This book list shares details of the books used or made reference to in TLN’s teaching resources and linking activities.
Here we have gathered together the books used for, or referenced in, the activities in our resources area. You will find publishing details and ISBN numbers for ordering copies of these.
A Child's Garden: A Story of Hope
by Michael Foreman 2010 Walker Books Ltd ISBN: 978-1406325881
For a boy in the midst of poverty and war, nurturing a tiny green plant shoot has far reaching effects in this simple, universal fable of hope and connection.
A little boy’s home has been reduced to ruin and rubble, and now a wire fence and soldiers separate him from the streams and hills he once visited with his father. But the boy sees a tiny speck of green peeping up toward the sunlight, and he quietly begins to coax it with water and care. A beautifully illustrated tale of healing and renewal from a world-acclaimed children’s book creator, A Child’s Garden pays gentle tribute to the human spirit.
A Tale of Two Beasts
by Fiona Robertson ISBN-13: 978-1444916720
‘A Tale of Two Beasts’ is a great book to help children grasp the idea that we all see life from a different perspective. It contains two stories – The Strange Beast’ and the ‘The Terrible Beast’. The child in the story assumes she knows what the animal wants – but never asks.
Can I Join Your Club?
by John Kelly and Steph Laberis ISBN 978-1848694361 is a great Key Stage 1 resource to explore inclusion and acceptance. It is easy to feel left out or excluded in the playground. Duck wants to join a club and his application is denied. He sets up a new club where all are welcome.
By Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross ISBN: 978-1402763465
A great book for Philosophical Conversations about seeing life from different perspectives. The other animals thinks Bat is daft, until Wise Owl helps them to see things from her perspective. The children will love turning the book upside down to really see things differently!
Dreams of Freedom
Amnesty ISBN 10: 184780453
‘Human beings have the right to pursue happiness and live in peace and freedom.’- The Dalai Lama
This inspirational book from Amnesty following We Are All Born Free, contains 17 quotations about many different aspects of freedom, from the freedom to learn and have an education to the freedom to have a home, to feel safe and the freedom to be yourself. All the chosen quotations are in simple words that can be understood by young children. The authors of the quotations include: Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Anne Frank, the Dalai Lama and Malala Yousafzai. For schools wanting to help their pupils learn about Human Rights, Individual Liberty, Equality this is an artistic, thoughtful way forward. Schools Linking teachers have used the artwork to inspire thoughtful discussion and artistic responses in class visits and work in their own classes to explore How do we all live together?
By Libby Walden and Richard Jones ISBN-13 978-1848575080
Explore a world of emotions with this stunning peep-through picture book. Richard Jones’s enchanting illustrations and the lyrical text make each and every feeling come to life to help children understand the emotions they experience.
Giraffes Can't Dance
By Giles Andreae ISBN13: 9780439287197
Gerald the giraffe longs to dance, but his legs are too skinny and his neck is too long. At the Jungle Dance, the warthogs waltz, the chimps cha-cha, and the lions tang. ‘Giraffes can’t dance,’ they all jeer when it’s Gerald’s turn to prance. But with some sound advice from a wise cricket, Gerald starts swaying to his own sweet tune.
Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
by Carole McCloud 2015 Bucket Fillers ISBN-10: 099609993X
Through a simple story this heart-warming book encourages positive behaviour as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness, appreciation, and love. Bucket filling and dipping are effective metaphors for understanding the effects of our actions and words on the wellbeing of others and ourselves. Many schools we know use this in Key Stage One and Two as part of their PSHE.
Here We Are
by Oliver Jeffers 2017 HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks ISBN-10: 0008266166
‘Be kind, there is enough for us all.’ is just one of the great lines in Here we are, notes for living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers. We love this book, written by Oliver to explain the planet we live on to his son. The book shares key facts about Earth and includes key messages of about kindness and care for the planet, yourself and others, locally and globally. We think it is suitable for children throughout the Primary School and it can be used to begin deeper philosophical questions with older primary children. We have used it for primary assemblies as well as in class and many linking classes used the book last year for shared artwork about what they love about the world on class linking visits.
