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Helping Our Planet

Helping Our Planet

Helping Our Planet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helping Our Planet

Jane Bingham

Usborne, 2020

240pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

9781474982764

As our students become more independent they start to hear the message about the plight of the planet more loudly and realise that even though they are still young, there is much they can do as individuals to contribute to the solution rather than the problem.

Focusing on issues such as saving energy, reducing waste, cutting down on plastic, water conservation, shopping and travelling thoughtfully and caring for the planet’s plants and creatures., this book presents more in-depth information that respects the reader’s growing maturity and understanding.  It includes a section on how they can make their voice heard so others take notice so rather than just becoming aware of the issue, they understand that they can also take action on a broader scale. 

By this age, students will also have a feeling for which particular area attracts them the most, so the accompanying Quicklinks  also offer a way forward for greater awareness an action. 

With information in manageable chunks alongside lots of illustrations, this is one for those who are ready to take their journey to the next step.  

Mama Ocean

Mama Ocean

Mama Ocean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mama Ocean

Jane Jolly

Sally Heinrich

Midnight Sun, 2020

32pp., hbk., RRP $A29.99

9781925227659

On the surface the ocean was a silver mirror, but deep below, Mama Ocean rose from the seabed and called her children to her for she was sad, distressed and unwell. To cheer her up all the creatures brought her gifts of the amazing things they had found swirling in the currents – bags, straws, bottles, cans. toys, nets, all manner of things that were shiny and bright. But nothing helped Mama Ocean to cheer up and start feeling well again.  As she gasped for breath, the creatures realised that all the finery they thought was pretty was fake and it was what was killing her.  And they hatched a plan, one that had extraordinary consequences…

This is the companion story to Papa Sky, and it is equally as powerful and poignant with its message about the plight of the planet. Visually stunning with so much of the message conveyed in the illustrations, the reader cannot fail to understand what Jolly and Heinrich are trying to say and portray. 

A peek inside...

A peek inside…

If COVID-19 was the circuit breaker that the planet needed then it is stop-you-in-your-tracks stories like this that will hopefully persuade all of us to look at the ocean through a new lens, not as something sparkling that stretches forever and thus just a vast dumping ground, but something that is vital to the health of the planet and its inhabitants, whether we live by the sea or not.  Teaching notes are available.

HOPE: 50 Ways to Help Our Planet Every Day

HOPE: 50 Ways to Help Our Planet Every Day

HOPE: 50 Ways to Help Our Planet Every Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOPE: 50 Ways to Help Our Planet Every Day

Puffin Books, 2020

176pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

9781760896737

After the disastrous couple of years that have plagued Australia with droughts, bushfires and floods, and the impact on the environment that not only these have caused but also the healing that has happened because of global lockdowns, the health of the planet has never been in greater focus. 

Beginning with a poem that is a plea from Solli Raphael for each of us to be better and do better, this is a handbook of 50 ideas to enable to do just that as individuals.  But is more than the usual tips and tricks as it includes case studies from Australian kids, practical tips and easy activities that can involve your school, family and community that make a difference from using coffee grounds from cafés for compost to starting a school swap shop to recycle toys and books that have been outgrown. Some of the ideas are probably already familiar but there are some that are new and novel, helping each of us to understand that no one is too small to make a difference and we all need to keep learning and educating ourselves to be better. The case studies themselves are fascinating as they are Australian  stories and show the theory in practice so it’s not just somebody’s dream.

While not particularly flash and gaudy in its appearance – itself being a green publication – this is such a practical guide to help individuals make just small changes in their lifestyle that can have a huge impact.  Helping students start to view their world through a more protective lens so that it just becomes the norm is one of the most positive things teachers can offer for their positive future.

