Newest Children's Non-Fiction Reviews

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Review of

Count on Me by Miguel Tanco

4.5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

The title and format of this book might lead you to think that it's either about responsibility - or it's a basic 1-2-3 book for those just starting out on the numbers journey. It isn't: it's a hymn of praise to maths. It's about why maths is so wonderful and how you meet it in everyday life. Full Review

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Review of

It Isn't Rude to be Nude by Rosie Haine

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This could have been one of those books which 'preaches to the choir': the only people who'll buy it are the people who know that nudity is OK and the ones who know that it's shameful will avoid it like they avoid the hot-and-bothered person in the supermarket who is coughing fit to bust. But... Rosie Haines makes it into something so much more than a book about not wearing clothes. It's a celebration of bodies: bodies large and small and of every possible hue. Bodies with disabilities and markings. They're fine. In fact, they're wonderful. Full Review

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Review of

How Do You Make a Baby? by Anna Fiske and Don Bartlett (translator)

5star.jpg Home and Family

It's more than sixty years since I asked how babies were made. My mother was deeply embarrassed and told me that she'd get me a book about it. A couple of days later I was handed a pamphlet (which delivered nothing more than the basics, in clinical language which had never been used in our house before) and I was told that it wouldn't be discussed any further as it wasn't something which nice people talked about. I knew more, but was little wiser. Thankfully, times have changed. Full Review

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Review of

Dosh: How to Earn It, Save It, Spend It, Grow It, Give It by Rashmi Sirdeshpande

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

What a relief! A book about money, for children, with clear explanations of what it is, why it matters, how to acquire more of it (nope - robbing banks is out) and what you can do with it when you've managed to get hold of it. Your reasons for wanting money don't matter: we all need it to some extent. You might want to go into business, be a clever shopper, a saver (you might even become an investor) and there might be something you really, really want to buy. There's also the possibility of using to do good in the world. Full Review

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Review of

Survival in Space: The Apollo 13 Mission by David Long and Stefano Tambellini (illustrator)

5star.jpg Dyslexia Friendly

It's fifty years since the Apollo 13 mission was launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, but the story of that journey remains one of the greatest survival stories of all time. Survival in Space: The Apollo 13 Mission is a brilliant retelling of what happened. Full Review

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Review of

Nine Ways to Empower Tweens by Kathleen Boucher and Sara Chadwick

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

9 Ways to Empower Tweens is a self-help book for tweens, setting out to show them vital #lifeskills. Don't groan! I know there is a market glut of such books for we grown-ups and for young adults too, but there is a needful space in an increasingly technological world accessible to younger and younger children for material for tweens too. Full Review

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Review of

Eiffel's Tower for Young People by Jill Jonnes

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

Brash and elegant, sophisticated, controversial and vibrant, the 1889 World's Fair in Paris encompassed the best, the worst and the beautiful from many countries and cultures. The French Republic laid out model villages from all their colonies, put on art shows, dance performances, food festivals and concerts to stun the senses. And towering above it all, the most popular and the most hated monument to French accomplishment and daring – the Eiffel Tower. Full Review

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Review of

Humanatomy: How the Body Works by Nicola Edwards and Jem Maybank

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

Get under your own skin, pick your brains, and go inside your insides!

That's what Humanatomy invites you to do and honestly, I don't see how you could resist. This informative book provides a wonderful primer about the human body to curious children- from the skeletal system to the muscular system via circulation, respiration and digestion, right up to the DNA that makes who we are. Full Review

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Review of

Emily's Numbers by Joss Langford

4star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

Emily found words useful, but counting was what she loved best. Obviously, you can count anything and there's no limit to how far you can go, but then Emily moved a step further and began counting in twos. She knew all about odd and even numbers. Then she began counting in threes: half of the list were even numbers, but the other half was odd and it was this list of odd numbers which occurred when you counted in threes which she called threeven. (Actually, this confused me a little bit at first as they're a subset of the odd numbers but sound as though they ought to be a subset of the even numbers, but it all worked out well when I really thought about it.) Full Review

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Review of

The Little Book of the Dawn Chorus by Caz Buckingham and Andrea Pinnington

5star.jpg Animals and Wildlife

What a treat! I really did mean to just glance at The Little Book of the Dawn Chorus but the pull of the sounds of a dozen different birds singing their hearts out was far too much to resist on a cold and rather wet February morning. I spent an indulgent hour or so reading all about the birds and listening to their song. Then - just because I could - I went back and did it all again and it was just as good the second time around. So, what do you get? Full Review

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Review of

Fantastically Great Women Who Made History by Kate Pankhurst

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

A lot of history is about men. Kings and generals and inventors and politicians. Sometimes, it feels almost as though there were no women in history at all, let alone ones young girls might like to read about or regard as role models. Of course, this isn't true and there are plenty of women who, throughout history, have achieved amazing things or shown incredible bravery, or created something never seen before. So here, in this wonderful picture book from Kate Pankhurst, are the stories of some of them. Full Review

