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Five Picture Books Suitable for the Whole School

With World Book Day (5th March 2020) just around the corner, lots of you have been asking us for suggestions of one book that can be used across the whole primary school. BooksForTopics founder Alison Leach gives us five recommendations for books that make great whole-school projects.

Leaf

Sandra Dieckmann

This colourful, beautifully illustrated tale is thoughtful and heart-warming. When a strange, white creature arrives in the wild woods, he is ignored by all the animals. He is a stranger and outsider - and strangers and outsiders cannot be trusted. One day, the animals watch as the creature tries to fly back home, on wings made of leaves. But where is home? A moving story with an important message about how we treat others.

The Last Wolf

Mini Grey

A twist on the traditional Little Red Riding Hood story with a clear message about environmental sustainability. When Little Red is invited in for tea at the Last Wolf’s house, which also happens to be the home of the Last Lynx and the Last Bear, she soon comes to empathise with her new friends as she learns how the destruction of their natural habitat is the cause of the endangering of a number of wonderful forest species. After she is chaperoned home, Little Red sets about to make a plan to help restore some of the damage and learns how to plant new trees to repopulate the forest for the future. Humorously detailed illustrations, timely themes and a link to traditional tales make this a great book for the whole school to get their teeth into.

Flotsam

David Wiesner

An award-winning wordless picture book, with incredible illustrations that speak for themselves, that offers whole-school opportunities for discussion and creative writing. A beach-combing young boy finds a washed-up camera on the shore, and when the film is developed it reveals a fantastic new world of creatures from the ocean and a host of other underwater objects. There's plenty of potential for all year groups with this wordless story - check out this inspiring blog post about using this book in the classroom.

Castles

Colin Thompson

A wonderfully visual exploration of fantasy castles, this book contains wonderfully detailed illustrations of imaginary castles to pore over, each hiding a royal family as well as many inventive puzzles, mazes and visual puns woven into the details. From castles that float on clouds or hide under these to castles made of musical instruments, this is a popular choice for stimulating fantasy writing. 

The Wall in the Middle of the Book

Jon Agee

A brilliantly witty book that also gives pause for thought, with a story about overcoming preconceptions and breaking through barriers and divisions between different groups. Jon Agee cleverly uses the ‘gutter’ space that runs down the middle of the picture book spread as the wall between the two opposing sides. The main character is surprised to find that the other side of the wall is a much friendlier place than he imagined. A good stimulus for discussions about overcoming divisions in society. It could lead schools into a fun story-making project inviting pupils to make their own books that use the gutter space.

A few more ideas;

  • A popular whole school choice is The Day the Crayons Quit (available here) by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers, as is the wordless picture book Journey (available here) by Aaron Becker.

  • If you want a book about books and reading, try I Don't Like Books. Never. Ever. The End (available here) by Emma Perry and Sharon Davey.

  • Good non-fiction options that cater for different age groups are Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum (available here) or The Skies Above My Eyes (available here) by Charlotte Guillain & Yuval Zommer, and if you are looking for a poetry collection for the whole school then try Poems Aloud (available here) by Joseph Coelho  & Daniel Gray-Barnett .

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    Books for           Topics    Search... Home Topic Book Lists Key Stage Book Lists Reading For Pleasure Blog About Early Years KS1 KS2 Reception Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Romans Five Picture Books for the Whole School  With World Book Day (5th March 2020) just aroundfthe corner, lots of you have been asking us for suggestions of one book that can be sed across the whole primary school. Here aere five suggestions for books that make great whole shool projects.  ​   Leaf  Sandra Dieckmann  This colourful, beautifully illustrated tale is thoughtful and heart-warming. When a strange, white creature arrives in the wild woods, he is ignored by all the animals. He is a stranger and outsider - and strangers and outsiders cannot be trusted. One day, the animals watch as the creature tries to fly back home, on wings made of leaves. But where is home? A moving story with an important message about how we treat others.  Buy Online  The Last Wolf  Mini Grey  A twist on the traditional Little Red Riding Hood story with a clear message about environmental sustainability. When Little Red is invited in for tea at the Last Wolf’s house, which also happens to be the home of the Last Lynx and the Last Bear, she soon comes to empathise with her new friends as she learns how the destruction of their natural habitat is the cause of the endangering of a number of wonderful forest species. After she is chaperoned home, Little Red sets about to make a plan to help restore some of the damage and learns how to plant new trees to repopulate the forest for the future. Humorously detailed illustrations, timely themes and a link to traditional tales make this a great book for the whole school to get their teeth into.  Buy Online  Flotsam  David Wiesner  An award-winning wordless picture book, with incredible illustrations that speak for themselves, that offers whole school opportunities for discussion and creative writing. A beach-combing young boy finds a washed-up camera on the shore, and when the film is developed it reveals a fantastic new world of creatures from the ocean and a host of other underwater objects. There's plenty of potential for all year gorups with thios wordless story - check out this inspiring blog post about using this book in the classroom.  Buy Online  Castles  Colin Thompson  A wonderfully visual exploration of fantasy castles, this book contains wonderfully detailed illustrations of imaginary castles to pore over, each hiding a royal family as well as many inventive puzzles, mazes and visual puns woven into the details. From castles that float on clouds or hide under these to castles made of musical instruments, this is a popular choice for stimulating fantasy writing.   Buy Online  The Wall in the Middle of the Book  Jon Agee  A brilliantly witty book that also gives pause for thought, with a story about overcoming preconceptions and breaking through barriers and divisions between different groups. Jon Agee cleverly uses the ‘gutter’ space that runs down the middle of the picture book spread as the wall between the two opposing sides. The main character is surprised to find that the other side of the wall is a much friendlier place than he imagined. A good stimulus for discussions about overcoming divisions in society. It could lead schools into a fun story-making project inviting pupils to make their own books that use the gutter space.  Buy Online A few more ideas;  A popular whole school choice is The Day the Crayons Quit (available here) by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers, as is the wordless picture book Journey (available here) by Aaron Becker.  If you want a book about books and reading, try I Don't Like Books. Never. Ever. The End (available here) by Emma Perry and Sharon Davey.  Good non-fiction options that cater for different age groups are Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum (available here) or The Skies Above My Eyes (available here) by Charlotte Guillain & Yuval Zommer, and if you are looking for a poetry collection for the whole school then try Poems Aloud (available here) by Joseph Coelho  & Daniel Gray-Barnett .  Back to Topics You may also like... Books about books! Wordless Picture Books Year Group Booklists Environment

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