Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

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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

 

Winner of the School Librarian of the Year 2019

The SLA School Librarian of the Year Award is the School Library Association’s highly valued award to recognize the excellent work carried out in school libraries across the country. 

In 2019, Alec Williams, who introduced the afternoon said, ” A room full of books is just that! But given the proper space and a librarian, the discovery, delight and magic happens.”

This year Ros Harding at The King’s School Chester has been awarded the honour of the School Librarian of the Year 2019. Sara Barnard, the 2019 YA Book Prize winner presented Ros Harding with her award at a special ceremony at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, Kensington, London Kensington on 27 June .

Ros is Head Librarian and Archivist at The King’s School Chester, which is an independent selective school for 3-18 year olds, Ros contributes in many ways to the life of the school and the wellbeing of its students and staff. She was described by others as“caring, for people but also for the library itself”, “inspiring curiosity” and a “tour de force”.

As well as establishing a School Book Award, Ros is an excellent ambassador of research skills and ensures all aspects of the school to have a place within the library. She empowers pupils and gives outstanding support and pastoral care.

A quote and under-statement from a pupil, ” She knows her library”!

Announcing the School Librarian of the Year 2019, Sara Barnard, whose novel Goodbye Perfect won the YA Book Prize 2019  said:
Libraries are essential to any school and community, and I’m delighted to pay tribute to them and the librarians who make them what they are.

The two other school librarians on the Honour List, were recognised for their outstanding work .Chantal Kelleher is the Learning Resource Centre Manager at Herne Bay High School, and  Helen Cleaves, Librarian/Learning Resources Manager at Kingston Grammar School.

The panel of judges was led by Sue Baston, who is also Vice Chair of SLA.

From bringing books to life in highly imaginative and engaging ways, to generous and bold outreach work each librarian on the Honour
List has made a huge difference to the lives of all they work with, igniting a passion for reading.

An interesting and inspirational event  recognising all the good work that continues in our school libraries.

Sue Martin

 

 

 

Migrations – Open Hearts, Open Borders

Migrations - cover image and text link

Buy this beautiful, moving book here…

Illustrators from around the world joined in the creation of a unique book to show their personal visions of the migrant crisis.

Migrations – Open Hearts, Open Borders is a beautiful and poignant book created by using a selection of images and postcards from illustrators around the world. The message alongside the image are packed with meaning in a few words; Petr Horacek from the Czech Republic and the UK writes, ‘ Everything is possible, you were born free.’

The images are all part of an exhibition touring the world, as in migrations; South Africa, Korea and UK, currently at Amnesty International, London.

Buy this book icon and web linkAvailable on 8th October 2019 – buy this book here

The book is dived into themes of Departures, Long Journeys, Arrivals and Hope for the Future and the fifty postcards and images selected for the book produce thought provoking statements, e.g.

Wishing that everyone who crosses a vast and furious ocean with hope for a better future will be met with a warm welcome by the generous hearted. Safe journey.’ Peter Lynch, Ireland.

‘The skies have no borders.’ Christopher Corr, UK

‘ One can always go and  one can always return.’ Gabriela Germain Fonck, Chile.

The book has been published by Otter-Barry Books, who have a reputation for creating books that reflect the world in which we live.

The event to mark the publication of the book was held in London and included some of the most talented illustrators.

At Books Go Walkabout, we too look for a hope for the future in accepting that migration is here to stay and should mean there is a warm welcome for all those who take on life long journeys.

Recommended for all ages at school, at home, in the libraries and in everyone’s pockets!

Sue Martin

Proud to follow Amnesty International

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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