Boxes, Boxes EVERYWHERE…

The end of the academic term is finally here and for us that means the return of lots and lots of project boxes and more orders coming in for the beginning of September. It also means any spare bits of space in our office now look a lot like this: Boxes

They’re EVERYWHERE (not that we’re complaining of course)! We hope that all schools who used our resources this term found them useful and we’re already looking forward to seeing what you’d like for next term- we love a challenge!

Now schools are closed for the next month or so, our SLS van has had its annual makeover and has been transformed for the Big Friendly Read. It’ll be visiting various locations across Norfolk to promote the Summer Reading Challenge and here’s a sneak peak of what you’ll see should you make it on board…how great does it look?

BFG van

As a final send off before it goes on a brief hiatus over the summer holidays, we have SIX Friday Reads for you to cast your eyes over:

Apryl: Gorilla Loves Vanilla by Chae Strathie, illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne

GorillaGiven the weather has been so delightful lately and that our office has been so warm, this seemed like the perfect picture book to momentarily distract me from wanting to nip out and buy my own frozen treat…

Jellybean Street has a very popular ice cream parlour owned by the (conveniently named) Sam Sundae. Always putting his customers first, Sam is always able to whip up a veritable feast to match whatever strange flavour request his patrons have. Blue cheese cone for a mouse? Sure! A squirmy wormy sundae for a Hen? Of course!

As someone whose preference for vanilla ice cream has always been described as “boring”, I loved this little rhyming tale accompanied by Nicola O’Byrne’s bright and colourful illustrations. Very befitting of the countdown to summer, and sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. Is that the faint sound of the ice cream van I hear in the distance..?

(Scholastic, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781407148106, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Gail: There’s a Moose on the Loose by Lucy Feather, illustrated by Stephan Lomp

mooseThis is a colourful interactive puzzle book for young children (Rec/Y1). There are arrows to follow tracing the naughty moose’s path and lots to spot as the moose chases through the public buildings in the city. Could be used as part of Our Environment; also good for discussion/speaking and listening skills/reading for pleasure.


(Nosy Crow, £10.99 hardback, ISBN 9780857635853)

Harriet: The House on Hummingbird Island by Sam Angus

HummingbirdA thoughtful novel for KS3 readers which while starting out as an animal-y mystery for younger readers in the vein of Eva Ibbotson’s Journey to the River Sea, develops into a mature questioning of how Britain expected its whole Empire to join in fighting in the Great War, along with the aftershocks of slavery and racism. While I think it could have been edited to remove slight repetition, it is a thoroughly good read, incorporating a sweet love story, a cast of strange and interesting characters, a dark mystery and possible murder, all set on the gorgeously colourful Caribbean island of the title.

(Macmillan’s Children’s Books, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781447263036)

Sweet Pizza by G.R. Gemin

PizzaI like to take a topical book on my summer holiday if possible; this year the closest I could get to my Italian destination was this new KS2 novel by G.R. Gemin – well, it had pizza in the title! Even though it is actually set in the small Welsh town of his first terrific novel, Cowgirl, there is, in fact, a strong Italian theme, as the hero is half Italian, half Welsh. The Italian half of Joe’s family were immigrants back in his great-grandfather’s time, and some of the most interesting parts of the novel are his grandad Nonno’s reminiscences of his life during the Second World War. Because Italy sided with Hitler, all Italians were considered enemy aliens, and so we hear about a less well-known aspect of the war. A new wave of immigrants has now come to town, and this is a timely reminder that Britain has accepted and been enriched by other nations over and over through the years. Joe’s amazing success at reviving his (somewhat depressed) mum’s café, is perhaps a little unrealistic, but this is a warm read with the bonus of some Italian recipes at the end! And to really get into the mood, you should read this while eating sweet pizza (yes, really!) and listening to a Verdi opera, which the author also describes with great enthusiasm.

(Nosy Crow, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9780857636300)

Mandy: The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce, illustrated by Steve Lenton

Broccoli Boy.jpgFirst one, then two then three children turn green and spark a national security crisis involving the Prime Minister’s phone and a very dramatic crane rescue!

For those who love David Walliams this is a great read drawing on the (heavily disguised!) old East Anglian story of the Green Children. Full of drama, Rory Roony is the one who rescues his nemesis, the bully Tommy Lee, and discovers that everyone has superpowers and even bullies can be afraid.

(Macmillan’s Children’s Books, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9780330440875, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Zoë: Operation Blackout by Victor Watson

Operation BlackoutThis is a really exciting adventure which begins during the Christmas bombings of London, 1940.

Hannah has suffered the misfortune of being bombed out twice – at her gran’s house (who sadly dies as a result) and then at a neighbour’s. After several days of wandering, and spending time in various air-raid shelters, she encounters a man known as ‘Cyclops’. He drops a list that also includes the name of a village – Great Deeping. Meanwhile in a German school, Konrad Friedmann is given some very bad news by his head master. In order for him to bring restitution he has to carry out a secret mission in the east of England: Operation Blackout.

Two very different lives of two children are about to collide yet someone is watching from the shadows…

(Catnip Publishing, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781910611005)

Our archive of Friday Reads can be found here– they’ll be back in the Autumn!



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