Just how can creatures without faces, limbs, bones, blood, or a brain survive? These amazing creatures are fascinating and children will really enjoy learning about many species of this beautiful ocean invertebrate which have some amazing adaptations and behaviors that help them survive. The exceptional photos really show the beauty and variety of these marine creatures. The layout of the book is excellent - I like the fact that the words in the glossary are also explained on the page they appear in the text. This is easier for young children and as their reading skills progress, they can use the glossary. There are also comprehension questions to check understanding.

Christmas in Germany (First Facts: Christmas Around the World) by Jack Manning

Of course, many of our Christmas customs come from Germany and children will enjoy spotting the familiar things as well as learning about new ones. Tinsel, candles and baked decorations called Lebkuchen hang from Christmas trees. Strings of lights decorate lampposts, houses and shops. Saint Nicholas fills children's shoes with toys and treats. Carol singers walk from house to house singing Christmas songs, and bands play in town squares. It's a good way to encourage children to talk about the things they recognise. 'Christmas Facts' give additional information and difficult words are explained on the page. There's lots in this book to extend the interest - make a Christmas tree, links to further information and a useful index.

Butterflies (Little Pebble: Little Creatures) Lisa J. Amstutz

This very simple book is perfect for children in the early stages of learning to read, with just a sentence or two on each page. It tells the story of the lifecycle of the butterfly (a popular topic for FS and KS1 children) with beautiful photos to accompany the text. A contents page, glossary and index make the book excellent to start teaching children how to use books for reference; there are also comprehension questions.

Animal Communication (Pebble Plus: Life Science) by Abbie Dunne

Why do birds sing? How do octopuses communicate? These and many other questions are answered in this colourful book. It explains that animals use sound, smell, body language and many other ways to communicate. The large format of the book means that the photos are excellent in their detail, and the simple text is ideal for young children.

How Food Gets from Farms to Shop Shelves (Here to There) by Erika L. Shores

This book covers a topic that children really need to know about - sadly, many children today don't know where their food comes from, so this book will be perfect to address that issue from a young age. Easy-to-understand text explains how food gets from farms to stores and describes the roles of the people who bring food from the farms to the supermarkets. Illustrated throughout by generously sized photos, the book is easy to understand and sets out the food chain in a way that is easy to follow, emphasising the part individual people play in the process; this means the book is excellent for work on people who help us as well as on food. Critical thinking questions, included at the end, will stimulate discussion.

England (Pebble Plus: Countries) by Christine Juarez

This is the ideal book to use to introduce children to England. It is packed with basic information, clearly and simply explained so that children can read and learn for themselves. Simple text with short sentences is found on one page and on the opposite page, there's a full page colour photo which sets the scene and which contains plenty of detail for adults and children to discuss together. Among the wide ranging topics are population, food, transport and celebrations. A glossary explains unfamiliar terms.

We All Have Different Families (Pebble Plus: Celebrating Differences) by Melissa Higgins

So many children today live in family units that are not the conventional, so it's important that they understand and accept, not just their own family unit, but the family units of their friends and wider family. With its simple text, this book does an excellent job of introducing differing families; the full-page colour photos show a range of families, each one enjoying itself, with lots pf happy smiling faces. The contents page, glossary, index and further reading are all useful in learning how to use non-fiction books.

Animal Gymnastics (Animalympics) by Isabel Thomas

Perfectly timed to coincide with the 2016 Olympic Games comes this engaging and colourful book. Who would win the Olympic gold medals if all the competitors were animals? This book looks at gymnastics and pits squirrel against mountain goat, tree frog against flea and many other interesting comparisons. Primarily intended as high-interest reads, the books in the series contain animal-related curriculum information, and allow readers countless opportunities to compare and contrast. In addition, medal tables at the back of the books tally medals won by the different animal classifications, including mammals, reptiles and birds. It's a really interesting approach and a good way to introduce lots of information in a fun way.

Planets (Space) by Martha E. H. Rustad

This colourful book is an ideal introduction to space for young readers. The text is very simple, with plenty of repetition to help children become familiar with the words. There are two or three short sentences on each page, with an excellent colour photo opposite. The photos are simple and uncluttered, perfect for young ones. The book also includes an index and a glossary.

The Story of the Kangaroo (Fabulous Animals) by Anita Ganeri

Have you ever wondered about the time some of the strange animals we now know were first discovered? Or whether people believed in these strange creatures? Some of these animals were so strange and different that they were originally thought to have been invented or made up. Learn how the kangaroo first came to people's attention - the reports of their first discovery and people's reactions to them, the search for evidence of their existence, and how they became recognised as real animals. Readers will as lo learn about the animal. Anita Ganeri is a prolific author of children's non-fiction - she knows just how to pitch her text to be right for the age of the children her books are aimed for. The books in this series take an unusual approach which makes them very interesting. The layout is colourful and clear to use.

Remembrance Day and the Poppy (Important Events in History) by Helen Cox Cannons

In KS1, children learn about celebrations and commemorations; this book takes what could be a difficult subject and explains it clearly and concisely for young children. Illustrated throughout with good colour photos, the book looks a every aspect of the day and how it is marked today. The headings are in the form of questions; this encourages children to reflect on their own knowledge before reading the answer. The questions are a good way to stimulate classroom discussion.

Light (All About Science) by Angela Royston

Raintree's All About Science series introduces simple science topics using everyday objects and situations that children can recognise in the world around them. The four titles cover different aspects of light, forces, magnetism and sound. This title looks at light: what it does, where it comes from, what materials it can pass through, shadows, reflection. It includes simple experiments so children can be helped to understand the topic. Throughout the book, clear explanations accompany the photos; these reflect the world children can see around them, helping their understanding and giving a good foundation for future learning.

Police to the Rescue Around the World by Linda Staniford

Children are fascinated by emergency vehicles of all kinds, so they will enjoy this series which shows how emergency services in different countries of the world rescue people. This title looks at the work of police around the world, including how they solve crimes and how they keep us safe. Children will learn what police carry, about water police, the animals they use and much more. The jazzy presentation of the book, with its bold colours and bright photos will have immediate appeal. Every book in the series (like most Raintree books) includes a glossary and an index to introduce young readers to these important features of non-fiction text.

The Water Cycle at Work (Water in Our World) by Rebecca Olien

Why does it rain? This title introduces readers to the water cycle and evaporation, precipitation, condensation and many other vocabulary words are defined. Good diagrams explain the concept and help understanding. Each stage of the water cycle and why it is important to humans is explained. Graphics provide additional support and there's also an activity which shows how water can be a liquid, a solid and a gas.

The First Olympics of Ancient Greece by Lisa M. Bolt Simons

Today's Olympic Games have their origin in Ancient Greece, where different city-states often fought one another in deadly battles but every four years they set aside their differences to honour the gods and compete peacefully in the Olympic Games. Learn all about the athletes, competitions, and religious ceremonies of the ancient Olympics. This little book is packed with facts, all well set out using boxes, pictures and colour to help children read and learn. The book is illustrated with a mix of drawings and photographs and includes a map of Ancient Greece.

Wales: A Benjamin Blog and His Inquisitive Dog Guide (Country Guides) by Anita Ganeri

Children of today will enjoy the presentation of these factual books, as Benjamin travels the world, accompanied by his inquisitive dog Barko, and reports back in the form of a blog. The text is well sized and the font clear, even for readers who struggle. The book is illustrated with colourful photographs which introduce the life and customs of Wales. Additional interesting snippets of information are brought to the reader through Barko's Blog-tastic Wales facts. It's an appealing format which children will enjoy. Readers can find out more as the book, like nearly all Raintree books, includes books and websites for further research.

Horses (Farm Animals) by Sheri Doyle

This large format book allows for good size photos to illustrate the various types of horses and the way they are used in our modern world - I would point out that, despite being part of the Farm Animals series, this book is more of a general introduction to horses than a book about their place on the farm. The descriptive text accompanies beautiful photos which will delight all horse lovers.

Coldest Places on the Planet (Extreme Earth) by Karen Soll

Young readers will find out what it's like to live in a very cold place as they visit cities with very cold weather and learn why the temperatures dip so low. The simple text accompanies some superb photographs of cold places and the people and creatures who live in them. A world map is found on most double page spreads and this gives information about specific cold places eg the Ice Hotel, and shows where they are in the world. This is a great feature as so often children read these facts in isolation, with no idea of where the places are. Critical thinking questions at the end of the book are very useful for teachers to discuss with their pupils.

Flowers (Celebrate Spring) by Kathryn Clay

Celebrate the coming of spring with this colourful book which introduces young readers to some of the flowers that bloom in the spring. Simple text explains the pictures, which show children enjoy the beauty of flowers. The excellent colour photos show the plants off perfectly. With a simple glossary and a list of further reading, this is an ideal early non-fiction book.

What's in a Pond? (What's In There?) by Martha E. H. Rustad

This easy to read book is an ideal one to offer learner readers who prefer to read non-fiction. Readers will discover the plants and animals living in a pond, and the book will be a good support to that popular activity pond dipping. The excellent photos and simply worded yet engaging text will help understanding and interest. The language is carefully chosen and the layout is clear and simple.

Pumpkins (Celebrate Autumn) by Erika L. Shores

It wouldn't be autumn without pumpkins appearing everywhere and this book celebrates the pumpkin through super photos which show them off in all their glory, from tiny seedling to monster. The photos also feature text labels which further understanding and help with early word recognition. Attractive layout and simple text combine with the photos to make an excellent book for beginner readers.

All About Animals in Winter (Celebrate Winter) by Martha E. H. Rustad

This series from Raintree is perfect for Reception and Year 1 children studying the seasons. The easy to read text and colourful photographs have just enough information for young children and provide a springboard for further discussion and learning. The glossary and index are a good way to teach children the basics of using fact books and finding information for themselves.

Totally Wacky Facts About Exploring Space (Mind Benders) by Emma Carlson Berne

This book is packed with weird and wonderful facts which children will love. Photos and drawings combine to present even more information - it's the sort of book that your child will love to read and repeat back to you. Although the text is reasonably simple, this book will suit more advanced readers because of the mix of font styles and colours used - the fun look will appeal to more able readers but will be confusing for the less confident.

I Want to Be a Lion by Thomas Kingsley Troupe

This interesting approach really takes the young reader inside the world of the magnificent beast as they step into Josh's life as he transforms into a lion and becomes part of a pride. They will find out about a lion's habitat, its body, senses, food and much more. Beautifully illustrated with full colour pictures across every page of the book coupled with engaging text. There are plenty of facts to be learnt as well.

Tigers: Built for the Hunt (Predator Profiles) by Julia Vogel

The stunning cover photo of this book is just one of the superb images that bring the magnificent tiger to life in this book. Using their keen eyesight, amazing sense of smell and sharp teeth and claws, tigers can stalk and kill prey twice their size. Young readers will learn what makes tigers such fearsome predators; their hunting styles to what they like to eat. Fun Facts and an Amazing but True section will fascinate readers and give them a closer look at the lives of these beautiful but deadly creatures.

Why Do Monkeys and Other Mammals Have Fur? (Animal Body Coverings) by Holly Beaumont

This simple but informative book is attractively laid out with clear text and excellent photos. Find out all about fur and how it helps monkeys keep warm and survive. Discover how fur can be used as camouflage, how fur is different on different mammals and how fur changes as mammals grow up. The index and picture glossary help children learn to use fact books to their best advantage.

Giant Pandas Are Awesome! (Awesome Asian Animals) by Megan Cooley Peterson

The larger than usual format of this book means that the superb photos are seen to full advantage and young readers get a good picture of giant pandas in their natural habitat. Readers will learn all about these hungry bears who eat up to 18 kilograms of bamboo a day. The comprehension questions are a useful extra resource for teachers. This is one of a series on Asian animals.

High-Speed Trains (All Aboard!) by Nikki Bruno Clapper

Get aboard some of the fastest trains in the world for an exciting journey. Find out where they go, how they work, and how fast these bullet trains can go. Learn more about Eurostar. maglev and the bullet trains and enjoy the super-sized colour photos which bring these exciting vehicles alive. With simple text for young readers and a detailed glossary..

Clown Fish (Sea Life) by Mari Schuh

Children will be entranced by these beautiful fish and their stunning reef homes, which are so well depicted in the large close-up photos. These eye-catching fish live in anemones for safety and food. Learn what they eat and how they survive in the big ocean.

Learning About Primary Sources (Media Literacy for Kids) by Nikki Bruno Clapper

What is a primary source? How does it compare to other types of sources? Even the youngest learners need to know the difference. Straightforward text and clear photographs give readers the tools they need to learn about primary sources and media literacy; studies today, even for younger pupils, focus very much on source material, so this is an excellent introduction. This is one in a fascinating series which introduces young children to the world of media - something they really need to learn about from a young age as it has such a huge impact on all our lives.

I Know Bigfoot (Fiction Picture Books) by Jess Bradley

This picture storybook is about Bigfoot - is he a monster or not? The narrator has met him and we learn that Bigfoot is just like you and me - he has lots of favourite things and a big family. So the young writer decides that the best way to let others know about Bigfoot is to write about him - and this is his story.

Barn Owls by Melissa Hill

Dark, quiet places like barns are these owls favourite hideouts. Just don't disturb barn owls, or they'll hiss and shriek! Learn more about these pale nighttime hunters with full colour photos, range maps, and carefully leveled text. Children can extend their learning by using the websites and further reading sections.

The Loch Ness Monster (Autobiographies You Never Thought You'd Read!) by Catherine Chambers

Who would have thought it - an autobiography of the Loch Ness Monster!  Amusingly illustrated and with simple levelled text, this is an engaging way to encourage even reluctant readers. The autobiographical style and text in the first person will also make the books work well as example of Common Core genres and text types. This is just one in an entertaining series which presents a fun "autobiography" of a popular mythical character.

People of the World (Go Go Global) by Nancy Loewen

People around the world can look very different from one another, but smiles, tears and laughter are universal. With simple, rhyming text and vibrant photographs showcasing the worlds diversity, this book supports learning about other cultures in KS1 while celebrating our global heritage. Very simple text accompanies the pictures, but the pictures virtually tell the story by themselves and they will captivate young readers.

Minibeast Body Parts (Animal Body Parts) by Clare Lewis

Children are fascinated by minibeasts - they can easily see these creatures simply by going outside, so it's easy for them to engage with them. This book makes good use of close-up photography to show children just what the creatures look like. The photos are well labelled and introduce children to the correct terminology. Descriptive text informs children and includes interesting facts which will make the subject even more interesting. The picture glossary is an excellent learning tool but I did find that the index is somewhat random in the terms that are included; this impacts on its usefulness.

Russia: A Benjamin Blog and His Inquisitive Dog Guide by Anita Ganeri

Benjamin Blog and his inquisitive dog, Barko, travel the world, exploring some of the most fascinating places. Ben posts his accounts onto his blog - an excellent reference to modern technology and information-sharing which will have immediate appeal for children. Through easy to read text and colour photos, readers will learn all about Russia; it's history, geography, cities, people, food, famous places and much more. Barko's blog-tastic facts add additional information and there is a useful fact file and glossary.

Rosa Parks and Emily Davison (Comparing People from the Past) by Nick Hunter

This interesting series brings together famous people from different eras who have achievements in common. It fits in perfectly with the new KS1 curriculum and gives children an excellent opportunity to look at the similarities and differences between great achievers. These two determined ladies fought for what they believed in - their rights. Emily Davison fought to make women equal with men; Rosa Parks, to make African Americans equal to white Americans. With fascinating contemporary photos on every page, and simple text, this is ideal for the library or classroom.

William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee (Comparing People from the Past) by Nick Hunter

A notable addition to the KS1 history curriculum is the comparison of famous people from the past, so this new series is a perfect match, bringing together two key figures in one book. These two people had a huge impact on the way we communicate - Caxton and printing; Tim Berners-Lee and the internet, so it's fascinating and revealing for children to compare their impact. Easy to read and well illustrated - perfect for KS1. It is often hard to find information about these people at the right level for KS1, so teachers will really appreciate the series.

Pirate Kit (Pirates Ahoy!) by Rosalyn Tucker

Children find pirates fascinating and this landscape format highly illustrated book will have immediate appeal. There is a colourful picture on one page, faced by a few lines of text which is ideal for early readers. Each illustration has a text label and the book includes a glossary and index to help learning.

Woolly Mammoths (Ice Age Animals) by Melissa Higgins

Another generously sized landscape format book which gives children an excellent picture of these amazing creatures. With three metre long tusks and woolly coats, these creatures, who lived 10,000 years ago, were an amazing sight. Children will learn plenty of facts about mammoths as well as enjoying the pictures.

Living in a Valley (Places We Live) by Ellen Labrecque

It's good to see geography topics covered at a simple level, so that KS1 children can enjoy learning about the world around us. They will learn why people settled in valleys, the problems of living in them and about the different types. The book looks at how people adapt to live in valleys. We take a simple look at everything from different types of valleys, to how people protect themselves from landslides and how some people get to school from one side of the valley to the other. Written in an appealing and interesting manner, the text is carefully chosen for the age group. The wide range of valleys discussed give children a good picture of valley life.

Food and Drink (Wants versus Needs) by Linda Staniford

Encourage children to make their own decisions with this interesting series; the headings are in the form of questions and the text encourages children to discuss and come to their own conclusions, rather than simply being told what is right and wrong. Good use is made of photos to illustrate the text; the text is simple and straightforward and gives children the basic information they need. Highlighted words are explained in the glossary.

Indian Ocean (Oceans of the World) by Louise Spilsbury

Using questions children ask, they can find out about what happens when the monsoon season starts; why people visit the Red Sea and why dugongs are called sea cows? Dip your toe into the warm Indian Ocean, but watch out for cyclones and whale sharks! Learn about the Suez Canal, then hunt for important resources under the ocean floor, including oil and minerals. As with all Raintree books, this title includes an index and a glossary as well as further reading suggestions; all these help set children onto the right path for learning good study skills, right from the start. It also shows them how much more information is available to them.

Reptiles (Animal Classification) by Angela Royston

Starting in KS1 and moving into KS2 and beyond, children have to learn to classify living things. This well-illustrated series covers each of the main animal groups in a simple way which provides an ideal introduction to a subject which will increase in complexity as children move through school. By helping them to understand the basics in this clear way, they will have an excellent foundation for future learning. Through colourful illustrations and clear text, children will learn about different reptiles and their environments.

Omnivores (What Animals Eat) by James Benefield

Learn what classifies an animal as an omnivore, as well as what common features, such as tooth shape and eye position, can tell you about omnivores. This book looks at a wide range of fascinating animals from around the world and introduces readers to ideas about the relationships between different living things, using key terminology. Raintree have produced some really exceptional series for KS1 children which give science learning a good foundation on which to build in the future - they make learning exciting and will generate enthusiasm in children.

Ernest Shackleton: Antarctic Explorer (Young Explorer) by Evelyn Dowdeswell

The excitement of Shackleton's adventures on board The Endurance make excellent reading for young children. This well written book is ideal, as it combines simple, carefully selected text with many excellent illustrations which really convey the spirit of his journey. An excellently produced reference book, this includes contents page, glossary, index and timeline to help children learn.

Big Machines Float by Catherine Veitch

Young children are always fascinated by big vehicles and machines so this series will be greeted with enthusiasm. Each machine is described over two pages with a large colour photo, a clear header and a short descriptive passage. There are also additional facts and a size-o-meter. The bright coloured backgrounds are attractive and the layout excellent for young children.

History Around You (History at Home) by Nick Hunter

Encourage young children to explore the history which can be seen all around us with this interesting series. By showing children how much history can be discovered by looking around us and by talking to older people, we show them how the past is all around us and still leaves evidence today. The book is illustrated throughout with excellent photos and interaction is encouraged by the range of questions posed through the book.

Henrietta's Guide to Caring for Your Chickens (Pets' Guides) by Isabel Thomas

Chicken keeping is becoming increasingly popular and even if children don't have chickens at home, they may well have chickens at school. But even if they don't have practical experience, this book is still useful as it shows where eggs come from and gives lots of information about chickens. Along with the photos, the book is illustrated with a series of entertaining cartoons which are great fun.