How To Be A Lion
Key Primary Linking Book
by Ed Vere ISBN 9780525578055
How to be a Lion is a thoughtful, challenging and intriguing book that really affirms quiet courageous voices. Its hard to choose a favourite line but ‘You don’t have to roar to be heard.’ is one. We are recommending the book for Primary Linking Classes thinking about How do we all live together? ‘Why don’t you be you…And I will be I.’ Some say words can’t change the world….if they make you think, Then maybe they can.’ is a great lesson starter.
Kind by Alison Green ISBN-13: 978-1407196459
Imagine a world where everyone is kind-how can we make that come true? With gorgeous pictures this timely, inspiring picture book presents the many ways children can be kind, from sharing their toys and games to helping those from other countries feel welcome.
I am I
by Marie -Louise Fitzpatrick 2006 Roaring Book Press ISBN: 978-1-596430540
This is an excellent text for exploring getting along in the classroom, the playground and at home. The two children face each other and both are boastfuI and hurtful to the other. An argument breaks out between them that grows in scale and as it develops it impacts not just the two of them but the landscape around them. The words they saw become barbed wire and take flight, morphing into a fire breathing dragon that is destructive. In time they realise what they have done and apologise to one another.
I Am I is a memorable and stimulating text on the power of words. We use this book in the classroom to challenge children to think the ways in which people can hurt others with words and explore alternatives as part of the schools linking year to explore How we all live together. The activity we often use for this book is to ask primary children to advise the two children how to get along better and the advice we find children given is profound. If you ever need to assess the impact of your work on SMSC and British values in school assessing the advice they give in this task is an excellent place to start.
Incredible You by Rhys Brisenden ISBN-13: 978-1849766265
Malala's Magic Pencil
By Malala Yousafzai ISBN-13: 978-0316319577
This book is a thoughtfully written, beautifully illustrated text which is age appropriate for use in primary school. We have seen it used to inspire all children about education and also about girls’ empowerment.
By Jeannie Baker ISBN: 9781406309140
‘The idea for this book came from my delight travelling in a country very different from my own.’- Jeannie Baker. This beautiful picture book comprises two stories designed to be read simultaneously – one from the left, the other from the right. Page by page, we experience the lives of two small boys – one from Morocco and one from an urban family in Sydney, Australia. The journey of a homemade Moroccan carpet made in one of their homes and ending up in the other home in Australia we are shown how are seemingly separate lives are intertwined. This story can help children explore the key question, ‘How Do We All Live Together?’ and the ways our lives are interconnected.
My Little Book of Big Freedoms
This book wonderfully explain and illustrates Human Rights in practice with powerful images of each right in practice in the positive. Haven’t used this book yet but can’t wait to share with children and young people.
My name Is not Refugee
by Kate Milner ISBN: 9781911370062
One day, a mother tells her young son that they must say goodbye to their friends and leave home and walk a very long way. On their journey the little boy sees new things and hears different languages he cannot understand. The places he sleeps change and so does the food. Throughout the book there are well chosen, age appropriate questions addressed to the child reading the book. The questions draw you in and develop thinking. At TLN we have used this book and these questions in classrooms and assemblies and found they develop empathy and informed understanding. The title of the book My Name is not Refugee reaches out with a key message for all. This thoughtful, moving book explains the refugee crisis and lives of children affected displaced in an accessible way.
My World, Your World
By Melanie Walsh ISBN: 9780552550550
Pierre says ‘bonjour’. George says ‘hello’. But . . . they both say ‘achoo!’ when they sneeze. The world is full of all sorts of people, speaking different languages and living different kinds of lives, and this book can help young children understand and become comfortable with ideas of both similarity and difference.
