Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom - what a team! This book, released at the start of 2018 follows What do you do with an idea? and What do you do with a problem? This series taps into the importance of creative and critical thinking in a gentle and accessible way for even the youngest of readers.
The PYP component of the IB prioritises the development of key learner attributes, and one of these is being a risk-taker. It is important to note that risk-taking in this context refers to stepping outside your comfort zone, and not engaging in risky or dangerous behaviour. Being a risk-taker is increasingly difficult for some children in an era of 'helicopter parenting' and 'bubble-wrap childhoods'. In addition, standardised testing which rewards correct answers over creative ones, stifles the desire for taking chances if children think they will be wrong and/or fail. This book with its gentle illustrations and simple storyline shows risk-taking as inviting and rewarding. This series is essential for school libraries, and would be valuable to share regularly in both the classroom and the home.
Highly, highly recommended.
I confess that despite being an avid reader, I have not read too many memoirs over the years. I love autobiographies and biographies, but they have quite a different tone and purpose. Educated, by Tara Westover, was a haunting read, largely because of the recent history of it all. There is a raw honesty of the author's confusion, vulnerability and fear mingled with a deep and abiding love for those exerting a dangerous power and influence. I was unfamiliar with the history of Mormon survivalists, which in itself was an education, and deeply saddened by the suffering of all members of the family who either rejected or were forbidden to access a health system which could have provided care and ultimately a better quality of life for physical injuries and/or mental illness.
It was uncomfortable reading, knowing that the people featured were not fictional characters, but family members. Remarkably, this book avoided both self-pity and arrogance. Rather, the author highlighted the life-changing events that set her free, pointing always to education. Like Malala, Tara is an ambassador for education and its power to heal, change lives and provide a future.
HIghly, highly recommended.
Who said you can't judge a book by its cover??
When I first saw the cover of this book, I knew it was going to be special. Frances Watts is an exquisite writer, capable of creating engaging characters and shaping entertaining and thought-provoking stories. However, I really think it was the illustration gracing the cover that first captured my attention. Throughout the book, the rich colour palette and expressive characters were the perfect accompaniment to Watts' lyrical and alliterative text.
With themes of persistence, friendship and embracing life's unexpected twists and turns, this book certainly met, and possibly exceeded, my expectations.
Highly, highly recommended.
Sick Bay, by Nova Weetman, was on my radar after it kept popping up on my social media feeds with rave reviews. I must confess, I had never read any of Nova's works before, mostly because her books were always on loan from the library. When I read the synopsis of the story, I knew it was a must-read. What a great pretext to bring together two unlikely characters, in a very unglamorous setting.
This book was selected for our first-ever Y6/Significant Other book club, and it was a perfect choice. Nova has an uncanny ability to scratch beneath the surface of the mind of a Year 6 girl, effortlessly uncovering what makes her tick and her perceptions of the world.
This book was a delight to read. Unlike many children's novels which seem to remove the parents to see how a child survives, the parents in Sick Bay play a crucial role throughout the story, and also demonstrate that growth and resilience can develop at any age.
Congratulations to Nova for crafting together such a beautiful, moving and thought-provoking novel. It is a beautiful vehicle to explore empathy, friendship, courage and the concept of what it is to be 'normal'.
Please find here an assorted mix of what I tend to read - new books, old books, birthday gifts, gifts to myself, books from my to-be-read pile, Book Group books, fiction, non-fiction, memoirs - basically a weird assortment of goodies!
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