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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.
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
August 2015 Book of the Month Knitbone loves his owner Winnie Pepper more than all the bicycle wheels, Frisbees and cowpats in the world! So it’s maybe no surprise that when he dies his spirit stays with Winnie in Starcross Hall, her parents’ crumbling stately home. He’s not the only ghost animal, there’s a whole gang of them and when the Hall is threatened by bailiffs, the Spirits of Starcross and Winnie make a formidable team! With its sweet ghost animals and ginger-nut-fuelled adventure, this charming story ticks all the right boxes for young readers. Ross Collins’ illustrations are spookily fun but capture the affection between Knitbone and Winnie perfectly too. ~ Andrea Reece
DR FIRENZE SHARPTOOTH cordially invites ST IMACULATE'S SCHOOL FOR THE GIFTED to Draconis Hall for the Great Fossil Hunt Jack is very excited when he learns that this year's school trip is a visit to the seaside to hunt for fossils. And even better - there's going to be a prize for the best find, which is he desperate to win! Unfortunately, his best friend Picklewitch is not impressed, until she discovers the local Sea Wizard, whose secret lair is hiding the biggest treasure of all . . .
Knitbone Pepper's beloved owner Winnie is fascinated by the stars after Knitbone digs up an ancient telescope. So when a heartbroken ghost horse asks for help finding her owner - a world-famous astronomer - Knitbone looks to the skies for a dazzling answer...
Meet Knitbone Pepper, the dead special ghost dog haunting Starcross Hall! Knitbone has a problem. His beloved owner Winnie and her bonkers parents may be forced to move and leave Knitbone behind! Can the Spirits of Starcross, a gigglesome gang of ghostly animals, help Winnie save her home? Illustrations: Colour throughout
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 ghosts are so excited! But amidst the magicians, the acrobats and the clowns, Knitbone senses something beastly in the big top... Illustrations:Full colour throughout
Meet Knitbone Pepper, the dead special ghost dog haunting Starcross Hall! Knitbone has a problem. His beloved owner Winnie and her bonkers parents may be forced to move and leave Knitbone behind! Can the Spirits of Starcross, a gigglesome gang of ghostly animals, help Winnie save her home?
Knitbone Pepper is a friendly ghost dog, haunting the crumbling Starcross Hall with a gaggle of other ghostly pets. But when he discovers that the Hall is up for sale and his beloved owner, Winnie Pepper, and her madcap parents must leave their home, he smells a rat. Can Knitbone and his ghostly gang of animals help Winnie save Starcross? Illustrations: Full colour throughout
Knitbone Pepper is a friendly ghost dog, haunting the crumbling Starcross Hall with a gaggle of other ghostly pets. When Lord Pepper buys an antique top hat he brings home a ghost rabbit looking for a young magician called Ernest Salt. But there's skulduggery at play and Ernest's guardians are determined to keep his identity secret...