Kookaburra

Kookaburra

Kookaburra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kookaburra

Clare Saxby

Tannya Harricks

Walker Books, 2020

32pp., hbk., RRP $A26.99

9781760651060

Dawn and in a line on a limb, Kookaburra and her family greet the rising sun with their distinctive call, harsh at times but more melodious than any alarm clock.  After welcoming the daylight hours, they go their separate ways in search of food, using their keen eyesight to spot even the most elusive snack.  But it is nesting season and after being presented with a delicious morsel by her lifelong mate, they go in search of a new tree hollow in which to lay their eggs.  But despite looking at a lot of new real estate, they return to their old home even though they have to defend it and the surrounding territory from intruders. And as the shadows grow longer and dusk falls, once again there is a line on a limb and that familiar sound bids the world goodnight.

There is no more iconic sound of the Australian bush than the laugh of the kookaburra – even though it varies according to circumstance and season and is never actually directed at something amusing – and in this latest addition to the narrative non-fiction Nature Storybook series that opens the world of Australia’s fauna to young readers by telling the story of one creature and accompanying it with facts about the species in general, Saxby and Harricks have captured both the sound, sight and antics of this stunning bird perfectly. 

Saxby, also the author of Big Red Kangaroo, Emu,  Koala  and Dingo (also illustrated by Harricks) brings her ability to create pictures with her words to create magic on the tongue, while Harricks has captured the colours and the contours of the bush in oils with her bold strokes and beautiful palette. This book is going to a family for whom the kookaburra was the favourite of their recently-passed Nonna and it will be the perfect memorial.  

All The Science You Need To Know By Age 7

All The Science You Need To Know By Age 7

All The Science You Need To Know By Age 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All The Science You Need To Know By Age 7

Katie Daynes

Stefano Tognetti

Usborne, 2020

80pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99

9781474968966

Little people always have lots of questions about the world around them – it’s how they find out how it works.  Often the answers to those questions lie in quite profound science and relate to topics like plants. animals, materials, time., weather, forces and energy, all of which are gathered together with others in this single volume that provides the basic answers beginning with the premise that a scientist is one “who studies the world around us”  and therefore anyone can be one using their powers of observation and some simple tools.

Author Katie Daynes is a specialist in answering questions about science for young people and so you can be assured that the information in the book is pitched at just the right level and offered in a format that is accessible and appealing. As well as the colour-coded sections there are also a glossary and an index, both supporting early information literacy skills as students learn to navigate non fiction texts efficiently and effectively. And, as is common with publications from Usborne, there  are curated quicklinks which provide further information to support further questions.

As National Science Week gets underway this is an ideal text to capitalise on children’s natural curiosity, demystify what science is and open up a whole new world at the same time.  Perhaps an interest piqued today will be the knowledge that defeats a pandemic tomorrow. 

Big City Atlas

Big City Atlas

Big City Atlas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big City Atlas

Maggie Li

Pavilion, 2020

64pp., pbk., RRP $A24.99

9781843654599

During this pandemic the world seems to have shrunk as nightly news bulletins bring the tales of heartache from the world’s major cities into our lounge rooms.  Even though we can no longer visit the cities that are becoming household names even to our younger readers, we can join Penguin on this adventure as he journeys around the world getting involved in the activities they have to offer. 

Cities visited include San Francisco, Mexico City, Chicago, Toronto, New York, Washington DC, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Dublin, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Rome, Madrid, Cairo, Istanbul, Cape Town, Dubai, Mumbai, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Auckland and the reader is invited to spot Penguin on the pages.

With the information provided in speech bubble chunks, this is an engaging book that will interest and intrigue all budding young jetsetters – who may actually be able to travel by the time they grow up!  

A peek inside...

A peek inside…

The Blue Giant

The Blue Giant

The Blue Giant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blue Giant

Katie Cottle

Pavilion, 2020

32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

9781843654513

Meera and her mother are planning on a day at the seaside, something they’ve done before often.  But this time they are greeted by a large blue giant who beckons them to follow him beneath the waves and see the problems of the ocean creatures that have been caused by human laziness and degradation. Both learn valuable lessons and although they do their best, it is a job too big for one, so it’s time to call on family and friends for help. 

