Book Monitor - books from across the world

Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

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Wild in the Streets- 20 Poems of City Animals

This is a captivating book full of poems about different animals living in cities across the world. A book of adaptation; bats, boars, coyotes, huntsman spiders, honeybees and reticulated pythons. Poems which reflect the nature of the animal and its new habitat and at the back is a glossary with  different types of poems like cinquains to sonnets, and acrostics to reversos.

‘It may be hard to believe that wildlife can survive among the densely packed houses, huge skyscrapers, tarmac, pavements and sewers. Some animals were there before humans encroached on their territory and others have been introduced on purpose, like the Honeybees in Vancouver.’ Marilyn Singer

Reticulated pythons were in Singapore before the city existed and survive in the sewers and waterway, living on rats, cats and birds. Monarch butterflies have long migrations but at the end of the summer gather in Pacific Grove,California before travelling north again in the Spring.

Marilyn Singer is the author and Gordy Wright is the illustrator and they have combined their talents to produce this beautiful book published by Words and Pictures.

An exciting and inspiring way to think about animals in our cities.

Sue Martin

Poetry – Books of poems February 2020

Poetry is one of the best ways to have fun with words, explore feelings and use rhyme and patterns together.

This month, February 2020, we have three new books of poems which we love and are great to open the book anywhere and delve straight in!

‘There’s a Crocodile in the House’, from Paul Cookson, has an enormously wide collection of poems with fun, danger, surprise and wonder. Some poems you need to SHOUT!! And some you need to whisper…

Watch out for the lurking crocodile on the armchair, whatever you don’t sit down!! Great illustrations from Liz Million.

‘The Magic of Mums’ is written by Justin Coe and illustrated by Steve Wells. Different Mums in all guises are celebrated here, sometimes comic, sometimes witty or tender and all will find a child with a Mum ‘just like that’!

Otter-Barry Books are the publishers for both There’s a Crocodile in the House’ and The Magic of Mums’. As publishers, making a difference in the landscape of good children’s’ books,  these books are a wonderful addition to their growing poetry genre.

Poems Aloud is our third poetry book this month. This is an anthology of poems from Joseph Coelho and illustrated by Daniel Gray-Barnett. This book shouts out to you from the engaging cover to all the poems inside. There are poems for reading aloud or for being quiet, poems which are good for performance playing and poems which are good for sharing at home time.

Joseph Coelho is an award-winning poet and performer from London with a huge collection of books to his name, along with being BBC’s Teach Poetry presenter (Oct 2018).

 

Daniel Gray-Barnett lives in Tasmania and is an award-winning illustrator, including Grandma Z. His illustrations have been commissioned  by Sydney Opera House, The Boston Globe and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Australia.

Wide Eyed Editions published  and presented this book in their inimitable style making it a work of art itself and a wonderful book to have.

PS My favourite poem is below , because I love bears, shush, it’s a secret!

Sue Martin

 

 

I Was Only Nineteen, words by John Schumann and pictures by Craig Smith

 

A truly remarkable book about the Vietnam War and Australian soldiers. The book uses the lyrics of the song with poignant pictures illustrating the hardships and efforts the soldiers endured in the jungles of South Vietnam between 1962 – 1975.

A deeply moving story about young men conscripted into the war.

It was made even more real for me as, I on my most recent visit to Vietnam, I met a Vietnamese veteran who had flown helicopters for the Americans for 14 years. A reminder of this deadly war that was never winnable.

On each page in the book the illustrations are vivid and meaningful, from the passing out parade in Puckapunyal to the crawling through the tangled undergrowth trying to avoid being shot.

The illustrations from Craig Smith make the lyrics from John Schumann so real and follow the young recruit as he is called up with the sixth Battalion.

Published by Allen and Unwin of Australia, this amazing book is part of a wide portfolio of powerfully evocative books in Picture Book format for any age.

This is truly an excellent and remarkable book to have at home or a school library. It is full of moments of companionship and personal challenges. It is not only a reminder of the Vietnamese war but of any war that becomes futile resulting in a huge loss of life.

Sue Martin

D-Day by Michael Noble and illustrated by Alexander Mostov

D-Day . book cover, image

D-Day – buy this book here

On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, this incredible book brings you the experience of one of the turning points of  the Second World War.

