This illustration from the wonderful book On A Magical Do-Nothing Day, Beatrice Alemagne lent itself to a highly practical lesson today.
Children plunged their hands into bowls of mud with roots, seeds, oily spaghetti (‘worms’), plastic insects and stones to get their creative juices flowing – some even volunteered to do it blindfolded!
We look forward to writing poems inspired by the experience tomorrow.
Well done to all of our students in years 5 and 6 who have been avidly reading the 15 books in the longlist of these awards. The votes from all schools have been counted and submitted to Redbridge Library Service and we can now reveal the 5 titles that made the shortlist!
The choices of the Borough as a whole reflected those of Wells’ children who found these five titles equally entertaining and riveting.
The reading will now continue to find an overall winner!
We have a fabulous selection of popular titles at our annual Book Fair on 13th, 14th, 15th and 19th March in the school hall.
Bring along your pocket money and World Book Day token from 2.45pm – 3.15pm and browse the shelves. You can see all the titles on offer in the photos below.
Save money! Discounts are available at https://bookfairs.scholastic.co.uk/travelling-books/parents
We are delighted to announce our very first book award for the children in Years 3 and 4. There are 14 exciting books in the longlist, carefully chosen to engage and extend the children’s reading practice and to cater for all tastes and interests. The diverse range includes the genres of adventure, mystery, fantasy, poetry, biography and realistic fiction. Children will find books containing letter-writing giraffes, a wounded wolf, a dad who wants to fly and beetles galore but embedded within the stories are powerful themes such as friendship, mental health, campaign for change, refugees, empathy, grief, dyslexia and autism.
We recently introduced the Redbridge Children’s Book Award to Years 5 and 6 and the response has been overwhelming with some children managing to read as many as 10 books in the first two weeks! We are therefore very excited to be able to offer the same opportunity to Years 3 and 4 and look forward to finding out what they think of the books we have chosen.
See the longlist with a short synopsis of each title here.
We would love to know your thoughts, why not leave a comment? Thank you.
Please follow @BooksMrs for news on children’s books and reading.
Every so often, we are fortunate to meet someone who guides us to look at our world afresh and the memory of meeting them is so powerful that their message lingers for years to come. Today, the children in years 5 and 6 met Onjali Rauf who is so much more than an author of a (as it happens, pacy and hard to put down) children’s book but also a beacon of altruism. We are all richer from meeting her and I think her visit will become one of the lasting memories from the children’s primary school years.
The idea for her debut novel, The Boy at the Back of the Class, was inspired by her visits to the refugee camps in France. Onjali candidly shared her experiences of meeting individuals facing dejection and despair after losing their homes through war and persecution. Through the telling of life-stories of real people, she helped the children to understand what a refugee is and how they have no choice but to flee their home country through fear for their lives. I will admit that I had to concentrate hard on my notebook at times to contain my feelings and I was proud of how mature and sensitive our children were in their responses.
It was a treat to hear Onjali read from her book; so many of the children have picked it up in their independent reading and were rapt to hear the story retold by its author. The stillness in the hall for those moments was magical. The children had many questions which were patiently and fully answered. We now know how old she is (37), what inspired her to start writing (being ill for several months in hospital but keen to make a difference), her favourite books as a child (Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Black Beauty, Charlotte’s Web) and her first story (aged 6, a horse transformed into a unicorn)!
Her advice for budding authors? Never stop writing. Keep reading. It’s as simple as that!
Mrs Oshungbure @BooksMrs
The Boy at the Back of the Class, Onjali Rauf.
“There are never any rules,
rights or wrongs in imagining – imagining just is.”
The children in Key Stage 1 have just come to the end of studying The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski and we have been reflecting on the amazing journey it has taken us on. The key theme was of imagination and the children’s was caught beautifully through the intricate illustrations. They were quickly hooked into looking for the seemingly endless tiny details.
The story begins with a little girl being lent a special book by her teacher. As she excitedly runs home all of the words fall out. She is crestfallen and her disappointment was shared by the class as we began to read the book. However, she soon hears a small voice whisper that she can imagine her own words and stories. Here begins her magical journey of learning how to write stories – and ours in classes 1,2 and 3 as well.
