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If you're looking for suitable books for your 9 - 10 year old, our extensive list of expert recommendations is sure to put you in the right direction. .
April 2019 Book of the Month | The tables are turned in Jeff Kinney’s new comic adventure and the wimpy kid telling the story and steering the action is Rowley Jefferson, Greg Heffley’s best friend. As Greg’s long-suffering sidekick he deserves his turn in the spotlight, though as he apologetically points out, most of the book is still about Greg. The boys’ escapades, quarrels and daft schemes are just as funny as when we hear them via Greg. No-one does the straight to camera narrative style of the diary better than Kinney and no matter how straight Jeff tells it, our understanding of the action is often quite different to his. This is as authentic and funny as the original Wimpy Kid books and makes just as irresistible reading.
May 2019 Book of the Month | Like all classics of American middle grade fiction - as this may well be esteemed in future - this is radiant with humour, heart and a whole lot of indelibly authentic child-centred observations and emotions. With his dad away on army service, and faced with being plunged into the jungle of middle school, Carter already has plenty on his plate when his family inherits the services of an eccentric British butler. While Carter is quick to revolt against the butler’s rigorous regime of tea-drinking, homework and housekeeping (including folding underwear, can you believe it?!), the butler’s ways, wisdom and polite-but-firm guidance (AKA being “a pain in the glutes”) casts a healing spell over the family’s soul, exactly when they need it most. Then, as the butler shares his love of “the most lovely and sportsmanly game that mankind has yet conceived” (AKA cricket) with Carter’s schoolmates, Carter himself comes to share his troubles and release his anger and grief so he can keep the metaphoric “bails from coming down”. Suffused with the same warmth, compassion and originality of the author’s stunning debut, Orbiting Jupiter , this funny, moving middle grade novel is a true treasure with broad appeal and rich rewards.
Aru is only just getting the hang of this whole Pandava thing when the Otherworld goes into full panic mode. The god of love's bow and arrow have gone missing, and the thief isn't playing Cupid. Instead, they're turning people into heartless fighting-machine zombies. If that weren't bad enough, somehow Aru gets framed as the thief. If she doesn't find the arrow by the next full moon, she'll be kicked out of the Otherworld. For good. But, for better or worse, she won't be going it alone. Along with her soul-sister, Mini, Aru will team up with Brynne, an ultra-strong girl who knows more than she lets on, and Aiden, the boy wholives across the street and is also hiding plenty of secrets. Together they'll battle demons, travel through a glittering and dangerous serpent realm, and discover that their enemy isn't at all who they expected.
May 2019 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2019 | Join these two unlikely heroes on the most amazing of adventures and discover the impact of hundreds of men and women that helped Hillary and Tenzing achieve their goal. But triumphs can be marred with tragedy as not everyone who climbs Everest survives ... In the late morning of May 29th 1953, the sun was shining brightly on the roof of the world, a gentle breeze was blowing and two men were there to witness it for the first time ever ... Their names were Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and the roof of the world was Everest. This is the breathtaking story of how two very different yet equally determined men battled frost-biting temperatures, tumbling ice rocks, powerful winds and death-defying ridges to climb the world's highest mountain. With a beautiful foreword by the greatest living explorer of our time, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, this brilliant book combines fresh and contemporary illustrations by Joe Todd-Stanton with Alexandra Stewart's captivating writing and publishes in time to celebrate the centenary of Edmund Hillary's birth. This unique narrative tells the story of how Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made their mark on the world from birth right up to their final days and the impact they've had on Nepal today.
Exciting, touching and with a real sense of magic, Pog is exactly the kind of story readers love. David and Penny move into a new home in an ancient forest after their mother’s death. Unbeknownst to them, the grief they are feeling makes them prey to dark forces from a different world and they are in real danger. Fortunately they have a protector in the small, hairy figure of Pog, last of the Fairy Folk, who is assigned to guard the door between this world and the dark, other one. But the threat is greater than any of them realise, and the adventure that develops is full of tension and drama as well as moments that are deeply moving. There are shades of classic magical stories – Narnia even – though this feels completely original, and it touches sensitively on issues of loss. Highly recommended.
Vic is from a family of pirates, and they are preparing to enter the Race to Hornswaggle Rock, the hardest, most dangerous pirate contest in the country. But the dastardly Captain Guillemot has stolen their ship and thrown their parents overboard. Together with siblings Bert and Maud, and annoyingly resourceful friends Arabella and George, Vic must come up with a plan to steal the ship back from their arch-enemy, join the race and win victory. But there are fearsome pirate crews, hungry sharks and some lovesick parrots in the way - will they be the rulers of the seven seas or the scurviest losers to ever walk the plank?
