Mini reviews: perfect for younger readers

Good morning everyone!

I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe! We’re still in lockdown here in England, but that doesn’t mean life has to be joy-less. I’ve had the joy of reading a lot of brilliant books recently (although I’m gonna be honest… November has not been a productive reading month at all!).

Today, I’m sharing some books that are perfect for the younger readers in life – from books for 5 year olds to maybe 8 year olds? (For being a teacher, I’m terrible at this kind of thing… I’m more of a ‘let them try it and see how they go’ kinda gal)

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Ben Miller – The Day I Fell Into A Fairytale

“Lana loves stories. Especially the ones she and her brother, Harrison, share in their make-believe games. But when Harrison decides he’s too grown-up to play with Lana she finds herself feeling lonely. Until something magical happens… Hidden in the strange new supermarket in town, Lana discovers a portal to a fairytale world! But these aren’t the happy-ever-after fairytales that Lana knows, they are darker and more dangerous, and the characters need Lana’s help to defeat an evil witch. But she can’t do it alone. Can she convince Harrison to believe in stories again and journey to the world with her… before it’s too late?”

The brilliant and gorgeous people of Simon and Shuster Kids sent this to me recently and it had been singing to me from my TBR pile until I couldn’t resist it any longer… and let me tell you, it’s just lush! A brilliant story told with charm and delight. This is the joy of familiar fairy tales interwoven with a magical supermarket and a gorgeous main character. I loved how this was paced and written… plus there’s some gorgeous illustrations! Yay for a mention of Rumplestiltskin (the best of the fairytales IMO). I loved Lana and Harrison’s relationship – you can’t beat a good brother/sister relationship in my opinion. This will go down well in a Y3/4 class! I can’t wait for this to go to school and be handed over to them – I think they’ll love it!

Andrea Beaty – Sofia Valdez and the Vanishing Vote

“Miss Lila Greer announces it’s time for Grade Two to get a class pet, and she wants the kids to participate in choosing which one. After all, they will all have to share the responsibility of caring for it. The class narrows it down to two options: Team Turtle and Team Bird. Sofia is named Election Commissioner, in charge of overseeing a fair and honest election between the two teams. There’s a class-wide campaign, complete with posters, articles, and speeches. Then it’s time for the election! But when the votes are counted, there’s a tie, and one vote is missing. How will the class break the tie? And what happened to the vanishing vote?”

This is another I was sent by the brilliant publishers and I read this on the run up to the US election… and let me tell you, there is no more perfect time for this to be read than before the election (or any election; it doesn’t need to be the US election!). This is another brilliant book from the Questioneers (if you don’t know the Questioneers, please please get on it. This group of characters and the things they love fill me with so so much joy!). I loved that this one dealt with the importance of voting through something as simple as a class pet. You can’t beat these books for introducing kids to big ideas in ways which are accessible to them! Democracy can be a scary thing, but when it’s introduced like this, it’s no biggie! Sofia is a gorgeous main character and I love how much she cares. Gorgeously illustrated throughout too! This has already been handed over to our Y2 class, and I know they’ve had a read of it and loved it!

Squishy McFluff: On With The Show – Pip Jones

“Ava and Squishy are going to see the circus, but when one of the acts doesn’t turn up they must perform in his place!”

I have never read a Squishy McFluff book, but now that I’ve read this, I need to read more. I do love me a cat book, and I love a circus book too… so this was perfect reading for me! When I read this, I was totally taken by it: it was pretty darn cute! A trip to the circus and a missing performer! When tragedy strikes and the show must go on, who can we rely upon to help!? Of course we know who will stand in. This has a brilliant rhyming structure and gorgeous illustrations! This will be great in KS1! There’s so much joy in this book!

Midnight Magic – Michelle Harrison

“In the middle of winter, three kittens are born in a barn. Two are ordinary, but the third, jet black and born on the stroke of midnight, is brimming with magic from whiskers to tail – even sparking life into a dusty old broomstick! While her siblings pounce at rats, Midnight perfects her flying skills on the broom, not noticing how her mother disapproves of her magical ways… When Midnight finds herself abandoned, the little black kitten sets out to find a new home with only her loyal broom Twiggy at her side. The pair soon befriend a kind-hearted girl called Trixie. But how will Trixie’s family react to Midnight’s extraordinary powers and taste for mischief?”

The brilliant loves of Little Tiger sent this to me. I’d had my eye on it for a long time because I’m a MASSIVE Michelle Harrison fan! When I knew this was coming out, I knew it would be perfect for our younger readers in school and I couldn’t have been more right! This is lush – a magical little kitten and what happens when he finds a friend and does some magic! I loved the rhyming of this and I’d LOVE my own black cat (especially if it were magical!!). This is perfect for children beginning to read chapter books. The illustrations by Elissa Elwick are wonderful. I bet this would make a lovely read aloud to a Year 1/2 class!

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And that’s it for today! Thank you so much for stopping by!

What have you read recently?
What’s on your TBR?
Recommend me a book that you’ve love recently for younger readers!

S x

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