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The books in this section have been given a primary age range of 7+. At 7 most children are ready to move to chapter books that have a wider range of characters and situations, with more challenging vocabulary but well illustrated. The books in this section are suitable for 7-8+ The books in this section might also be given a secondary age range. Some will be suitable to 5+ year olds reading above their age and the content will be interesting and relevant to a 5 year old. Where indicated, 9 year olds reading below their age will also find these books suitable.
November 2020 Audio Book of the Month | Like its hero, the story Peter Pan will never grow old and retains all its power to enchant, tempt and enthral readers; how wonderful that this new audiobook version should be available for Christmas, as it is magical family listening. A host of stars take turns to narrate but it’s a particular passion project for Joanna Lumley, who is directly involved in the recent transformation of author J.M. Barrie’s childhood home, Moat Brae, into a new national centre for children’s literature and storytelling. She reads the opening chapters and therefore sets the tone beautifully for the story that follows. Young listeners will be captivated by the joyful sense of freedom and rebellion, while adults will hear the strains of melancholy and loss of innocence beneath. A story to resonate with everyone, whatever their age, and especially when it is told as well as it is here. Listen to an extract, the opening chapter from Peter Pan, read by Joanna Lumley.
November 2020 Book of the Month | Michael Morpurgo is the consummate storyteller and this little tale, perfectly illustrated by Polly Dunbar, reveals how even as a child he had storytelling at his fingertips. The narrative is based on his own memories of childhood and of performing in the school’s Christmas production of Edward Lear’s poem The Owl and the Pussycat. Michael loved the poem and was chosen to play the Owl. Excitement rises as the performance approaches especially as Belinda, his first love, is chosen to play the Pussycat. Adults will appreciate the book’s delicate sense of memories of past life, while children will love it for the humour, the drama and the sheer joy that comes from calamity turned to triumph. It is quite beautifully told, and Polly Dunbar’s illustrations exactly capture all that readers will find in the story. If it inspires you to read Lear’s poem, as well it might, there are picture book versions gorgeously illustrated by Ian Beck and Charlotte Voake, while Julia Donaldson has written a glorious sequel also illustrated by Voake. Read more about Michael Morpurgo, our Guest Editor for September 2020, here.
The magical world of J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts meets the real-world experts of the world-famous Natural History Museum, in an awe-inspiring exhibition devoted to the wonders of nature, science and adventure - and their fictional counterparts from Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts.
What a special person Marcus Rashford is, on and off the pitch. With a focus on his football, this excellent little biography also gives readers a good idea of his life and how he’s got to where he is today. The stats of course speak for themselves, he’s a brilliant footballer and the book provides some analysis of why he scores so many goals. It also tells us about his early football games, playing in his tiny back garden with brothers Dwaine and Dane, before joining the youth academy at Manchester United (born in Wythenshawe, he’s always been a fan). No matter how successful he’s been, he’s never forgotten the community he grew up in as the book explains, and its final stat, after all those goals, penalties and assists, is the money he’s raised for charity FareShare: £20 million. Author and illustrator write with all the enthusiasm of real football fans, peppering the pages with jokes and extra football facts, making this very appealing and super-readable. There’s a quiz at the end to test the reader’s memory and a useful glossary too.
Fairy tales vibrantly updated for the 21st century by Blue Peter legend Konnie Huq | Congratulations to Konnie Huq and co-author James Kay who with illustrator Rikin Parekh have taken the best-loved fairy tales, shaken them up, and brought them uproariously into the 21st century. All your favourites are here, recognisable, but turned into something fresh, new and very funny (often with a pointed message or moral). Thus Sleeping Beauty is now Sleeping Brainy, a maths-mad princess who grows up to be the most successful Chancellor of the Exchequer in history, while simultaneously inventing the computer, the internet and Wikipedia (‘all in a good nine thousand six hundred and eighteen days’ work’ she concludes, happily). Pity the three bears who here have to put up with Mouldysocks, a boy too busy playing computer games to tidy up or wash, but cheer for The Pickled Mermaid, who puts her blog out on Plaicebook, Finstagram and Snapperchat, thereby reaching millions of readers and effecting real change on pollution in the oceans. Then there’s Robin Hoodlum and his boss, the Baron of Bottybum; Spinocchio, a TV news anchor; and a surprisingly familiar looking, bad-tempered little orange man called Trumplestiltskin … The stories are told with real dash and energy and will have children and parents alike roaring with laughter.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2020 | Perfect for all readers who love the world of ballet, A Dancer’s Dream is an inspiring story of a Stana, a young student at the Imperial Ballet School in St Petersburg, who is chosen to dance the role of Clara on the very first night that the new ballet, The Nutcracker Suite, is performed. Stana’s luck in being picked for the part and how much it matters to her is cleverly interwoven to a touching family story about her very ill sister. Drawing on the true story of the origins of the now much-loved Nutcracker Suite and including a charming introduction to Tchaikovsky who composed the ballet’s music, A Dancer’s Dream is a delightful mix of fact and fiction.
