Picturebooks as Martin Galway, English teaching and learning adviser with Herts for Learning, says: they provide a swift democracy, a shared world and experience that can mitigate and compensate for varying levels of experience of the world. They can provide a unique common starting point that levels the playing field. The best picture books give us that wonderful opportunity to talk, explore and interpret.
This set of 10 for Year 2 does just that I think. Hope its useful.
1) The Mystery of the Golden Wonderflower by Benjamin Flouw
Lavish and luscious. This book could be the start point for an amazing journey into learning about nature, plants and the environment.
Fox is an avid botanist. He loves all flowers and trees! One evening, whilst flicking through his books, he discovers the Golden Wonderflower. But little is known about this precious plant…And so, Fox embarks on an exciting journey on the search of this curiosity. Join him on an adventure through forests, meadows and the mountains. Delight in the wonders that lie in nature s remote corners. Lovers of the great outdoors will delight in a story that sends a powerful message about the environment and our wild, natural world.
The rich illustrations catch the tranquility of the unspoiled, depict the plants that Fox finds on his way and take the young reader on an exciting adventure into the wild.
2) Beegu by Alexis Deacon
Beegu’s is stranded on Earth. Now she is lost and wandering. Waiting for a rescue signal from her mother, she fails to make friends with the strange creatures she encounters. Rabbits don’t seem to understand her; windblown leaves won’t stay still to listen. But at last, on a school playground, Beegu discovers a group of fantastic companions who are happy to let her join their games . . . until a grownup creature spoils the fun.
A wonderful, emotional book that resonates with love and hope but isnt afraid to tell some hard truths.
3) The Secret Sky Garden by Linda Sarah and Fiona Lumbers
A delightful book about how one person can make a difference to their world and the importance of sharing that.
Funni loves the old, disused car park, and spends a lot of time there flying her kite and playing her recorder. But something is missing. Definitely. So Funni decides to create a garden in the neglected space and after weeks of careful nurture, her garden in the sky takes shape. One day, a little boy, Zoo, spots the square of colour amongst the grey from an incoming flight, and decides to try to find it. And slowly, not only do Funni’s flowers bloom, but a very special friendship blossoms too.
Bonus book Footpath Flowers
4) That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton
This is a very personal choice as it’s the book I’ve read with my son more than any other. It is just a fantastically joyous bit of storytelling. It does everything a great picturebook should and does it with a swagger. A story about valuing things and really caring about them.
Emily Brown’s rabbit, Stanley, is NOT FOR SALE.
Not even to her Most Royal Highness Queen Gloriana the Third.
Not even for all the toys Emily Brown could ever desire.
So when naughty Queen Gloriana steals “Bunnywunny” away, Emily Brown sets out to get him back. Along the way, she shows the queen how to love a special toy of her very own.
5) Traction Man is Here by Mini Grey
Mini Grey’s story in words and pictures is an irresistible invitation to the private world of a child’s play. Fantastic Comic-art, and brilliant use of humour and pathos combine to make this book brilliant fun, your class will take traction man on some brilliant further adventures.
Traction Man—wearing combat boots, battle pants, and his warfare shirt—comes in a box, but very quickly finds the way into the imagination of his lucky boy owner. This superhero searches for the Lost Wreck of the Sieve as the boy makes a game of doing the dishes, and later in the bathtub, he conquers the Mysterious Toes that are stealing his pet, the brave little Scrubbing Brush. These are just a few of the action-packed adventures played out by the boy and his new toy that may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but can vanquish all manner of villains lurking around the house. The biggest challenge however arrives in the form of Nan’s homemade outfit.
6) Journey by Aaron Becker.
If this books doesn’t get your class writing then nothing will.
A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all. A vibrant, hair-raising journey through the power of imagination
7) At Our House by Isabel Minhos Martins and Madelena Matoso
Wonderfully vibrant, colourful art could lead to all-sorts of maths based fun. What is it at your house? Or even better What is in your class?
A truly fab Maths based picturebook…Counting is fun, but it’s a lot more fun when you can count things like fingers, tongues, bones and freckles. At Our House is a charming adventure through the eyes of one household and the bodies that are in it. Vibrantly illustrated, each page counts up the number of toes and teeth, and even length of intestines children might find in their own family, in a hilarious (and gross!) story that children will love.
8) Moth (An Evolution Story) by Isabel Thomas and Daniel Egneus
A truly fantastic book that would work from Year 1 all the way to Year 6.THis is just about the perfect combination of science and story-telling.
Powerful and visually spectacular, Moth is the remarkable evolution story that captures the struggle of animal survival against the background of an evolving human world in a unique and atmospheric introduction to Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection.
Against a lush backdrop of lichen-covered trees, the peppered moth lies hidden. Until the world begins to change…Along come people with their magnificent machines which stain the land with soot. In a beautiful landscape changed by humans how will one little moth survive?
A clever picture book text about the extraordinary way in which animals have evolved, intertwined with the complication of human intervention.
Here is the trailer…
9) Not Now Bernard by David Mckee
The perfect book for open-ended discussion. Hilarious on the first take, deeply sad by the tenth.
Bernard’s got a problem because he’s found a monster in the back garden but his parents are too preoccupied to notice him let alone heed his warnings. If he’s eaten, will they even notice? Beautifully written and illustrated the levels within the story allow for deep discussion. I find it incredibly sad, as an adult, to read. With his dad barely there (he’s only in two parts) and his mum only offering practical support – making him dinner, making him go to bed – Bernard is pretty much on his own, nobody eats with him and he’s expected to take himself to bed. A true classic.
10) Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena and Christian Robinson
Fantastic, gentle book that explores community and diversity through the eyes of a child. Wonderful as a starting pont for exploring your communities and opening discussion about them.
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.
This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.
Deservedly won lots of plaudits including the 2016 Newberry Medal