Nelson Mandela - Long Walk to Freedon
Abdridged by Chris Van Wyk ISBN: 9780316545853
Abridged by poet Chris van Wyk and illustrated by South African artist Paddy Bouma, with an introduction from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Long Walk to Freedom introduces children to the life of one of the world’s most inspiring leaders. Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom tells the story of a true hero of our times; his famous biography has been specially adapted for children in a picture book format.
Only One You
Key Primary Linking Book
by Linda Kranz Taylor Trade Books ISBN: 10: 1589797485
“There’s only one you in this great big world. Make it a better place…” This beautiful little book is full of simple yet powerful wisdom relevant for us all. Our favourite lines include ‘know when to speak and when to listen.’ ‘If you take a wrong turn circle back’ and as well as the core line ‘There’s only one you.’ Many primary linking teachers read this book in their own classrooms then when their classes meet they create unique Only One You fish to give to their partner classes to take back to school. Only One You is a book with a strong message about individual liberty and equality we want all our children to make their own.
by Na’ima B Robert and Shirin Adl ISBN: 9781845079222
This beautiful picture book captures the joy and practicalities of this great annual event, from the perspective of a child. The story follows the waxing of the moon from the first new crescent to full moon and waning until Eid is heralded by the first sighting of the second new moon. It shares the excitement and explains the reasons behind being unsure as to which date Eid will begin until the moon is sighted. This is a book for all children who celebrate Ramadan and those who know them and beyond who want to understand what happens during this celebration.
Key Primary Linking Book by Bell Hooks 2005 Jump at the Sun ISBN: 978-0786808250
‘The skin I’m in is just a covering. It cannot tell my story.’ ‘At TLN we are so delighted that the Skin Again book is back in print! After introductory work around the questions ‘Who Am I?’ and ‘Who Are We?’ has been undertaken by a class, the text of this book can move the conversation about skin colour forward for children. This book celebrates people’s diversity, discusses ethnicity, and examines identity through vibrant illustrations and simple rhyming lines.
Follow this link to find resources that uses this book to deal with the potentially controversial issue of skin colour and identity in a safe manner exploring Hopes and Dreams and the stories we are all made up of http://thelinkingnetwork.org.uk/resource/skin-im-cannot-tell-story/ and the TLN primary identity pack and the TLN secondary identity pack
Click here for resources.
Key Primary Linking Book
by Kathryn Cave & Chris Riddell 1995 Puffin Books ISBN: 978-0140549072
Something Else is a great book to use in class to sense of belonging and inclusion and is a core Schools Linking text helping teachers explore ways their children could welcome and include others into their classroom. Written by Kathryn Cave, with Chris Riddell illustrations, this is a simple yet challenging story about a creature who is different to those around him and told he is ‘not like us’. Despite his best efforts, he just doesn’t feel like he belongs. This beautifully written book explores how individuals cope when they feel as if they don’t belong, as well as the efforts we can make to be friends with someone who is being excluded. We have used the book from Reception to Year 8 in different ways and it offers an age appropriate challenge to us all. For guidance with classroom activities and downloadable resources about the book, follow this link: http://thelinkingnetwork.org.uk/resource/something-else-2/
Click here for resources
The Bad-Tempered Ladybird
by Eric Carle 2010 Puffin ISBN: 978-01413322031
The Bad-Tempered Ladybird, by Eric Carle, tells the story of a ladybird who does not want to share his aphids, with the distinctive images that Carle is famous for. We use this book a long side Emma McCann’s book Munch for our KS1 activity, What’s In It For Me. Using the two stories, this activity explores the ideas of sharing, helping each other, and understanding that we are all linked. Both The Bad- Tempered Ladybird and Munch deal with the ways in which working and living together are positive processes that help us as much as they help the people we are with. Follow this link for our classroom-based activity, What’s in it for me? Click here for resources.