How many adventures will be started by this quirky activity book? With all of us currently spending more time in our homes than we ever expected, it’s perfect for now, full not only of interesting facts about our houses and furniture (from information on the first bed to Le Corbusier’s ideas), but also with activity ideas inspired by the place where we live. These range from making architectural plans to designing a chair (with a nod to Bauhaus), to creating a board game à la Cluedo. Attractively designed, fun and fact-filled, this will expand the walls of your home and make it a place of quiet adventure for children – perfect.
Explore the world of dinosaurs with your magic three colour lens | Even the most expert, hardest to impress young palaeontologist will be awe-struck by this book, which gives the closest experience within printed pages yet to walking amongst dinosaurs. Huge double-pages take readers around the globe and back through time to when dinosaurs roamed the planet. Look at the brightly coloured pages through the special lenses provided and 3D scenes spring into life. A red lens reveals the ‘terrible lizards’ that would have lived in each location, from America’s ‘A listers’, the T Rex, Triceratops, Brachiosaurus, to lesser known but equally impressive giants such as Africa’s Massospondylus. A green lens brings the locations into focus while looking through the blue lens uncovers the plants and pre-historic animals that lived alongside the dinosaurs. Each of the Observation Decks, as the 3D pages are called, are followed by fact-filled pages of black and white diagrams and text. Innovative, engaging and information-packed, it’s an eye-opening journey of discovery.
Eric and Terry Fan are renowned author illustrators with such gems as The Night Gardener and the Kate Greenaway shortlisted Ocean Meets Sky. For this collaboration they have been joined by brother Devin for the first time. Stunningly beautiful images are what we have come to expect, and this is no exception. The enticing, mysterious cover spotlights a little creature in a bell jar. Beneath the jacket the cover looks like a blackboard covered with code, double helixes and creature sketches. The endpapers are design files to start and shelves of completed products at the end. We know then that this is about creating things. We meet our little creature again and we are shown the contrast between the naturalistic wold and an ordinary shop – Perfect Pets- on an ordinary street, but far below there is an underground world and a laboratory where they make the perfect pets and where they put the Failed Projects like Barnabus. Alerted of impending recycling doom, by his friend Patrick the cockroach, who has been entrancing him with stories of the natural world above, Barnabus and fellow Failed Projects work together on a daring and thrilling escape and find refuge hiding in plain sight in a nearby park. Being a team and supporting each other is crucial to their success. A multi-layered story that will appeal to a wide range of ages and prompt much discussion and debate about ethics and freedom. In a world where young people are constantly bombarded with social media that promotes artificial standards of perfection, this empowering fable has an important message to share.
Press the note to hear Saint-Saens' music | Discover the magical world of Carnival of the Animals in this musical reimagining of this celebrated suite for children - push the button in each breathtaking scene to hear the vivid sound of an orchestra playing from Camille Saint-Saens' score. You can find more wintry & festive stories in our Best Books for Kids this Christmas collection!
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2020 | Time travelling with Alex and Ruby is always the greatest fun. This time this time they fall through Aunt Joanna’s magic mirror and find themselves about to celebrate Christmas in 1873. There’s lots to learn about just what a Victorian Christmas might be like including cutting down your own Christmas tree from the wood and playing a completely different kind of charades. And there is also an exciting family adventure as Ruby uses her modern knowledge, gleaned on a school trip, to prevent Cousin Edith being sent to a terrible school where is might die! Sally Nicholls story dashes along, brim-full of action and with a huge cast of characters. The result is an exciting read with never a dull moment! You can find more wintry & festive stories in our Best Books for Kids this Christmas collection!
