Stuff You Should Know! by John Farndon and Rob Beattie

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The first things you will notice about ‘The Stuff You Should Know’  are the really good illustrations  and the interesting use of text, there are questions that you never ask but  the answers are fascinating.

What happens when you tweet on Twitter?

What happens when you recycle your drinks can?

What happens when you charge your iPad?

This book is packed with so many answers and  you will become full of knowledge! There is a page, for example, on Sending Mail, with the issues around transport and deliveries to rural areas, using postcodes and barcodes to get the letter to the right place.

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The double page open spread on Using a Mobile Phone is amazing!

Fact – by 2015 around 2.7 billion people worldwide owned a smart phone and it is now one of the most important gadgets on the planet.

The book describes the operating system, the battery, USB connector, the Sim card, touchscreen technology, emails, apps, music, location services, games and much more. For instance, when you touch the screen it interrupts a current of electricity informing the phone where your fingers are, it’s called capacitive touchscreen!

John Farndon is an internationally known author, as well as a playwright, composer and songwriter. He has written hundreds of books, which have sold millions of copies around the world in most major languages and include many best-sellers, such as the award-winning Do Not Open.

Rob Beattie is a professional writer and life-long camper and angler. He has written numerous titles on a wide range of outdoor activities, including: The Pocket Survival GuideThe Campsite Companion: All You Need to Know for Life in the Great Outdoors, The Boating Companion: All You Need to Know for Life on the Open Water, and The Fishing Handbook(published in the UK as 101 Golden Rules of Fishing). All have been published internationally and translated into several languages. He lives in the seaside city of Brighton, England.

STEVE FRICKER is a renowned illustrator and painter. Awarded the Rhone-Poulenc prize for his illustrations for What Happens When? His work has appeared in many of the worlds leading newspapers and magazines as well as private and National collections. Steve studied painting at Chelsea School of Art .He worked for 25 years as a political cartoonist and illustrated comment pages by Tony Blair, John Major and Boris Johnson and many others.

This book, published by Marshall Editions, part of Quarto Knows, is a great way to find out information and then maybe find out more on the internet too. It will be great for the summer holidays and I think parents will have as much fun with this as any child.

And now to find out about jet engines!!

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

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Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

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Art Masterclass with Van Gogh and Wassily Kandinsky

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Master art with these two new activity books that will teach you how to make art like Van Gogh, the post impressionist painter, and with Kandinsky, a very  famous twentieth century artist.

In each book, you will have 12 masterclasses, an introduction to the artist, a time line, over 50 stickers and a pull-out double-sided poster, which will enable you to create your own Van Gogh or Kandinsky masterpiece.

These are beautiful books to have at home, in the school and the library. The style and layout make them a joy to hold, to read and to look at the pictures from these two great artists.

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In MasterClass Van Gogh, you will do drawing, colouring and collaging activities that show how Van Gogh created the art that has inspired so many.

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In MasterClass Kandinsky you’ll learn how to draw from your imagination, listen to music for inspiration and use the shapes and stickers to make your own pictures.

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Hanna Konola, from Finland is the illustrator and designer of these beautiful books, and Wide Eyed Editions are the publishers who produce amazing books which inform and inspire.

A beautiful book for the holidays, for art work  and for finding out about art…. take a MasterClass!

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Frida Kahlo at V&A Museum in London

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The V&A Museum in London is holding an exhibition of the work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

In our Dolphin Book Blog we wrote about the Little People, Big Dreams series of books from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books featuring Frida, and are delighted that this exhibition is taking place. This book can  be purchased by clicking on the book cover.

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist born in 1907, she painted many portraits, including self-portraits with a strong style and combination of colour, realism and surrealism. Frida was interested in politics and in 1927 joined the communist party, where she met Diego Riviera. Later that year they married and through a tumultuous time they travelled across Mexico and the United States in the 1930’s.