Brought to life by 20 eye-witness accounts, D-Day is shown through people actively involved in planning, operations and in support  roles.

Every page is like a mood board, a personal testimony of photographs, illustrations and maps.

The information is amazing with details of the operational plan, including new innovations , such as the ‘hedgehog’ German defence systems, and ‘bobbins’, ways of using tanks to ride over each other. The photos of individuals and their thoughts are staggering. It brings D-Day to life as the war progressed onto the beaches of Northern France.

Book icon - image and web linkBuy this book here

Without giving too much away three of the people included in the book are;

 Martha Gelhorn, a journalist with the Allied Forces, who had to stow away on a hospital ship and waded on to the beach to report back. Her husband, Ernest Hemingway, had been selected to go, but never made it out of the ship.

Erwin Rommell, General Field Marshall, who devised the Atlantic Wall, to stop any invaders.

Stanley Hollis, who received the Victoria Cross for bravery as he advanced alone towards the bunkers under full fire.

And many more…

The front page gives a summary of the D-Day and its place in the Second World War, which lasted from 1939-1945 and was the largest conflict the world had ever seen. It identifies the pages of individual stories as “Stories of bravery, sacrifice and innovation.”

 

Michael Noble, is the author, he leads The Centre for Hidden Histories, he has an amazing knowledge of the legacy of war and people’s involvement, engaging with remembrance and commemoration today.

Alexander Mostov, is the illustrator who has created accessible designs with ‘mood board’ like illustrations, perfect for bite size pieces of information.

Wide Eyed Editions, part of Quarto Publishers. D-Day is an outstanding book in their exceptional collections of Information Picture Books (I am thinking this must be a new genre and needs a new name!)

We thoroughly recommend D-Day for ages 7-15 and beyond. It is an amazingly good book, for schools and libraries and for homes too, am sure it will be read time and time again. Mine is definitely staying close by!

This is probably the best book I have read this year!

Sue Martin

 

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Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2019

Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2019

An outstanding Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2019.

The illustrator’s wall and contributions by new and amazingly talented illustrators from all over the world was an absolute highlight.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair – a small section of the  illustrators wall…

In fact after two days it became increasingly hypnotic with so many beautiful images collected together on the entrance walls.

Sometimes confusing too that cards, postcards, posters and information were scattered across the floor, just waiting to be picked up and gathered into people’s canvas bags.

Have certainly spotted some wonderful talent and a joy for years ahead of book reviews.

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is immensely large and awe-inspiring. My plans of looking carefully at the guide went out of the window as we walked around stand after stand, finding ones which appealed to the Books Go Walkabout team. We also spent time with colleagues we had planned to visit.

The Sea, illustrated by Jill Calder, on display at the event…

Highlights for BGW were the books for Ireland and also Vietnam, two more places in the vast world to engage with and bring authors and children together from all over the world.

And so we returned late at night via the last flight that day on Ryanair, ready and geared up to bring books, stories and illustrations to children across the planet.

Well done to Bologna Children’s Book Fair!

Sue Martin

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Authors & Illustrators around the world

 

Corey’s Rock

Corey's Rock - cover image and web link

Buy this book here…free shipping

Ten year old Isla has moved from Edinburgh to the Orkney Islands in North Scotland, with her parents, to start a new life after the sad loss of her brother.

Isla is finding life in the Orkneys hard, especially with her dual heritage.

But Isla finds the stories about Selkies, an ancient Orcadian legend, which shows them as half human and half seal.

This is the start of her journey of recovery.

Corey’s Rock is a beautiful book in a really appealing shape and format. The superb illustrations on every page are a joy to uncover and real depth and warmth to this deeply moving story.

Buy this book with free delivery here

Sita Brahmachari is a highly acclaimed award-winning author. Her books include Artichoke Hearts, winner of Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2011 and my favourite is Jasmine Skies, which was nominated for the Carnegie Prize 2013. Sita is also an Amnesty Ambassador and Writer in Residence at Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants.

Illustrator Jane Ray has many wonderfully illustrated children’s books to her name and is a well renowned artist. Her books include Stories of Sun, Stone and Sea and Zeraffa Giraffa.