We have crossed enchanted lands and completed many challenges in our quest to become better writers over the last few weeks. We have learned some of Aesop’s fables, found facts about bees and foxes and even rehearsed poetry by Longfellow (who you may remember from your own school days – he wrote the Hiawatha poem). The children have been inspired to write monologues, diary entries, prayers, invitations, menus, letters and – of course – their own stories. It has been a great pleasure to see the children take to heart the message that there “are no rights or wrongs in imagining”; their confidence as creative writers has soared.
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We are pleased to be taking part in this year’s award to select the favourite children’s book from a shortlist provided by Redbridge Library. The list includes 15 titles that will particularly appeal to readers aged 8 and above. The full list can be found here under Children’s Long List.
We would love as many children – and parents – as possible to take part by reading any of the shortlisted books and letting us know their opinion. Please send any reviews of the books for the attention of Mrs Oshungbure who will be collating them; be sure to award the books marks out of 10 so that we can assess each title’s popularity.
Redbridge Children’s Book Award Nominees
Boy Underwater, Adam Baron
Secrets of a Sun King, Emma Carroll
Jelly, Jo Cotterill
Tin, Padraig Kenny
Gabriel and the Phantom Sleepers, Jenny Nimmo
The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree, Paola Peretti
The Boy at the Back of the Class, Onjali Rauf
The Book Case, Dave Shelton
I Swapped my Brother on the Internet, Jo Simmons
Night Speakers, Ali Sparkes
Child I, Steve Tasane
The Light Jar, Lisa Thompson
The Last Chance Hotel, Nicki Thornton
The Lost Magician, Piers Torday
The 1,000 Year Old Boy, Ross Welford
Do you love adventure books? Fast-paced, exciting ones that scoop you up at the beginning and spin you into their mysterious world like a magical web but – all too soon – thrillingly spit you out at the end, feeling exhilarated and yearning for more? Great, you’re in the right place…
Even the most reluctant reader would find Beetle Boy difficult to put down. This is a detective story with brave characters so well-drawn that you will find yourself wishing they were your friends. If you are a lover of the repugnant villains to be found in Roald Dahl and David Walliams’ stories, then you will find Lucretia Cutter a wonderfully imagined character equally dreadful and dastardly!
The backdrop of heroic beetles is original and I was fascinated to learn more about this species; the author has clearly thoroughly researched and grown to love them. I found myself sneaking in a few pages of this fabulous book at the oddest times just so that I could find out what happened next. As the book concluded, I didn’t want to leave the wondrous world MG Leonard had created. Thankfully, Beetle Boy is the first of a trilogy and I have now enjoyed all three titles – each as mysterious and well-written as the first. You are in for a treat!
The brilliant follow up to David Walliams’ bestseller The World’s Worst Children. A hilarious book that has a gang of mischievous children and plenty of monstrous tantrums! In this book, you will see that there are not only nice boys and girls in the world but also beastly boys and gruesome girls. With a chapter for each child’s story, my favourites were Humbert the Hungry Baby and Spoiled Brad. We are lucky that these two horrible characters are not real or we would be in big trouble!
This would make an ideal birthday or Christmas present. David Walliams’ writing won’t just make you giggle, it will make you laugh your heart out!
One of my favourite books!
This book has thrilling action, sadness, happiness, excitement and romance. It is perfect because it has cliff hangers and ends with page turners. I chose this book in a library just by reading the blurb and read up to two chapters a day.
It is about a boy called Callum who lives on a farm. He spots a girl who is trying to catch a fish and manages it first try; she is called Iona. She becomes one of Callum’s best friends but unfortunately his other two friends make fun of Iona and Callum struggles to manage these relationships. Iona has a secret that she can’t trust anyone else with but Callum – she has found an osprey nesting on the farm.
Iona sadly passes away with summer ‘flu leaving Callum feeling desperately lost. He finds comfort in caring for the osprey and this leads him to make unlikely friendships all the way in Africa! I would recommend reading this book because it helps you when you have sad times in life and you can’t take advice from anyone else. I enjoyed this book and class it as one of my favourites.