With all the sparkle of her jewel-encrusted costumes, this terrific book is an access all areas biography of one of the most high-profile, high-achieving women in the world today, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. It begins at her first public performance, age 7, at a school talent contest. Despite her nerves, Beyoncé stole the show and won the competition – the first of many awards she would receive (23 Grammys at the last count). But as the book explains, Beyoncé’s was anything but overnight success – wow, has she worked hard, pouring everything into her career. It’s a fascinating and inspiring story and told so that readers will feel they are there with her, experiencing the stage-fright, the disappointment of losing her first record deal and her determination to make her way on her own terms.It’s super-readable, helped by black and white illustrations on every page, including lots of Beyoncé, in which she addresses us direct. With real insight as well as all the facts, this is a great series and Ms Knowles-Carter’s story a terrific addition to it.
November 2020 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | Congratulations to Carl Wilkinson and James Weston Lewis who achieve something remarkable in this huge, beautiful information book: they explain Einstein’s theory of relativity to general readers, specifically young readers. They do it carefully, step by step, in bite-sized chunks and with lots of illustrations and diagrams to keep things accessible, starting by introducing Einstein himself and his early influences, before explaining the scientific theories and discoveries, from gravity to light waves and his understanding of space and time, that eventually provided the building blocks for the famous E =MC² equation. The text is always clear and concise, while the images do much of the hard work of explaining complex ideas and laws of physics. Einstein’s work deserves to be represented in illustrations that are full of movement, drama and wonder, and Weston Lewis gets that exactly right. Every reader will close the book fully aware of the enormity of Einstein’s achievement and his brilliance, and understanding his ideas and the process that led to them too. And find out a bit about the author's fascination with science and space in our Q&A with Carl Wilkinson.
This book is a treat for anyone who dreams of spending a Christmas at Hogwarts. Using images and scenes from the films, it reminds us of all the magical things that are part of a Hogwarts Christmas – the decorations, the special presents, the ghosts, the gorgeous snowy scenes and, of course, the Yule Ball. There are all sorts of unexpected extras too including stickers, bookmarks and pull-outs, not to mention fascinating insights into the making of the films (I love the fact that the costume department kept a dedicated knitter busy producing Molly Weasley’s jumpers and scarves). It’s just the thing to transport you into Harry’s world at the most magical time of year, no matter what real life has to offer.
If you want to know the facts and the stats behind Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool star, UEFA Men’s Player of the Year 2018 – 2019, then this is the book for you. They're all there – the number of goals scored for teams and country, the number of clean sheets kept. You’ll also learn lots about Van Dijk the man, his early life growing up in the Netherlands and playing football non-stop, his dreams of playing like Ronaldinho and how a late growth spurt turned him into the football giant he is today. It’s told in such a lively, accessible style, with lots of humour and asides from writer and illustrator (they appear in the illustrations, slipping in extra jokes and football facts). Readers can test their memory at the back with a quiz and this is a winner for any young footballer, whatever side they support.
November 2020 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2020 | In the best traditions of mythology, The Three Wishes is a tough but ultimately lyrical version of the story that explains how Father Christmas can visit so many children in one night and why he has a red coat. Set long ago in a country that is far off in the frozen north where there is a strong community of families who live by hunting and foraging while their children look after the reindeer, it tells how a young boy, lost in deep snow in the forest, is saved from death by finding a mysterious cave full of magic and wonder from another world. Once a year the boy returns to his own world, checking on his family and taking them presents. One year, he arrives on a magical flying sleigh and his family give him a beautiful red outfit all lined with fun. From that day on, on one night of the year he rides around the world taking gifts to children everywhere. Evocative, timeless illustrations bring this imaginative story vividly to life. You can find more wintry & festive stories in our Best Books for Kids this Christmas collection!
Profiles of each broom feature stunning new photography of the original props; statistics; insights from the cast and crew; and other film-making secrets from the Warner Bros. archive. In addition to individual photographic profiles of each broom, this book also includes blueprints and concept art as well as entries on the high-flying game of Quidditch and related props. Delve deep into what makes flying brooms the beloved mode of transportation for witches and wizards everywhere! Destined to be a must-have collectable for fans of Harry Potter, this book also includes a 6-page fold-out.
