Book Monitor - books from across the world

Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Little People, Big Dreams -Earth Heroes

I am an enormous follower of the Little People,Big Dream from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books series of books. They are remarkably inspirational. They get us in touch with people who have made a huge difference in the world. They are appealing for children of all ages, from 6 years, at home and at school. The schools I work with are keen to build libraries of these titles as starters for research projects.

Meet three inspirational Earth Heroes whose love of the natural world inspires them to make a difference: Jane Goodall, Greta Thunberg, and David Attenborough! This boxed gift set of three hardback books from the internationally best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series introduces little dreamers to the lives of these incredible people who work to understand and protect this amazing planet.

A captivating book…


In these remarkable true stories, three very different people use their voice to speak up for animals and the environment. When Jane was little, her father gave her a toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. This inspired her lifelong love of animals, and after living with chimpanzees in their natural habitat, she now educates the public on animal rights.

When young  Greta learned of the climate crisis, she couldn’t understand why people in power were not doing anything to save our Earth. But her “School Strike for Climate” has now inspired millions, and taught everyone her valuable message: “No one is too small to make a difference.”

Captivating illustrations…

As a child, David spent hours in the science library, collating his own specimens and creating a mini animal museum. Now, he is loved all over the world for telling the untold stories of these animals. Each of these moving books features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the Earth Hero’s life.

Settle in for a really good story…

Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, born in Barcelona, Spain, is a writer and creative director in constant search of new concepts for children’s books and the author of the multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series of picture books that explore the lives of outstanding people. Working for more than fifteen years for clients in top advertising agencies, her books combine creativity with learning, aiming to establish a new and fresh relationship between children and pop culture. ​

Anke Weckmann is originally from a small town in northern Germany, and now lives in London. She studied illustration at Camberwell College of Art and Kingston University and works as a freelance illustrator. Her work is hand-inked on paper and digitally coloured.

Mikyo Nohis an illustrator based in London, United Kingdom. Originally from South Korea, she worked as a fashion designer. Her works are used across stationery, children’s magazines, and children’s books.

Beatrice Cerocchi is an illustrator and architect based in Rome, Italy. Her awards include the 2017 AOI World Illustration award, and the 2018 Bologna Children’s Book Fair award.

As part of Earth Day 2021, my advice is to get out there and buy these books straight away. I have so much enjoyed reading about Jane, Greta and David, already an Earth Convert they have convinced me to take action.

Sue Martin

Stories Across the World

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Award winning book…

“Another impossible dream,” Ma said, looking at the plain rice in her bowl with bitterness.

Minli’s family were living in tough times and her parents Ma and Ba had different ideas about things. Ba, her father told Minli stories, which filled her imagination with tales of wonder and adventure. One night he told her about the Old Man of the Moon, who knows the answers to everything. The family live in the Valley of Fruitless Mountain, where they have to work so hard in the fields.

Minli decides to set out one day  on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon, she wants to seek good fortune for her family. Along the way, she meets many magical friends, including a talking fish, a powerful king and a dragon who can’t fly.

This is a powerful story of ambition, love and adventure with a family who desperately love their daughter but who just can’t move away from their life of hardship.

It is also a story about life in ancient China with many parallel characters and traits, alongside a modern approach shown through the writing style and books’ format.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a beautiful book to read and to lose yourself in its pages. The illustrations and chapter headings provide a wonderful aid to the developing story, enabling readers to glance ahead and see how the story is developing. It was awarded the 2010 Newbery Honour, chosen for Al Roker’s Today Show Kid’s Book Club and was a NY Times Bestseller.

Grace Lin

Grace Lin is an award-winning author, living in USA, her parents were originally from Taiwan. Grace has written many award winning books and she has a picture book series, Ling and Ting plus books for early readers and novels for older children. In 2019, Grace’s picture book “A Big Mooncake For Little Star” was awarded a Caldecott Honour. Grace, herself, was recognized as a Champion of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling.

Little, Brown are the publishers with enormously successful and intriguing books for children. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a fantastic part of that book list.

I read this book now over a month ago and have found I can’t add it to the bookshelf as I just love to keep opening the book and re reading different sections.

Books Go Walkabout have added Where the Mountain Meets the Moon to its list on dragons on Bookshop.org and it has been an amazing success with our schools.

Sue Martin

Stories Across the World

Storm Dragon by Dianne Hofmeyr & illustrated by Carol Thompson

Storm! Storm!

Rain raps the windows, wind rattles the door.

‘Let’s look for storm dragons,” says Grandpa.

Watch  out dragons. We’re coming.”

Off they go, Grandpa and grandchild, down to the beach for a wild and wonderful adventure…And what do they find? Dragon footprints, dragon jewels and even a dragon baby, but who is the REAL storm dragon.

A great story and amazingly engaging illustrations as Grandpa and grandchild find their way along the beach as the storm blows, and waves crash on the shore. There are chants and repetitions to shout out as the adventure progresses.