UKLA Shortlist Book Awards - 2019 | S E Durrant writes convincingly and movingly about ordinary young people in extraordinary situations, and Running on Empty finds beauty and certainty in an apparently bleak situation. Eleven-year old AJ’s parents both have learning difficulties and he becomes their main carer when his grandfather suddenly dies. It’s a struggle, especially at first when no-one at his new secondary school realises just what AJ has to cope with. His love and tenderness towards his parents is beautifully described, as is the warmth of his extended family and things slowly sort themselves out. Somehow too his grandfather – who loved running as much as AJ does – is never really far away. Without a trace of sentimentality, this ends on a note of hope and happiness that is both believable and uplifting. This is one to recommend to fans of Susin Nielsen and even R J Palacio.
This exciting title in the Tara Binns mini- series is written by Lisa Rajan. Emerald/Band 15 books provide a widening range of genres including science fiction and biography, prompting more ways to respond to texts. Ideas for reading in the back of the book provide practical support and stimulating activities.
This exciting title in the Tara Binns mini-series is written by Lisa Rajan. Diamond/Band 17 books offer more complex, underlying themes to give opportunities for children to understand causes and points of view. Ideas for reading in the back of the book provide practical support and stimulating activities.
This exciting title in the Tara Binns mini series is written by Lisa Rajan. Sapphire/Band 16 books offer longer reads to develop children's sustained engagement with texts and are more complex syntactically. Ideas for reading in the back of the book provide practical support and stimulating activities.
May 2019 Book of the Month | No matter how exciting, zany and surprising the action, you can always be sure that Frank Cottrell-Boyce will build his stories on real human emotions, and that’s as true of this brilliantly funny, original and touching novel as of any of its predecessors. Alfie ‘swerves’ both school and the Limb Lab, where he should be going to learn how to control his state-of-the-art new hand, by hanging out at the airport. But everything changes when, through various happy accidents, he finds an enormous robot called Eric in Lost Property. Eric holds the Allen key to the book’s mysteries, both a generations-old legend, and the secrets that Archie is keeping from the reader and himself. Beautifully told and full of characters readers will love, this book will have you laughing out loud one minute, in tears the next. Robot Eric, unfailingly polite, kind and helpful and trying to explain himself through misremembered jokes is an iron man for our time. Unmissable. Once readers have finished this, point them in the direction of Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s other books including The Astounding Broccoli Boy and books by Ross Welford. Peter Brown’s story The Wild Robot is another great automaton adventure. **Head over to our LoveReading4KidsLoves Channel to find out more about Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Author of the Month.
From the million-copy bestselling author of THE PARENT AGENCY and BIRTHDAY BOY comes a wildly entertaining wish-fulfilment adventure that asks the question: what would happen if the strictest head teacher swapped bodies with the naughtiest kid in school? Strictest head naughtiest boy = chaos. Bracket Wood is about to be visited by the school inspectors. But there's one big problem: Ryan Ward. The maestro of practical jokes, Ryan has played so many tricks that in the end the Head Teacher just walks out. And then the new Head Teacher, Mr Carter, arrives. A man so strict even the teachers are scared of him. So imagine his surprise - and Ryan's - when they swap bodies. Now Ryan is Head Teacher - and his mortal enemy is one of his pupils. It's every naughty kid's dream! But soon Bracket Wood School is in a total mess - and only its worst ever pupil can fix it...
With diary entries written by eleven-year-old Libby Scott, based on her own experiences of autism, this pioneering book, written in collaboration with esteemed author Rebecca Westcott, hasbeen widely praised for its realistic portrayal of autism. Tally is eleven years old and she's just like her friends. Well, sometimes she is. If she tries really hard to be. Because there's something that makes Tally not the same as her friends. Something she can't cover up, no matter how hard she tries: Tally is autistic. Tally's autism means there are things that bother her even though she wishes they didn't. It means that some people misunderstand, her and feel frustrated by her. People think that because Tally's autistic, she doesn'trealise what they're thinking, but Tally sees and hears - and notices - all of it. And, honestly? That's not the easiest thing to live with. Perfect for fans of Wonder and The Goldfish Boy, this sucker punch to the heart is valuable reading for children and adults alike. Endearing, insightful and warmly uplifting, Can You SeeMe? is a story of autism, empathy and kindness that will touch readers of all ages.
Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous Malamander creep... Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy - especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma's parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up. And it just got stranger...
Joint winner of UKLA Award 7-11 Category 2018 | Bored with the usual suspects? Got a thirst for more nifty nature knowledge and a love of the unknown underdog? Then LESSER SPOTTED ANIMALS 2 is the book for you! Discover more brilliant beasts you never knew you needed to know about from the altai argali to the yellow-throated marten and everything in between. From the illustrator of the mega-selling Horrible Histories comes a brand new series about all the animals you've never seen.
