What can you do with a line? Gülşah Yemen & Çağrı Odabaşı — October 31, 2020

What can you do with a line? Gülşah Yemen & Çağrı Odabaşı

Netgalley Description – Lines are amazing – from thick to thin (and from thicker to thinner)! Just think of what you can make with them: triangles, squares, and circles. Houses, tigers, even ice cream cones! What else can you do with a line?

My Thoughts – I love the idea of this book, showing children the power and the endless opportunities from a simple line on a piece of paper. It reminds me of other titles I have been introduced to in the past with a similar premise.

This book would be great for young readers beginning to mark make and starting the explore the power of marks and lines on paper and what they can do with a pen. It has several simple shapes and colours within the book, which would be useful to develop vocabulary for young readers and to help with the recognition of this.

The illustrations suit the book and work really well. The language used is simple and each page only has a sentence or two on each page. This book is aimed at young readers in nursery and pre-school to support creativity and basic shape and colour recognition.

How the grinch stole Christmas – Dr Seuss — December 4, 2018

How the grinch stole Christmas – Dr Seuss

Synopsis – The Grinch hates Christmas, and this year he has had enough. He’s decided that he’s going to out a stop to Christmas. How will the residents of whoville respond?

My thoughts – I enjoyed this book, however, it was quite different from the film, which was a little disappointing, but not completely unexpected. The language used was fairly simple, making it a great accessible Christmas read. I really like the illustrations in the book, they are so simple and the splash of red on each illustration adds emphasis to certain aspects of the illustrations. The illustrations were really engaging and helped to tell the story.

Classroom ideas – You could do a range of Christmas activities such as making cards or decorations. You could discuss what is really important and what Christmas is all about. You could look at the character of the grinch and ask the children why he might hate Christmas – you could talk about loneliness.

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.

Rosie the tarantula – Katie McNamara — February 21, 2018

Rosie the tarantula – Katie McNamara


Synopsis – Rosie is being kept at the Chicago Field Museum, and she’s decided she wants to explore the museum.

My thoughts – The illustrations are very unique, they are quite pale and soft colours used. They are quite interesting illustrations, but they aren’t my taste, although I know many will love them. I found the plot a little boring, I wasn’t gripped, wanting to find out what would happen next. It felt a little like i was reading it for the sake of finishing it.

Classroom ideas – This could be used to introduce a topic about animals, especially spiders/tarantulas. You could do a range of activities relating to the animals mentioned within the book. You could look at the illustrations, and try to recreate some of them, or the pupils could create their own images in the style of those from the book. They could also write a caption or short section of the book to go with the illustration.

The Jolly Postman – Janet & Allan Ahlberg — February 18, 2018

The Jolly Postman – Janet & Allan Ahlberg


Synopsis – The Jolly postman delivers to all the fairy-tale characters, which characters will he be delivering to today?

Image result for jolly postman

My thoughts – The illustrations are very familiar, and remind me of classic fairy-tale books. The language used in the book makes it accessible for a large audience, as it is quite simple. The characters in the book will be very familiar as they are all fairy-tale characters, such as red riding hood and the three little pigs.

Classroom ideas – You could write a reply letter to one of the letters in the book. They could write a diary entry as one of the characters who receives a letter from the postman in the book. The class could write letters to famous people, such as the Queen, or Julia Donaldson, and send them to see if they  get a reply, as often they will send out a general reply to the children. The children could set up a street and use beebots to deliver letters to the different addresses. They could write a descriptive paragraph from a scene within the book, as the book doesn’t have much description.

The book with no pictures – B.J. Novak — February 17, 2018

The book with no pictures – B.J. Novak


Synopsis – You might think that books without pictures are boring, but, everything written HAS to be said. No matter what. They are the rules.

Image result for the book with no pictures

My thoughts – This is a great book for showing children that books without pictures can still be good. It is a good transition book, into books with less or with no pictures. It shows children that the important thing in a book is the words used. Children find this book hilarious and often ask for it to be re-read, developing a pleasure for reading.

Classroom ideas – There aren’t many opportunities to teach with this book, as there is no story line, characters, or information given. You could ask children to create their own page for the book.

Paddington in the garden – Michael Bond — February 16, 2018

Paddington in the garden – Michael Bond


Synopsis – When Paddington makes a list of his favourite things about living with the Brown’s he forgets the most important thing, the garden. With a space to create his own garden, and armed with marmalade, how will he design his own space?


My thoughts – I really enjoyed reading Paddington’s garden adventure. The language used was fairly simple, making it an accessible book for children of all ages. The plot was fairly simple, meaning that young children will understand what is happening and will be able to keep up with the flow.

The illustrations by R.W. Alley are really lovely, they suit the story really well, and add something to the book. Creating another level of imagination, and helping readers to stay engaged in the book.

Classroom ideas – You could use the book to begin a topic about plants or to start a MOE project. The children could be garden experts who have been commissioned to design a garden. The children could create miniature gardens and hold a garden competition, where guests come in to judge their entries.