Who let the Gods out? – Maz Evans — April 24, 2018

Who let the Gods out? – Maz Evans

Blurb – When Elliot wished upon a star, he didn’t expect a constellation to crash into his dungheap. Virgo thinks she’s perfect. Elliot doesn’t. Together they release Thantos, evil Daemon of Death. Epic fail. They need the King of the Gods and his noble steed. They get a chubby Zeus and his high horse Pegasus. Are the Gods really ready to save the world? And is the world really ready for the Gods?

My thoughts – I really enjoyed reading this book, I love how it combines Greek mythology with contemporary writing. It was a really easy read and got me out of my reading slump…at last!!! I liked the language used, as it wasn’t the simplest language used, which helps to promote children’s vocabulary.

I liked the character Virgo, she was a strong independent female character, who would do anything to help her friends. It’s really nice to see the friendship between Elliot and Virgo blossom as they deal with the situations together.

Classroom ideas – The obvious link is to Greek mythology. This book would go really nicely with a Greek unit of work in History, which leads to a lot of related activities. You could get the children to write what happens next after a chapter or at the end of the book. You could do drama, with children acting out certain scenes. You could invite the author into school to discuss the book, and her inspiration for it. You could do a lot of book talk, discussing what they would do if they were in that situation. They could write diary entries as one of the characters to promote a deeper level of understanding about their motives.

Ada Lovelace — April 19, 2018

Ada Lovelace

*Netgalley Synopsis – ‘Discover the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

Meet Ada Lovelace, the British mathematician and daughter of poet Lord Byron. From her early love of logic, to her plans for the world’s first computer program, learn about Ada’s life in this mini biography for readers as young as four years. This inspiring story of her life features a facts and photos section at the back.’

Image result for ada lovelace book

My thoughts – I liked the idea of the book, and I have seen other books in the series and I was interested to see what the book would be like. I think the book was a little too short for my liking. There wasn’t much information on the page, I’d of liked a bit more information about Ada Lovelace. I liked the illustrations, some parts were quite child-like and I think that will really appeal to younger readers.

Classroom ideas –You could use this as a hook for a computing session about coding, as it links quite nicely. You could also link it to history, as it is about the invention of coding and discusses calculators.

Charlie and the chocolate factory – Roald Dahl — April 8, 2018

Charlie and the chocolate factory – Roald Dahl

Synopsis- Charlie really wants to win a golden ticket in one of Wonka’s bars of chocolate, will he win one and get to take a tour of Wonka’s chocolate factory?

My thoughts- I really enjoyed this book and it brought back lots of childhood memories. The illustrations broke up the book and may make it less intimidating for some children to read. The book has really good descriptions and help you to imagine how Dahl imagined up the chocolate factory and the different characters.

Classroom ideas – There are lots of ideas for this book that can be done with a class. One idea is to look at similes with children (‘as shrivelled as prunes’19) children could find the similes in the book and then come up with their own similes for characters in the book.
Children could write a newspaper article about the golden tickets or write a diary entry as Charlie when he wins his golden ticket.
Children could invent their own chocolate bar and create an advert to advertise their creation.
You could group children and get them to act out different scenes from the book, which would help them to understand the characters better. Another activity you could do to help children to understand the characters better is to do a role on the wall activity about the different characters in the book. You could have a different character on each table and children could have 5 minutes on each table to add as much information to the sheet as they can.
The children could design how they think the factory would look or write their own description about the factory after watching a clip from the film.

Flotsam – David Weisner — April 3, 2018

Flotsam – David Weisner

Goodreads synopsis – ‘A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam — anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects or every description are among his usual finds. But there’s no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share… and to keep.

My thoughts – I really liked the illustrations in the book, they were colourful and told the story really well. This is a pure picture books, meaning that the only words are necessary, e.g. The title and author etc, but you make up the story yourself from the illustrations.

Classroom ideas – You could link the book to history because there’s pictures from the past, you could discuss the history of photography, or predict when the photos were taken and look at events that happened in that era. You could discuss the habitat of the sea and the animals and plants that live in the sea, and how they are adapted for the environment they live in. The children could continue the story, or you could stop reading part way through and they could predict what would happen next. Older children could write the story using the illustrations as a guide. You could do a class photo similar to the one in the book, where each child takes a photo of them holding the photo from the previous child.

Oh the places you’ll go! – Dr Seuss — March 13, 2018

Oh the places you’ll go! – Dr Seuss


Synopsis – A book of hopes and dreams. Where will life take you?

My thoughts – I really liked the illustrations in this book, they range from bright, to pastel and even black and white, each page having matching illustrations that you can take lots from and really help to bring the story alive. The book uses lots of rhyming, meaning that it has a really nice flow and rhythm when you are reading it. The book uses some slang, but overall uses standard English which makes it accessible for all ages.