The Barefoot Book of Children
by Tessa Strickland (Author), Kate DePalma (Author), David Dean (Illustrator) ISBN 978-1782852964
This book ’empowers young readers to learn about children around the globe and ponder their own place in it.’ Page after page that have their place in the primary classroom for classes who are linking – and classes who are thinking about global issues.
by Hannah Cumming 2010 Child’s Play ISBN: 978-1-84643-343-6
Everyone has bad days, and children are no exception. When a black cloud descends on a little girl at school, support from a classmate with a great deal of imagination helps to brighten up everyone’s lives. We love the way the whole class plays in working together to support their classmate. The illustrations really tell the story in this delightful picture book from Hannah Cumming.
The Hueys in The New Jumper
Key Primary Linking Book
by Oliver Jeffers 2012 HarperCollins Children’s Books ISBN: 978-0-00-742066-7
Each Huey looks the same, thinks the same, and does the same exact things, so chaos is caused when one of them (Rupert) has the idea of knitting a jumper! It makes him different and this doesn’t go down too well. This point in the book can be used to explore the ways people can limit others individuality and be unkind in small but significant ways that sadly have a real impact. In the end Rupert’s friend and in turn the rest of the Hueys decide that they want to be different too and they all eventually follow the crowd and knit the same jumper. This book is a great story all about allowing and valuing diversity and individuality and freedom. It is a core text for the Autumn term of the primary linking year.
by Armen Greder 2008 Allen & Unwin ISBN: 978-1741752663
The Island is a powerful picture book about refugees, xenophobia, social politics, social contact and human rights. It tackles big themes with a fable-like text and artwork that will provoke discussion for upper primary and secondary school levels about issues that remain so much a part of our national discourse. This picture book is a hard hitting, difficult and distressing text but we have included it here as we do know some teachers in monocultural schools who have used it to powerful effect with Year 6 children or secondary school children. It could be unsettling for a child who has any heritage of migration in their family history. It can be used with care and thought to develop understanding of the potential impact of hate and fear.
Click here for resources.
The Kites Are Flying
by Michael Morpurgo 2010 Walker Books Ltd ISBN: 978-1-406326031
A television reporter’s extraordinary experience in the West Bank reveals how children’s hopes and dreams for peace and unity can fly higher than any wall built to divide communities and religions.
Travelling to the West Bank to witness how life is for Palestinians and Jews living in the shadow of a dividing wall, journalist Max strikes up a friendship with an enigmatic Palestinian boy, Said. Together the two sit under an ancient olive tree while Said makes another of his kites. As Max is welcomed as a guest, he learns of the terrible events in the family’s past and begins to understand why Said no longer speaks.
Told from both Max’s and Said’s points of view, this is a beautiful tale of tragedy and hope with an ending that rings with joy.
The Librarian of Basra
Based on a true story – Alia Muhammad Baker is the librarian in Basra, Iraq. For years , her library has been a meeting place for those who love books . When war arrives Alia struggles to save her community’s priceless collection of books … a book for every school library.
The Rainbow Fish
by Marcus Pfister ISBN-13: 978-3314015441
The Rainbow Fish continues to be a treasured resource in Early Years that builds empathy and fosters inclusive kindness in young children.
The Same Inside
Key Primary Linking Book
This truly great book of poems is excellent for building empathy and understanding and affirming positive ways of relating to ourselves and others. We honestly feel it could have been written to accompany the Primary Linking programme resources – for example; the poem Puzzle is perfect to read if you are creating Jigsaws for your linking class; the poem Together is perfect to read when you introduce schools linking to your own class; The Same Inside explains how apples are the same inside and this would add to the activity When is an apple not an apple. We could list every poem!
The Secret Sky Garden
By Fiona Roberton ISBN-13: 978-1471119255
This book is an excellent primary read for anyone wanting to weave caring for the environment into their primary school linking class visits. Caring about something beyond ourselves and having a shared goal is a great way to form confident connections with others. In this book two children, Funni and Zoo form a friendship while working together to plant seeds and grow a garden in a plot of land.
