Its Been A Busy (Reading) Week!

This week, with its mixed offerings of weather has been a perfect one for the allotment and garden, except that the rain has had a bad effect on my tomatoes meaning lots of green tomato chutney was planned until I found a recipe for green tomato jam – I’ll let you know the outcome! However this is not entirely unrelated to books and my weekly reading – bear with me – for as well as gardening and allotmenting I have been studying, again related to reading and unsurprisingly enough books that can be used with children, given to children, young adults and adults alike.

To begin with the books that aided me in my studies … and the first one, not a book to read but a book in which you can create your own stories, pages to fill with ideas from your own imagination, pages for freedom, for the enjoyment of scribbles, great thoughts and doodles as you learn, write, read and create. For me this is the ideal book – it is the Ancient Egypt Journal from The British Museum and Michael O’Mara Books. Lined pages with images from the collection in the museum certainly inspired me and got me writing – what will they do for you?

If you need some help then why not dip into books filled with more wonderful images. Again British Museum and Michael O Mara publications these are Treasures of Ancient Egypt and Treasures of Ancient Greece each containing 20 postcards with images from the collections at the museum that can be taken out and posted. Why not be original and send a postcard rather than an email? Put pen to paper – go on! What is more you could make use of these wonderful books in many other ways too, particularly in the classroom to support the learning of these fascinating subjects and bring children a step closer to some of their remains.

On this matter, teaching and using books in the classroom I come now to the fact that I was busy with my allotment and garden and needing books for inspiration I turned again to Michael O Mara’s latest publishing and found Vegetable Growing: A Money Saving Guide by Jonathan Stevens. Now whilst this is probably a very grown-up book I am planning to use it at School in September with my gardening club so that we can make the most of our garden on a limited budget. It is a great little, handy book for anyone in a similar situation. Packed full of useful tips most importantly it takes you through the growing year, crop by crop with guides as to what to grow, where, when and how. It then looks at planning your veg plot to get the most out of it, gives help with pests and diseases and much more besides. A really very useful and handy guide that will be put to good use with my gardening club as I hope it will yours!

After being so busy with all that work I needed to take some time out so I turned to some delightful picture books.

From Child’s Play came two titles this week – All About Cats by Monika Filipina and A Bear Hug at Bedtime by Jana Novotny Hunter, illustrated by Kay Widdowson. These delightful stories made me feel warm and cuddly inside and are a delight to share with little ones at bedtime and any other time they need to relax and smile! With bright bold pictures filling the pages, comforting illustration and text that is both fun and uncomplicated children will be certain to fall in love with these stories. Discover how great it is to have a hug from a friend and just how friendly cats can be – but be warned children may be after a pet when they have finished with these books.

Now if a pet is out of the question for whatever reason why not think about a friend, an invisible friend. Already have one? Well did you know lots of children do and we can find out more about what they do, how we need to look after them just like any other friend and how we need to understand them too.

How do we do all this? Easy. Read Kevin by Rob Biddulph (HarperCollins Children’s Books) and you will discover some very big, very fluffy and very friendly invisible friends. An absolute delight, a strong message gently told and a bright bold, fun story.

Then, if there is still the question hanging in the air about pets why not share with the little ones in your life Molly Mischief, My Perfect Pet by Adam Hargreaves (Pavillion Books). Molly is a very cheeky little girl and this is the first in a new series of adventures that she will feature in. This book finds Molly wanting a pet and being determined she is going to get one, trouble is finding the right one is a little tricky. Laugh out loud as you follow the story and share in the ups and downs of pet hunting – but do try not to be put off and make sure to look out for more adventures featuring Molly coming to a bookshelf near you very soon …

Finally all this work made me very hungry and I thought I Really Want The Cake well okay so maybe I saw the book title but then it made me think the same thing – thanks Simon Philip and Lucia Gaggiotti (Templar Publishing). This book made me grin from ear to ear and laugh out loud once or twice. A very determined little girl features on its front cover and she really does want cake – she is determined to get some. So open up and read on and find out just what happens when that something you really want is just, almost, out of reach – or is it?

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