Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Category: Featured children’s book Page 1 of 22

What Are You Doing Today, Mother Nature? by Lucy Brownridge & illustrated by Margaux Samson Abadie

Mother Nature all around the world in 48 stories

This is a book to fall in love with. An exquisitely illustrated treasury showcases the most dramatic and beautiful Natural History stories that play out right under our noses year after year.

Every moment of the year, Mother Nature is hard at work, making clouds for the rain to fall from, preparing a squirrel to hide nuts for the winter cold, or guiding a little chick on its first flight halfway around the world. Find out what she is doing right now, in 48 stories of nature’s ever turning cycles across the world.

There are forty-eight double spreads which tell in wonderfully illustrated pages, stories of animals and nature across the world. This is  a great way to learn about our planet, the seasons and the huge diversity that exists in a wide variety of climates  and ecosystems.

Lucy Brownridge, has written and compiled this powerful and intriguing collection of stories from ‘A Hot Bath in Winter’ to ‘ The Sky Ablaze’. There is something for everyone with chunks of text, intriguing and evocative.

England in April…

Margaux Samson Abadie has created incredibly beautiful illustrations which are full of artistic images with diagrammatic forms, wonderful tools to enable understanding.

Wide Eyed Editions have produced a master piece, I highly recommend What Are You Doing Today, Mother Nature? for any age in schools, libraries and at home.

My favourite page is The Wood Wide Web, which tells how trees in a wood have a system of communication through the root systems and fungus spores…. Amazing!! Read the book to find our more…

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

Bigfoot Mountain by Roderick O’ Grady

Modern family and wilderness adventures…

Four giant footprints on a mountain trail change the world for Minnie and her friend Billy.

Bigfoot Mountain is a powerful and exciting book which skilfully weaves a relationships in a modern family with wilderness adventures.

On the edge of the lake and just above the log cabins, Bigfoot Mountain has a hidden presence, a large presence. Huge imprints on the forest floor would surely reveal this large creature. But they are skilful at hiding, appearing as part of the landscape to avoid human eyes.

Minnie is warned nor to explore high into the mountains, but intrigue builds as the sightings of footprints show her there must be something alive in the forest.

Way up in the mountain lives a family of very large creatures who have spotted Minnie and Billy two youngsters approaching and warnings are signalled into the air.

Bigfoot Mountain is a great book! Full of intrigue and adventure. Perfect book for ages 8-10 years, who are keen to become adventurers and explorers in their own lives.

Roderick O’Grady is the author, he lives in London and New York, having written plays and other materials for prodctions.

Firefly Press are an award-winning independent children’s and YA publisher based in Wales publishing quality fiction in all genres for 5-19 years olds.

Highly recommend Barefoot Mountain as a holiday read over this Jubilee weekend.

Sue Martin

Stories Across the World…

Wanda by Sihle Nontshokweni & Mathabo Tiali

Intombi mayizithembe — Be Confident, trust in yourself .South African proverb

A heart warming story about identity and being proud of who you are. Wanda has beautiful hair but she’s very unhappy about it. The boys tease her on the bus. But grandmother has the answer.

She decides to fix her hair to make it look beautiful.

You are a queen and your hair is your crown’, grandmother says gently.

But I don’t want this hair says Wanda. I want my hair to be smooth and silky. So Grandmother and Wanda create different hairstyles and soon she looks as beautiful as a queen.

Sihle Nantshokweni is the joint author, she teaches at the University of Pretoria plus writing for children. She has a deep interest in how racial issues affect personal identity and aspiration, particularly with children.  Mathabo Tiali and Sihle went to school together and Mathabo’s own story is one of aspiration, determination and empowerment.

You are a queen…

Chantelle and Bergen Thorne are experienced South Africa based illustrators, who are published internationally .They are now focusing on picture books for children with several titles being released this year. Avid bookworms themselves, they take great delight in the visual storytelling of picture books, art and text working together, every word and every image adding to the reader’s experience.

Otter Barry Books have a wealth of excellent picture books and Wanda is part of a hugely creative and diverse booklist from Otter- Barry Books who have been shortlisted for the 2022 British Book Awards Small Press of the Year.

A beautiful book which will help anyone who feels pressurised about themselves and their identity.

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

Books Go Walkabout
Stories Across the World…

JRR Tolkein

By Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Aaron Cushley

Author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings

An outstanding book for younger readers about the life and work of one of the most famous writers of our time, JRR Tolkein. A valuable addition to the extremely popular Little People, Big Dreams series, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

JRR Tolkein was born in 1892 in South Africa, his father died when he was three and Ronald moved to a busy city in England, He missed the countryside he had grown up around.

His imagination took him back to the countryside of South Africa

He threw himself into creating fantastical world and was fascinated by languages. When he grew up he studied English at Oxford University. In World War One he joined the army and fought in the Battle of the Somme.

Later he went on to create a whole new world full of mystical characters of good and evil, which he embodied in his novels of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. His fantasy world enabled him and others to escape into a world where elves and dwarves combatted evil of Sauron.