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In 1938 Frida had a solo exhibition in The Julien Levy Gallery in New York, which led to other exhibitions, some solo and some with Diego. After an exhibition in Paris, the Louvre purchased one of Frida’s paintings, which was the first Mexican artist to be featured in their collections.

Self-portrait on the Border between Mexico and the United States of America, Frida Kahlo, 1932. © Modern Art International Foundation, Courtesy María and Manuel Reyero.

In 1953, Frida had her first solo exhibition in Mexico, but sadly her health had deteriorated and she died in 1954 at the age of 47. By the 1970’s Frida became a recognised figure in art history and also as an icon for Chicanos, the feminist movement and LGBTQ movement.

The exhibition at the V&A Museum presents an extraordinary collection of personal artefacts and clothing belonging to Frida, which has been locked away for over 50 years. There are also some of her paintings and the chance to see this remarkable style should not be missed.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Authors and Schools across the world via BGW

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Jumping betwixt Australia, China, Hong Kong and the UK!

Kellett School year 5’s had just returned from Beijing in May 2018 when they joined Books Go Walkabout ‘skyping’ to Carole Wilkinson, award-winning Australian author, her Dragonkeeper series is set in Ancient China.

The year 5 students at Kowloon Bay campus of Kellett School were intrigued with Carole’s presentation showing drawings and research, especially the drawing of an Emperor taking his dragon for a walk, his body curled around and walking side by side. 

The hour-long session covered a whole host of creative writing thoughts and possibilities,conversations about writing, story ideas, and characters. Dragonkeeper is now being made into a movie, it is now two years from starting and two years until completion. Very exciting and maybe two years is not too long to wait?

There be dragons!

Dragonkeeper is a fantasy story about a slave girls who saves the life of an ageing dragon, and escapes her brutal master.

Pursued by a ruthless dragon hunter, the girls and the dragon, make an epic journey across China in 141BC, carrying a mysterious stone that must be protected. There are seven books in the series plus an introduction book, a great read and some of the students have already read the first five books.

Enjoying the book…

Kellett year 5 students had already completed some brilliant writing projects about characters and the story-line. 

Books Go Walkabout provides more than just an author, we work with the school to ensure that there is great benefit to school and students and that there are curriculum matches to enhance attainment and enjoyment too.

Looking forward to more ‘skyping’ across the world.

Sue Martin

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Books Go Walkabout
Discover a world of authors, illustrators and readers!
Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Grandad Mandela by Zazi and Ziwelee and Zindzi Mandela, illustrated by Sean Qualls

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This amazing book is written from a child’s perspective, and authored jointly by Nelson Mandela’s great-grandchildren and daughter, told as never before, to celebrate what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday on 28th June 2018.

This book will bring alive Mandela’s legacy for a new generation of children and is published by Lincoln Children’s Books, who are renowned for quality, information books in a highly accessible format. (Title available on 28th June…)

Nelson Mandela’s two great-grandchildren ask their grandmother, Mandela’s youngest daughter, with Winnie Mandela, 15 questions about their grandad.

Mandela is a global icon of peace and forgiveness who fought peacefully, against apartheid and a brutal regime in South Africa. He spent 27 years in prison on Robben Island.

The grandchildren learn that he was a freedom fighter who put down his weapons for the sake of peace, and who then became the President of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize-winner.

The illustrations by Sean Qualls are brilliant, the style and colours support the feel of South Africa.  The book is written in a picture book style and the text points to some of the hard questions that the great-grandchildren ask such as;

“Why did Grandad have to go to jail?”

“Where were you Grandma when Grandad was in jail?

 

It tells of that period of time when apartheid and lack of freedom for black people in South Africa were part of everyday life. The struggle to achieve not only justice but a place where all people should be free was an enormous task.

We highly recommend this beautiful and heartfelt book for all ages and for schools, libraries and home.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story & Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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Palazzo Editions are delighted to publish new and sensitively abridged and adapted gift editions of The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story and Alice in Wonderland, bringing Robert Ingpen’s stunning illustrations and these timeless storied to a younger audience.