Book 2 in The Giant Series. Thirteen-year-old Elika wants to be normal. She doesn't want to have anything to do with magical creatures. She doesn't even want to be half Icelandic. But the cries of a lonely giant draw her to her mother's country. A story of embracing one's heritage and an how friendship can be formed in unlikely circumstances. Set in the wilds of Iceland.
This action-packed blend of magical fantasy with classic kids’ adventuring is a swashbuckling read for 8+ year-olds, peppered with soft line-drawings and propelled by a strong sense of urgency. Siblings Finn (the narrator) and Aria, and their smuggler dad are undertaking a voyage aboard their home, a boat called Alcina. Their dad has to pick up a parcel, but this time they’re charting an unknown course. “This new route is dangerous”, Finn observes and, what’s more, they’re journeying to New London, a place that’s been “enclosed by the high stone city walls since the Last War”, a place “strangers are forbidden to enter”. And they are strangers… When they reach a port and Dad heads off to collect the parcel, Finn and Aria also go ashore (against Dad’s wishes) to explore the bustling bazaar where a mysterious vendor issues them with a grave warning. Then, soon after, Finn learns the shocking truth of his true identity as “a child born with the clan magic in their blood”, as a Sea-tamer, and so an elemental tale of ancient lore and magic unfolds as the family are pursued by a warlord with the weight of saving civilisation on their shoulders.
Baldur, Odin's greatest son, is a leader of men - and loved by all. So when a prophecy is made that the end of the world, Ragnarok - the Twilight of the Gods - will occur when Baldur dies, Odin imprisons all those who might be involved in the death of his beloved son. But fate is fate. Baldur will die. The only question is how - and the only result is the beginning of the end for all of creation.
When Jack sells his family's cow for magic beans, his mother is anything but pleased. Soon, however, the beans sprout into a towering beanstalk. It leads to a castle filled with gold and other treasures. Jack's family will be rich, if he can sneak past the man-eating giant!
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2019 | The wolf star, brightest of all in the summer sky, shines over my home ground. I know every hidden lake and rocky ridge, but if my pack is not in the mountains, then it is no home to me. I feel a howl deep inside, but dare not let it out. Swift lives with his pack in the mountains, until one day his home and family are lost. Alone and starving, Swift must make a choice: stay and try to eke out a desperate life on the borders of his old hunting grounds, or strike out and find a new place to call home. The journey Swift must go on is long and full of peril for a lone wolf, and he'll need to take every chance he can. Will he find the courage to survive all by himself? Inspired by a true story, A Wolf Called Wander is about family, courage and survival. With beautiful illustrations from artist Monica Armino and an extra factual section about wolves and their environment, this book is perfect for animal lovers.
A fast-paced read packed with historical detail In the Shadow of Heroes is a clever blend of intrigue, politics, crime, history and a bit of fantasy. Set in Rome at the time of Emperor Nero, it weaves some Greek mythology – the tale of the Golden Fleece – into the world of the Roman elite. When unexpected visitors turn up at Tullus’s house one night, his slave Cadmus, an educated boy slave who was taken in by Tullus after having been abandoned as a baby, knows that something dangerous is afoot. The visitors bring a box with something that is clearly very desirable in it. What can it be? When Tullus disappears and Cadman is given a message by a slave who was formerly a British princess he set off on a trail to find out what is going on. The plot is twisty and inventive ensuring that the reader remains enthralled through out.
Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 8 | The Peachey family enjoy fine meals each night now that everyone takes turns cooking. Everyone, that is, except grumbling Pa Peachey - until some unsatisfactory bread pushes him to try baking. Convinced that he has found his true calling, Pa sets his sights on winning the town Bake Off. Unfortunately, his great ideas far surpass his skills, and soon Pa's ambitions are crumbling under the weight of 3,784 pieces of gingerbread ... McTavish smells disaster in the making, and it looks like he's going to have to save the day - again.
Jacqueline Wilson is as at home writing about the past as she is writing about contemporary times and this story of Mona growing up in the 1920s is full of her trademarks: a booky little heroine, an unconventional family, creativity rewarded, and the importance of love and honesty. Mona lives with her aunty who works her fingers to the bone as a seamstress to support her niece. Their home is the gamekeeper’s cottage in the grounds of the local landowners’ estate and as the story unfolds Mona’s life becomes intertwined with the aristocratic Somersets, for all her lowly birth. The post-war period with its new sense of freedom and expression is brilliantly evoked, and Mona’s journey of self-discovery perfectly matches the new era. With a special guest appearance by Hetty Feather this is classic Wilson and will thoroughly enchant her legions of fans.
