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Jim Whalley went to UEA with the intention of writing daft stories but got sidetracked into student journalism and academia. He ended up with PhD in Film Studies and got back to writing stories in his spare time. He eventually quit academia because the stories were more fun, a move he justified by also renovating a house. He now lives in that house in Yorkshire with his wife and two children, Fletch and Charlie. Stephen Collins is an illustrator and cartoonist who lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two children, Frank and George. His work has appeared in many publications worldwide, and he has a weekly comic in Guardian Weekend magazine. In 2013 Jonathan Cape published his debut graphic novel The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Book Of The Year award and an Eisner Award. His collection of strips Some Comics was published by Jonathan Cape in October 2014. He is currently working on his second graphic novel, which will be published by Jonathan Cape in 2018.
June 2021 Book of the Month | Hot on the hilarious heels of Baby's First Bank Heist and Baby's First Jailbreak comes Baby’s First Train Robbery. Blending a rollicking, rhyming text that tells a funny, fully-developed story with characterful illustrations that ooze retro style, this brilliant blast of a book is sure to become a firm read-aloud favourite. Author Jim Whalley and illustrator Stephen Collins sure make a great team. And what of that story? Baby Frank’s frazzled mum and dad are in serious need of a holiday - managing a zoo isn’t easy work! So, they and Frank head off to the seaside leaving the zoo in Grandma’s capable hands. Or are they capable? That’s the question on Frank’s lips. He’s not convinced Grandma will be able to handle looking after all those animals - “Grandma was fantastic when it came to walks and knitting. But did she have the skills required for ape-and-tiger-sitting?” As a result, Frank takes it upon himself to take a train home, and so a nail-biting journey begins, leading to an epic rescue operation.
Baby Frank, immediately distinctive in a stripy black and white Babygro, wants a pet. In fact he really, really wants a pet. But his parents won’t allow it, pets are too expensive to keep they say. It leaves Frank with just one option and he becomes a bank robber! Soon he has all the pets he ever wanted, from a meerkat to a rhino, and his parents finally notice. Children will love Frank’s logic and naughtiness and it’s hard to say which illustrations are more fun: the bank heists or the hidden menagerie. Jim Whalley narrates it all in suitably deadpan rhyme while Steve Collins’s witty, expressive illustrations will delight young and old. Great fun!
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