Values: Courage, Sustainability and Joy. Hike is a (nearly) wordless book that is a triumph of illustration. It is on this year's Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist - an award for outstanding illustration - and rightly so. Every time I read it, I see more. Somehow Pete Oswald has created an outdoor space within the book that feels fresh, calm and tranquil. Maybe the lack of words has something to do with this too. The book follows the story of a father and his child (not sure if
Values: Confidence, Pride, Courage. The Littlest Yak has stolen my heart! This is actually a book I have bought one of my nieces for her birthday, but I couldn't resist a sneaky peek (and blog) before wrapping it! This is the story of Gertie. Gertie has all the skills of the other yaks, except that she doesn't see any 'bigness' in herself. She thinks that there isn't anything a big yak can't do. Gertie tries everything in her power to grow big and strong like the other yaks.
Values: Community, Joy and Courage. This book, published in 2018, is highly acclaimed and has been nominated for nine awards. The blurb on the back, “An illuminating story about power, revolution and how we need the dark to appreciate the light,” perfectly sums up the clever nature of this book – it will be enjoyed by primary pupils from EYFS-Year 6. In the story, there is a little boy who is afraid of the dark. However, this is no ordinary little boy – he is a prince who gro
Values: Friendship, Patience and Courage. This playful and memorable book is brought to life through Ben Manley's carefully-chosen words and Emma Chichester Clark's beautiful illustrations. It is on The UKLA's 3-6 Longlist for 2021 and also featured on the CILIP Kate Greenaway Longlist for 2021 and quite rightly so! In the story, Frederick lives in a large, grand house surrounded by everything he could wish for. However, it is apparent through his body language (lying on his
Values: Hope, Courage, Determination. I have had this book a few months now, and couldn’t believe it when I realised the other day that I hadn’t written a blog on it! It is the perfect book for the dark days of lockdown when the seemingly-endless days in our home go round in circles. I am an adult and find so much hope and joy in this book; I know thousands of children have found the same. I believe this is one of those rare gems of a book that will speak to everyone. In fact
Values: Hope, Love, Courage, Resilience, Compassion, Community, Perseverance, Respect, Self-Belief... Illegal is a graphic novel telling the plight of brothers, Ebo and Kwame, as they leave their home in Niger and head across Africa and the Mediterranean with the hope of reaching Europe, their sister and a better life. It mirrors the journey taken by millions of people every year. Some are refugees fleeing war and conflict; others are hoping to find work and family. For all o
Values: Love, Hope, Determination, Courage. It has to be firstly said that this book blew me away and I devoured it in a day or two. I was lucky enough to be gifted it as a Secret Santa present from Reading Rocks and I was thrilled to receive it! Since receiving it, this book has won the Costa Book Award 2020 prize, and I am not surprised at all. It is perfect for UKS2 – adventurous, gripping and a glimpse into life for children about a century ago. Set in 1919, the story fol
Values: Empathy, Compassion, Community, Courage. This book holds a special place for me, as I have just finished writing an essay on how it explores grief and healing for one of my MA modules. I have studied it and studied it over two months and still love it just as much as when I first read it. I think that in itself speaks volumes! The book is set in Japan just before, and in the aftermath of, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused over 18,000 people to lose their liv
Values: Kindness, Courage, Hope and Community. I was lucky enough to receive this for Christmas, and literally could not put it down. I read the whole thing in an afternoon and an evening! If you know Onjali's writing (The Boy At The Back Of The Class, for example), you will know how magical and enthralling her writing is... so this should not have been a surprise. Hector, the protagonist, is unusual in that he is a very dislikeable character. He takes pleasure in bullying ot
Values: Hope, Courage and Acceptance I'm not quite sure why I haven't yet written about this book on the blog as it is one of my FAVOURITES to use in school! It has been read to countless classes in the last couple of years and a whole-school assembly from EYFS-Year 6. All of the children I have read it to have enjoyed it and taken some important messages from it. I have also read it to some pre-schoolers (age 2 1/2) and they have also enjoyed meeting Leonard and Marianne (wh
Values: Friendship, Courage, Loyalty, Kindness... This is a stunning book and one that I have coveted for a long time. Finally this week, I treated myself! This book comes from the Panchatantra - a collection of animal-themed fables from ancient India (originally written in Sanskrit) - the stories allegedly dating back more than 2000 years! What a great hook into this book before you've even opened it! Spoiler alert! The story is a tale of friendship between a monkey, Miss Ba
Values: Courage, Determination, Perseverance, Kindness and Equality. Sofia Valdez, Future Prez is an uplifting, empowering picture book for children everywhere. It comes from the same series as Ada Twist, Scientist; Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer - all of which are stories to inspire boys and girls that they can go into careers in Maths and Science. I have shared Rosie Revere, Engineer in a whole school assembly to which all of the children were rapt. Sofia V
Values: Friendship, Kindness, Confidence, Courage and Positivity. This eye-catching and adorable tale of a koala who develops his growth mindset comes from Rachel Bright - author of popular picture books such as The Lion Inside (a personal assembly favourite of mine) and The Worrysaurus. The rhyme and playful vocabulary choices pair perfectly with Jim Field's bold and emotive illustrations, allowing children to empathise with the characters immediately. In this story, Kevin
Values: Love, Kindness and Courage (and many more!) I think this could possibly by THE most Values-based book that has graced, and will grace, this blog. If you haven't heard of it or seen Charlie Mackesy's illustrations in this past year, you may have been living under a rock! This beautiful book is about four characters, as suggested by the title. There isn't a plot so to speak but the characters talk to each other and give advice. Charlie wrote and sketched all of the hand
Values: Friendship, Love, Determination and Courage. There isn't a teacher or parent in the land who hasn't heard of Harry Potter, or got their own thoughts about whether this is a book for primary school aged children. If you know me, you know I love Harry Potter and have done since my dad read the first book to me and my brother as a bedtime story when I was in Year 5. It was shortly after it was first published and my dad had heard it being discussed on the radio. I haven'