Small video clip of the film Hobbit; An Unexpected Journey

A wonderful book and a great way into discovery of Tolkein, his life and his far off world.

Little People, Big Dreams is an invaluable series for children and sharing adults to explore the life and works of this famous and intellectual person.

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

A Demon’s  Touch By Rehan Khan

Third Book in the series  of The Chronicles of Will Ryde and Awa Al-Jameel

An adventure that bridges mythical and historical worlds…

In this thrilling conclusion to the trilogy, all roads lead to Istanbul – and all who traverse those roads will be plagued by a demon’s touch… Set In the 16th Century, an English boy and Songhai girl work together on adventures that bridge the mythical and historical.

This is a brilliant book bringing adventure and history together in this intriguing part of the world

Istanbul 1593. Will Ryde and Awa Al- Jameel are members of the Ruzgär Unit, an elite team of solders and specialists around the world. They act on behalf of the supposedly mighty Ottoman Emperor, Sultan Murad III.

The Ruzgär unit inadvertently released an ancient demon during the events of the previous book, A King’s Armour. The demon now lurks within the bowels of the city coinciding with Sultan Murad III bringing friend and foe to Istanbul, to convene the world’s grandest trade fair.

How do Will and Awa even start to find their way through a city where streets have eyes and walls have ears? Can a demon so powerful emerge and make life impossible?

A stunning end to the Chronicles adventures and encompasses all aspects of adventure and character building in a moral vacuum.

Rehan Khan was born in London. An avid observer of history , he has always been intrigued by how ideas and information move from one civilisation to the next. A visiting professor at an international business school, Rehan Khan is the author of a Tudor Turk and A King’s Armour, and lives with his family in Dubai.

Hope Road Publishing promote new literary voices from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, bringing neglected voices from the margins to centre stage, with books for adults and young adults.

A great read for children aged 9-14 years or so…

Sue Martin – Children’s Literacy Specialist

WATER

Protect Freshwater to Save Our Earth

By Catherine Barr & illustrated by Christiane Engel

Protect freshwater to save life on earth…

A ground-breaking global introduction to water that includes sharing and protecting freshwater worldwide, Water is life! Freshwater bubbles, flows and floods with the most wonderful life on Earth – and all of us rely on it to stay alive. BUT today, because of pollution and climate change, it is becoming more and more difficult for people and animals to find the clean freshwater they need to survive. It’s time to act! 

Water tells the story of freshwater around the world. Discover the history of water, how the water cycle works, learn about the different kinds of water and about the amazing variety of wildlife that freshwater is home to. Then find out what happens to water because of climate change and global heating; the importance of clean water for health; the worldwide problem of water pollution and the devastating impact of water shortage on children’s lives and education. 

A glass of pure water is colourless but called blue water…

Catherine Barr challenges us to take action, to use water wisely and protect freshwater to save our planet. Catherine’s many books are witness to her skill in presenting information to children in a visual and bite sized text within the illustrations . From my experience in working within schools, this book is highly engaging and can be used as part of many areas of the curriculum to bring new knowledge to children. Each page has a  Face the Facts section to enable quick and speedy access to information.

Chrsitiane Engel, the illustrator has a wonderful style which will enable talking points on every page.

How to draw a caiman!

Otter-Barry Books have published this remarkable hardback edition into their new books for March 2022, and the quality of production and care to every detail will make it a great success.

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

Women Who Led The Way

Great Explorers and Adventurers

By Mick Manning and Brita Granström

Diverse and inclusive range of explorers

Twenty-one amazing women explorers and adventurers from all over the world From Aud the Deep-Minded, an early voyager to Iceland, and Sacagawea who guided the Lewis and Clark expedition across the USA, to Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space and Arunima Sinha, the first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest, this book shows the incredible courage, determination and power of women explorers over the last 1200 years.

1788-1812, Shoshone Nation, USA, Guide & interpreter on Lewis and Clark Expedition


These women have led the way exploring lands, oceans, mountains, skies and space, but have also made pioneering discoveries in the fields of science, nature, archaeology, ecology and more.
The lives of these women, told as personal stories, are an inspiration to us all.

Great Explorers and Adventurers is packed with wonderful stories about women who have been at the forefront of great explorations and discoveries across the world and in time.

I was fascinated by the records in this book of so many women from the past who have now entered the historical records for heroism and courage. This book not only tells the story but provides intriguing text and engaging illustrations.

Mick Manning and Brit Granstrom are an award-winning duo with a plethora of non-fiction picture books to their credit, having written and illustrated over sixty books and numerous awards.

Otter-Barry Books is a unique independent publisher with a real flair for producing high quality and inspirational children’s books.

Women Who Led the Way, Great Explorers and Adventurers is an amazing book and I am looking forward to exploring all the women who did indeed lead the way.

Sue Martin

Poetry Books from Otter-Barry Books

Otter-Barry Books have a wonderful selection of poetry books and these two new publications are full of exciting poems to inspire and engage young readers.