May 2018 Book of the Month | Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 8 | Alan Gibbons can pack a great deal of story and power into a short extent and that’s certainly the case with this book. It stars a group of young footballers, two of whom – the most talented – are refugees, only recently invited to play with West Team Celtic. Our main character, Sam, is happy to accept them into the squad but a boy called Jordan resents anyone who is better than him, and does his best to keep them out of the team. The drama of the matches is broken up and balanced via short chapters explaining who refugees are, where they come from, and why – something that makes the book much more than just a sports adventure. For the the final scene, everything comes together and there’s a wonderful demonstration of sport’s ability to unite us all, and even, occasionally, to work miracles. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+
Prue is a young farm girl whose older brother, Francis, had a natural talent for engineering. But after his untimely death, the family have been shattered by grief. Everything changes when a stranger arrives at the farm. A new, incredible technology has been discovered in the city of Medlock, where a secretive guild of inventors have found a way to bring spirits of the dead back into the world, capturing their energy and powering animal-like machines. Unaware that Francis has died, the Ghost Guild wants him to join them as an apprentice. Prue poses as "Frances" and goes to Medlock to learn the craft - but she's on a mission of her own, to bring her brother back home. And to find Francis, she needs to find a way to help the ghost machines remember the people they used to be. But if she succeeds, the whole society could fall apart.
UKLA Shortlist Book Awards - 2019 | Winner of The Costa Children's Book Award 2017 | After crashing hundreds of miles from civilisation in the Amazon rainforest, Fred, Con, Lila and Max are utterly alone and in grave danger. They have no food, no water and no chance of being rescued. But they are alive and they have hope. As they negotiatethe wild jungle they begin to find signs that something - someone - has been there before them. Could there possibly be a way out after all?
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2019 | From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide. By turns funny, moving, surprising and dramatic, this is a novel that is as thought-provoking as it is enchanting.
UKLA Shortlist Book Awards - 2019 | Sky Dancer is a vivid, inspiring animal story in which the British countryside is as important a character as its human protagonists. Joe has grown up on the moors, and knows no other world. But following the death of his father, nothing seems certain anymore. His sense of insecurity is reflected in the wider community, divided over the fate of the hen harriers that nest nearby. Gill Lewis explores ideas of trust and loss, and like the very best animal stories, this is a thrilling and moving read that will help young readers understand the natural world, and their responsibility to look after it.
April 2019 Book of the Month | Blimey, but can Anthony Horowitz pack huge amounts of tension, excitement and humour into his short stories! He shows off a breath-taking ability to conjure adventure out of the most unlikely beginnings, and in his hands even a trip to the dentist turns into a full-on, peril-laden caper. There’s everything in this collection that makes the Alex Rider novels so addictive: dangerous situations, daring escapes, gadgets galore. And of course, there’s Alex himself – super-smart, super-resourceful, super-cool. Irresistible, unbeatable reading. LoveReading4Kids Loves Alex Rider! Find out more about Alex Rider in our Series of the Month feature.
April 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2019 | The inspiring story of Mary Anning who, born at the end of the eighteenth century, fought against all the odds to become a pioneering scientist and fossil hunter. Inspired by her father who took her out on fossil hunting expeditions on the cliffs and beaches around Lyme Regis, Mary was fascinated by the beauty of the finds and by what they said about the past. Her exceptional curiosity was matched by incredible courage which led her to take dare-devil risks as she searched for rare examples. She also knew their worth and was never shy in selling them well to the many visitors to the area who came to wonder. Anthea Simmons tells Mary’s story as an exciting adventure and also as a rousing story of what an intelligent and brave woman can do.
April 2019 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2019 | Take an inspiring journey into sixteen very special and important landscapes each of which is brought to life in glorious large-scale illustrations. These set the scene for amazing dramas of nature that are taking place within them. From tropical rainforest to scorching deserts, these protected environments are home to rare and beautiful animals and plants which are shown here in glorious illustrations that display their finest details. While the illustrations will draw the readers in, there is also a wealth of information included in the fact file at the end making this a book that is full of value as well as beauty.
April 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2019 | Award-winning author Frank Cottrell Boyce has created a wonderful illustrated version of Richard Adams’s classic story by drawing on the scripts from the BBC/Netflix mini-series. His simple story telling style, perfectly matched by the vivid illustrations captures the essence of the original with all its excitement, warmth and insight of this animal saga of survival. You might also like the Watership Down Colouring Book, which accompanies the series.
