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8th December 2000 at 00:00
The Keyclub Piano Course is a popular introduction for young instrumentalists, which gives them an immediate sense of initial achievement. Now its author, Ann Bryant, has written Play Straight Away! to promote the same feelings in beginners on the recorder. Using the attractive format of songs set among storylines, with new words written to familiar rhythms and tunes, it moves from simple arrangements of letter names of notes to the correct use of staff notation and simple time signatures. Jokes and stickers keep young fingers moving and young ears listening attentively.

Play Straight Away! Book 1 (6621A) and Book 2 (6622A) cost pound;3.99 and are published by International Music Publications. Details of ordering, local outlets and related publications on IMP website: www.music-at-school.co.uk The past can be a playground where serious lessons are learned through fun and excitement. The War Child is a book based on a Theatre in Education partnership between the National Trust and the University of Derby. Adults with long memories, actors and children used the experience of evacuees to devise an entertainment rich in historical understanding and moral complexity. The treatment of strangers and the effects of propaganda are just two of the themes to emerge from the book.

The War Child costs pound;19.99 from Vector Services (National Trust Education), 13 Denington Road, Wellingborough, Northants NN8 2RL. Tel: 01933 445600. Fax: 01933 278225.

You shouldn't be out of your head if you want to play Uppers and Downers, a board game inside d-mag. The teenage magazine about dugs includes quizzes as well, but the bulk of its content consists of fact and (mainly) balanced opinion. There is advice on which drugs do what to whom, information about first aid, and brief guidelines about what to expect from the law in this and other countries. It assumes readers may well be sexually active as well as being or knowing drug users, but that is likely to gain trust for its discussions.

d-mag costs pound;3 per copy or pound;30 for 20 copies from Publications Unit, DrugScope, 32 Loman Street, London SE1 0EE. Tel: 020 7928 1211. Email: services@drugscope.org.uk Website: www.drugscope.org.uk With more than 3.5 million children eating chocolate every week, the new Dubble bar from Comic Relief stands a good chance of being eaten as well as helping promote fair trade. Papapaa (which means "best of the best" in the Ghanaian language Twi) is a huge chocolate-bar-shaped pack for key stage 2. It shows how Dubble will make a difference to the lives of cocoa farmers in West Africa. Packed with rich educational nutrients, it blends maths and morality into a sweet compound.

Papapaa is free (one copy each) for primary schools and can be ordered from Papa paa (Comic Relief) Teaching Packs, Educational Communications, The Tower Building, 11 York Road, London SE1 7NX. Tel: 020 7401 4000. Fax: 020 7401 4001. Website: www.comicrelief.org.uk Tom Deveson Blitz! An Early Literacy Intervention Pack by Linda Perry, reviewed in the Special Needs Curriculum Special on October 27, is available from: Downholm, Lewes Road, Ringmer, East Sussex BN8 5QB. Tel: 01273 813765 .

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