Friday, 6 August 2010

Journalism: Book Reviews

Primary Times, June-July 2010.

The Babysitters Club: The Summer Before

176 million readers can’t be wrong. The Summer Before is a lively account of how three girls find friendship through a simple hobby: babysitting. When new girl Stacey arrives on the scene, the trio soon hear of her own enthusiasm for watching over youngsters. Four girls, one passion and masses of motivation can mean only one thing: the beginnings of the Babysitters Club. Kirsty Thomas takes the reader through a fun and energetic account of a summer of discovery and camaraderie in this engaging summer read.

The Babysitters Club: The Summer Before by Ann M Martin is published by Scholastic in paperback. £5.99. www.scholastic.co.uk


Warning! Aliens are Invading the School!

Playing on every schoolboy’s fantasy, Warning! Aliens are Invading the School! gets the imagination going and the belly laughing.
Tapping into the influx of reality television, Capparucci keeps his book modern and entertaining as Jordan, Boy Dave and Ryan learn what really lies behind the fad. The witty banter that bounces between the characters will keep readers amused for hours, so expect a request or two for the next title in the Warning! series.

Warning! Aliens are Invading the School! by Dinah Capparucci is published by Scholastic in paperback. £5.99. www.scholastic.co.uk


An Elephant in the Garden

The Dresden bombings of 1944 might not be the most obvious setting for an adventure involving an elephant. But An Elephant in the Garden is so much more than that; readers join Elizabeth, Karli and their mother as they flee for their lives through their devastated home. Landscapes come to life, emotions are awakened and characters turn into friends, thanks to Morpurgo’s moving words and Foreman’s beautiful illustrations.

An Elephant in the Room by Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman is published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in hardback. £12.99. www.harpercollinschildrens.com

My First Farm

With summer daytrips on the cards for every parent, My First Farm is a simple but potent means of reinforcing those experiences. With colourful photographs, easy-grip picture tabs and informative snips of text, this pre-school board book invites your toddler to investigate the world of farming and animals. Its interactive questions encourage them to discuss the pages with their parents and gives them a fantastic opportunity to learn about their environment.

My First Farm is published by DK in board back. £5.99. www.dorlingkindersley-uk.co.uk


Primary School: A Parent’s Guide

School can be an exciting, daunting or challenging time for children, but parents have to deal with the stresses of school just as much as their children. Kim Thomas has compiled this guide to aid parents through the process of primary schooling, covering the basics and explaining the intricacies of education. It advises readers on selecting and applying to schools before clarifying curriculum, the key stage system, assessments and SATs. Full of vital information for first, second or even third time round parents, Primary School: A Parent’s Guide is a valuable addition to Need2Know’s repertoire.

Primary School: A Parent’s Guide by Kim Thomas is published by Need2Know in paperback. £9.99. www.need2know.co.uk/


The Greatest Intergalactic Guide to Space Ever

This guide to space takes readers on a light-hearted but educational tour of our solar system that will amuse and inform young and old alike. With its entertaining accounts of the origins of our planet, the formation of stars, extra terrestrial life and time travel, it avoids boring scientific lectures and successfully captures the imagination. Its colourful layout keeps text to a minimum and leaves room for vivid diagrams and engaging characters to bring lessons to life.

The Greatest Intergalactic Guide to Space Ever by Carole Stott, Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar is published by DK in hardback. £12.99. www.dorlingkindersley-uk.co.uk/

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