Top Texts for January 2021

​Kiran Satti selects some empowering and inspiring read aloud books for KS1 and EYFS

The Leaf Thief

by Alice Hemming and Nicola Slater

A wonderful, playful and humorous story about Squirrel who believes someone is stealing his leaves! However, with the help of his very patient and wise friend, Bird, he remembers the leaves are not stolen; the seasons are changing! 
This is a very beautiful, vivid and clever story that invites the reader to learn about the seasons and how trees change. 
Squirrel is a charming and lovable character who is inquisitive and mirrors the questions and thoughts curious readers may wonder about. Alice Hemming’s playfulness with words and Nicola Slater’s vivid and joyous illustrations are brilliant to share with KS1 and EYFS.

The Tree Keepers

by Gemma Koomen

Earthy, gentle and heart-warming, The Tree Keepers centres on one special Tree Keeper – Sylvia. Sylvia is an introvert but when she meets a new friend, she realises the wonder, fun and freedom there is in being part of the world.

Scruff the starling finds his place in the flock and eventually so does Sylvia. This is a beautiful tale that celebrates the beauty of nature and finding your flock.

This debut picture book of Gemma Koomen is lovely. It is a perfect read aloud for KS1…especially sitting under a tree!

Reading Beauty

by Deborah Underwood and Illustrated by Meg Hunt

Whimsical, melodious poetry woven with charm. This is a very contemporary retelling of the fairy tale with an intergalactic twist. 
Princess Lex is Reading Beauty, and just like her predecessor fairy tale archetype Belle, she is brave, intelligent and kind. It is a wonderful addition to Deborah Underwood’s Interstellar Cinderella – another intergalactic princess who brings a classic fairy tale into a new age. 
This is a perfect read aloud with Key Stage 1, which will inspire boys and girls to venture into a new world of fairy tales. An empowering and inspiring read aloud for all children.

About this month's reviewer

Kiran Satti is an English Leader and Primary Teacher, with 10 years experience ranging from EYFS through to KS2. She is part of the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, where she has led English at two of their primaries. When leading English at Holyhead Primary Academy, the school was ranked 1st in progress (in the local area), based on Reading progress in 2019. Kiran works across the Trust supporting schools in developing the pedagogy, teaching and practice of Reading. Kiran reviews books for Tiny Owl and Just Imagine, where she has also contributed to their Take One Book project.