The loving friendship and imaginative play between the generations is wonderfully expressed, both with the words and in the illustrations.

Dianne Hofmeyr, an award-winning author, livening in London, was born in South Africa and grew up between the mountains and the sea. Author of many books for young children including Zeraffa Giraffa, Tiger Walk and The Glassmaker’s Daughter.

Carol Thompson is an internationally acclaimed illustrator of books for young children with a huge skill in seeing the world through their eyes. She has received honours for many of her books  and is a member of IBBY UK.

Otter-Barry are the publishers who have an enormous skill in publishing beautiful children’s books which children love and enjoy for years. Storm Dragon was published in March 2021. Time to reserve a first copy edition!

We love this book and will take home this weekend to share online with a very young person, who just loves books at the age of nearly 2!

Sue Martin

Stories around the world…

World Book Day 4th March – Antarctic Stories to Shanghai

Books Go Walkabout is working with Harrow International School in Shanghai to deliver online author visits direct to classrooms. Working globally is no problem online!

Harrow International School, Shanghai

Our second event at Harrow International School, this time with author and polar explorer Joanna Grochowicz from New Zealand. The audience of Years 4-6 came ready dressed up as book characters and armed with questions at the end of Joanna’s presentation .

Joanna and model Amundsen

Joanna enthralled the children from the start with slides and tales of life in the Antarctic in the early 19Century. This is real history and gives amazing insights into how tough life could be. Imagine having your fingers so badly frost bitten they are the size of sausages for instance, I could hear some sounds of ‘Yukk!” from the children.

Then there were the orcas, who surrounded Scott’s photographer, Ponting, on an ice floe. He thought he was going to take a photo. The orcas thought he looked like lunch! They tipped the ice floe and Ponting was only saved by landing on another ice floe.

Orcas looking for lunch!

Or the story of the dog on the Terra Nova who went overboard in a terrible storm in the Southern Sea and the Roaring Forties, fortunately  a wave brought him crashing back.

Joanna is expert at great detail of research around the expeditions of Scott, from Britain, Amundsen from Norway and Shackleton from Britain(her next book).

Amundsen’s Crew in the Antarctic

Children from Harrow International School were exceptionally well led by Tess St Clair Ford, who organised Book Week in 2021, not an easy task  with many places still in lockdown. The pupils’ questions to Joanna showed that good listening skills were in place and they had done their homework too.

World Book Day 2021 and a great way for Books Go Walkabout to engage with Harrow International Shanghai, far away but really very close!

Joanna’s new book Shackleton’s Endurance is out soon to join her Polar Explorer’s Trilogy Into the White and Amundsen’s Way.

Sue Martin

World Book Day 2021 Shanghai & UK

Books go Walkabout is working with Harrow International School in Shanghai to deliver online author visits direct to classrooms. Working globally is no problem online!

Harrow International School, Shanghai

On March 3rd Cheryl Moskowitz, poet, translator and writing facilitator met with six classes of eager children from Years 1-3, ages from 5-7 years. We had a brilliant session, delivering direct into classrooms for children and teachers. It was the end of their day and the beginning of ours but spanning time travel online meant we could work together.

Harrow International School created active learning classrooms and the children were ready and eager to learn. BGW worked with Tess St Clair-Ford, Head of English and Whole School Literacy Coordinator to create bespoke sessions matching the needs of classes and curriculum. By the end of the session with Cheryl, the children had listened to, and engaged with the poems, especially on their class names, such as Confucius and Dickens.

Confucius Class

They learnt about syllables, cinquains and how poetry can be created, a real learning journey. I imagine they will return back to school in the morning with a poem in their heads and a spark of imagination on their learning journey. Working with an author will have inspired them to become readers and writers.

A great start to World Book Day 2021 and a great way for Books Go Walkabout to engage with Harrow International Shanghai, far away but really very close!

Sue Martin

Bookshop.org

Bookshop.org is an online store with a mission to make life easy to support readers and independent bookstores. Buying books is a real joy and if you are like me and many others, keeping our unique book shops open is essential. Do you remember your favourite bookshop…being greeted as you walk in, with shelves and tables stacked with books and a wonderful aroma of new books filling the air.

Bookshop.org is the next best thing, in fact there are many other benefits too, like you don’t have to move away from your own sofa, or your own coffee and cake. You can browse your local or favourite book store on the links Bookshop.org provides so that your own bookshop can receive the profit from the book sale.

What is unique about Bookshop.org is exactly that; your bookstore can receive the profit, they have created book lists so you can browse their recommendations and lists online.

BooksGoWalkabout has an online book store  and we have joined Bookshop.org so our schools and readers can access our lists of recommended books and buy direct. In just a few days the books will arrive at your door.

Some of the lists are about projects such as Authors Zoom Across the World. These reflect our projects in the Far East. But they are good books to read in any country and now you can!

