My Garden by Kevin HenkesMy garden

This is a beautifully simple picture book about a young girl who is helping her mother in the garden.  I saw this on one of our library trolleys mid-week and just fell in love with the imaginative way that the girl in the story decides how she would look after her garden.  ‘In my garden, the flowers could change colour just by my thinking about it – pink, blue, green, purple…’ and ‘In my garden the rabbits wouldn’t eat the lettuce because the rabbits would be chocolate and I would eat them…’  I found the whole story to be quite enchanting and think it would be a wonderful story to share and nurture a love of nature.

Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundellwolf wilder

Another success from the pen of last year’s Warwickshire Junior Book Award winner!  Feo is the daughter of a wolf wilder, Marina, and together they take the unwanted wolf ‘pets’ of the rich of St Petersberg and prepare them to live again in the wild. But a nasty General in the Imperial army is trying to root out dissenters in the rural population and sees these two as a threat. Marina is taken away to prison and Feo wounds the General, sending his tendency to violence and retribution into overdrive. Feo befriends a deserting young soldier, Ilya, and together with others they meet on the way they journey with three wolves to St Petersberg to try and release Marina.  The description of the Russian landscape, the world of the wolves and Feo’s journey – physical and emotional – make for a great adventure and some sad moments, but ultimately a good ending.  Will appeal to upper junior and lower secondary age group.

Close to the wind by Jon Walters close to the wind

I really enjoyed reading this recently as part of our secondary book award long-list.  It is about a boy called Malik and the journey he has to take, in part with his Grandfather, across the ocean.  It is not a journey that he wants to take, but it becomes necessary and all he really longs for is his home and his mum.  I loved the incredibly simple writing technique that breathes just enough life into the characters – they feel so real and you are with them the entire way.  This is an incredibly timely story, perfectly pitched for transition but will equally allow older pupils an opportunity to think.

And not forgetting the non fiction….

Creaturepedia by Adrienne BarmanCreaturepedia

This is a wonderful edition to your non-fiction collection.  Animals are categorised and grouped by their particular talents making this book slightly different to your usual encyclopaedia.  To give you an idea we meet the ‘Munch-it-uppers’…the ‘Mythical’…the ‘Solitary’…the ‘Long Necked’…the’ Giants’ and many many more.  All illustrated in a fun and colourful way with a small fact to keep you, your pupils (and teachers!) entertained for hours.  Very much worth a look as are so many of the books that Wide Eyed Editions are publishing at the moment.  I love it!

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