We have two recommended Books of the Week for you to discover and explore.
Firstly, our Junior Librarian, Moremi from 2AM has chosen It’s a No Money Day by Kate Milner. Moremi’s reason for her choice: “This is a very thoughtful book. It reminds us that not everyone has the things they need. It also teaches us that even if you don’t have money, you can still have fun”.
We hope that you will take the opportunity to read this book with your children. I am delighted that Moremi has chosen one of the short-listed Kate Greenaway Award books as her Book of the Week. The poignantly told story is much enhanced by the accompanying pictures. A perfect example of the power of pictures and the importance of a picture book in your child’s reading repertoire.
Kate Milner’s new picture book entitled It’s a No-Money Day is rare in its portrayal of life on the poverty line and the experience of visiting food banks from a child’s perspective. This is a truly special book that poignantly explores its subject with due compassion and gentleness.
A young girl visits the local food bank with her mother. An emptied penny-jar at home indicates that today is a no-money day and despite the mother’s hard work and measured frugality, the duo must make a trip to the food bank in order to stock their bare kitchen cupboards.
Mum is ashamed but politely makes the best of the situation. The girl, on the other hand, sees no stigma in the experience and enjoys meeting the kind food bank workers and eating their biscuits. This child is a wonderful example of finding joy in life as it is; the food bank visit is a normal experience for her and she will easily see the good in it. Under the loving wing of her mother she finds other simple pleasures too, like borrowing library books, trying on clothes in the charity shops and having fun dreaming out loud of what life might offer her one day.
Kate Milner’s illustrations capture the moods and emotions of the two characters so perfectly. Mum is wearier than she wishes the girl to know but the reader can see it in the lines of her face and the curves of her posture, which also show her deep love and warmth towards her daughter. The girl is simply looking to find interest and joy as she goes on her way – as children do – and many young readers will find the child character’s perspective and acceptance of the way things are easily relatable. Who hasn’t wondered if they can have their favourite cereal when a parent selects a boring one? Who hasn’t imagined out loud a different way of life without pausing to consider the effects of those longings on a weary parent? The child’s voice is one of innocence and hope, but it’s easy for the reader to wonder what might happen to the family without the provision of food bank donations.
It’s a beautiful and poignantly-told story that deserves a place in every classroom, providing a much-needed insight for many children into life on the breadline, while offering others a rare reflection of a familiar situation and a reassuring message that they are not alone. This is a book that is suitable to use across the whole primary age range and one that will be sure to encourage empathy and discussion around a very important topic.
Jack, also from 2AM, has selected a firm favourite with many of our Grimsdell children, Supertato by Sue Hendra.
Jack tell us: “Supertato is one of the greatest superheroes! I really enjoy these stories because they always make me laugh!”
We hope that Jack’s recommendation will encourage you to borrow one of our Supertato stories and have a chuckle with your grown up as you share the story together! Enjoy this newest Supertato story …
If you are not familiar with the Supertato stories, then now is the time! Meet the new hero in town: Supertato.
It’s night-time in the supermarket and all is quiet and still. But wait. Something has escaped from the freezer. Something with plans. Evil plans. This little escapee (or escapea?) wants to cause chaos. Its targets: the fresh vegetables.
Never fear, though – Supertato is here! Can he solve these despicable crimes and save the vegetables from a terrible fate? He’ll definitely have to draw on all his superpowers if he’s going to outwit this little green foe.
A hilarious and anarchic story with truly brilliant characters. No child could fail to fall in love with Supertato and his veggie companions. Bright, fun illustrations sit alongside straightforward but clever text that both adults and little ones will enjoy. But be warned: you will be asked to read it again and again. And again …