Top Texts for March 2021

Kelly Ashley chooses some delightful read alouds for young readers

Cherry Moon

by Zaro Weil and Illustrated by Junli Song

‘Little poems big ideas mindful of nature’ is the opening of this beautiful collection of nature poems. With poems about snoring dogs, bluebells, bugs and the wilderness, there’s something for everyone. The illustrations by Junli Song complement Zaro’s words perfectly, bringing them to life – a perfect choice for reading and sharing aloud.

As the CLiPPA 2020 winner, this collection of poems about the natural world is perfect to explore with young listeners – a golden opportunity to explore, to share and to appreciate the world around us.

Flora & Ulysses

by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by K.G. Campbell

Flora Belle Buckman is a dreamer with an absolute love of comic books. She has a penchant for turning the everyday into an adventure! Adventure becomes reality one day when she saves a squirrel from a runaway hoover. She names the squirrel ‘Ulysses’ (the brand of hoover). Flora and Ulysses become quick friends and learn about how to overcome their fears, together.

Kate DiCamillo, author of nearly 30 books for children, is a true storyteller. Flora and Ulysses was awarded the prestigious Newbery Medal in 2014 as a distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Home in the Woods

by Eliza Wheeler

The story of 6-year old Marvel and her seven siblings, Home in the Woods tells the story of one family trying to find their way through hard times after the loss of their father. Stumbling upon ‘a shack wrapped in tar paper,’ the family works hard to make the best of their situation and to build a home together. This story is inspired by the life of the author’s grandmother, a personal and emotional triumph.

Eliza Wheeler is both an author and illustrator of books for children and young adults. Watch a fantastic ‘behind the book’ video of how Home in the Woods was made on her website here Wheeler Studio – The illustration home of Eliza Wheeler

Kelly Ashley

About this month's reviewer

Kelly Ashley is the author of Word Power: Amplifying vocabulary instruction (2019) and has worked in the US and the UK as a teacher, leader and education consultant. Kelly specialises in the primary English curriculum, with a keen interest in language acquisition and vocabulary development. She is a regional rep in Yorkshire for the UKLA and jointly runs the local TRG. To find out more visit or follow her on Twitter @kashleyenglish.