What Can Live in the Garden? (What Can Live There?) by John-Paul Wilkins

This series of books with their simple text are the perfect introduction to a wide range of habitats and they show how plants and animals are suited to life in that habitat. Our gardens are home to a huge range of plants and animals and this book encourages children to get outside and see what they can spot; the picture glossary helps identification. On the back cover of the book are two photos for children to search out in the book, encouraging them to interact with the book.

Sunshine (Weather Wise) by Helen Cox Cannons

Raintree's excellent range of early information books are perfect for encouraging young children to enjoy fact books and to learn early research skills. Each one is illustrated with excellent colour photos; has simple text; includes a contents page, index and glossary - usually a picture one. The texts are levelled to help children learning to read. This title teaches children why sunshine is important and has a sunshine quiz - a good way to encourage interaction with the book and check learning.

What Can You See in Autumn? by Sian Smith

The books in this series introduce children to the seasons - a topic covered in the Early Years and KS1. This book shows children what happens in the autumn and uses very simple repetitive text to encourage reading. Topic words are listed at the back and there are useful notes for parents and teachers.

Canals (Water, Water Everywhere!) by Diyan Leake

Children find out all about canals around the world with the aid of the vibrant photographs and simple text. This book is one of a series introducing children to bodies of water. In this book, children learn all about canals, including different types of canals, how people use canals, and how to star safe near canals. The book also includes a quiz and a picture glossary.

Hot and Cold (Opposites) by Sian Smith

Opposites - an important early learning topic which is explored in a series of simple books. This title helps children understand how things such as the sun and snow can be completely opposite from one another. Each book in this series uses simple, levelled text to teach children basic vocabulary. Stunning photographs compare opposites and bring the topics to life. As with all Raintree Books for KS1, an excellent early fact book.

Ocean Food Chains (Food Chains and Webs) by Angela Royston

Children in KS1 study a range of food chains and this will be ably supported by this series from Raintree which includes deserts, mountains and rivers. The book suits children at the upper end of KS1 or lower KS2 as there is plenty of text plus good labelling of the pictures. The book explains what food chains are and the vital part each creature plays in the food chain. Easy to follow and well laid out, children will enjoy discovering more about the natural world.

Animals at the Zoo (Animals I Can See) by Sian Smith

This is one in a series of very early fact book which focuses on familiar places where animals can be found. Good sized photos are described by very simple one sentence text. Repetition of high frequency and decodable words makes these books ideal for pupils learning to read while encouraging an interest in the natural world

All about Leaves (All about Plants) by Claire Throp

A very simple first reference book with a heavy emphasis on photographic content, explained by simple sentences which use repetitive text to reinforce basic vocabulary. The picture glossary helps understanding and the simple index can be used to teach early reference skills. Flowers, Roots and Seeds are the other titles in this series - together, they provide all early KS1 pupils need to know about plants.

Bats: Nocturnal Flyers by Rebecca Rissman

If your child has question about bats, this is the book to answer them! What is a bat? What do they eat? How can we help bats? These and more are answered in this colourful book about an often misunderstood species. The excellent colour photography gives a detailed picture of these creatures and hopefully will encourage children not to be scared of them.

Life Story of a Ladybird (Animal Life Stories) by Charlotte Guillain

Read Life Story of a Ladybird to discover the unique life cycle and metamorphosis undergone by this fascinating insect as it changes from an egg to a larva to a colourful ladybird. The colour photos give excellent detailed pictures of these tiny creatures, enlarged many times so that children can really appreciate their beauty and see just what they look like. Perfect for KS1 life cycles study and a refreshing change from butterflies and frogs!

A Nature Walk on the Farm (Nature Walks) by Louise Spilsbury

Many children are sadly detached from nature and this series is an excellent way to redress the balance. Perfect as supporting material for school trips, the books encourage children to observe the world around them and teach them about the things they see. Most children can access a farm, whether a city farm or in the country and this book introduces the crops and creatures they will see and encourages interaction through a series of questions. Another attractive book, well illustrated.

Life Cycle of a Leopard: A Sequence and Order Text (Text Structures) by Phillip W. Simpson

This colourful book about the life cycle of leopards is written primarily using the sequence and order text structure. Books in the Text Structures series use the popular topic of big cats to present different text structures commonly used in formational writing. The interesting topics will engage independent readers and provide useful stimulus for teachers planning to teach how non-fiction texts are structured and presented. This is complemented by the index and glossary which enhance understanding and help children learn the essential skills of navigating around a book. A series which works well on two levels.

What Can I Feel? (These Are My Senses) by Joanna Issa

This series is a simple look at senses and encourages young readers to engage with their senses - What Can I Feel takes familiar objects and describes how they feel in simple sentences. Levelled text with repeated use of high frequency words makes the book perfect for beginning readers, while bright, colorful photographs complement the text and maintain readers' interest. The notes for teachers and parents help them gain maximum learning value from the book.

Clothes Around the World by Clare Lewis

A very early non fiction book which supports work done in FS and KS1 on other countries. Illustrated with full colour photos, the book takes the reader around the world discovering many different types of clothes and why they are worn. The text is carefully selected to be age-appropriate and the simple index helps early reference skills. A map shows where the clothes are worn and helps children put the countries into context; there is also a picture glossary and notes for parents and teachers.

I Can Make a Mask by Issa Joanna

This colourful book includes simple instructions for making a colourful bird mask plus an owl mask. The templates are included and these can be used as a basis for making other masks too. Give children a cardboard template, a variety of feathers, foil shapes, glitter and any other embellishments and let their imagination run riot. A useful book for the classroom or the home - I think those would make a great party activity!

Jungle Animals (Animals in Their Habitats) by Sian Smith

This is one in a series of very first non fiction books. With just a single sentence on each page, which is carefully composed to suit early readers, children can begin to share in the excitement of discovering fact books. Each page features a good quality photo with a suitable caption. At the end of the book there is a list of topic words plus high frequency words and other reading help.There are also useful notes for parents and teachers which show how the book will be valuable across the curriculum. A good introductory fact book on a topic which will interest children.

Islands by Ellen Labrecque

A first look at geographical features which gives a good overview, not just of what islands are but also of island life, both animal and human. It's interesting to see how many different types of islands there are, including volcanic, tidal, continental and even artificial. A straightforward book, easy to understand and with plenty of photos. Difficult words are explained in the glossary and there is a useful index.

Adapted to Survive: Animals that Climb by Angela Royston

There are some superb animal photos in this book that will be a great hit with children - starting with the cute Koala on the cover. It includes mountain goats, squirrels, leopards, spider monkeys and more - animals of all sizes from all around the world. Each has its own way of climbing and clinging and the large photos show these very well.

Fox: City Safari by Isabel Thomas

Once considered a creature of the countryside, foxes are increasingly found in our urban landscapes. This book is one in the 'Read and Learn' series which discover and understand the world around them. Questioning is encouraged by the chapter headings eg 'What do foxes eat?' and the answers are given in clear brief text with hard words explained in the glossary. The spotter icons show children what to look out for and there is a picture to look out for in the book too.

Breakfast: Healthy Choices by Vic Parker

Breakfast - claimed to be the most important meal of the day so where better for children to start their exploration of healthy food? Teachers can male good use of the opportunities provided by this book to encourage children to come to school having enjoyed a healthy breakfast - perhaps a copy of the book judiciously on display will encourage parents too! As suggested by the title, it's the choices which are important - eggs and cereals can be both healthy and unhealthy, depending how they are prepared and served. What is healthy and why is discussed to encourage sensible choices. It's a good way to encourage children to reason on they are eating, and the book is presented in a way that encourages that reasoning.

Going to School: Comparing Past and Present by Rebecca Rissman

Children will be fascinated to see how schools have changed as old and new are compared side by side. Single sentences accompany the pictures so this is for young children to enjoy - they can look at the pictures old and new and be encouraged to talk about the differences - and the similarities. Hopefully, it will stimulate discussion with parents and grandparents as children want to find out more.

Animal Info graphics by Chris Oxlade

An infographic is a visual representation of information, for example, in the form of a diagram or chart. As such, they are an excellent way of conveying information to young children who respond well to the visual approach. Infographics provide a succinct way to show information which is put to good use in this well laid out book. Plenty of interesting animal facts are clearly shown, for instance by the chart which shows the number of elephants, cows and dogs equivalent in weight to a blue whale.

A Journey to the Centre of the Earth: Fantasy Field Trips by Claire Throp

An interesting approach that will capture children's attention. One in a series that takes the reader to a range of unlikely destinations, this fact-filled book will give children an excellent insight into how our earth is created. Heavily reliant on excellent photography, the facts are simply explained and highlighted words are found in the glossary so children can learn these more complex terms. There is also a list of additional resources and useful web links.

Jungle Worlds (Earth's Last Frontiers) by Ellen Labrecque

Children can learn about the wildlife, the people, the temperatures, the rivers and the vegetation in this colourful book. Each topic has a double page spread, with one full page photo which includes a "Wow!" fact. The opposite page is half text, half picture. The photography is excellent and there is plenty of detail to encourage discussion. The contents page and index are useful tools to teach and encourage children to carry out their own research.

Get Writing! (Dream It, Do It!) by Charlotte Guillain

Creative writing seems to be an area which is hard for many children - as this especially applies to boys, I was pleased to see a boy on the cover of this book. Get Writing! gives children strong encouragement and plenty of practical advice to stop just dreaming about writing but to do it. It helps children decide what to write and then suggests ways to find inspiration. Characters, planning, editing - it's all covered in simple language. And the section on 'Make a book' shows how to put the story into book form - a satisfying activity!

Exploring Coasts (Exploring Habitats with Benjamin Blog and His Inquisitive Dog) by Anita Ganeri

Children will like the contemporary approach of this series - each book is based on blog posts created by Benjamin as he travels the world with his dog Barko Polo (who is, of course, an intrepid explorer himself). The book looks at the variety of beaches, cliffs and sea caves that make up our beautiful shorelines, and the creatures and plants that make their homes there. Barko has lots of fantastic facts to interest children.

Learning About Insects (The Natural World) by Catherine Veitch

This chunky little book is just right for young children. Each insect is featured in a close-up photo, with its name and key parts labelled - some photos even feature an even more detailed close up, for example a wasp's sting. Children will enjoy learning to identify these familiar creatures with the aid of this colourful and attractive book. It includes a picture glossary which is excellent for early learners, plus notes for parents and teachers.

Living and Non-living in the Polar Regions (Is It Living or Non-Living?) by Rebecca Rissman

This is an interesting series which encourages children to think about the difference between living and non-living things, as well as helping them to learn about differing habitats. The book features some fantastic photography - and I like the way the page layout is designed to reflect broken ice. Clear simple text poses questions for children to think about and gives just enough information. It is written by an experienced children's author with the help of a consultant familiar with habitats.

Seasons (Picture This!) by Rebecca Rissman

The bright detailed photos are the perfect way to stimulate interest and discussion in young children. There are four pages for each season with no text apart from the season name; on the whole, the first two pages are nature photos and the rest are generally children. Information about the photos plus some very useful discussions questions are found at the end of the book. I like this approach as it opens up all sorts of opportunities for using the book as the teacher wants.

Eddie and Ellie's Opposites at the Park by Rebecca Rissman

 Opposites - a topic best learnt by observing everyday life. Ellie and Eddie the elephants always like opposites and this enjoyable learning story finds them in the park. High and low, big and small, wide and narrow and many more opposites are shown in text which is perfect to read aloud to help understanding. Colourful photos and attractive layout make this a book children will enjoy and there's plenty to talk about.

Multiples with Meerkats (AniMaths) by Tracey Steffora

Adding with ants; Comparing with cats - this is a fun series to help children with early number skills. Meerkats are adorable creatures, currently enjoying huge popularity and this book makes the most of that with its engaging photos and meerkat facts. Simple text and diagrams (featuring meerkats, of course!) help children learn early multiplication skills, counting in 2s, 5s and 10s. The layout is really appealing, with bright colours and clear text - a fun way to learn maths. 

Firefighter (Diary of a. . .) by Angela Royston

 In KS1 and Foundation Stage children learn about the jobs people do and this colourful series covers an eclectic range of jobs which is far wider-ranging than the norm - including dog walker, circus performer and farmer. This title takes a look at a typical week in the life of a firefighter. It is written in the first person and gives a good picture of the variety found in a firefighter's life. The book concludes with suggestions to help children write their own diaries.

Soaring Eagles (Walk on the Wild Side) by Charlotte Guillain

An excellent way to introduce children to this majestic creature. How fast can golden eagles dive? How does a golden eagle catch its prey? Where do golden eagles build their nests? One in an attractive series which takes a fun look at a different animal through stunning photos, bite-sized fascinating facts, and simple text. Written in conjunction with a natural history consultant to give a high-interest approach to encourage reluctant readers.

Glass (Exploring Materials) Abby Colich

The study of materials is important through both KS1 and KS2, so give children a good basic grounding with this series which currently includes eight different materials. Simple questions are posed and then answered over four pages, with colourful and appropriate photos and simple text. The contents page, picture glossary and index help children develop research skills and they can reinforce learning with the quiz.

Homes That Move (Where We Live) by Sian Smith

Children are always fascinated by the out of the ordinary, so this book with its range of unusual homes is bound to interest them. They will learn why people live in homes that move and about some of the very varied homes they occupy. The picture glossary helps understanding and the simple text is levelled to suit the age group.

Simple Machines (Real Size Science) by Rebecca Rissman

A very early introduction to machines which shows young children just how wide the range of machines is - the first spread shows a set of kitchen beaters and a huge crane. Machines don't even have to have moving parts and can be very simple. Children are introduced to levers, wheels, screws and other simple devices. Very clear visual layout with good use of strong colours make this a perfect first non fiction book.

Introducing Australia (Introducing Continents) by Anita Ganeri

 A lively series of books which introduces young children to the continents. The maps are designed to show just the right level of detail for KS1 children and the photos are generously sized and well integrated with the text. The book gives a good overall picture of Australia, including physical geography, climate, plants, animals, people and more. A succinct fact file is useful, especially for comparison with the other continents covered in the series. The index is more detailed than many for this age group so provides an excellent way to practise reference and dictionary skills.

Adventure Stories (Writing Stories) by Anita Ganeri

One of a very useful series to encourage creative writing - this one is about adventure stories. Key features of the genre are explained, top tips are given, and readers are guided through the process of writing their own story. Bright photos and illustrations plus lots of ideas bring the genre to life. A particular feature is the adventure story which runs through the book and examples of how the tips can be put into practice. Many children find story writing hard, and this is an engaging way to help them think creatively and see what fun writing can be.

The Night Sky and Other Amazing Sights in Space by Nick Hunter

The night sky fascinates children so encourage this as you share the book with them and take them out on a clear starry night to see what they can spot. The text is well phrased for young children - this is a complex subject but well handled to be appropriate for the level. The layout is attractive with the photos set out in large circle shapes and information text boxes with each photo. There are some very interesting websites listed and there are an excellent way to learn more and stimulate children's interest.

Bird Babies (Animal Babies) by Catherine Veitch

This is a reference book for the very youngest children and an excellent way to introduce them to 'fact' books. The photos are three-quarter page with bold subject headings and large child-friendly font. Simple sentences are ideal for those learning to read - the book is written with the aid of a literacy consultant. I like the picture glossary - a good way to introduce children to this concept and perhaps an idea they could incorporate into their own writing. Young children will enjoy the photos of baby birds; I found the photo of different size eggs fascinating!

Machines at the Airport (Machines At Work) by Sian Smith

Children are always fascinated by machines and this series introduces machine big and small that can be seen at various locations. It's always fun for children to spot the things they have seen in books, so read the book then take it out to see what you can find. This book shows what happens at the airport, from security checks to take off, all illustrated with colour photos. A question at the end encourages discussion about the book. This is part of the Read and Learn series, which uses questions as headings to encourage children to focus and to ask their own questions.

True or False? Transport by Daniel Nunn

This is an interesting approach which will lead to lots of discussion and will also generate plenty more ideas to talk about. Do cars run on ice cream? Can trains fly? Children will enjoy this humorous approach and I can see lots more questions along the same lines - a great way to encourage imagination! The questions are posed on one side of the two page spreads, with the answer over the page, so there's no cheating! The 'Can you remember' section at the end is a useful feature.

Should Henry Wear a Helmet?: Staying Safe (What Would You Do?) by Rebecca Rissman

This is an excellent series which really encourages children to reason on why they should take certain actions, rather than dictating to them. The book talks about making choices, and the fact that our choices have effects, good or bad. The book then continues by showing a series of scenarios relating to safety and illustrates the consequences of good or bad decisions. It's an excellent way to promote discussion, and this can be aided by the picture glossary which illustrates four scenes from the book.

Families in French: Les Families (World Languages - Families) by Daniel Nunn

Each page gives the words for family members in French and English.  Colourful photos, with labels, reinforce the name for each family member. with simple, labelled photographs providing support. A dictionary includes all the words in French and English, plus a pronunciation guide. There are other books in the series giving family names for other languages.

Angry (Dealing with Feeling...) by Isabel Thomas

There is always room in the market for books which help children understand and deal with their feelings. Every different approach is helpful, as different children identify with alternative approaches. The book starts by explaining what anger is, what it feels like, and how different people show it. It continues with some very practical ways to deal with anger, which are explained in language easy for children to understand and accompanied by expressive pictures.

Kitty's Guide to Caring for Your Cat (Pets' Guides) by Anita Ganeri

Kitty the cat helps children learn how to look after a cat - this is a lovely approach as it makes the book accessible to young children who will readily identify with what Kitty is telling them. Choosing a cat, welcoming it home, feeding, grooming and playing are included - as is that all important topic of holiday care. A mix of drawings and photos work well to convey the message and to help develop a generation of caring pet owners.

Rock Pool (Look Inside) by Louise Spilsbury

A perfect book to take on a seaside holiday, or a day trip to the beach. Children are introduced to the wide range of creatures that live in and around rock pools, and the colour photos show the true beauty of this micro-environment. The layout is eye-catching, with excellent use of colour to highlight the text. The tips at the end are very practical and make an excellent basis for discussion before the outing.

Animals (Say What You See) by Rebecca Rissman

This will be great fun to share with children  - or a class of children - as the adult asks what noises each animal makes. It's good to see several sounds for some animals, and there are some unusual creatures and their sounds included. There are some superb colour photos of the creatures too. A very enjoyable book to share.

Maths at the Vets (Maths at Work) by Tracey Steffora

The Maths at Work series shows children the practical application of maths by examining how people around the world use common basic maths skills to carry out their work. This is an excellent approach as it helps children to see how essential maths skills are to everyday life and therefore how relevant they are. This book includes chapters on shapes and size, measuring, counting, and telling the time. The final page of each chapter ends with a relevant maths test question for the reader, so they can put their own maths skills into practice, and check their understanding.

Ballet (Love to Dance) by Angela Royston

Little girls will thoroughly enjoy this book, which starts with the origins of ballet, explains some of the classic moves, and discusses many aspects of ballet including clothes, performing and skills. There are plenty of photos, both contemporary and original. The language is straightforward and easy for young readers. The colourful borders add a lovely finishing touch, to make the book really attractive.

 Peculiar Plants (Extreme Nature) by Anita Ganeri

A fascinating look at some of the strange plants that can be found on our planet - children will find the rich variety and strangeness intriguing. Find out how plants hide from predators, how one plant strangles its prey, which plant lives on poo and much more. Easy to follow text benefits from words in bold being explained in the glossary. The photography is stunning, especially in the full page photos which show an excellent level of detail. A colourful and well presented book. Harsh Habitats (Extreme Nature) and Fearsome Forces of Nature (Extreme Nature).