April 2019 Book of the Month | Lauren St John knows just how to create the perfect children’s adventure stories. Her junior detectives Kat Wolfe and Harper Lamb return for a second outing in this new book, another enthralling adventure that combines crumbling cliff edges, dinosaur bones, an A list celebrity who isn’t what she seems and, of course, lots of glorious animals. As they investigate a suspicious death, Kat and Harper face real dangers, but quick-thinking and teamwork, not to mention a bit of luck, see them through. There’s an important eco-message contained in the adventure too and this is exactly the kind of book to encourage children’s interest in the environment and their world as the pages keep turning. Thoroughly recommended.
There’s all the fun of the circus in Alexander McCall Smith’s new series, and a satisfying bit of junior sleuthing. Young Billy, Fern and Joe are performers in their family circus, but there’s a bit of Sherlock Holmes about them too: as their friend Mr Birdcage points out, they’re clever, and they like helping people. So when they notice a sad boy in the audience and find out his granny has gone missing, they set about finding her, using some of their circus skills in the process. Readers will be delighted to know that the circus’s troupe of dog stars play a part as well. It’s a lovely story and as ever filled with the all-embracing sense of kindness and integrity that is characteristic of McCall Smith’s writing.
This eighth book in the Riverdale Pony Stories series is packed with peril, mystery and high-octane action as pony-mad Poppy McKeever goes into detective mode to track down the dog that attacked the sheep on her friend’s farm, while also preparing for a big riding competition. While the writing is pacey and has an urgency to it, at times the somewhat dense descriptions could benefit from a little trimming. But, overall, this gripping, entertaining adventure rings with authentic dialogue, strong evocations of the countryside and Poppy’s indomitable spirit.
Tales of the rabbit secret service that loyally serves her majesty from burrows beneath Buckingham Palace, this charming series is going from strength to strength. Someone has stolen the queen’s favourite jewel – a priceless diamond that also seems able to comfort those who possess it. The Royal Rabbits are determined to retrieve it, none more so than young Shylo, who was asleep on the job when the theft occurred. A rich, beautiful and vain tigress could be the culprit, but the diamond is Russian and a team of cunning Kremlin minks are out to steal it back, and you can bet those rotten Ratzis are involved too. Humour (including the occasional bit of social satire) and proper adventure are perfectly balanced and Shylo gets more interesting a character as the stories progress. Delightful, and Kate Hindley’s illustrations make it even more special.
Tara Binns never knows what job her old dressing up box in the attic will chose for her. In this series of inspirational fast-paced adventures, she finds herself magically transported to a different setting and facing some tough responsibilities. In the A&E department she will need to think and act quickly to save lives. Luckily she is always accompanied on these adventures by Ayesha and Ortez who encourage her to have faith in her abilities and work alongside her. Even a deadly allergy can be averted by our problem solving heroine. Each title in this colourfully illustrated and engaging series progresses to another levelled book band offering more depth and detail to the story to keep young readers hooked and making this an excellent choice for the classroom or library. I can see that Tara Binns is all set to be the Mr Ben of this generation and this time we have a female role model! David McKee’s book and TV series no doubt inspired many boys in the 1980’s to reach for their dreams- whatever they may be. But as the WISE campaign for gender balance in STEM professions, which endorses this series from Collins Big Cat, tells us: only 8% of girls go on to study STEM subjects and only 22% of women are employed in STEM careers. Tara Binns could help to change that and inspire girls to open their eyes to their full potential! Each story in this book banded series has a reading guide at the back providing practical support and stimulating activity ideas. There is a full teaching guide and lesson plan available on the website https://collins.co.uk/pages/tara-binns and WISE are providing real life case studies for each of the careers featured. High-Flying Pilot and Big Idea Engineer are available now and 3 more STEM career titles will follow later in the year.
Tara comes up with a big safety idea, but can it save her own skin and can she prevent a fatal crash? The old dressing up box in the attic propels Tara Binns into a new job each time she lifts the lid. She never knows what challenges she will face and we can all enjoy finding out with her. Luckily she is always accompanied on these pacy adventures by Ayesha and Ortez who work alongside her and encourage faith in her own abilities. Her powers of deduction are really tested here by problems on the factory floor and inspire her to think like an engineer. She comes up with a design solution for personal protection, but can she act in time to avert a terrible accident? Each title in this colourfully illustrated, inclusive series progresses to another levelled book band offering more depth and engaging detail to develop readers’ thinking, inference and reasoning skills alongside this inspiring, anti- stereotypical heroine. An excellent choice for the classroom or library. I can see that Tara Binns is all set to be the Mr Ben of this generation and this time we have a female role model! David McKee’s book and TV series no doubt inspired many boys in the 1980’s to reach for their dreams- whatever they may be. But as the WISE campaign for gender balance in STEM professions, which endorses this series from Collins Big Cat, tells us: only 8% of girls go on to study STEM subjects and only 22% of women are employed in STEM careers. Tara Binns could help to change that and inspire girls to open their eyes to their full potential! Each story in this book banded series has a reading guide at the back providing practical support and stimulating activity ideas. There is a full teaching guide and lesson plan available on the website https://collins.co.uk/pages/tara-binns and WISE are providing real life case studies for each of the careers featured. High-Flying Pilot and Double-Quick Doctor are available now and 3 more STEM career titles will follow later in the year.
