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All reviews tagged with Non-Fiction

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A Bridge of Children’s Books

Jella Lepman begins her story immediately after the end of World War II, when she was asked to return to her native Germany, from where she had fled to England, to become an ‘advisor on the cultural and educational needs of women and children in the American zone’. She set about interpreting this role in…

A Moment In Time

A Moment In Time is beautiful and inventive, but a little challenging to use. Described as a perpetual atlas, it claims that the reader can discover what the whole world is doing at exactly the same time. Well, sort of. The unusual layout allows you to compare 6am in one place with 6am in another…

A World of Information

This is a miscellany of the very best kind. Readers will be hooked by facts as varied as differing kinds of knots, different kinds of print, the periodic table of the elements, neap and spring tides, the organs of the body and a whole host of other information. At no point does the trivia seem…

Adventures in Philosophy: Stories and Quests for Thinking Heroes

The idea of introducing philosophy to children is one that may seem daunting, but O’Donoghue approaches this topic in a form that all young readers will understand – that of stories. From the outset this introduction is posing questions that ask how much we think about our thinking and why we think how we do.…

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

An eclectic collection of illustrated biographies celebrating thirty ‘Rebel Ladies’ who, in the author’s own words, ‘did exactly what they wanted with their lives.’ From a 7th-century Chinese concubine who rose to the position of Empress, to an actress who refused to submit to Hollywood beauty standards and found success playing iconic villains; from a…

Cool Coding

Code tells a computer what to do. Each individual directive is very simple, but, when combined into a program, can accomplish amazingly complex tasks, including games. Many coders begin as hobbyists before turning professional. Code can be written in a myriad of programming languages. Different languages are optimised for specific tasks, and all have unique…

Countess Markievicz: An Adventurous Life

This volume of the Easter Rising Centenary In a Nutshell series focuses on Countess Constance Markievicz, the woman made famous by her involvement in the fight for Irish Independence. In this short biography Ann Carroll leads us through Markievicz’s life, from wealthy origins in rural Sligo, to her marriage to the Polish Count Casimir Markievicz,…

Declaration of the Rights of Boys and Girls

Two books in one, the Declaration of the Rights of Boys and Girls is a quirky, fun read. When read from one end, it is a list of the rights of boys. Boys have the right to play with dolls, to be cute or stylish, to be rubbish at DIY and prefer English to Maths.…

Holes

The subject of holes may seem like a strange and dull choice for a children’s book. However, Holes is a beautiful and compelling book, which is a joy to explore. The author investigates what makes a hole a hole and attempts to show us how holes shape our world. He does so in a way…

LOTS

This sumptuous book is a ‘gathering of facts, thoughts and observations’ by the illustrator-author Marc Martin (A River, Templar Publishing, 2016 is a recent offering). The book is a festive blend of the best of Charley Harper’s ecological awareness and Miroslav Sasek’s penchant for mapped guidebooks. The information is divided geographically by cities and though…

Mindfully Me Series

The Mindfully Me Series is a collection of three books that advocate positive mental health and well-being for children. Each book focuses on encouraging positive self-image and self-esteem for children aged four and upwards. Book 1 is called It’s Always There and focuses on the use of mindful breathing as a practical method that children…

Naturama

In this non-fiction book on wildlife, the author offers us an insight into the four seasons in Ireland and how our environment changes with them. Beginning with a brief history of each season as celebrated in ancient Ireland, Naturama talks us through the meteorological characteristics of spring, summer, autumn and winter (change in temperature and…

The Colours of History: How Colours Shaped the World

There is something for everyone in this colourful, well-designed book: adventure, danger, discovery, intrigue and more! From ancient times to present day, colour has shaped our perceptions and engagement with the world and drawing on history, chemistry, sociology and economics, Gifford tells the story of how colours we take for granted today came into being.…

Welcome To My House, A Collection of First Words

This a delightful catalogue of the most common (and some less common) items that you find in a house. You have everything for sitting on, everything that brightens, and everything for cooling down, amongst many other such headings. But it is far more than an illustrated catalogue. It has a mysterious narrator. ‘My name is…

What a Wonderful Word

What a Wonderful Word is a wonderful book for word-lovers of all ages. It presents a collection of words from all over the world which have no direct translation in English, and yet they all describe situations that readers will easily understand. But these words aren’t only succinct labels for different lived experiences; they also…

What Can a Citizen Do?

Probably better known for his books for adults, Dave Eggers’ new book for children is an answer to the book’s title. Taking what can be a difficult concept for children to understand, Eggers uses verse and simple ideas to help children understand what it means to be a citizen. More importantly, it gives examples of…

What is Poetry? The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems

This is an invaluable handbook for readers, writers and teachers of poetry. Its unintimidating cover, large print, and sparse, jokey illustrations belie the well-devised content, which supports UK National Curriculum English at Key Stages 2 and 3 (children aged 7-14). The title poses an impossible question – to answer it Rosen examines all the things…

Where Will I Live?

This photo-book introduces the refugee crisis with powerful simplicity. With a short sentence and large image on every page, it cuts through the politics and overwhelming scale of the current forced migrations, asking questions that will resonate with young children. From the first understated line – ‘Sometimes scary things happen to good people’ – readers…


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