Amazing Animal Helpers (Animal Superpowers) by John Townsend

It's not just people that can be superheroes - here children can learn about some of the amazing achievements of animals. There are some amazing stories, all told at the right level for KS1 children to enjoy - the dol[hins who saved swimmers from a shark and a seal who rescued a dog are just two. Children will really enjoy these accounts, which are illustrated by lovely colour photos. Where I have listed more titles in each series, this is not a complete list, just a sample of other titles. Amazing Animal Movers (Animal Superpowers) and  Amazing Animal Communicators (Animal Superpowers)

Marvellous Mammals (Extreme Mammals) by Isabel Thomas

Children always enjoy reading about weird and wonderful creatures and they will enjoy this book, which will encourage them to read for themselves to find out more. There are crafty camels, terrible tigers and prickly porcupines among others. Bright presentation and clear labelling of the photos make the book accessible and fun, and children will learn more about record breakers in the special section at the end. Brilliant Birds (Extreme Animals) and  Fantastic Fish (Extreme Animals)

The Amazon (Explorer Tales) by Jane Bingham

The rainforest is a popular topic to study in KS1, so this book about the Amazon will be a useful resource. Not just a fascinating and threatened environment, the Amazon is also a dangerous place to explore, with many dangers. Follow the stories of the explorers who discovered many fascinating things about the area - this book doesn't follow the usual two page format, but goes into more detail about each expedition. Raintree books for young children are always a good introduction to reference skills, with their easy to follow contents page, glossary, further resources and index.The River Nile (Explorer Tales) and Mount Everest (Explorer Tales)

Coordination ((Exercise!) by Ellen Labreque

This series is an excellent way to build on the interest in sport generated by the Olympic Games. Here children can learn to catch, shoot and throw better. The book explains why we need exercise, and how coordination is gradually developed by learning a series of skills. It's a great book to have in the classroom to help teachers explain these important concepts and there are lots of practical and straightforward activities that children can enjoy as a group or individuals. Flexibility: Stretch and Move Further! (Exercise!) and  Stamina: Get Stronger and Play Longer! (Exercise!)

Building Things (Jobs If You Like...) by Charlotte Guilliane 

We all have skills and here are books that can help children feel valued for their own special skills - in this case building. A wide range of jobs are covered in this book, with colourful photos illustrating  people at work and the end results of their work. A fascinating look at the variety of jobs available. . Another colourful series of books that helps children to understand the world around them and how they might take their place in it. Not just looking ahead to careers at this young age, but also useful for studies of the world around us and jobs people do. Sport (Jobs If You Like...) and History (Jobs If You Like...)

Looking After Your Teeth (Take Care of Yourself) by Sian Smith

A very simple book, with colourful photographs which echo the words, making it easy for children to read and understand. The picture glossary is a good idea for young ones. Two more in the series are Eating Well (Take Care of Yourself!) and Staying Safe in the Sun (Take Care of Yourself!). Each book in the series shows children that they can take responsibility for their own health and well-being as well as relying on mum and dad. They are written in conjunction with a Literacy Consultant, so teachers and parents can be sure the reading level is appropriate for the classroom

Sources of Light (Light All Around Us) by Daniel Nunn 

Children study light as part of the KS1 science curriculum, so this series will provide excellent classroom support. It explains clearly which things are sources of light, such as the sun, and which merely reflect light, such as the moon, in a straightforward way which is easy for children to understand. A quiz at the end tests understanding. Other titles include Light and Dark (Light All Around Us) and How Do We Use Light? (Light All Around Us) and continuity is maintained by the fact the whole series has the same author.

Making a Circuit (It's Electric) by Chris Oxlade

As befits a more complex subject, this book is aimed at older children than the books described above - but the language is still easy to follow with good sized print and bold highlighting used for unfamiliar words, which are then explained in the glossary, thus encouraging children to look up the word. Generously illustrated with photos and diagrams, this is an excellent introduction to the subject.  Like nearly all Raintree's non fiction books for KS1, this is just one in a series which covers all the curriculum for the topic - also included are Conductors and Insulators, Using Batteries and Using Electricity..

Stories (I Can Write) by Anita Ganeri

The 'I Can Write' series is excellent for helping children with all aspects of writing, and to introduce them to different text types. The books help children to see the differences, so they can correctly identify different forms of writing. In Stories, they learn about different types of stories then go on to learn how to write their own, starting with the plot and going on to the setting, the characters and the style. Eight top tips are included as well as a glossary. Some of the other titles -  Poems (I Can Write) and Instructions (I Can Write)

Rubbish and Recycling (How Does My Home Work?) by Chris Oxlade 

The book discusses our domestic waste - where it comes from, how it is handled and how we can help to reduce it. This is one in the Read and Learn series - an extensive series to help KS1 children learn about the world around them. The consistent approach allows teachers and parents to know that the book will be the level and quality they expect, and consultants are used to ensure the information is up to date and accurate. Electricity (How Does My Home Work?), Heating (How Does My Home Work?) and Water (How Does My Home Work?) are more in the series.

Manners Out and About (Oh, Behave!) by Sian Smith

Children are shown how to behave out and about, and the consequences of good behaviour. Ideal for classroom use and for facilitating discussion, perhaps when a particular issue has arisen. Very simple language is used, making these books suitable for even the youngest children as they learn these important messages. Colourful photographs are used throughout to illustrate the concepts and children can be asked to discuss the pictures and what they think is happening  The series also includes Home, School and At the Table.

Screws, Nuts and Bolts (How Toys Work) by Sian Smith

This is another simple text aimed at young children, with colourful photos which will capture the attention and help understanding of the concepts. A quiz, a picture glossary and a simple index complete the book and allow for early learning of reference skills.  I like the idea of taking objects familiar to children, ie toys, and using them as the basis to explain science.They can go and look at their own toys and easily understand the scientific principles involved.  Other KS1 topics among the others included in the series are Levers (How Toys Work) , Pulleys (How Toys Work) and Ramps and Wedges (How Toys Work)

Journey of a Bar of Chocolate by John Malam

Again, this is a book with more text to explain the topic, but still with a heavy proportion of bright photos which really capture the attention and give an excellent feel for the whole chocolate manufacturing process. The timeline at the end is especially valuable as it really puts the whole process and its timescale into context. I love the wide range covered by this series; other topics which will intrigue children are  T-shirt (Journey of a...), Book (Journey of a...) and Bowl of Cornflakes (Journey of a...) among others.

Numbers in French by Daniel Nunn

Each book in this series teaches numbers 1 to 10, with a double page spread for each. Text on each page is in both English and French, and is supported by bright labelled photos which give clues to the words - and the right number of each object, of course! A dictionary at the end of each book gives all the words and includes a guide to pronunciation  Numbers in German: Die Zahlen (World Languages - Numbers); Numbers in Italian: I Numeri (World Languages - Numbers) are two more in the series.

Colours in Polish by Daniel Nunn 

Using the same format as the Numbers books covered above, this series gives young learners a simple introduction to colours in a range of modern languages. Bright photos using the appropriate colour complement the text. Colours in Spanish: Los Colores (World Languages - Colours); Colours in French: Les Couleurs (World Languages - Colours); Colours in Welsh: Y lliwiau (World Languages - Colours) are just a few more titles in this series.

Arabic (Languages of the World) by Daniel Nunn

This series covers a wide range of world languages and includes many not covered in other books for children at this age. They are therefore a valuable way to introduce other cultures. The book examines where in the world the language is spoken, who speaks it, the alphabet in which the language is written, differences and similarities between the language and English, and other interesting facts.

Helping in the Community (I Can Make a Difference) by Victoria Parker

We can all, right from the youngest child, have an impact on our community and this colourful and easy to read book introduces the concept of helping others in a clear and practical way. What volunteering is, why it is important, and how they can volunteer to help both in their community and in the world at large. The photos depicting happy children in a range of different 'helping' situations will encourage others to emulate them.

Food (Why Living Things Need...) by Daniel Nunn

Living things and what they need to survive is a key topic in KS1 science studies, so this will be a useful resource. Very brief text, with plenty of photos, show what food is, how and why living things use food, plant and animal food. The food quiz will check and reinforce learning.

Queen Elizabeth II by Vic Parker

There are lots of books about our Queen being published in this jubilee year, but not a huge number for KS1 children, so this book will be welcome, both in the classroom and as a souvenir for home. Children will learn about the Queen's childhood and her happy family life; her coronation, her world travels and then comes right up to date. Illustrated with lots of photos and attractively laid out, this is a delightful book.

Henry Helps With the Baby by Beth Bracken

Involving older siblings with their new brother or sister is key to helping them to accept this new addition to their lives. This very simple and straightforward book is perfect to share with your little one both before and after the new arrival. Useful pointers for parents from a parent educator are given on the back cover. 

 World's Biggest Dinosaurs ((Extreme Dinosaurs)

A fascinating account of the biggest of the big. A subject of perennial interest to children, who will really enjoy the life-like reconstructed scenes which provide the backdrop to these amazing creatures. Attractive layout, accessible text, and interesting fact boxes make the book enjoyable. It is also practical, with its glossary, further reading and index.

Scott of the Antarctic (Young Explorer) by Evelyn Dowdeswell, Julian Dowdeswell and Angela Seddon

A colourful and surprisingly informative account of the life of the great explorer. Starting with his early life, we then learn about the Antarctic and the voyage to get there, then the final attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole. The tragic story is vividly brought to life by the copious use of photographs, which really set the scene. The text is straightforward and yet emotional and this book is altogether an excellent introduction to the topic.

 World's Scariest Dinosaurs - Extreme Dinosaurs by Rupert Matthews

Dinosaurs have enduring appeal for children so this series will be a popular classroom and library resource. Including some lesser-known creatures, the books are packed with detail. In this title, we learn about the world the dinosaurs lived in and then meet some very scary creatures! Illustrated throughout in full colour, the dinosaurs are reconstructed and set against detailed backgrounds. Clear layout, contents, index and glossary combine to make this an excellent teaching resource.

 Fighting Fires - Heroic Jobs by Nick Hunter

Children in Foundation Stage and KS1 learn about the jobs done by the people around us, so this series will be well-received. It focuses on heroic jobs (the emergency services)  - those people who use special skills to help us everyday. Learn about the people, the work they do and the equipment they need to carry out their vital work. Fighting fires shows us how the firemen work, the dangers they face and interestingly, takes us to other countries and very different kinds of fires. Dramatic photos bring the world of firefighters close to children.

Helping the Environment - I Can Make a Difference by Victoria Parker 

Children today need an awareness of the issues that face the world around us and this series focuses on the way children themselves can have an impact on our environment by volunteering - to help the environment, in the community, helping animals and helping family and friends. I like the way the series involves children. Helping the Environment is full of ideas that can be easily applied - composting, planting trees, recycling toys and much more. Readable and informative.

Naming Words - Getting to Grips with Grammar by Anita Ganeri 

Grammar can be a tricky subject, so this series will be very welcome. Key grammatical concepts are explained in easy to understand language, with plenty of examples to show correct usage. Naming Words discusses nouns and pronouns, defines them and shows how they should be used (including that perennial issue of where to use capital letters. A bright colourful book which makes what could be a rather dry topic very interesting. The quiz at the end of the book is an excellent way to consolidate knowledge.

 Dr. Seuss - Author Biographies by Charlotte Guillain

This series of author biographies introduce children to some of the most popular children's authors. I wish I had had access to these super books when I was doing library lessons with children, as I always found they were really interested in learning about the people behind their favourite stories. The series also includes A A Milne, Beatrix Potter, Maurice Sendak and Roald Dahl. Learn about Dr Seuss' background, the books he wrote and how he is remembered. A great way to engage children with the stories they are reading.

 Water - Why Living Things Need... by Daniel Nunn

Support children's very early science explorations with this series of simple books with plenty of colourful illustrations and simple repetitive text. How do living things use water? How do they take in water? Why do we all need water? These questions, and more, are answered simply but factually, giving an excellent foundation for future learning. Take a look at for supporting interactive resources.

Going to a Zoo - A World of Field Trips by Rebecca Rissman 

School trips play an important part in learning, right from the youngest children, so here is a great way to introduce them to visiting the beach, a concert, a museum, a park, a zoo, a library, a farm and a stadium. In Going to a Zoo, simple language with plenty of repetition is used, thus helping early literacy skills. What is a zoo? What will happen there? How to behave? are just some of the questions answered. Plenty of colourful photos to get children accustomed to what they will see. A really practical series.

Swahili - Languages of the World by Catherine Chambers 

This is an interesting series that covers a wealth of languages. Got a child in your class or a friend at school for whom English is not the first language? Get one of the books in this series and you will be able to greet them and say key phrases in their language. The books cover where the language is spoken, who speaks it, how it is written and its relationship to English. Swahili is an interesting introduction, not just to the language but also to its people and culture

What is Maths? -  Maths Around Us by Tracey Steffora

Young children start to learn maths through the everyday world around them, and this book introduces young learners to that concept, through shapes, patterns, sorting, counting and measuring. Early experiences are so important and this book makes maths fun. Bright photographs of everyday objects are accompanied by brief explanatory text, sometimes with a question. At the end, children are asked how they have used maths today; there is also a list of useful words and teaching suggestions. The index is disappointing.

 Life Cycles by Sian Smith

Life cycles are one of the earliest topics covered in science, so this book will be a useful classroom resource. It starts by showing that all living things have a life cycle and this is illustrated (as the book is throughout) with bright colour photographs. Simple text is easy to follow and key words are in bold then explained in the glossary. There are suggestions for teachers. My only quibble is over the usefulness of the index - I found it inaccurate.

Oil Spills by Christine A Caputo

A very topical issue, covered in a way that makes it easy for KS1 children to understand. It explains why we need oil and what happens when oil is split in our oceans, the damage to the environment and to nature. Two major oil spills - the Exxon Valdez and the Gulf of Mexico are included . An index and a glossary make this a good first learning title. Children are helped to understand the disaster that can be caused.

Horns - Animal Spikes and Spines by Rebecca Rissman 

Children learn what horns are, the different types and how they are used. I like the way that the book shows part of the animal heads with the horns and asks the reader to identify them - an excellent way for children to learn and remember. They can reinforce learning with 'Can you remember?'. Simple text and colourful photographs make this an accessible book for the youngest readers.

Voices - Instruments and Music by Daniel Nunn

One in a series of books about musical instruments, this one focuses largely on the human voice with one page about birds. Simple repetitive text teaches basic vocabulary and the colour photographs keep interest levels high. Raintree's KS1 books are an excellent way to introduce children to the information found in books and how best to learn from books as well as enjoying them.

Polar Bear - A Day in the Life (Read and Learn) by Katie Marsico 

A useful book to support geography studies, this is one in a series about polar animals. Each animal's moving, eating, sleeping and hunting is covered and it is good to see a whole series of animals covered, giving an excellent overall view of life in polar regions. The series would be a good basis for groups of  children to study different animals in the classroom and then share this with their peers. Lavishly illustrated with full colour photos, this is an attractive series.

 Grow Your Own Snack - Grow It Yourself! by John Malam

A topical title, given the current interest in healthy eating. This series is full of growing ideas that can be carried out in the classroom or which children can be asked to try at home. Grow Your Own .Snack focuses on broad beans - maybe a plant teachers and parents haven't tried. Grow the plant with the detailed step-by-step instructions, then make the snack. Colourful and easy to follow, this is a practical series.

Masks and Face Painting - Start With Art (Read and Learn) by Isabel Thomas

This practical series introduces children to different forms of art. Masks and face painting are really colourful topics so this is a striking book. It covers a range of cultures and historical periods making it possible to use the study of masks and face painting a useful cross-curricular activity. There is a simple mask to create, well within the scope of most children. I like the way the glossary shows pictures alongside the explanation, as it is always easier for children to learn and remember visually - this is a common feature in raintree KS1 books. 

Old Clothes - From Rubbish to Riches (Read and Learn) by Daniel Nunn 

Children are never too young to learn about recycling and this book introduces the topic in a fun way. It shows what happens when we throw things away and then gives alternative ways for the items to be reused in ways that are both fun and practical for children. There is a recycling quiz, glossary and where to find out more section. The use of questions as page headings immediately draws children into the book and gets them involved.

Ocean Divers - Landform Adventures by Anita Ganeri

Children are introduced to the marvels of the undersea world and the ways in which man can explore it. Lots of good quality photographs, succinct facts clearly laid out, and useful fact boxes make this book interesting and accessible. Glossary, find out more and an index all help children learn to find out for themselves. 

Polish - Languages of the World by Lucia Raatna

This series, from Raintree, covers a range of major world languages. The books in the series, however, are far more than just language books - they provide an introduction to the culture of the country for KS1 children. A brief introduction to the language is given; there is a guide to pronunciation; introducing yourself and then words associated with everyday life - home, school, shopping, work etc. These are complemented by useful nuggets of information. Clearly laid out, accessible fonts and fact boxes and plenty of photographs, these books are an ideal introduction.

French - Languages of the World by Anita Ganeri

Spanish (Languages of the World)
Hindi (Languages of the World)
Urdu (Languages of the World)
Mandarin (Languages of the World
Italian (Languages of the World)


Raintree Books - Key Stage 2 (KS2)


Totally Wacky Facts About Ancient History (Mind Benders) by Cari Meister

If you have children who think Ancient History is boring, this book will soon change their minds! This is one in an excellent series that covers a huge range of topics in a truly engaging and fun way. Fascinating facts include the woman who wore a beard to appear more powerful; a paste made from dead mice to cure toothache; and babies fed on wine and honey. Jazzy presentation with lots of fun speech bubbles accompanying the pictures makes for a great way to generate enthusiasm and kick-start learning about ancient people.

Handbook to Ghosts, Poltergeists, and Haunted Houses (Edge Books: Paranormal Handbooks) by Sean McCollum

Whether or not ghosts are real, and whether or not you believe in the, they have a compelling fascination. Most cultures have their own legends of ghosts, poltergeists and hauntings, showing the powerful grip they have on people. Learn about the spirits through this handbook, which has a chapter each on ghosts, poltergeists and haunted places, plus a chapter on ghost hunting. Atmospheric illustrations combined with spooky stories are guaranteed to send a shiver down the spine.

The World's Worst Floods (World's Worst Natural Disasters) by John R Baker

Flooding is on the increase worldwide. Why is this and what can be done about it? Flooding can be dramatic - heavy rain and the bursting of a dam; or slower as gradually river levels rise and fields and streets become submerged. This book combines accounts of great floods, including disaster in Bangladesh and flooding by the North Sea, as well as explaining why flooding happens and how floods can be managed and avoided. Full page photos show floods in dramatic detail, and these are accompanied by informative text, fact boxes and statostics.Unfamiliar words are explained on the page as well as in the glossary. Comprehension questions enhance learning.

Stopping Runaway Trains: Superman and the Science of Strength by Agnieszka Biskup

Perfect to engage reluctant learners, using the popular figure of Superman is an excellent way to encourage learning. Readers will learn what gives things strength, how strength can be enhanced, about human and animal strength and much more. The colourful presentation, with facts laid out in boxes accompanying photos and diagrams, will have immediate appeal; the book is very informative and a good way to learn.

The Science Behind Wonders of the Sky: Auroras, Moonbows, and St. Elmo's Fire (Edge Books: The Science Behind Natural Phenomena) by Allan Morey

This book is one in a fascinating series which looks at the science behind some of the wonderful natural phenomena which makes our world such a fascinating and beautiful place - and the photography definitely does them justice. There are many amazing sights to be seen in the sky; in the daytime there may be unusual cloud formations, rainbows and moonbows; at night you might see a comet, meteorites, or the Aurora Borealis. The Science Behind Natural Wonders in the Sky looks at some of these phenomena, explaining how and why they occur. It's a fascinating and revealing read.

Balance Beam: Tips, Rules, and Legendary Stars (Snap Books: Gymnastics) by Heather E. Schwartz

The balance beam is a difficult discipline, but even if children are not honing those skills yet, they will still find the book interesting reading. Leaps, turns and handsprings are hard enough, but when you add a beam, difficulty is maximized. Readers will learn the best tips and tricks to conquering the balance beam, and the use of progressive diagrams and photos helps in the learning of the skills.

The Science Behind Batman's Ground Vehicles by Tammy Enz

This book is a great way to encourage reluctant readers, especially boys, as they find out whether the high-tech features in Batman's road vehicles are real. The answer may surprise you! The book looks at Batman's vehicles and the way they work, and then turns to real-life examples with the same amazing features. Readers can look inside vehicles to explore how the features in the Batmobile and Batcycle are rooted in real-world science and engineering; a great way to meld fact and fiction.

Medieval Knight Science: Armor, Weapons, and Siege Warfare (Warrior Science) by Allison Lassieur

Medieval knights were like armoured tanks in combat, as anyone who has seen a suit of armour will know. Knights were highly successful in battle, and although they may not have realised it, they owed their success to technology. The engaging text is full of interesting information which gives an insight into battle, fascinating photos and useful illustrations will help young readers understand how science helped medieval knights to win victory in battle. Excellent background to studies of medieval history.

