I am taking these books into school to share with some non-fiction fans. Each is completely new and different from the rest and will appeal to so many readers.
How many ways can you cook an egg? By Lizzie Mabbott and Charlotte Dumortier, Published by Big Picture Press
Recipe and cook books used to be familiar friends in a library but over time these were weeded out after too much use or too much dust gathering. I am so pleased to see a new book that features cooking, skills and recipes to try. So many children love getting involved with cooking and baking and as a society we place a lot of value on being able to cook and prepare food. Starting simply and with the basics of hygiene, chopping and techniques, this colourful book soon moves into to the different types of food. Fruit, fish and garden offerings are presented in a fun and healthy way, encouraging children to try new things and to test foods in new recipes from around the world. The illustrations are fun, colourful and have a vintage quality to them. Recipes are easy to understand and with options to diversify your meals. This would be a super gift for food loving children, families or for the school or class library. Around the World in 80 Festivals by Nancy Dickmann and Lucy Banaji, Published by Welbeck
A super new addition to this series, this book highlights the festivals, events and celebrations from around the world. All are mapped out according to region and there is a brilliant gatefold that shows them all on a calendar. This alone will keep readers comparing dates, checking out similarities and researching more about the food, drink and cultural traditions. I went around the world reading about familiar festivals like Thanksgiving and St Patrick’s Day to very new to me ones such as Vardavar, an Armenian festival where they throw water over each other and Gerewol, a male beauty pageant judged by women, a time to attract a wife. Our world is huge and this book will help readers to learn about culture, religion and traditions that date back in history, Every book in this series is wonderful, in fact, presentation and illustrations. Human Kindness by John Francis and Josy Bloggs, Published by What on Earth Books
The title alone of this book encouraged me to pick it up and hopefully it will inspire others to read and share it. We know how small acts of kindness can have huge impacts and how kindness spreads joyfully. This celebration shares stories of kindness throughout history from famous people like Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai, who are familiar to us in their heroic and kind deeds. It also introduces us to concepts of kindness like the skeleton that proves care and compassion were shown in prehistoric times. Offering tips for mental and physical well-being , ways to help and get involved, readers will be inspired to create kindness and pass it on to others. A wonderful, diverse and joyful book full of gorgeous coloured pages and illustrations. Weather, Camera, Action by Liam Dutton and Giordano Poloni, Published by Templar Books
This book was a pleasant surprise. Similarly to the cook books above, weather books can be fairly dated in some school libraries. This glossy and colourful book covers all weather phenomena from simple rain and snow to jet streams, monsoons and the borealis. The artwork is incredible and I was kept busy taking in all the details on each page. Clever designs and use of Liam Dutton on the pages gives this book the feel of being a how to guide for potential meteorologists. I liked the style of writing and learning more about weather systems and the science behind predicting them and planning for them. I can see this being very popular in classes and libraries as it is a new perspective on weather. Big Ideas from History by The School of Life and Anna Doherty
This large volume landed with a thud on my doormat and I was intrigued. This is a companion book to Big Ideas for Curious Minds and aims to inspire readers to make sense of history and their own emotions and reactions to events. It looks at important questions that children might have about the world and their place within it. Starting with “How did the universe begin?”, through to “pandemic disease” (how sadly apt) and beyond to “What we still don’t know”. I like that you can dip in and out of chapters and questions as you develop your own interests. I also appreciated the varying perspectives and views shared, not favouring one over another but allowing the reader to learn the facts and to ask deeper questions for themselves. Wondrous illustrations are found all through the book and help to highlight specific questions and ideas. Earth Clock by Tom Jackson and Nic Jones, Published by Welbeck
When I first qualified to be a teacher, there was a short story that shared the world’s development as a clock and I was fascinated by the sheer age of the Earth and how “late” humans arrived according to this measure of time. Earth Clock takes that short story and turns it into a visual feast for the eyes and allows the reader to grasp the idea of Earth’s age being compared to one full rotation of the clock. Visually, this book is stunning, with every hour and minute presented on a colourful and detailed double page spread. Children will love looking back to the very beginning and charting the course of Earth in an analogy they can easily understand. There are so many facts and introductions to prehistoric creatures on every page. What a superb book! Gross Factopia by Paige Towler and Andy Smith, Published by Britannica Books
This is the third Factopia book in the series and I can see there is more to come in 2023. Perhaps one of the most popular series in our library, children are attracted to the bright, bold use of colours as well as the compact size. Once they begin reading, they are hooked by the paths connecting the random and fascinating facts. In this edition, we are presented with the gross, foul and smelly facts that you just know children will laugh about and share widely. 400 facts about poo, burps and bacteria- I learned way more than I anticipated…did you know the smelliest place on Earth is Seal Island due to the 75,000 seals whose poo smells of rotten fish. Did you know that one man has collected 3 jars worth of belly button fluff? The more random the better in the Factopia series.