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Review of

Women in Sport: Fifty Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

Women in Sport is coming to us just before the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February 2018. It celebrates a century and a half of the development of women's sport by looking at fifty of its highest achievers, covering sports as diverse as swimming, fencing, riding, skating, and much more. Think of a sport and a pioneering woman succeeding at it is probably in this book somewhere. Each entry is a double-page spread with a brief biography and a striking portrait. Full Review

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Review of

Discovering Dinosaurs by Anne Rooney and Suzanne Carpenter

4star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

Lift the flap books have progressed somewhat since I was a child. This one comes with sounds! Taking us layer by layer, through various different ages of dinosaurs, we meet a variety of creatures, some of whom are very familiar but some I'd never heard of before! Each scene peels open, layer by layer, showing you what the various dinosaurs are getting up to, with background noises, roars and squawks to accompany them! The book creates a dinosaur experience, rather than just being facts about dinosaurs it's very visual, placing the dinosaurs in their habitats and giving us sounds too that spike your imagination. Full Review

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Review of

The Poo That Animals Do by Paul Mason and Tony de Saulles

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

I know, I know, sometimes you really don't want to encourage your children's poo jokes, but this book is brilliant! I sat and read it by myself when the kids had gone to school and found it fascinating! Who knew there was so much I didn't know about poo? The book manages to be both funny (and silly) as well as being very interesting and educational. Using a mixture of facts and figures, photographs and funny cartoons, you come away having sniggered a little at the vulture who poos on its own feet but also knowing a lot about different types of poo, why poos smell, and why wombats do square poos. Full Review

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Review of

American Gothic: The Life of Grant Wood by Susan Wood and Ross MacDonald

4.5star.jpg Art

Who won a national prize for a crayon drawing of three oak leaves before he was properly in his teens? Who sought acclaim as an artist and came to Europe to study from the greats, only to reject all they had to offer? Who instinctively knew a picture of his dentist (yes, his dentist) would be more appealing and say more to people than floating water lilies and frilly ballet dancers? The answer in all cases was Grant Wood, practically the most well-known painter in America at one time, and still the best, alongside Edward Hopper, at presenting his world minus any Modernist trappings. Full Review

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Review of

The Atlas of Monsters by Stuart Hill and Sandra Lawrence

4star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

There are monsters and mysterious characters, such as trolls, leprechauns, goblins and minotaurs. They're the stuff of far too many stories to remain mysterious, and every schoolchild should know all about them. There are monsters and mysterious characters, such as Gog and Magog, Scylla and Charybdis, and the bunyip. They are what you find if you take an interest in this kind of thing to the next level; even if you cannot place them all on a map you should have come across them. But there are monsters and mysterious characters, such as the dobhar-chu, the llambigyn y dwr, and the girtablili. To gain any knowledge of them you really need a book that knows its stuff. A book like this one… Full Review

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Review of

Dinosaurium (Welcome to the Museum) by Lily Murray and Chris Wormell

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

One of the selling points for entities like the Jurassic Park films is that they bring all the high-energy action of dinosaur life to the screen, in a way that is suitable, they would say, for children of all ages. But there is a very different way of going about things. This book does feature dinosaur-on-dinosaur combat, but only in presenting the most scientific of fossil remains. It delves into the evolutionary life of what we have long loved to enjoy and all the major scientific developments for the most inquisitive student, so the book is actually worth considering in a very different way. I would say this is ideal for adults of all ages. Full Review

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Review of

This Cookbook is Gross by Susanna Tee and Santy Gutierrez

4star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

The misuse of language is a modern disease. Too many times something is described as awesome or stupendous, but were you truly awed by it? Or stupefied? People just seem to pluck words out of the ether and pretend that they are the correct ones. Are the recipes in Susanna Tee and Santy Gutierrez's 'This Cookbook is Gross' truly gross? For once the language is not overplayed. These recipes may taste nice, but in appearance, they are absolutely vile. Full Review

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Review of

Jojo's Guide to the Sweet Life by Jojo Siwa

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

JoJo with the Bow Bow has written a Book Book! And without meaning to sound like my expectations were low, it was surprisingly good. I say this because we know JoJo as the girl from Dance Moms with the outspoken mother (well, one of the outspoken mothers) who is known for her dancing and the big bows she wears, more than for her brains. And yet this book shows us another side, a side in which she is an articulate, insightful and intelligent young woman. Full Review

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Review of

Stupendous Science by Rob Beattie and Sam Peet

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

Education should be fun. We learn best when we are engaged with practical, enjoyable tasks. That's the secret behind the experiments in Stupendous Science. They have the fun element, the 'wow factor,' and most importantly, can be easily replicated with items that are readily available in the home. Each experiment teaches an important scientific concept; essentially teaching through play. Full Review

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