University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education, Primary PGCE 2019-20 discussion

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Books for Year 3/4

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message 1: by John-Mark (new)

John-Mark Winstanley | 9 comments If you find a treasure, list it here and include a link.


message 2: by John-Mark (new)

John-Mark Winstanley | 9 comments The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

This is a perfect read for Year 3!


message 3: by Sam (new)

Sam | 3 comments The Magic Finger

4 star
The Gregg family enjoy hunting, so much so that they ignore all of the potential ethical questions about hunting animals. They even laugh at a girl who disagrees with hunting. This young girl points her Magic Finger and lets the Greggs experience life as birds…

A lovely early reader – as a pupil takes off with reading, a great experience of becoming a paragraph reader… with engaging illustrations to support them.

Key features:
• Writing opportunities: e.g. a scenario where the pupils could point their Magic Finger
• Grammar opportunities: e.g. Dahl’s exciting use of adjectives… looking at noun phrases (“I am a very nice little girl”, “an easy one”, “a huge bushy tail”, “long black whiskers”
• PSHE opportunities: moral question at the end, animal rights, respecting others, how to stay calm and not get angry like the girl
• Role play the Gregg family as birds in PE and/or Drama


message 4: by Iona (new)

Iona Davis | 11 comments Cookie and the Most Annoying Boy in the World

Cookie is an intelligent nine year old girl who is obsessed with science and ready to take on the world. The book takes the reader on a journey through a range of themes, including issues of children not feeling like they fit in to their surrounding environment, as well as problems regarding friendships and following your dreams.

The key concepts that drew me to the book where how the author writes in an encouraging manner regarding females in science. Science, as a general field, is heavily male dominated and I love how the author informs the readers that science is for everyone. The author subtly weaves in scientific facts, such as experiment instructions into the narrative to make the book both educational and endearing.
The illustrations that accompany the story are also quirky and reminded me of other books loved by this age group (age 7 and above), such as diary of a wimpy kid.


message 5: by Fiona (new)

Fiona Maine | 6 comments Varjak Paw
Fab book all about a ninja cat


message 6: by Hannah (last edited Oct 24, 2019 10:49AM) (new)

Hannah  | 4 comments I've been reading The Boy At the Back of the Class. It follows the story of nine year-old Alex and her friendship with a young Syrian refugee who has joined her classroom.

It's genuinely one of the most heartbreaking and hopeful books I've read.

Rauf manages to explore the distressing subjects of war and the 'refugee crisis' at a level that is perfectly gauged for the audience without resorting to falsehood, which is quite a feat!

This book would be an excellent tool for introducing these complex topics to a classroom, and helpfully includes a back page with questions which prompt the reader to think about the story and Ahmet's experience.

Due to the age of the protagonists, I would recommend this book for children in Year 3 and 4, although I am sure readers in Year 5 and 6 would get a lot out of it too.

(Apologies for lengthy post! It's just a great book!)


message 7: by John-Mark (new)

John-Mark Winstanley | 9 comments You're the third person to mention this text this week, Hannah. I must read it - sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing :)


message 8: by Fiona (new)

Fiona Maine | 6 comments Ooh this sounds really good - I’ll borrow it from you when you’ve read it JM!


message 9: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Burton | 5 comments The House of One Hundred Clocks

This is a beautifully written book about a father and daughter who move to a mysterious house in Cambridge to look after the clocks. The owner of the house is one of the richest men in the country but is very odd and is obsessed by the clocks not stopping. He even forces them to sign a contract saying that if the clocks stop they will lose all of their possessions. Helena and her parrot set out to uncover the mystery of the clocks with the help of a peculiar girl called Boy.

This book is full of fantastic vocabulary and literary techniques whilst still being simple enough to be used across the whole of KS2. The gripping storyline was made even more engaging by being set in Cambridge – I think this would be a great book for all KS2 students living in Cambridge to have a look into.


message 10: by Aimee (last edited Apr 27, 2020 03:19AM) (new)

Aimee Gibson | 6 comments Yours Sincerely, Giraffe

A lovely, lovely read! This book tells the tale of a once bored giraffe and a once bored pelican who explore the limits of their knowledge and make new friends in the process. Silly enough for children to enjoy, and charming enough for the adults reading it to them to smile.

I think this would be a good book for year 3/4 and lessons could be built around it; letter writing, describing yourself to others and even some grammar (with phrases such as heavily hyphenated giraffe-who-tried-to-look-like-penguin).

