British Books Challenge: Bird Girl by Maudie Smith

Have you ever told others about your dreams- and then wished you hadn't? This is what happened to Finch Field so when the summer came and she goes off to spend the holidays with her Grandma at Sunview-on-Sea, she couldn't wait to go.

Surrounded by lovely people in this lovely place, Finch is happy, but the appearance of a strange cloud hovering over the town changes things. Soon, Finch realises that it is not just the sunshine that is being stolen away. Perhaps Finch's dream coming true will be what saves them all...

A book all about the importance of dreams and being true to yourself, 'Bird Girl' is an exciting and unexpected story!

Finch is a strong character whose joy at escaping to the idyllic Sunview-on-Sea contrasts with her feelings of misery at the teasing and acts of unkindness she receives from others at school. Her reluctance to trust a boy she meets is completely understandable and shows how those on the receiving end of such treatment begin to expect it.

The relationship between Finch and her grandmother is beautifully portrayed- its warmth and energy are delightful. Finch shows great courage and determination when her friends are at risk and learns a lot about herself along the way.

An enjoyable read aloud story, offering plenty to discuss.

Bird Girl by Maudie Smith, illustrated by Lucy Fleming

Orion Children's    ISBN: 978-1444015621



Explore nature with DK!

What a lovely little book which encourages you to get out and about and explore the amazing world of birds!

'Birds' is the perfect book for both those who already have an interest and those who know little about this subject. It covers a comprehensive range of subjects from what is a bird to their different habitats to nests and breeding.

Each double spread is clearly illustrated with lovely colour photographs. The book also offers practical projects like making a bird bath or bird feeder. There is advice on how to count birds when in large numbers, how to inspect owl pellets, how to draw much!

Covering a good range of bird's from all over the world, the book has a detailed index, making it easy to locate relevant information. Great for stimulating discussion and further exploration or activity, this is a lovely little book for developing an interest in our feathered friends!

Birds   by Jill Bailey and David Burnie

Consultant: Ben Hoare

DK    ISBN:  978-0241282502


Happy Saint George's Day!

Today is Saint George's day- the day of the patron saint of England. His flag- the red cross on the white background- is England's flag and yet, it is thought that he never set foot on this green and pleasant land.

Very little is known about St George's life, but it is thought that he was a high ranking soldier in the Roman army, tortured by the Emperor's orders to make him deny his faith in Christ.

It was not until about 1552 that St George was adopted as the sole patron saint of England. At Dragon's Hill in Uffington, tradition claims the bare chalk patch on the top of the hill was caused by the blood spilled when St. George slew the dragon.

However, unlike St Patrick, St David and St Andrew, George's story is not one often told in schools. So here is my favourite version, told by the amazing Geraldine McCaughrean.

A wreath of sinew and claw...

Beautifully told in the rich, evocative language which characterises Geraldine McCaughrean's writing, this book is a fabulous version of the story of Saint George and his fight against the dragon. The illustrations have a medieval feel to them, creating the perfect setting for the legend.

So much work can stem from this wonderful re-telling; it is a real treasure that should have a place on every bookcase!

Saint George and the Dragonby Geralding McCaughrean, illustrated by Nicki Palin

OUP    ISBN: 978-0192723765