Must-have books for Year 2

October 9th, 2018

Year 2


Norman the Norman from Normandy By Philip Ardagh

General information – A small Norman knight unwittingly causes chaos as he goes to off to visit his father’s graves after he was killed in battle.

Meet Norman the Norman from Normandy. He may be little but he has a big heart and a VERY big sword. He’s off to visit his father’s graves, all three of them. (Well, his dad, Big Norman, was chopped in to pieces.)

But where Norman goes, trouble soon follows – usually with a swipe of that sword of his.

Little Gems come in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including foil, coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page.

For 5-8s, and with a reading age of 6+, these quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers. They are also suited to children of 7-10, reading below level.

NOTE : Back and front covers have fold-out flaps with activities to complete. These will not be accessible if book is serviced with a plastic jacket.

– Full of the quirky, daft humour that Ardagh is so good at, this is a very entertaining tale with amusing illus. Great fun.



Guess who haiku By Deanna Caswell

General information – A guessing game in which haiku rhymes give the reader clues to the animal which is hiding on the next page.

New day on the farm
Muffled mooing announces
A fresh pail of milk

Can you guess who from this haiku?

Simple, playful haiku offer clues about the animal hiding on the next page, making this book a first collection of poetry as much as it is a game of “Guess who?”

Review – Lovely selection of animal haiku and guessing element works nicely. Would sit well in a KS1 poetry collection.



Rabbit & Bear Rabbit’s bad habits By Julian Gough

General information – A mean rabbit is befriended by a bear, who he has stolen food from whilst she was hibernating.

Bear wakes up early from hibernation. If she can’t sleep, then at least she can make a snowman. Rabbit has never made a snowman, but he definitely wants to make one that’s better than Bear’s.

But with an avalanche and a hungry wolf heading his way, Rabbit soon realises that it might be nice to have a friend on your side.

A tale of friendship, gravity, and just a little bit of poo.

From novelist and playwright Julian Gough, and the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Jim Field, comes a brilliantly funny story of a rabbit and bear who discover that things are always better when they’re shared with a friend…

First title in a new series

NOTE : Book banded by Peters.

Review – Rather odd, abrupt start, but it turns into a sweet, jolly story, and the illustrations are great. Well worth stocking.



Tulsa goes to the ball By Tony Ross

General information – A little girl tells her talking frog friend the story of Cinderella so he will take her to a ball

Tulsa has to do all the work around the house, just like Cinderella. But if she was Cinderella, wouldn’t she go to a magic ball?

Early Readers are stepping stones from picture books to reading books. A blue Early Reader is perfect for sharing and reading together. A red Early Reader is the next step on your reading journey.

NOTE : Book banded by Peters.

Review – Amusing idea with a likeable, cheeky heroine. Fun early reader or leisure read.



Monsters in the dark By Zanna Davidson

General information – A young boy investigates noises in his bedroom at night and finds monsters who become his friends.

Billy is trying to stay awake so the SCARY creatures of the dark won’t come. But then he hears a squeaky little voice and notices some tiny purple footprints.

Not only that, SOMETHING has ATTACKED his cheese sandwich. What could it be? Does Billy dare find out?

An exciting addition to Series Two of Usborne Young Reading, introducing children to original, illustrated fiction with easy reading texts. Series Two is for readers who are growing in confidence.

NOTE : Book banded by Peters.

Review – Varied text/layout styles are great for readers just developing confidence. Plot designed to support comprehension and cute illustrations with endearing “monsters”. Just right!



Ballerina dreams By Michaela DePrince & Elaine DePrince

General information – An illustrated retelling of the true life story of a young girl orphaned by war in Sierra Leone who became an international ballet star after being adopted by an American family.

At the age of three, Michaela DePrince found a photo of a ballerina that changed her life. She was living in an orphanage in Sierra Leone at the time, but was soon adopted by a family and brought to America.