The Ickabog is coming... A mythical monster, a kingdom in peril, an adventure that will test two children's bravery to the limit. Discover a brilliantly original fairy tale about the power of hope and friendship to triumph against all odds, from one of the world's best storytellers. The kingdom of Cornucopia was once the happiest in the world. It had plenty of gold, a king with the finest moustaches you could possibly imagine, and butchers, bakers and cheesemongers whose exquisite foods made a person dance with delight when they ate them. Everything was perfect - except for the misty Marshlands to the north which, according to legend, were home to the monstrous Ickabog. Anyone sensible knew that the Ickabog was just a myth, to scare children into behaving. But the funny thing about myths is that sometimes they take on a life of their own. Could a myth unseat a beloved king? Could a myth bring a once happy country to its knees? Could a myth thrust two children into an adventure they didn't ask for and never expected? If you're feeling brave, step into the pages of this book to find out...
Taken from an original story by E.A Wyke-Smith, published in 1927 and acknowledged by Tolkein as an inspiration for The Hobbit, which has been brought back to life, with the agreement of the author’s family, by a writer who has already demonstrated her storytelling skill with her previous books - The Extincts and The Halloweeds. The glorious cover and internal line drawings by Melissa Castrillón are just perfect for this perfectly whimsical and imaginative tale. We have two feisty characters, Pip and Flora, who run away from the Sunny Bay Home for Superfluous and Accidentally Parentless Children, ostensibly in pursuit of their newly acquired puppy, but really in search of adventure- which they find in bucketloads as they dive through a gap in a yew tree into another world! A world where they meet the eponymous Snergs - the creatures who are so hobbitlike in their physique and their obsession for communal feasting. They did not realise they already knew a Snerg - the delightfully comic and more than slightly gormless Gorbo who had just been sacked from Sunny Bay. He becomes their guide to the world, as they come up against the Snerg’s arch enemies, the Kelps, and witches, ogres, cinnamon bears and all sorts of monstrous vegetation. Told with great verve and wit, this would make an excellent read-aloud. The adventure is fast paced and with just the right amount of peril and mystery and a very satisfying resolution. The characters grow and develop and the hapless Gorbo actually saves the day and brings harmony to both the worlds. This could make a fascinating book to read alongside The Hobbit and is a real delight in its own right.
Discover all there is to love about our Blue Planet, the stories of its inhabitants, and realise how you can help protect this wilderness beneath the waves. In collaboration with BBC Earth, this illustrated non-fiction book captures the wonder, beauty, and emotion of the landmark Blue Planet II TV series. Find out more about Blue Planet II in this interview with Leisa Stewart-Sharpe and Emily Dove
Book 15 of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid | Greg Heffley and his family hit the road for a cross-country camping trip, ready for the adventure of a lifetime. But things take an unexpected turn, and they find themselves stranded at a campsite that's not exactly a summertime paradise. When the skies open up and the water starts to rise, the Heffleys wonder if they can save their vacation - or if they're already in too deep.
Pippi and her friends, Tommy and Annika, have great fun together, at the circus, at the sweets in the sweet shop and having an adventure at sea. But when Pippi's long-lost father comes to visit, will Pippi sail away to sea with him and leave Tommy and Annika behind? Pippi Longstocking is one of the most popular children's characters, wonderfully brought to life by Lauren Child's superb illustrations. Find out more about Lauren Child, her books, characters and inspirations in our Guest Editor feature.
What a great little book and a wonderful way of explaining democracy and the intricacies of the voting system: Perfectly timed for the American Presidential Elections. What was so clever was Valdez’s ability to explain whilst still maintaining an interesting and fun children’s story. There were also other messages running through the story, such as loyalty to one’s friends and peer rivalry within a classroom. I also liked learning about Mexican cookery with the odd baking tip thrown in for good measure! Managing to explain the freedom of information, fake news and what a boycott is to such young children is quite a feat. I think her quote, ‘never a perfect candidate in an election. How could there be? People aren’t perfect’ was particularly poignant. I think my favourite message however was ‘read, question, think’ – a message for life for all of us. A clever informative book with some great illustrations by David Roberts.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2020 | Nature is full of record-breaking adventures which are brought to life in the detailed and dramatic illustrations that fill every inch of the large scale book. Global in its reach, it is a gold mine of information as it takes readers on a world tour of astonishing achievements. There’s the fastest land animal – the cheetah from Botswana, the hottest place on Earth – Ethiopia, The Longest-erupting Volcano – Italy and many more. Across thirty gloriously bold spreads readers will discover wonderful and surprising facts about all kinds of aspects of the planet.
