JUNO Book Club

Winter Book Club: eight new books for children

Winter Book Club: eight new books for children

What Will I Discover? By Tanya Lloyd Kyi, illustrated by Rachel Qiuqi, Greystone Kids The child in this book considers all the exciting things scientists have discovered – that otters tangle themselves in kelp so they don’t float away when they sleep, that Mars has a mountain three times taller than Everest, that cells inside our brains send signals to one another. But although there is much we know about the world around us, the book reminds us that there is still so much we don’t know. The child has their own questions they’re seeking answers to – “How do trees learn to talk to one another through their tangled roots?” “How do ideas pop into my head?” This gentle book encourages children to follow their innate curiosity, for who knows where it will lead them and what they will discover. How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney? By Mac...

Winter Book Club: eight new books for children

What Will I Discover? By Tanya Lloyd Kyi, illustrated by Rachel Qiuqi, Greystone Kids The child in this book considers all the exciting things scientists have discovered – that otters...

Winter Book Club: five new books for adults

Winter Book Club: five new books for adults

Weird Walk: Wanderings and Wonderings Through the British Ritual Year Watkins I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book! Growing up, my sister and I were continually trailed around one stone circle or another by our parents, and this instilled a lifelong love of exploring our magical, ancient landscape. We’re lucky in the UK to have so many places rich in history, folklore, and strange rituals to explore, and this book celebrates a great collection of them beautifully. The content is set out according to the Wheel of the Year, with a list of ‘selected observances’ for each season, which I loved delving into. There are interesting writeups for each place, which weave in modern culture, and how they fit into the wider landscape. I enjoyed learning about Thaxted, home of the Morris Ring, which hosts an annual gathering of morris sides from across the country, and to...

Winter Book Club: five new books for adults

Weird Walk: Wanderings and Wonderings Through the British Ritual Year Watkins I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book! Growing up, my sister and I were continually trailed...

Books for Inspiration: rise up

Books for Inspiration: rise up

Rise Up and Sing! Power, Protest and Activism in Music By Andrea Warner, illustrated by Louise Reimer, Greystone Kids This book celebrates the role music plays in the fight for justice, focusing on eight areas of activism, from the climate emergency to the peace movement and human rights. Each chapter offers case studies of musicians who have contributed to these causes through their music and activism, and music as activism. So many bold and brave artists are featured, and their music resonates powerfully through the book. The chapters end with a playlist of iconic tracks, which you can listen to for full impact. Girls Rule: 50 Women Who Changed the World By Danielle Brown, designed and illustrated by Robin Shields and Emily Hurlock, Button Books A collection of wonderfully told stories of women from across the world and throughout history who thought differently, pushed boundaries, challenged ideas and achieved things...

Books for Inspiration: rise up

Rise Up and Sing! Power, Protest and Activism in Music By Andrea Warner, illustrated by Louise Reimer, Greystone Kids This book celebrates the role music plays in the fight for...

Autumn Book Club: four new books for the whole family

Autumn Book Club: four new books for the whole ...

Autism For Adults: An Approachable Guide to Living Excellently on the Spectrum By Daniel M. Jones, Hay House This easy-to-digest book on what it’s like to be autistic is the ideal starting point for anyone who has been recently diagnosed or suspects they are autistic. It is also a wonderful introduction to life as an autistic person for anyone who wishes to understand autism better, particularly parents or family members of autistic people. With clear chapters that end in a list of summarised takeaway points, and wellspaced formatting, this book is a pleasure to read as an autistic person, where big blocks of writing can be distracting. Jones draws on his own experiences throughout the book, which makes it incredibly relatable, sometimes with a chuckle and smile, but occasionally with a nod of solidarity regarding the struggles autistic people face. He gives a good insight into the potential difficulties of...

Autumn Book Club: four new books for the whole family

Autism For Adults: An Approachable Guide to Living Excellently on the Spectrum By Daniel M. Jones, Hay House This easy-to-digest book on what it’s like to be autistic is the...

Autumn Book Club: six new books for children

Autumn Book Club: six new books for children

Zoom! By Sam Usher, Templar Books When it’s too hot for Boy and Grandad to sleep, there’s only one thing for it and they head up on to the roof to cool down. Through their telescope, Boy sees a planet, and on it a space module and astronauts – in trouble! They blast off in their homemade rocket to help and on to a space adventure. It’s a delightful story, with subtle science and engineering facts dotted throughout, that celebrates creativity and resourcefulness. Boy and Grandad are such endearing characters: they say yes to adventure and problems never phase them. Everything can be mended in Boy and Grandad’s world, often with cardboard, sticky tape, pompoms and glue. The watercolour illustrations are fabulous, depicting both the warmth between Boy and Grandad, and the marvels of space. Secrets of the Forest: 15 Bedtime Stories Inspired by Nature By Alicia Klepeis, illustrated by...

Autumn Book Club: six new books for children

Zoom! By Sam Usher, Templar Books When it’s too hot for Boy and Grandad to sleep, there’s only one thing for it and they head up on to the roof...

