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Best Books This Month – September 2018

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Best Books This Month - September 2018

It’s easy to feel lost in the flood of so many new children’s books available. Each month, we pick five of our recently published favourites.

Check out our Review Panel’s top picks for you to read in September 2018…

Tom Palmer
 & Tom Clohosy Cole
Chapter bookDyslexia-friendly

Best-selling author Tom Palmer has a track record of bringing together his passions for sport and history in popular stories with a high appeal in primary schools. His gripping story, Armistice Runner, brings into the spotlight messenger runners on the front line of World War I. As with all of Tom’s books published by Barrington Stoke, these books are ‘super-readable’ due to their accessible layout including a dyslexia-friendly font and tinted paper. This is a wonderful story to use in KS2 classrooms to explore the history of the World War 1 Armistice.

Anahita Teymorian

This is the first book in a new series called ‘Hope in a Scary World’ from publisher Tiny Owl. The story uses words and images to tackle the subject of immigration in a sensitive and creative way, with a positive message about the impact of kindness.

The narrator of the story recalls a childhood with enough space for everything; from the toys in his bed to the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea. Growing older, he begins to observe that human beings constantly seem to be fighting for space. The narrator puzzles over the spaces for which people fight when surely, he says, if we are kinder then there will be enough room for everyone.

There is so much to think about in Anahita Teymorian’s painted illustrations as each page is cleverly filled with shape and pattern motifs that emphasise the contrast between the open and crowded spaces. Readers will have fun noticing the playful composition of the double-page spreads as Teymorian manipulates the page boundaries to fit the amusingly tall characters and oddly shaped creatures into the page.

The author had the idea for the story as she was feeling angry watching news items on the television, but the mood of the book is more of a call to positive action and tolerance than an expression of frustration.

A striking picture book with much to discuss and think about, this is highly recommended for KS1 classrooms.

Philip Reeve
 & Ms Sarah McIntyre
Chapter book

This illustrated chapter book about a flying pony is just so endearing and very entertaining. As you’d expect from this author-illustrator dream team that brought us Cakes in Space and Oliver and the Seawigs, this story is amusingly original at every turn and is overflowing with the feel-good factor. Kevin is a flying pony who lives on the Outermost West hills and loves biscuits (especially custard creams). One day, a wild storm brings Kevin roly-polying through the air and crashing into Max’s flat in the town of Bumbleford. Max has always wanted a pet and is delighted by Kevin’s arrival…

Fiona Waters
 & Frann Preston-Gannon

This beautiful poetry anthology that includes a new nature poem for every day of the year is likely to become a primary classroom essential. The collection of 366 poems (to make sure leap years are covered too!) contains a really interesting mix of poems from well-known favourites from Christina Rossetti and Walter de la Mare to more modern offerings by Benjamin Zephaniah and Carol Ann Duffy, with each poem reflecting the seasonal changes associated with that day’s position in the year. The book is structured into monthly sections and the poems accompanied by beautiful illustrations that celebrate the beauty of the natural world and changing seasons.

S.A. Patrick
Chapter book

Fantasy fans will be blown away by this exciting and original adventure. Imagine a cross between How to Train Your Dragon and The Pied Piper of Hamelin and throw in some musical spells, dracogriffs, spectacular battles and a quest of epic proportions.

Patch Brightwater wants to be a successful piper, using the music from his pipe to make magical spells. But things do not quite go to plan when he tries to help a village with a rat problem and ends up being put in jail for playing a forbidden spell song.

In prison, Patch uncovers a disturbing secret about the infamous Piper of Hamelyn. Patch soon seizes an opportunity to escape his cell. Together with Wren (a girl living under a curse that has turned her into a rat) and a friendly dracogriff called Barver, Patch sets about on a world-saving mission to stop the Piper of Hamelyn. The trio encounter sorcerers, dragons, magical substances and evil villains, with their adventure culminating in a nail-biting climax that readers will not want to put down.

This is a clever and original spin on a well-known story. S.A. Patrick has created an immersive magical world that will thrill its audience with its action-filled fantasy plot, its dark magic and its homage to the power of music.

Nominated for Favourite Books of 2018 by: @MrsKnjH via Twitter

A Darkness of Dragons was captivating from the first chapter. It provided unexpected twists at perfect opportunities and a constant desire to read on. It truly encapsulates the classic tale of the Pied Piper with a magical new universe.

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