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Book of the Month for January 2019

18th January 2019


Book of the Month for January 2019

Happy New Year and welcome to Shine’s recommended reads for the beginning of 2019.

Reading Matters

Shine charity knows that reading really matters for brain development and recommends books with a positive and inclusive message for babies and children every month. If you would like to know more, then the Book Trust has a page of reading tips to inspire a love of reading in children of all ages.

Parents and carers can click on the link for video examples and tips -


Recommended read for older children:

Ade’s Amazing Ade-ventures: Battle of the Cyborg Cat By Ade Adepitan

Stories about action heroes are big favourites of older children so this month Shine is recommending a book by Ade Adepitan, who is a wheelchair basketball star and Paralympian as well as a TV presenter and commentator.

Set in the 1980s, this is the story of a young boy learning to adjust to living in London, following the family’s move from Lagos.

His parents are keen to embrace their new life in a very different country, while retaining their own culture and principles. Ade is less sure that they can fit in, especially after encounters with some unpleasant attitudes towards his ethnicity and disability (he wears a caliper on his leg as a result of contracting polio when he was very young).

However, where friendship is concerned, sport proves to be a great leveller. And before long, he is a member of the Parson’s Road Gang with his own nickname, the Cyborg Cat.

This first book by Paralympian and TV presenter Ade Adepitan offers a fascinating picture of his childhood. With a light touch and plenty of wit, he recalls the influences and events that helped to shape his life and career. We encounter the delightful (and often embarrassing) family, the faithful friends with whom he plays on the streets of East London, as well as the prejudice and the challenges.

Entertaining and accessible, this is a book that is sure to achieve its goal of inspiring young people to channel their determination and pursue their own goals. The historical perspective may also encourage the reader to consider how far disability sport and attitudes to disability have come – as well as how far we still have to go.


Shine’s recommended read for children under 5:

Little Boat by Taro Gomi

Maintaining a child’s good mental health was a recurring theme throughout the past year so the recommended book of the month for children under 5 is ‘Little Boat’ by Taro Gomi.

Little Boat is navigating the big sea all by himself. The narrator warns the other boats not to hit Little Boat and the biggest boat not to scare him.

Little Boat must stay calm even when the seas are choppy, and watch out for clouds and rain. Little Boat makes it through the storm and finds himself all alone… but not for long! 

This little book has simple, striking illustrations and a warm narration that is comforting and reassuring. 

Little Boat’s adventure is so gentle it would make a nice first bedtime story and the positive messages encourage independence and confidence.

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