There are many prizes that recognise brilliant writing for young people - but the Teach Primary Book Awards, hosted in association with the literacy resources website Plazoom, is unique in highlighting titles that not only will children love to read, but that will also support learning - for example, by opening up opportunities for deeper discussion and encouraging language play. Selected by a panel of judges including well loved authors and literacy experts, these are books that teachers can confidently suggest to parents and share with pupils; perfect for exploring in the classroom as well as enjoying at home.
Young children are by nature curious about the world and how everything works, and this highly visual and beautifully designed picture book wonderfully explains some difficult scientific concepts by putting them in the context first of animals and nature and then of daily human lives. It also highlights how much of our learning comes from our senses and the challenge which Invisible Nature takes on so brilliantly is to explain things that we cannot see, feel, touch, hear or smell and yet which are a fundamental part of our everyday life. These include electromagnetism, microwaves, ultrasound, infrasound, ultra- violet and scents ( those that are beyond human perception but not that of an ant or an albatross) The author has declared her passion for presenting ‘ big issues for small people’ and the clarity of the text is well matched here by the colourful and detailed illustrations and page designs which engage and lead the eye through the explanation. One of the most fascinating images is at the end of the book where we see a human body and the impacts upon it of these invisible forces and you can see that some things pass through the body completely undetected – cosmic microwaves, radio waves and electromagnetism from the Earth. The reader will be awed and inspired to learn, for example, about ultra violet lichen which enable reindeer to find food in the dark Arctic winter or the magnetic map that migratory birds hold in their heads or be terrified by piranhas’ use of infrared to detect prey in murky waters. While the use of ultrasound by bats may be familiar it had certainly not occurred to this reader that this was how automatic doors function. This brilliant and enticing information book will attract a wide readership and certainly deserves a place in every library.
- Joy Court (LoveReading4Schools)
Each title has been chosen, not only for its outstanding aesthetic appeal and sheer enjoyability, but also because of its potential to support learning both inside the classroom and beyond. These are books that teachers will be able to recommend confidently to children and their parents, as well as use for inspirational classroom activities.