The Vikings (Edge Books: History Hunters) by Louise Spilsbury

The Vikings were fearsome warriors - we know plenty about their fighting abilities and now children can learn about how they lived. Topics include Viking loot, terrorizing raids, Viking gods and the mysteries of their afterlife. The amazing Viking stories will fascinate children and add another dimension of knowledge, as readers find out about deadly blood feuds and learn what would happen to you if you became a Viking slave as you hunt down the secrets of the dead. Perfect for KS2 children.

Amazing Cardboard Tube Science (Edge Books: Recycled Science) by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen

It's fascinating to learn what you can do with a simple cardboard tube. The book includes instructions on making a kazoo, a marshmallow shooter, a marble run, a torch and much more. Each activity is clearly described, and the science behind the craft is explained. The book is packed with great ways to recycle something which we all have in abundance.

What You Need to Know About Allergies (Fact Finders: Focus on Health) by Nancy Dickmann

Although parents and schools can play a large part, children also need to take responsibility for their own health. This excellent series, which covers many health issues, will really help children understand and take appropriate action to gain the best outcome. The book includes everything a young reader needs to know about allergies: what they are, how they are caused, what the symptoms are and how they are treated. The text also presents real-life stories of children who experience allergies - this will be reassuring for children who suffer with allergies as they can see how others cope. An ideal resource for PSHE lessons but also valuable in the school library so children can read up on these topics. Well written and illustrated, and sensitively handled; a really useful series.

The World's Fastest Cars (Edge Books: World Record Breakers) by Sean McCollum

Perfect for children who need a little encouragement to read, the bright presentation, excellent photography and informative text will give this book wide appeal. Supercars, race cars, and sports cars all travel at incredible speeds, but just how do they go so fast? Find out why some cars have wings and lots of other amazing facts. Well labelled photos and illustrations keep interest and information value high and there's a useful glossary for those unfamiliar terms, as well as an index to help reference.

Iguanodon and Other Bird-Footed Dinosaurs: The Need-to-Know Facts (A+ Books) by Janet Riehecky

Bird-footed dinosaurs like Iguanodon were plant-eaters that could walk on two legs. Many of the dinosaurs in this group could run away from hungry predators. Others traveled in large herds to stay safe. Find out more about the bird-footed dinosaurs that walked the earth millions of years ago - there are some amazingly-named creatures in this book; many are unfamiliar to me, so I am sure children will learn a lot from the book. It is superbly illustrated, with the reconstructed dinosaurs set against authentic backgrounds which really give a feel for what the world was like. The book abounds with fascinating facts. This is one in an extensive series of books on dinosaurs which together will make a super reference library on the topic.

Create Your Own Podcast (Ignite: Media Genius) by Matthew Anniss

Young people today have so many ways open to them to communicate and share their thoughts, feelings and creative work with others, but they don't always know the best way to go about it. For all aspiring podcasters, this is the book that will get them going. It's packed with practical tips on how to make a podcast, from planning and preparing to actually recording, editing and launching it. It even offers advice on the next step - vodcasting! Success stories of how famous podcasters made their mark on the industry are sure to motivate young people. There is plenty of guidance and useful tips which will help the novice podcaster on his or her way.

Science vs Natural Disasters (Science Fights Back) by Angela Royston

Discover how scientists are working to alleviate threat of natural disasters; natural disasters are increasingly devastating parts of the world, in the form of hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, tsunamis, flooding and much more. Readers will marvel at incredible weapons scientists are deploying; these are shown to great effect through excellent colour photos. The book looks at why, how and when these natural disasters happen, how scientists can predict them and how we can protect ourselves from them. It's very topical, extremely informative and the excellent presentation will appeal to KS2 and KS3 pupils.

Europe (Mathalon Maps) by Joanne Randolph

This intriguing combination of geography and maths will fascinate children, especially those who love playing with numbers. "Have you got the mathematical stamina to complete the most adventurous calculations that Europe can throw at you? You can work out everything from how many more square miles is the total area of France, Germany, and Italy than the total area of the Nordic countries, to how long it takes to swim the English Channel at a given speed. This unique book teaches key skills in mathematics whilst learning about Europe on the way." This colourful and well illustrated book is full of facts to interest children, and there are mathematical challenges to enjoy; it's an unusual and engaging approach, perfect for stretching pupils' knowledge.

Tyrannosaurus Rex and Its Relatives: The Need-to-Know Facts (Dinosaur Fact Dig) by Megan Cooley Peterson

Tyrannosaurus Rex and its relatives were fearsome meat eaters and deadly predators; children are fascinated by these huge beasts with their strong teeth and jaws that could crush bone. Bold images, colourful maps, and interesting facts take readers back to a time when these mighty carnivores walked the earth. The book is dramatically presented with excellent artwork and fascinating facts to increase children's knowledge.

Totally Wacky Facts about the Human Body (Mind Benders) by Cari Meister

Most children love to gather weird and wonderful facts, and then quote them to anyone who will listen. This book is perfect for that. It answers questions such as: Ever wondered how many strands of hair you lose in a single day? Curious about how many taste buds are on your tongue? Want to know how many bacteria live in your bellybutton? This title offers totally amazing facts about the human body that will keep curious minds wanting more. With one fact per page and bright illustrations, it's an appealing book to dip into.

Life in Extreme Places (Life Science Stories) by Leon Gray

Learn how plants and animals survive living in places as extreme as the bottom of an ocean, the edge of a cliff and the slopes of a mountain. The book takes the reader on a fascinating journey through some of Earth's harshest environments, including hot deserts and frozen polar lands, exploring the life that can be found there. Superb photographs bring these worlds to life, and fact boxes and true stories and survival stories add to the information value; the text is easy to follow and very informative. There is a good glossary, and a useful 'Find out more' section.

Trapped Behind Nazi Lines: The Story of the U.S. Army Air Force 807th Medical Evacuation Squadron (Narrative Nonfiction) by Eric Braun

This unusual and stimulating format is non-fiction cleverly worked to read like a story. It's an excellent way to encourage students to enjoy background residing based on their school studies. In the grim days of World War II, a group of Army Air Force medical workers found themselves trapped behind enemy lines after surviving a plane crash. Two months of sheer terror followed, and this is vividly brought to life in this dramatic and compelling narration. Vivid details bring to light how they survived and the emotions they faced on a daily basis. Primary-source quotes bring the story to life.

Smooth Sea and a Fighting Chance: The Story of the Sinking of Titanic by Steve Otfinofski

We all know of the disaster that befell the world's largest passenger ship of its time. The powerful and emotive narrative storytelling gives a very personal view of the tragedy as it follows the stories of those who experienced the tragedy firsthand. Excellent pictures make the story have even more impact. The book's usefulness as a teaching tool is enhanced by the material at the end of the book - a timeline, glossary, comprehension questions, further reading, bibliography, websites and an index. These also provide useful examples for pupils as types of supporting material to use in their own work.

Is Time Travel Possible? (Top Secret!) by Nick Hunter

It's an interesting title which will immediately attract children's attention. The book asks whether you think time travel will ever be possible? Will all the books and films that show time travel become a reality? How does the science work? In this fascinating book, a mysterious figure called the Mystery Master sets you the challenge of investigating all the scientific theories surrounding time travel and encourages you to analyse the information that you have gathered. It's an approach which will really involve the reader, encouraging them to reason on the information given and come to their own conclusion. It's well illustrated throughout and the layout is appealing too.

Scorpion vs Centipede: Duel to the Death (Mini-Beast Wars) by Kimberly Feltes Taylor

Who is going to be the victor when a stinging scorpion takes on a speedy centipede? Fascinating photos and dynamic descriptions will give young bug lovers an up-close look at these cunning predators to learn about their natural weapons, defenses, and abilities. Readers can then cheer on their favorite as these bugs battle for victory. With excellent colour photos, captioned to attract the reader's interest, plus Fierce Facts and word definitions, this is both fun and informative.

Bloody, Rotten Roman Empire (Disgusting History) by James A. Corrick

Children seem to have an insatiable appetite for the gory and disgusting aspects of history, and this book shows that the Romans had their fair share of being revolting. From garbage-filled streets and spoiled food to bloody gladiator fights and deadly punishments, daily life in Rome was really rotten. Get ready to explore the nasty side of life in ancient Rome. But the popular approach is an excellent way to encourage children to learn more about the Romans and the book is surprisingly informative, with good illustrations and informative captions.

Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses (Ancient Egyptian Civilization) by Christopher Forest

The Ancient Egyptians relied on their gods and goddesses in almost every aspect of their lives. You can find out why the Egyptians worshipped these powerful beings and the roles they played in everyday life. Learn about their part in the creation of the world, myths and legends and praying to gods; then read about the individual gods and goddesses in informative two page spreads with plenty of facts and attractive illustrations. Fact boxes show how to pronounce the name, tell what they looked like and give relationships to other gods.

Cat Speak: Revealing Answers to the Strangest Cat Behaviours (Cats Rule!) by Maureen Webster

Cat lovers young and old will really enjoy learning about the whys and wherefores of cat behaviour in this beautifully illustrated book. Cats have lived with humans for thousands of years, yet some of their behaviour is still puzzling. Why do cats rub up against objects? Why do they knead their paws into your lap? Why do they sit in high places, and why do they jump into cardboard boxes or open drawers? Get ready to demystify the most mysterious cat behaviour and gain a deeper understanding of our feline friends. A fascinating and revealing read.

Horrible Jobs of the Industrial Revolution (History's Most Horrible Jobs) by Leon Gray

Another book which looks at the seamier side of history, again appealing to children who enjoy this approach. We all know that many, if not most, of the jobs during the Industrial revolution would not be tolerated today, but here are some of the worst. The main sections are Down the mine, Factory workers, On the move and At your service. Matchstick girls, the workhouse, canal leggers and housemaids are just some of the aspects covered. With an enticing mix of contemporary and modern illustrations, this attractively laid out book is informative and an excellent piece of social history to help children really picture everyday life during the Industrial Revolution.

Camping (Adventures in the Great Outdoors) by Robyn Hardyman

As our lives take us further and further from the outside world, this practical and fact-packed book will really encourage children to explore all the benefits of an outdoor life. Going on a camping trip is the perfect way to get in touch with the natural world and discover its wonders up close. For a successful camping trip, you need to plan ahead, and think about where you want to go and what you will need. With step by step practical explanations on how to carry out specific tasks, such as campfire cooking and stargazing, and tips on how to stay safe in the outdoors, this book provides all you need to know about camping, what to take and how to do it. Well illustrated with lots of colour photos of children enjoying a happy time, it's an encouraging book.

The Hidden Story of Family Breakups (Undercover Story) by Sarah Levete

Sadly, we live in a world in which family breakups are commonplace. It happens all around the world. We need and want to help those affected but it is often hard to understand the feelings and issues that young people experience when they find themselves caught up in a broken family. This tactful volume looks at the issues and feelings triggered by a family breakup. It explores the complicated emotions that a breakup can cause and the methods for dealing with these situations. It's tactfully and sensitively handled, with a positive slant.

Peeking Under Your Skin (What's Beneath) by Karen Latchana Kenney

Children are fascinated by what happens beneath our skin, so this book will definitely appeal. Fun-to-explore, high-density illustrations and informative text make the circulatory system, digestive system, and other complex inner-workings of the human body easy to understand. It's ideal to support KS2 science studies of the human body. The approach is simple but informative and the colourful diagrams really help understanding. They are easy to understand, with clear labelling and children will enjoy copying them into their own books.

Golden Gate Bridge by Rebecca Stanborough

This book explores and explains how the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the world's iconic landmarks, was built. The bridge's construction is described in terms of the engineering process. The book explores why the bridge was built and describes the design stages and technologies used during construction. The book also describes the challenges builders faced while building the bridge. The explanations are easy to understand and help readers comprehend the marvel of the engineering work undertaken. Contemporary photos show both the bridge and the general area and the book explains more about bridges in general, making it a very useful topic book.

The Stone Age Tablet (Newspapers from History) by Andrew Langley

I love this format - it's a great way to get children really involved in history and a brilliant idea to use as the starting point for a class newspaper on the period. The Stone Age Tablet is celebrating its anniversary in this special edition - 500,000 years old today! Bursting with prehistoric news and features from previous editions spanning the Stone Age, Iron Age and Bronze Age. Written and designed in a newspaper style, the Stone Age Tablet covers the KS2 History Curriculum in a fun and inventive way. Each page takes one topic and presents it news-style - so we have, for example Clash over holy site (plans to extend Stonehenge) and Food and drink which examines the Stone Age diet. A brilliant way to make history interesting to children.

Helen Thayer's Arctic Adventure: A Woman and a Dog Walk to the North Pole (Narrative Nonfiction) by Sally Isaacs

Take a trip with Helen and Charlie--to the North Pole. The adventures of Helen Thayer and her dog, Charlie, as they walk from Canada to the magnetic North Pole are exciting, perilous, and heartwarming. Perfect for the boy or girl who loves adventure and exploration. The narrative style means the account reads like a story, whilst being very informative. Every page has a full colour illustrated background; these pictures are extremely informative and make good talking points. The text is superimposed on these; I have a slight reservation that, when the background is coloured, the fine text may be hard for some readers.

Fossils (Rock On!) by Chris Oxlade

This book provides a simple and fun introduction to fossils, discussing different kinds of fossils, exploring how and why they have formed, how they have changed over time, their appearance and properties. With the help of some Rock Solid! facts that provide cool examples, the book will show you how amazing fossils can be: from the prehistoric woolly mammoth body in Siberia and dinosaur remains to petrified forests. The book is well written and makes a complex subject fascinating and highly readable. The layout is excellent, with plenty of pictures and clearly labelled diagrams; good use is made of colour and text boxes to encourage learning. There is a craft activity as well as a good index, glossary and find out more section.

Writing and Staging Funny Plays (Writing and Staging Plays) by Charlotte Guillain

What makes people laugh? How can you write a funny play? How can you turn a hilarious script into a side-splitting production? Teachers planning a play with their class or children who want to try their hand at staging a play for themselves to amuse friends and family will both find this book a really useful guide. It explains how to write a hilarious play, including use of slapstick and verbal humour. It shows how practical exercises such as improvisation can make characters even more funny, and looks at some examples of humorous plays. There's plenty of detail and the book is a really encouraging way to help children put on a play.

Telling Tales: Writing Captivating Short Stories (Writer's Notebook) by Rebecca Langston-George

Creative writing doesn't come easily to all children, so encouraging short story writing is an excellent idea as it builds confidence. This contemporary, creative breakdown of short-story essentials will help teachers enthuse their students. Clear, concise text introduces and defines key skills. Fun and inspiring writing prompts launch new skills into practice, while author bios and mentor texts provide creative blueprints for budding writers.

Experiments in Material and Matter with Toys and Everyday Stuff (Fun Science) by Natalie Rompella

This book focuses of everyday items that will be familiar to children. Explaining science through objects children use everyday is an excellent way to encourage them to learn and to take an interest in the world around them. Engaging experiments using simple toys and everyday stuff teach curious young minds all about material and matter, offering them a close-up look at the different types of matter, properties of each type, and so much more. With easy to read text and step-by-step photos, this is an enjoyable approach to science.

All About Earth: Exploring the Planet with Science Projects (Discover Earth Science) by Sara L. Latta

Using scientific language, clear instructions guide readers through experiments pertaining to Earth, including its rotation in space, seasons, gravity, and matter. This is a good practical approach with clear step-by-step instructions and plentiful illustrations to help understanding . Experiments are simple, accessible, and could be used in the classroom, or at home. Exploring and understanding the planet has never been simpler.

Adrift and Alone: True Stories of Survival at Sea by Nel Yomtov

Drifting alone on the ocean for days on end. The hot sun is beating down, and water is all you can see in any direction. In these horrible conditions, there are some who have found the will to survive. These true stories detail the amazing events of people who have braved the elements on the open sea. Exciting and often quite unbelievable.

Amazing Animal Stunts (Wild Stunts) by Lisa M. Bolt Simons

We all know that animals are amazing, but animals doing stunts are even more amazing, as this fascinating book goes to show. Readers will be fascinated, educated, and astounded by some of the most amazing stunts animals have pulled off in recent history. The excellent photos prove the stunts really happened!

Experiments with Forces (Read and Experiment) by Isabel Thomas

Although most Raintree books are primarily intended for use in schools, this would be an excellent book to have at home so parents and children can carry out the experiments together. Each one is clearly explained and needs no special equipment, just things found around the home. The book encourages children to view things as scientists do - by trying things out. Each principle is clearly explained and excellent colour photos and diagrams throughout the book add further clarification. KS2 science includes studying forces, so this book is an excellent complement, at school or at home.

For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story (Encounter) by Rebecca Langston-George

Malala Yousafzai is a truly inspirational person and children will be absorbed by her story and her achievements. She grew up in a world where women were supposed to be quiet. But Malala Yousafzai refused to be silent. She defied the Taliban's rules, spoke out for education for every girl, and was almost killed for her beliefs. This powerful true story of how one brave girl named Malala changed the world proves that one person really can make a difference. This book tells her story in narrative form and it would be excellent to read aloud - but make sure you share the unusual and engaging pictures too.

Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the Holocaust (Narrative Nonfiction) by Jennifer Roy

The story is told in narrative form which makes for a good ready - a clever and effective blend of fact with engaging story writing. It is the inspirational story of Irena Sendler, a little known heroine. Defying the Nazis and risking her own life over and over, she saved thousands of children's lives. She kept records of the children she helped smuggle away from the Nazis’ grasp, and when she feared her work might be discovered, she buried her lists in jars, hoping to someday recover them and reunite children with their parents. This gripping true story of a woman who took it upon herself to help save 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust is not only inspirational; it's unforgettable. The wonderful pictures by Meg Owenson are full of atmosphere and emotion and convey the plight of the children superbly.

Light and Dark (Exploring Light) by Louise Spilsbury

this book looks at the differences between light and dark, covering the learning required for KS2 science. The book makes good use of hands-on science to reinforce leaning. Learn how to make a dark box to show how we need light to see; experiment using ice cubes in boxes to show that dark colours absorb more sunlight than light colors; look at how some animals have evolved to “see” in the dark using other senses and try it out yourself; or make a rainbow. With clear explanations and explanatory diagrams and pictures, this is a good support to the curriculum.

Celebrating Birth Around the World (Cultures and Customs) by Anita Ganeri

Help children understand different cultures and learn to appreciate their customs in this colourful book. Featuring the world's main religions as well as some little-known ceremonies and festivals, this book takes an intriguing and colorful look at how birth is celebrated in many different places. The coverage is excellent and it's good to see many lesser-known customs are introduced and explained. The vivid colour photos, mainly of people, really help children to visualise and enjoy the experiences.

What You Need to Know about Cancer (Focus on Health) by Christopher Forest

Cancer can be a scary word, but the more you know about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of cancer, the better equipped you are to understand this disease. Clear, concise information breaks down the disease, the experience of having it, or relating to someone who has cancer. Be inspired by true stories from youths who have experienced cancer in their own lives and how they fought this disease. This may seem a heavy topic for KS2 children, but the book is factual and informative and ultimately reassuring as it contains true stories from young people who have fought cancer. It is this personal experience that makes the book excellent and valuable reading for everyone, but especially young cancer patients, their friends and families.

What is Literary Non-fiction? (Connect with Text) by Charlotte Guillain

An interesting question and I enjoyed looking through this book to find out what is covered. Through the book, readers will all about what makes great literary non-fiction; what it is, examples in the real world, how to use and enjoy it, and how you can write your own. Literary non-fiction includes biographies, quotations, articles, speeches, travel writing, essays and much more. So it is an essential part of both reading and writing and the understanding this book brings will help with both of these. There are plenty of examples of texts and the book really inspires youngsters to try the techniques for themselves.

Great Electronic Gadget Designs 1900 - Today (Iconic Designs) by Ian Graham

This engrossing book takes a look at many iconic names - names that will resonate with adults as well as children. From the Japanese Tamagotchi to the iPhone, this book charts the story of design that led to some amazing games and gadgets. It looks at the needs that prompted their design, the designers responsible for breaking boundaries and the technology that made them possible. I.t's a fascinating read and tells us a great deal about social history and the way people have lived since 1900.