Roger Steven’s is my favourite poet. You’ll love this collection. Baroness Floella Benjamin

Razz Ma Tazz The Poetry World of Roger Stevens; illustrated by Mike Smith

Once you open this book and start reading the poems you won’t put it down. From poems which are just too cool, like the Year 6 boys, to Shouting to the Ocean, which gives you the chance to just throw all your emotions in the ocean!
 ‘So if you’re hurt, upset or angry

Write down all you want to say

Then post it in the ocean

Watch your troubles float away’

Cool boys and Year Six Sisters to the Chicken School Timetable, Dad’s terrible dancing to Mum’s cunning treasure trail, plus the joy and fun of poetry. There is something for everyone in this paperback collection of poems.
With themes of Family, School, Pets, the Wild, Being a Poet and Personal Favourites, this is an outstanding, exuberant collection of the very best work from one of the best-loved poets writing today.

Roger Stevens is a very well known poet author, with lots of tips about writing poetry. The illustrations by Mike Smith are brilliant, showing each poem in its own unique way.

Wonderful images…and words too

The Universal Zoo by Neal Zetter and illustrated by Will Hughes

If you want to engage young children with poetry and fire their imagination this book is a must to have in the school or at home.

Welcome!
Roll up!

Come on down
to the Universal Zoo.
Want to see amazing animals?
Buy a ticket, join the queue.”

Every creature has a place at the far end of Space, in the Universal Zoo.

Look out for the Shy Shimmereen, the snoozing Snoralotz, the Invisible Ballaboo Beast and the Ten-Legged, Swivel-Headed, Bushy-Bearded, Twirly-Tailed Horrox. Meet the Martian kids with two heads, and stare at the Enormous Egg. And if you think dragons don’t exist and dodos are extinct, then think again. But never, never, never feed the Gronk!

Beware of the Gronk!

A riot of imagination and fun, these poems also send a message about conservation and saving species.

Otter-Barry Books have a website full of information about their books and you can review many of the pages of poems, but the real best thing is to buy the books!!

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

Stories Across the world…

A World Full of Journeys and Migrations, by Martin Howard and illustrated by Christopher Corr

The Movement of People and Ideas

If you are a traveller at heart, like me, this is the perfect book! It features over 50 incredible stories of human migration and how different cultures and ideas have spread through the world because of migration. What a positive attitude to people travelling across continents, what an amazing story through time of how peoples have travelled and continue to travel for the benefit of all people. This book hits right at the point where migration is integral to a better word and a better society.

About 70,000 years ago a small tribe of human beings walked out of Africa and into the country we now call Yemen in the Middle East. With them was them was the mother who would become the grandmother to all humans outside of Africa.” Martin Howard.

Just one of many amazing facts that will keep you enthralled as you read through the book.

A World Full of Journeys and Migrations is illustrated in a wonderfully engaging style, each page in this large hardback book is packed with illustrations and text which draw you in to each and every page.

Two of my favourite pages are Chinatown and America’s New People. As with all the pages there are facts and information which will promote thought and enable further research.

Follow the trails

The sections on Migration of Modern Humans shows how we are just continuing the same pattern of travel, where and how we can.

Martin Howard, the author, lives in France, and has written many titles for both children and adults, including the Bad Dog’s Diary series and the Wickedest Witch.

Christopher Corr is an established author/illustrator whose books are renowned internationally. He studied at the Royal College of Art and now lives and worked in London as an artist and tutor at Goldsmith’s University

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books are the publishers, and A World Full of Journeys & Migrations is part of the beautifully published series called A World Full of…. Stories, Dickens Stories, Celebrations and Festivals.

A perfect book for any school, library or home, my copy is definitely staying with me so I can discover more about people spreading ideas around our planet and creating a better world.

Sue Martin Children’s Literary Specialist

It’s Her Story – Amelia Earhart a Graphic Novel, by Kim Moldofsky and illustrated by Alan Brown

Follow your dreams…

Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She piloted many record-breaking flights became an author, advised engineers, taught college students, and defended women’s rights. On her attempted flight solo around the world, she disappeared somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

This is such a great story and the graphic novel design is a perfect fit for Amelia’s story, which brings dreams for all children but especially girls, into reality. It demonstrates how Amelia, who was born in 1897, started work helping immigrant families, but at the same time flying whenever she had the chance. She gained a pilot’s license in 1921,after the First World War. She was enthralled with flying after she visited a Winter Air Tournament in Long Beach.

Amelia loved flying…

To find out more you need to read the book. I am really intrigued because I would have loved to learn to fly, and trials in 2 seater planes and microlights left me buzzing, but I never made it to be a pilot!!

Ah well, it still makes this book a wonderful book to read, which through the graphics, the story of Amelia Earhart is available to everyone, whatever level of reading.

Kim Moldofsky is the author and  it is beautifully illustrated by Alan Brown.

It’s Her Story is a series featuring amazing, inspirational women in graphic novel format, published by sunbird books, part of Phoenix International Publications. More titles available later this year.

Definitely worth purchasing and a really good book for children keen to follow their own dreams and to learn about others.

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

Stories across the world…

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