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Monday, 11 April 2011

Benjamin Zephaniah: My Story (Collins Big Cat, Diamond/Band 17)

Find out what it's like to be a famous poet, author and performer in this autobiography by Benjamin Zephaniah. Learn what it was like growing up in a house of seven children, meeting Nelson Mandela and how he sets about writing poetry, all told through his own voice and accompanied by artwork from Kate Greenaway winning illustrator Victor Ambrus. * Diamond/Band 17 books offer more complex, underlying themes to give opportunities for children to understand causes and points of view. * An autobiography * A timeline on pages 54 and 55 presents the key events in Benjamin Zephaniah's life chronologically, allowing plenty of recapping and further discussion. * Curriculum Links: Citizenship: Living in a diverse world
This type of book by Collins Big Cat are the ones which I think they do really well. Autobiographies of influential people, written in a way that children will enjoy. Benjamin Zephaniah is a black poet, another influential person from the twentieth century I have never heard of but have been introduced to via Collins Big Cat. The book includes both photographs and drawings of Benjamin. It also contains a comprehensible timeline and glossary to enable children to understand completely. The book is one of the Collins Big Cat reading scheme books (Diamond band 17), however it is really interesting and informative non fiction book, a biography, which covers a number of topics, including his parents move from Jamaica to England, his early life in Birmingham, his school days, his trips to Jamaica and his introduction into the world of Dub Poetry (a dubbed version of a track, and then removal of the music) and a poet's life. there are many original photographs in the book, but also a number of illustrations which accompany the narrative beautifully. The narrative tells the history and the story of Benjamin Zephaniah's life in great detail and in words that a child would understand. This book would make a great entry into a school library or for budding poets of any age. Thank you to Michael from The School Run Forum for sending me the book to review.

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