The Twelve Days of Christmas is as much a part of the festive season as sleigh bells jingling and Lara Hawthorne brings the song alive in this gorgeous picture book, filling beautiful scenes with the cavalcade of gifts and giving it all a sense of movement, joy and celebration. The trappings of Christmas are present in each spread – spot the holly, the paper hats, and the Christmas baubles on each page amongst the birds and leaping musicians – but the background outdoor scenes are green fields, particularly suited to her folk-art style illustrations. There’s so much to look at and each turn of the page presents a completely different scene – I particularly liked the ten lords, who go a-leaping right across the roof of a house, so that they’re almost flying across the page. The full lyrics are repeated in the final pages along with a special author’s note about the poem too. A Christmas book to be enjoyed all year round. You can find more wintry & festive stories in our Best Books for Kids this Christmas collection!
What We Know & What We Don't | This substantial, gifty, and compellingly browsable kids encyclopedia takes Britannica's reputation for authentic, trustworthy information and brings it to a whole new audience. The gorgeous volume explores a wide range of child-friendly topics, using text, illustrations, infographics, and photography.
The Stone Age Mystery is Dr. Amanda Hartley's third book in her 'The DNA Detectives' series. They are ground-breaking stories, in which children use DNA and forensic science to solve crimes, helped, of course, by the fact that their mother is a forensic scientist with her own laboratory in the back garden! The enterprising children in question are 10 year old Annabelle and her brother, Harry, who is seven. These are in fact the author's own children's names and she herself is a forensic scientist, like the mother in the books. The crime being investigated this time is the robbing of a Stone Age grave in a cavern revealed when the hall floor collapses at the children's school. It's an exciting and easy read, written in short chapters and the reader cannot help but be inspired as the children methodically gather and test evidence from the scene until they're able to identify the guilty party and involve the police. These books have been reviewed by the ASE (the Association for Science Education) and found to meet all the criteria necessary for them to be used to teach science and literacy in KS1 and KS2 and for cross-curricula studies at lower secondary level. If this makes them sound stuffy and boring, nothing could be further from the truth. They are written to help children understand and enjoy learning about science in a very approachable way. The weblinks given throughout, created with the Sanger Institute in Cambridge, can be used by teachers, parents and children alike to find more information about the topics covered and provide supporting downloadable activities and experiments. This series is an outstanding teaching aid but, more than that, it's fun! Drena Irish, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
A fantastically festive write-in activity book, packed with puzzles, codes to crack, games to play, doodles to draw and lots more. Activities include helping Santa fill his sack with presents, decorating a Christmas tree, making snowflake decorations, and an advent calendar to colour in day-by-day.
This enchanting reinvention of a Natural History of Fairies written by botanist Professor Elsie Arbour in the 1920s glows with timeless charm and the magic of nature. What’s more, author Emily Hawkins’s message about protecting fairies’ natural habitats has important real-world resonance, such as this: “human actions are putting fairies’ habitats at risk. When forests and woodland are cut down to make space for farmland…then fairies’ homes are destroyed.” Fairy enthusiasts will delight in the detail of the softly-radiant illustrations that present fairy anatomy and life cycles in the manner of natural history books, replete with labels and descriptions. Throughout, the book is suffused with a thrilling feeling that fairies might be found - if you know what you’re looking for, and where to look. The section on language and secret scripts will undoubtedly inspire young readers to write their own fairy codes, while coverage of a huge range of habitats - from meadows, gardens and woodlands, to mountains, marine environments and jungles - gives a satisfying global feel. Alongside providing fairy-lovers with much fodder for exploration, this coverage of habitats, and information on the likes of leaves, plants and animals, might also spark a wider love of nature. Sumptuously presented, with a silk bookmark, and gold edging and cover foil supplementing Jessica Roux’s illustrations, this book’s style is every bit as charming as its content, which makes it a gift to treasure.
