Top Texts for June

Jo Tregenza has selected a marvellous choice of texts for June

Can You See the Stars Tonight?

by Anna Terreros-Martin

Have you ever looked up to the sky and wondered why the stars seem a little faded? This book deals with the real issue of light pollution in a delightful way, telling us the story of a young puffin who is drawn to the lights of a nearby town and the story of the little girl who tries to solve the problem.

Nora is a girl who clearly loves nature as we can see from the detailed illustrations of her bedroom. We quickly learn that she also loves puffins. When a young puffin tumbles into her bedroom, she is on a mission to save it and return it to Puffin Island.

The book quietly acknowledges the different make up of families. She has two dads.




by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Dare Coulter

How do you tell a story that starts in Africa and ends in horror? This is such a brave book that shows a young teacher responding to the voices of her pupils and tackling the issue of slavery head on.

Alexander does not shy away from describing the evils of slavery.  He describes being ‘shackled below crammed in small, hot spaces’ on slave ships to ‘picking cotton and growing sugar under the burning sun’.

I think that what makes this book so powerful is the fact that it is the children’s voices that provide the questions and the answers. Then the extraordinary illustrations that blend beautiful paintings and drawings with photographs of clay sculptures. It truly is a powerful and emotional book.

Do Bears Poop in the Woods?

by Huw Lewis Jones and illustrated by Sam Caldwell

Do Bears Poop in the Woods? Do you think you know everything there is to know about bears? Do Bears Poop in the Woods? is a fabulous non-fiction book that will be devoured by many children from Y1 to Y3. It takes you on an expedition to find out everything there is to know about bears. The book is cleverly constructed through the eyes of Huw and Sam as the ‘guide’ and the artist’. It has all the features of a grown-up non-fiction book with contents pages, chapters and an index. The use of the guide means there is almost a narrative style to it cleverly linking the chapters together. The illustrative style is rich and yet un-cluttered and ensures it can reflect the diversity of the audience.


Jo Tregenza

About this month's reviewer

Jo Tregenza is a Reader in Primary Education and the President Elect of the UKLA. She has been an English consultant for 20 years, presenting at regional and international conferences. Previously she worked as a Primary teacher for 10 years in Brighton and Hove, West Sussex and Oxfordshire. Jo is currently studying for her PHD focusing on what the evidence demonstrates are the most effective approaches to teaching reading. She is obsessed with picture books for ALL ages.