It also feels perfect to read during quarantine times - it's inspired me to become pen pals with the children next door!


message 11: by K (new)

K | 8 comments Race to the Frozen North: The Matthew Henson Story

This is a fantastic book based on the true events encountered by Matthew Henson. It focusses on the expeditions that Matthew completed after fleeing his stepmother at the age of 11. You travel the world with Matthew as he sets his sights on always being on board a ship. He finds friendship, and pain on his journey, as well as encountering racism during his time of trying to find work in America. The story continues to follow the life of Matthew up until he reaches his fifties and finally receives the rewards that he deserves. This would be a fantastic guided reading book for a group of good readers in a lower KS2 class. This book could also be the basis of both history and geography topics. It inspired me to look up the life of Matthew Henson so I have no doubt it would be an interesting read for the children in your classrooms too!


message 12: by Rose (new)

Rose Sherriff | 3 comments "Yours sincerely, Giraffe" by Iwasa, Megumi

This book is all about a Giraffe who is bored, so decides to write to a penguin who lives beyond the horizon.

I enjoyed this book. I think children in year 3/4 would benefit most as I think they will be old enough to pick up on some of the more humorous elements of the book. I think it would also be really useful for teaching year 3/4's the structure of a letter and could be great to inspire the children to write letters themselves.


message 13: by Maisie (new)

Maisie Giblenn | 8 comments The Boy At the Back of the Class
This week I have been reading 'The Boy At the Back of the Class'.
This is such a wonderful book, with a lovely story about friendship and acceptance.
It follows three friends making friends with and helping a new boy in their class who is a refugee from Syria. I found it so thought provoking and educational about what it can be like for refugee children and other children in schools.
This book would be able to be used in so many different ways in the classroom with children who are Year 3 +. It would be great for developing social and emotional skills as well as learning about significant issues in the world.


message 14: by Rose (new)

Rose Sherriff | 3 comments Max The boy who made a million- Gyles Brandreth

I think this is a great book. It follows the story of a boy called Max, who’s Dad was falsely accused of a crime. Max was in danger of being sent to a children’s home, so he escaped into New York to try and earn enough money to get his Father out of prison. He ends up meeting the great Zapristi. Max and Zapristi team up to clear Max’s fathers name. Whilst doing so they have an adventure, including a ship wreck, seeing Niagara falls and joining the circus.
I think this book would be ideal for year 4. However, this book has a great plot line, so I think that if an older child is struggling with reading it would be ideal.


message 15: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Burton | 5 comments [book:Scribbleboy|1500885
I really wanted to read something a bit different, and this was a perfect answer! Written in 1997, this book is completely different to any children’s fiction I’ve ever read before – it manages to deal with quite intense topics in the most light-hearted and enjoyable way imaginable. Such a fun read!


message 16: by Amelia (new)

Amelia Shepherd | 2 comments Yours Sincerely, Giraffe

This is a wonderful story, perfect during the current quarantine period, where a lonely Giraffe reaches out through letter writing to find a pen pal across the horizon, delivered via a pelican and seal, letters go back and forth between Giraffe and Penguin.

I really enjoyed reading this book myself, it was a perfect light read for those transitioning to a longer read, I’d say most suitable for year 2 – 4. There are many lessons that can be built around the story including letter writing, descriptions, getting to know someone, cultural differences(?) and different environments.

There is some hidden humour in this book, and it’s lovely the way it has been showcased – a book once I’d started, I couldn’t put down.


message 17: by Tara (new)

Tara Cross | 2 comments The Land of Roar
This book is a wonderful imaginative experience! A fantasy adventure takes place, full of magic, humour and bravery. This book brings a brother and sister's fantasy world to life as they are brought back to their childhood imaginary world named 'Roar' to rescue their Grandad! Roar is filled with everthing they loved - dragons, mermaids, ninja wizards and adventure. However it also has everything they're scared of too... This book is all about keeping your imagination alive and not growing up too quickly! Will they get their Grandad back?!


message 18: by Mahdiya (new)

Mahdiya | 5 comments The Dog Who Lost His Bark

Initially, I didn't think I'd enjoy this book... but I was wrong! This is a wonderful story which evokes a whirlwind of emotions, from tears of happiness to tears of sadness.