'Fowl' by Shaun McMahon is a book that works on different levels. On the surface it's the story of a chicken who dreams of playing football for his favourite team but scratch a little deeper and it's a tale of passion and prejudice, revenge and remorse, with lessons for us all. Bert McCluck spends all his time on Manor Side Farm honing his football skills and watching West Farthing FC whenever they're on television, sitting beside Stan Perkins, the farmer, who is also a big fan. This doesn't go down at all well with the other chickens however and they take every opportunity to ridicule and abuse him, until the day that he's spotted by the club's manager after his car breaks down outside the farm. The West Farthing players also mock and jeer at Bert when he arrives for his trial, until, that is, they see him play. The club's star player, Chris Blackwell, who has his nose well and truly put out of joint, pays lip service to the general euphoria and pretends to welcome and accept this new player, who the team is sure is going to win the Cup Final for them the following week. Secretly plotting to make sure Bert never makes it onto the field, his foul play has to be uncovered. This is a well written, very enjoyable book, which addresses fundamental flaws in the footballing, and wider, world in a gentle but effective way. A sentence on the last page sums it up...'perhaps you (Bert) could start a football training school...we could think of no-one better to teach us'. Listen up F.A. Drena Irish, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
A globetrotting Penguin is the young reader’s tour guide as they explore the world and broadening a child’s horizons has never seemed more meaningful or relevant. 28 cities are explored within these pages- each city having its own double page spread. There has a been a commendable effort too, to ensure a good global spread of locations and cultures. Children will love pouring over the detail of the map and images of famous landmarks, museums and galleries and examples of food and culture which really bring the city alive and give a flavour of its history and development. The pages are colourful, but the soft tones mean that the pages do not appear too busy and the clever design and judicious use of text boxes does not overwhelm the reader. Each city has a basic fact box detailing the country, language, currency and population which makes for interesting comparisons. Young readers will also particularly enjoy the fun quizzes and games to test their knowledge and understanding. A valuable addition to classroom collections.
P.G. Bell’s debut The Train to Impossible Places established him as a writer of hugely exciting, inventive and satisfying adventure, and its sequel, The Great Brain Robbery, is just as good, if not even better. Once again 11-year-old Suzy is aboard the Impossible Postal Express tearing through the fantastical realms that make up the Union of Impossible Places, and this time it’s a do or die mission to save Trollville from a thoroughly nasty villain. Suzy is much more at home now with fuzzics, the strange mix of science and magic that lies at the heart of troll technology, though there are still some fabulous surprises in store for her and readers. Adventure doesn’t come more exciting or entertaining, and this is one train young readers really mustn’t miss.
Paramedics Chris and Holly are preparing for a visit to Shadesdon Primary School in order to talk about their work and to show the children the ambulance. Meanwhile at the school Mrs Hope, the teacher is preparing the children for the visit, including a reminder on how to behave appropriately. After showing the class the equipment they use, the paramedics invite the children to visit the ambulance but sadly Harry pushes to be first, causing Daniel to fall. After spending time in the 'Time Out' room, Harry apologises and writes a letter to Chris and Holly. Having been checked over, Daniel is taken home by the paramedics. On first view, this is a seemingly simple little book yet it has a lot which would provoke discussion at Early Years/KS1 level in school. Using bright and colourful childlike illustrations, it would be a useful text for providing reassurance for children in developing their experience of hospital, together with reinforcing positive behaviour in school. I think it would be a super little book to share with young children during PSHCE lessons. Val Rowe, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
The first of a great new series featuring Suzy and the magical delivery express for the Union of Impossible Places. It’s not every day that a magical train drives through your hallway but that’s what happens to Suzy at the opening of this terrific adventure story. She discovers it’s the Impossible Postal Express, responsible for making deliveries throughout the Union of Impossible Places. Being something of a scientist, and deeply inquisitive, Suzy can’t let this opportunity pass and climbs aboard. It’s not long before she’s been deputized as a Postal Operative (by the troll in charge), which in turn embroils her in an even bigger adventure, and one of those magical good versus evil power struggles that are central to all the best fantasy adventures. This rattles along at top-speed and features one of the most varied cast of characters since Hogwarts welcomed young Potter. Fans of magical stories mustn’t miss this train! Shortlisted for The Branford Boase Award 2019 | January 2019 Debut of the Month One to recommend to fans of Nevermoor and The Last Chance Hotel. Books in The Train to Impossible Places Series: 1. The Train to Impossible Places 2. The Great Brain Robbery 3. Delivery to the Lost City (January 2021)
This lovely picture book tells a folktale from China and captures too the pleasures of a family gathering, and the importance of spending time together. Its little girl narrator is excited – it’s the night of the mid-Autumn Festival feast and her grandparents are coming round to celebrate. Her favourite part of the meal are the special mooncakes, ‘as small as my hand and as round as the moon’. They are decorated with the image of a beautiful lady and her grandmother tells them the story of Chang’e, the Lady in the Moon. It is a tale of courage, love and self-sacrifice, one to light up an autumn evening. As the book concludes, the little girl knows exactly what wish she will make for the coming year: like the lady in the moon, she wishes to be kind of heart and wise of mind. The story will be new to most readers in this country and, with a message of thanksgiving and unity and its insight into another culture, is a great one to share as we enjoy the autumn. There’s even a recipe for the delicious sounding mooncakes too.
