Following on from my blog yesterday about using non fiction books in school assemblies, today seems the perfect opportunity to shout about some amazing new titles that will spark questions, inspire learning and create a buzz about non fiction books across the whole school!
Invented by Animals by Christiane Dorion, Illustrated by
Godiva Herba, Published by Wide Eyed Editions (Quarto)
I am endlessly fascinated by animals and the natural world, and how humans have found inspiration from them both. We know the animals have skills, abilities and seemingly super powers to help them survive and through studies, humans have sought similar ones! Through this colourful and fact filled hardback book, children can see how people in STEM have found answers and solutions in the animal kingdom and there is plenty to be learned! For example, my favourite perhaps, is the polar bear’s sun trap fur coat, which has inspired people to develop materials to help absorb the sun’s heat. Another favourite is the porcupine’s prickly quills which have inspired the medical field to develop cutting edge instruments. I didn’t know that a porcupine’s quills are covered with an antiseptic as they can sometimes injure themselves. The illustrations are fantastically colourful, full of detail and designs to link the human world with the animal, and there are clever facts and eco messages throughout. This will enchant readers and perhaps inspire a new wave of inventors, engineers and scientists! The Secret Life of Bees by
Moria Butterfield, Illustrated by Vivian Mineker, Published by Words and Pictures (Quarto)
Bees, bees, bees….there is a focus and spotlight on bees and their importance around the world, from helping ones found on the ground to protecting them from pesticides. Children, though sometimes frightened of bees, can see the wonder of them as well. From the intricacies of forming a hive, collecting pollen and living as large colonies, bees are completely wonderful and necessary for our world. This book is not just fact but filled with something for everyone! Poems, tales from around the world and gentle illustrations will keep the pages of this book turning over. Small chunks of text and full page illustrations will ensure that all readers can enjoy this book without feeling overwhelmed. I love that this book pulls bee stories from around the world, takes the reader inside the hive to meet the workers and the Queen! It also ensures that readers will see the differences between bees, from Orchid Bees to honey bees and to the minuscule Quasihema bee from Australia. A brilliant book to help readers learn about bees and their wonder! The Plesiosaur’s Neck by Dr Adam S Smith and Jonathan Emmett, Illustrated by Adam
Larkin, Published by UCLan Publishing
Written in a picture book style and with humorous speech bubbles, this book will delightfully introduce readers to the plesiosaur, a dinosaur with a “preposterously long neck”. Just why this creature had a 7 metre long neck has stumped scientists for generations and this book will explore some of their suggestions from ambushing fish, attacking parasites or plucking dinos from the sky! Told in playful, rhyming text backed with scientific hypothesis and fact filled boxes, this book strikes the balance between picture book and non fiction book. Alfie Ammonite and Bella Belemnite accompany the reader on the journey of discovery and share quips, puns and jokes to keep the reader giggling. The illustrations are wonderful, colourful and full of scientific details that ensure the reader comes away with an understanding and knowledge about the plesiosaur. With a spotters guide to the Cretaceous period and handy glossary at the back, readers can re-read and look for these details and words to enhance their experience with plesiosaurs. History of Cars by Elliot Kruszynski, Published
by Cicada Books
Come and meet Professor Wooford McPaw and his trusty car sidekick as they take the reader on an historical journey about cars, something many of us cannot imagine a life without. Of course, with all inventions and discoveries, there was a time when cars did not exist and that is where this book begins, BC (Before Cars). The pages are filled with cartoon style illustrations, and short bursts of text, making it easy to navigate and find fascinating facts. Along this journey of discovery, we will traverse the world and time periods to find out about basic cars, luxury cars and everything in between. There is much to gain from reading this and my husband even picked it up to have a look inside, commenting on how he would have loved this as a child. Towards the end of the book, Prof McPaw looks at some of the weirdest cars, which really captured my imagination, and on cars of the future, which will inspire readers to dream of cars that drive themselves and cities banning cars in favour of public transportation. I hope there will be more from Elliot Kruszynski and Prof McPaw! Is there Life on your Nose? By Christian Borstlap, Published by
Imagine starting a school assembly with the title of this book! I can imagine all eyes cast downwards as children try to view the end of their nose and then looking to their neighbours’ nose for signs of life. The words germs and bacteria, especially at the moment, are fraught with uncertainty but as this book aims to prove, these are not all bad. Cleverly designed and illustrated with a less not more approach, the pages are artistic and colourful. Cheerful in its delivery, this doesn’t aim to frighten but to explain that microbes are everywhere! We can’t see them but there is evidence of them all around us. They affect all aspects of our lives and world but we just can’t see them! I think readers will be surprised by just how much of the world is affected by microbes and by the sheer power of them. The back pages are filled with more of the science and explanations for those wanting more details. The Young Cyclist’s Companion by Peter Drinkell,
Illustrated by Thomas Slater, Published by Cicada Books
As we teach our children how to ride their bike, do we also aim to teach them the mechanics and care for their bike? I know I didn’t but these would be skills useful to have for any age! Delving into this brilliant sized companion, readers will find history of the bicycle, tips for choosing a new bike and styles to choose from, not to mention road safety! With a mix of photos, illustrations and diagrams the pages are unique and interesting for all young cyclists. For those looking to invest more time and energy in cycling, there are pages about techniques, racing and group riding. A handy glossary in the back will tackle that new vocabulary and make the book easier to navigate. This would make an ideal starting point for Bike ability in schools and a fantastic gift for young cyclists. Buying a bike for someone as the summer approaches, Perhaps add a copy of this book to the gift!