Otter- Barry Books has a reputation for publishing very talented  authors and illustrators who will make a difference to children’s lives and this book is a real highlight.

Highly recommended for all ages

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Joanna Grochowicz – Autumn tour in UK with BGW

Joanna, awaiting visitors with the SPRI team...image

Joanna, awaiting visitors with the SPRI team…read more below.

An outstanding visit from New Zealand author Joanna Grochowicz to U.K. schools and organisations in September.

Joanna’s visits were planned with Books Go Walkabout.

We were delighted that over 1,000 children, have been inspired to be writers of the future. They have learnt so much about Antarctic exploration and history of the early 1900’s.

Joanna is a born storyteller and can captivate any audience from a class of 30 to a theatre auditorium packed to over 400 people, with such tales to tell! Her knowledge of this incredible voyage, which ended in disappointment and disaster, is based on real stories from the expedition, bringing the book alive.

Joanna engages a full audience of readers...image

Joanna engages a full audience of readers…

Books Go Walkabout planned the visits over the last 6 months, from timings, specifics and curriculum links for each school, making sure it would work best for the students and bringing added value for the teachers.

Joanna visited some outstanding schools, including  Christ’s Hospital in Sussex, Bournemouth School, Copthorne Preparatory School, William Tyndale Primary and Cheltenham College. She had a rapturous welcome throughout, with many return visits planned.

The adventures of Captain Scott are full of meaningful tales.  Herbert Ponting, the photographer, for instance was about to take a photo of killer whales, only to find they were looking at him with other thoughts. They swam under the ice and turned the ice pack that he was standing on upside down. He was rescued by colleagues as he hung on to his tripod and escaped being eaten by Orcinus Orca.

At the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, Joanna met with visitors and parents who avidly bought copies of Into the White. Scott Polar Research Institute is the home of Arctic and Antarctic exploration and research. The museum is full of artefacts and information and a delightful visit is guaranteed.

Joanna returns in the Spring to continue her research for the third book on Antarctic exploration.

Into the White - cover image and web link...

Buy ths great book here…i

In May 2019 Joanna’s second book will be published by Allen and Unwin, based on the treks of Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian polar explorer.

We are delighted to be working with Joanna over the next few years and if you would like a visit, contact suemartin@booksgowalkabout.com.

Copies of Into the White, Scott’s Antarctic Odyssey, can be purchased here.

Sue Martin

Leigh Hobbs and Mr Chicken Land in London with BGW

Leigh Hobbs at William Tynedale image

Leigh encourages a whole class to ‘get creative’…

Leigh  Hobbs came to the UK in October 2018, visiting schools in London and Norfolk, and students of the MA in Children’s Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art.

Books Go Walkabout are really pleased to be working with Leigh to plan and arrange visits in the UK. He is a real  inspiration and his characters are incredible. 

Mr  ChickenOld  TomHorrible  Harriet – are full of adventure and fun in the midst of the city. Leigh related how the characters were formed, and showed the children just how to create their own characters in their drawings.

Leigh Hobbs in the studion - image and web link

Leigh in his studio. See and buy Leigh’s books here…

Books  Go  Walkabout  are now planning  ahead  for  Spring  2019.  Leigh loves  London,  the  people,  the  architecture,  the history  and  best  of  all  plotting  adventures for his characters during his visits.

As well as working in schools, Leigh  gave  the first ‘visiting lecture’  to over two hundred M.A. students of Children’s Illustration, in the Cambridge School of Art, at Anglia Ruskin University .  Leigh explained to his audience that all he  had  ever  wanted  to  be was  be an  artist  and to visit  England.

Leigh develops a character - live...image

Leigh develops a character – live…

At  William  Tyndale Primary School  in  Islington,  Leigh worked  with  classes  of  years 12,3 & 4. The  atmosphere  was  electric.  Mr  Chicken  was drawn by the children in many  varied ways, a different farmyard fowl springing from the mind of each child. They  learnt  all about  creating  characters through their drawings.

