Books about books, reading and the power of language are often favourites with teachers, librarians and bibliophiles everywhere. This month’s selection of titles happens to include books that explore these ideas and use language in innovative ways to engage their audience.
As most of you will know, introducing even very young babies to books and reading to them is one of the most effective things we can do to improve their literacy over the long term. Little Book Baby is the perfect way to introduce books to small children, featuring as it does a baby who loves books! The reader follows Book Baby across the day as they experience a variety of interactions based around books; from waking up with a story and a cuddle to singing along to a rhyming book, through to playing with a pop-up book and a soothing story before bed. With a simple rhyme scheme and vibrant illustrations, Little Book Baby is a lovely way to share a love of books with one or many children.
In Words Between Us, we meet Felix and his grandmother. When Grandma comes to America from Vietnam to visit Felix’s family, he delights in teaching her about his world, including the most important thing of all – pizza! But when they’re out one day, Felix loses Grandma, and her lack of English makes it very difficult for her to find him again. When they return home, they decide it’s time for Grandma to learn some English, and this shared activity proves a wonderful way for them to spend time together, particularly when Grandma introduces Felix to Vietnamese pizza! This is a heartwarming story about how a shared love of food and learning can bring people of all ages together, and the way love is a language of its own.
Red, White, and Whole is a stunning verse-novel about love, loss and finding a way to keep going when the worst happens. Reha’s name means star, although her world revolves around her parents. Being an only child of Indian heritage, but born and raised in America, Reha both loves her parents and feels confined by their expectations. When her mother is too tired to make her a dress for the school dance, Reha is so excited at the prospect of not having to wear something home-made that she doesn’t stop to consider why her previously energetic mother is so lethargic. Then comes the worst news: Amma has cancer. A weight of expectation falls again onto Reha, but this time Reha has placed it there herself. Over the following months, Reha learns the true meaning of heroism, and that friendship and understanding can be found in the most unexpected places. This is an amazing book, which has deservingly won many accolades since release. Teaching resources can be found here.