There are some books that, when I read them, I just think we need a copy of this in every classroom ! So I thought I'd share a short...

Books Every Classroom Should Have

Monday, August 13, 2018 BookBairn 2 Comments

There are some books that, when I read them, I just think we need a copy of this in every classroom! So I thought I'd share a short (as short as I could make it because we all know school budgets are super tight in the current climate) list of brand new releases that I think every classroom should have! This list of books is aimed at primary school classrooms and one lucky classroom teacher in the UK could win copies of my top three!

Under the Same Sky by Britta Teckentrup

We all live under the same sky and we experience many of the same hopes and dreams and emotions wherever we are. We feel the same love. We face the same storms. In this beautiful lyrical text, Britta Teckentrup celebrates and cherishes all that we have and share. Despite different colours, environments and experiences as depicted in her stunning illustrations of animal families all around the world. This is a magical story that will help you feel close as you read together and should help your class develop their empathy skills. It's a beautiful message about community, togetherness and empathy.

Feelings by Libby Walden & Richard Jones

This is a stunning exploration into emotional literacy for young children. Full to the brim of delightful illustrations and with a brilliant use of colour, this book is a beautifully poetic look into a wide range of emotions ranging from ‘happy’ to ‘angry’ to ‘alone’ and ‘calm’. Centering on a little boy wearing a blue coat and a red hat, who, in fact, is only illustrated on the final page with a die-cut out showing him experiencing emotions on each page, stands still and firm as the background illustrations change around him to represent his changing feelings. Each beautiful illustration is accompanied by an enchanting poetic couplet introducing children to how that emotion might feel inside you. It is truly magical to read and will help your class explore a variety of emotions extending the emotional vocabulary of younger readers as well as creating the opportunity for discussions with older ones. 

Everybody's Welcome by Patricia Hegarty & Greg Abbott

This story promotes the ideals of refuge, inclusivity and friendship at a level even the littlest readers will understand. Mouse is building a house in the middle of the wood. When Frog's pond dries up and he has no where to live, Mouse suggests that they build a home together:

"Everybody's welcome,
no matter who they are, 
Wherever they may come from,
whether near or far."

Accompanied by beautiful illustrations that children will love to pore over, spotting all her favourite creatures, this magical book really teaches readers about acceptance, generosity and to empathise with others. Whilst the characters may appeal to the youngest pupils, older classes will learn a lot from unpicking the story to find the message hidden within!

And two more books that are ideal for the very youngest classes ideal for nursery and early years pupils.

The Worry Box by Suzanne Chiew & Sean Julian

Recent research by mental health charity Place2Be revealed that almost two thirds of children worry "all the time" so it's become even more important that we find tools to encourage children to open up and share their feelings and worries. This new title stars Murray Bear who has a lot of worries. So many, in fact, that it's stopping him from exploring and going on adventures with his friends. With the help of his sister, Milly, Murray makes a special box to keep all his worries in and sets out to explore, adventure and make new friends. With soft illustrations and adorable characters that children will relate to, this is a brilliant story to encourage children to talk about their worries and fears. A much-needed book for classroom and school libraries!

Mind Your Manners by Nicola Edwards & Feronia Parker-Thomas

Welcome to the jungle! Or so many teachers might feel with a new class of monkeys to teach and enjoy over the next year. This is a perfect back-to-school first day of term book. It's full of misbehaving animals who need to learn some manners. With quirky and memorable rhymes alongside adorable animal illustrations, children will enjoy this fun introduction to manners and the importance of being polite! The illustrations are packed full of humour which makes the lesson light-hearted and enjoyable for readers. One of the best things to establish in your class is how to treat one and other with respect, kindness and good manners and this book is just perfect for that!

So there you are! Some great books to get your class engaged in quality storytime as well as opening up discussions of wider issues or supporting children develop their own empathy and emotional literacy skills. 

And the good news... we've got copies of Everybody's Welcome, Feelings and Under the Same Sky to giveaway to any classroom teacher in the UK!* Pop over to my Twitter or Instagram pages (you'll find us under the username BookBairn or you can click the social media icons at the top of this page) to find out how to enter.

Good luck in the new school year! 
Kim (teacher at large!)

*I was sent these three books by the publisher to celebrate their paperback release but as I already had hardback copies I wanted to give them to a classroom of kids to enjoy them. 

DISCLAIMER I was sent all these books free for review by the publishers. Words and opinions are my own. And I specifically chose these five because I really think they are the best. We get sent a lot of books and there are many that could have made the list but I wanted to keep it to the essentials so they are specifically selected because I think they are the best.


  1. Looks like another great set of books. Good luck to all who enter the competition.