Top Texts for April

This month’s Top Texts are chosen by James Clements, a former teacher who now works as an education writer.

Professional Crocodile

​A glorious wordless picture book that tells the story of Mr Crocodile’s morning routine as he makes his way to work. The illustrations are beautiful and full of wonderful detail so each re-reading brings something new and previously unseen. The ending is splendidly witty too. A great book to share with children (and adults!) of all ages.

The Murderer's Ape

This exciting novel for older KS2/KS3 tells the story of Sally Jones, a very special gorilla who lives among humans. After her friend and shipmate, the Chief, is wrongly convicted of murder, she must find a way to clear his name. Although she makes friends who can help her, shadowy forces conspire against her in this rollicking rollercoaster of an adventure, skilfully written by Wegelius, and translated from the original Swedish by Peter Graves.

Frog and Toad Are Friends

Although not new books (they were first published in the 1970s), I can never resist the opportunity to recommend these masterpieces of children’s literature. Frog and Toad are friends who embark on gentle adventures and face (sometimes self-inflicted) dilemmas across the stories in these books. The tales are funny, wise and celebrate friendship in a way that children can easily relate to. If you’ve read them before, please go and read them again. If you haven’t come across them, you really need to read them!

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About this month's reviewer

James Clements is a former teacher who now works as an education writer. He is lucky enough to visit a great many schools every year, talking to teachers and trying to find out what makes great English teaching. He is the author of Teaching English by the Book. You can find him on Twitter here: @MrJClements

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