Our Junior Librarians this week have each selected a book from our current Year 2 adventure Reading Road Map collection.
Firstly, Poppy from 2NS, has chosen Amazing Grace written by Mary Hoffman and illustrated by Caroline Binch.
Poppy’s reason for her choice:
“I like the message of this story – you can be anything you want to be – just believe in yourself and try hard!”
Mrs Harvey would support Poppy’s choice. Amazing Grace was written over 30 years ago and remains a popular book, which is testament to the story’s continued resonance with children. This classic story communicates an inspiring message that anything is possible – a warm-hearted tale about following your dreams. Poppy’s perceptive comment about the book demonstrates that she has absolutely absorbed the story’s central message.
The story’s main character is Grace, who loves to act out stories. Sometimes she plays the leading role, sometimes she is ‘a cast of thousands.’ When her school decides to perform Peter Pan, Grace is longing to play Peter, but her classmates point out that Peter was a boy. Besides, he wasn’t black. However, Grace’s Ma and Nana tell her she can be anything she wants if she puts her mind to it … With the support of her family, Grace learns that she can be anything she wants to be and the results are amazing!
The book is an award winning read, raising issues that do I need to say, are still prevalent today, thirty years on. This is an engaging story, sharing that we are more alike than different but also encouraging discussions about race and gender, and about not letting go of aspirations, no matter what people say. Caroline Binch’s illustrations are timeless. They evocatively share Grace and her family, her school setting and the joy that acting brings Grace. The colourful illustrations demonstrate Grace’s vivid imagination at work in her many roles adapted from different stories, giving full expression to her high-flying imagination.
Our second book of the week has been chosen by Sahir, from 2AM. The Reading Road Map book he has selected is My Mum is a Lioness, written by Swapna Haddon and illustrated by Dapo Adeola.
Sahir tells us:
“I really like the illustrations in this book and the things that the mum did made me laugh!”
Mrs Harvey would also recommend this book. This engaging sequel to Haddow and Adeola’s My Dad is a Grizzly Bear features a powerful and energetic mum who is very much the centre of the family, cheering on her children and loving everyone fearlessly. The little boy telling the story isn’t always thrilled about some of his mum’s lion-like qualities, but his mum is always there when he needs her and that’s what matters.
When your mum is a lioness, it means that she’ll pounce on you if you’re trying to run away. She’ll roar with approval at your school shows and she’ll show you off relentlessly to the other lionesses in the pride, because she loves you so much. Not only that, being a natural athlete, lioness mum will teach you how to chase and leap higher than all the other cubs – but she’ll also always be there to pick you up when you fall.
As ever, Dapo Adeola’s brilliant illustration captures the loving family dynamic perfectly – the vibrant colours really draw the reader in, whilst the detail adds an extra dimension to the narrative.