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My kitties remind me of Will & Nill

By Lauren Sandford* Cats are funny little creatures. Some are energetic, playful and loveable, while others would much rather be left alone to sleep for hours on end, and only ever come around looking for food (the latter is DEFINITELY my fat cat, Toby). When I was growing up, I had two outdoor kitties who were also brothers; the little orange one was named Milo, and the fluffy black one we called Bubba. They loved…

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Bijan and Manije: an epic tale of love

Read a wonderful review of Bijan and Manije by Anne Harding:   Bijan and Manije is a re-telling of a story from Shahnameh (the Book of Kings), a collection of Persian myths and legends from many centuries ago, brought to life for children by Iranian poet and author Ali Seidabadi, and well translated by Azita Rassi. When the Armenians send word to King Khossow of Iran that their territory is over-run by terrifying boars, he offers a…

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A poem of innocence and simple wisdom

When I Coloured In the World Author: Ahmadreza Ahmadi Illustrator: Ehsan Abdollahi Age: 4+ Key Stage 1 You can now buy When I Coloured In the World in paperback! Originally published in hardback, it was selected as one of the best children’s books of 2015 by the Guardian and was described by the artist/illustrator Jackie Morris as ‘unexpected … deep, layered, beautiful’. The author, Ahmadreza Ahmadi, is renowned in Iran and beyond for his ability both to explore the…

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Why wordless picture books?

By Samantha Brown* In 2012 the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) had a mission. A small Italian island called Lampedusa needed a library. But not any kind of library – this one was to be full of wordless books. The aim? To support refugee children arriving on the island and from the local community through the act of shared reading.   A collection of over 100 books was selected by IBBY National…

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Appreciation of diversity: introducing a different lifestyle

By: Laura Hagerty*   In Tamineh’s Beautiful Bird, Parviz Kalantari uses artistic anthropology to show the colour and beauty of the Qashqai tribes-people in Iran. Through his vivid illustrations readers learn about the theme of nonconformity through the nomadic lifestyle of Tamineh’s tribe. Tamineh and her family are seen making their own bread, milking sheep, and weaving chantehs (carpet-like shoulder bags). They are also seen making their traditional journey south in autumn.   The Qashqai…

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