Hip Hamster Projects (Pet Projects) by Isabel Thomas

This is one in a lovely series of books - the others are horse, cat and dog - which are packed with imaginative projects and ideas. Who would have thought there could be so many ideas for hamster-related activities? There are plenty of tips on looking after hamsters to be found throughout the book. The activities include make your own hamster, nibblesome notecards, hamster lanterns, hamster salad bar and hamster pops. Each activity is clearly explained, with clear lists of what is needed and plenty of colour photos to show what to do. Great fun!

Skara Brae (Prehistoric Britain) by Dawn Finch

Children will study prehistory under the new curriculum so this book will be a great asset for teachers, as books on Skara Brae are generally aimed at older readers. Skara Brae is the best example of a Neolithic site in Europe, so is perfect for children to learn about. It's unlikely they will be able to visit this remote site, so this book, which is packed with fascinating photos, is the next best thing. It gives an excellent picture of what life was like, especially through the photos of everyday objects such as beds and paint pots. A timeline helps put events into context.

Neil Armstrong and Travelling to the Moon (Adventures in Space) by Ben Hubbard

From his early childhood, through the rigorous training and on to that momentous first step on the moon, this is a fascinating insight into the life of one of the iconic figures of the 20th century. As well as learning about Neil Armstrong, the book looks at the Space Race and the other developments of the time. Full of fascinating photos, this book will really interest children who want to know more about space and moon landings.

Tracking Animal Movement (Animal Trackers) by Tom Jackson

The first question you might ask is 'Why track animal movement?' and this is clearly explained. We then learn about some of the varied methods used to track animals, including GPS, geolocators and radio signals. We are reassured that the animals do not suffer at all; in fact, these devices are used to help keep them safe. Intriguing photography shows a range of animals and the equipment used, and these are well labelled. It's a fascinating look at old and new technology and how it is used to save animals for extinction.

Amazing Animal Communicators (Animal Scientists) by Leon Gray

Animals use a wonderful range of techniques to communicate - sound, sight, smell and chemicals are all important as animals attempt to communicate warnings, information about food, to attract a mate, or sometimes just for pleasure. Whales communicate across hundreds of miles of ocean with ultrasound songs. Fireflies uses flashes of light to attract a mate. Skunks squirt foul-smelling chemicals to ward off attackers. It's a fascinating look which gives a real insight into the world of animals. Case studies look at particular animals in more detail and the stunning photography is a real boon.

Malala Yousafzai (Against the Odds Biographies) by Claire Throp

Malala is an inspirational young person and this book takes a detailed look at her life and amazing achievements. She has campaigned for education for all children across the world despite being shot by the Taliban for her belief that everyone, including girls, has the right to education. Reading her story is an excellent way to encourage children to think about the education they enjoy and - hopefully - to make them appreciate it. The layout of the book is particularly appealing with its use of pastel colour and soft focus edges to the photos.

Celebrating Islamic Festivals (Celebration Days) by Liz Miles

We live in an increasingly multi-cultural society and children need to understand the way those of other faiths celebrate their beliefs. This book answers questions such as What is Islam; How do Muslims celebrate what is important to them? What do they eat during festival time? and How is Islam celebrated in the UK? I think the last point is especially important for understanding and acceptance. Case studies, recipes and Now and Then boxes all add to the interest and variety of the book.

Ride That Rollercoaster!: Forces at an Amusement Park (Feel the Force) by Richard Spilsbury

This book will definitely appeal to children. By taking a topic that really interests them, they will be encouraged to learn - in this case, about forces. How does a rollercoaster work? Why don't we fly off a scrambler or octopus ride? How do bumper cars work? Covering lots of different rides, including traditional, more tame rides such as rollercoasters, helter-skelters and bumper cars, to more white-knuckle screamers such as scramblers, loop-the-loops, gondolas and corkscrews, this fascinating book takes a good look at forces in an amusement park, with plenty of exciting photos. Maybe children will ask for a trip to understand these forces better!

Saving the Persecuted (Heroes of World War II) by Brenda Williams

The stories in this book feature some incredible men and women, who did wonderful things in helping those persecuted by Hitler's regime. During the most terrible war in history, from the depths of despair rose some very courageous, selfless individuals, such as Oskar Schindler, Raoul Wallenberg and Hannah Senesh, who risked their lives for the sakes of others in need, often for no gain and with no recognition. Many of them are little-known, so it's really good to see them being brought to children's attention. As with most Raintree Books, the index, glossary and find out more sections all help children develop good research skills and stimulate further investigation - a vital part of learning. The relatively sombre presentation ties in perfectly with the theme of the book.

The World's Oddest Inventions (Library of Weird) by Nadia Higgins

This attention-grabbing book will entertain, amuse and amaze as children learn about some of the weirdest inventions ever. How about odour-trapping underwear, digital tattoos, a ship made from ice, an amphibious bicycle or a baby-patting machine? Using plenty of photos to illustrate these weird ideas plus fun trivia facts, this engaging book will elicit plenty of ooohs and aaahs as children enjoy learning about the inventions that haven't quite managed to make it into daily life. Who knows - maybe it will inspire some budding inventors!

Super Cool Forces and Motion Activities with Max Axiom by Agnieszka Biskup

This bright fun approach makes science highly engaging for children. Including catapults, balloon cars bottle boats, soda rockets and going marbles Super Scientist Max Axiom makes hands on science experiments super cool. From the secret files of Axiom Laboratories comes a collection of child-friendly forces and motion experiments and activities, perfect for supporting the KS2 science curriculum and presented in a way children will love. With clear step by step, photo illustrated instructions, these projects will not only teach core curriculum science concepts, but also amaze aspiring young scientists.

How to Draw Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Other DC Super Heroes by Aaron Sautter

DC super heroes have been enthralling children for years. Now they can draw their own heroes with the simple step-by-step instructions which make it look very easy... The super heroes include Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Nightwing, Supergirl, Cyborg and many others. There are background details to enjoy about each character too. A Great way to encourage, not just creativity, but also creative writing as children can make up stories to accompany the drawings.

Canada (Country Guides, with Benjamin Blog and his Inquisitive Dog) by Anita Ganeri

I love the format of this series of books - writing in the style of a blog is a great way to capture children's interest and also to encourage them to try writing in a similar format. Benjamin travels the world, accompanied by his inquisitive dog, Barko Polo and this time our duo find themselves reporting from Canada. Learn about history, geography, cities, people, food, famous places and more, with a chapter for each topic. There are plenty of photos to bring the country alive and the facts include information to help young readers understand how the Canadians live.

How Harmful are Fossil Fuels by Catherine Chambers

This is an excellent way to encourage pupils to think about the way we use earth's precious resources. The book gives a well-balanced view and helps understanding og=f the potential harm as well as encouraging thinking about alternatives. It examines the impact of our use of fossil fuels and extraction methods on our planet. It also describes the damaging effects of oil leaks on our oceans and wildlife. Topically, it investigates fracking. The book also looks at alternative energy sources, such as biofuels and hydroelectric power, and even a new type of rocket fuel. We hear all about the things on the news and this book helps children make sense of what they hear and to make their own informed decisions, aided by the reasoned arguments and additional source material cited.

From Sunlight to Blockbuster Movies: An energy journey through the world of light (Energy Journeys) by Andrew Solway

This book takes the reader on a fascinating journey in a novel approach which helps children to see exactly how energy makes a journey to a specific end - in this case, from sunlight to movie. The journey begins when the sunlight reaches Earth; it shows how its energy is stores in fossil fuels, then explains how this energy is then released to generate electricity which is used to make light, and finally how this light is used to make a movie. An engaging approach which helps understanding, each chapter starts with a question. Throughout the book, you will find a range of activities to enhance understanding, for example making a simple generator.

Daily Life in Ancient Rome (Daily Life in Ancient Civilizations) by Don Nardo

Find out how the Ancient Romans lived - with some surprises on the way! What did they eat; where did they live; how did they worship? ancient Romans like to eat? Seeing how people lived their daily lives makes them much more real to children and therefore helps them to understand the place of people in history. This gives an interesting insight into many aspects of Roman life with excellently chosen illustrative material which repays close attention to gain the full benefit.

Understanding Computer Safety (Understanding Computing) by Paul Mason

We all take computers for granted and they are an essential part of our lives, but it is of the utmost importance that we all, young and old, are aware of the dangers they can present. This clear and informative book looks at all aspects of computer safety, including the way websites track our activity, how to find safe websites and - of key importance - a chapter on cyber bullying. The facts are well presented, not scaremongering but sensible advice to help young people get the best out of modern technology without risk. It's an ideal book to discuss as part of school computing lessons.

Geography Matters in the Inca Empire (Geography Matters in Ancient Civilizations) by Melanie Waldron

The history of a country can be understood through its geography and this fascinating look at the Inca Empire shows us just how the terrain has affected the history. Find out how the mountainous terrain of the Andes led to the development of terraced farming, how the Incas worshipped the mountain peaks as gods, and how they built thousands of miles of roads and bridges to connect people throughout their vast empire. The presentation is exceptional, with superb photography, clearly defined fact boxes and attractive page backgrounds; the whole effect is clear, inviting and uncluttered.

Chimpanzees Are Awesome! (Awesome African Animals) by Megan Cooley Peterson

This beautifully photographed book will appeal to all who love these fascinating creatures. They show how chimpanzees live, how they make the best use of the environment around them, what they eat - and how they are endangered. With a useful glossary, index, list of books and websites for further research and comprehension questions for discussion, this is an excellent reference model for young learners.

Experiments with Heating and Cooling (Read and Experiment) by Isabel Thomas

Read and Experiment is a series which introduces children to scientific concepts through explanation combined with hands-on experiments - the ideal way to learn, understand and remember. This book brings the science of temperature to life, explaining the concepts and encouraging children to be hands-on scientists with a range of easily carried out and fun experiments including belt-busting balloons, a pool party and weather in a jar. Children learn why experimentation is so important and the lively and well-explained presentation is excellent for engaging their attention.

What is a graphic novel? (Connect with Text) by Charlotte Guillain

Graphic novels are extremely popular and are especially good for engaging reluctant readers; the perception of graphic novels has shifted and they are seen as an important part of children's fiction. Readers will learn what makes a great graphic novel; why characters important are important and what comes first: text or pictures. Of course, the book is excellently illustrated with some good examples of graphic novels and their creation. There is a useful section on choosing the graphic novel which is right for you plus an inspiring section about creating your own graphic novel.

Making Machines with Springs (Simple Machine Projects) by Chris Oxlade

Springs are covered in the KS2 science curriculum and this clear and well laid out book is excellent for explaining the basic principles to children in lower KS2. It shows how springs are used in everyday life and how they work. Clearly laid out experiments with well sized photos encourage children to investigate for themselves, followed by explanations for what they have seen. Bright artwork makes the book attractive - a long way from science textbooks of old!

Britain's Settlement by the Anglo-Saxons and Scots (Early British History) Claire Throp

The new KS2 history curriculum requires pupils to study early British history so books on this topic will be welcomed by teachers. Starting with the end of Roman rule, the book introduces the Scoti, Picts, Jutes, Angles and Saxons and shows the far-reaching impact they had on our country. Contemporary illustrative material is used to good effect and makes an excellent teaching aid. To ensure accuracy, as with most Raintree books, not only are experienced authors used, but consultants are also involved in the production of the books.

The Most Endangered Animals in the World (All About Animals) by Tammy Gagne

The lovely photos in this book will encourage children to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and the fact that we all need to work together to save these creatures and their habitats. Each animal is pictured and described, with the threat it faces explained; there are also interesting facts to enjoy.

Marie Antoinette: Fashionable Queen or Greedy Royal? (Perspectives on History) by Sarah Powers Webb

What do you think about the question in the title? After reading this interesting book, you may (or may not!) have a new perspective on one of the most famous of queens. Learn about Marie Antoinette's life and the changes she had to make to adapt to her role. The illustrations give plenty of insight into her lifestyle and the fact boxes add interesting information. Key words are explained both at the bottom of pages and in the glossary. It makes you think.

Poo and Puke Eaters of the Animal World (Disgusting Creature Diets) by Jody Sullivan

This will inevitably appeal to children! Pups eating their own poo; baby birds eating their mother's vomit... but there is a good reason for these apparently revolting happenings and children will find them out in this lively and engaging book. It's a presentation that children will love and as they enjoy the book, they will be assimilating plenty of knowledge.

Acrylics (Paint It) by Mari Bolte

Paint It is a creative series from Raintree which is designed to bring out the inner artist in all of us. This title focuses on acrylics and shows the excellent results which can be achieved by the use of simple techniques. The detailed step-by-step instructions make it easy for everyone to produce great results and the photographs of what can be achieved are inspirational. It's full of practical advice to get the best results and I was amazed to see what can be achieved by using basic techniques. Excellent!

Brazil: A Benjamin Blog and His Inquisitive Dog Guide by Anita Ganeri

I very much like the idea of this series - by using a boy (and his inquisitive dog) to introduce children to different countries, they can easily identify with what is happening and are drawn into the book. Children will learn about Brazil's history, geography, cities, people, food, famous places, and more. The text is simple and suitable for lower KS2; Barko's Blog-tastic Brazil Facts add information in more detail, generally about the photos. Additional useful features are the Brazil Fact File, Brazil quiz and detailed index.

Forming a Band (I'm in the Band) by Richard Spilsbury

Non Fiction books don't just have to be about the curriculum! It's great to see books like this which focus on topics which interest children and thereby encourage them to read and enjoy books. This is one in a series of four books which tells young musicians all they want to know about creating and running their own band. Get all the best tips on how to form your own band. From choosing your instrument or just singing, to deciding what and where you want to play, starting a band could change your life! It's packed with information, laid out in all sorts of different styles to attract the attention and make reading enjoyable. There's plenty of practical advice and information on how to find out more. There's even a quiz to see if you are on the right track!

All About Henry VIII (Fusion: History) by Anna Claybourne

For children, Henry VIII is one of the of the best-known monarchs. Henry VIII with his colourful and controversial life is always a source of interest and this book gives a good insight. It takes a light-hearted look at some of the events of his reign and answers questions such as how did he make himself leader of the church and what was his lasting legacy. On each two page spread, we find a box called 'Chop chop' - I'll leave you to work that one out! The presentation is attractive with lots of pictures and despite the approach, there is a great deal of information. The mini glossary at the bottom of the pages is useful - children don't always want to bother to search at the back of a book, although there is a full glossary and index. An engaging way of teaching.

Life in Anglo-Saxon Britain (A Child's History of Britain) by Anita Ganeri

This is an interesting period in history and one which has left plenty of evidence around the country. Much of this evidence - for instance Pevensey Castle, Lindisfarne and Sutton Hoo is featured in this book and if children can be taken to see these places, history will really come alive for them. But when this is not possible, seeing photos and reading about the places will generate an interest and that opportunity is given by this book. Written in a very child-friendly manner, it discusses Anglo-Saxon life from the viewpoint of a child, this drawing the child in and making the book relevant. Excellent clear layout makes this book easy to read and navigate, helped by the good index.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Extraordinary Women) by Nick Hunter

In a relatively short time the Duchess of Cambridge has established herself sufficiently to be included in this series which profiles the world's most influential women. It is the story of her extraordinary journey from an ordinary childhood to mother to the heir to the throne and an influential woman in her own right. Illustrated with plenty of photos, this gives an interesting insight into aspects of her life which young people may not have known about. An interesting read which also provides insights into royal history..

Making Noise: Making Sounds by Louise Spilsbury

The easy to follow activities in this book are ideal to encourage children to make and explore sounds. A double page explanation of various types of sounds is followed by an activity to try - vibrations are demonstrated by means of a balloon; strings are illustrated by making a violin and vocal chords by making a balloon flute, for example. This hands-on experience is an excellent way for children to discover and understand, and they will have a lot of fun at the same time. The activities are illustrated well and will produce successful results for little effort and with readily obtainable resources.

Alexander Graham Bell (Raintree Perspectives) by Catherine Chambers

Find out all about a man who invented a device almost all of us use on a daily basis - the telephone. The book tells the story of Alexander Graham Bell's life from early childhood and helps us learn what prompted his interest in science and discovery - especially his father. Many other inventors feature in the book and all had their part to play. Plenty of contemporary illustrations and a clear uncluttered layout make for a good read and some interesting information. We can even see the phone Queen Victoria  was shown by Bell and which she bought for Osborne House - it's these bits of in formation that make history really interesting..

Flowers (Plant Parts) by Melanie Waldron

One of a series which explains in detail exactly how each part of a plant is designed to carry out a specific job. The flowers in this book vary form the familiar, such as lilies, to plants from around the world including a strange plant called the hydnora africana which is all underground except the flower. It's a most attractive book, with good sized photos and clear layout, making it easy to use and reader-friendly. There are activities for children to enjoy, giving them an insight into flower parts and increasing their understanding.

Tigers (Living in the Wild: Big Cats) by Anna Claybourne

Big cats - children are perennially fascinated by these impressive creatures and the excellent photos in this book will help them learn more about tigers. The book is full of interesting facts - like the people who wear masks on the backs of their heads to fool tigers, who like to creep up behind people. Habitats, adaptations, food chains and more, plus, and very importantly, what we can do to protect tigers. A comprehensive index helps children's research skills.

Animal Classification: Do Cats Have Family Trees? (Show Me Science) by Eve Hartman

An interesting title that has you wanting to know more. Meet Fluffy the cat and learn about her family tree and discover how different animals are grouped and classified. This is a topic children study in KS2 science and by reading this interesting application of science their understanding will be developed as they answer the questions and they will be helped to reason on the topic and apply their knowledge. As ever with Raintree Books, the layout is excellent and there is a useful index and glossary.

Ghosts & Hauntings (Solving Mysteries With Science) by Jane Bingham

Ghosts - a topic that has intrigued many people for many years. Over the centuries, there have been reports of ghosts, haunted houses, and other eerie phenomenon. Is it possible that at least some of these sightings are true? Based on scientific methods and other information, this is the book to read if you want to find out what lies behind these mysterious sightings. The photos are suitably ghoulish and this isn't a book for bedtime reading! It includes many of Britain's most famous ghostly sites - from Anne Boleyn's ghost at Blickling Hall to Borley Rectory, reputedly the most haunted house!

Julius Caesar (Hero Journals) by Nick Hunter

Hero Journals are a first-person journal approach to historical biographies and they really help young students to gain an understanding of how great leaders of the past felt and acted. The young reader will learn about life in Ancient Rome and Caesar's rise to power. Attractively presented, with clearly defined paragraphs covering different topics and making good use of a wide range of illustrative material. Readers will also be given valuable tips and ideas for writing their own life stories. The book includes a useful glossary.

Bats (Animal Abilities) by Charlotte Guillain

A little-known and often misunderstood creature, the bat is an important part of our ecology and it is vital that we understand its place - and this book is perfect for doing that. Stunning photos with many close-ups allow us to see these creatures in detail and the informative text shows the wonderful abilities of these creatures and how humans can learn from them. Good clear layout with information presented in boxes makes an attractive book.

Forces and Motion (Essential Physical Science) by Angela Royston

Forces and motion - a topic studied in KS2. An in-depth look which gives everything needed for study at this stage, engagingly presented in question and answer format. The photos are all labelled with clear explanations of the scientific principle pictured. Each book in the Infosearch series includes three activities for children to try; these help understanding and increase interest in the topic

Plants (Essential Life Science) by Melanie Waldron

Essential Life Science is a series which covers key curriculum topics in a comprehensive way. The books are in the Infosearch series which takes key questions and answers them in a double page spread. Plants answers questions such as 'What do plants need to grow?' and 'Can plants defend themselves?' through easy to read text with extensive use of excellent photographs. 'Did you know?', Eureka moment' and 'What's next' boxes give additional information and stimulate discussion.

Did the Romans Eat Crisps? and other questions about History (Questions You Never Thought You'd Ask) by Paul Mason

The cover picture 'Empire crisps: Smelly Sandals flavour' gives a good feel for the light-hearted approach of this book. It's a great way to appeal to children as it answers questions such as 'Did the Aztecs send postcards?', 'Where did chips come from?' and 'Did Ancient Chinese warriors ever play football?'. It's a fun read which contains plenty of historical facts and it's an excellent way to get children interested in history.

