Jim Field

Rabbit and Bear: A Bite in the Night

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The latest in this series sees our lovable forest friends facing Progress with a capital P! As Bear is getting ready for her winter sleep, Rabbit is increasingly worried by things that are changing. The river has moved…trees are disappearing…soon, even Bear is close to being slightly worried. Beaver has been at work and Progress is his middle name- nothing is going to get in his way. But Progress is not good for Rabbit- or Mole-or Vole-or Mouse… Although some of the animals might be better off as a result of the changes made in the name of Progress, can they stand by and see their friends suffer?

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Told with the usual gentle humour and fabulous illustrations, the ‘Rabbit and Bear’ stories are also wonderful at conveying clear messages and making everyone stop and think. Although change needs to happen and some progress is needed, the cost to the countryside and other people should always be considered. Once Bear’s favourite scratching tree has gone, it cannot be replaced in a hurry- years of nature at work destroyed in an instant. Sometimes, alternatives need to be considered or simply more thought needs to be given to whether ‘Progress’ is really necessary.

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The fabulous illustrations are every bit as engaging as in the previous Rabbit and Bear stories and Bear’s expressions are just wonderful! This latest addition to the ‘Rabbit and Bear’ series is a delight.

Rabbit and Bear: A Bite in the Night Julian Gough, illustrated by Jim Field

Hodder ISBN: 978-1444938180

You can read our reviews of Rabbit’s Bad Habbit, The Pest in the Nest and Attack of the Snack.

The Way Home for Wolf

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Wilf, a wolfling, is determined to show his independence and as the wolf pack moves on, he declares he will lead the way. The other wolves tell him to wait until he’s older and although Wilf tries to keep up, he soon falls further and further behind. Reluctant to ask for help, he realises he’s lost and quickly finds himself in trouble. A meeting with a sea unicorn leads to Wilf accepting help from other creatures and finding his way back to the heart of his pack.

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What a joy of a book! Little Wilf comes to understand that everyone needs to ask for and accept help at times and that there is a joy in working with others. Told in rhyme, the text flows beautifully and is a pleasure to read aloud.

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The illustrations are simply stunning. Scenes showing the silhouetted wolves howling at the moon and running across snowy landscape are just lovely. The picture showing Wilf plunging through the ice and meeting the narwhal is quite gorgeous, but my favourite of all is the one of Wilf gazing at the sky with his new friends picked out in the stars.

Since wherever life takes you, wherever you roam…

we’re all just a handful of friendships from home.

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Another triumph from this perfect partnership, ‘The Way Home for Wolf’ is perfect for sharing.

The Way Home for Wolf Rachel Bright, illustrated by Jim Field

Orchard Books ISBN: 978-1408349205

You can read our review of The Lion Inside here, The Koala Who Could here and The Squirrels Who Squabbled here.

How Many Legs?

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Counting legs has never been so much fun! This lovely book has been around for a while now, but as yesterday was National Numeracy Day, I thought it was the perfect time to revisit it! Money from the purchase of this copy will benefit Children in Need too- win, win!

As the animals arrive for tea, the reader is asked to add the number of legs that appear. It really is a counting book with a difference and is excellent to use both in the classroom and at home. There is plenty of challenge as the animals keep coming with varying numbers of legs. Although the solution is offered at the end, there is a jokey alternative in case you haven’t managed to keep up, meaning everyone can enjoy it!

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The illustrations are pure joy with many familiar faces creeping in to join the fun. With lots of details to discuss and linger over, the pictures really lend themselves to developing the stories they tell either orally or in writing. They could also provide an excellent starting point for investigating some of the creatures introduced- and the number of legs they have!

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Told in bouncy, cheery rhyme, the story also offers a wide range of mathematical expressions to explore as well as the benefits of the rhythm and sounds. For older children, there is great scope for playing with different word classes in the text and making up new sentences- change the verb, the preposition, the noun etc.

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The number fun could continue with other animals joining the party- or some of those there leaving -or sharing some cakes. How much might it cost for...? What if they each brought a different number of balloons to the party? Children could draw the new visitors and create the text to go with their illustrations, perhaps creating a class book along the same lines. I would very happily create a whole day (or more!) of activities around this fabulous book, but we spent National Numeracy Day doing two maths SATs papers! Such is life!

How Many Legs? Kes Gray and Jim Field

Hachette ISBN: 978-1444910971