Sophy Henn

Bad Nana All the Fun of the Fair

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Jeannie (aged 7 3/4) is off to the town fair day with her very annoying little brother, Jack, and her friends. As Mum and Dad are busy helping, they’ve asked Bad Nana to look after them. Although she’s not really bad, Bad Nana can be quite naughty- and lots of fun- so everyone’s happy with this arrangement. But when the fair day seems to be turning into the unfair day, she becomes seriously pipped and that can only mean one thing…TROUBLE!

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Bad Nana is back- and I, for one, am delighted! Jeannie’s narrative is chatty, humorous and light-hearted, making the book an easy, fun read. Children will empathise with Jeannie’s occasional lack of confidence, delighting in Bad Nana’s support at these times. Nana’s capacious handbag always seems to contain something to help the situation, whether a lemon sherbet or something leading to a more mischievous outcome!

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Bad Nana is a complete joy and is it lovely to see a book which celebrates a grandmother/ granddaughter relationship in such a positive, original manner. Although Jeannie has three grandmothers (more than most, but not as many as Clare Coleman from school who has five), Bad Nana lives the closest to them and is the one Jeannie and her brother spend the most time with. From Liberace, her pink cat, to her gaggle of friends, Bad Nana is fun to be with and when she uses her big eyes and wobbly old-lady smile, she gets away with everything! She is my role model for when I get older!

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A riot of florescent colours, ‘All the Fun of the Fair’ is full of Sophy’s wonderful illustrations which capture the fun of the story. Different fonts are used to emphasise particular words and phrases, adding to chatty feel of the text. Perfect for newly confident readers, those sharing a giggle over a good book or someone looking for a bit of fun (or all three), ‘All the Fun of the Fair’ has much to offer.

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A celebration of Nanas, friendship, fun and the importance of being fair, ‘Bad Nana All the Fun of the Fair’ is every bit as enjoyable as ‘Older, Not Wiser’ and I can’t wait to see what Bad Nana gets up to next!

Bad Nana: All the Fun of the Fair Sophy Henn

Harper Collins ISBN: 978-0008268091

You can read our review of ‘Bad Nana: Older, Not Wiser’ here.

NSTBA Past Winners- Picture Book Category

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It’s our 5th birthday this year and we couldn’t be more excited! Since 2015, we have read and reviewed so many wonderful books- and met so many lovely authors and illustrators. We started the awards to help teachers be more aware of some of the amazing books that are available and that teachers could- and perhaps should- be using in school. Everyone involved in the awards works in education and most of us are teachers, working full time in classes across the primary age range. This puts us in the perfect position for getting these books into the hands of children and for raising their profile with our colleagues.

As submissions for this year must have been received by April 14th, we thought it was a good time to have a look back at our winners in each category from the last four years. So today, we’re starting with the Picture Book Category.

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Our first ever winners in this category were Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton with their wonderful characters, Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam. This book was an instant hit with the team as Shifty and Sam are brilliant and the story is full of fun . There are now four picture books and four chapter books about them- each offering Tracey’s fabulous writing and Steven’s amazing illustrations. A winning team if ever there was one!

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Although Tracey and Steven were not able to attend the ceremony, they came and visited some of our schools shortly after and were a huge hit with staff and children alike! They are both the loveliest people and we have seen them many times since, always enjoying their events. You can read our review here

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In 2016, Michelle Robinson and David Roberts won with their brilliant book, ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting’. Another gem, this caught our eye as it offers something a bit different. We were delighted that Michelle was able to come to the awards- and that she brought her lovely family with her. Michelle is one of those people who always makes you smile- she is full of fun, warm and friendly and it’s always a pleasure to bump into her. You can read our review of ‘Bear Spotting’ here.

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The winner in 2017 was Matt Carr with ‘Superbat’. This book had been a huge success with children in events we had held in schools. Having a really strong message about what really makes each of us ‘super’ as well as ‘Batty Facts’, ‘Superbat’ is great to use with classes. The bold illustrations encourage children to draw their own pictures and create their own superheroes. We were delighted that Matt was able to join us for the awards. You can read our review here.

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Last year, the wonderful Sophy Henn won with ‘Almost Anything’, a wonderful story about George who lacks confidence in himself and is reluctant to try anything. Sadly, Sophy was very poorly on the day of the awards, but sent a lovely video message. Once she had recovered, she came to visit one of our schools and did four amazing sessions with children and parents. It was a fantastic day! It is always a pleasure to see Sophy at festivals as she is so engaging - and genuinely lovely! You can read our review here.

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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. We have thousands of visits to the website each month and often receive feedback, thanking us for our suggestions.

Since the last awards, we have been searching for this year’s long list and are still hunting.When looking at a book, we are always asking ourselves how it could be used as well as thinking about its fun factor. If you have any suggestions or would like to make a submission, please get in touch. Details are available on our home page.

Next, we will revisit the Information Book Category winners!

World Book Day 2019!

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What a fabulous day! Sharing stories has been at the heart of everything that we have done- with our children, their parents and each other.

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We started our day with lots of story shares. Parents were invited to come with their children to share stories before school. So many came and had a lovely time.

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Children came in so many wonderful, creative and imaginative costumes. We had an Oxford English Dictionary, Bad Nanas, Harry Potters, Pom Poms, George (Almost Anything), The Enormous Crocodile, Claudes… The staff were equally amazing, dressed as a fantastic range of book characters. The Y1 staff took ‘Traction Man’ as their theme; in Y6, Poirot made an appearance alongside Thing 1 and Thing 2…. and a new, little-known character from the latest Dave Pigeon book!

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Lots more story sharing took place during assembly and at lunchtime. The afternoon was full of wonderfully book-ish activity. We painted favourite book characters, created comic strips and were inspired by Rob Biddulph’s wonderful bookmarks. Children decorated Rob’s ideas or used them to create their own ideas. These were then laminated and put to good use.

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The day ended with more story shares with even more parents coming to listen to stories with their children. It was a really lovely day - and there’s more to come tomorrow as Duncan Beedie is coming to judge our Reading Rocks competition and speak to our KS 1 and EYFS children. Wonderful fun!

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