We have finally reached the end of the school year and what an amazing year it has been. The children have worked incredibly hard, their teachers are massively proud of them all and now everyone deserves a bit of time to rest, relax and refresh, before we start all over again in September.
September is ages away though! Now isn't the time for 'Back to School' talk, now is the the time to think and take stock of what has been achieved over this year. Class 3 and I looked back at all the stories, poems, non-fiction and songs we had read, shared, studied and listened to this year and we were amazed at the quantity - and we knew that we didn't manage to remember them all. We will definitely keep a better list next year.
So, here is the last Reading Newsletter of 2018-19. I wanted to share a few books that might excite and enthuse you and your children over the coming 6 weeks. My 'To Be Read' list keeps changing but I will try and settle on it so I can start straight away - I wonder what journeys I will go on and who I will meet along the way...
Thanks for reading!
Happy Holidays and thank you for your support.
EY-Y1 Book of the Month
All young dinosaurs are warned about the scary Gigantosaurus...
So Bonehead volunteers to be the dino-kids lookout whenever they go into the jungle to play. Unfortunately, he is the original boy-dinosaur who cried wolf, or in this case, "GIGANTOSAURUS!"
Finally, Bonehead's friends refuse to believe his warnings and the Gigantosaurus really turns up!
In a vertical gate-fold surprise, it looks like Bonehead has got crunched - but in a hilarious reveal we discover this annoying little dinosaur is safe after all.
MR WATSON SAYS: Three things that go together to make a great story for younger readers: Dinosaurs, Characters making hilarious mistakes and brilliant illustrations! Gigantosaurus is a 'read aloud' story that can be read over and over again - do the voices, create the characters, whisper and shout in the right places! This is just an out and out FUN BOOK.
Y2-Y4 Book of the Month
A long time ago a mouse learned to fly . . . and crossed the Atlantic.
But what happened next?
Torben Kuhlmann's stunning new book transports readers to the moon and beyond! On the heels of Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse comes Armstrong: A Mouse on the Moon where dreams are determined only by the size of your imagination and the biggest innovators are the smallest of all.
The book ends with a brief non-fiction history of human space travel from Galileo's observations concerning the nature of the universe to man's first steps on the moon.
MR WATSON SAYS: This year, it is the 50th Anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, in fact it is tomorrow (20th July) that marks half a century since Neil Armstrong, Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin and Michael Collins made the journey to the moon in a spacecraft with less computing power than a Smart Phone - so of course I am going to share a book that references this!
Armstrong is simply gorgeous. To call this a 'picture book' would be doing it an injustice. The mix of beautiful illustrations and wonderful narrative make this a simply enchanting and captivating read. The mix of fact and fiction is balanced so well and the non-fiction section gives a wonderful chance to learn more about man's journey into space.
UKS2 Book of the Month
'Are you brave?'
When the mysterious Amelia Pigeon turns up at Kirby's bedroom window in the dead of night, this is the question she asks him -- right before they tumble into a world of ancient malevolent spirits who have torn their way into Kirby's quiet seaside village.
Kirby isn't feeling brave at all. His mother is in a coma following a freak (or was it?) accident, and he's hardly talking to his dad. He's convinced a spider is spying on him, and now a weird girl in a yellow raincoat -- who claims to be a powerful, evil-banishing Shadowsmith -- is dragging him into unknown danger.
How brave is he really?
Ross MacKenzie, author of award-winning The Nowhere Emporium, weaves a world of magic and adventure which twists and turns magnificently, and keeps thrilled young readers guessing right to the end.
MR WATSON SAYS: Oh. My. Word!
Do you like your stories to be a little bit dark and sinister? Are you looking for a story that will grip you, with both fear and excitement? Yet, you want and mystery and puzzle to solve too? THIS is the book you need. I have read a couple of Ross' books, and they are brilliant - but this one stands out. One of my absolute favourite reads of 2019 so far!
What are you waiting for?!
Author of the Month
Abi Elphinstone grew up in Scotland where she spent most of her childhood running wild across the moors, hiding in tree houses and building dens in the woods.
After being coaxed out of her tree house, she studied English at Bristol University and then worked as an English teacher in Africa, Berkshire and London.
She is the bestselling and multi-award shortlisted author of RUMBLESTAR (first in The Unmapped Chronicles), SKY SONG & THE DREAMSNATCHER TRILOGY.
When she's not writing Abi volunteers for Beanstalk, speaks in schools and travels the world looking for her next story. Her latest adventures include living with the Kazakh Eagle Hunters in Mongolia and dog-sledding across the Arctic.
Created with an image by Jonas Jacobsson - "untitled image". Book synopsis and author biography from Amazon.co.uk. Other sources cited.