Just One Peaceful Pond
Just One Quiet Pine Tree
by Chris Butterworth, illustrated by Mique Moriuchi
These unusual books are diamond shaped with the spine forming a hinge at one corner. You read the book with that corner furthest away from you and open the pages from bottom to top. Each spread unfolds as you open it to form a picture four times the size of the cover. The succession of pictures helps the reader explore the specific habitat and discover the many different plants and animals that live there. Just One Peaceful Pond starts in the air above the pond and works its way down to the surface and then under the water to the bottom. Just One Quiet Pine Tree starts at the top of the tree and works its way down to the roots.
This innovative approach provides an excellent introduction to the idea of habitats and could be useful in school. (KS1, early KS2 and older special needs). However, although the pages are made of sturdy card, it's so easy to misfold them as you close the book that it's probably better to use them under adult supervision rather than put them out on the library shelves.
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Sounds of the Wild: Night-Time
Sounds of the Wild: Jungle
by Maurice Pledger
Each of these stunning book has five dramatic pop-up spreads showing a wildlife scene and, as you open the page, you get an accompanying soundtrack full of birdsong, growls, and other relevant sounds. As the titles suggest, Night-time looks at creatures of the night in different parts of the world, whereas Jungle looks at life in a variety of forest and jungle environments. There's a small amount of text with each pop-up spread, but the real information is on the intervening pages where a numbered key for each pop-up helps you identify the different creatures and learn more about them.
The quality of the sound, the artwork and the paper engineering are all exceptional. These books capture the attention of everyone we show them too, from babies to adults, and definitely deserve to be picked out as Word Pool Gems
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