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Tom McLaughlin has illustrated several books for Bloomsbury, including The Cloudspotter (as read by Tom Hardy on CBeebies Bedtime Stories) and The Story Machine, which has received wonderfully positive reviews and has sparked a number of thought-provoking articles on dyslexia (which Tom understands well, being dyslexic himself). Tom loves drinking tea, eating lunch and drawing (in no particular order). He lives in Devon.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2019 | A fun way of looking at prejudice that quickly makes it clear that even if someone is different to you the two of you can still be friends. Here, the Reds, who are round and eat red apples, are happy to be red. And the Yellows, who are square and eat bananas, love being yellow. How can the two groups ever get to like each other? And then there are the Blues who wear blue bow ties and are shaped like triangles and love being blue. They are different again and no one likes them at all. The arguments between the groups get sillier and sillier as they squabble over everything and make a lot of daft rules. Will they ever get to like one another? Then A Different comes along. Where will he fit in? Suddenly difference seems fine and what colour you are doesn’t seem to matter so much. Lots to think about as the expressive colour block characters work out how to live together.
Tom McLaughlin creates some of the best, and funniest adventures for young readers and this is another hilarious, cleverly structured story. Nine year old Pete just wanted a quiet day watching the snooker on the telly, so how on earth did he end up committing armed robbery (sort of), impersonating a policeman, and driving a tank across his own lawn, before breaking up a gang of admittedly incompetent criminals? Read the book to see how it all begins with his mum’s parsnip bake… It’s part of the joy of the book that even as the plot gets more and more convoluted, and as yet more accidental disasters heap on Pete and his new friend Sammy, there’s a logic to everything that happens. Irresistible page-turning fun, and McLaughlin’s cartoony illustrations are an added bonus.
In a nutshell: very funny cartoony alien invasion story The imminent destruction of Earth is the subject of Tom McLaughlin’s typically hilarious new book, though he manages to slip in a few comments on our world and those who run it too. Freddy just wants to watch the wrestling, not start a space war! How could he know his DIY satellite dish would transmit signals to aliens from the Planet Twang and encourage them to start an invasion? Freddy and his friend Sal manage to get hold of Nasa and the White House and before long the world’s leaders have assembled in Freddy’s living room, much to his mum’s annoyance – she has to tell them off more than once. Despite his threats, alien Alan is a lot less terrifying than first thought, but it’s funny too how an invading force makes everyone suddenly get along; after all, ‘Nobody’s perfect’, says Freddy, ‘We’re all just human.’ Clever, ingenious and irresistible fun! ~ Andrea Reece
October 2017 Book of the Month In a nutshell: original madcap adventure with a seasonal feel All Ben wants is for his dad to spend more time at home, surely that’s not too much to ask from Father Christmas? But when his letters are ignored, he begins to doubt Father Christmas and sets up a trap to find out if he’s real. This in turn triggers an extraordinary series of events involving a confused Santa trying to break into Buckingham Palace, a wild ride across the world’s skies, multiple UFO sightings and much, much more. McLaughlin has a brilliant line in madcap adventure but no matter how daft things get (very), his central characters always feel like real kids. This has laughs a-plenty, but a warm heart too. McLaughlin’s own illustrations add to the fun. ~ Andrea Reece
Inventive Orson builds his own planet with a cupful of rocks, a dash of water, a sprinkling of metal and a lot of nothingness. He loves his planet and is proud of all he has achieved. Orson’s planet becomes so successful that soon everything wants to live on it and Orson knows that he must let it go and find begin a new life of its own. Tom McLaughin’s story is a delightful celebration of imagination and creativity as well as a useful lesson about letting go of things that you love. ~ Julia Eccleshare