Juliet Stanley has created an amazing style of text in abridging the original story, with losing none of the magic and depth and bringing a beautiful way of engaging for younger readers.

In Jungle Book:Mowgli’s Story, by Rudyard Kipling the story speaks volumes of a child being lost and found by the wolf pack, who runs wild in the jungle, yet brings talents of human hands to support the other animals. All the animal characters are there and include, Bagheera the black panther, Baloo the bear and of course Shere Khan the tiger who was out to kill Mowgli, as soon as he had the chance.

A quote from Michael Morpurgo, “ I still marvel at the inventiveness of Rudyard Kipling… the characters come to life at the hand of Ingpen- just as my mother’s voice brought them to life when she read them to me.”


In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, the story of Alice, a child who was at the edge of growing up who fell down a rabbit hole and found a world turned inside out with characters like The Mad Hatter, The White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts.

The book is great to read and in many ways enables the story to be understood by younger readers in this edition.

 

A quote from Philip Pullman, ” Lewis Carroll, we could say, created the whole of children’s literature with these wonderful stories. Placing a child at the centre of a narrative that was entirely free of instruction, entirely devoted to delight, was a stroke of genius. The Alice’s are the greatest nonsense ever written, and far greater, in my view than most sense.”

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Award winning artist Robert Ingpen’s wonderful illustrations have illuminated this classic children’s titles and other books include Peter Pan and Wind in the Willows and read a recent interview with Robert Ingpen 

 

We love these books and find it hard to put them down, either for the beautiful illustrations or for the chance to read again about the adventures of characters with stories beyond our wildest dreams.

Sue Martin

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Plantopedia, A Celebration of Nature’s Greatest Show-offs by Adrienne Barman

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Plantopedia
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Welcome to the greatest show on earth, featuring the most tremendous trees and tiniest seeds, flowers masquerading as twinkling stars and very confused fruit and vegetables!

This is an incredible, non-edible, fun-loving and intellectually desirable book about plants! Plants from all over the world, chosen for their unique traits and characteristics, their abilities in disguise, and captivation, who is the cleverest, the plants or the insects?

Discover the ‘evergreens’, the ‘edibles’, the ‘elderly’ plants that have outlived the dinosaurs.

The budding naturalists among the students will be absorbed totally by the quirky text, wealth of fascinating information and stylish illustrations.  Watch out for the section on poisonous plants, which is led by an illustration of a skeleton in clothes; it includes plants such as Feverfew, Henbane and Strychnine tree.

It is a book that I keep picking up and reading from, remembering the bite sized pieces of information.

Adrienne Barman is the author and illustrator and produces very colourful and stylish work. She lives in Geneva having illustrated many books.

WideEyed is part of the QuartoKnows publishing group and has an amazingly interesting list of children’s books.

We thoroughly recommend this book for schools and libraries and especially for the families kitchen table, a book to have and to dip into, it will be a joy to have.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

 

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

The Man Who Loved Libraries- The Story of Andrew Carnegie

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The Man who Loved Libraries, The story of Andrew Carnegie
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Scottish born Andrew Carnegie’s gift of over 650 public libraries to the UK and Ireland was an astonishing and long-lasting legacy. It has changed many cities and towns for the better.

It has given opportunities for anyone to read a wealth of books without having a wealth of money.

‘The Man Who Loved Libraries, The Story of Andrew Carnegie’,written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Katty Maurey is published by Pikku Publishing on 1st May 2018.

When you open the door to a library, a world of opportunity awaits…’

When Andrew was young, life was hard and economics meant that many families, including the Carnegie family, living in Scotland, moved to America. Andrew grew up working for his living in Pittsburgh, as a bobbin boy, and a telegram messenger. But he was always quick to learn and found many ways to create business.

Andrew believed that learning was the key to his future, and a Colonel Anderson opened the doors to his private library on Saturday afternoons. This left a lasting impression on Andrew. As well as soaking up the knowledge which enabled him to create his fortune in the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and other investments, he was determined to leave a legacy of libraries to support others.

