The friendly facts of life

Steve Blackman

LIFE PROCESSES SERIES. Food Chains and Webs. Cells and Systems. Survival and Change. By Holly Wallace and Steve Parker.

LIVING THINGS SERIES. Classification. Adaptation. Life Cycles. By Holly Wallace, Steve Parker and Anita Ganeri. Heinemann pound;10.50 each. TES Direct pound;10.

Life Processes is an exciting series for primary schools, which explores the world of living things with a detailed text and high quality photographs and illustrations. It has been written with an eye on the QCA units in the science curriculum and should prove a valuable set of resources. Living Things explores the same concepts as Life Processes with a simplified, accessible text.

The books are pupil friendly, but use scientifically correct vocabulary and avoid talking down to the reader. In Classification, for example, children will find facts easily about Monerans, Protists, Fungi, Plants and Animals. There is excellent attention to detail, including a chart showing the various mammal groupings with enough factual interest to satisfy the most demanding pupils.

Life Cycles features the salmon, fungi and snake as well as the more usual frog and butterfly. Each is illustrated with photographs or detailed coloured graphics and labels pay particular attention to key words. Every spread features a fascinating "Did You Know" section which could be really useful when directing children into research skills.

Steve Blackman is head of Great Alne primary school, Warwickshire

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Steve Blackman

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