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Book of the Week

The Grimsdell Children’s Library Books of the Week have been selected by the Junior Librarians, Maxim from 2AM and  Myrah from 2JB. Both have chosen stories to make you laugh out loud!

Firstly, Maxim recommends a book written and illustrated by Nick Sharratt: Shark in a Park on a Windy Day!

Maxim’s reason for his choice:

“This book is SO funny! Timothy thinks that everything is a shark but it’s not – or is it? Read the story to make up your mind …”

We hope you agree! This fiction book (and others in the series) is available to borrow from our school library.

Mrs Harvey would also recommend this book. Nick Sharratt is a talented and popular author/illustrator and the children are very familiar with his work. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2003. His quirky writing coupled with big and bold illustrations ensure that every story in which he is involved, leaps off the page.

Shark in a Park on a Windy Day! Was the winner of the 2017 Bookbug Picture Book Prize from the Scottish Book Trust. It is easy to see why this text is such a worthy winner. Firstly, it is a great interactive story bursting with humour. Nick Sharratt’s unmistakable illustrations grab the attention in one of three Shark titles he has created. Timothy Pope has a telescope, and on a visit to the park with his Dad one windy day he spots lots of things which can look like a shark fin when seen through a telescope. As readers look through the peepholes to the following page there’s the opportunity to guess what Timothy might be looking at and join in with the catchphrase.

Bright colours, bold humorous images and plenty of detail offer numerous opportunities for discussion between readers. Sharratt’s illustration catches the windiness to great effect, and readers can see how the effect of the wind, and using a telescope changes what we see.

Secondly, it has much literary merit. 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.

Secondly, Myrah recommends The Day the Crayons Quit written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.

Myrah’s reason for her choice:

“This is a funny and super colourful story, especially on the last page!”

Mrs Harvey supports Myrah’s choice. Award-winning illustrator and artist Oliver Jeffers has teamed up with film writer and director Drew Daywalt to create this gorgeously colourful picture book.

Duncan just wants to do some colouring – but when he opens his box of crayons, he finds a whole bundle of letters of complaint. The crayons aren’t happy: Beige is sick and tired of playing second fiddle to Brown; Blue is exhausted after colouring in so many oceans, lakes and rivers; Orange and Yellow can’t agree on who is really the colour of the sun; and Peach has a rather embarrassing problem. Can Duncan come up with a solution to keep the crayons happy – before they quit colouring for good?

This sumptuous book is a real work of art: each beautifully-designed spread features an entertaining handwritten letter from one of the crayons, accompanied with delightfully scribbly illustrations from Jeffers. The volume of text may make this a little challenging for younger readers to tackle alone, but this is a perfect book to share, with enough wit and lively imagination to entertain parents just as much as children. A powerful tribute to creativity, this book will leave children looking at their box of crayons in a completely different way.

Amongst the humour, the creators provide moments of genuine empathy too. It helps children to understand about different feelings and to examine feelings from someone else’s point of view. The story can also be interpreted as treating people with respect and understanding. On a deeper level, the story raises some interesting questions about expectations put upon – and obligations felt by – the individual. Not to mention how colours are perceived by children. For example, why is pink seen as a girl’s colour – why can’t dinosaurs and monsters be pink occasionally? Which colour can rightly lay claim to being the colour of the sun? Yellow and Orange are at loggerheads and not longer speaking to one another…

Whilst children and adults alike will giggle their way through this story, the book also offers some important messages in addition to being a  lot of fun.

The recent demise of Queen Elizabeth II has encouraged Myrah to reflect on the life and role of our late Queen and she wanted to add a third Book of the Week. Myrah recommends a book which reviews the life and influence of Queen Elisabeth II and I feel her choice is very apt.

In June 2022, Mrs Simon presented every Grimsdell child (and the library) with a beautifully written and poignantly illustrated book celebrating the life and Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

Myrah explains the reason for her choice:

I enjoy non-fiction books and finding out new information. I was given the book from Grimsdell to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. It has lots of interesting information – I’m sure you will learn new things too!”

Happy Reading

Mrs Harvey