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Best Books This Month – April 2019

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April 2019 - Books of the Month

The Booksfortopics Top Picks for April 2019

We’ve picked five of our favourite new children’s books this month.

Catherine Bruton
Chapter book

A superb read. This is a gripping and thought-provoking story exploring the experience of an eleven-year-old girl fleeing conflict in Syria. Aya’s tale is told with such compassion that takes the reader on a real empathy journey. No Ballet Shoes in Syria is an important story that is beautifully told with warmth and compassion.

Sabrina Weiss
 & Giulia De Amicis

Ocean: Secrets of the Deep offers the reader an insight into every aspect of ocean life in a visually stunning and informative way. From ocean environments to species evolution and from threatened ecosystems to ocean exploration, information is presented in an exciting and attractive way. The breadth of subjects covered is impressive and each one is done brilliantly.

Lorna Gutierrez & Polly Noakes

Dare is a picture book that urges very young children to stand up for what matters, see the goodness around them and make a difference in the world. Like many Tiny Owl books, Dare includes inspirational messages and a diverse mix of characters, this time brought to life by Polly Noakes’ vibrant and uplifting illustrations.

Lorna Gutierrez’s simple-yet-meaningful rhyming text on each page repeats the idea of daring children to do something different and brave. All of the ‘dare to…’ messages encourage children to think about how they can strive to be a good person, having a positive impact on themselves, others and the world around them. Variations in font and placement of text on each page help each new message stand out from the one before it.

The illustrations mix elements of the characters’ reality and their imaginations, merging them together to form the child’s view of the world. The is cleverly reiterated by the use of some aspects of every page being line drawings that pull the emphasis towards the central, colourful illustrations.

With an important message emphasising that small actions from small people can make a big difference, this is a joyful picture book recommended for children in EYFS and KS1.

Sharna Jackson
Chapter book

When their art teacher is mysteriously murdered during the summer holiday, sisters Nik and Norva turn detective to solve the case and find his killer. With a modern-day urban setting in a high-rise block, this entertaining whodunnit will keep you turning the pages. A sequel, Mic-Drop, sees the smart and curious young sleuths investigate the suspicious death of a pop-star — and I hope there will be lots more mysteries to come for Norva and Nik.

Nicola Skinner
 & Flavia Sorrentino
Chapter book

Hilarious and truly original, here is a book with all the ingredients to take root and blossom wildly among the imaginations of young readers! We immediately loved the premise of the ‘surprising seeds’ that lead to an epidemic causing people to grow flowers out of their heads.

Sorrel Fallowfield is a rule follower. Never wishing to cause trouble for her overworked Mum or to break the strict rules of a perfection-demanding headteacher, Sorrel knows that she is in with an excellent chance of winning when school announces a competition to find the most perfectly-behaved student. Even better, the prize for the winner is a family holiday – which is exactly what Sorrel thinks her Mum needs the most.

Sorrel’s luck changes when a mysterious packet of seeds appears in her garden that have the most surprising effects. Before she knows it, the power of the seeds have taken root not just in Sorrel’s life but also in her whole community. Could nature be fighting back against a town that has eradicated all of its green spaces?

A stand-out story full of humour and heart.

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