Newest Emerging Readers Reviews

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Review of

Guess What I Found in the Playground! by Victoria Thompson

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Tilly is excited. She's just come dashing out of the classroom, pigtails flapping behind her and a big grin on her face. Dad's come to collect her and her brother and he has to try to guess what she found in the playground today, although she concedes that he will never guess. Dad wants to know how school was, but obviously that's not important. Could Tilly have found more collectable things for her scrap box? (Isn't that so much more sensible than a scrap book?) Well, actually, Tilly did find exciting stuff. There are sequins, glittered paper and all sorts of other things in her pocket, but that's not what she wants Dad to guess. Full Review


Review of

M is for Movement by Innosanto Nagara

4star.jpg Emerging Readers

Set in Indonesia, in the not too distant past, this is a story about social change. Dealing with some difficult issues, such as political corruption and nepotism, the book is neither boring nor preachy. It educates gently, with vibrant, challenging illustrations, and it portrays how social movements need people who will try, even when it seems that they will fail. The message is a positive one; that in an increasingly uncertain world, we do still have the power to instigate change. Full Review


Can You Draw the Dragosaur? by Peter Lynas and Charlie Roberts

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crafts, Emerging Readers

You're going to get a hint of what this book's about very quickly. When you see the title page, you'll find out what the book's called and that it's been written by Peter Lynas. Then we move on to who has done the illustration - and there's a gap. You are going to put your name there. It's your responsibility to provide the pictures for this book about one of the largest creatures ever to roam the earth. There's some help available, but your name is on the title page - and you have work to do! Full Review


The Lizard by Jose Saramago, J Borges, Nick Caistor (translator) and Lucia Caistor (translator)

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers, Confident Readers

One day a giant lizard appears in the city. We don't even get told how it arrived, but it certainly appeared. People took against it, and if they weren't shrugging it off as a hallucination brought on by tiredness just as they fled it, they wanted something done about it. Can something be done about it, though? Full Review


The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell and Davide Ortu (Illustrator)

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers, Emerging Readers

It is the start of the summer holidays and Kit has plans. These plans involve climbing trees, getting muddy and being outside. Her friends, Josh and Alita, on the other hand want to go to the library. Kit hates reading and can't see the point of books at all but is very reluctantly persuaded to go with the others to the local library. Once there the children meet the librarian and Kit makes an incredible discovery; the librarian is a wizard! Even more incredibly, Kit is a wizard too and she and her friends have an important task. They must save the library…and save the world! Full Review


Dog on a Log Chapter Books: Step 1 by Pamela Brookes

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Dyslexia Friendly, Emerging Readers

What do you do when your child has dyslexia and you need books which will help them to achieve the wonder that is reading? You can risk buying early readers, but the sounds in the book might not be the ones you've been working on and encountering words which are just too challenging can have more of a negative effect on the young dyslexic than a child without that problem. You need to be able to buy books at a reasonable price which concentrate on what you've been working on, without anything else being thrown into the mix. You need a story which engages the young mind and you need stages which progress steadily through the learning process without there being any large jumps. Some online support and games wouldn't go amiss, either. Reading - and learning to read - should be a pleasure. It should be fun. Full Review


Tadcaster and the Bullies by Richard Rutherford

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers

In some ways it was a gentler time: video games were around, but children usually went outside to enjoy themselves. They flew kites and went sledging if there was snow around. Tim and Mary's great-grandfather started a business in 1899 so our story is probably set in the nineteen seventies. Something which hasn't changed, unfortunately, is bullying and two lads are making life miserable not just for Tim and Mary but for other children who gather in the playground. Tim's probably about ten - just at the stage where he's beginning to feel responsible for his younger sister, who's two years younger than him, but he's not yet at the stage where he knows how to deal with bullies. Full Review


Nickerbacher by Terry John Barto

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers

Nickerbacher is doing his dragonly duty as all dragons do. That dragonly duty is, of course, princess-guarding. That's what dragons are for, after all. But Gwendolyn isn't any princess. She finds the whole princessing thing quite boring really and she is much less interested in fairy tales than she is in watching comedy on The Late Knight Show. Nickerbacher likes The Late Knight Show too - in fact, it's his favourite TV show because he wants to be a stand-up comedian himself. He tries out his jokes on Princess Gwendolyn but they don't always come off quite as Nickerbacher intended. Full Review


Rory Branagan Detective by Andrew Clover and Ralph Lazar

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers, Confident Readers

Ten-year-old Rory Branagan isn't just a normal kid. He's a detective and he has a mystery to solve – why did his dad disappear when he was three? Rory doesn't know where to start but, then, Cassidy moves in next door and he discovers he has an accomplice who is full of ideas. This is just as well as they soon discover a very serious crime: Corner Boy's dad has been poisoned and is at risk of dying but no-one else will believe he's in danger. It's up to Rory and Cassidy to uncover the truth and save a life. Full Review


