Alien and the Pants of Doom by Jimmy Mars

 

51VIm9QrsYL._SL500_AA300_Much to my surprise this has been an enjoyable read. If you have children who enjoy reading about the noises the human body can use, then this might be the book for them. Forget about looking at life from an adults point of view, read this book through the lens of a child. It is funny, well paced and in some parts believable.

Pete and his alien friend Binko are on the trail of the pantspannierf, on e of the aliens that were accidentally  released by Binko from this parents zoo. Once escaped the alien bandit headed to Earth and began to cause problems. Binko teamed up with Pete to try to put things right, this lead to a number of hilarious incidents involving farts and getting one over on bullies and grumpy adults.

After the disastrous breakfast prepared by Pete’s mother they go to the local eatery, where they bumped into Granddad who had got the last of the sausages which he would not share.The day continues to get progressively worse culminating in a number of violent farts, which surprisingly help Pete to sort out a problem with the school bully and capture the alien criminals.

 

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David Walliams chosen and recommened by the boys in my class

David Walliams is not an author I would particularly recommend but he has struck a chord with several of the boys in my class, therefore he has gone up in my estimation in being able engage the reader. They find him funny and were surprised that he tackles various issues such as cancer in Gangsta Granny. Two boys were so engaged and wanted to share / read Gangsta Granny together that one of them brought in their copy to use with the one I had supplied. One boy has now bought the latest book and is keen to share it with others.

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What to recommend to a budding author? Follow up 1.

Well the children have rummaged through the books and chosen some to read. They have been willing to have a go at my recommendations but their reactions so far suggests that the more up to date books will be winners. Understandably these are more accessible to them through the language that is used. This is a shame because it means that they are not being exposed to a wider range of experiences, language and thought processes. I obviously need to think about how to get around this.

So far the comment about Moon Pie by Simon Mason has been ‘It’s Mint!’

A Girl Called Dog by Nicola Davies has provoked some discussion.

Just William by Richmal Crompton and The Iron Man by Ted Hughes have proved more difficult for them to get into.

 

 

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What to recommend to a budding author?

I have a few children in my class who want to be writers, they are writers. They have already started practicing their craft, bringing in their work in progress for me to listen to.

How to help and support them?

I decided that the best way to help them was to introduce them to a wider range of books and once I explained that their favourite authors were readers and had read widely when they were young, they were keen.

Then, what to choose? Not to many so I did not frighten them. A mixture of old and new for balance. What might appeal to them based on what they were already reading? Difficult decisions.

After a trawl through my bookshelf I came up with a small pile of books, some recent publications some well established authors. In no particular order these are the ones I have chosen as a starting point.

The 'Iron Man by Ted HughesThe Iron Man by Ted Hughes

A classic. Well written by a splendid wordsmith and well worth reading. I’m hoping that they will begin to see that all human emotions in a well constructed short story.

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan DowdThe London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

I chose this for many reasons one of them being that a good story can be set in modern times and reflect different types of people and family life.

Just William by Richmal CromptonJust William by Richmal Crompton

I came to this via the recording of Martin Jarvis which were broadcast on the BBC. I think that some of the language and social situations will not be familiar but that’s not a bad thing. It will generate discussion if nothing else.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken (1962) The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken (1962)

Great mixture of fantasy and reality that I thought would interest them.

Moon Pie by Simon MasonMoon Pie by Simon Mason

Another good story involving a modern setting and the complications of modern families. The comment so far is that the farther is ‘Mint’, so I think this is going to be a winner.

A Girl Called Dog by Nicola DaviesA Girl Called Dog by Nicola Davies

A modern-day portral of child slavery but presented in a format that children can understand. I’m looking forward to the discussion around this book. I just wish I had more than one copy.

Skellig by David AlmondSkellig by David Almond

Again another classic that I think they should read.

I will start putting together another small pile.

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The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Clime

This version of Cinderella has all the basic events and characters we know and love but set in the context of early Chinese society. When the beautiful Yeh-Shin’s mother dies her father remarried a woman who already had her own daughter. Tragedy struck again and Yeh-shin’s became an orphan living with a stepmother who did not like her and who treated her like a slave. Her only friend was a fish who she had shared her food and thoughts with over the years. This was no ordinary fish; its bones are magical, and they come to the aid of Yeh-Shin, proving her with rich clothes and fine gold shoe to enable her to go to the local festival. As in our version of Cinderella, Yeh-Shin loses her shoe and all her new finery disappears. The prince searches for her and discovers her true identity and things end happily after for Yeh-Shin but not the stepmother and stepsister who were sent to live in a cave where they met their demise.

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Yeh-Shen the Chinese Yeh-Shen Cinderella story from China Retold by Ai-Ling Louie illustrated by Ed Young

This version of Cinderella has all the basic events and characters we know and love but set in the context of early Chinese society. When the beautiful Yeh-Shin’s mother dies her father remarried a woman who already had her own daughter. Tragedy struck again and Yeh-shin’s became an orphan living with a stepmother who did not like her and who treated her like a slave. Her only friend was a fish who she had shared her food and thoughts with over the years. This was no ordinary fish; its bones are magical, and they come to the aid of Yeh-Shin, proving her with rich clothes and fine gold shoe to enable her to go to the local festival. As in our version of Cinderella, Yeh-Shin loses her shoe and all her new finery disappears. The prince searches for her and discovers her true identity and things end happily after for Yeh-Shin but not the stepmother and stepsister who were sent to live in a cave where they met their demise.

Posted in Booklist Lower KS2, Booklist Upper KS2 | Leave a comment

Cinderella, The Fairytale FILES by Alan Durant illustrated by Ross Collins

The story of Cinderella told from a different angle. Inspector in chief Rumple Stiltskin ESQ has been asked by Cinderella prospective in-laws to investigate her background to make sure that she is a suitable match for their son. Rumple Stiltskin carries out an extensive investigation and sends regular reports plus evidence that eventually establishes what we all know. Cinderella is a suitable match for Prince Charming.

If you want to tackle traditional tales in a different way with KS2 children then this might be the book for you. It’s written from the point of view of another well-known traditional tale character; supports writing for a purpose, show how fairy tales can be used to support writing newspaper articles, letters, invitations and report writing including witness statements.

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