The Dream Peddler by Irena Kobald and Christopher Nielson

Once upon a time a boy was born.

He laughed. He kicked.

He grew.

He wondered, and had many dreams

A picture book inspired by a mother’s anguish over her son’s ice addiction, The Dream Peddler is a story designed to start a conversation with older readers that dreams sold to us falsely are not always as they seem.

Told in folktale format, we meet  boy who lives with his family. Time goes on and he grows up and leaves home with a heart full of dreams.

Until he meets the Dream Peddler who entices him to try a different dream which in turn leads to him to not only forget what his original dreams were but also to develop an addiction.

This story is simple yet deep. It can be read on so many levels. Young readers will grasp at the idea of chasing dreams and becoming addicted to something so much that we forget who we are. Older readers will start to see the connection to drugs and how life with them can be nothing but broken hopes and dreams.

Addiction to drugs is too real and too many young people use these drugs either daily or recreationally. Children need to know what the side effects of drugs are before they start to try them out. They need to know who is giving it to them and consider if they really need them.

This book does focus on the illegal drug ‘ice’ but with a growing world there are so many other ways we can become disjointed from our world and addicted to things that take our lives away.

The Dream Peddler is a great book to read to young people so that they can see how important family, friends and following your hopes and dreams are. One off highs and addictions only ruin lives and it is something we need to address more fiercely.

In the classroom

This book can be used within PD lessons on Drugs

Literacy

You can look at the style of folk tales and fables in this story – how a simple story can send us such a strong message without telling us what to do.  

Visual literacy

Look at how the following have been represented: Loss of direction in life, drugs, drug seller, anger, anguish, addiction, realisation

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The second sky by Patrick Guest and Jonathon Bentley

Great things happen when we reach for the sky


Gilbert is a newly hatched penguin and we meet him as he cracks open his egg and looks up towards the sky. He sees flying storm petrels, shearwaters and wandering albatrosses.

He wants to fly too.

Not knowing his own limitations Gilbert sets off on a mission to fly into the sky with the sea birds. He wants to reach the stars, bath in the moonlight and glide through the clouds.

He moves his little wings but they don’t flap as gracefully, he climbs a mountain to soar down below and he grew his feathers as fast as he could but they just weren’t working!

Gilbert shows persistence throughout his failures and never shows that he wants to give up.

And that’s when Gilbert discovers the amazing underwater world that so many of us forget about. He sees the stars, he sees mountain tops and he sees forests. And down deep, down under the water – he finds that he can fly.

Gilbert the penguin is a strong, persistent, creative and determined character – traits that we need to encourage in our children. We need to show them that they can do anything and when they can’t, perhaps they need to look at the world in a different way.

The illustrations by Jonathon Bentley reflect the cold of  Antartica and the stillness of the wintry sky. The story and illustrations portray a very calming atmosphere despite the actions of little Gilbert.

We meet different sea birds and see the varying landscape of sea and sky – a beautiful adventure for any reader to embark upon.

So what else can you do with this book?

 – List the different traits Gilbert has and compare them to yourself. How do you show strength and determination like Gilbert?

– List the different verbs used to describe Gilbert;s movements and then the verbs used to describe how the birds moved.

– Look at the various shades of blue throughout the story – how many can you find and do they have different names?

– What is under the water apart from animals? Examine plants and the geography of oceans. There are mountains, valleys, volcanoes and forests!

– Find out more about penguins and where they live.

– Explore the life cycle of a penguin

– Are any penguins endangered and why?

– Find out more about the various sea birds that live in Antartica. Are they migratory birds or do they live here all year long?

And – come over and join my facebook group where we discuss how we can help our students and children understand and take action on these big issues!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/362368594250457/

Or like my page – educateempower on facebook. 

Getting home by J.R.Poulter and Muza Ulasowski

A curious baby bear , a slippery piece of ice and a big ocean…

A baby polar bear is looking for his mother in the icy lands of the north pole. As he searches for her he not only comes across some seals, orcas and sea birds, he also discovers how big the ocean is and how important sea ice is to his survival!

Getting Home by JR Poulter and Muza Ulasowski is a worrying yet heartwarming story of this young polar bear and the real struggles these animals are facing every day. Through stunning illustrations and simple language young children will adore pouring over each page looking for different animals, watching the water splash over the ice and hoping that baby bear will make it back to his mum on the icy land safely.

Not only does this book provide a lovely story, it also gives the reader some great facts about polar bears and points out that they do only live in the north – must be a fact that many people get wrong!

Getting home also subtly teaches the readers about the importance of sea ice and how without it, Polar bears are going to really struggle to survive.

My little bit of ice is getting smaller and smaller…..I can just fit…..Just! 

Muza Ulassowski’s illustrations are intricately detailed and  give the reader a great insight into how polar bears move, how they might feel and how they would be if their home was to melt away.

So what can you do at home?

Visual literacy

  •  Explore the power of pictures in picture books. Why don’t we need a lot of writing when the pictures can tell us so much more? Explore what the pictures are telling us in this story.

Literacy

  •  Why is this story called “Getting home”. If the title was changed how would it change the feel of this book?

Sustainability.

SEA ICE

  •  Where is the world’s sea ice?
  •  Why is the sea ice melting?
  •  How is this melting causing problems for Polar Bears?
  • Are there other issues with sea ice melting?

HUMAN IMPACT

  • What are the causes of melting sea ice?
  • How can you minimise your indirect actions that cause sea ice melting?
  • What might the world look like if the sea ice continues to melt?

Grab your copy today and share this beautiful picture book with a little person in your life! Grab one here