July 2017 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: action-packed, laugh-out-loud inventor adventure Tom McLaughlin had readers in stitches with The Accidental Prime Minister and The Accidental Secret Agent, but The Accidental Billionaire is possibly his funniest yet. Jasper is a regular kid, though one given to staging ambitious, mostly (highly) unsuccessful experiments. Attempting to split the atom one afternoon, he accidentally gives his cat the power to speak. In no time at all, talking cats are the in thing with people queuing up to pay Jasper to make their cats speak too. Jasper and his nan are rich beyond their wildest dreams but there’s a price to pay: Jasper realises he’s not just made some cats talk, he’s created a feline army! Can he reverse the process before cats take over the world? A brilliantly funny what-if adventure and enormous fun. ~ Andrea Reece
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month July 2016 Inventive Orson builds his own planet with a cupful of rocks, a dash of water, a sprinkling of metal and a lot of nothingness. He loves his planet and is proud of all he has achieved. Orson’s planet becomes so successful that soon everything wants to live on it and Orson knows that he must let it go and find begin a new life of its own. Tom McLaughin’s story is a delightful celebration of imagination and creativity as well as a useful lesson about letting go of things that you love. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for July 2016 Melric and the Crown by David McKee The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Chris Riddell Up, Up and Away by Tom McLaughlin Strange Star by Emma Carroll Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell Such Stuff: A Story-Maker's Inspiration by Michael Morpurgo
Shortlisted for Best Crime Novel for Children aged 8-12, CrimeFest Gala Awards 2017 | June 2016 Book of the Month | In a Nutshell: espionage – laughs – fake moustaches. The story of a boy who accidentally becomes a secret agent, Tom McLaughlin’s new book is laugh-out-loud funny, particularly if, like its hero, you daydream of being James Bond. An ambitious money-raising stunt involving a zip-wire and an ornamental fountain brings schoolboy Kevin Twigg to the attention of Jake Pond, a diminutive spy looking to take unofficial time off. Before you can say shaken not stirred the two have swapped places, and Kevin finds himself on a dangerous mission for MI7. He might be geeky in real life, but Kevin turns out to be a surprisingly effective secret agent, managing to infiltrate a gangster party, blag his way into a bank vault and fly a helicopter before unmasking his headmaster as the arch villain. Extremely silly, but exciting too, this spy spoof is licensed to thrill! ~ Andrea ReeceReaders could go on to Anthony Horowitz’s cracking spoofs such as The Falcon’s Malteser, and they’ll also enjoy David Solomon’s award-winning My Brother is a Superhero. ~ Andrea Reece
One of our Books of the Year 2015 - April 2015 Debut of the Month We’ve all thought it: a twelve-year-old boy could do an MP’s job at least as well as the present lot, probably better. That’s the premise in Tom McLaughlin’s debut novel, only the twelve-year-old in question – Joe Perkins – doesn’t just get to be an MP, he accidentally becomes Prime Minister. Promising that where there is grumpiness, may he bring giggles and where there is jelly, may he bring ice-cream, Joe sets out to make the country a happier, more relaxed place. It works, at least until his scheming deputy puts a spanner in the works, or a nail in a bouncy castle to be precise. McLaughlin milks all opportunities for situation comedy, and indulges in some terrific fantasy lawmaking while the action scampers along at pace. Beneath the humour there are serious points being made about democracy and government, and this could actually inspire future generations of politicians. ~ Andrea Reece
How far will Mr Tiddles the cat go to keep his loving master Harry happy? Harry has longed for a cat but, when Mr Tiddles arrives, things begin to get a bit out of hand. Every day he brings Harry something new; it starts with a mouse but soon Harry is waking up to some very generous presents including a train set and a horse. When Harry decides to find the source of the generous gifts he finds himself face to face with the Queen and also discovers just how audacious Mr Tiddles is prepared to be. A rich flight of fancy, this is a delightfully exuberant story.
A nine-year-old comic book enthusiast is about to get a mega dose of super-human power in this action-packed adventure. When a dastardly villain's attempt to steal a laser machine goes spectacularly wrong, nine-year-old Zack gets zapped with super powers. This would be awesome, other than Zack is a teeny tiny bit afraid of ... EVERYTHING! Now, the most undeserving superhero of all time must fashion a costume, save the day and work out how to reverse the laser's effect before he gets stuck with super powers FOR EVER!
