Top Texts for December

John Murray chooses text to make you think, to make you smile and to laugh your socks off.

Brother Eagle, Sister Sky

by Susan Jeffers

This emotive book will stir your heart and make you THINK.

“The Earth does not belong to us. We belong to the Earth.” These words were spoken over 150 years ago by Chief Seattle, his impassioned plea for us to respect the natural world in which we live a stark reminder that if we destroy our planet, we ultimately destroy ourselves. As powerful a message today as when it was first spoken, this book is perfect for anyone whose topic concerns the environment. An absolute must for the primary classroom!

Cloud Tea Monkeys

by Mal Peet & Elspeth Graham and illustrated by Juan Wijngaard

This tender book will warm your heart and make you SMILE.

As a coffee drinker, I took a punt on this recently. I’m glad I did! A sentimental tale from India, it tells the story of Tashi, a little girl who has to pick tea when her mother becomes ill. Too short to reach the best shoots, all seems lost until she meets the cloud tea monkeys. A story of how kindness repays kindness, its beauty lies within its wonderful storytelling and equally wonderful illustrations. Even non-tea drinkers will love this book!

Old MacDonald Heard a Parp

by Olaf Falafel

This joyful book will gladden your heart and make you LAUGH.

Honestly, I’ve never seen children laugh so much in over twenty years of teaching. Read to the tune of Old MacDonald, the breaking of wind by ballet-dancing cows and unicorns, will have them in stitches. Enter whoopie cushions into the mix and you’re on to a winner.

What’s great about this book is that each parp is created differently, and Old Mac himself gives you instructions as to how to create it. Perfect for those who may have speech and language difficulties, it marries reading with the spoken word so that all can join in. Happy days!


About this month's reviewer

John is a specialist in developing children’s reading and comprehension. The creator of Reading Explorers, Top Class Comprehension and Reading Rocketeers, his seminars and CPD training focus on the teaching, learning and enjoyment of reading. An independent Literacy consultant, he aims to support schools to improve their performance and, above all, ignite within us a passion for books and the written word. To find out more visit: