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On bunnies, magic and the genius of Mini Grey…The Bad Bunnies’ Magic Show

Martin Galway suggests that some especially badly behaved rabbits might just deserve a second chance, and a place in your library, in this review of Mini Grey’s latest picturebook.

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Book Review Round-up

Sabrina Wright, Michelle Nicholson and Penny Slater share a little of what they have been reading and enjoying recently.

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HfL Primary English newsletter Spring 2017

Here we are again.   A new term.  A new year.  We hope that you have had a lovely Christmas break and that the new term has begun as smoothly as possible for you all.   With this in mind, we thought we’d share our latest-hfl-primary-english-newsletter-spring-2017as swiftly as possible, especially as it is such a short half term.

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Take One Book: Ready for action with Traction Man

Penny Slater is Deputy Lead Adviser on the Primary English team at Herts for Learning.

If you haven’t yet found your passion for children’s literature, then Traction Man is the text that will set you on the road to discovering what all the fuss is about. Put simply, Traction Man is one of those books that prove just how exciting children’s literature can be.

Continue reading “Take One Book: Ready for action with Traction Man”

A book (is) for life (not just for Christmas): Back to Marianne Dreams

Following on from our recent blog on books that trigger emotional responses, Alison Dawkins offers some reflections on one such book that has left a lingering trace.

A few weeks ago, my chum Martin  wrote about the importance of reading scary and sad books , as adults and as children, and as usual, got me thinking. Specifically, thinking again about Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr .

He’s quite right, when he mentioned the book back in the summer, I visibly shuddered with a ‘oh, that book’s so scary’, (although I have to say there was already a set of six copies in the guided reading choices for Y6 in my old school, ready and waiting to scare them each year) and agreed to re-read. Oddly, I found that I’d misremembered the ending, and then in fact, realised I’d misremembered it before. A deliberate trick of my subconscious because I still find it quite unsettling for all its apparently happy tying up of ends? I wonder.

Continue reading “A book (is) for life (not just for Christmas): Back to Marianne Dreams”

Book review: ‘I Yam a Donkey’ Story, pictures, and bad grammar by Cece

Jane Andrews is a Teaching and Learning Adviser for English at Herts for Learning

Don’t worry you is reading it correctly; it isn’t a typo.  It’s the title of a book that Marylyn Brocklehurst of the Norfolk Children’s Book Centre introduced me to and, I yam delighted.

Continue reading “Book review: ‘I Yam a Donkey’ Story, pictures, and bad grammar by Cece”

Book Review:What to do with a dog called Fred!

A review of Fred, by Mick and Chloe Inkpen (Hodder) – by Penny Slater

(cover art used by kind permission)

As a teacher, I appreciate children’s books on many levels. Sometimes I appreciate a book simply because it has a good tale to tell and I can imagine recommending it to children, or their parents, as a good book to share at bedtime, or as an engaging independent read; sometimes I appreciate a book because I can imagine recommending it to a teacher as a great class read-aloud. Sometimes I appreciate a book because it offers me a way of tackling a tricky teaching point. And then sometimes a book comes along that offers all of these enticing opportunities all rolled into one! Thank you therefore Mick and Chloe Inkpen for creating ‘Fred’.

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Digging for spelling treasure with ‘The Pirate Cruncher’ by Jonny Duddle (KS1 / catch-up).

Kirsten Snook is an English Teaching and Learning Adviser for HfL

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What a treasure trove of writing opportunities unfurls from this book! The creator of the award-winning picture book ‘The Pirates Next Door’, weaves in so many print features and detailed artwork that there will be something to capture even the most reluctant readers, and to give them reasons to write. Continue reading “Digging for spelling treasure with ‘The Pirate Cruncher’ by Jonny Duddle (KS1 / catch-up).”

Opening Doors to Famous Poetry and Prose – Ideas and resources for accessing literary heritage works.

Opening Doors to Famous Poetry and Prose – Ideas and resources for accessing literary heritage works.

Bob Cox

Crown House Publishing Limited, 2014, £19.99

open Doors

Review by Martin Galway, English  Teaching and Learning Adviser for HfL

Opening Doors …Accessing literary heritage. It shouldn’t prove too difficult to ascertain the intention of this highly practical, richly-resourced book: how to enable our pupils to explore and learn from classic texts that provide a high level of challenge.  In simpler terms, how we might design literature-based lessons with high challenge/low threat and a great deal of interest and intrigue.  Featured poets  include Charlotte Mew, Edward Thomas, and Emily Dickinson.  Authors include Dickens, H.G.Wells, Bram Stoker and Charlotte Bronte. Continue reading “Opening Doors to Famous Poetry and Prose – Ideas and resources for accessing literary heritage works.”

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