Big Picture Press

NSTBA INFORMATION CATEGORY LONG LIST 2019 part 2

Owl Logo 2019.jpg
DSC_0007.JPG

Perfect for supporting work from the Year 5 programme of study on ‘Earth and Space’, ‘Voyage through Space’ takes the reader on an adventure with a little girl and her dog as they explore the solar system. Starting at the sun, they visit each planet in turn. With additional fact boxes across each spread, the text is full of interesting details, presented in achievable sections and written in a chatty style. The journey ends at the Kuiper Belt (including Pluto) which is past the edges of our solar system.

The illustrations are stunning, full of colour and interest, forming an appealing backdrop to the information. The style and presentation of this book will appeal to many children, particularly those who find navigating large sections of text difficult. The ‘glow in the dark’ poster is an attractive addition.

Voyage Through Space Katy Flint, illustrated by Cornelia Li

Wide Eyed ISBN: 978-1786030825

DSC_0011.JPG

Explaining Darwin’s theory in an accessible way, this re-telling by Sabina Radeva is perfect for using to support the work in the Year 6 programme of study on evolution and inheritance. Beautifully illustrated, it explains the basic concepts of Darwin’s work in easily digestible sections, putting it into the context of the time in which he lived. The book starts with scientists before Darwin and looks at his family life before moving on to his ideas. The text includes quotes from Darwin himself, reminding the reader that Darwin actually wrote the ideas the book is based on and there is a fascinating ‘misconceptions’ section at the end. An appendix offers additional information and a glossary explains some of the terms used.

Beautiful and informative, Sabina Radeva’s re-telling makes Darwin’s work accessible to children, encouraging them to wonder at the world around them.

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species retold and illustrated by Sabina Radeva

Puffin ISBN: 978-0141388502

You can read another review of this book here.

DSC_0021.JPG

‘Natural Wonders of the World’ is a beautiful book, exploring 30 of the wonders of our planet, some well known, others less so. A map of the world shows the location of each wonder, linked to the contents so the information can be easily located and there is a comprehensive index at the end. Stunning photographs and illustrations are on every page, celebrating places, animals and birds, plants and natural phenomena with detailed, interesting text exploring the history, legends, people and science behind them.

Each is fascinating, but in the introduction, the reader is also reminded that there are wonders all around us which we should enjoy and comments on how ‘fragile and precious out planet really is.’ The book could be used as a starting point for further researched linked to various areas of science or geography, but could also be the inspiration for a class book about local ‘wonders’, encouraging children to investigate, write about and photograph their locality.

Natural Wonders of the World Molly Oldfield, illustrated by Frederica Bordoni

(photograph credits given at the end of the book)

Wren and Rook ISBN: 978-1526360663

DSC_0026.JPG

This striking book looks at the development of transport through the ages. Divided into categories such as trains, ships, cars, etc,. each section starts with a double page spread which gives a timeline of the evolution of that mode of transport, showing key dates. Additional information is then given on the following pages about how they developed and the people behind them.

The wide range of transport included means that there is something for everyone here. The illustrations of the timelines are full of detail and humour, presented in black and white with coloured borders which correspond with the colour of the pages of information. As well as being full of facts, this could inspire children to present their own research in this way.

Amazing Transport: Journey through the History of Transport

Tom Jackson, illustrated by Chris Mould

Bloomsbury ISBN: 978-1408889770

DSC_0028.JPG

A wonderful collection of amazing stories, ‘Great Adventurers’ focus on the expeditions of twenty explorers from throughout history. Each was an inspiration to the author who has ‘chased a life of adventure’ himself and in turn hopes to inspire his readers to do the same.

The book is a fascinating read, including a wide range of people from across the world. Alastair Humphreys explains why each figure has inspired him whilst giving an account of their adventures. Each is told over four pages, including maps. kit, diary entries and recipes and is brilliantly illustrated throughout, including comic strip sections. A brilliant addition to any library!

Alastair Humphreys’ Great Adventurers, illustrated by Kevin Ward

Big Picture Press ISBN: 978-1783708413

DSC_0030.JPG

Very topical at the moment, 'A Planet Full of Plastic’ is an extremely readable, engaging book which both explains the development of plastic and why it has become such a problem. Terms such as ‘biodegrade’ and ‘microplastic’ are clearly explained and the book does not shy away from the severity of the issue. However, it is not all doom and gloom. The book also looks at ways of helping the situation, starting with reduce, reuse, recycle and then looking at the ideas scientists and engineers are coming up with to tackle the problem before offering ideas and information about how the reader can help.

