Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Tag: children’s books Page 1 of 5

It’s Her Story: Rosalind Franklin by Karen de Seve & illustrations by Samantha Chow

A series of books about inspirational women from Sunbird Books

A remarkable story about a woman who led in many scientific discoveries and yet never received any acknowledgments in her lifetime.

Part of a series of books which feature inspirational women in a graphic novel format.

Rosalind Franklin was a British chemist during the 1940’s and 1950’a, when fee women worked in sciences. During WW2 she expanded our knowledge of the physics of coal and carbon, and later she studied viruses.

Her ‘photo 51’ was central to the double helix structure of DNA, ground-breaking work for which she never received any credit.

The true structure of DNA…

Written by Karen de Seve, based in the US and Illustrated by Samantha Feriolla Chow from Indonesia this book brings a wealth of interest, information and intrigue to young readers.

Published by Sunbird Books It’s Her Story: Rosalind Franklin is part of a series featuring inspirational women in a graphic novel format. This works very well for children who are keen to explore the subject, and the pictures give added information about the setting that words would take longer to express.

Its Her Story Josephine Baker by Lauren Gamble & illustrated by Markia Jenai

Left a segregated America in 1925…became the most famous entertainer in Paris

A graphic novel for children ages 7 to 10. Josephine Baker left a segregated America in 1925 and became the most famous entertainer in Paris, France. She went on to be the first Black woman to star in a movie, a volunteer spy during World War II, and the mother of twelve adopted children from around the world. Then, she returned to the States to dance for American audiences and bring her voice to the Civil Rights Movement.

This is her story and a fascinating glimpse of a world where as a black woman she had to force her way for the rights of so many.

I would thoroughly recommend these graphic novels from Sunbird Books for children from 7-10 years and beyond. Graphic novels which are fact based provide a huge resource bank for children, schools and libraries.

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

Super Powers of Nature & Super Heroes of Nature by Georges Feterman – QED Publishers

Superpowers of Nature is a fascinating, quirky photographic book featuring the amazing superpowers in the animal kingdom.

Wild Wonders of the World


With incredible photos and fascinating text, this book is a celebration of biodiversity and nature. From the platypus to the peregrine falcon, find out all about these amazing animals and the extraordinary abilities that make them the superheroes of our planet. Did you know…

  • An octopus’s brain is distributed all over its body
  • The tropical frog causes potential predators to wretch violently
  • The plumed basilisk can run for its life on water!
Fearsome creatures…

For each animal discover their superpower, super stats and super facts about them, as well as information about how they used their super skills in the wild. With an important message about protecting the rich biodiversity of our planet, Superpowers of Nature is a stunning photographic book for kids fascinated by the animal kingdom and the weird wonders it has to offer.

Super Heroes of Nature has some incredible facts and photographs of creatures with superhero powers from the Leaf Cutter Ants to the Musk Ox.

Incredible Skills to Survive and Thrive…

Borneo ants to the flying dragon, find out all about these amazing animals and the extraordinary abilities that make them the superheroes of our planet. For example:

  • A hammerhead shark can see 180 degrees
  • The webbed gecko can glide across the desert sand
  • The springbok is super fast!
It can view 180 degrees…

These books published on 6th September are from the Animal Powers series, which celebrates the weird, extraordinary, and truly amazing powers of some of nature’s most incredible animals, while celebrating biodiversity and encouraging young readers to value the natural world around them.

Georges Feterman , the author is an associate professor of natural sciences. He is also the president of the association “A.R.B.R.E.S. “(Remarkable Trees, Assessment, Research, Studies and Safeguarding) campaigning for in-depth research on remarkable trees. For twenty years, he has been recording and photographing the most remarkable subjects of the French natural heritage because of their proportions, stories or rarity.

QED publishers are part of Quarto Knows and produce some of the best factual info books with appeal and a huge difference. At £7.99 these books in a Flexi Binding are incredibly good value and will provide hours of interest for children of all ages.

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…

A King’s Armour- Book Two in The Chronicles of Will Ryde and Awa Maryam Al-Jameel

The story is set in Istanbul, 1592. In the court of Sultan Murad the Third, where a mysterious manuscript arrives claiming to know the location of the fabled armour of King David.

The Sultan goes into melt down to discover the site of the armour, so frantic is he to be the bearer of the armour and gain the protection of the legendary breast plate.

He has never led armies into battle but with this armour he would be sure of success, or so he believes.

This is the second in the series of The Chronicles of Will Ryde and Awa Maryam Al-Jameel and is an action-packed adventure in Istanbul. A story about unity and how a diverse set of individuals work together to seek a common goal.

