by Phoebe Demeger
Each month CLPE's Librarian, Phoebe Demeger, will reveal some of her favourite books she has recently added to our Literacy Library.
Discover February's below:
A Polar Bear in the Snow (Walker, £7.99, 4/11/2021) – a wintery picturebook with spellbinding paper-cut illustrations, which play with the blank page and with light and shadow in very inventive ways.
My Pet Goldfish (Walker, £12.99, 4/11/2021) – a lovely illustrated storybook/non-fiction hybrid from award-winning author-illustrator Catherine Rayner (Augustus and his Smile, Iris and Isaac and Abigail are all CLPE Corebooks), in a similar vein to Our Very Own Dog and We’re Getting a Cat, also from Walker.
Little Life Cycles: Pip and Drip (Templar, £6.99 each, 17/2/2022) – a pair of beautifully designed board books exploring the life cycles of an apple seed and a drop of water, with creative page cut-outs.
My Mum is a Lioness (Macmillan, £7.99, 3/2/2022) – the sequel to the brilliant My Dad is a Grizzly Bear, picturebook dream-team Swapna Haddow and Dapo Adeola imagine the family matriarch dragging her grubby cubs into the bath and roaring with pride at their achievements (Look Up!, Clean Up! and We’re Going to Find the Monster, illustrated by Adeola, are all CLPE Corebooks).
Monster! Hungry! Phone! (Bloomsbury, £6.99, 6/1/2022) – one of the funniest books I’ve read this year, about a monster struggling to order a pizza, featuring onomatopoeia, rhymes, repetition, and some chaotic phonics (How to be Cooler than Cool, Winter Sleep, A Brave Bear, and Hoot Owl by Sean Taylor are all CLPE Corebooks).
The Comet (Flying Eye, £12.99, 3/3/2022) – Joe Todd-Stanton’s latest masterpiece, following a young girl who moves from the countryside to the city, incredibly imaginative illustrations (Brownstone’s Mythical Collection, as well as A Mouse Called Julian and The Secret of Black Rock, feature in our CLPE Corebooks collection).
Windows (Walker, £7.99, 4/2/2022) – a rarity – a picturebook written in second-person – leading the reader on a walk through a neighbourhood at dusk, observing other lives through lit-up windows.
Marv and the Mega Robot (Oxford University Press, £5.99, 3/2/2022) – published alongside Marv and the Dino Attack, two short illustrated chapter-books about a self-made young Black superhero, facing school and friendship problems, as well as supervillains.
Luma and the Pet Dragon (Welbeck, £6.99, 3/2/2022) – a new series with a classic feel: two short stories (with chapters) starring a British-Asian girl who adopts a puppy which is secretly a dragon. Ends with a fact-file section on responsible pet care.
Two graphic novel recommendations, published in 2021 but new to the library: Bumble & Snug (Hachette, £6.99, 8/7/2021) – starring two blob-like creatures named Bumble (an extrovert) and Snug (an introvert) in a comedy adventures with pirates and a giant octopus. Similarly, The Adventures of Team Pom: Squid Happens (Flying Eye, £9.99, 1/6/2021) sees the school swim team befriend a lost Kraken – an Epilogue sets this brilliantly funny read up with a sequel.
Loki (Walker, £7.99, 3/2/2022) – a truly unique take on Norse mythology, as trickster god Loki is banished to Earth in the body of a school boy, keeping a diary (complete with wonderfully witty doodle-illustrations from author Louie Stowell) of his exploits and attempts to be better behaved.
Escape Room (Nosy Crow, £7.99, 3/2/2022) – a ticking-clock, save-the-world narrative based around escape rooms and puzzles – I loved Adam-2 from Nosy Crow so am very excited to read this one.
The Boy Whose Wishes Came True (Scholastic, £6.99, 3/2/2022) – adeptly balancing humour and heart, Helen Rutter tackles some difficult issues around mental health, invisible poverty and young carers, hinged around a witty wish-fulfilment narrative. CLPE hosted the Book Launch for this title, alongside Lisa Thompson’s brilliantly heartfelt and humorous mystery novel, The Rollercoaster Boy.
Flying Eye have released a revised and updated version of CLPE Corebook Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space (Flying Eye, £16.99, 3/2/2022). First published in 2013, this new version reflects the latest in space research, and now includes a contents page, new and rejigged chapters, and a bold, bright colour scheme.
To find out more about the books featured in CLPE’s Literacy Library, discover CLPE's Corebooks List...
For more recommendations from our Librarian, discover CLPE booklists which are available to download for free from our website and act as a handy support guide to teachers looking to develop activities around key themes in the National Curriculum.