The cartoon/ collage style of illustration, using photographs as backgrounds, is extremely effective and the chatty style of the text makes a direct appeal to the reader, personified by the cartoon child, from the narrator whose identity is discovered at the end of the book. Giving examples of young people who have made such a difference is very inspirational and offers the challenge of thinking of a ‘big idea to help save the planet’. An important book for both home and school, ‘A Planet Full of Plastic’ offers an excellent starting point for making changes to our behaviour, making us all take responsibility for this man made problem. Excellent!

A Planet Full of Plastic and How You Can Help Neal Layton

Wren and Rook ISBN: 978-1526361738

NSTBA Past Winners-Information Books Category

owl.png

Quality information books are so important in school-both for classwork and for reading for pleasure and we love investigating what’s available and considering how it can be used. The range of subjects and styles available is amazing and we are always learning about new things in our hunt for those special books for our list. We can’t wait to compile this year’s selection!

We have met so many lovely authors and illustrators of non-fiction books, many of whom have attended our award ceremonies.

download (34).jpg

In 2015, this lovely book won. ‘Maps’ is beautiful and can be explored time and time again. You can read our review here. Sadly, no one was able to attend the award ceremony, but we have enjoyed sharing the book with our children.

download (35).jpg

In 2016, Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure won this category. Full of fascinating facts and lavishly illustrated, this is an amazing book. The character of Professor Astro Cat is so appealing, explaining difficult concepts clearly. The lovely Ben Newman attended the awards and delighted us all by drawing pictures of Professor Astro Cat in our books. You can read our review here.

Winners.jpg

Martin Brown’s Lesser Spotted Animals won this category in 2017 with Martin attending the award ceremony. This is a wonderful book, focusing on endangered animals. Beautifully illustrated and full of Martin’s lovely humour, this is a real gem which we have enjoyed using, particularly for guided reading. You can read our review here.

animals.jpg

Martin is absolutely lovely and was wonderful company. We are very much looking forward to his second book about ‘Lesser Spotted Animals’ which is coming soon! I can’t wait to read it and share it.

EEB5CB5E-7136-47AF-A4CC-B4165771AC16.jpeg

Last year, ‘The Histronauts An Egyptian Adventure’ was our winning book. This is brilliant fun and perfect for those teachers teaching the Egyptians. Grace’s wonderful illustrations lead the story in cartoon style whilst Frances delivers carefully researched historical detail through the story. You can read our review here. Frances was able to attend last year’s awards and was wonderful company. We look forward to many more Histronauts books!

DSC_3700.jpg

Each of these books has been widely used in our schools and each has ideas for a book event and /or teaching notes to go with them which are available to our members. It is a pleasure to see them being used in classes and enjoyed by so many children!

What treasures will we manage to find for this year’s list? Next, we’ll look back and enjoy the winners of our Poetry Category.

Meet the ...Ancient Greeks

IMG_7894.JPG

‘Meet the … Ancient Greeks’ offers a wonderfully quirky, original look at the Hellenes, as they called themselves before the Romans came along. Following the two earlier titles -’Meet the Ancient Egyptians’ and ‘Meet the Ancient Romans’- this book is great fun as well as being highly informative.

IMG_7895.jpg

Packed with information, each spread looks at a different aspect of life for the ancient Greeks. The orange and black colour scheme echoes the black- and red-figure techniques of the Athenian vases, making the book extremely appealing. Although each page is ‘busy’, the edge of each page bears a ‘typical’ Greek pattern and the page title and number are clearly visible, making the book easy to navigate.

IMG_7896.jpg

Humour in both text and illustrations make this an enjoyable read, but the content is not over simplified and offers plenty of fascinating facts. There is even a spread on Greece today which ends with the suggestion that the reader heads to a local museum to find some treasures ‘ and imagine the life of the clever person who might have made it.’

IMG_7897.jpg

A brilliant addition to the library, ‘Meet the …Ancient Greeks’ is a must for anyone learning about this fascinating civilisation and its people.

Meet the …Ancient Greeks James Davies

Big Picture Press ISBN: 978-1787412750