Campaigns of World War I (Remembering World War I) by Nick Hunter

Each two page spread asks and answers a question, starting with 'What was World War I?'. 'Did you know?', Who's Who' and 'In their own words' boxes complement the text. Good use is made of contemporary photographs and these give good opportunities for discussion. This is a good approach for children, who are always asking questions. There are four books currently available in the Infosearch series about World War I.

Seas (Explorer Travel Guides) by Nick Hunter

A very attractively presented book, with clear layout, excellent use of colour and devices to split the text to make it easy to follow. It's written in the form of a travel guide which takes the reader on an exciting journey. Along the way, there are lots of amazing facts to learn, information about explorers of the past and about conservation issues. World map, timeline, glossary and index add to the interest and educational value of the book.

The Anatomy of a Dragon (The World of Dragons) by Matt Doeden

Did you think you knew what a dragon looked like? This book may make you change your mind! Find out what they look like, how they fly and how they breathe fire. Learn all about the powerful bodies of these mighty beasts, and what makes each one special. This colourful book explains the myths about dragons and how they have fascinated humans.

Loch Ness Monster (Ignite - Solving Mysteries With Science) by Lori Hile

A mystery that has intrigued people for hundreds of years is the theme of this book. Are the stories true and if so, just what is the mysterious beast? There are some thrilling accounts of sightings and then the book goes on to investigate the scientific theories behind the sightings of the monster. It's packed with facts and a fascinating read, presented in a most appealing format to engage the reader. "This series provides a new, fun approach to solving the mysteries of the ages, combining exciting and dramatic narratives with more traditional non-fiction science content. Each book focuses on one mystery, and is divided into two distinct sections: a non-fiction, dramatic, high-tension narrative that recounts individual sightings or encounters; and a more traditional non-fiction science section that aims to explain and disprove or validate the narratives, using the scientific method."

Pirate Treasure (Ignite - Treasure Hunters) by Nick Hunter

The books in the Ignite series are packed with information on topics which are bound to intrigue young people, and they are therefore a great way to encourage even reluctant readers. Pirates are always a fascinating topic - somehow, we romanticise them despite their cruel ways and they always make for fascinating reading. We learn about famous pirates such as Captain Kidd and Blackbeard, and find out whether pirates really buried treasure - is there any chance of finding treasure? Generously illustrated and making excellent use of colour and well-designed layout, this is a book (and a series) that will appeal across a wide age range and will be especially good for struggling readers with its high interest level.

Mapping Communities (Let's Get Mapping!) by Melanie Waldron

This title focuses on how maps can help us understand communities and how they are used to give information about communities - from a class in a school up to a whole country, all are communities. Maps for communities can be for as small an area as a classroom, right up to towns and cities. The value of mapping these communities is shown, and the benefit to planning clearly illustrated through clear bright diagrams. Maps from historical times up to online maps are covered, and the book is packed with ideas for teachers to use in the classroom to extend understanding of maps.

Horses and Ponies (Animal Family Albums) by Paul Mason

Angus, a Shetland pony, introduces the reader to his varied family - this is a novel approach and one which is very successfully used to involve and stimulate the reader. We find out about different breeds, their history and their role in helping man. The presentation is excellent, with information split into manageable chunks. This is a series which has plenty to offer beyond, as well as in, the classroom. Children love reading animal books and the attractive layout and high level of photographic content make this an excellent series. As is usual with Raintree books,the combination of experienced children's author with the expertise of a subject consultant combines the best of both worlds.

Island Life by Anita Ganeri

As we live on an island, it's great to introduce children to some of the different types of islands that can be found around the world. They are encouraged to compare life on our island with some very different islands, including islands off our coast and around the world. There is information about the landscapes, wildlife and everyday life and culture, all illustrated with excellent photos which bring the islands and their people to life. There is plenty here for classroom use and discussion.

Silly Circus Tricks (Try This at Home!) by Nick Hunter

If you've ever wondered how to juggle, how to walk on stilts or a tightrope, or to do acrobatics, now is your chance to find out! Step-by-step instructions accompanied by plenty of photos give the young reader the chance to try for themselves. In today's world, we are all concerned about a lack of physical activity for our children, and this series is excellent for inspiration for all sorts of activities, many of which do not require too much space. Well worth a look and excellent for the staffroom.

Football (Fantastic Sport Facts) by Michael Hurley

There are plenty of young football fans out there who will find this book a fascinating read - and a super way to engage reluctant readers (for whom the series is designed). If children are reluctant to read, giving them a book like this which they will really want to read is a great incentive. This is packed with amazing facts about football and footballers  -it could be put to very good use as the basis for devising a quiz!

Orcas (Living in the Wild: Sea Mammals) by Claire Throp

This series provides a more detailed look at individual species than a more general book on sea mammals would be able to do, so it's excellent for the level of informative detail. The book has stunning photos of orcas (who are maybe more familiar to many of us as killer whales). The information is clearly presented and good use as made of diagrams and tables to clarify concepts. As with all Raintree non fiction, the index and glossary, together with suggestions for further research, are excellent teaching tools.

Saving the Environment (Making a Difference) by Vic Parker

Many children are concerned about the world around us, and this is an excellent series to show children that they really can make a difference. The book is full of inspiring examples of young people who have seen a need to act and done so, with amazing results. Find out what inspired them, how they raised money and how to make a difference in your own community. A book that will inspire youngsters to get out and make their own difference.  As with most Raintree books, hardbacks and paperbacks are available, as are book packs.Overcoming Personal Challenges (Making a Difference)  and Inspiring Others (Making a Difference)

The Moon (Astronaut Travel Guides) by Chris Oxlade

A travel guide that takes the reader on his very own  virtual journey to the moon. They will learn about the moon, get advice on what they will need on the journey and who to take with them. There are even exclusive interviews with an astronaut and an astronomer to help prepare them. It's a novel and exciting presentation that will capture the reader's interest. Copiously illustrated with photos and attractively presented, this will interest any space enthusiast. Earth (Astronaut Travel Guides) and  Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors (Astronaut Travel Guides)

Oceans (Habitat Survival) by Claire Llewellyn

Stunning photos of the beauties of the ocean world are a key feature of this attractive and well laid out book. Excellent use of fact boxes and labelled diagrams mean that a great deal of information is presented in an easy to assimilate way. There are lots of fascinating facts, and words in bold are explained in the glossary. Find out why some of the habitats are under threat and what can be done to help them. raintree books are written by authors who write lots of non fiction for children, supported by expert consultants. Mountains (Habitat Survival) and Polar Regions (Habitat Survival)

South Africa - Countries Around the World by Claire Throp

Countries Around the World is an excellent series which covers a huge number of countries - and new titles seem to be being added all the time! The great thing about this is that, once the user appreciates the comprehensive coverage of one book, they know that all the other titles are going to be just as good. The emphasis is on up-to-date information, current affairs and newsworthy items, so you can be sure you are getting all the latest information. History, geography, culture and all the expected topics are included, but the books are made so much more interesting by the inclusion of topics such as recipes, language, animals and an outline map and a flag for use in projects. Timeline, fact files, further sources - it's amazing how much is packed in! The photos are high quality, the layout contemporary and the text very readable - an excellent series.



Life Processes - The Web of Life by Anna Claybourne

In KS2, children study life cycles and life processes and this is an excellent series to support that learning. The series shows how all living things are interdependent. This, in turn, highlights how vital it is for all of us to care for our world to enable this interdependency to remain in balance. The seven life processes are discussed in this title. There is an interesting case study - blue whale versus puffball fungus; an intriguing juxtaposition! There is plenty of opportunity for discussion around the issues arising in the book, making it a good classroom resource. The fact boxes 'What it means for us' are a good way to involve youngsters and get them thinking.

 Weather - The Science Behind by Darlene R Stille

This is a wide-ranging series, covering many key science topics taught in school - see below for just a few more in the series. It is particularly good for reluctant or struggling readers, being written in an engaging fashion and making excellent use of the visual resources - photos, diagrams and labelling - to complement the text. Good use is made of objects and experiences with which young readers are familiar and this enables them to relate well to the content of the books. Each book features a 'try it yourself' activity, which is excellent for reinforcing learning. There is a contents page, glossary and index, which are all straightforward and ideal for the learning of reference skills. A well thought-out and practical series.

Daniel  Radcliffe - Star Biographies by Sheila Llanas

Find out how Daniel Radcliffe overcame a learning disability to become one of today's best known actors. The book tells of his early life; those phenomenally successful Harry Potter films and what the future holds for Daniel. This series - Star Biographies - is a great way to engage both boys and girls with reading as they have the opportunity to learn about some of their favourite celebrities - always popular! Packed with photos and plenty of quotes, this series gives a good insight into celebrity lives, with just enough information for the recommended age of 8-10 year olds.

Robert Pattinson - Star Biographies by Jennifer Besel

Robert Pattinson first appeared in the vampire movie Twilight - but he really wanted to be a musician. Children will enjoy finding out more about his life in this simply presented but colourful and factual book. More in the series - Zac Efron (Star Biographies), Taylor Lautner (Star Biographies)

Animal Heroes - War Stories by Jane Bingham

This is an eye-opening account of the many different ways in which animals have been involved in war and - on many occasions - have had a really significant impact on the outcome. Did you know that there is an Animals in War Memorial in London? Or that pigeons were used to take photos behind enemy lines? Attractive and colourful layout with plenty of pictures bring the stories alive. War Stories is an interesting series of books which take the reader behind some of the less well known aspects of war. They provide useful background information to history and citizenship studies.  

Handheld Gadgets - Science and Technology by  Neil Morris

Find out how technology has changed and will continue to change our lives in  this excellent new title in the Sci-Hi series will definitely appeal to today's technology savvy youngsters. Focusing on those appliances they use on a daily basis, this explains the technology behind computers, phones, sat navs, games and much more. Clear and colourful layout, small chunks of text, lots of pictures - all make this an easy read. It would be a good book for adults who want to understand their children's interests too.

England - Countries Around the World by Claire Throp

There are currently around 24 titles in this series from Raintree. They are a useful introduction to each country, with coverage of history, the landscape, wildlife, constitution, social life and culture. There is a useful fact file, a timeline, a glossary, resources for projects and a detailed index. All these add up to a book which is an excellent library resource, both for studying the subject and for learning how to use books to their full potential. Photos, diagrams and fact boxes add up to a very colourful, attractive and accessible series.


Solar Power - Tales of Invention by Chris Oxlade

You may think the harnessing of solar power is relatively new, but far from it! The Ancient Greeks and Romans used it, as did North Americans. The book tells of some fascinating inventions such as solar collectors used for cooking and heating water, as well as describing modern technology. The timeline puts it all into context and the boxes for biographies, setbacks and 'Eureka!' are attractive as well as making the book easy to read. One in a series which will enthrall all who are interested in the marvel of inventions.

The Life Cycle of Mammals - Life Cycles by Susan H Gray

Life cycles - a topic of perennial interest and one which is studied in varying detail throughout the curriculum. This series is aimed at children aged 8 - 10 and complements other series in the Raintree range. In this book, the reader finds out what a mammal is; how they are born; how they move; how they protect themselves and much more. For those stimulated by the book, there is (as with most Raintree Books) a list of further sources. Colourful and attractive, children will enjoy this series.


 Fearsome Fish - Creatures of the Deep by Rachel Lynette

How deep in the ocean do anglerfish live and how big are they? What is its lure and how does it attract prey? Learn all about these "black sea devils" and other frightening fish in this title. Each book in the Creatures of the Deep series focuses on one sea creature and its near relatives, meaning that the coverage is detailed and provides a real insight into marine life. An important aspect of the series is the way the books show the conservation issues that are so important, thus raising children's awareness.


The Story Behind Soap - True Stories by  Christin Ditchfield

I found this a fascinating series! I learnt a lot about some of the things we take for granted in everyday life and will value them more as a result of knowing what goes into their manufacture. In today's throw-away society, it is valuable for children to learn just how things get to us. What soap is; soap through history; how it is made and what the future holds. Packed with colourful illustrations and even instructions on how to make your own soap. Fascinating!

The Story Behind Silk - True Stories by Ann Weil

The Story Behind Water (True Stories)
The Story Behind Rubber (True Stories)
The Story Behind Paper (True Stories)
The Story Behind Glass (True Stories)
The Story Behind Wool (True Stories)


Raintree Books - Key Stage 3 (KS3)


Split History of the Wars of the Roses: A Perspectives Flip Book (Perspective Flip Books: Perspectives Flip Books) by Claire Throp

This excellent series takes a novel approach which will be really appreciated by students. By KS3, pupils need to be reasoning on the history facts they are learning and here's the perfect way. The details of the same event can appear very different depending on the perspectives of the people involved. In this novel book, read about the Wars of the Roses from the Lancastrian viewpoint and athen flip the book over to read about the Yorkist points of view. It's very well done, an excellent idea and one that will stimulate classroom discussion.

Chris Evans (Edge Books: Hollywood Action Heroes) by Jen Jones

Young people enjoy finding about the background of people they know about, so they will enjoy this series. Hollywood Action Heroes gives you the inside stories of some of the best known action movie stars, including their lives before they became famous, as well as off-screen lives. Readers will be inspired the challenges they have faced and what makes them stars. Each book is full of photographs of the stars. Chris Evans is best known for his roles in the Captain America, Fantastic Four and Avengers movies. But how did he become an action movie hero? This book follows Chris' rise to fame through youth theatre work and TV roles before making his break on the big screen.

The Impact of Technology in Sports by Matt Anniss

So many changes have taken place in sport as a result of the introduction of modern technology and students will find this insight a fascinating way to understand the impact of those changes. From the development of carbon fibre composite materials for para-athletes, to improvements in sport nutrition, performance in competitive events has been vastly improved by contemporary science and technology. This book looks at historical, current and emerging examples of sport technology. It looks at technology in training, athletic performance, sport nutrition, equipment for sport, medicine and how sport is shown on TV. Many of these areas have impact on amateur players, so the relevance of this book will encourage even those who do not normally enjoy reading. A useful timeline puts developments into context and there are ideas for projects to undertake - useful in the KS3 classroom.

Fashion Photographer by Dallas Justin

This is one in the enticingly titled series The Coolest Jobs on the Planet, which includes many dream jobs such as polar scientist and animator. Join Justin Dallas as he takes photos in some tremendous locations - and find out just what hard work the job is! The book really takes an in-depth look at what the job involves - it's not all glamour! It's realistic and interesting to read - a good way to engage those who don't enjoy fiction. Excellent photos and contemporary layout make for an enjoyable read.

Dian Fossey: Friend to Africa's Gorillas (Women in Conservation) by Robin S. Doak

Learn about the achievements and impact of this remarkable woman in this interesting book. An aspirational person and hopefully pupils reading this will be inspired. This book takes an engaging look at the work of groundbreaking conservationist Dian Fossey and her work with mountain gorillas. It covers Fossey's inspiration, her methods, findings and the impact of her work in Africa. It's attractively presented, with good use of fact boxes to extend knowledge. The book includes a timeline, useful glossary and list of additional sources of information.

Let's Think About Sustainable Energy by Vic Parker

We are all aware of the vital importance of sustainable energy; here we learn about the pros and cons of different methods and how sustainable energy is likely to develop in the future. The facts are clearly presented and the impact of various forms is explained. I like the inclusion of a list of keywords to use (and how to use them) when searching the internet - and the emphasis on doing this with an adult. The Let's Think About series helps pupils to develop critical thinking and debating skills. Each book examines a topic and presents readers with information to help them deliberate, debate and decide for themselves. A great basis for classroom debates!

Earthquake: Perspectives on Earthquake Disasters (Disaster Dossiers) by Anne Rooney

This stimulating series focuses on some of the natural disasters which seem to be affecting our world increasingly. Earthquake encourages students to view the events from the perspectives of the people involved by using first-hand accounts from those affected, occluding survivors and rescue services. The book is devoted to the Haiti earthquake of 2010 and gives a comprehensive picture of the event and its effects. This personal approach will encourage discussion and give students a greater understanding of the trauma suffered by victims and others affected.

The Split History of World War II (Perspectives Flip Books) by Simon Rose

The two perspectives from which the events of the war are discussed are the Axis Powers and the Allied Powers - flip the book over to see the other perspective. It's an interesting way to help students consider the events from the two different viewpoint sand a good way to promote debate in the classroom. It's a relatively brief read, suitable as an introduction for lower KS3 pupils. Good use is made of contemporary photographs and each side of the book has its own good index plus a shared glossary and timeline.

Who Broke the Wartime Codes? by Nicola Barber

A fascinating topic and an interesting exploration into the background to the Code Breakers - those people who are credited with shortening World War II by an appreciable length of time. Their work was, of course, highly secret at the time and this book makes excellent use of the source material which has since been revealed. Contemporary artefacts including photos give an excellent sense of the period and the book is a good example of the importance and value of primary and secondary sources to piece together a picture.

Every Building Has a History by Andrew Langley

We can learn so much from looking at the buildings around us - not just what they appear from the front, but by looking up (above shop fronts, for example) or to see what changes have been made, such as windows and doors blocked up - and looking at these prompts the question 'why?'. This interesting look at buildings will answer some of those questions and help us to appreciate the huge amount of history there is in buildings. By investigating a range of buildings, the book helps us to find out how to research into buildings and explore their history. It's clear and easy to follow and a good starting point.

Shakespeare Today (Shakespeare Alive) by Jane Shuter

This book takes a new look at how Shakespeare is interpreted and performed today. It shows how Shakespeare's influence has stretched much further than the reading and stage performance of his works: into films, festivals, paintings, other media, and into the English language. It makes Shakespeare relevant to today's students and will encourage them to appreciate his influence. Attractively presented, there are plenty of pictures and photos, plus quotations to study.

Amazing Archaeologists: True Stories of Astounding Archaeological Discoveries (Ultimate Adventurers) by Fiona Macdonald

True stories of amazing discoveries which provide a fascinating look at the variety of archaeology. Five people are the focus of the book - an ocean explorer, a fossil finder, a tomb defender, one who finds secrets in the sand and a mountaineer archaeologist; plus a chapter on the Terracotta Army. It's an interesting and unusual approach which does a good job in highlighting how varied a discipline archaeology is. Colourful layout with plenty of pictures and maps adds to the appeal.

A-Z of the World Cup (World Cup Fever) by Michael Hurley

A topic bound to excite teens, even those who don't generally enjoy reading - and so a great way to encourage reading! World Cup Fever is a series of four books which make a great set to learn all about the World Cup. There are lots of topics under each letter - for example, A includes African representation, Argentina and Azteca Stadium. Packed with photos and Did You Know boxes, there's plenty to interest the reader.

Churchill and the Battle of Britain (Days of Decision) by Nicola Barber

This book takes a detailed look at this important time during the Second World War and explains the background to the decisions made. 'Decisive words' give extracts from contemporary speeches and writing including, of course, Churchill's speeches. Important leaders are profiled and key events discussed; the book is illustrated with contemporary photos throughout. The extensive Notes on Sources give plenty of opportunities for further research and overall this is a stimulating and informative book.

Computer Games Designer (The Coolest Jobs on the Planet) by Mark Featherstone

'The coolest jobs on the planet' - what an ideal job this would be for any young person who loves computers and video gaming. It's all about Mark Featherstone who works on anything from small indie puzzle games to big-budget action extravaganzas. Find out how he became a game designer, about his daily life and all the different kinds of games. Young people note - Mark says if he had studied harder at school, life would have been easier! An interesting topic, well presented.

Computer Science and IT: Investigating a Cyber Attack (Anatomy of an Investigation) by Anne Rooney

This is an interesting way of approaching the topic - Ben's email account is the first thing to show a problem and it turns out that his laptop and the company network have been compromised. The topic is introduced through a graphic novel format and then goes through events day by day, allowing the reader to carry out his or her own investigation using the information given. It shows how the culprit is found and how to protect from an attack. It's a really engaging way of presenting information, further enhanced by the use of photos.

An Asteroid Strike (A World After) by Alex Woolf

A frightening scenario which this book traces in a variety of manners, starting with a graphic novel sequence. It covers the likelihood of it happening then goes through the possible events on an hourly and daily basis. A very interesting inclusion is extracts from dystopian novels - this is a good way to get young people reading by generating an interest and giving them a reason to search out the books. The whole book has a really interesting approach which will definitely appeal to the target audience.