As warmer days approach and the lure of the beach becomes stronger, this is a poignant and timely picture book that introduces children to the issues of pollution, waste management and the oceans, with suggestions of lifestyle changes to help the world become a better, cleaner place. As the worldwide lockdown because of the pandemic has provided the planet with a brief breathing space and shown that it can heal given help and time, perhaps this story will help students start to see their favourite place through a new lens as they consider what they can do (or not) to contribute to the health of this vital resource.  

That’s Not My Narwhal

That’s Not My Narwhal

That’s Not My Narwhal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s Not My Narwhal

Fiona Watt

Usborne, 2020

10pp., board book. RRP $A14.99

9781474972109

A little board book in this popular series that encourages children to explore both language through its repetitive text and their sense of touch through its textured patches actually has the potential to appeal to a much wider audience as students get ready to enjoy the 2020 Book Week theme of Curious Creatures, Wild Minds. 

This almost mythical creature, which actually lives in the cold waters of Greenland, Canada, and Russia is rapidly becoming the “creature-du-jour” with young readers looking for something more exotic than the unicorn which has become a bit ho-hum.  So even though this book in this popular series explores why none of the five narwhals depicted is the reader’s narwhal, the question that begs to be answered is, “What IS a narwhal?”, a question that could spark an interesting investigation and perhaps lead to a presentation entitled This is My Narwhal satisfying the Critical and Creative Thinking outcomes of the Inquiry strand, as they pose questions to identify, explore and organise information and ideas. 

I love discovering books written for littlies that have application across the ages and this is surely one of them, and a most timely release. 

Puffin Littles (series)

Puffin Littles

Puffin Littles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puffin Littles

Snacks

9781760897000

Composting

9781760897017

The Solar System

9781760897031

The ANZACs 

9781760897024 (Sept 2020)

Robotics

9781760897680 (Sept 2020)

The Ocean

9781760897666 (Sept 2020)

96pp., pbk., RRP $A12.99

 

A familiar symbol in and on children’s literature for 80 years, Puffin introduces our young readers to a whole range of interesting information in this new series of non fiction titles, the perfect size for little hands. In them, he talks directly to the reader sharing information in manageable chunks in a layout that not only appeals but also supports their reading skills and their interests.

Little Cook: Snacks focuses on the fundamentals of cooking and preparing food; Little Environmentalist: Composting teaches them about composting and recycling to make a difference while Little Scientist: The Solar System takes them on a journey around the planets. Planned for September are three more which explore the ocean, robotics and the ANZACs. 

Not all children like to read fiction and so this series caters for both the newly independent reader and those who are almost there using its narrative style voiced by that iconic character to offer more than just a book of facts and figures. The contents page to help them navigate to a specific page and the glossary to build and explain vocabulary help develop those early information literacy skills while the quiz on the final page consolidates what has been learned.

Young readers will appreciate this series because there has clearly been a lot of thought put into addressing their unique needs as emerging readers as well as tapping into subjects that appeal. 

 

In the City

In the City

In the City

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the City

Holly James

Hannah Tolson

Bloomsbury, 2020

32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

9781526616241

Lucy and Oscar discover there are so many things to see and do in the city , starting with the train ride into the centre, visiting building, picnicking in the park, going on a bus ride and exploring the shops. In this interactive, look and find book, young readers are encouraged to use their observational skills to discover a wide range of elements featured in the illustrations, perhaps even compare and contrast them with what their own experiences of a city excursion. For those who do not live in a city, it helps develop the concept of city life and build vocabulary about what is there, setting them up to transfer this knowledge to other stories  that are set in cities so they have greater understanding, predictability and success with their reading. 

Books like this play a valuable role in helping children’s visual acuity as they search for items, while underscoring the need to search the illustrations for the detail because it is often something that is embedded in them that explains the text, or perhaps contradicts it. They learn that reading is so much more than decoding words. 

One for early readers as well as those learning English as they spot familiar objects and learn the names in their new language.