Eoin Colfer uses simple but powerful and emotive language whilst exploring the themes of family, friendship, separation and abuse. The story begins by taking the reader through the early days of the puppy's life (later named Oz) as he endures an abusive and heart-breaking experience by his human owners. The story then moves onto a young boy called Patrick who is spending the summer at his Granddad's home. Patrick is going through an uneasy period in his life, where his parents have kept him in the dark about their separation and he is constantly trying to piece the puzzles together. Through the power of love and friendship, Oz and Patrick find solace in one another's company and together, they find and reclaim their voices!


message 19: by Maisie (new)

Maisie Giblenn | 8 comments The Land of Roar
This week I have been reading ‘The Land of Roar’. I chose to read this book as it was recommended on social media by fellow PGCE student. This story follows a pair of twins who go on a mission in an imaginary world to save their grandfather. It includes many imaginative creatures and is a very magical story. It is great at setting your imagination alive and taking you to another world whilst you are reading.
This book is great to promote the importance of family and the fact that just because you are getting older, you can still have an active imagination and be playful.
This book would be great for children in KS2 as there is some complicated language so children’s reading needs to be developed in order to engage with the book. I would also recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books such as Harry Potter, as it is creates a different world with lots of different magic and creatures. This book will definitely be enjoyable for many children with an active imagination.


message 20: by Rose (new)

Rose Sherriff | 3 comments The Oxford Book of Children's Poetry: Michael Harrison and Christopher Stuart -Clark
This is an anthology of poems. It has modern poems and more traditional ones, that are written by many well known poets as well as many anonymous poets.
I think this poetry book would be a really handy one to have in a classroom to share with the children as a class. It has lots of poems that are relevant to children's every day lives. It has humorous poems and more serious ones. I think that it could be really good to use to open up questions about vocabulary and the meaning behind some of the poems. I can also see it being a really great as there are many different lengths that can fit the amount of time you have.


message 21: by Aimee (new)

Aimee Gibson | 6 comments The Incredible Book Eating Boy

A short, clever story book about a boy who cannot contain his hunger for eating books; it starts with the odd delicious word, then builds to a ravenous need to consume all and every type of book to the point of intellectual and physical saturation. Lovely detail and humour in the illustrations (he eats Moby Dick with a side of chips) and could be used as inspiration for writing a story, or to open a conversation about the types of books students like to read e.g. which book would they like to eat the most? What do they think storybooks/non-fiction/cookery/picture books might taste like?

Would recommend for year 3 mostly.


message 22: by Mahdiya (last edited May 09, 2020 04:51AM) (new)

Mahdiya | 5 comments The Journey

Although I am writing this for years 3/4, I do think it is appropriate for all of KS2 (and maybe even KS1).

This book is beautifully illustrated, telling the story of a widowed mother who is fleeing her war-torn country with her two children. Though there is no reference to the location, it essentially tells the story of many refugees across the world who are forced out of their homes and must surrender to travelling thousands of miles across unknown territory to unknown places with an unknown future ahead of them. With this book, I felt that the illustrations prevailed more than the words themselves. Francesca Sanna captures the reader's emotions through her wonderful illustrations of a mother's haunting journey for peace and shows that the words such as 'refugee's' are merely just labels which, when uncovered, are really just humans who seek for peace and harmony for themselves and their family... just like you and I.

There is great opportunity in this book for children to develop not just an understanding, but a sense of empathy and care for refugees and those who suffer around the world. Equally, the book gives a great opportunity for pupils to analyse the power of illustrations and the meanings/messages that can be interpreted which can't be said from the text itself.


message 23: by Maisie (new)

Maisie Giblenn | 8 comments Asha & the Spirit Bird
This week I have been reading ‘Asha and the Spirit Bird’. This book is a wonderful story filled with ideas of bravery, self-belief and friendship. This story follows Asha and her friend Jeeva on a long and dangerous journey across the Himalayan mountains to find her father after she has not heard from him in months and her family are in great danger at home. This book is full of adventure and has lovely cultural references that children could learn so much from. I would recommend this book for KS2 children as there is some complex language involved and also some concepts that are more appropriate for KS2 children. This book would also be great to use alongside an Hinduism RE topic or a Geography topic on the Himalayas or India. I would definitely recommend this book to my students who are looking to get stuck into a good adventure story.


message 24: by Iona (new)

Iona Davis | 11 comments The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Having finished my stock of recently published children’s literature, I turned towards some old favourites to re-read this week. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane was one of my favourites when I was growing up and I had a wonderful time pouring over the words and illustrations; reliving the story.
The tale follows Edward Tulane, a china rabbit, who goes on a journey to discover what it means to love. The reader accompanies Edward as he is passed from owner to owner and learns some important life lessons along the way. This story would be a beautiful one to read allowed with a class and would also be a good story to base some extended writing pieces on- perhaps the children could imagine what their own toys would say if we could hear them.