Unlucky Bertie has only gone and gambled away the entire family fortune. It's the last in a long line of disasters, and nobody is going to save the Montgomery family this time. But this is no ordinary family - this is the royal family, and Bertie is the Queen's brother. So it's goodbye to the palace and hello to a little house on King Street for these royals. Who knew getting jobs and fitting in with the neighbours could be so hard? It's time to sink or swim! A hilarious Barrington Stoke debut from Tom McLaughlin, author of The Accidental Prime Minister. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+
In the Accidental Prime Minister, Joe Perkins was trying to save his local park when he accidentally ended up being Prime Minster. In this hilarious sequel, Joe is back. The people need someone to remind them about the good things in life; about how we can all come together to make the world a better place. Where there is grumpiness, may we bring giggles, where there is jelly, may we bring ice-cream, and where there are chairs, may we bring whoopee cushions! Joe Perkins, first kid PM, is back and ready to make politics fun again
Two action-packed stories about the superheroes-in-training at Hero Academy, who must work together and use their powers to outwit the super-baddies. In Calling All Villains, Nisha and Cam go undercover to find out how to save Wildcroft Woods. In Race for the Meteorite, Nisha and her friends race the villains to the meteorite - but who will get there first? This exciting chapter book with carefully-levelled text is ideal for children who are reading independently. Books with short chapters are a great way to build your child's reading stamina and confidence. The stories are packed with dynamic CGI-style illustrations - perfect for fans of comics. Tips for parents help to support your child's developing reading skills and the fun after-reading activities making reading fun while reinforcing comprehension. Featuring much-loved characters, great authors, engaging storylines and fun activities, Read with Oxford offers an exciting range of carefully levelled reading books to build your child's reading confidence. Read with Oxford Stage 6 equates to Oxford Levels 10, 11 and 12 used in schools. For more information about the Read with Oxford Stages, as well as practical advice, free eBooks and fun activities to help your child progress, go to readwithoxford.com. Let's get them flying!
Two action-packed stories about the superheroes-in-training at Hero Academy, who must work together and use their powers to outwit the super-baddies. In Operation Poach, Cam and Jin try to save Professor Poach but soon discover he is not as harmless as he seems. In The Termite-nator, Evan and Nisha must defeat a giant robotic termite. Can they save Lexis City? This exciting chapter book with carefully-levelled text is ideal for children who are reading independently. Books with short chapters are a great way to build your child's reading stamina and confidence. The stories are packed with dynamic CGI-style illustrations - perfect for fans of comics. Tips for parents help to support your child's developing reading skills and the fun after-reading activities making reading fun while reinforcing comprehension. Featuring much-loved characters, great authors, engaging storylines and fun activities, Read with Oxford offers an exciting range of carefully levelled reading books to build your child's reading confidence. Read with Oxford Stage 6 equates to Oxford Levels 10, 11 and 12 used in schools. For more information about the Read with Oxford Stages, as well as practical advice, free eBooks and fun activities to help your child progress, go to readwithoxford.com. Let's get them flying!
There's a new craze in town for smart speakers and everyone has got one. At first they seem super helpful, but Tyler and her friends soon start to get suspicious. It's like these virtual assistants are really the ones in control-but no-one else seems to notice. It's not long before the assistants become mobile, attaching limbs so that they can crawl around like weird spider robots. Spiders are bad enough, but robot spiders trying to enslave humanity? That's a problem that need to be squished, fast!
A nine-year-old inventor is about to have her worst day ever in this laugh-a-minute mega-robot adventure! Molly should be doing her homework, but instead, she builds a robot to do it for her. The robot is pretty clever ... so clever that it decides to make another robot. Then that robot makes another one. Before long, an army of slightly-too-clever-for-their-own-good robots are running around town causing chaos. But when robot number one gets wind of Molly's plan to shut them down, the mechanical army set out to get rid of the humanoid once and for all. Now, Molly must race against time to stop the mega-robot invasion ... and hand in her homework!
It should never have happened, but somehow-with the aid of a recorder, keyboard, and very disturbed cat-Hector and Ollie have made a hit single. And now everybody wants a piece of them. They may have always dreamed of fame, but is life on tour all it's cracked up to be? Follow a rollercoaster of rock star antics in this hilarious new story from Tom McLaughlin.
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