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By Sandy Coleman — a Foundation Stage coordinator and nursery teacher.

Check out this wonderful pick of children’s books on the theme of ‘Light and dark’


The Magic Sky by Lucy Richards (Egmont, PB, £7.99)

A charming picture book with beautifully-drawn illustrations. It tells the story of Rory, a little polar bear who looks forward with great excitement as he counts down the bedtimes until he can see the ‘magic sky’. This story will strike a chord with any child who has ever experienced the anticipation of counting down to a special event. This story had my Reception class transfixed, eager to see the magic sky – a few ‘ahhs’ even escaped when Rory finally did witness the Northern Lights. A CD also accompanies this book with the story, songs and games, which really brings the book to life!

Suitable for ages three to six.

In the Dark, Dark Wood by Jessica Souhami (Frances Lincoln, PB, £5.99).

This is an amusing take on a familiar tale. This story will enthral and capture the attention of all children as they are taken on a journey through a dark wood and into a spooky house, lifting the flaps along the way to find many hidden surprises. The children in my class enjoyed joining in with the repetitive text and ‘Hoo-hoo-hoo! Haa-haa-haa!’. Suspense is built throughout the book, until the pop-up ghost is revealed at the end.

Suitable for ages three to five.

Play of Light by Herve Tullet (Templar Publishing, HB, £5.99).

This innovative book provides an original way to explore the topic of light through a story. Each page of the hardback book has cut-out stencils of different images. When a torch is shone through the pictures, shadow images are projected on to the walls or ceiling. This would be particularly suitable for a setting that has access to a sensory room, as a darkened room would achieve the best results. As we do not have access to such a room, this book’s appeal was slightly limited for our children.

Suitable for ages two to five.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch by Ronda and David Armitage (Scholastic, PB £5.99).

The story of another adventure had by Mr Grinling, the lighthouse keeper and his wife. It elaborately unfolds the problems that Mrs Grinling encounters when she tries to send her husband his delicious lunches each day, only for them to be intercepted and eaten by the seagulls! Although this is a superb story, the sophisticated vocabulary caused a few problems as it was too advanced for my Reception class, and therefore much of the meaning was lost.

Suitable for ages three to seven.

Ten Stars Twinkle by Julie Aigner-Clark (Scholastic, HB, £7.99).

A bright and attractive book with detailed illustrations and simple text. The illustrations tell the story of a mother kangaroo and her joey as they observe the twinkling, tactile stars in the night sky. When sharing this book with a small group of children, the children stopped me at every page wanting to touch and count the stars, as they counted down from ten to one. The children loved the last page where the moon lights up at the touch of a button.

Suitable for ages two to three.

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