The magic of the story remained today, as it did when I was younger!


message 25: by Kathryn-Anne (new)

Kathryn-Anne | 6 comments An informative book, recently written for children to understand what the Coronavirus is and why it is affecting them. My little sister enjoyed the cartoons on each page. Contains a lot of information which answers questions such as why we can't go into school and why we have to socially distance. Would recommend for lower KS2 reading!Coronavirus: A Book for Children


message 26: by Aimee (last edited May 12, 2020 06:18AM) (new)

Aimee Gibson | 6 comments Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly and Gravy

A brilliant book of poetry from our lord and saviour, Michael Rosen. These poems are thoroughly enjoyable and I can imagine students would be delighted to hear the joyful way words are played with. As Rosen writes in the foreword “we sometimes like words and language to be odd, absurd and surreal because when we read it, for that moment we’re released from all that struggle and brain-work of turning what we hear into what we think it’s supposed to mean…after a hard hour’s thinking, that can be quite a nice place to live in for a while” to which I wholeheartedly agree. This book could be used as a light-hearted way to end the day, a basis for performance poetry or inspiration for students’ own poems. I would pitch this for years 3-6.


message 27: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Wykes | 6 comments Poppy the Purple Turtle

I have put this book in the Year 3/4 category as it is slightly more complex for the child to read themselves, however, with an adults help, it could also be used in year 1/2 or Reception. In fact, I think this book could be one which is reached for in any year group due to the important themes it addresses. Poppy is a turtle who is born purple. All of her brothers and sisters are ‘turtle colour’ and even her mum is ‘turtle colour’. Poppy feels as though there is something wrong with her because she is the wrong colour. Throughout the story, Poppy comes to accept her ‘purpleness’ and, with a little help from her family, she even comes to love it. The story ends by reminding the reader that if they think there is something different about them, just like Poppy, they can always look for the positives and learn to love their differences.

This story would be a really powerful one to reach for in your classroom if a child is struggling with feeling ‘different’. Whether they feel as though they are physically different to their friends, academically different or even if they have come from a different country, Poppy the Purple turtle can be an entry point into discussing some underlying issues for them. It may be that the story is one which is used in a guided reading session alongside an adult to spark conversation and support. On the other hand, the child could be directed towards the story themselves as a form of support and the conversation could come later.


message 28: by K (new)

K | 8 comments This week I have been reading James and the Giant Peach.

I had forgotten how wonderfully crazy this story was and how beautifully the ways of the world are described. The story follows the life of James. His parents have died and he is sent off to live with his horrible aunties. After some time of living with them James encounters a strange man who gives him some seeds/beans. This strange gift turns into a giant peach which James decides to explore further. After noticing a small tunnel inside the peach James crawls into it and there discovers what it is like to be a part of a family. James and his new set of friends travel the world in the peach and encounter a number of crazy things along the way.

You could have some fantastic discussions with children about what they think about 'the cloud men' and how strange it would be if rainbows were made by paint.

The poems that litter the pages of the book could be turned into songs or dramatic performances as a method of developing speaking and listening as well.


message 29: by Iona (new)

Iona Davis | 11 comments Dead Man's Cove

This week I have been reading Dead Man’s Cove by Lauren St. John. The story follows Laura, as she leaves behind her gloomy life in an orphanage to live with her newly discovered uncle, in the sunny Cornish coastal town of St. Ives. The book is full of adventures as Laura is intrigued by her mysterious uncle and her new village surroundings, particularly the forbidden Dead Man’s Cove.

This book delicately brings up the issue of modern-day slavery and human trafficking but in a moving and thoughtful way; helping young readers to reflect on what life might be like for other children around the world, as well as in the U.K.

I found it refreshing that the author chose a strong female lead for this novel, as from previous classroom experience, male main characters often take centre stage in mystery/ action books. It was therefore encouraging to see a heroine take centre stage!


message 30: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Burton | 5 comments The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
I’ve been told by many teachers that this is a fantastic book to read to a class no matter what age because of the emotional rollercoaster. I had no idea what to expect from it, but this only made it even better. This such a beautiful story, so simply crafted yet exploring big emotions and ideas. The reader is taken on a journey alongside Edward, and just like Edward you never have any idea of what is going to happen next.


message 31: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Evans | 5 comments Toro! Toro!

