A school library I work with are looking to re-vamp their non-fiction shelves and I am so pleased to be able to recommend and send these titles their way! Absolutely sure to engage and inspire young readers to learn more, these titles are spectacular!
A Day in the Life Big Cats by Tyus D. Williams and Chaaya Prabhat, Published by Neon Squid
I think many readers love learning about big cats as they are often unseen yet perfectly predatory in their habitats. Tyus D. Williams is a wildlife scientist and has plenty of insight and experience in studying big cats. His knowledge comes across so clearly and in understandable language for younger readers. The concept of a day in the life of begins as the clock strikes 8am. Every hour is featured on a double page spread brilliantly illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat. From learning about their hunting prowess to camouflage needs and their protection over their prides and families, this book offers so many great facts about big cats. Maps and size comparisons are featured and I found these so interesting. I have always had a soft spot for pumas and snow leopards. One fact I learned is that there are no big cats in Australia- how did I miss this fact? History of Astronomy by Elliot Kruszynski, Published by Cicada Books
Professor Wooford McPaw is back and has a new subject of expertise to share with readers. His first book was all about Cars and readers found it fantastically fascinating. Space is a subject so many children find interesting and being led by a knowledgable book character makes this an easy book to pick up. We get to learn about important scientists and philosophers which I think it a great addition as many books focus just on the science but philosophers had many observations of their own. At times, this has a graphic novel feel while at others, a picture book, but it is brilliantly written and explained and would be suitable for readers young and old! The illustrations are bold and colourful, easy to interpret and fun to look at. I hope Professor McPaw has more expertise to share in future books! Tales of Ancient Worlds by Stefan Milosavljevich and Sam Caldwell, Published by Neon Squid
At first glance this seems to be a book of stories from the past, or of Ancient places but it is in fact adventures in archeology and discoveries. Perfectly suited for KS2 or KS3, there is plenty to read and learn as you travel through time and place to see what archaeologists uncovered. This quote sums up the purpose of the book quite aptly, “Archeology is the study of all the physical things humans leave behind…” Starting with the earliest humans and moving through history to Mesopotamia, Greeks, Vikings, I cannot even begin to share just how brilliant and in-depth this book is. Huge amounts of research are evident and the illustrations bring to life periods of time that we can only imagine. This book is entirely fascinating! The Unofficial Guide to the Ancient Egyptian Afterlife by Ziggy Hanaor and Laura Winstone, Published by Cicada Books
Introduced by the regal Bastet the Cat, readers are taken on a journey through the afterlife of Ancient Egyptians, including the sacred cats! Renowned for their afterlife preparations, celebrations and value of these rituals, there is so much to respect and understand while reading. This would be a hugely engaging text for classes studying Egyptians and would likely have a waiting list to be borrowed. I loved the use of illustrations especially on the heavily decorated sarcophagi and journey to the afterworld. This culture is endlessly engrossing and I found myself completely lost in the tombs of the pharaohs and wondering just what treasures and secrets still lie below the sands of Egypt. I didn’t realise that when a cat died, it’s owner would shave off their eyebrows in grief. So much to learn from this book! Writes of Passage, Words to Read Before you Turn 13, Selected by Nicolette Jones, Published by Nosy Crow
This new arrival is an absolute must have for KS2 and KS3! Buy this now and bask in the glory of the written and spoken word. Absolutely inspiring in so many ways and on so many levels. Being a very bookish person I immediately turned to the chapter entitled, “On Reading” and found some powerful quotes, extracts and ! As Nicolette Jones writes in the first line, “There is so much wisdom in children’s books.” Those of us who immerse ourselves in tHese books agree wholeheartedly! With song lyrics, extracts from historical speeches, quotes from classics and from newer texts, there truly is something for everyone here. Powerful, thoughtful and wondrous, I cannot leave my copy alone and find myself turning to a new page at random for some insight and wisdom. Perhaps ideal for those reading before the age of 13 but still relevant for those of us well past that age! Built by Animals by Christiane Dorion and Yeji Yun, Published by Wide Eyed Editions
Built by Animals is a clever and fascinating insight into the world of animals (and plants) as they design, build and create from their own skill set and the tools of the natural world. Split into 5 main categories, Construction, Materials, Shapes, Energy and water, there are several animals to learn about in each one. Some very familiar like the honeybee and peacock to very new to me, the oriental hornet and diabolical ironclad beetle. Every one is given their own double page spread where the illustrations can really highlight the importance of the work, building or abilities of each creature or plant. I loved the introduction to each animal in the form of a speech bubble and the facts dotted across the pages. With plenty of environmental messages as well as interesting information, I felt there was plenty discover. This is a book to return to where you will find something new with every read. Do You Love Exploring? By Matt Robertson, Published by Bloomsbury
This is the third book in this series by Matt Robertson, dually talented as writer and illustrator. We have had fun exploring the world of bugs and dinosaurs and now we head into some different animal habitats and meet some of the amazing creatures who call them home. It has the classic feel of a picture book while providing brilliant facts and amazing the eyes with the details, colour and dynamic illustrations. This is a joyous adventure and one that highlights the importance of taking care of the environment and raising awareness of endangered species. Our readers are the ones to make change and by learning early the impact they can have is a step in the right direction. Plus, who doesn’t love learning and reading about animals. Around the World in 80 Trees by Ben Lerwill and Kaja Kajfez, Published by Welbeck Publishing
Ben Lerwill, for me, is a trusted authority on nature and the environment. He writes with knowledge and experience of the natural world. Breaking down the world of trees into parts of the world, this book will introduce you to some strange, wild and wonderful trees that are beautiful, useful and vital to us as humans. With superb illustrations, it will be easy to identify trees using them! Of particular brilliance, is the fold out page that links the trees together as a family using their Latin names for those who want a deeper knowledge of plants and trees. As you travel from number 1 through to 80, you will find a plethora of fun facts and ways to identify trees, as well as facts about the part so a tree like roots, leaves and trunks. The amount of research into each tree is brilliant and I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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I am a primary school teacher, turned librarian. Now I have the title Reading Advocate for ASSET Education Trust, based in Suffolk.
I read constantly and have more books than bookshelves, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
I celebrate reading every day at work and at home with my two children, aged 11 and 9.
I sit on the National Executive Committee for the Federation of Children’s Book Groups and run an OU/UKLA Teachers as Readers group!
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