This is a fascinating book, the style and layout create a chance to read sections of information in ‘bite size chunks’ as provided by the Canadian  author Andrew Larsen.

The iluustrations, from Canadian, Katty Maurey,,are engaging and give an excellent feel to the period in history.

The publishers, Pikku Publishing, have produced a wonderful book, not only for the text and the illustrations, but in the way it will lead the reader into further discovery.  For instance the pages at the end of the book provide  information and ideas about Andrew Carnegie and provide all the research material used in creating the book.

We thoroughly recommend this is both as an excellent  book and  a great resource in schools and at home for children from 6 – 12 years.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

 

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

The Ghosts and Jamal

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Jamal lives away from a village in West Africa, he is different, people are afraid that his twitching and strange behaviour may be linked to black magic. His Mum has died and his grandfather disappeared with the remains of the palm wine.

The villagers believe Jamal is marked by spirits, which meant that when the village is attacked by terrorists he is left alone and saved. But he is totally alone. Along with his kit bag and copy of The Koran, which was given to him by the Imam who is friendly to him, Jamal sets off away from the village.

Although Jamal finds his grandfather, he sends him away and throws stones at him as he scrambles down the mountain. He is taken in by humanitarian workers who do their best to help and provide him with pills for his epilepsy, but their solution is to send him to an orphanage.

Jamal’s journey goes on, with each place being hard to live in, children knowing Jamal is not quite the same as them. Slowly it appears that Jamal is also autistic. Children and adults in the places where Jamal finds himself, usually end up trying to trick or abuse Jamal, who always has a sense of this but unable to defend himself properly, that is until the end of the story.

This is a great book, quite challenging at times, and brings you directly to life in West Africa and the challenging time for anyone with autism or epilepsy. The concept of bad spirits is pretty frightening and an awareness grows that a sudden epileptic attack could leave Jamal in a very bad place.

But it doesn’t and the surprise at the end of the book is terrific!

The Ghosts and Jamal is written by Bridget Blankley, who spent most of her early life in Nigeria and has an autism spectrum disorder. It is published by HopeRoad Publishing, who work with a focus on West Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, supporting neglected voices.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

The 2018 Philippa Pearce Lecture- Peopling The Dark – Frances Hardinge

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Frances Hardinge delivered the Philippa Pearce Lecture to a packed auditorium on April 18th at Homerton College, University of Cambridge.

Are books too scary?  Can we iron out the monsters? Should we face the monsters alone?

Some of the questions which Frances eloquently suggested to the audience, why do we think  children should not be given answers, but left with the monster lurking, when we just want them to be safe and not to think about scary things?

Frances’s novels, which include The Lie Tree, The Cuckoo Song and A Skinful of Shadows are full of shadows and half glimpsed faces, things which in the dark are scary. Adults tend to come in and put on the light and explain that there is nothing to be scared of, but when the light goes out, Frances explained that the scary monster is back.  Frances recalled how she had first read The Shadow Cage by Philippa Pearce and it had struck a deep chord.The Lie Tree

Children’s fiction has a wealth of unseen things, some are cowed and shrouded, faceless and use of nonsense words and vague descriptions, for example the Jabberwocky the work of Lewis Carroll. In Victorian children’s books, Frances explained that monsters would be used to impose sanctions, e.g. the monster will get you. Stormtroopers of fear and imagination, the use of cautionary tales.

In today’s world of books for children there is a wealth of material which brings in darkness and scariness, the fear and the imagination of children and young people, for example, Harry Potter and the dementors. We can try to iron out the monsters, we can offer daytime explanations but there remains some uncanny gravitas which no electric light bulb can help!

Frances also pointed out that all children’s authors are adult but maybe it is the inner-self that is still part of the childhood.

A thought-provoking lecture and Frances Hardinge gave an excellent informative journey through the materials on the dark side.

Francis Hardinge at Homerton College, Cambridge to deliver the 2018 Philipp Pearce Lecture

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.