The Most Magnificent Mosque
By Ann Jungman and Shelley Fowles ISBN: 9781845070854
Visitors to the mosque at Cordoba are plagued by the tricks of three boys: Rashid, who is Muslim, Samuel who is Jewish and Miguel who is Christian. One day, they go one step too far and as a punishment, they are forced to work in the mosque gardens, where they develop a deep sense of the building’s beauty and significance. Many years later, when the Christian king threatens to demolish the Mosque of Cordoba and build a church in its place, the three friends reunite to hatch a plan to save the great mosque… Ann Jungman’s story demonstrates what can be achieved when people work together and don’t waste energy hating each other.
by Ben Morley 2009 Tamarind ISBN: 978-1848530034
Ben Morley’s picture book The Silence Seeker tells the story of a child who seeks to help his new neighbour who his mum tells him is an asylum seeker. He misunderstands and tries to help the older child from the new asylum-seeking family to find silence. This steady, kind story helps key stage 2 children move forward in their empathy and understanding of asylum seekers and is a perfect way to gently open discussion around the refugee crisis. We often use the beginning and end of this book to start a conversation in the classroom and we have known teachers use it with Key Stage 3 pupils.
Click here for resources.
The Wild Book
By Margarita Engle 2012 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ISBN: 978-0547581316
Fefa struggles with words. She has word blindness, or dyslexia, and the doctor says she will never read or write. Every time she tries, the letters jumble and spill off the page, leaping and hopping away like bullfrogs. How will she ever understand them? But her mother has an idea. She gives Fefa a blank book filled with clean white pages. “Think of it as a garden,” she says. Soon Fefa starts to sprinkle words across the pages of her wild book. She lets her words sprout like seedlings, shaky at first, then growing stronger and surer with each new day. And when her family is threatened, it is what Fefa has learned from her wild book that saves them. This award-winning book written by the Cuban-American poet Margarita Engle is a vibrant novel in verse, which paints a glowing portrait of the author’s grandmother as a young girl
To find activities based on this book that engage students in discussions around the potential barriers to learning, concepts of hope and a sense of belonging, follow this link: http://thelinkingnetwork.org.uk/resource/the-wild-book/
The Is My Rock
by David Lucas 2015 Flying Eye Books ISBN-10: 190926350
‘This is my rock!’ proclaims a young goat. ‘It’s not yours!’ ‘Nor yours!’ he shouts at the other goats that dare to climb his rock. He ends up standing on top of his rock, sad, quiet and lonely. Using beautifully detailed illustrations, David Lucas weaves a thought-provoking tale about sharing, friendship and how we can all live together. It is a powerful thought provoking tale for us all and can be used in linking sessions helping children consider the impact of our thoughts and words on others and ultimately on ourselves.
To Be a Kid
by Maya Ajmera 2001 Charlesbridge Publishing ISBN: 0-88106-841-1
To be a Kid is filled with beautiful photographs celebrating children as they play and learn, as they spend time with their friends and family, and as they discover their environment and the world. Each theme is taken in turn with photos of children from around the world. We feel this is a great model for a book for pairs of linking classes to create digitally together as part of their curriculum geography, PSHE, IT and English curriculum using photos, artwork and text.
Under the Same Sky
by Britta Teekentrup ISBN 978-1848577411
We really like the line repeated throughout the book- we all live under the same sky which builds through this book for young children and we have just written a series of classroom lessons inspired by the book.
