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Simon Philip was born in Chichester in 1988 and has lived there ever since. After studying History at Exeter University, he decided to become a primary school teacher. Teaching rekindled his love of children's books, so much so that he decided to have a go at writing his own. He is the author of I Don't Know What to Call my Cat, You Must Bring a Hat, and the Waterstones Prize shortlisted I Really Want the Cake.
Read a Q&A with the author here.
As the season of school sports day approaches this is a perfectly timed new outing for the irrepressible and hilarious cake loving heroine of the Waterstones Prize shortlisted I really want the cake! Cakes play an important part in this tale too, but first this little girl tries and tries to win. She really wants to win! It all starts with a race and she is in the lead but trips. A calamity repeated across every school in the land and so this is very good preparation for little would-be athletes. Time and again her ambition is thwarted. Her friend wins everything. The sense of injustice felt is so perfectly captured in the bold expressive illustrations that reveal the little girl’s impulsive character and her constantly changing emotions. But one day her friend does not win and very surprisingly for our heroine the friend does not mind at all and congratulates the winner. Our heroine is encouraged to forget about winning and just to do what she loves which is baking cakes of course! Then the loyal friend finds a Bake Off competition which our heroine approaches with proper humility having recognised how much she enjoyed the process. She surprises herself by winning and the celebrations are genuine. Resilience triumphs in this completely relatable story which will prompt useful discussion as well as laugh out loud moments.
January 2017 Debut of the Month | The naming of cats is notoriously difficult, as the little girl in this delightful picture book finds out. She tries all sorts of names for her new kitten, none of which meet with his approval, until finally – as cats will – he ups and leaves. She can’t find him anywhere, but somehow returns home with a new pet – something altogether different! Simon Philip’s text provides Ella Bailey with opportunity to illustrate a variety of scenes, each one packed with detail and marvellous characters, both human and feline! You don’t need to be a cat lover to appreciate this clever, unusual story and there are twists in the tale to make everyone laugh. ~ Andrea Reece
Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award A party invitation is at the centre of this highly entertaining and amusing story. It states that guests must bring a hat, but it appears that there are more entry requirements too, and as the story goes on they become increasingly absurd. Kate Hindley is given some truly wonderful scenes to illustrate and rises to the challenge superbly. Characters featured include a monocle-sporting badger and elephant forced into a tutu. There’s lots to look at on every spread and the surprise ending will send everyone back to the beginning to check for details that might have been missed. Great fun! ~ Andrea Reece
Esme is a small cave girl. She has the kind of voice that's great for keeping big things with sharp teeth away but that isn't so great for keeping secrets, like the plans for Morris the mammoth's birthday surprise. But when the birthday surprise is in danger of not being finished on time, it is Esme's booming voice that brings people together, makes sure the job is done, and allows the party to go with a real swing!
From the prize-winning author of You Must Bring a Hat comes a young fiction series for ages 6+ full of magic and fun, with illustrations from Dave Pigeon's Sheena Dempsey. The perfect read for young fans of Harry Potter, Ben Miller and Steven Lenton! Fred may look ordinary, but sometimes people who look ordinary turn out to be not very ordinary at all . . . because it just so happens that Fred is a wizard! The only problem is that Fred is totally, absolutely, mind-boggingly terrible at magic. . . In his third adventure, Fred is invited to stay at the world-famous Magic Camp for Wizards of Astounding Genius, which has to be a mistake, surely? Will being surrounded by incredible magicians make Fred's rubbish spells look even worse, or will he discover he has more tricks up his sleeve than he realises?
Sometimes I find it really tough to make sure I'm not in a huff because there's simply so much stuff that makes me want to yell. We all get angry once in a while, but it can be hard to know what to do when we feel this way. The determined heroine of I Really want the Cake is back with a new connundrum. What should she do when she REALLY wants to shout.
Another laugh-out-loud picture book from the award-winning author of You Must Bring a Hat, I Don't Know What to Call My Cat and Be More Bernard. I have to start at school today. You'll have such fun! my parents say. I know they think I'll be okay, But what if things don't go my way? Starting at a new school can be scary business. From rhinos at the gate to bears who won't share, there are all SORTS of things that could go wrong. Luckily, Grandma is on hand to point out that there's no need to fright, as things could just as easily . . . go right! Simon Philip's latest picture book is a riotously funny but ultimately reassuring look at one child's far-fetched imaginings about the first day of school, brought to life by Ged Adamson's (Shark Dog) bold and fabulously expressive illustrations.
A riotously funny, but ultimately reassuring look at one child's far-fetched imaginings about starting school, from the writer of award-winning You Must Bring a Hat and Be More Bernard. I have to start at school today. You'll have such fun! my parents say. I know they think I'll be okay, But what if things don't go my way? Starting at a new school is BIG deal at the best of times, so what if you also had to deal with a cross rhinoceros, a selfish bear taking up your chair and a weird baboon with a loud bassoon? Luckily, Grandma is on hand to reassure that there's no need for fright because what if it just all goes...right? Simon Philip's spirited rhyme is perfectly paired with bright, bold, fabulously expressive illustrations from Ged Adamson, creator of Shark Dog.
Fred may look ordinary, but sometimes people who look ordinary turn out to be not very ordinary at all ... because it just so happens that Fred is a Wizard! The only problem is that Fred is completely, mind-boggingly TERRIBLE at magic... And now he's training with the amazing Merlin, hoping to transform from the worst wizard around to a magical marvel. But when an ancient magical book is stolen and Merlin goes missing, Fred discovers that sometimes magic isn't the answer and that he has other talents that can help him solve the mystery that's got everyone else stumped! From Simon Philip, author of You Must Bring a Hat and I Really Want the Cake, and Sheena Dempsey, illustrator of Dave Pigeon, comes a tale full of magic and fun.
Perfect for fans of Jim Field and Julia Donaldson, Be More Bernard is the brilliant story of a disco bunny who will encourage us all to chase our dreams and embrace our differences. When the other bunnies bounced, I bounced. When they hopped, I hopped. When they slept, I did too. Like them, I dreamed. But MY dreams weren't the same. They were less . . . rabbity. Bernard has decided that he's not going to be like all the other bunnies any more. He's not going to twitch his nose and prick his ears. And while others might dream of carrots, Bernard's dreams are altogether more...disco! He starts small, but when he finally gets to groove with grace and jive with joy at Bertie and Brenda's Bunny Ball, Bernard shows the world that being yourself is the very best thing a bunny can be. From the author of the Sainsbury's Book Award-winning You Must Bring a Hat and the illustrator of the brand-new Treacle Street series!
Originally published as Wizard Vs Lizard, get ready for a laugh-out-loud magical adventure from award-winning author Simon Philip and Sheena Dempsey, illustrator of the much-loved Dave Pigeon series! Fred may look ordinary, but sometimes people who look ordinary turn out to be not very ordinary at all ... because it just so happens that Fred is a Wizard! Sounds pretty great, right? Except that Fred is absolutely, completely, mind-boggingly TERRIBLE at magic. At school, he's stuck in a class of wizards half his age, feeling like a twit among tots. At home, he's endlessly teased by his siblings and always a disappointment to his parents. All Fred wants is to become a better wizard.... So when he hears about a competition to meet Merlin (yes, THE Merlin!) Fred knows it's his one chance to prove to his family that he's not the worst wizard in town. The catch? To win the competition he has to capture the tail of a terrifying, fire-breathing lizard...
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