Knitbone Pepper and the Last Circus Tiger by Claire Barker

Knitbone Pepper and the Last Circus Tiger

Written by Claire Barker
Illustrated by Ross Collins
Part of the Knitbone Pepper Series

7+ readers   9+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Claire Barker’s Knitbone Pepper books are charming: gentle stories about a ghostly band of dearly departed pets living in a crumbling stately home, they are funny, lively and genuinely touching. There’s great excitement when a circus pitches its tents at Starcross Hall. Knitbone detects an odd scent in the big top, a mix of salt, mist and dandelion clocks, and he recognises the smell of a broken heart. Sure enough, the circus has a ghost tiger, desperate to communicate with his ‘Beloved’, former owner, the circus ringmaster. The Starcross animals come to his help, and foil a jewel thief in the process too. The setting, the motley crew of ghosts, Winnie’s eccentric parents and the perfect understanding of that special bond between pet and owner make this very special, heaven in a book for young animal fans.

Further animal reading recommendations include Dick King-Smith and particularly Martin’s Mice and the Sophie stories; Chris Riddell’s Goth Girl series is set in a stately home, abounds with eccentric adults and features ghost animals; while Lucy M Boston’s classic The Children of Green Knowe is a more challenging read but rich and rewarding. ~ Andrea Reece


Knitbone Pepper and the Last Circus Tiger by Claire Barker

Knitbone Pepper is a friendly ghost dog, haunting the crumbling Starcross Hall with a gaggle of other ghostly pets. When Knitbone and his beloved owner Winnie invite the circus to Starcross, the spooks are so excited! But amidst the magicians, the acrobats and the clowns, Knitbone senses something beastly in the big top...


“Funny and tender.” – Metro

“Charmingly spirited” – Sunday Express

“A charming and sensitive story for animal lovers.” – South Wales Post

“Filled with humour and warmth, a wonderful novel for young readers.” – INIS magazine

“A gentle, welcoming ghost story.” – Imogen Russell Williams for Middle Grade Strikes Back

About the Author

Claire Barker

Claire Barker graduated from Bath Spa University with a degree in English Literature and History. She studied illustration for a further two years and worked as a teaching assistant for several more. Claire used to live on narrowboats but now lives with her family on a small, untidy farm in deepest, darkest Devon. When she's not busy writing or illustrating she spends her days wrestling sheep, battling through nettle patches and triumphantly catching rogue chickens.

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Book Info


256 pages


Claire Barker
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Usborne Publishing Ltd

Publication date

1st March 2016




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