This week I read Toro! Toro! by Michael Morpurgo. I never read this one as a child so I've enjoyed going back and reading some of the Morpurgo novels I missed. This book starts with a grandfather telling his grandson the worst thing he has ever done, before flashing back to this period of his life: in the Spanish Civil War. I enjoyed this book. It was a short read, and as always with Morpurgo raised some key themes of war. Even though the specific historical facts/info of the Spanish Civil War were not explored, it is a good book for raising pupil awareness of the topic - it could be used as a basis for some history teaching. The story also explores the idea of the bullring and the boy's shock of the practices/animal cruelty - as an animal lover, he finds himself in a moral dilemma. These themes could equally be explored in LKS2 and UKS2 and could have a fantastic debate about traditional practices/festivals against their impact on our planet/wildlife.

It's an accessible read, I'd say perfect from Y3+


message 32: by Kathryn-Anne (new)

Kathryn-Anne | 6 comments Emily Gravett Wolves

This is an interesting picture book about a rabbit who takes out a book about Wolves from the library. If used properly, could be useful for use of creative endings to a story. There is also an option to make your own book about rabbits for wolves at the end, which could be a good extension activity for the children! It would require lots of discussion and structured talk around what is happening within each picture, exploring the choices the author has made to present the information.


message 33: by K (last edited May 27, 2020 08:10AM) (new)

K | 8 comments Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids

Last week I was reading Have You Filled A Bucket Today. I used this on my part 1b placement in the Year 4 class I was based in. I created a series of two lessons around the book which were focussed on being kind to others and also understanding and making time for self-care.

The children really seemed to engage with the story and used the idea of bucket filling long-after I read them the story. The story focusses on a child who goes around helping make sure they fill other people's 'buckets' by being nice to them such as saying 'thank you' to the bus driver and telling a family member that they love them. It's a great story to read and pause throughout the ask the children questions and engage them with this different approach to kindness and thoughtfulness. The book also brings in the idea of 'bucket dipping' which covers bullying and how being un-kind to someone can make them feel really sad, taking away all their positive feelings.

The reason I re-visited this story last week was because I was wondering whether it could be a good story to read at the beginning of new school year. I decided that I think it would be a great way to engage children who perhaps have had friendship issues in the past, with a new way of approaching making friends and being kind. Children could be asked to write (inside a drawing of a bucket) elements of a good friend which can then be collated to create a big class list. This could also perhaps be done in a Year 2 class as well.


message 34: by K (new)

K | 8 comments Sam's Duck

This week I have been reading Sam's Duck by Michael Morpurgo.

The story tells the tale of a young boy (Sam) who lives with his grandfather. Sam is sent to work on a farm with a group of other children for a few weeks. During his time at the farm, Sam is taken to a farmers market. After an encounter with an angry farmer Sam decides to save a duck that he's noticed at the market, and buys it for £2. When the time comes for Sam to return home to his grandfather, he decides he is going to bring the duck home with him and give it to his grandfather as a 70th birthday present. There is just one problem... They live in a flat.

This is a lovely book and one which I think a Year 3 class would really enjoy. The illustrations are fantastic and could be used as a stimulus for some great discussions about farming.


message 35: by Maisie (new)

Maisie Giblenn | 8 comments The Wild Robot
This week I have been reading ‘The Wild Robot’. I found this book really interesting and a captivating read. It follows a robot who accidently gets washed up on an island. The robot, Roz, goes on a journey to make friends, learn how to survive, and feel emotions. However, her past comes back to ruin what she has learned to be her home. Throughout this book, there are important themes that are explored, such as not judging anyone, it is good to be kind, and being different is ok. I would say this book is suitable for children in lower KS2 and upwards. It would be great for a class book as it will start some really useful and important learning discussions. I will definitely be reading the sequel to this book soon!


message 36: by Connie (new)

Connie Gellatly | 3 comments The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain and Yuval Zommer is a great, interactive book that teaches children a range of cross-curricular topics. It covers fossils and bones, the Underground trains, the Earth's core and many more. Great for Year 3.


message 37: by Connie (new)

Connie Gellatly | 3 comments My name is not Refugee by Kate Milner is a beautifully illustrated book that helps children understand the journey that a refugee may have to face. It is great for educating a class on the refugee crisis, especially as it promotes inclusion in a wonderful way.


message 38: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 5 comments Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Yes, I am late to the world of Harry Potter!