Your Physical Body: From Birth to Old Age (Your Body For Life) by Anne Rooney

In the teen years, our bodies undergo many changes, and this book helps an understanding of those changes and indeed of the changes that take place throughout life. This book investigates the physical changes our bodies undergo, from reflex actions and changes to bones, to the impact of wounds, disease, and ageing. It clearly shows the steps we can take to help, as far as possible, minimise the consequences of ageing. The combination of an author experienced in writing for young people with a specialist consultant means the book is both readable and authoritative.

Gadgets and Games (Design and Engineering) by Chris Oxlade

This is a book which is really relevant to today's world and that is a great start towards interesting the reader. Living things aren't the only things that have a lifecycle - gadgets and games do too. The book explains that these are the steps through design, manufacture, and marketing to use, maintenance, and disposal. These steps are explained in detail and the book is an excellent background resource for DT studies. Attractively laid out, with good use of coloured boxes to make the text accessible.

A Teen Guide to Eco-Fashion (Eco Guides) by Liz Gogerly

Every one of us, young and old, has a part to play in living an eco-aware lifestyle. Eco-Guides are designed to encourage young people of school age to understand how they can be eco-aware and how important this is. Fashion can sometimes be far from eco-friendly as we strive to keep up with the latest trends so this is an ideal book to help. It covers sourcing eco-friendly clothes, and recycling, reusing, reducing consumption and even the best way to keep clothes clean. What sets this book apart is the imaginative range of fashion projects which girls will love to attempt.

Libya (Countries Around the World) by Nick Hunter

This attractive book on Libya gives an comprehensive overview of this interesting country, including sections on history, geography, wildlife, infrastructure and government, and culture.Fact boxes and 'How to Say' sections add to the interest of the book, which is full of excellent colour photos which give a very good feel for the country. There is a fact file, maps and charts, plus a traceable flag.For each Raintree book, I have included a couple more from the series, but there are many more -  India (Countries Around the World) and Japan (Countries Around the World)

A Colony of Ants and Other Insect Groups (Animals in Groups) by Anna Claybourne

This series covers the different ways in which groups of animals live together, support each other and nurture their young. Here we learn how ants form colonies and work together to find food and raise young. And more than just ants - it also explores how other insects, such as bees and wasps, live in groups. Attractively laid out with some exceptional close up photography, this is a fascinating insight into how insects live together.  A Mob of Meerkats: and Other Mammal Groups (Animals in Groups) and A Troop of Chimpanzees: and Other Primate Groups (Animals in Groups)

Responding to Emergencies (Charities in Action) by Anne Rooney

A wide range of situations are covered in this book - huge natural disasters like earthquakes and industrial accidents like the Fukushima nuclear plant, to civil disorder and daily accidents like capsized boats and mountain rescue. As well as discussing the way charities respond to emergencies, the book also gives an excellent background to the situations that give rise to the emergencies. A topical series which helps students understand the work of charities and the essential role they play in the world today. There are case studies, information about the volunteers and ways for young people to get involved. Protecting and Caring for Children (Charities in Action) and Fighting Poverty (Charities in Action)

Food and Farming (The Impact of Environmentalism) by Jen Green 

We can't fail to be aware of the importance of the environment - this series focuses on the impact that this emphasis on the environment has had, in a way that will provoke discussion and thereby provide an excellent classroom resource. Changing ideas about the environment and sustainability have influenced the way food is grown, livestock is reared and the way we purchase our food and how this will continue to do so in the future. Towns and Cities (The Impact of Environmentalism) and Conservation (The Impact of Environmentalism)

Gangs (Teen Issues) by Lori Hile

For most of us, gangs are something we read about but for those close, whether gang members or affected by their activities, this is an insightful read. Is it ever worth joining a gang? Do they provide protection or bring trouble to a neighbourhood? This book looks at gang culture, asks what gangs are trying to achieve, and shows how they treat their members and the wider community. Another topical issue, sensitively handled and in a way that will generate discussion.  This series  looks at the experiences of young people and provides advice on coping with difficult and emotive situations. Relationships (Teen Issues) and Bullying (Teen Issues)

Leaders (Ethics of Politics) by Jilly Hunt

This book takes a look at international political leaders and discusses why and how societies demand certain standards of conduct from their leader. It examines what corruption really is and how politicians can become corrupt. Playing a major role in this book are international and historical case studies of noteworthy politicians on both sides of the spectrum - the notably revered and the notably corrupt. International politics can seem a world away from teenage life, but this colourful and clearly explained series helps young people to understand events in the wider world, this helping to equip them for adult life. International Relations (Ethics of Politics) and Voting and Elections (Ethics of Politics)

Medieval Medicine (Medicine Through the Ages) by Nicola Barber

A book to make young readers very thankful they live in an age of modern medicine! Not just medicine - it helps an understanding of the medieval world and the contemporary illustrations really give a feel for the period. Taking into account beliefs and practices, public health, and the plague the book shows major developments in the Islamic world and in Europe. The series examines major changes in medicine and shows that it wasn't really until; modern times that a full understanding was gained.  Ancient Medicine (Medicine Through the Ages) and Renaissance Medicine (Medicine Through the Ages)

1960 - 1979 (Popular Culture) by Michael Burgen

Technological advances are linked to the changes in popular culture in this highly readable book. The British Invasion, Andy Warhol, Swinging London, the Summer of Love, all happened in the 1960s and 1970s. So many changes took place - from technological advances such as the Moon landing, to conflicts like the Vietnam War. These changes all had a great impact on pop culture. A fascinating series, both for those studying the period and for those who lived through the era.  Popular Culture: 2000 and Beyond (A History of Popular Culture) and Popular Culture: 1980-1999 (A History of Popular Culture)

Indigenous Australian Cultures ((Global Cultures) by Mary Colson

The art, music, food, festivals, fashion, ornament, and architecture of indigenous Australians are covered in this fascinating book.  The impact on world cultures is shown too. As ever, there are lots of stunning photographs, and the book is well presented with a useful timeline, glosssary and find out more section which includes extensive resources..As with all the Raintree books for KS3, the author has worked in conjunction with a consultant, thus combining readability with authority.  Chinese Culture (Global Cultures) and Islamic Culture (Global Cultures)

 Simon Cowell (Titans of Business) by Nick Hunter

Love him or hate him - few people are indifferent but many will enjoy finding out more about how he became successful. From his early days in the music industry to his TV appearances in The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, find out what has brought Simon Cowell to prominence, and the impact he has had on popular entertainment. Fully illustrated with photos and attractively presented. The people covered in this series are high-profile - people youngsters will read about and see on TV. It's an aspirational series and highly readable.  Rupert Murdoch (Titans of Business) and Richard Branson (Titans of Business)

Steve Jobs (Titans of Business) by Nick Hunter

Young adults will find this an aspirational, inspirational and informative book. It gives a brief overview of Steve Jobs' life and achievements and the struggles he faced in achieving what he did. All youngsters will be interested in the man who shaped so much of what they use in the world today.  Find out much more about Apple and its achiv=evements and how it has shaped technology today. Nick Hunter covers Jobs' successes and failures as well as his strengths and weaknesses.

 Gorillas (Living in the Wild - Primates) by Lori McManus

A revealing look into the world of these wonderful creatures. Lavishly illustrated with outstanding photographs, the text is informative, clearly set out and very readable. The reader will learn about every aspect of these creatures' lives - where they live, what they eat, and importantly how we can help them. There is a useful glossary, along with helpful sources of information.

Getting Ahead - Drugs, Technology and Competitive Advantage by Lori Hile

Athletes today are expected to make the best use possible of technology, without resorting to cheating. It is an integral part of their lives and this book examines how it has helped athletes. The ethical debates are discussed, and this is an excellent book for provoking discussion. Clear explanations are given and opposing arguments put forward. Ethics of Sport is a series taking a critical view of the world of sport (both professional and amateur) and explores issues like cheating, the governance of sport, and fan behaviour.

The Gulf Wars with Iraq (Living Through) by Jane Bingham

Why has the recent War in Iraq been so contentious, as opposed to the First Gulf War which was supported by many nations? This book relates the overall events and chronology of the war and shows its impact on everyday lives. An interesting read for KS3/$ and adults, who will appreciate the overview of the reasons for and effects of the conflict. The Living Through series is a thought-provoking series that takes a look into major conflicts and their effects on everyday lives.

 Sport and Society - Ethics of Sport by Scott Witmer

Sport is at the forefront of many people's minds in the lead in to the 2012 Olympic Games. Issues discussed include cheating, the governance of sport and fan behaviour. There is much controversy surrounding sport and this series looks at key sporting topics and opens up lots of opportunities for classroom discussion. Case studies are thought-provoking and again useful for discussion. Many controversial issues are discussed, in a balanced fashion which allows the reader to make his own decisions. Sport and Society discusses the part sport has played in shaping human society.

 What is the Controversy With Stem Cell Research? - Sci-Hi by Isabel Thomas

One in a thought-provoking series that is not afraid to look at controversial issues which cause concern to both the public and to scientists. With all the attractive layout we have come to expect from Raintree Books, the series draws the reader in through the variety used in the presentation of material. The text is presented in a way that will appeal to less confident readers, without in any way talking down to the reader. Facts are clearly presented, with both sides of the argument clearly expressed. Plenty of photos, diagrams and fact boxes make potentially complex subjects accessible and readily understandable - excellent to see these issues brought to the attention.

Why Is There Life On Earth? - Earth, Space and Beyond by Andrew Solway

This is a big question! The book examines the special qualities which make the earth such a special place and the fact it provides the basics of life - water and energy. It goes on to discuss other places in the solar system which have the potential to support life. Full of interesting facts with plenty of supporting evidence. One of a series which supports the curriculum for science -  earth, space and the universe - the books provoke thinking and discussion and show the relevance of space science to our everyday lives.


Avoiding Hunger and Finding Water - The Environment Challenge (Freestyle) by Andrew Langley 

The world's population of over six billion people is putting increasing pressure on resources. Are there solutions to the many challenges facing the environment today? This is one in a series which encourages young people to think about what they would do about a range of local and global topics. This title covers farming, brought, water use and consumption. It is designed to make the reader think about the implications of the way we live and use resources and is ideal to support KS3 citizenship and geography teaching. Attractively presented, with lots of fact boxes and other devices to capture attention.

101 Things You Didn't Know About Your Body by John Townsend

101 Ways is an entertaining series of books in magazine-style format which bridges the gap between reading for fun and more  strictly curriculum related books. There are plenty of activities, quizzes, anecdotes, facts and useful tips, all presented in an appealing way, making all the six books in the series fun to dip into. It includes some fairly gruesome pictures!

Making Food Choices - Ethics of Food by Michael Burgan

This is an important topic and one which is close to the hearts of many people. KS3 students who read this, and the others in the series, will be able to make informed decisions when shopping and know what each one of us can do to help change. It raises some very interesting issues and helps us to be more aware of the origins of our food and the impact of our choices. Ethics of Food is an engaging, cross-curricular series introduces and explains the ethical issues and big business behind what we eat, and how making choices at the supermarket can either keep things as they are or effect real change.



Raintree Books - Fiction

See our Graphic Novels section for more fiction from Raintree.


Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library by Julie Gassman

You may never have thought about taking your dragon to the library, but in case you have, this book warns that your dragon will cause nothing but trouble. The catchy rhyming text and colourful pictures combine to give a very amusing account of just why dragons are best left at home. Along the way, the reader learns much about libraries and all the wonders they have to offer, making this a great book to share in the library and to encourage visiting - without your dragon, of course!

The Night the Stars Went Out by Suz Hughes

Alien has a very responsible job - he is the star shiner for the entire galaxy. It was a big job for a very little alien, and Alien never had time to play or make friends. But one night, all the stars went out and Alien was told (by the Star Helpline) that he must get special varnish from Earth. So off he sets, but gets himself into a bit of a tangle, but luckily George is on hand to help out. This is a lovely story about friendship, helping others, told with gentle humour, and gorgeous illustrations.

Herbie's Big Adventure by Jennie Poh

It's time for Herbie, the little hedgehog, to set off on his first solo foraging adventure. He is rather reluctant, but soon gets carried away - literally - with the fun of foraging. It's a very windy autumn and Herbie finds himself far from home, but luckily he finds someone to snuggle up to. Next day, he is swept back to the safety of home. This is a sweet and reassuring book, about the excitement of setting out alone, but with the security of home to return to. The illustrations are simply gorgeous.

Fuchsia Fierce by Christianne C. Jones

Fuchsia Fierce is nothing like her name - she was quiet, shy, tiny and timid. So her parents decided to send her to Summer Camp. At first, Fuchsia is full of excuses for not doing things - but then she realises how much fun others were having. She soon starts to try new things, even if they are hard. This vibrant picture book will teach every reader the importance of self confidence in a light-hearted way, which offers plenty of scope to talk about feelings.

I Want to be a Triceratops by Thomas Kingsley Troupe

This book is really on the boundary between fiction and non-fiction but I have included it here as I think it will appeal to the picture book audience. Young dinosaur fans have got the chance to find out just what it was like to roam the earth as a triceratops, as they Tracy as she transforms into this fearsome creature. Told as a story, readers can step and learn all about a Triceratops' habitat, body, abilities and more. It's an unusual and interesting way o learn about dinosaurs.

Dorothy and Toto What's Your Name? by Debbi Michiko Florence

Based, of course, on The Wizard of Oz, this book is one of a series which is ideal for children just starting to read alone. Dorothy has made a new friend in the Land of Oz... but Dorothy gets very upset because every time he sees her and her little dog, Toto, he calls her by a nickname. With its sweet, gentle tone, this title is a reminder that the best friendships are built on honesty and trust.

Three Blind Mice Team Up with the Three Little Pigs (Fairy Tale Mix-Ups) by Paul Harrison

The Big Bad Wolf keeps trying to eat the three little pigs and The farmer's wife keeps chasing the three blind mice. If they work together, maybe they can solve each other's problems. There are many ways in which this book (and the others in the series) can be used to stimulate ideas for the classroom, for instance, asking children to choose their own two favourite fairy tales and rewriting them to make one story. The book includes writing prompts for other inspiration.

Darling Doll (Hauntiques) by Thomas Kingsley Troupe

When a spooky doll begins playing tricks on its new owner, Mrs. LaPierre, Hai and Casey,the young hauntique hunters of Two Mile Creek, have another mystery to solve. They soon find that a local woman used to make dolls by hand from a company called Darling Dolls - but how will they help this doll play nicely? The full page colour illustrations really make the book feel spooky - it's gently spine-tingling, just right for children.

The Goblin in the Grass: And Other Scary Tales (Michael Dahl's Really Scary Stories) by Michael Dahl

This is one in a series of short but scary stories that are ideal for readers who like to share the fear. We all have fears - maybe thunder... or creaking floorboards... or a goblin lurking in the weeds. These short stories are about people who are afraid. Very afraid. Will you be afraid when you have read them? I think you might well be!

Jason, the Argonauts, and the Golden Fleece: An Interactive Mythological Adventure (You Choose: Ancient Greek Myths) by Blake Hoena

'You choose' books are an excellent way to get children really engaged with their reading. As they progress through the book, they are given choices, so they can decide which way they want the story to go. Just imagine that you are the mighty Greek hero Jason. Along with your crew of Argonauts, you are setting sail in search of the Golden Fleece. But your journey will not be easy - sea monsters, powerful witches and deadly beasts stand in your way. Can you survive and bring the Golden Fleece back to your kingdom? Full-page illustrations, interactive stories, and multiple endings transport you back to ancient Greece and into Jason's adventures from Greek mythology. A brilliant way to encourage creative thinking and writing.

The Curse of Mars (Out of This World) by Raymond Bean

Starr is a 10 year old girl - a girl with a difference; she lives in space. Starr and her family are on their way to Mars to be the first humans to ever visit the red planet. With them are a group of space tourists with them - and the other children don't speak English. Visiting Mars is hard enough when it's freezing cold, has no oxygen and is millions of miles from Earth, so that's an added problem. An attractively presented book with comic-style illustrations; definitely one for young sci-fi fans.

Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith

Clara is desperate to enter the labyrinth and find the land of angels; she's bright, strong and fearless enough to take on any challenge, so it's not surprising she is chosen. More surprisingly, alongside her is the girl who has always lived in her shadow. Almost immediately after entering, they are torn apart forever; the reality is nothing like the promises. Now the girl who has never left the city walls must fight to survive in a living nightmare, where one false turn with who to trust means a certain dead end. A dark and quite disturbing read which is very well written and full of suspense; one for mid-teens or older.

Lost in Ghostville by John Bladek

Dan Newton is an amateur ghost huntder - but he's got a problem because someone has kidnapped all the ghosts in town, including his own grandma's spirit! Could there be a connection between this mystery and the opening of a new theme park, Ghostville? With the help of his friends Luke and Vicki, Dan sets out to find the answer. It's a light-hearted story about ghosts which is only faintly - and enjoyably - spooky. The strong friendship of the three main characters is excellently related, and the sub-plot of loss is sensitively handled. A great read.

Tech Team and the Droid of Doom by Melinda Metz

Dude, the technologically advanced android, is the latest recruit to The Tech Team. It seems that someone doesn't want the robot at school, as he is being deliberately during the night. Solving this would be an easy task for Zoe, Jaden and Caleb but Caleb doesn't trust the droid. He's sure that Dude is up to no good and that artificial intelligence will lead to DOOM and a robo-takeover. Will the three friends be able to work together to solve this mechanical mystery? Children will really enjoy this story with its basis in modern technology, combined with friendship and mystery.

Brushes and Basketballs (Ashley Small and Ashlee Tall) by Michele Jakubowski

Feeling torn apart by the Taylor family's recent move, best friends Ashley Sanchez (Ash) and Ashlee Taylor (Lee) set out to find an activity they can enjoy together. Being so different from one another, this isn't as easy as it sounds. Ash wants to teach Lee some basketball moves, while Lee hopes to share her love of art with Ash. But sharing their hobbies doesn't go as planned, and soon Ash and Lee worry that they will never find the perfect activity for the two of them.

Secrets in Somerville (The Sleuths of Somerville) by Michele Jakubowski

A new boy has arrived in Somerville - but is he what he seems? Something about Jace and his mother just doesn't add up. Astrid, Rowan and their friend Quinn want to be welcoming, but they also want to get to the bottom of things. What they discover brings the group together and whets their appetite for adventure. Printed on cream paper, this is a good book for struggling readers. It's a good story about friendship, and working together to solve problems.

The Penguin's Power Parasol (DC Super Heroes: Tales of the Batcave) byMichael Dahl

This is a super book to encourage reluctant or struggling readers, as well as those just starting to read alone - it will have particular appeal for boys, so it's well worth featuring the book to encourage reading. With the Blue Diamond of Russia on display, Batman and Robin know a super-villain's on the way. But when the Penguin drops into the Gotham City Museum, the Dynamic Duo is surprised by the punch in his parasol. Can the Boy Wonder save the Caped Crusader from a perilous ride on a jet-powered umbrella? Or will the Penguin slip away with the ice? There's plenty of excitement in the relatively short text - the text is well spread out and there are lots of pictures to enhance reading pleasure.

The Case of the Counterfeit Painting (Museum Mysteries) by Steve Brezenoff

When Clementine Wim spots a famous painting being carried away from the Capitol City Art Museum, she knows something is wrong. But when she arrives at the museum, the painting is hanging right where it should be. No one believes what Clementine saw - not even her mother, an assistant curator at the museum, or her friends. It's up to Clementine to convince the others and determine fact from forgery before it's too late. An enjoyable story with plenty of conversation between the characters. The book is excellent for class use, with writing prompts, information about photorealism, a glossary and discussion questions.

Me and My Dog (Animal Etiquette) by Michael Dahl

Perfect for dog owners and would-be dog owners, this little book takes a fun look at what you can and can't do with your dog. You may be best friends, but you can't do everything together. Silly situations and comical art, this light-hearted picture book is a fun way to look at dog ownership and the relationship between a child and his dog.

Farrah the Shy Fawn (Superfairies) by Janey Louise Jones

Set in Peaseblossom Woods with a big focus on nature, Superfairies combines two topics that girls enjoy - animals and fairies. In each story, the fairies must use their skills, teamwork and a sprinkling of magic to save animals in danger. The Superfairies, Rose, Star, Berry and Silk, are feisty, independent and work as a team to solve problems. The books are ideal for readers age 5 - 8. Farrah, a shy fawn, is determined to make herself beautiful and she has found a magical plant she thinks will help; the Superfairies know it can make her sick, so they need to find her quickly. Jennie Poh's coloured illustrations, many full page, are full of intricate detail and are so pretty to look at - a real feature of the books.

