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Library News

During our first assembly of 2024, we announced the new year’s first group of Year 2 Junior Librarians.

Our Junior Librarians for this half of the term are Valentina and Emily from the Eagle class, Phoebe and Alex from the Owl class and finally, Zoe, Theo and Lorenzo from the Hawk class. They have the responsibility for the library environment and choose our Book of the Week. Watch this space for their forthcoming suggestions!


Our Grimsdell Library is child centred and so our Book of the Week is always chosen by one of our Junior Librarians. This week, Emily and Lorenzo have selected two very different reads for you try!

Firstly, Emily recommends Shark in the Park, written and illustrated by Nick Sharratt.

Emily tells us: “This book is really funny! Timothy is SURE he can spot a shark in the park through his telescope. Is he right?”

Mrs Harvey fully support Emily’s choice. This fiction book (and others in the series) is available to borrow from our school library. 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. First published in 2002, Shark in the Park retains all of its magic and fun. Published over 20 years ago is has become a much-loved children’s classic.

Shark in the Park is a great interactive story bursting with humour. Nick Sharratt’s unmistakable illustrations grab the attention in the first of three Shark titles he has created. Timothy Pope has a telescope, and on a visit to the park he spots lots of things which can look like a shark fin when seen through a telescope. But wait it’s only a cat. He looks again and there’s another shark! Phew, only a crow, and the next time, it’s just his dad. But as he sets off for home, is he really sure it’s a shark-free park? Some of the fun of this book lies in the sheer incongruity of spotting a shark in this spick-and-span, candy-bright park full of smiling people. Part of the fun comes from joining in with words and actions every time Timothy raises his telescope, then there’s clever visual trickery with the sinister dark fin! A hugely entertaining reworking of the boy who cried wolf or was that shark really there all along? 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.  Creative typography complements the whole production, with some speech bubbles and large capitals for Timothy’s shouting.

The book 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, Lorenzo has chosen a non-fiction book, Skateboarding by James Nixon.

Lorenzo explains his choice: “I like learning new skills. I’m going to try some of the new tricks I read about when I go on my skateboard in the park!”

Mrs Harvey supports Lorenzo’s choice and is delighted that he chooses the library to seek advice on developing new skills. 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.

Even if you can’t remember back to when you were 3 or 4, you may have experienced (perhaps with tinge of exasperation) a small child asking you, “But why? Why is it like that? Why does it do that?” We start out life immensely hungry for understanding. We want to work out how things work; we’re full of questions and insatiably curious about the world. When we discover an answer to our questioning, the world seems to make a little more sense and we feel braver and bolder than before. To be curious is not only natural, but it also helps us lead rich and wonderful lives. This is why I’m a passionate advocate for doing whatever possible to enable children and young people to keep asking “Why?”

Non-fiction books are my tools of choice for this; once opened, not only do they feed enthusiasm, foster wonder and put wind beneath wings, they enable readers by delivering knowledge and feeding passion. Like me, you probably want your child to fall in love with books – perhaps because you know that all the research points to frequent readers being more successful in life, or perhaps simply because you know how enjoyable reading is and want others to experience that warmth, delight and pleasure.

Happy Reading!

Mrs Harvey