Michaela never forgot the photo of the dancer she once saw, and decided to make her dream of becoming a ballerina come true.

She has been dancing ever since, and after a spell as a principal dancer in New York, now dances for the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam.

Beautifully and gently illustrated by Ella Okstad, “Ballerina Dreams” is the younger-reader edition of Michaela DePrince’s highly moving memoir, “Hope in a Ballet Shoe.”

Review – Illustrations could be better but a nice low-level read which covers a number of issues. Ballet theme will appeal and true story approach links well to discussions about aspirations. Worth a try.



The day the crayons quit By Drew Daywalt

General information – A boy gets a series of letters from his crayons after they quit their jobs asking for better treatment.

Poor Duncan just wants to colour in. But when he opens his box of crayons, he only finds letters, all saying the same thing: We quit!

Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown, Blue needs a break from colouring in all that water, while Pink just wants to be used. Green has no complaints, but Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking to each other.

The battle lines have been drawn. What is Duncan to do?

NOTE : Greenaway shortlist 2014

NOTE : Shortlisted for the Red House Children’s Book Award 2015

NOTE : Book banded by Peters.

Review – Highly imaginative and entertaining and could generate artwork. Works best with adult input as some humour may go over younger children’s heads. Well worth having.



The toilet ghost By Pamela Butchart

General information – Three stories about the pupils and teachers of Wigglesbottom School and the funny goings on that happen there.

Anything can happen at Wigglesbottom Primary and it always does.

Are the boys’ toilets haunted? YES!
Can Miles McKay’s stinky shoe tell the future? YES!
Is the story-time carpet cursed? YES!

So what are Class 2R going to do about it all? Have a lot of fun!

Review – Rather bitty but very amusing stories with familiar situations for the age group. Illustrations are inclusive and lively. Good fun read.



Mr Bunny’s chocolate factory By Elys Dolan

General information – A workforce of chocolate egg-laying chickens go on strike to demand better working conditions and rights from their tyrannical boss who overworks them.

Go behind the scenes of Mr Bunny’s Chocolate Factory!

Do you want to know how chocolate eggs are made? Step inside Mr Bunny’s Chocolate Factory to find out!

NOTE: Lollies Shortlist 2018

Review – Inventive, clever, political and extremely funny! The detail in the illus offers so much to pore over and can be enjoyed on several levels. Brilliant!



My top to bottom body book

General information – Hands-on fun activities introduce young children to the human body and it’s functions.

Blending fun facts with charming crafts and simple activities, this unique mix makes the perfect activity book for little ones to find out about how their body works.

Curious kids can discover why they have a certain hair or eye colour and why their hair grows. Then they can learn how to create a charming family tree, make a set of paper lungs, and design fingerprint paintings.

This unique book brings a personal touch to human body learning, and children can even look at their own body by tracing themselves life-size on paper!

Review – Well presented with clear diagrams and child-friendly explanations. Would make a useful addition to low-level topic collections and also a nice leisure read.



Going for gold By Alex T Smith

General information – Claude and Sir Bobblysock foil a gang of robbers who want to steal the Gold Cup to be awarded at the Very Exciting Sports Competition at their local sports centre.

When Claude and Sir Bobblysock discover a Very Exciting Sports Competition at their local sports centre, they are very excited. They are even more excited when they are asked to take part.

But Claude’s doggy paddle isn’t fast enough, and he’s not quite as good at gymnastics as he thought he might be. Then some robbers steal the Gold Cup and Claude chases them – can he run fast enough to catch them?

Review – Engaging tale with some hilarious sport antics and amusing moments, as Claude stops the burglars! Illustrations complement well and series fans sure to enjoy.



Burglar Bill By Allan Ahlberg

General information – Who’s that creeping down the street?
Who’s that climbing up the wall?
Who’s that climbing through the window?
Who’s that?…It’s Burglar Bill

Review – Another classic Ahlberg reprinted for new readers to enjoy.


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