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Grimsdell Book of the Week!

We have two recommended Books of the Week from our resident Year 2  Junior Librarians from 2YM (Nicholas and Martha) who have selected a picture book each from two excellent children’s authors.

Firstly, Martha recommends Dog Gone by Rob Biddulph.

Martha’s reason for her choice:

 “I chose this book because of the illustrations. During ‘lockdown’ I used to draw online with #DrawWithRob. It is also a really funny story!”

In March 2020, Rob started #DrawWith Rob, a series of twice-weekly draw-along videos on YouTube, designed to engage and inspire children required to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. It proved immensely popular, garnering millions of views and international media coverage. It has been used as a learning resource by thousands of families across the globe. On 21 May 2020, he broke the Guinness World Record for the largest ever online art class!

This story, along with other books written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph, is available to borrow from our school library. As well as working on his own books, Rob also illustrates for other authors, including Michael Bond (of ‘Paddington’ fame) and Jeff brown (the ‘Flat Stanley’ series). We have all of his books in our library – Grimsdell is a Rob Biddulph fan, particularly after he opened our newly refurbished library in 2018!

Mrs Harvey would also support Martha’s Book of the Week choice. Rob Biddulph is a very popular reading choice at Grimsdell  – his books always contain a strong story line and the illustrations draw in and engage his reading audience.

All of Rob Biddulph’s stories are rhyming and I have written before of the importance of rhyme in the development of early language and literacy skills. Research into early literacy skills shows the importance of rhythm and rhyme. Developing literacy skills begin with listening and verbalising rather than reading and writing. That comes later. Children need a good grasp of phonics and the ability to discriminate sounds and rhyming patterns in an audible way in order to become confident readers.

Stories written in rhyme and rhythm help our children develop auditory discrimination, listening skills, a rich and broad vocabulary, a love of words, concentration skills, phonemic awareness and poetry skills. This in turn stimulates imaginative, descriptive skills – an essential component of creative writing.

Rhyme is also a feature of or second Book of the Week, selected by Nicholas. Nicholas recommends: The Flying Bath by Julia Donaldson.

Nicholas’ reason for his choice:

“Julia Donaldson is one of my favourite authors. I hope you enjoy this fun adventure!”

We hope you agree! This book and many other stories written by this prolific author is available to borrow from our Grimsdell Library.

Mrs Harvey would also recommend Nicholas’ book choice. Julia Donaldson has written some of the most popular and best-loved children’s stories including The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and  The Highway Rat. She wrote her first book, A Squash and a Squeeze, more than 25 years ago! Her books are a regular favourite amongst the Grimsdell children, who are drawn in by not only her story lines but the rhyming style of the text.

The repetitive and rhyming style of the text has many benefits to literacy development. The repetition of a phrase/phrases encourages participation and engages children’s minds. It also encourages them to make predictions by successfully anticipating the next word or sentence. In addition, repetition is a powerful force in fiction – it encourages us to explore the author’s intent: repetition can emphasise setting, highlight a character trait or draw attention to a seemingly minor detail.


Fans of Julia Donaldson may like to join the Gruffalo’s child in exploring the deep, dark wood at Kew Gardens, where they will meet all the characters from the book.

More details can be found following this link.

Happy Half Term and Happy Reading!

Mrs Harvey