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We hope you enjoyed last weeks Great Walstead; Great Reads. We are excited to share this weeks recommendations from our Head of English, Mrs Rees and the teachers at Great Walstead.

‘Here We Are’ by Oliver Jeffers
Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you've only just got here. Your head will be filled with questions, so let's explore what makes our planet and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your journey.

If you would like to share the story with your child, you can listen to it here

‘The Bat Book’ by Charlotte Milner
Genre: Nature | Ages: 6-9
Take a journey through the upside-down world of bats with The Bat Book. Bright, bold, and beautiful illustrations accompany fascinating facts about these furry flying mammals and their importance to the world we live in.

From the way they fly, to how they communicate, and why they sleep upside-down, each of the world's 1,300 types of bat is unique and utterly fascinating. Bats are also incredibly important to the environment. As well as gobbling up pests, and spreading seeds through the forests, they also pollinate over 500 different species of plants throughout the world. Following on from The Bee Book and The Sea Book, Charlotte Milner continues to highlight important ecological issues faced by our planet to children. The Bat Book is perfect to teach little animal-lovers all about these clever creatures who do so much for our planet.

‘The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson
Genre: Fantasy | Ages: 8-10
A story about finding your own destiny, even when your future seems written in the stars.

Marinka dreams of a normal life, where her house stays somewhere long enough for her to make friends. But her house has chicken legs and moves on without warning. She faces a lonely destiny as a Guardian of The Gate between the living and the land of the stars. The only people she meets are dead; they disappear when her grandmother Baba Yaga guides them, with warmth and kindness, in a nightly ceremony, acting as a kind of midwife of death. Marinka wants to change her destiny, but her house has other ideas.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness 
Genre: Fantasy | Ages: 11-13
Prize-winning Patrick Ness shows exceptional sensitivity in this hauntingly touching story, based on an idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, of how a boy deals with the looming threat of his mother's death from cancer. Denied much information by his family, treated as a weirdo by his classmates and a "special  case" by his teachers, Conor is haunted by a monster in his dreams, and struggles to get to grips with devastating emotions. How he finds the strength to face the end when it happens is both utterly shattering and deeply  satisfying.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Fantasy | Ages: Adult
Playful and intensely imaginative, Erin Morgenstern has created the circus I have always longed for. This is a marvellous book.' - Audrey Niffenegger
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, reads: Opens at Nightfall, Closes at Dawn.

As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker,as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears. Le Cirque des Reves. The Circus of Dreams. Now the circus is open. Now you may enter.