Hi, my name is Becky and I’m the new Senior Learning Resources Assistant at the Curriculum Centre. I’ve been working here since September and am gradually getting to know all the lovely School of Education students and staff.
My background is in children’s books, having worked in lots of different book shops, including nearly ten years at the fabulous children’s bookshop Bags of Books in Lewes. Here, I worked with teachers and schools, putting together topic-based book bags, helping to choose fiction and non-fiction books for different ages and abilities, and what was then ‘Literacy Hour’ in classrooms.
I also took ten years out to look after my daughter and together we immersed ourselves in the world of children’s books, enjoying many adventures together. I experienced first-hand how important books are in sparking a child’s imagination and creativity. And, of course, I went on the journey of learning to read with my daughter and passing on my love of great books to her.
Please come and see me at the Curriculum Centre, where I would love to help you find the perfect book to spark an engaging lesson for your teaching practice, to present a mini-micro teaching session at the university, or books for your individual professional project.
Here are some wonderful new picture books that have recently arrived at the Curriculum Centre for you to read, use and enjoy.
Grandad’s Camper by Harry Woodgate – “Years ago, Grandad and Gramps travelled the world together in their camper van. But Gramps isn’t around anymore, and Grandad no longer wants to go on adventures…” A touching story about love, grief, memory and inter-generational relationships.
A young girl loves to visit her grandad in the summer holidays. Her favourite thing to do is listen to her Grandad telling her about all the places he and his late husband explored together. Recently, he has lost his love for life, so his granddaughter comes up with a plan to bring joy back into his life.
A picture book by debut author-illustrator, Harry Woodgate writes an interview for the Booktrust to mark LGBTQ+ History Month. He talks about why he wrote Grandad’s Camper after research at university led him to discover that there were no picture books with older members of the LGBTQ+ community and about a lifelong love.
Not that Pet! by Smriti Halls and Rosalind Beardshaw – “Mabel’s family just can’t agree on the right pet to get. They’re all too smelly…too wriggly…too scary…too giggly. Will she EVER find the perfect pet? Join Mabel for a laugh-out-loud that’s bursting with surprises…and a fabulous twist in the tail”.
By the award-winning author of I’m Sticking with You, this delightful book is great to read aloud with its repetition and rhyming text. The surprising end is sure to put a smile on your face!
The beautiful pictures by illustrator of My Pet Star feature a nicely represented dual heritage family, where Grandad and Grandma live under one roof – great for families with more than one generation living in the same house.
A moving, poetic picture book about confidence and learning to express yourself. Sometimes, all it takes is a special teacher to show us how to be brave and discover our own beautiful voice”.
From the award-winning poet Joseph Coelho, this bright, lyrical book, left me with a lump in my throat. Here we experience what it is like to have a genuine role model in our lives. Miss Flotsam shares her love of poetry with her class, taking the children on a riotous, colourful adventure, and inspiring the protagonist in the process. She inspires, nurtures and protects the child, who suffers from shyness and anxiety, slowly encouraging the child to unlock the power of their own voice through poetry. Joseph, who uses his extensive knowledge of working as a poet in schools, takes us on emotional journey all the way to the dazzling, uplifting end.
Ergo is a chick who wakes up inside her shell. Here she makes her first discoveries – toes, wings, beak, legs. And with it, her first thoughts and consciousness. Thinking that perhaps she IS the world, she then hears a sound that comes from outside her wall (aka shell) and realizes she is not alone. Keen to know the truth, she breaks out of her shell to discover LIFE.
Deceptively simple, like its predecessor, I am Henry Finch, this book asks lots of questions and is great for philosophical discussion with children. Ergo is the fourth collaboration between picture book creators Alex Deacon and Viviane Schwarz.
By the Kate Greenaway winner of Arlo, Ernest and Augustus and his Smile, this is the latest, exquisitely illustrated non-fiction picture book in the Walker Nature Storybooks series.
This is the story of Richard, the goldfish, who comes to live with a little girl. Her neighbour has a pond full of fish and the girl learns lots of interesting facts about goldfish from him. Sandy offers his pond as a home for Richard when he becomes too big for his tank, which he does at the age of four and a half. The girl goes to visit him in his new aquatic home full of his fishy friends.
The Nature Storybooks interweave a story with information in a smaller font on the pages. We find out, among other things, that goldfish have good memories, they don’t have eyelids so you can still see their eyes when they are sleeping, they find food through their sense of smell, they can detect more colours than humans, and they can grow up to 30cm long.
Catherine Rayner shares her genuine love of goldfish and offers some tips for looking after goldfish, at the back of the book.
A Year in Fleurville by Felicita Sala – “In each garden, someone is tending to their produce. Maria is picking asparagus, Ramon’s mum is watering the cucumbers, and a gaggle of kids are eating cherries fresh from the tree and even wearing some as earrings! A Year in Fleurville is a cookbook, a mini guide to gardening, and a picture book rolled into one. This glorious celebration of community is filled with recipes from all over the world and with simple instructions perfect for young chefs”.
We first meet the residents of Fleurville in Felicita’s beautifully illustrated book Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street. The neighbours in each apartment cook up a special dish to bring to the table in the shared garden – Spanish salmorejo, Mexican guacamole, Turkish baba ganoush…
Each page shows the occupants in their unique and personal kitchens, preparing and cooking a meaningful meal to contribute to the feast. The message is one of community, culture and food.
Now that Spring is (almost) in the air, our thoughts turn to the outdoors and sowing our first seeds, possibly with the children at school.
In A Year in Fleurville, take a trip through the months, as the residents of 10 Pomegranate Street grow the ingredients, for some more of their favourite recipes, in the garden, on their windowsills, balconies and the rooftop of their shared house.
Gardening tips at the back and a list of tools, seeds and seasonal fruit and vegetables, make this book a useful guidebook as well as an engaging book to read, talk about and cook from.