So this book has taken a while to read as I was reading it with my brother (Year 4). Neither of us have read this before and we thoroughly enjoyed it (we could not believe the end) and can not wait to read the others. Harry Potter is often used as on of the topics for lower KS2.

For anyone who doesn't know the story it is about a boy who, on his 11th birthday, finds out he is the son of two wizards and he has magical powers which is why such strange things keep happening. He is then invited to attend Hogwarts, a wizarding school, where he meets many new friends who help him discover the truth about his parents mysterious deaths.


message 39: by Enya (new)

Enya Moriarty | 4 comments The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist

(This is listed as age range 6-9. The book is of lower reading age, but covers a topic for all ages. It could be used as a prompt, with discussions of different depth, depending upon age range)

This is the inspirational biography of 9-year-old Audrey Hendricks and her role in the Civil Rights Movement. Audrey was one of more than 3000 children who were arrested in Alabama in May 1963.

The story shows how black people were treated in Alabama in 1963 - black children went to different schools, had hand-me-down textbooks from the white students and ate in different restaurants. Audrey can see the injustice in this. When Dr. Martin Luther King visits their church and calls to “fill the jails”, Audrey decides to join the Children’s March.

Audrey is arrested and spends a week in a juvenile centre. Two months later Birmingham (Alabama) rescinded its segregation laws.

This is an incredible book that reminds us how recent in history these events occurred. The story is highly informative and brings up lots of questions. It would be a good prompt toward a class discussion on race, equality and free speech.

This book not only teaches children about black history and raises their awareness of racial injustice, but it demonstrates the importance of courage. It is a powerful story about speaking up for injustice and how anyone can make a change in the world, whatever their age.

Visually, it is beautiful and the illustrations to accompany the words are lovely.

(It also includes a recipe for "hot rolls baptised in butter"!)


message 40: by Enya (new)

Enya Moriarty | 4 comments The Magic Faraway Tree

This book was a favourite when I was younger and probably responsible for turning me into a bookwork. It was the first book I can remember not being able to put down. I found that what appeals to your younger self is very different. Rereading the book, I discovered (many, many) plot-holes that I had been oblivious to as a child.

The story takes place in an enchanted forest in which a gigantic magical tree grows - the enormous "Faraway Tree". It is wide enough to contain small houses carved into its trunk, where a cast of bizarre characters live. The tree is so tall that its top branches reach into the sky and lead to new and exciting lands in the clouds. Three children find the tree in the enchanted forest and so begins their adventures. Each land has a distinctive theme, such as topsy-turvy land or do-as-you-please land.

The book is not very deep or philosophical. It offers little in the way of cultural questioning or moral messages. However, it is a book full of wonder, creativity and magic. There are many books on the market that provide good conversation starters, or tackle difficult subjects, this is not one of them. What The Magic Faraway Tree does do, is provide the opportunity for pure escapism from real life. For many children this can be just as helpful in dealing with the world around them as books that directly target an issue.

Enid Blyton uses descriptive and imaginative language to create a rich and absorbing fantasy world. Whimsical, charming, entertaining, quirky and magical. This book brings pleasure to reading.


message 41: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Wykes | 6 comments The Three Little Pigs with a Twist

A comedic take on the original folk tale, The Three Little Pigs, this story tells the hilarious tales of how Mr Wolf came to his end. The book makes for an entertaining read, following a rhyming pattern for the duration. It would be a fab story to try and learn by heart with the children!

This book would be lovely book to use within the classroom for several reasons. The humorous take on an original story, accompanied by the ‘graffiti-style’ illustrations break away from the traditional style of classroom reading, something which may appeal to and even encourage slightly reluctant readers. In addition, the language used is of a simple level and the use of rhyme makes it easy to follow. From a teaching point of view, it would be really interesting to use this story as a part of a topic exploring familiar stories of folk/fairy tales. It would be a fantastic resource when making comparisons between traditional and modern stories and would also highlight some of the features of familiar text by presenting clear non-examples.

I have placed this book within the category of year 3/4, however, it could also be a good fit in a year 5/6 classroom. Although the vocabulary used is low level and the structure of the story makes it easy to read, there are some mature themes along the way. In particular, the wolf meets his end by becoming a rug in the pig’s house (there is an illustration to bring this to life) and, for some readers, that may be upsetting. For that reason, it would be important to consider how your class may receive this book before introducing it!


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