Voices in the park
by Anthony Browne 1999 Corgi Children’s ISBN: 978-0552545648
Voices in the Park uses story and imagery to tell the story of a shared space through the voices of four different characters. The differing perspectives of each very different character give a fascinating depth to this simple story which explores themes such as alienation and anger as well as friendship and hope. It gently explores the impact we have on others around us and the impact adult emotions have on children. A child reading the book shared with a class ‘The illustrator wants us to understand that we all change the world around us by the words that we say and the way that we are.’ This book is a resource that can be used at a variety of levels with learners young and old. Discussing simply what happens, and what learners notice about each page is an excellent place to start. Reading it several times over a number of lessons, with a different focus, enables learners to gain a deeper knowledge of the story and begin to grapple with more difficult, thoughtful discussion. Some learners will surprise us and jump straight to complex ideas!
To find a classroom activity, related resources and lesson plans linked to this book, click here for resources. The wonderful interactive version of the book is an absolute joy to read with classes of children – you can find it http://research.kingston.ac.uk/booksalive/flash/book.html http://research.kingston.ac.uk/booksalive/flash/book.html
We are all born free
Key Primary Linking Book
by Amnesty International 2008 Frances Lincoln ISBN: 978-1845076504
At TLN we think that all Primary Schools need a copy of We Are All Born Free, written by Amnesty to illustrate our Human Rights. We recommend the book everywhere we go! We Are All Born Free takes adults and children alike on a journey to understanding what Human Rights look like in practice. If you need to explain individual liberty, freedom or rule of law to a child this is a great place to start. Follow this link to see our activity using this book which also explores the key question ‘How Do We All Live Together?’ Thank you to Amnesty for this inspirational resource – and to all the illustrators who have contributed.
Click here for resources we have written .
We are Britain!
by Benjamin Zephaniah 2003 Frances Lincoln ISBN: 978-0711219021
A poetry collection from the poet Benjamin Zephaniah, celebrating the diversity of British society. Benjamin has written 12 poems, each one about a child in his or her home environment. The children are from a range of backgrounds and cultures and the book challenges misperceptions of the way children live in modern Britain. It helps to explore differences as well as showing that children have many similar interests. We Are Britain is a fascinating and fun collection which we have used with children to explore ‘Who Am I?’, ‘Who Are We?’ ‘Where do we live? and ‘How Do We All Live Together?’. The TLN Primary British values pack outlines a week of Key Stage Two literacy lessons based on the book. It can provide a great first week of English lessons for the school year in KS2.
What Friends Do Best
by Jonathan Emmett & Nathan Reed 2004 Harper Collins ISBN: 978-0007141210
What Friends do Best is a story about perseverance, sharing and friendship. The school system increasingly recognises and rewards individual achievements. Sometimes however, there are things that are much harder to achieve working alone than they are if working together with others.
What Friends do Best looks at this through a gentle story about three friends, Winston, Ralph and Alice, who work together to construct something very big indeed. The book is especially suited to younger learners and allows an opportunity to talk about the benefits of working together towards a shared goal. What Friends do Best could also form the basis for an assembly as well as a classroom activity. Follow this link to find Working Together, an activity that uses this picture book to explore how working together is sometimes is the best way to get things done.
Click here for resources
Willy the Wimp
by Anthony Brown 2008 Walker Books Ltd ISBN: 978-1406318746
Click here for resources.
Words and Your Heart
by Kate Jane Neal ISBN-13: 978-1471168536
This is an excellent book which can be used to start a classroom conversation about the power of words and the importance of choosing them carefully if we want to have a positive impact and not hurt others. In the context of real concern about Hate Crime statistics for 11-17 year olds the content of this book provides a good way to teach and open up dialogue with primary age children about words.
You Be You
By Linda Kranz ISBN: 9781589796669
You Be You continues the story of Adri begun in Only One You. You Be You is equally helpful and insightful in a primary classroom and as a shared stimulus for primary linking classes especially for art and dialogue work during class visits. When Adri sets out to explore the ocean, he discovers that there are all kinds of fish in the deep blue sea- big and tiny, smooth and spiny, colourful and plain, different and the same. The book helps reinforce key messages about liberty, respect for diversity and equality in a meaningful age appropriate way for young children.