Eric’s aunty has a history of finding really unusual presents, and the latest is a stone that can apparently make wishes come true. In the best tradition of stories about things that grant wishes, Eric’s caught out and ends up accidentally wishing for the thing he really wants – a dad. As it slowly dawns on Eric that his headmaster Mr Hodgett, aka The Bodge, is a possible candidate he panics – wouldn’t you? But perhaps the stone knows what it’s doing after all … Barbara Mitchelhill cleverly weaves magic into everyday life and equally skilfully mixes zany humour with touching, real emotions and there’s a great deal of story packed into this little book. Illustrations by Tony Ross are typically lively, Eric and his friends wonderfully loose-limbed and scruffy.
There’s monster-sized fun for readers to be had at the Nothing To See Here Hotel – after all, it is the world’s number one holiday destination for magical creatures. In the company of the proprietors’ son, the irrepressible Frankie Banister (who is part troll by the way), we get best seats for the action which here concerns the return of Frankie’s great-great-great-grandfather Abraham, as a ghost. You’d think great-great-great-granny Regurgita would be happy to see her husband back, but nothing goes as you’d expect in these stories, and maybe everyone should be a bit suspicious of Abraham. Adventures don’t come more extraordinary or more enjoyable than these, and any readers with a taste for fast-moving, fabulously funny illustrated tales should book in asap.
It’s a superhero book, folks, but not as we know it. Murph, star of this funny and good-natured series by Greg James and Chris Smith, is different from most of the kids at his school in that he doesn’t have superpowers. However, there’s a lot to be said for teamwork, and as leader of the Super Zeroes, he’s discovered a way to be heroic without the powers. Have he and his compadres met their match though in the thoroughly unscrupulous supervillain Magpie? As ever it’s a fast-moving caper packed with jokes and humour, and thoroughly satisfying from beginning to end. Erica Salcedo deserves special mention too for her energetic and distinctive black and white illustrations. One to recommend to fans of David Solomons’ My Brother is a Super-Hero series and Danny Wallace’s Hamish books.
Who better to introduce children to the world of ancient Greek myth than gladiator Julius Zebra (and if you don’t know, he really is a zebra). Julius and his band have already survived being kidnapped by Romans and thrown into the Colosseum, a stay in Britannia and a shipwreck in Egypt, but can they survive a challenge from the hero Heracles (or as Julius knows him Hairy Keith)? It brings them into contact with the Minotaur and King Midas, and ends with a trip into the underworld no less. The story is brilliantly funny as always, and action packed while there’s loads of proper information on ancient life amongst the silliness. Glorious stuff!
These books hit the back of the net every time as far as I’m concerned. Packed full of facts, information and insight on a range of school topics, but all of them explained through football. Subjects covered include biology, via close-ups on footballers’ feet (not nearly as nice as you’d think apparently); physics – why it pays to be small when you’re dribbling (Lionel Messi anyone?); history, includes a look at the creation of the rules of football, something that took place in Sheffield in 1857; while the chapter on English is all about how to be a successful commentator. It’s fascinating stuff, and really memorable too. Anyone who reads this will learn a lot, no matter their age, and they’ll laugh a lot too – much of it is very funny, and cartoons by Spike Gerrell add to the entertainment value. Top of the league reading! One of our 2018 Books of the Year.
