Watch This: Why We Need to Teach Thinking Skills

Are we teaching young people to be followers not leaders? We’ve been reading Seth Godin’s ‘Stop Stealing Dreams’ this week – and as a result discovered this brilliant TEDx talk from Dr Derek Cabrera.

Dr Cabrera explains why we need to teach young people more than just how to be good at school  – we need to teach them how to be good at life…and for this, they need to learn four key thinking skills.

A must watch for educators, parents, and anyone who believes in the transformative power of learning.

Find out more about Dr Cabrera’s reasearch at:

The Island Friends Bookshop

Reviews and recommendations: Read what people say about the Island Friends Books

Order the Island Friends books below via PayPal or your credit/debit card.
P&P prices are for delivery within the UK only (please email us for International Shipping info).   


Buy all 6 books in the series for £24 + £3.50 P&P

Buy the full set of six limited first edition hardback books today for £24 (RRP £48) or order each book separately below.
To order the full set simply click ‘buy now’ below.

Buy All Six Books for £24 + P&P 


Individual Titles

Buy individual titles below for £7.99 each plus P&P


Book 1: Welcome Home Puffin Pal
Puffin Pal and his family make the long journey back to Lucky Island after a winter at sea…but will he make it safely home? A story about imagination, perseverance and having a positive attitude.

Pal_and_the_Surprise_Party_B5_CoverBook 2: Pal and the Surprise Party
Puffin Pal helps to organise a surprise birthday party for his Auntie Pam, and learns that some things are more important than presents… A story about community, being positive, and valuing non-material things.

Pals_Journey_To_The_Centre_Of_The_Island_B5_coverBook 3 – Pal’s Journey to the Centre of the Island
Puffin Pal and his friends go on an adventure as they get lost in the maze of burrows under Lucky Island. A story about seeing possibilities, teamwork, and overcoming challenges.

Puffin Pal and the Golden FeatherBook 4: Puffin Pal and the Golden Feather
After a stormy night on Lucky Island, Puffin Pal finds a mysterious golden feather that leads him and his best friend Roy on another island adventure. A story about helping others, solving problems, and teamwork.

Puffin Pal and the Monster Next DoorBook 5: Puffin Pal and the Monster Next Door
Puffin Pal’s imagination runs wild when he sees a pair of eyes peering out at him from the burrow next to his. Could a monster have moved in next door? A story about imagination, being brave and conquering your fears.

9780992666354Book 6: Buzz Off Puffin Pal!
Puffin Pal is hungry, so he picks bunches of flowers to swap for sand eels with his friends – but the bees aren’t happy…look out Puffin Pal! A story about bouncing back after setbacks, looking after the environment and collaboration.

Our thanks go to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales for their support in developing these books – please consider becoming a member today to help protect our precious wild places for future generations.

*For international delivery, trade orders, schools or libraries please contact us at

UnLtd Award Winners

Woohoo – We’ve got 20 Free Books to Give Away!

Did you know that it’s ‘World Book Night‘ this Tuesday (23rd April), a celebration of books, reading, and all things literary?

Well it is, and as we think it’s a brilliant event we volunteered a few months back to help out. So, we’re very excited to have been selected as ‘book givers’ for the event.

The books have arrived, now all we need are some willing readers, so read on to find out more about the books we have to give away and how you can get one for someone you know…

What’s this World Book Night thing all about? Book Night is a fantastic annual event where vast quantities of fantastic books are distributed for free to people across the UK.  It’s aim is to promote books and reading to those who would perhaps not normally read regularly.  The World Book Night team recruits 20,000 volunteers each year (book givers), to distribute 20 copies of a book they’ve chosen from a shortlist.  We love books and reading, so this year we applied to take part and were ‘lucky’ enough to be selected.   This means that we get to give away 20 copies of an amazing and inspiring book to people who will benefit in some way from reading and sharing it.  Cool, huh?

The book we’ve chosen: ‘A Little History of the World’ by E.H.Gombrich

We got to choose one book from a shortlist of fantastic titles (see below), but this one stood out.  If there’s one story you read in your life, this should be it, and it’s a true one….

E.H. Gombrich’s ‘A Little History of the World’ is the epic tale of human history, so strange and exciting that none of us could have imagined it.  He tells it with a vivacity and humour that make this unlike any other history book we’ve ever read.  It’s not long enough to put off the reluctant reader, and will keep you gripped until the end.

And, not only is it an inspiring tale of human endeavour, but it is an inspirational endeavour in and of itself. Written in an intense six week period between the first and second world wars, it represents an astounding achievement in writing.

Little did Gombrich know at the time of writing, however, that the tale of human history was about to take an even more cataclysmic turn in the decade that followed, and his final chapter, written later, reflects on the tumultuous period of history through which he himself lived, ending with an astute summary and prescient look forward at many of the challenges humanity has faced since his conclusion.

‘not only is it an inspiring tale of human endeavour,
but it is an inspirational endeavour in and of itself.’

He ends with the words ‘…we still have the right to go on hoping for a better future’, and he’s right, because without hope (always coupled with effort of course), what else do we have?

‘…we still have the right to go on hoping for a better future’
E.H. Gombrich

Know someone who would benefit from the book?

If you know someone (in or near South Wales)  who would like to read and share this book, and whom you believe would benefit from it, please email us at, tweet us at @We_are_lucky or leave a comment below.

We have 20 copies to give away on Tuesday 23rd April and will be arrange a ‘rendez-vous’ where you can pick one up…

Find more about World Book Night here.



Self Organised Learning Environments

If you present people with problems, their natural curiosity, creativity and ability to collaborate will lead them to teach themselves to solve it.

This is the central idea of Sugata Mitra’s TED award-winning approach to learning called ‘SOLE’ (Self Organised Learning Environments).

The idea of self-organisation and collaborative learning is a tantalising prospect.  Is it time to ditch our Victorian model of education and perhaps even ditch the idea that we need formal schools?

“It’s not about making learning happen, it’s about letting it happen” Sugata Mitra

In a compelling argument for open access, self-organised learning  he asks “are we heading towards a situation where knowing is obsolete?”, and if so, what will self-organised problem solving enable us to do because we’re no longer holding on to knowing enough to pass the test?

Get involved

Step 1: Watch the video:

Step 2: Now, download the toolkit and get involved!


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