Will and Awa, our protagonists, navigate, trying to keep true to their values yet weary of their obligations to their imperial overlords.” Rehan Khan.

Rehan was born in London and now lives in Dubai with his family, where he also works as a visiting professor in an international business school. His first book in the series; A Tudor Turk was a great success and is nominated for The Cilip Carnegie Medal 2020.

Hope Road Publishing is an independent publisher promoting literature with a focus on Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, along with neglected and often unheard voices. They have some enormously good books with  wonderful diversity.

A King’s Armour is an amazing book, packed with adventure, intrigue and history. The characters are brought to life by the expertise of the author and the story carries on at a pace that makes turning every page a joy.

Exceptionally worth reading and buying for children ages 9-14 or thereabouts. Great for home, school or library and would ably support other curriculum areas in school.

Sue Martin

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

Agatha Oddly

A perfect read…

 

A great series for readers who love adventure. You will have a real empathy with the heroine. I have loved the first two books and passed to school libraries where it is a great success.

Agatha Oddlow has been a detective for as long as she can remember – she’s just been waiting for her first big case. And nothing gets bigger than saving the City of London from some strange goings-on.

“I feel sure I have seen the symbol before- I felt it the moment I put it on the professor’s wrist. I search my memory, usually so reliable. But it’s like grasping in the dark, one minute I’m groping around, and think I have something, and the next it’s gone in a whisper.” Chapter 7

With a scholarship to the prestigious St Regis School, a cottage in the middle of Hyde Park, a room full of beloved sleuthing novels, and a secret key that gives her access to a whole hidden side of London, Agatha is perfectly poised to solve the mystery of what’s going on. But just who can she trust when no one is quite who they seem…

The second mystery is Murder at the Museum.

Agatha is s set to become the youngest member of the Gatekeepers’ Guild, but before that, she’s got a mystery to solve!

There’s been a murder at The British Museum and, although the police are investigating, Agatha suspects that they’re missing a wider plot going on below London – a plot involving a disused Tube station, a huge fireworks display, and five thousand tonnes of gold bullion.

Lena Jones is the new author and the books are published by Tibor Jones Studio and HarperCollins, bringing a great dimension to children’s books.

So, start reading this brilliant new adventure series, it is fun to read, will engage with all levels of readers, creates a sense of awareness of contemporary childhood with a sense of classic adventure and mystery.

Recommend as a great read for ages 8-11 years

Sue Martin

 

 

 

When We Became Humans by Michael Bright

A story of evolution, how we as humans developed into the upright, intelligent form that we are today, from  our recent cousins the Neanderthals to ourselves, Homo Sapiens. A large format highly illustrated book which follows in the success of When the Whales Walked.

 

 

  • One stop guide to discovering your origins
  • Exquisite illustration which brings the subject to life
  • Engagingly explores this key topic for Key Stage 2 pupils

The sections of the book are easy to follow from ‘How do we know who our ancestors were? to ‘Just Like Us’, which explores how the Neanderthals also liked to use jewellery and clothes.

At the back of the book there is a section on the human family tree and a world map showing how humans have always travelled on and and sea.

Michael Bright is an executive producer with the BBC Natural History Unit and has written over 60 books on aspects of natural history and conservation and the environment.

Hannah Bailey is an illustrator and designer inspired by the natural world and specialises in natural history and non-fiction for children.

Words and Pictures are part of the Quarto Group and aim to produce books that inspire and enable children to think and use their imaginations.

Recommended for ages 6-10, a great book to have for schools and at home.

Sue Martin

The Dictionary of Difficult Words

What is a funambulist? Or a bumbleshoot? 

The Dictionary of Difficult Words has over 400 words which will amaze, intrigue and inspire budding writers and linguaphiles.

All of the words in this book are difficult to spell, hard to say and their meaning is obscure to most children and to adults.

Turning each page is a a delight and you can find many words that sound fantastic and will be just right to confuse the teacher! Many of them confuse MsWord spellcheck too!!

A non-patronising reference book aimed at young wordsmiths, who are looking to fill their writing with new and inspirational words. Ideal for fans of The Lost Words and P is for Pteradactyl.

Each word has a pronunciation guide and a delightful illustration entwined with the text. As a family dictionary  it will be brilliant for trivia games, scrabble and others, an absolute guide to the question, “Are you sure that is a real word?”

A Dictionary of Difficult Words is written by Jane Solomon, who is a lexicographer, based in California, working with Dictionary.com and a member of the Unicode Emoji subcommittee!

Louise Lockhart is the illustrator, living in England, and working on fascinating projects for Liberty London and The Independent plus others.

Recommend for ages 9-13, but for everyone who loves words.

Sue Martin

 

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