Tom Percival

We are great fans of Tom Percival and have reviewed a number of his picturebooks throughout the academic year of 2018/2019. His books suit both younger and older primary learners and touch upon important topics. If you want to find out more about Tom, visit his website and listen to this interview.

Perfectly Norman together with Ruby’s Worry were our books of the month in January 2019. Here is a short ‘book-trailer’ and you will find many teaching ideas I our ‘Themed Resources’ – check ‘Celebrating Inclusion’.


Ruby’s Worry was published in 2018 and was reviewed by PEPELT together with Perfectly Norman (Theme: Celebrating Inclusion). Since publication, Ruby has received a lot of attention, in particular in an article published in The Guardian in October 2018 questioning whether picture books could help with the mental health crisis amongst children.


and his latest book ….


Review by Tatia: Published in 2019 this picture book has a clever title – did the sea see something? The book is about a little girl Sofia and her ‘bear’. The teddy had been her grandpa’s, then her mum’s and now it was hers. She loved her bear, it kept her company. There is only one mention of her mother, a picture frame shows her with Sofia’s dad, holding the teddy. And so we are left to imagine why she is absent and how much this teddy must mean to Sofia. One day she and her Dad go to the seaside. A storm starts, both run for shelter and they lose the teddy. And this is what the sea saw and so the caring sea made it its mission to reunite the two. Many, many years on, there is a happy ending.This book is about love, never-ending love, loss but also happy endings. As such, there are many teaching opportunities. Children can easily identify with the feeling of love for their favourite, perhaps lost & found possession. Art can be linked to teach new vocabulary based on their drawings of loved items. How to describe objects and express feelings are other areas to work on. You could also think about making a link to history and past times. No doubt, children will spot the old-fashioned telephone and the Dad’s unfamiliar clothing style. The sea plays a key role in this book so that opens up another area to look at – the sea, the shore, sea animals, harbours, rivers etc etc. The illustrations are wonderfully calm and so rich in detail – children have lots to discover on every page.