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Grimsdell Book of the Week!

This week, our Junior Librarians, Ana and Imikan have selected some interesting reads for you to consider.

Firstly, Ana recommends Eco Warriors, which forms part of a series of non-fiction texts by the publisher, Campbell.

Ana’s reason for her choice: “I am interested in saving my planet. I really want to be an Eco Warrior!”

Mrs Harvey supports Ana’s choice. It is a fitting choice, particularly as November is the nation’s annual  Non-Fiction Month. This year’s theme is Heroes’, and the environmental activists which Ana’s book informs us about (David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg, Isatou Ceesay and John Muir) shows how ordinary people can make a positive difference to the world in which we live.

Mrs Harvey would also recommend non-fiction books. Non-fiction books are a popular choice by many of our Grimsdell borrowers. I have written previously about the importance of non-fiction in the development a child’s literacy skills. Non-fiction underpins all other learning:  comprehending non-fiction is a life skill. The reading and sharing of non-fiction literature develops reading comprehension, builds background knowledge and develops analytical skills.

How do you encourage your child to read non-fiction if they are a reluctant non-fiction reader? I often encourage children to pair their fiction book with a non-fiction text, as this can make their enjoyment and understanding of the fiction text much richer. Competent readers make meaning from a text not only by knowing what the words mean, but by bringing what they know of the world to the text. It’s worth noting that children are more likely to engage with a non-fiction text related to a story that they are emotionally invested in. Alternatively, go with your child’s interests. Whether it is dogs or princesses, find non-fiction books to match your child’s passions. Include ‘how to’ books such as Junk Modelling that teach them how create new and exciting items or try a science experiment book for all the budding scientists out there! We have a wide range of non-fiction books – I am sure there is something to tempt everyone!

Imikan has chosen a story by the multi-talented David Walliams who is the fastest growing children’s author in the UK market, selling an average of 20,000 books each week. Globally, his books have been translated into more than 25 languages!

Imikan recommends There’s a Snake in my school! A fiction picture book by David Walliams.

Imikan’s reason for his choice: “This is a really funny story! The snake causes chaos in the school!”

Mrs Harvey would also endorse Imikan’s Book of the Week. David Walliams is a prolific author and his stories always contain an element of humour and pathos. We have a large selection of his books – chapter books (for example, The Boy in the Dress, Mr Stink, Billionaire Boy, Gangsta Granny) and his more recently published picture books (The Slightly Annoying Elephant, The Bear who went Boo, The First Hippo on the Moon).

There’s a Snake in my School follows the antics of Miranda’s pet python, Penelope, who comes to school on ‘Bring Your Pet Day’. Penelope is brilliant fun and entertains the children by turning herself into a climbing frame, a fireman’s pole and the numbers one to nine. BUT … Miss Bloat, the headteacher, doesn’t like Penelope or any of the other animals one bit, so she stuffs them into the lost property cupboard. All except for Penelope, who she puts in her office bin. THEN Miss Bloat disappears …

Full of the wonderful humour, repetition and read-aloud fun that David Walliams is loved for; plus illustrations by the artistic genius that is Tony Ross, this story will have you and your child giggling at bedtime!

The story is presented in a uniquely creative way – the text covers the page at differing angles and this encourages and challenges children to read in a different way, as well as making it exciting and interactive.  It encourages the children to think about the author’s intent – why are certain sentences presented in unusual formats? Similarly, the changing style and size of font add another layer of meaning to the book. Why has the author chosen to use different fonts for the differing characters? In this story, the differing fonts mirror the personalities of the various characters, whether it be messy, playful or serious. The way in which the text is structured and organised, adds a much deeper layer of meaning and analysis.

Happy Reading!

Mrs Harvey