Classroom ideas – You could discuss what the pupils want to be in the future and what their dreams and aspirations are. You could enhance this by inviting in guests to discuss their hopes and dreams and how they achieved them, you could ask parents to come in and discuss their work. You could do some drama with pupils acting out their favourite pages from the book, or you could split the children into groups and have them act out a few scenes and perform it during an assembly.

You could look at the theme from the book of resilience, and that even thought life is a rollercoaster, what happens is mostly up to us. You could also discuss mistakes, and that making mistakes is how we learn best.

Aliens/pirates/dinosaurs love underpants – Claire Freedman — March 8, 2018

Aliens/pirates/dinosaurs love underpants – Claire Freedman


Synopsis – These books give children ideas about why their underpants go missing, each with a different main characters.

My thoughts – I enjoyed reading these quick books. The illustrations are bright and colourful and will help children to follow the story. The plot is really easy to follow and the book uses fairly simple language which makes the books accessible for children.

Classroom ideas – The children could research the groups int he books e..g pirates or dinosaurs and create a class mind map or something similar. Each book lends itself to its own activities, for example, in the pirates book, the children could create a treasure map. The children could role play different scenes from the book to help them to understand the book better. There’s lots of rhymes in the book – you could use this book to support children in developing their knowledge of rhyming words. You could set up small world areas for each of the books to allow the children to explore the settings in the book.

All the wonderful things you’ll be – Emily Martin — February 25, 2018

All the wonderful things you’ll be – Emily Martin


Synopsis – A short story of a parent wondering what their child will be when they grow up.

My thoughts – This was a really short book with pastel illustrations. They are all light, and calm illustrations of a parents imagination. There isn’t really much of a plot to the story, but it is a really cute story and something i can imagine all parents can relate to. I liked the writing style, and how it all fit together really well, and the language used is quite simple, making it accessible for all ability groups.

Classroom ideas – You could use this to ask children what they want to be when they grow up. You could also ask parents what they want their child to be when they grow up. You could invite guests in relating to jobs pupils might want to do when they grow up, which may inspire pupils and encourage them to find out more about their potential future jobs. You could set up role play and small world areas for pupils to explore different jobs in a risk-free environment.

The dinosaur that pooped the past – Tom Fletcher & Dougie Poynter — February 24, 2018

The dinosaur that pooped the past – Tom Fletcher & Dougie Poynter

Synopsis – Danny and the dinosaur have swung into the past. A volcano is about to erupt. Dinosaur comes up with a plan to poop out of the past.

Image result for the dinosaur that pooped the past

My thoughts – This is a book children will love! I really liked the illustrations, they capture exactly how you would imagine the characters are feelings on each page, and would help readers to understand what is happening. The language used is fairly simple, meaning that the book is accessible for a range of ages. There’s a lot of rhyming in the book, which gives it a nice flow and rhythm when reading.

Classroom ideas – You could link this book to a history project about any of the periods mentioned, including the Romans. You could also link it to Geography and look at Volcanoes and famous eruptions. As a class or on tables with support, the children could create their own dinosaur story following a similar story line to this book, or others that Tom and Dougie have wrote.

The London Eye Mystery – Siobhan Dowd — February 23, 2018

The London Eye Mystery – Siobhan Dowd

Synopsis – Ted, Kat, and Salim take a trip to visit the London Eye, they watch Salim get on, and watch everyone but Salim get off. How could he had disappeared into thin air? Ted and Kat work together to find clues across London to find their cousin. It comes down to Ted to use his unique brain to solve the mystery.

My thoughts – The very first sentence of this book hooks you, and you don’t want to put the book down. You want to know what the author means by Ted having a ‘funny brain’ – which could make the book relatable for some readers.

Image result for london eye mystery book

Classroom ideas – You could link to the book to engineering and D&t as Ted discusses the London Eye. The children could write a reply to Gloria as Faith. The children could do an art project relating to Andy Warhol as he is mentioned in the book. The children could create a missing poster for Salim or a newspaper report. You could do drama with some of the scenes in the book, or you could do a police interview with one of the characters. The children could write a diary entry as one of the characters at various points of the book. The children could try and work out what has happened to Salim. You could do a MOE activity, where the children have to work as detectives to find someone or something that has gone missing. You could look at growth mindset and do activities to support a growth mindset.

Famous five on treasure island – Enid Blyton — February 22, 2018

Famous five on treasure island – Enid Blyton

Synopsis – The Famous Five find a shipwreck off Kirrin Island. They are looking for clues to find the treasure when they discover someone else is doing the same thing. Who will get to the treasure first?

Image result for famous five book one

My thoughts – This is quite an old fashioned book, which may provide some difficulties with the language.

Classroom ideas – You could look at genders (George/Georgina) and stereotypes. Children could rewrite a chapter, or they could finish the book, giving it a different ending to the one in the book. The children could act out a scene from the book or do a freeze frame, and explore how the characters may be feeling. The children could write their own adventure for the famous five. They could do comprehension tasks, looking at the authors use of language. You could link it to science and children could make boats from different materials and see which one floats.