Books for Inspiration: poetry

Books for Inspiration: poetry

Imagine a Garden: Stories of Courage Changing the World By Rina Singh, illustrated by Hoda Hadadi, Greystone Kids These stories, written in free verse, tell of extraordinary actions of individuals from across the world who have shown remarkable love, kindness and courage in the face of war, poverty, violence, persecution, inequality. A grocer in Delhi teaches children for free beneath a railway bridge. An Anishinaabe girl becomes an advocate for clean drinking water after learning of water insecurity for Indigenous communities in Canada. The poems are powerful and succinct, and Hadadi’s evocative cut-paper art reflects the hands-on, grassroots actions of the people whose stories Singh tells so beautifully. Gods and Monsters: Mythological Poems Compiled by Ana Sampson, illustrated by Chris Riddell, Macmillan Mythology reveals so much about our species’ hopes, dreams and fears, and this wide-ranging poetry collection draws from across the breadth of our inherited stories. It offers traditional...

Books for Inspiration: poetry

Imagine a Garden: Stories of Courage Changing the World By Rina Singh, illustrated by Hoda Hadadi, Greystone Kids These stories, written in free verse, tell of extraordinary actions of individuals...

What it feels like to be the invisible autistic girl

What it feels like to be the invisible autistic...

Siena Castellon shares what it feels like to be the invisible autistic girl and what you can do about it Unfortunately, there are still lots of stereotypes and misconceptions about autism, especially in relation to autism in girls. When I tell people that I’m autistic, they frequently express disbelief. I’m often told that I don’t look autistic or act like someone who is autistic. I still haven’t come up with the ideal response, in particular because these comments imply that there is something wrong with being autistic. Let me be very clear: I like being autistic. Autism is an integral part of who I am. It’s not something that I’m ashamed of. On the contrary, I embrace my autism because my autism and learning differences make me me. To my classmates, teachers and acquaintances, I can appear conventionally normal. I can make friends and be sociable. I’m well behaved, intelligent...

What it feels like to be the invisible autistic girl

Siena Castellon shares what it feels like to be the invisible autistic girl and what you can do about it Unfortunately, there are still lots of stereotypes and misconceptions about...

Late Summer Book Club: eight new books for children

Late Summer Book Club: eight new books for chil...

A Hero Like Me By Angela Joy and Jen Reid, illustrated by Leire Salaberria, Frances Lincoln On 7 June 2020, a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down and thrown into Bristol Harbour during an anti-racism protest. A Hero Like Me recounts those events from the perspective of young girl who witnessed them. When a woman climbs on to the empty plinth and raises her fist above her head – for George Floyd and for the safety and dignity of Black people everywhere – the act has a huge impact on the girl watching, who sees a hero “just like me”. Jen Reid has since been immortalised in a statue herself. The book asks us to think about who our heroes are and how we celebrate them, because the choice of who we place on a pedestal matters to the children, and the adults, who walk beneath them....

Late Summer Book Club: eight new books for children

A Hero Like Me By Angela Joy and Jen Reid, illustrated by Leire Salaberria, Frances Lincoln On 7 June 2020, a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down...

Late Summer Book Club: four new books for adults

Late Summer Book Club: four new books for adults

Matrescence: On the Metamorphosis of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Motherhood By Lucy Jones, Allen Lane Matrescence is an important work. We first meet Lucy Jones on her knees in a forest, looking for slime moulds with her hand lens. She explains that they change, as did she. She was delighted to discover the word ‘matrescence’, which validated her sense that becoming a mother was a process of total change. The change began in pregnancy when she suffered severe nausea. She quickly discovered that the usual ideas about pregnancy and then motherhood were nowhere near her own experiences. She endured an exhausting five-day labour, and found breastfeeding hard going. (I am a La Leche League leader, and I wonder whether she had been inadequately prepared. She mentions trying to get her nipple into her baby’s mouth, when it’s simpler to support the breast and let the baby gape and attach herself.) Extreme...

Late Summer Book Club: four new books for adults

Matrescence: On the Metamorphosis of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Motherhood By Lucy Jones, Allen Lane Matrescence is an important work. We first meet Lucy Jones on her knees in a forest,...

Books for Inspiration: art and creativity

Books for Inspiration: art and creativity

The Extraordinary Book That Makes You an Artist By Mary Richards, illustrated by Go Suga, Weldon Owen This is an exciting project book for budding artists. Through the cut-out exercises on each page, children are introduced to different art techniques, movements, styles and artists, before having a go themselves. There’s everything from cubism, collage and self-portraiture, to mosaics, masks and stencils. The instructions are easy to follow and leave space for experimentation and interpretation, so that every child’s creations are individual. Rory’s Room of Rectangles: A Story of Blended Families and Big Feelings By Ian Eagleton, illustrated by Jessica Knight, Owlet Press When the teacher asks the class to make a Father’s Day card, Rory doesn’t know whether to make one for his dad or his stepdad, Tony. He draws angry swishes on the card before ripping it up altogether. When Father’s Day arrives, Rory thinks of his dad and...

Books for Inspiration: art and creativity

The Extraordinary Book That Makes You an Artist By Mary Richards, illustrated by Go Suga, Weldon Owen This is an exciting project book for budding artists. Through the cut-out exercises...