I review quite a lot of children’s books here on Linda’s Book Bag, partly because I used to teach English, partly because I used to write teacher resources for one of the big publishing houses for their KS3 books and partly because I was a late reader as a child as no-one had worked out I couldn’t actually see properly so it’s lovely to experience children’s books now!
Those reasons are why it gives me enormous pleasure to feature EK Books. They have excellent books for children and loads of great teacher’s notes and ideas on their website to go with them, as well as vidoes and other resources. Today I am reviewing three books recently published; Courageous Lucy, Tomorrow Girl and Turning Cartwheels. My thanks to Kirsten Knight for sending them to me for honest review.
Each of the books is brilliantly designed and produced in large size so that they can be used for shared or guided reading. Covers are strong and vibrant with a glossy finish that adds a luxurious feeling too.
Lucy worries about everything and she worries a lot. She’s so skilled at worrying that she worries about new and interesting things no one else even thinks about!
When a school musical is announced, Lucy wants to be part of it but is scared try out. Then, her teacher finds a part especially for her. Lucy stands proud and tall to be the best tree she can, even as her knees knock and her tummy ties in knots. Lucy’s bravery will show children everywhere that it’s okay to be worried, and they can still embrace opportunities!
Courageous Lucy is available for purchase in all the usual places including directly from EK Books.
My Review of Courageous Lucy
Lucy worries about everything.
What an absolutely brilliant story. Lucy is a real worrier and has a very vivid imagination so that similar children will be able to identify with her completely, realising that the thoughts they hold in their heads are not so unusual. Familiar activities like the journey to school, going swimming and school performances that can generate real issues for children are explored with sensitivity.
What works so well is that Lucy is given the opportunity by her teacher Mrs Hunt to achieve through the smaller goal of a non-speaking part in the school performance so that I think there are messages adults can learn here too! Additional learning can also come through the brilliant things Lucy knows as children can research them and feel validation for their own knowledge.
The overall message that it is natural to worry but that sometimes being a little bit courageous can bring huge rewards is perfect for KS1 and 2 children.
As well as the excellent quality cover, the illustrations are brilliant too with a wonderful balance of text to image so that Courageous Lucy would be accessible and entertaining for more independent readers too.
Courageous Lucy is excellent.
Catch up with a girl called Tomorrow —you better be quick because she’s always in a hurry! ‘You’ll catch up with the next day if you keep rushing,’ says Tomorrow’s mother. But when Tomorrow meets worrywart Yesterday and trips over thoughtful Today, her whole world begins to slow down.
Tomorrow Girl is a quirky tale delivering a timely reminder about the importance of mindfulness and what can happen when we allow ourselves time to be in the moment amidst a modern-day rush. It’s brimming with wonderful teachable moments for children to reflect on how they can be more mindful in their everyday lives and discover new friendships just by being in the moment.
My Review of Tomorrow Girl
Tomorrow is always in a hurry and never stops to look properly.
Once again, I am impressed by EK Books. Tomorrow Girl is so beautifully produced with excellent balance of white space, gorgeous images and text that affords the opportunity for home, classroom or independent reading. There’s lovely humour that Tomorrow is always rushing headlong to tomorrow too.
However, the important message in Tomorrow Girl is that we need to have balance in our lives. We don’t want to be constrained like Yesterday, a character in the story, but we do need to take time to observe, to enjoy and to be mindful about our lives and surroundings. I can see Tomorrow Girl being helpful for children with ADHD particularly and for all children in general.
Tomorrow Girl is an important message, sensitively told.
Tomorrow Girl is available for purchase in all the usual places including directly from EK Books.
Emma is desperate to join queen bee Carly’s Cartwheel Club. Week after week Emma lines up for a try-out, only to be told that she hasn’t made the cut. When Emma is finally accepted, she finds that Carly’s rules and requirements take all the joy out of cartwheeling, and being part of the gang isn’t as awesome as she expected.
Turning Cartwheels cleverly explores the subtle, underhanded social bullying conducted by so-called ‘frenemies’ that is so often experienced by primary school-aged girls.
Turning Cartwheels is available for purchase in all the usual places including directly from EK Books.
My Review of Turning Cartwheels
Whilst Turning Cartwheels has all the high quality elements of the cover I have come to expect from EK Books, I must mention the gloriously colourful end papers in this book. They look like a child has coloured them in and are extremely eye catching and vibrant.
Turning Cartwheels is an excellent story for exploring the desire to belong and the subtle bulling and exclusion children can feel. I can envisage it being used to discuss how children treat one another in the playground. I think every school has a Carly who likes to be the centre of attention, changing the rules of her gang to exclude and belittle others so that using Turning Cartwheels would allow teachers, parents and children to discuss the impact this type of bullying has without threat to an individual child.
The message that Emma learns, that she doesn’t need to fit in with a particular gang, or have a particular skill to have friends and happiness is vital. Again with EK Books, it is the attention to detail I find so good. Although all the girls are wearing uniform, in Emma’s playground are children who are of different ethnicities, wearing glasses and in a wheelchair so that there is a sense of inclusion at all levels.
I really recommend EK Books for children. Stories are varied, the balance of text to white space and image means that they are accessible to young readers and themes lend themselves well to teacher and class or parent and child discussion. Why not take a look at the EK Books website?