Tara Binns never knows what will happen when she opens her old dressing up box in the attic. In this first of her anti-stereotypical adventures she suddenly finds herself the pilot of a jet plane flying high above the ocean and scarily responsible for the lives of passengers and crew. Luckily she is always accompanied on these adventures by Ayesha and Ortez who encourage her to have faith in her abilities and work through the problems ahead. Even a tropical storm and an emergency landing can be tackled by this quick witted heroine. Aimed at readers ready for longer chapters with more complex ideas and with a diverse and representative cast of characters this colourfully illustrated and engaging series is an excellent choice for the classroom or library. I can see that Tara Binns is all set to be the Mr Ben of this generation and this time we have a female role model! David McKee’s book and TV series no doubt inspired many boys in the 1980’s to reach for their dreams- whatever they may be. But as the WISE campaign for gender balance in STEM professions, which endorses this series from Collins Big Cat, tells us: only 8% of girls go on to study STEM subjects and only 22% of women are employed in STEM careers. Tara Binns could help to change that and inspire girls to open their eyes to their full potential! Each story in this book banded series has a reading guide at the back providing practical support and stimulating activity ideas. There is a full teaching guide and lesson plan available on the website https://collins.co.uk/pages/tara-binns and WISE are providing real life case studies for each of the careers featured. Double-quick Doctor and Big Idea Engineer are available now and 3 more STEM career titles will follow later in the year.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2019 | The much-loved author of The Tiger Who Came to Tea has written and illustrated a delightful new story that is perfect for all the family. When lonely Mr Cleghorn adopts Charlie, an orphaned seal, after a visit to the seaside he has no idea quite how difficult it will be to look after him! Luckily, his neighbour Miss Craig loves animals too and is more than willing to help him! Together, the pair do everything they can to keep the little seal pup happy. And keeping the little seal pup happy makes them very happy too in this touching and funny story. A new gem and a classic in the making from Judith Kerr to delight readers young and old.
Shortlisted for the Children's Book Awards 2019, Books for Younger Readers Category | From the international bestselling creator of Claude comes a brand new hero: Mr Penguin. Indiana Jones meets Hercule Poirot in this series from Alex T. Smith.
Shortlisted for the Children's Book Awards 2019, Books for Older Readers Category | Interest Age 8-10 Reading Age 8 | World War One remains a subject of fascination for readers of all ages, but Tom Palmer finds an original way in to the topic in this poignant new story. Lily is a keen fell runner, though she’s fed up of coming in as runner up in races. A visit to her grandparents reveals a surprise: her great-grandfather ran on the fells too. His experiences are recounted vividly in his diary, both his runs in his beloved Cumbria and his experiences as a soldier, recruited to run between positions on the front line, carrying crucial information to the allies. Their shared experiences form a powerful connection, and help Lily to understand herself better, and also to help her grandma when she needs it most. Today and yesterday are seamlessly woven together in a story that will move readers in lots of different ways.
A beautifully written, incredibly original and wickedly funny novel for readers of 10 and older - Bloom is for everyone who has ever felt like they didn't fit in, and for anyone who has ever wanted a little more colour and wildness in their lives... Sorrel Fallowfield is growing up - in a REALLY surprising way . . .
April 2019 Book of the Month | Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | It’s hard to resist any book that starts with toads dropping from the sky and that’s just one of the delights of this story. The toads provide the backdrop to a thoroughly enjoyable tale of friendship, inter-school horticultural rivalry and the fall and rise of an umbrella emporium. Patrice Lawrence makes sure the storylines leap along nicely and her central characters Leo and Rosa feel like old friends even by chapter two. Becka Moor’s illustrations – of toads and human characters alike – are more than lively enough to match the narrative. A fun, original adventure that will keep everyone hoppy.
April 2019 Debut of the Month | Marcia Williams is best known for her beautifully illustrated retellings of classic stories. For her first novel she has found inspiration in a true story. Cloud Boy takes the form of a diary written by a girl called Angie throughout a year in which her best friend Harry becomes seriously ill. Interspersed with her entries are readings of her grandmother’s letters - very like diary entries - which were written though never sent when she was a child prisoner in the notorious Changi WW2 camp in Singapore. As things get very difficult for Harry, Angie is by turns sad, scared, frightened and angry. Her grandmother’s letters provide distraction and comfort, especially the descriptions of a quilt the girls in the camp made in secret. The two stories are told with great sensitivity and despite the suffering being described the overwhelming sense is one of resilience and hope.
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2018 | One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | November 2017 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2017 Award-winning Kate Saunders takes readers on a wondrous fantasy adventure in the best tradition of children’s stories in which there is another world to ours in which strange and silly things can and do happen. The story is tinged with sadness as the adventures stem from beautifully conveyed feelings of grief that it is often hard to express. Mourning the death of her much-loved sister, Emily finds herself having the most curious dreams in which soft toys came alive and do the most extraordinary things. When Ruth, a neighbour whose son died as a child, dreams the same things, the pair begin an adventure in which the worlds of reality and storytelling and make-believe seem to flow together effortlessly and the absurd becomes the everyday. For both Emily and Ruth, learning to laugh again at the happenings in the imaginary world of Smokeroon provides them with exactly the comfort and imaginary release they so badly need.