Horace & Harriet Take on the Town by Clare Elsom

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers

When Harriet, aged seven and a quarter, decides to go to Princes Park to practise 'Going to the Park on Her Own' (i.e. with her Grandad walking at least thirty steps behind) she can't believe her eyes. The statue of Lord Commander Horatio Fredrick Wallington Nincompoop Maximus Pimpleberry the Third (or Horace for short) starts to move. He not only moves but stamps his foot, shouts something that would get him in serious trouble with Harriet's mum, and climbs down from his pillar. Understandably Harriet can't resist following and quickly finds herself dragged all around the town as Horace searches for a new – and more suitable – home. His sights are firmly set on the Mayor's mansion and it, therefore, falls to Harriet to persuade him that there must be a better alternative. Sadly, Horace's visits to the museum, cinema, train station, playground, bank and library all cause mayhem. Luckily, however, a competition in the park reveals the perfect answer. Full Review

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Bee Boy: Clash of the Killer Queens by Tony De Saulles

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers

Young Mel's friend has left and the beehive is now his to look after. Unfortunately Mel lives in a tower block and not all of his neighbours agree that it is the correct place for a hive. Things change when Mel suddenly realises he has an amazing superpower; he can become a bee. Full Review

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Night Zookeeper: The Giraffes of Whispering Wood by Joshua Davidson

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers

A straight-laced student makes one defiant act of creativity and has a world of magic and imagination opened up for him. Will is the new Night Zookeeper and his tenure in the role of protector to a magical world starts with the repulsion of a dangerous invasion.

Joshua Davidson has written about the Night Zookeeper before and there are online cartoons devoted to the character but this marks a new launch and a new series. This is not just a book but a whole online event with huge educational tie-ins and a push to get children using their own imagination. The story itself mirrors what the author is trying to achieve in real life; the power of the imagination makes everything better. Full Review

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I Can Read With My Eyes Shut by Dr Seuss

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers, For Sharing

The more that you read,
The more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
The more places you'll go.

This is a classic Dr Seuss quote from this book, and one that I painstakingly stickered onto the wall of my children's school library! The book is very silly, as Dr Seuss always is, but is also a good rhyming ode to the joys of reading. Full Review

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Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews For Sharing, Emerging Readers

Trolling, bullying, cyber-shaming, whatever-it's-called-this-week-ing – all act as proof that the adage about sticks and stones is actually a lot of piffle. In a world where we all have hearts, we should have a heart that what we say to other people is positive. We can examine our world and the sound it makes through communication, we can make each other smile, laugh, sing and be happy together, and bit by bit the world can be a better place. And hang the 'no, after you' attitude some people would have in response. There, I've given the entire plot of this book away in my summary, but that's not really an issue.Full Review

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Red and Lulu by Matt Tavares

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers

Meet Red and Lulu. They're a committed couple of cardinals, and they have lived for some time in someone's garden, safely in an evergreen tree. It seems to them that every year people mention their home in a lovely song, which tells the tree thy leaves are so unchanging. But one year, just as the seasons turn for the cold of winter, the tree vanishes, taking Lulu with it… Full Review

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Search and Find A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Sarah Powell and Louise Pigott

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers

Recently I got to applaud a book that branched away from the Where's Wally? style volume, and taught the explorer about a non-fiction subject as they went a-searching. Well, it seems tweaking the form is going to be a big thing, for this book tries yet another different approach – to teach us about a fictional story. They've started at the deep end, with a book hastening towards being two centuries old, and one that has been adapted countless times before now, yet always has people returning to it at a certain time of the year for its ageless lesson. But does the rich content of Dickens, even at his most populist, survive this quirky variation? Full Review

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Scrambled Eggs Super by Dr Seuss

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers

Peter T. Hooper doesn't mean to show off, but he is very good at cooking. Some would say he is The Best capital T, capital B. And his signature dish is scrambled eggs. You might think that's quite an easy dish, one with which it's a little hard to showcase one's prowess, but not so. For Peter T. Hooper, what makes his scrambled eggs so super is the choice of egg itself, and he will go out of his way to procure the best of the best from whatever nest. Full Review

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Yertle The Turtle and Other Stories by Dr Seuss

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers

The three stories in this book, Yertle the Turtle, Gertrude McFuzz and The Big Brag are classic Dr Seuss. They fit together well because they all have a moral or learning from them, be it treat those beneath you well, or don't try to compare yourself to others. Full Review

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Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T Smith

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers

Mr Penguin is a brand new Professional Adventurer. He has a dashing hat, a large magnifying glass and an important looking office in his igloo to prove it. All he needs now is an adventure to go on. Just as he is beginning to despair of ever being asked to solve a mystery Boudicca Bones from the museum phones and asks for help. Can he and his trusty sidekick, Colin (the spider with expertise in martial arts!) find her missing treasure? Will the adventure become too dangerous for them? And will Mr Penguin ever have time to eat his fish finger sandwich packed lunch? Full Review