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Library News


Our new Junior Librarians, Zev from 2AM and Anais from 2NS, have chosen the Books of the Week. It is not an easy task selecting a book which they have enjoyed and which they believe will appeal to our entire Grimsdell community – from Nursery to Year 2. However, I am sure you will agree that they have made some super selections. Two very different, but equally engaging books. Coincidentally, both of their book choices form part of this year’s Lasting Legacy initiative from our outgoing Year 2 pupils.

Firstly, Zev from 2AM, recommends the 2018 winner of the Oscar Book Prize, There’s a Pig up my Nose, written by John Dougherty and illustrated by Laura Hughes.

Zev’s reason for his choice:

“I loved this story because it is SO funny and I think it will make lots of children laugh!”

Mrs Harvey would also support Zev’s choice. This is a masterclass in how to write a funny, exuberant picture book with a truly satisfying ending. Beautifully illustrated by Laura Hughes, this is a joy of a read (and read aloud) book.

What if a PIG got stuck up your NOSE? However, would you get it out? When Natalie has to go to school with a pig stuck up her nose, her whole class gets together to find a way to get the pig out. But how will they do it?

Research shows that humour in books is the top characteristic children look for when making their reading selections.

Comedy is important. In fact, it’s essential. It can be a welcome escape from the chaos of the world, an opportunity to have a good laugh and bring some relief. It is a survival tactic, gently helping us to get through tough times when we’re not sure we can. It creates connections – laughing together builds a bond, it brings us closer; it’s integral to human interaction.

Comedy can change the way we think and how we act – a funny story about something that really matters can be a hugely effective way of reaching people. Learning to laugh at yourself is a powerful tool throughout life and being silly every now and then is fun.

Humour also gives children the confidence to try new things. By reading about characters who slip up or fail in an amusing way, or who take many attempts to succeed, children feel more comfortable embracing their fears and hesitations.


Our second Book of the Week has been chosen by Anais, who shares with us the wonderfully illustrated book Mrs Noah’s Garden by Jackie Morris and illustrated by James Mayhew.

Anais’ reason for her choice:

“I chose this book because of the wonderful illustrations – I like creating things and this book gave me some great ideas.”

Mrs Noah’s Garden is the second offering from the wonderful collaboration between Jackie Morris and James Mayhew.

We first met Mrs Noah in Mrs Noah’s Pockets, saving the “more troublesome creatures” that Mr Noah was thinking of leaving behind when they were preparing to leave in the ark. She sews a coat with many deep pockets to hide them in and take with her. Here, we meet her again with her family, and all the creatures safely landed looking for a place to settle and make a home. She is once again in her coat with deep pockets, but this time filled with seeds because this story is all about Mrs Noah creating a new garden with her family.

As the garden blooms, the colours grow richer and richer throughout the book. If there was ever a book to inspire children to start gardening, this is it. It is the perfect book as a stimulus and starting point. This is, however, more than just a story about gardening. It is through Mrs Noah and her actions that we see how, through resilience, creativity and resourcefulness, something good and beautiful can grow. The story also has themes exploring families settling into a new country or new place and the importance of the natural environment, so it is a rich stimulus to ask questions and explore these themes.

The language throughout is brimming with references to nature and the natural environment as we would expect from artist and writer, Jackie Morris. However, she also brings in some lovely little touches of humour: when Mr Noah sees Mrs Noah sewing, he hopes for curtains at last, but of course, this is Mrs Noah sewing, and it is a beautiful awning to eat under outside in the garden with her family.

So, these rich layers of language within Mrs Noah’s Garden give texture, which of course is where we see how perfectly the words and illustrations are working together as James Mayhew has used collage for the illustrations throughout. This gives the illustrations a beautiful, layered effect as he also creates his textures and patterns on paper using lino patterns and printmaking. Alongside the linocuts, he uses other textures too. He uses fabric and so there is a nod to Mrs Noah and her craft. He uses musical scores too, which if you explore other work by James Mayhew, you will find out that he also creates art to music on stage with an orchestra. It is well worth spending time exploring the collage illustrations closely to look at this kind of detail.

This book inspires children to create real gardens outside, collage gardens using a collage of different materials and stories about these creations. It is a story to encourage children to be creative, just like Mrs Noah and her garden. Mrs Noah’s Garden celebrates nature and life through the lyrical storytelling of Jackie Morris and the colourful illustrations of James Mayhew.

Happy Reading!

Mrs Harvey