Narwhal’s School of Awesomeness / The Lola Bee Bop / The Snotty Dribbler

Narwhal’s School of Awesomeness
Ben Clanton
Farshore

School has never been so much fun as it is when having followed the fishy pupils (love their names) of the Aquatic Academy to their place of learning, Narwhal and Jelly find that lessons are cancelled on account of staff sickness and volunteer to become substitute educators – Narwhal as Professor Knowell and Jelly as his ‘sort of super teacher’.

The first subject the best friends offer is Wafflematics – a tasty way of learning about basic addition if you’re a fish

(and a splendid incidental vocabulary lesson for readers of this sixth Jelly and Narwhal book). Next up is a spot of science, which takes the form of a fact-finding scavenger hunt with the class split into two teams and a yummy surprise for the winners.

Break is spent playing a game of Tag and then, when it’s a toss up between Jelly’s art and Narwhal’s writing as the next lesson, what better way to settle their difference of opinion than with a comic, co-created by teachers and class members – a new episode of the Super Waffle and Strawberry Sidekick Comic series involving a teacher-eating mucus monster. Everybody has so much fun that the day whizzes by in the flash of a fin: assuredly the teaching is unconventional (something that often works well if you happen to be doing a bit of supply in an unknown school); and of course, each lesson is taught with Jelly and Narwhal’s own brand of humour and positivity (further requisites of supply teaching, I suggest). I wonder what grade Narwhal receives from his teacher – that you’ll have to find out from this fun-packed, fact-filled book.

Some of the fun comes from the way that when one fish says something, each of the others responds with a synonym or variation on the word – incidental learning of the memorable kind for young readers. A gigglesome delight from start to FIN!

The Lola Bee Bop
John Dougherty, illustrated by Pauline Gregory
The Snotty Dribbler
Effua Gleed, illustrated by Kamala Nair
Bloomsbury Education

These are additions to the Bloomsbury Young Readers series.
Told in rhyme the engaging jaunty The Lola Bee Bop tells of Lola, a bee that just can’t resist waggling her bottom in bee bop time as she works hard among the flowers. When distaster strikes in the form of their favourite flowers being mown, at the queen’s behest Lola joins her fellow bees in search of more blooms from which to collect nectar and pollen. Eventually they find just the ideal field, collect the necessary and return to the hive. But how will they ever find the way back to those flowers again?

Could this be where Lola’s waggling really comes into its own?

Lots of fun, some gentle scientific learning and splendidly expressive illustrations by Pauline Gregory.

The Snotty Dribbler is seven year old Blay’s name for his baby sister who at fifteen months old frequently annoys her brother intensely especially with her snot, dribbles and fits of crying just when it’s his TV watching time. Oh how Blay wishes for some time apart from this little person. But then when something happens causing baby Bethany to need to spend the night in hospital with his mother, he really starts to miss her; clearly he doesn’t mind her as much as he’d first thought.

A new sibling story, sweetly and simply related with Blay’s emotions evident throughout, made all the more so through Kamala Nair’s bold illustrations.

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