September 2012 Book of the Month. Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren's nine-year-old heroine, burst onto the bookshelf in 1945 and has remained a firm favourite with children the world over. Here her story is illustrated with flair and humour by Lauren Child, known to children everywhere as the creator of Charlie and Lola, and winner of the Kate Greenaway and Nestle Gold Awards. This is a beautiful small format gift edition. Find out more about Lauren Child, her books, characters and inspirations in our Guest Editor feature.
A wonderful introduction to how a modern place somewhere in the UK will have been created over the centuries, this beautiful picture book cleverly records the history of a place as it would look from the perspective of an oak tree. Oaks are famous for the exceptional number of years that they live and their permanence makes an interesting contrast to how frequently humans change the landscape. “I first was an acorn, so tiny and round,/I fell from a branch and sank into the ground./ Then as I grew up, I turned into a tree…/ over hundreds of years! So, what did I see?” Taken together, the simple rhyming text matched by beautiful and carefully detailed illustrations offer a delightful history lesson. The book ends with a useful timeline: "What was happening in the world while the oak tree grew?". It comes right up to the present with the spreading of the Covid-19 virus!
The fourteenth laugh-out-loud, fully-illustrated Diary of a Wimpy Kid book from #1 international bestselling author Jeff Kinney! A global phenomenon with 250 million copies of the series sold worldwide! Big changes are in store for Greg Heffley and his family. They are making home improvements! But with unwelcome critters, toxic mould and the walls coming down, soon Greg discovers renovations aren't all they are cracked up to be. When the dust finally settles, will the Heffleys be able to stay . . . or will they need to get out of town? WHAT'S IN DIARY OF A WIMPY KID? 50% words, 50% cartoons, 100% hilarious! Stories that all readers can't wait to get their hands on Laughter guaranteed!
The spellbinding sequel to Tom Fletcher's bestselling magical adventure, The Christmasaurus. 'She is the best-kept Christmas secret of all,' whispered Santa Claus. 'Which is surprising, because Christmas itself would not exist without her. She is older than time itself, yet still as young as tomorrow. She is known only as the Winter Witch.' One year has passed since William Trundle's incredible adventure with the most extraordinary dinosaur: the Christmasaurus. Now, William is swept back to the magical North Pole, where he meets the mysterious, icy Winter Witch - whose power to control time allows Santa Claus to make the long journey all around the world every Christmas Eve. And when they learn that the fate of Christmas itself hangs in the balance, William and the Christmasaurus must work with the Winter Witch to protect it... Full of magic and music, humour and heart, and a friendship like no other, The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch is the most enchanting Christmas read for the whole family.
The one with the camping trip disaster | The brand new laugh-out-loud, fully-illustrated Diary of a Wimpy Kid book from #1 international bestselling author Jeff Kinney! A global phenomenon with 250 million copies of the series sold worldwide! When Greg Heffley and his family hit the road for a cross-country camping trip, they're ready for the adventure of a lifetime. But their plans hit a major snag, and they find themselves stranded at a campsite that's not exactly a summertime paradise. Things only get worse for the Heffleys when the skies open up and the water starts to rise, making them wonder if they can save their vacation - or if they're already in too deep... You can download a fun new facebook app, Cheese Touch - and find out lots more about Wimpy Kid at the Wimpy Kid Club!
