Thursday, 26 August 2010

Summer School & dinosaurs!

Well I just don't know what has happened to the wonderful summer we have been promised, nearly the end of August and it feels more like the end of October - I can guarantee though that just as we all head back to school for a new term the sun will come out and the weather will be gorgeous, an Indian summer let's hope!

In the meantime whilst I am trying not to think too much about going back to school as I still have another week and a bit until I have to be there I have been thinking about all the new children I will be meeting who will be starting at 'big school' for the very first time. Whilst I don't actually remember my first day at 'big school' I do have lots of great memories of school and how much fun I had there at a young age. It seems these days, or perhaps it is just the angle I can now take, that children have more worries as they begin their school life. However not to fear for there is help at hand, friends, families and siblings can all help but so to can stories. We often read stories to escape from the real world around us and be transported into wonderful worlds and lives completely separate from our own. These stories can also help us to deal with worries and concerns, working on many levels without obviously doing so.

So you must be wondering what exactly I am getting at here? Well two charming books that I have just read and that I know my nephews will adore - as will any young boys who are dinosaur fans - and let's face it most of them are!

The two books in question are Benedict Blathwayt's Dinosaur Chase! Perhaps better known for his stories of a certain Little Red Train, Blathwayt has now turned his attention to the dinosaur and with wonderful attention to detail has created a charming, funny, fact-filled story. This edition, published by Red Fox comes complete with a story CD too. The story centres on Fin, a dinosaur who is different - he doesn't quite fit the macho dinosaur image and to top it all off he is fluffy so he is a brilliant target for bullies. During a rather long chase Fin soon discovers that whilst he may be different it is in fact very important to be different and he finds a skill that only he has meaning he can outwit the bullies! A great story, beautifully illustrated that will teach children all about dinosaurs and also help them to overcome any fears of bullies.

To accompany this ex-primary school teacher Sheryl Webster has used the skills gained from working with a young age group to become a writer of great stories for them. Workng with the ever popular and inspiring illustrator Jan Fearnley the end result is Tinysaurus. Published in September by Andersen Press, Tinysaurus also features a young dinosaur who is trying to fit in. Tiny's problem is one of size - he is desperate to be bigger. He soon discovers that actually being small isn't so bad after all for even small animals can be heroes! This is a charming story that will endear itself to young readers and dinosaur fans alike, it also has a great message and whilst it may not have a story CD there are teacher resources (from the publisher's website) available making it perfect for use in the classroom - a great start to a new year perhaps?

So if like me you are trying not to think about school starting soon but know it is about to come round all too soon why not try sharing these books with the young children of your acquaintance or even those in your household and teachers take a look at the accompanying notes to provide yourself with a perfect start to the new year!

Happy reading and lets hope these bright and colourful books encourage some sunshine into our lives for the last week of our holidays!

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