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Non-Fiction - Recount

Chidi Only Likes Blue
by Ifeoma Onyefulu
(Frances Lincoln)
This is a photo-information book that portrays life in a Nigerian village through the eyes of a child, Nneka. When her brother insists that blue is the best colour in the world, she decides to take us the readers on a rainbow walk through her village. We see red chieftains’ hats, yellow gari grains, green palm leaves, black uli seed extract (used to paint houses), white chalk, pink flowers, cream chewing sticks for brushing teeth and shades of brown – brown wooden stools, brown sand and okwe, a board game played with seeds, and finally gold necklaces. A first rate information text that reads aloud beautifully – what a joy to see it in big book format.
KS1, lower KS2
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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Along the Seashore
by Rod Theodorou
(Heinemann Library)
Presented as a journey across a seashore, this book looks at the way the ground and wildlife changes as you get closer and closer to the sea. For each area of shore, there is a description of what you can see as well as information on specific creatures who live there. Illustrated with photographs and colour drawings, this could be a useful preparation or accompaniment for a class visit.
32 pages ISBN 0431055718

Up a Rainforest Tree
by Carole Telford and Rod Theodorou
(Heinemann Library)
This exploration of the rainforest takes readers on a journey to the Amazon rainforest where they climb up one of the gigantic trees. The text gives a vivid description of what they might see, feel and hear at each stage of the climb plus extra information on the wildlife on each level. A section at the end looks at the destruction of the rainforest and the need for conservation. Well illustrated with photographs and full colour drawings. The glossary is easy to understand and there are also suggestions for finding out more as well as an index.
32 pages   ISBN 0431055572

Antarctic Journal
by Jim Hasick
(Magic Bean)
Written in diary format, this chronological account of a real expedition to Antarctica in 1991-92. It's full of interesting information and illustrated with excellent colour photos. No glossary or index.
32 pages   ISBN 1863740546
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A Day in the Life of a Storm Chaser
by Pierce Feirtear
(Oxford Literacy Web)
Storm chasers are scientists who study tornadoes. In order to do this, they do just what their title suggests - they chase storms to catch the moment when this shortlived weather phenomenon appears. This book recounts a particularly exciting day in the life of one of these scientists - a story likely to capture the attention of the whole class, including the more reluctant readers. Illustrated with full colour drawings. Has an index and a glossary.
Links to geography and science work on weather
Late KS1/early KS2/older special needs
24 pages ISBN 0199159998
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The Emperor's Egg
by Martin Jenkins Illustrated by Jane Chapman
This worthy winner of the TES Junior Information Book of the Year is non-fiction written in a way guaranteed to capture children's attention. It tells how male Emperor Penguins incubate the egg and look after the chick until mum returns. Although it's a factual account not a fictionalised story, it's full of details and comments that children love. For instance - "As soon as things have calmed down, the mother penguin is sick - right into her chick's mouth. Yuk, you may think. Yum, thinks the chick." The excellent pictures combine beautifully with the text to produce a very useful and enjoyable book. Interesting to use with Looking After the Egg to compare writing styles.
Links to science
KS1/early KS2/special needs
32 pages    ISBN 0744578469
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Looking after the Egg
by Meridith Hooper
(Ginn All Aboard)
A straightforward, unemotional account of egg laying and hatching by Emperor penguins who differ from most birds as the males incubate the eggs. An interesting book to use with The Emperor's Egg to compare different writing styles. About 5 sentences per page plus good photographs and drawings.
Links to science
Late KS1/early KS2
20 pages    ISBN 0602283000

Earth Story
by Eric Maddern and Leo Duff
(Frances Lincoln 0711214433)
A wonderfully lyrical account of the earth's story from the Big Bang to the beginning of life which will capture the interest of a wide range of ages. Delightful to read aloud with imaginative use of language which offers good opportunities for sentence and word level work. No glossary or index.
late KS1 and KS2
Links to science and geography
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The Penicillin Puzzle
by Rodney Martin
(Rigby Magic Bean)
This chronological account of the steps in developing penicillin goes beyond its discovery to improvements in manufacture and use. It emphasises the many people involved in its development and the work of Florey as well as Fleming. The final four pages look at who got the public recognition and includes newspaper extracts, an extract from a book which seems to be wrong and information on the Nobel Prize awarded jointly to Fleming, Florey and Chain. Children are invited to make their own decisions and the conclusion emphasises that history is full of puzzles. Includes a bibliography and index.
Links to history - famous scientists and assessing evidence.
24 pages    ISBN 1863744274
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Titanic: The Disaster that Shocked the World
by Mark Dubowski
(Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Readers)
A very interesting book likely to grab children's attention and to particularly appeal to those who prefer real life drama to fiction. It recounts the disaster in the present tense including the events leading up to and immediately following it. Illustrated with photographs and drawings. Has a glossary but no index.
48 pages    0751361941
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