A great visit and Books Go Walkabout team are delighted to continue working with Leigh on UK visits in 2019.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Books, writers and illustrators – across the globe…

 

Winner of SLA School Librarian of the Year Award 2016

 

School Library AssociationThe SLA School Librarian of the Year Award is the School Library Association’s prestigious honour recognizing the excellent work carried out in school libraries every day, highlighting outstanding work.

This year Emma Suffield at Saint Wilfrid’s C of E Academy has been awarded the honour of the School Librarian of the Year 2018.

Although her official title is Learning Resources Centre Manager, Emma Suffield is seen more as a member of the family by many of the 1400 students at Saint Wilfrid’s C of E Academy in a diverse area of Blackburn, thanks to her personalised, thoughtful and supportive approach to engaging all readers across the school.

Innovative, imaginative practice, frequently going the extra mile, has led to a whopping 450% increase in book borrowing rates since Emma became responsible for the library in 2014.

Read more about Emma through her picture & @emmasuffield and SLA website.

Lesley Martin, Chair of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Selection Committee, said:

‘‘It is exciting for the profession to have someone as forward thinking, creative, passionate and professional about school libraries and no doubt with a great career ahead of her. Emma makes a real difference in her school and her community and her contribution to the wider library profession is already making an impact.’’

Alison Tarrant, Chief Executive of the School Library Association, said:

“The School Librarian of the Year Award is a brilliant opportunity to showcase the impact that school libraries can make, not just on pupils, but on staff and school culture.

Our Honour List this year were all strong contenders and demonstrate the nuance needed when talking about school libraries – no two are the same; they are all reflective of the school around them, and it’s aims and priorities.

Last month the launch of the Great School Libraries campaign – a three year campaign spearheaded by SLA, CILIP SLG and CILIP. The campaign has three aims: to secure school library funding; to produce a national framework for school libraries and recognition of school libraries within the Ofsted framework. Our Honour List support this aim and prove that supported school libraries can make a difference.

The three other school librarians on the Honour List are:
Nicki Cleveland at Cannon Park Primary School , Dr. Chhavi Jain at Manav Rachna International School, Gurugram and Alison Kennedy at St George’s Ascot .

Emma Suffield and each librarian on the honour list have made a huge difference to the lives of all they work with, igniting a passion for reading.

To read the profiles of all the librarians on the Honour List visit the SLA website.

The work of all  librarians on the Honour List, was celebrated at a ceremony  on Tuesday 9th October 2018, at The Judge’s Court, in St Martins Lane, London.

Sponsors

 

Accessit Library | Andersen Press | Bloomsbury Publishing | Bonnier Publishing Browns Books for Students | Carel Press | Education Umbrella | Excelsior Award Faber & Faber | Laurence King Publishing | Literary Gift Company | Nosy Crow  Oxford University Press | Peters | PSP Asset Protection | Softlink | Walker Books

 

Many congratulations from Books Go Walkabout working with librarians across the world.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

What on Earth? Robots by Jenny Fretland VanVoorst, illustrated by Paulina Morgan

Robots - book cover and web link

Get this great title here – free delivery…

Explore, create and investigate! That’s the mantra behind this incredible series of books from QED Publishing.

What on Earth Robots is the latest book, published in July 2018 in paperback.

The book details complicated information in a totally accessible way. The style of presentation, enables all children to gain an understanding of some complicated robots that are present in our world today.

Did you know for instance that there are micro robots? They can be swallowed like a pill going through your body to repair, take pictures and deliver medicine. How cool is that? Or follow a game Escape the Maze, using commands move the robot to follow the rules.

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…with free delivery!

There is a great mix of creative activities and fun trivia with science and technology, a comprehensive exploration of robots in day-to-day life with thoughtful ideas of possible future applications.

Books Go Walkabout works with authors and illustrators across the world and this book is a great example of dynamic people coming together from across the globe.

Jenny Fretland VanVoorst is a specialist writer in science and technology, making complicated subjects interesting and appealing. She has a particular interest in robotic topics and has already written six books on the topic. Jenny lives in Michigan, USA.

Paulina Morgan is the illustrator of the series. She is based in Santiago in Chile also working in Barcelona, Spain.

This is a great book to have, to read and share, we recommend for all ages and especially for 7 – 9 years.

Sue Martin

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Books from across the world – always available at BookMonitor

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