Annabel Tempest

How to be Extraordinary

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Containing biographies of fifteen extraordinary people from around the world, ‘How To Be Extraordinary’ is a joyous celebration of the many ways there are to be extraordinary! Bursting with colour, the vibrant illustrations are very appealing and the short sections of text make an achievable read.

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There is something very appealing about the selection of stories chosen for this collection. Some are fairly familiar faces, rightly celebrated for their achievements- Nelson Mandela and Frida Kahlo for example. I was delighted to see the wonderful Judith Kerr included, not only as an author/ illustrator, but also as a refugee. The entry is written in the present tense, obviously written before her sad dead earlier this year. However, many of the fifteen are less well known and make for fascinating reading.

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Polish born Krystyna Skarbek was Britain’s first female spy. The entry recalls her bravery and quick thinking, but also the appalling lack of recognition she received for her efforts afterwards. Aeham Ahmad- the pianist of Yarmouk- is extraordinary for his love of music and his desire to use this to bring hope and joy to Syrian civilians during the civil war. the extraordinary stories of both men and women, from the past and present, are celebrated in this extraordinary book.

How To Be Extraordinary Rashmi Sirdeshpande, illustrated by Annabel Tempest

Puffin ISBN: 978-0241385401