Sonny the Daring Squirrel (Superfairies) by Janey Louise Jones

In this story about the band of fairies who work together to solve problems and help others, young squirrel thinks jumping from a tall oak tree will impress the bigger boys, but he's just jumping into danger! It's time for the Superfairies to come to the rescue. These are very sweet stories, with lots of lovable animal characters and all beautifully illustrated. A very collectable series.

Alien Superman! (The Amazing Adventures of Superman!) by Yale Stewart

Not just one but two heroes. In this action-packed chapter book, the World's Finest Heroes team up to save their great cities, while also building a great friendship. When the Man of Steel suddenly changes into a strange, green creature at the hands of Lex Luthor, can even Wonder Woman take down the Alien Superman? Find out in this exciting read for any super hero fan! The book is ideal for reluctant and struggling readers, who will respond well to the subject matter, the exciting story and the relatively short text.

Snow White Stories Around the World: 4 Beloved Tales (Nonfiction Picture Books: Multicultural Fairy Tales) by Jessica Gunderson

You may be surprised to know that there isn't just one version of Snow White - countries around the world have their own versions of the tale. Visit Albania, Germany, Mozambique and Turkey, and find out who danced in red-hot iron shoes, who wore a poisoned ring, who meets 40 dragons instead of seven dwarfs, and on whose forehead a bright star shines. The beautiful illustrations set the scene for each version of the story. Comprehension questions and writing prompts make this a good teaching resource. It's fascinating to see how the stories vary around the world.

Believe Me I Never Felt a Pea by Nancy Loewen

This is the story of The Princess and the Pea, as told by the Princess - and a very unexpected retelling it is, too! This is no pampered princess... but down to a misunderstanding; her dog is called Prince S. When it seems she has passed the mattress test, she soon finds herself married to the prince, running a very successful business... Great fun, lively illustrations, and older readers will enjoy it just as much as younger ones.

Can You Survive an Artificial Intelligence Uprising?: An Interactive Doomsday Adventure (You Choose: Doomsday) by Matt Doeden

You Choose stories put the reader firmly in charge - as they read through the book, they are given a variety of options and each one takes the story in a different direction. This makes the reader really feel part of the story, and encourages re-reading too. Artificial intelligence is taking over in a quest to wipe the human race out entirely. The only hope is you, a young computer whizz, and your parents, leaders in the field of AI. Can you make peace with the machines? Or will you join a disorganized but determined group of young geniuses in a desperate mission to shut down the AIs once and for all? The choices are yours - and the consequences could be devastating.

Ninja-Rella: A Graphic Novel by Joey Comeau

This graphic novel starts off just as you'd expect, with Cinderella's stepmother and two stepsisters treating her like their slave. But the twist comes when, every night, Cinderella secretly trains to be a ninja. She wants to be the Prince's personal bodyguard. When an invitation to a royal costume ball arrives, Cinderella is determined to seize the opportunity... With lots of extras to excite interest, this will be good for classroom use to stimulate discussion and other ways of viewing favourite stories.

Scarecrow's Nightmare Maze (Batman & Robin Adventures) by J.E. Bright

What starts as a night of fun turns into a night of fear when Scarecrow takes over the maize maze at the Gotham City Harvest Festival. A group of teens are trapped in the maze - can the Dynamic Duo capture Scarecrow in the twisting labyrinth without giving in to their worst fears? With comic-style illustrations and an exciting, fast-moving text, this is an excellent way to encourage and stimulate reluctant readers.

Thesaurus Rex (Library of Doom: The Final Chapters) by Michael Dahl

When a girl's thesaurus disappears from her bedroom, she looks outside and sees the thesaurus down below in the grass. Terrifyingly, a huge monster unfolds itself from the pages of the thesaurus and defeats all attempts to destroy it by constantly changing. More than just a story book, this excellent classroom resource includes non-fiction back matter, with discussion questions, writing prompts, and glossaries. The gripping story is quick to read but engrossing, and with dramatic illustrations.

Dino-Mike and the Dinosaur Cove by Franco Aureliani

Dino-Mike has a very exciting life - he travels the world with his dino-hunting dad. In this exciting story, along with his friend Shannon, he discovers that the nefarious Mr Bones has gone underground down under. They find him in a secret cave with a cache of dinosaur fossils, which Mr Bones plans to re-animate. Short chapters, a fast-moving story and plenty of illustrations make this an excellent book to encourage children to enjoy reading.

The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling

Remy Brunel leads a double life – on show as a talented trapeze artist; in private as a jewel thief. Forced into this course of action by brutal circus owner, Gustave, Remy is drawn into Victorian London’s terrifying underworld. Forced to steal one of the world’s most valuable diamonds, she finds herself pitted against a young detective called Thaddeus Rec – who has the sharpest wits and greatest resolution? This is wonderfully descriptive writing – you feel swept back to the murky gas-lit streets as you follow the twists and turns of this atmospheric story. Remy is a feisty character – a Victorian heroine determined to break out of the mould and escape the restrictions imposed by society. The two main characters make an interesting contrast and the elements of steampunk make an interesting, if somewhat unexpected, element.

The Ruby Airship (Diamond Thief 2) by Sharon Gosling

Remy's life has changed dramatically since we met her in The Diamond Thief - she has left the circus and her life as a jewel thief behind her but still struggles for full acceptance in her new life. When Yannick, a fellow circus-performer, arrives in London. Remy decides it's right for her to rejoin the circus. Detective Thaddeus is sure that Yannick is up to no good. - and the only way to catch up with them is to embark on a perilous airship journey. Another action-packed story with a fascinating background of Victorian London, which gives us an intriguing look at a new technology. Vividly described, the story has the reader gripped.

Baker's Magic by Diane Zahler

Lonely and hungry, Bee steals a bun from a bakery. To her amazement, the baker offers her a place at his shop. As she learns to bake, Bee discovers that she has a magical power. When a new friend desperately needs her help against an evil mage, Bee wonders what a small orphan girl with only a small bit of magic can do. Bee's journey to help her friend becomes a journey to save the kingdom, and a discovery of the meaning of family.

Volcano: A Fiery Tale of Survival (Survive!) by Thomas Kingsley Troupe

When Cam's family decides to go to a luau during their holiday in Hawaii, he decides to stay behind to play video games in the hotel. Caught up in his games, he is slow to realise that the rumbling noises are happening in real life - the nearby inactive volcano is sending chunks of rock and lava into the city; the hotel is right in their path. Can Cam escape and get to his family before it's too late? A fast-moving and exciting story which includes writing prompts and discussion points, making it ideal for classroom use.

The Case of the Stolen Space Suit (Museum Mysteries) by Steve Brezenoff

When the spacesuit of famous astronaut Sally Ride is stolen from a traveling exhibition, there are plenty of suspects in Capitol City. Can Amal Farah, daughter of the Air and Space Museum's head archivist, and her friends solve the mystery of the space case before the one-of-a-kind artefact is lost for good? High interest and pacy writing make this a book to attract reluctant readers, and the attractive presentation makes reading a pleasure.

Stealing Nazi Secrets in World War II: An Interactive Espionage Adventure (You Choose: Spies) by Elizabeth Raum

Based on truth, but presented in such a way that readers can make their own choices as to the way the story develops. The Axis are a powerful force in World War II. Learning their secrets gives the Allies a chance to stop them. Will you: Fly the deadly skies to take pictures of German military sites? Share secrets that come over wireless communication from Nazi-occupied Paris? Steal information from the Japanese military as a secret agent? Readers are given options so they can decide the outcome for themselves. It's a really good way to encourage them to think about and reason on what they are learning, and to see how decisions made at the time affected what happened. With plenty of illustrations to bring the topic to life, this is an excellent book.

Can You Survive a Global Blackout?: An Interactive Doomsday Adventure (You Choose: Doomsday) by Matt Doeden

These books, which really involve their readers, are the perfect way to encourage reluctant readers as they will enjoy the way they can have an input into the outcome. No computers. No lights. No phones. No running water. The world plunged into darkness and chaos. Could you survive a global blackout? When You Choose what to do next, the choices you make could mean the a difference between life and death. Attractive presentation adds to the appeal.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: An Interactive Fairy Tale Adventure (You Choose) by Eric Braun

Perfect for any child who has got bored with the traditional endings to fairy tales - now they can choose their own ending! Of course, everyone knows how the traditional tale ends, but did you know that the little bear really runs the show? Or that Goldi was escaping from something worse than bears? The book even takes us into modern technology, with the option to (virtually) navigate through it with a smartphone. Dive into this fairy tale twist, where You Choose the path through three different story lines and dozens of choices that will rewrite this classic tale. It's a great way to involve children with reading and a book they can return to over and over again, with a different outcome each time.

The Curse of Atlantis (You Choose Stories: Scooby Doo) by Laurie S. Sutton

Could it be the Scooby Doo and friends are the ones to discover the lost city of Atlantis? Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang head to the Bahamas to investigate. When a ghost appears at the dive site, there's more than just ruins in the watery depths there's trouble! In this You Choose mystery, you help the gang get to the bottom of this tropical riddle. Don't like the ending? With five stories and 12 possible endings, just go back and try again! Perfect for reluctant readers who will be drawn into the story and really enjoy the opportunity to put their own spin on it; and a relatively short read too.

Tech Team and the Invisible Robot by Melinda Metz

Everyone is looking forward to the Art of Science exhibition due to be put on at a local school. But the star item has gone missing and nobody can understand how it has gone missing from a locked exhibition. It's crunch time for the Tech Team - either they find the necklace or they could be blamed for its loss. Good characters, lively dialogue and a suspense-ful story make for a great read.

The Strange Voice: and Other Scary Tales (Michael Dahl's Really Scary Stories) by Michael Dahl

Not for the faint-hearted and definitely not bedtime reading! Our greatest fears are brought to life in this collection of spine-chilling tales. They are very short and dramatic stories which pack a real punch; one is even a haiku. The stories come with equally scary illustrations. Perfect for classroom use, with writing prompts and discussion questions to continue the fright, these are stories that will haunt you long after you finish reading.

A Jar of Eyeballs (Igor's Lab of Fear) by Michael Dahl

The squeamish might be put of by the cover illustration of the jar of eyeballs on the cover - but if that puts you off, you definitely be brave enough to read these scary stories! Kevin is tired of being ignored. No one in school ever seems to notice him, so he decides to win the school science fair prize--no matter what it takes. But Kevin soon finds himself up to his eyeballs in trouble. Readers won't be able to look away from the eye-popping conclusion of this tale from Professor Igor! This series of hi-lo books is sure to grab the attention of any reluctant reader--and refuse to let go until the final page. Each book includes discussion and writing questions, a glossary and educational back matter; all combine to make the book a real asset to English teachers.

The Grin in the Dark (Spine Shivers) by J. A. Darke

Fans of scary stories are in for a real treat with these new books from Raintree. With short but compelling stories, they are ideal to draw in even reluctant readers. While babysitting his twin cousins one stormy night, Hamid Abdi sees an alert that a prisoner is on the loose nearby. He doesn't think much of it until the twins tell him that a man dressed as a clown has been coming into their bedroom. Still, Hamid thinks the twins are imagining it and puts them back to bed. But when Hamid starts seeing and hearing terrifying things as well, will he be able to convince himself it's all just a nightmare?

Benji Franklin: Kid Zillionaire; Investing Well by Raymond Bean

12 year old Benjamin "Benji" Franklin is the world's youngest and, yes, the only zillionaire; he invented a bestselling excuse-generating app; just imagine! But Benji doesn't use his money selfishly - he uses it to help others. Digital thieves are around - but Benji's parents won't let him miss school. Can he reconcile the two? Funny and clever, children will love this.

The Revolutionary War: An Interactive History Adventure (You Choose Books) by Elizabeth Raum

This format, where the reader gets to choose which action to take next, is an excellent way to engage the reader, especially those who do not enjoy reading or who fins it a challenge. They need to concentrate to make the best choices and their input has a real impact which gets them involved in the story. It’s the late 1700s and tension is rising between the American colonies and Great Britain. The Revolutionary War is about to begin. Will you: Help the network of patriot spies in your city? Fight for independence as a patriot soldier? Work to keep the colonies under British rule? The choice is yours in this exciting interactive book. And once you have finished, start all over again and change the course of history!

Life as a Viking (You Choose) (You Choose: Warriors) by Allison Lassieur

This book brings history alive as the reader takes part in a raid on Lindisfarne Monastery, invades England with Halfdan Ragnarsson and fights at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. The exciting presentation really involves the reader and helps understanding of what life was like as a Viking. Written in narrative form, this series is an excellent way to learn history and to find out how decisions can change the course of history.

The Aztec Empire: An Interactive History Adventure (You Choose Books) by Elizabeth Raum

The Aztec civilisation is under threat from European conquerors. The reader can get engrossed in their history and decide their own part to play - healer, judge, warrior or exploder? You choose - and with 3 story paths, 51 choices and 25 endings, there's plenty of choice making the book ideal to return to again and again, discovering all the time. The presentation of this series is superb, with plenty of colour illustrations, maps and diagrams and attractive layout.

Sea Demon (Shadow Squadron) Carl Bowen

Shadow Squadron hits the ground running in their first mission, operation SEA DEMON. When well-organized Somali pirates kidnap several V.I.Ps at sea, Lt. CommanderRyan Cross and his men are called upon to put these pirates down before innocent blood is shed. Written to encourage reluctant readers, this is a hard-hitting book with some deep topics covered.

The Chilly Mammoth (Echo and the Bat Pack) by Roberto Pavanello

Three children and a bat solving mysteries? It sounds unlikely, but that's what happens in this action-packed series. Echo and the Bat Pack thought Fogville's Fall Fair would be a relaxing event. But when their hot air balloon is accidentally swept away, the Bat Pack makes a "chilling" prehistoric discovery: a real, live woolly mammoth! Discussion questions and writing prompts make the book excellent for classroom use, and the clearfont and uncluttered pages are good for young readers.

Joker on the High Seas (DC Super-Villains (Quality) by J. E. Bright

When the Joker hijacks a ship in Gotham Harbour, no one is safe. The self-proclaimed Clown Prince of Pirates plans to attack the city by sea! Luckily, two brave and bold buccaneers, Batman and Robin, are on the case. Will the pair swab the deck with this seafaring super-villain, or will they walk the Prince’s plank? These full colour chapter books are an excellent way to encourage children to progress towards longer novels and they will enjoy the excitement of these fast-moving stories.

Damage Control (Bloodlines)by M. Zachary Sherman

When a C-119 cargo plane crashes behind enemy lines in mountainous terrain, the American survivors are stranded with no chance of rescue. Facing a brutal environment, dwindling resources, and an attack by enemy forces, Corporal Tony Donovan realizes their only hope is doing the impossible: repairing one of the several destroyed Jeeps that was their cargo, utilizing a hodgepodge of remnants from the wreckage, to escape alive. "Bloodlines are a set of war stories connected by a family bloodline. This series will reinvent historical fiction through the exciting format of graphic-novel art and socially interactive storylines. Each character faces a defining moment in their lifetime as they experience life on the battlefield in famous wars." The book includes background information about the Korean War, and it is an excellent way for the reader to get a real feel for the excitement and horror of war.

Pooches of Power (DC Super Pets) by Sarah Hines Stephens

This bright colourful comic-style book is a great way to capture reluctant readers.  Large font and excellent use of font styles makes it appealing and easy-to-read.  Ace the Bat Hound is called in to investigate when sardines go missing from the Gotham City Marina,  Something is fishy, so Ace calls in Krypto the Super-Dog. Is Penguin behind the thefts? A funny story, well set off by the illustrations, which will engage children's attention.

The Girls' Guide to Vampires: Everything enchanting about these immortal creatures by Jen Jones

What are vampires? Fiction with a vampire theme seems to be really popular among girls today, so they will enjoy this introduction to the unexplained creatures. Attractively presented, there is a wide range of material in this book - possibly useful to support project work? Quizzes, profiles and awards are some of the topics covered. One of a series of four books.

Hide and Shriek! (Mighty Mighty Monsters) by Sean O'Reilly

This series of graphic novels is set in Transylmania, where legendary monsters live. Before the Mighty Mighty Monsters can play Hide and Seek, they need to make some rules. No flying like a vampire bat, no sniffing like a werewolf, and absolutely no magic! I had to look twice at the cleverly aged cover, which makes the book looks as though it is really well used!

Blood in the Library (Return to the Library of Doom) by Michael Dahl

An eye-catching cover shows this is not a book for the faint-hearted! The Archivists' worst fear has happened: the Librarian is dead. Or is he? The sub-librarian needs to help. The series has a high interest age but low reading age and the excitement and drama are guaranteed to grip young readers. Coloured page backgrounds and spread out text make the books accessible, and the writing prompts and discussion questions are valuable classroom aids.

Clock King's Time Bomb (DC Super Heroes: The Flash) by Sean Tulien

DC Super Heroes are the perfect series for children who really love comics - encourage them to read these when you want them to move on and enjoy longer stories.  Bright colours and comic format give these plenty of 'street cred'. New Zealanders are about to ring in the New Year. But when the clock strikes midnight . . . it stops! Technology starts to malfunction throughout the entire time zone. Then the Clock King shows up, spouting his evil plan. Can the Flash get around the world in time to thwart the evil plan and find the Time Bomb?

Fear the Shark (Green Lantern: DC Super Heroes) by Laurie Sutton

Something fishy is at work in Coast City. A new super-villain rises from the peaceful waters — the shark, who uses telepathy and oceanic powers to feed off the citizens’ frenzy and fright. Luckily, citizen Hal Jordan is actually hero Green Lantern. His power ring should be able to liquidate the Shark's watery weapons. But when the slippery predator sends a monstrous tsunami toward the city, can the Emerald Crusader stop the mounting wave of fear?

Terror Beach by Michael Dahl

Simple text and fantastic illustrations work together to weave this exciting fantasy story. This series of moral tales teach character values through the stories. Great features include discussion questions and writing prompts to encourage group interaction and creativity. Easily accessible vocabulary will engage reluctant and struggling readers. The presentation will appeal to young boy readers - short sentences, plenty of variety in font and layout and zany pictures.

Dragon in the Desert by Michael Dahl

Two friends hike into the deserts of Mongolia, aiming for the Hills of the Seven Dragons. A third figure follows their footsteps through the desert.... More in the series - Dawn of the Dragons (Dragonblood) Claws in the Snow (Dragonblood),Dragon Theft Auto (Dragonblood)It Screams at Night (Dragonblood). The Dragonblood series is for ages 6-8.

Cave of the Bookworms by Michael Dahl

Destroyer of Evil. Champion of Good. Full-Time Librarian. Meet the mysterious Librarian. Keeper of the world's most dangerous books, sworn enemy of monsters made of paper and ink, crusader of young people threatened by ancient curses.The simple text coupled with plenty of illustrations make this a good series for the less-confident reader. Suitable for ages 6-8.

I Dare You by Steve Brezenoff

Mystery, adventure, and fantasy await. In a new city, a boy meets a mysterious new friend. Two brothers discover their family's oldest secret. Cousins track down the ancient grave of an Indian chief. And faced with terrifying evil, a brother and sister fight to save themselves and their friends.

Emperor of the Airwaves by Donald Lemke

The Penguin purchases Gotham city's largest media company. And after Batman stops crimes throughout the city, security tapes, police reports, and camera angles are edited to make Batman look like the criminal. People begin to fear the Dark Knight. If he can't prove his innocence, the hero will end up in prison and The Penguin will fly free.

Guardian of Earth by Michael Dahl

Kid's favourite super hero comics turned into easy-to-read chapter books. New stories with original art by DC illustrators, these books are colourful, attractive and accessible. "Green Lantern": A green ring from another world offers test pilot Hal Jordan incredible powers to fight crime. The excitement and adventure in these never-before-told stories is out-of-this world.

The Menace of Metallo by Eric Stevens

Superman, The Man of Steel, defeats aliens and super-villains, and rescues Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. Kid's favourite super hero comics turned into easy-to-read chapter books. New stories with original art by DC illustrators.




The most recent reviews are at the top of the page, so these are generally the most recently published books.



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