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 June's below:
Counting and colours combine perfectly in 10 Cats (Two Hoots) by award-winning author-illustrator Emily Gravett. Using simple rhyming text, the reader is invited to count the markings of a group of playful kittens, who grow increasingly messy as the book goes on. Charmingly chaotic!
Rainforest by Julia Groves (Child’s Play) precedes the wonderful I See the Sea (a CLPE Corebook), and is another brightly illustrated tour through a unique habitat. Print-style illustrations accompanied by brief poetic text depict a variety of life in the rainforest, while a closing fact file provides additional species information.
Dadaji’s Paintbrush (Andersen Press) stands as a worthy companion to Joseph Coehlo’s celebrated If All the World Were… - a young boy growing older maintains a connection to his beloved late grandfather by continuing his legacy of painting; the colour choices made by artist Ruchi Mhasane weave a narrative of joy, grief and renewal alongside the text. Also from Andersen Press, Josh Lacey’s The Pet Potato is a charming, relatable look at responsibility as a boy, pleading his parents for a pet, is given a potato to look after. Funny, surprisingly moving, and with a delightful twist.
The Can Caravan (Child’s Play) joins Ossiri and the Bala Mengro, Yokki and the Parno Gry and others as part of Richard O’Neill’s Travellers’ Tales series. Starring a young girl wishing to build a new home for her elderly neighbour, this is both a universal tale of community, togetherness and recycling (the book closes with an infographic of the recycling process); and a specific, authentic depiction of Traveller life and virtues (includes a glossary of Romani terms).
The inspirational Scientists are Saving the World (Magic Cat) profiles in semi-comic book format a range of contemporary and historical scientists – prioritising women and people of colour – and the exciting developments, from robotics to time travel, they have spearheaded or are leading the way in. With illustrations by Ana Albero of the ‘Little People, Big Dreams’ series, and closes with a call to all young scientists to stay curious!
Following the success of the award-winning Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths – now a CLPE Corebook and Power of Reading text - Maisie Chan is back with the fantastic Keep Dancing, Lizzie Chu (Piccadilly Press), a warm and witty tale of intergenerational friendship, class, heritage, and ballroom dancing.
From independent publisher Firefly Press comes Call Me Lion by Camilla Chester, an empathetic and inclusive narrative starring a boy with selective mutism who dreams of dancing on the West End stage. The narrative is told in first person, meaning we hear from Leo directly even when he is not speaking, and touches on themes of secrets, self-confidence, friendship and understanding.
Author M.T. Khan demonstrates surefooted worldbuilding in her debut novel Nura and the Immortal Palace (Walker), which combines Muslim folklore, particularly jinn mythology, with a story of child labour and poverty. Modern-day Pakistan and the world of the jinn collide, with obstacles to overcome in both the real and fantasy worlds.
From the author of Boy, Everywhere, winner of the 2021 Little Rebels Award, comes Fight Back (Scholastic). This is a powerful story of positive community action in the face of Islamophobia, racism and prejudice, led by an unforgettable teenage protagonist.
While the Storm Rages (Andersen), like Phil Earle’s spellbinding When the Sky Falls, draws inspiration from real-life events and takes place just before the onset of World War Two. When the British government instructs its residents to euthanize their pets before war breaks out, one boy (aptly named Noah), determined to save his beloved dog, teams up with friends to save as many pets as they can from this mandate. An adventure of resilience and love.
Subtitled ‘The Movement of People and Ideas’, A World Full of Journeys and Migrations (Frances Lincoln) is a comprehensive encyclopaedia of migration, arranged first by continent, then chronologically. The text covers a significant amount of ground and a wide variety of journeys undertaken by humans, and is accompanied by folk art-style illustrations from Christopher Corr.
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.