Book reviews

Let’s take a look at some new books

We’ve recently had some new books arrive at the Curriculum Centre, which is always very exciting! Here are some of my favourites:

all books

 

“The wolf who cried boy” – James O’Neill & Russell Ayto

This story is a retelling of Aesop’s fable The boy who cried wolf with a delightful twist. In the forest, all of the wolves warn their cubs to stay away from the villagers. While all of the villagers warn their children to stay away from the wolves. One fearful cub cries “boy” a little too often and is ignored. One fearful boy cries “wolf” a little too often and is ignored. And then the day comes when they both meet…

This would be a fantastic story to read to children in Key Stage 1. Children could be divided into two groups – with one group playing the role of the cub and the other playing the role of the boy. Both roles mirror each other and the text is repeated in parts, making it ideal for storytelling.

 

Yours Sincerely, Giraffe – Megumi Iwasa

Prepare to laugh out loud as you read this book. It’s an endearing story all about friendship, where giraffe and penguin become pen pals. Giraffe has never seen a penguin before and so asks him to describe what he looks like. He even goes so far as to dress up like penguin – given the description that he has received in the letters – and sets off on a journey to meet penguin! I particularly love some of the philosophical conundrums that trouble penguin and these could make for very interesting discussions with children. Made up of short chapters and letters, this witty story would be suitable for young children from the age of 5.

 

The Wonderling – Mira Bartok

This fantasy story introduces us to groundlings (part animal, part human creatures) who are staying at the “Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures”, an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Carbunkle. The groundlings are summoned every morning at 5am for roll call, before their day of scrubbing floors, repairing furniture and factory work begins. Singing, music and any fun are forbidden. When Arthur (part fox, part human) rescues Trinket (part bird, part human) from an encounter with some bullies, a great alliance is formed and the friends embark on a quest to free themselves from their painful world. Children will love this story and will be rooting for both Arthur and Trinket to succeed. The story will also be suitable for children’s book-to-film clubs, as the story is currently in the process of being made into a major motion picture by Fox Studios. (Suitable for 9+)

 

Grandad’s secret giant – David Litchfield

This is a beautiful story about tolerance and acceptance. It illustrates how our perception of something can sometimes be very wrong. The giant in this story is perceived by Billy to be “HUMUNGOUS” and “TERRIFYING”, with the accompanying illustration on this page showing the giant towering over little Billy. However, Billy’s grandad highlights the gentle and caring nature of the giant, as he recounts all of the kind deeds that the giant has done for the people of the town. These illustrations depict the giant as a guardian angel type figure watching over the town, with an air of mystery or magic surrounding him. Billy comes up with a clever plan in order to meet the giant and discover the truth. This picture book with its exquisite illustrations, would be a fantastic addition to the classroom reading corner/school library and a wonderful story for children to read.

 

 

 

 

 

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