You can try books from our authors on Dragons!

Or books we recommend on Mindfulness

Definitely worth a visit to BooksGoWalkabout Bookshop.org. Try a purchase too, our recommendations are all good books!! Of course!

Sue Martin

THE CHILDREN’S BOOKSHOW AND THE JOY OF POETRY

The Children’s Bookshow is a charity that inspires school children with a love of reading through an annual programme of theatre performances and in-school workshops with the very best authors and illustrators from around the world.

In 2020, everything is different and the good news is that you can access the poets reading and sharing great videos much longer than one month! There are some amazing poems by outstanding poets. Just click through and visit the poet for each week. You are sure to find a poem that will be just right for you.

THE CHILDREN’S BOOKSHOW team had been thinking a lot about the joy of poetry. One of the Directors, Siân Williams, was pulling poetry collections down from her shelves and revisiting all of the marvellous poets we have worked with over the years, and some we hope to work in the near future.


In November 2020 they are focusing on a different poet every week, giving you an overview of their life and work as well as some videos of them reading and performing their poetry. Follow each poet as below. It’s a great way to get the fun and meaning too back into poetry.
   
   Poets for each week are


Books Go Walkabout
A landscape of poetry…

Tree Beings by Raymond Huber and Sandra Severgnini

Incredible trees, incredible graphics

Tree Beings takes you inside the incredible world of trees. How do they talk to each other and how do they enrich the whole planet. There is a foreword from Dr Jane Goodall, who brings real soul and understanding to just why we should all know and understand about trees. They are a big clue in how we can save the planet.

This is a book where you will become engrossed in stories, facts and a future. The stories include…

  • A young woman who lived up a giant tree for two years
  • A scientist who discovered trees have their own internet
  • A woman who faced a dangerous dictator to protect trees
  • Young people who fought to save their last native trees
  • A nine year old boy who found a way to plant a trillion trees

Raymond Huber is an author, freelance editor and creative writing teacher. He has a passion for writing about nature and making worlds come alive for children. Tree Beings is  a book that will bring a new world dimension to all children.

Sandra Severgnini is an amazing illustrator with some wonderful children’s books and botanical illustrations too. The intricate and evocative illustrations are intriguing and keep the facts alive.

The book is a resource and teacher workshop all in one, the covers have hidden creatures , there are mazes, hidden insects and a wealth of images and facts to keep you reading this book for ages.

EKBooks is part of Exisle publishing based in Australia and New Zealand. Established five years ago they have a great publication list on issues that matter, books to make a better world.

I really love this book and as a girl who spent much of her youth reading books in the boughs of a leaning oak tree, I know exactly what it means when it says that trees can communicate!

Sue Martin

diamonds by Armin Greder

A powerful book in graphic black and white images, showing the true relationships between diamonds, the mine diggers and gift receivers. Through the images we follow a journey from a home, where the mother is explaining about diamonds to her daughter before she goes out. The young girl is put to bed by her African Nanny Amina, and later has a nightmare.

It is a book for us all, as we learn more about the differences between wealth and poverty, and the corruption the diamond industry brings to financing wars and conflicts. It is a hard hitting book. The Afterword by Riccardo Noury, a spokesperson for Amnesty International, Italy,explains how the diamond industry works, and how there is now a certification process called the ‘Kimberley Process’ which aims to reduce the sales of diamonds to finance conflict.

Armin Greder lives in Australia and is an artist who illustrates highly impactful graphic novels in startling black and white style, packed with meaning. Other books include The Island and The Mediterranean. There is an excellent review on Playing by the Book about Armin.

Allen and Unwin are Australian publishers who have an excellent commitment to books which enable us to think outside the box and not accept our world as it is.

Definitely a book to engage with students and with your own mind on issues today and stop our complacency in our Western world.

Sue Martin

Authors around the world…

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim

Anna Chiu has her hands full looking after her siblings and helping out at her Dad’s restaurant, all while her Mum stays in bed. The new delivery boy Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though things aren’t right at home, Anna starts to feel like she could be a normal teen,

But her Mum’s condition gets worse, life becomes increasingly hard for Anna as between them they have lots to work out.

An incredibly good story about life as a young person, moving from childhood to adulthood in a world which seems to be increasingly difficult and foreign. A time when you really do need your Mum. But for Anna, her Mum really needs her.

A powerful and moving story from Wai Chim, the highly acclaimed author, whose previous novel ,Freedom Swimmer, was a huge success. Following the stories of young people in the changing world of China then and now, Wai has a great eye for understanding of young people as they face their own dilemmas as well as difficult situations.

Published by Allen and Unwin from Australia, this book crosses geographical boundaries and unites all children as they move into adulthood.

A wonderful book to sit and read. the story and text are real page turners. Highly recommended for any persiond when you just need a good book to read.

Sue Martin

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