Top Texts for September

​This month’s favourite read aloud recommendations are made by Sonia Thompson, Head Teacher at St Matthew’s C.E. Teaching and Research School.

Felix after the Rain

by Dunja Jogan

Felix after the Rain is a book all children and adults can relate to. It is a read-aloud, which resonates and that is what makes it an assembly special. This book will appeal to all who worry about their worries and its uplifting message celebrates the hopeful nature of life in all its fullness. The child who empties the suitcase epitomises the concept that empathy is more than sympathy…it is about action. It is those actions that allow Felix to live again.

Tiny Owl certainly know how publish elegant read-alouds and this book is no exception. Dunja Jogan words, translated by Olivia Hellewell, alongside the powerful illustrations literally create a perfect storm of emotions, which illuminate beautifully the power of words and pictures to transform us as readers.


by Elena Arevalo Melville

If you are looking for a assembly read-aloud that celebrates laughter, working together, brings a touch of the fantastical and has messages of empathy, hope and forgiveness then look no further than Elena Arevalo Melville’s Umbrella. This exuberant picture book will leave your children wondering what could possibly happen next, as each magnificently magical page turns.

The bold and striking illustrations, tempt the reader to conjure up the untold elements of the narrative. For me, Umbella is perfect because it offers opportunities to discuss, ask questions or of course just relax, read and enjoy each joyous page!

Not Just a Book

by Jeanne Willis and Illustrated by Tony Ross

Not just a Book is a read-aloud that reminds my children why I love to read-aloud to them. It is a glorious celebration of the power of books. Each page exposes the wonderfulness that oozes from those books that we both love and cherish. It invites the reader to reminisce about those books and unashamedly laugh and smile as you do it.

The whimsical words of Jeanne Willis and the beautifully familiar illustration of Tony Ross makes this a joy to read. Each page raises the, ‘that’s ridiculous’ bar a little higher but you instinctively find yourself thinking of a book which you have read that may have a similar theme. In fact, I challenged my children to name those books and for fun…I dare you to do the same and not fall in love with this book a little more!


About this month's reviewer

Sonia is the Head Teacher, at St Matthew’s C.E. Primary Teaching and Research School, in Nechells Birmingham. The school were the first winners of the, OU/UKLA Whole School Reading for Pleasure School of the Year, in 2018. Sonia is passionate about evidence-based reading for pleasure practices and places these at the heart of the school. Sonia is a co-opted member of the UKLA National Council, representing the OU/UKLA Teacher Reading Groups.