There are lots of laughs at every level in The 130-Storey Treehouse, the tenth book in the number one bestselling Treehouse series from Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, out in hardback. This is our Treehouse, come on up! We've added 13 news levels to our Treehouse, including a soap bubble blaster, a GRABINATOR (it can grab anything from anywhere at any time), a time-wasting level, a toilet paper factory (because you can never have too much toilet paper) and an extraterrestrial observation centre . . . Which will come in handy when giant flying eyeballs from outer space come to grabinate US!
An irresistible new edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone created with ultra-talented designers MinaLima, the design magicians behind the gorgeous visual graphic style of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. This is where the adventure begins, as Harry Potter discovers that he is no ordinary boy but a wizard of great reknown, as well as expected at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Moreover, at Hogwarts, he encounters "He Who Must Not Be Named", a master of magic whose ambition is more dark and terrifying than Harry can possibly imagine.
From the creators of the best-selling Treehouse series, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. Is this the right book for you? It is if you loved to be amused, entertained and totally grossed out! With 9 stories in the book featuring funnies such as 'Bursting', 'Expel Me!', 'Snail Aid', 'Who Am I?', 'Dum-Dum', 'Chubby Bunnies' and let's not forget 'Boogeyboy'. A super-fun feast of entertainment that will have you laughing out loud at the stupidity of Andy and his pals.
Surprising things happen every day in Moominvalley - luckily the Moomin family and their friends embrace the unexpected with their characteristic humour, kindness and charm. This beautiful book contains nine exciting adventure stories - all closely based on the warm and whimsical Moomin world and characters created by the celebrated writer, artist and illustrator Tove Jansson.
From million-copy bestselling author David Baddiel comes a laugh-out-loud and inspiring new adventure for all readers of 8 and up that is ahead of its time - 1,001 years ahead, to be precise... The year is 3020. Pip@256X#YY.3_7 is lonely and bored: she goes to virtual school on her G-Glasses, she only has a talking cat and parrot to hang out with, and she can't even leave her LivingSpace due to the extreme heat and floods outside. Until the day that Pip explores a glowing ring in a lab and finds herself in a warehouse, in 2019. Where she meets boy-inventor Rahul - who is also lonely and bored. Together, Rahul and Pip are no longer lonely. But they have a whole load of new problems, including hiding talking animals from Rahul's parents, and finding a way back to the future. Plus - just maybe - saving the world... Future Friend is a terrifically entertaining time-slip adventure that combines action, laugh-out-loud humour and the importance of friendship, in a story that asks the question - what would happen if your best friend came from the future?
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2020 | Thea’s Christmas visit to Norway to try and connect with her absent father, Henry, looks set to be a disaster. Despite her hopes that her father will understand her yearning to be a writer and her need for a typewriter, Henry seems only interested in his new family and his woodwork. All Thea’s hopes are dashed. How she longs to go home to her mum and all their family Christmas traditions. But when Thea befriends a sleeping bear whom she has disturbed she unleashes a wonderful, wintery adventure. Finding friends who understand her love for the bear and her belief that it is harmless, Thea works out an ambitious plan to confuse the hunters and save the bear. The result is a many layered adventure story of courage, love and imagination. You can find more wintry & festive stories in our Best Books for Kids this Christmas collection.
Beautifully told and illustrated this luminous allegorical adventure describes how one little girl’s dark and lonely existence is lit up by the arrival of ‘one spark’ in the form of a book – ‘faint and fading in the dark’. The spark’s embers glow and catch light and we see the girl follow them through an extraordinary world, brightened always by books, falling Alice in Wonderland-like from the sky, sprouting flowers and always shining in the dark. Enrolled at school, her heart’s delight, her story takes flight again from the pages of a book to transform another lonely girl’s life. There’s lots to wonder at, but the overall message is clear – the transforming, empowering, joy-bringing importance of books and education. The rhyming text carries readers along and the illustrations seem lit up from within. A book that deserves a wide audience and one that will start both dreams and discussions. For similar books take a look at Girl Power - Inspiring and Informative Books with a Feminist Edge
Getting lost in a book is one of the great delights of childhood.