Bookshelf Information

One Day, So Many Ways

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In keeping with Non-Fiction November, we have another fabulous book to share. ‘One Day, So Many Ways’ is a beautifully illustrated looking into the lives of over 40 children living around the world as they go about their daily routines. From Alaska to Brazil, Greenland to Tanzania, children are waking in homes all around the world. While there are many similarities to European children's experiences, they also have very different ones throughout the day. Breakfast, just for starters, looks very different around the world. Would you like to eat roasted banana & chorizo sausage, like Gina and Luis who live in the Amazon rainforest? Or maybe you'd like a warm bowl of vegetable stew and rice cakes, like Tanya has in Mumbai, India? Whatever your preference, this book serves to illuminate and celebrate variety.

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The forms of transportation children use to get to school can also vary - bus, train, bike may be familiar to many, but in Nepal, many children travel to school across rope bridges and in Greenland, children often travel by snowmobile. Educational experiences can also be very different: in Mexico, Jesus works in the morning and goes to school in the afternoon whereas in Hanoi, Japan, Linh goes to school six days a week. The types of lessons children have at school, the ways they play, interact with friends and enjoy sports are all explored in this book. 

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‘One Day, So Many Ways’ also showcases the artistic pursuits children around the world are interested in, their after-school activities, bedtime routines and even stories. Where we sleep, what we eat, see, feel and hear may be very different depending on where we live in the world and this book will help children to discover that for themselves.

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Laura Hall is a a former travel writer and her keen eye and appreciation for even the smallest details in the cultures and lives of people all over the world is evident in this stunning book. Loris Lora is an illustrator and designer of many delightful, colourful and engaging pieces of work. The retro Mid-Century style of this particular book is delightful and makes it universally accessible to both younger and older primary school aged readers. This gorgeous book is certain to help build insight, understanding and empathy as readers explore the diverse ways children, just like them, live their lives.

This beautiful non-fiction book would be a fantastic text to use as a stimulus for work in any KS1 classroom. Each section of the book could be used across the curriculum. Children could be encouraged to write and then talk about their own lives - what they have for breakfast and how they travel to school. In Maths, children could be encouraged to measure favourite lunch time foods and then represent this in a graph. In geography, they could map the routes classmates take to get home from school. The book also provides an opportunity to create links with schools in other countries- children could write letters to other children, sharing details about their lives and encouraging partner schools to do the same.

One Day, So Many Ways Laura Hall, illustrated by Loris Lora

Lincoln Children’s Books ISBN: 978-1847809735

Hello World Day: What a Wonderful Word

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Apparently, today is ‘Hello World Day’ and to celebrate, here is a wonderful book containing a selection of untranslatable words from around the world! It is a fascinating glimpse at the the wonders of language and just how beautiful it can be!

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Being highly forgetful, one of my favourite words is ‘tartle’- a Scottish word which means that you hesitate because you have forgotten someone’s name! The entry is accompanied by information, including some reasons to explain why this might happen. I will be using this word to explain my difficulty in the future!

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Another word which I love is ‘pochemuchka’, a Russian word describing a child who asks ‘why?’ all the time or a person who asks too many questions. The perfect word to describe my son when he was little! Is there such a thing as a person who asks too many questions?!

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It is a fascinating collection for discussing and sharing- and for encouraging children to explore language and the vocabulary we use. Children could locate the countries these words come from and explore why the Finnish people might need to use the word ‘poronkusema’ whereas people living in England might not. How might they describe ‘kawaakari’? This is a word the Japanese use for the gleam of last light on a river’s surface at dusk and to me sounds as beautiful as the sight it describes.

With lots of lovely illustrations and information, this is a fantastic book to share and enjoy!

What a Wonderful Word: A collection of untranslatable words from around the world

Nicola Edwards, illustrated by Luisa Uribe

360 Degrees ISBN: 978-1848576452

Rebel Cats! Brave Tales of Feisty Felines

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Cats are wonderful creatures and ‘Rebel Cats’ is full of stories, facts and famous felines. The book has been illustrated by a range of artists, each bringing their own style and personality to the work.

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Some of these rebel cats are quite well known. The story of Mrs Chippy (who was actually a male cat!) and his time on the Endurance with Shackleton is familiar to those of us who have used William Grill’s ‘Shackleton’s Journey’ and many people have seen Doorkins when visiting Southwark Cathedral (myself included!).

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Musical cats, Hollywood stars, marvellous mousers and furry heroes are all included here. As well as being enjoyed in their own right, many of these mini-biographies could be used as the basis for story writing as the lives led by these cats are amazing! Other books, like ‘Tibs, the Post Office Cat’ by Joyce Dunbar (reviewed here), could be used alongside this book- Tibs is mentioned on page 49 in the ‘Mighty Mousers’ section.

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The cat-ographies are interspersed with fascinating feline facts. There are suggestions for how to help cats in need, ‘spooky cats’, information about cats ‘from nose to tail’ and a ‘Puss in Books’ section. There is also a useful glossary and ‘Rebel Cats’ timeline.

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Beautifully illustrated in a range of styles, ‘Rebel Cats’ is a fabulous treat for anyone who loves cats.

Rebel Cats! Brave Tales of Feisty Felines

Kimberlie Hamilton

Scholastic ISBN: 978-1407192604