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  • Pride
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Launched in September 2023, EXTOL Reads is a Trust-wide initiative designed to kindle excitement for books among our children. The primary goal is to nurture a genuine love and passion for reading, presenting it as an enjoyable and enriching experience. A key emphasis is empowering children to cultivate their own voices and opinions. Understanding that expressing thoughts on a book contributes to informed future choices, EXTOL Reads encourages youngsters to vocalise their reflections on the books that they engage with.


The event was inaugurated by Hilary Robinson, the Trust's Patron of Reading and the renowned author of 'Peace Lily' and 'Where the Poppies Now Grow.' A dedicated space within schools has been allocated for children to select an EXTOL Reads book, spanning various genres such as fiction, non-fiction, picture and wordless, to read and subsequently review. This dynamic approach aims to not only enhance literacy skills but also foster critical thinking and self-expression, ensuring that the joy of reading becomes a lifelong pursuit for the participating children.


Below, you can read some of the reviews left independently by our children or alongside their families at home.

Our Reviews

Olivia-Rose – Year 6

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant - Nizrana Faroo; Year 5/6 Fiction; Rated: 5/5

I am reviewing the book, The Girl Who Stole an Elephant, by Nizrana Fahrook. This amazing book is about a girl called Chaya who has the ability to talk her way out of anything and everything – except the queen’s jewels. This book takes you to a world of human adventure and openbs your eyes to the theme and powers of friendship. The overwhelming feeling throughout the book is suspense, which makes you want to keep turning the pages. You will like it so much, you might even read it twice! I enjoyed reading this book because of the descriptions, animals and wildlife – they really brought the book to life. It is set in the dazzling landscapes of Sri Lanka. I think you all would enjoy this book because of the incredible settings, creative vocabulary and the amount of interesting wildlife.


Lillie – Year 4

Seed - Caryl Lewis; Year 5/6 Fiction; Rated: 5/5

I am reviewing the book called Seed, by Caryl Lewis. This book was so funny – I loved it! This book is about a boy called Marty, whose grandad gives him a ‘very special seed’. His grandad hadn’t been this excited since building the bum scratcher in 2000! When Marty plants the seed, it grows bigger and bigger and bigger. It launches Marty, grandad and Gracie on an impossible, wonderous plan fuelled by love, hopes and dreams. I would recommend this book because it is huge-hearted, with a small amount of horror and it can be enjoyed by children or adults.


Cece – Reception

Flashlight - Lizi Boyd; Wordless Books; Rated: 5/5

There’s no words in the book. You can see lots of different animals. I like it when you can see the owl peeking.


Alice – Year 5

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant - Nizrana Faroo; Y5/6 Fiction; Rated: 4/5

The book is about Chaya who is a thief as she stole the crown jewels from the Queen. This adventure story is set in the wonderful surroundings of Sri Lanka. Chaya’s friends Neel and Nour camp out in the jungle, with an elephant! I enjoyed this book because it is interesting and the pictures that it builds in your head make it feel like you’re really there.


Henry – Reception

Caged - Duncan Annand; Wordless Books; Rated: 4/5
Henry really enjoyed this book. He liked looking at the pictures and talking about the bluebird building her nest. His favourite part was when all the parrots were freed.


Leo & Olive – Year 5

Wilder - Penny Chrimes – Y5/6 Fiction; Rated: 3/5

This book is about a child with has a special and unique bond with animals, especially falcons.

Penny Chrimes has created a beautiful and intriguing adventure, that covers the main themes: love, belonging and the wilderness within us all. This book is set in a place called ‘The Marsh’ and it takes you on an adventure through spectacular places, where you get to visit lots of special and talented animals. We would strongly recommend this book and gave it 5 out of 5 stars. Thank you for listening.  


Oliver – Reception

Flotsam - David Wiesner; Wordless Books; Rated: 3/5

We enjoyed the pictures in this book and making our own story up.


Violet – Reception
Flashlight - Lizi Boyd; Wordless Books; Rated: 5/5

I really liked this book. You can see different things with the torch.


Florence – Year 2

Last: The story of A White Rhino - Nicola Davies; Picture Book; Ratied: 5/5

Florence thinks this book is heartbreaking but good.


Lewis – Year 2

The Artist - Ed Vere; Picture Book; Rated: 5/5

Lewis loves this book, he likes it when the pictures come to life! Enchanting book, kept Lewis wanting to read until the end.


Harry – Reception

Flotsam - David Wiesner; Wordless Books; Rated: 4/5

This book got my child looking at the pictures and making up a story as to what’s happening!


Ava – Reception

The Tree & the River - Aaron Becker; Wordless Books; Rated 5/5

Ava loved the colours of the towns as they evolved over time and the great details on every page.


Anya & Lewis - Year 3

Marcel's Masterpiece - Jeff Mack; Non-Fiction; Rated: 5/5

This book is about the person who invented a toilet and called it a piece of art. He gave it someone in the art show because he thought it was art. Some people thought it was a fabulous piece of art and some did not. It was set in 1917 as he wrote the date on the toilet. The people at the art show disagreed on whether it was piece of art or not and they gave their opinions. We would recommend this book to someone who likes comedy as itis funny. We would also recommend it to someone who likes art and history. The artwork in the book also has some real images like photographs in which makes it look realistic. 


Georgina & Teddy - Year 3
Pizza! A Slice of History - Greg Pizzoli; Non-Fiction; Rated: 5/5

This book is about where pizza first began. it shows us what types of bread can be used and the types of toppings that can go on it. It tells us which countries people eat pizza in. Facts about the number of pieces of pizza eaten each day in some countries. Some people think pizza started in America, some in Greece, some in Italy. The illustrations are really nice as they are also funny. It looks like they have been drawn. There are some different places that make pizza in different ways like using curry powder and shredded coconut. We would recommend this book to people who like pizza and want to know where it has come from. 


Lucy Jane - Year 6

Seed - Caryl Lewis; Fiction; Rated 5/5

I am reviewing the book Seed by Caryl Lewis. I mostly enjoyed this book because of its humour and how big-hearted the characters are and the story makes you feel. This fiction book is about a boy called Marty and it is his birthday! As a present from his grandfather, he receives a seed. It seems like a normal seed but when Marty plants it, haunted events begin to happen. The genre of mystery makes you want to keep reading the book because it builds suspense and leaves the author wanting to know more. Its main theme is hope and it is a great way for children to enter the fiction world of fictional children’s horror. I think other people would enjoy this book because of how funny it is, the mystery that it involves and those two features, in my opinion, are fantastic to have in a book!