And thus we find ourselves at (or very close to) the final term of the year. I hope that you have managed to carve out some time for rest and rejuvenation – whatever that looks like for you – before you tackle Term 4. Hopefully this term you also have the time to share some of the abundance of new books that are heading out into the world before the end of the year.
For those people who have names that originate in a language other than English, having their name mispronounced can be not only frustrating, but hurtful. In Say My Name, Joanna Ho (Eyes That Kiss in the Corners) explores the rich history that can exist behind names from non-English speaking cultures. In stunning verse we meet children from across the world who introduce themselves by name and describe the way their name links them to family and traditions that are an integral part of who they are. Accompanying illustrations are vivid and full of details which reflect each child’s culture. At the end of the book there is a pronunciation guide and history of the origin of each name. A beautiful picture book with an important message at its heart.
Ask someone how they know Matt Lucas, and you could get an answer that ranges from Doctor Who to The Great British Bake Off or a series of prank and joke books to Les Misérables; he is truly a man with many strings to his bow. The Boy Who Slept Through Christmas adds another string with Lucas’ debut children’s novel. Leo loves Christmas, and he’s determined that this year Christmas will be P.E.R.F.E.C.T., even if he has to do all the work himself, because Mum, his usual co-conspirator in Christmas cheer, is no longer around to help. But everything goes wrong, despite Leo trying his absolute best, and in a strange dream (or is it?) wishes that Christmas be cancelled! Turns out that you really should be careful what you wish for, because the next thing that Leo knows, it’s Boxing Day and he’s slept through Christmas. As Leo sets out to right his wrong, he discovers a lot about finding the light in the dark and how to be kind to himself as well as those around him. The book includes QR Codes to access music that Lucas has composed and recorded specially for the novel to make this an interactive experience that lends itself to shared reading.
While Shakespeare didn’t come up with the stories for all (or even most!) of his plays, it is those stories that are a significant part of the reason why we continue to study and perform his work to this day. In Michael Morpurgo’s Tales from Shakespeare, ten of the most popular of these stories have been rewritten as prose for a modern audience with each one accompanied by illustrations from a different artist. Morpurgo is well known for his ability to write for children in a way that is both accessible and sensitive, and this collection is no different. This is a wonderful collection of stories to add to your library, as well as a great introduction to Shakespeare to familiarise children before studying or watching one of his works.