March 2019 Book of the Month | Fleur Hitchcock’s exciting other-world thriller oozes atmosphere. Athan Wilde lives with his mother and sisters, the youngest of whom is unable to walk. The family are poor and his job working for inventor Mr Chen is important, though his mother is suspicious of Mr Chen especially when one of his experiments backfires accidentally destroying her hen house. But someone else is really out to get him and when Mr Chen is murdered Athan is in danger too, the murderer ready to use violence and kidnap to discover his employer’s secrets. It’s a gripping, fast-paced story with an air of Dickensian gothic and some of the supporting characters – Athan’s nasty, narrow-minded granny for example – are particularly shuddersome. Enjoyable adventure for robust readers.
Winner of the Blue Peter Book Awards 2019, Best Book with Facts | | A fascinating information book, The Colours of History takes readers to different places at different times to show how humans have used colour in art, politics and trade. They’ll learn how indigo, made from plants that grow in Asia, began to be traded round the world in the 15th century, how hundreds of years later it was used to colour a type of cloth in Nîmes, which eventually became known as ‘denim’. It explains how pink has been regarded as a ‘boy colour’ and a ‘girl colour’, and why, in the US in the early 20th century, margarine was pink. And it describes how the discovery of a new mineral in a Russian gold mine transformed Van Gogh’s paintings. It’s an unusual and vivid way to demonstrate how interconnected the world has always been, and mankind’s endless ingenuity too.
They may be a family of hyenas, but if we were all like the Bolds the world would be a much better place. In case you don’t know, the Bolds live disguised as humans in Teddington. Their two children attend the local primary, and both parents work: Mr Bold writes cracker jokes, Mrs Bold designs extravagant hats. In this story, Mr Bold’s mother arrives from Africa for a visit, and struggles rather with her son’s new lifestyle choice. It looks like the family will be exposed, but the story takes a different turn, and once again the Bolds come to the aid of someone who needs their help. The story is deliciously bonkers, the illustrations just as witty and full of quirky detail, and the Bolds’ live-and-let-live philosophy is a breath of fresh air in our quarrelsome times. If you want everyone to go to sleep smiling and happy, make this your bedtime reading.
Prize-winning Berlie Doherty brings the excitement and danger of life at the court of King Henry V111 vividly to life. Young William Montague is plucked from a life of obscurity to become a page boy to the King’s son and heir, Prince Edward. William soon becomes a favourite of the King’s but he also makes dangerous enemies who know enough about his family to bring about his downfall. Soon William is fleeing from charges of treason and the threat of death itself. These are dangerous times and William needs courage, luck and loyalty to balance love for his family and his father with saving his life and supporting the King.
March 2019 Book of the Month | All readers who like exciting, unusual adventure stories will enjoy The Winged Horse Race, but if they like horses they’ll be in heaven, or in this case Mount Olympus as the setting is classical Greece. Orphan Pippa is a (very) lowly stable girl until she is picked out by Aphrodite, one of a number of children chosen to compete in a special horse race. These horses are not just fast and beautiful, they can fly too. The winning horse will become Zeus’s steed, and the winning competitor immortal. As we know from the old stories, the gods are not above cheating when it suits them and with the stakes so high Pippa and Zeph, the little horse she quickly comes to love, will need to be very careful indeed. The setting is cleverly done and makes this story really stand out, while the cast of characters – human, divine, equine – make this a very satisfying story indeed.
The bestselling fully-illustrated Tom Gates series is backwith the 14th installment!This book is VERY important because it contains BISCUITS, BANDS and all my (doodled) plans to make DogZombies the BEST band in the world. MY VERY BIG PLAN: 1. Write more songs about VERY important things like...... biscuits 2. Make sure there's a good supply of SNACKS for our band practice 3. Avoid Delia at ALL COSTS, she thinks I've been SNOOPING in her room. (I have.) 4. DOODLE as much as possible, especially if Marcus is watching
A hilarious short story from Rick Riordan, that unites Percy Jackson with the god Apollo - this edition exclusively for World Book Day 2019 When the god Apollo asks for a favour, it's never going to be straightforward. Percy Jackson is celebrating a friend's birthday when Apollo turns up. The god is supposed to perform on Mount Olympus, but one of his four beautiful singers is missing. So Percy sets off to bring her back - but one of the singers is after a shot at a solo career, and is holding up New York! With the bright lights of Broadway in the background, can Percy find the rogue performer, and return her to Apollo - in time for his big number on Mount Olympus?
Join the LEGO® minifigure party and celebrate World Book Day 2019 with a bunch of wacky and wonderful LEGO characters! Full of facts, jokes and activities, this special World Book Day book is perfect for young LEGO fans who are beginning to develop a love of reading. Find out about some of the coolest and silliest LEGO minifigure characters with simple, entertaining text and fun fact files. Discover the Chef's tastiest creations, laugh at the Clown's funniest jokes, and be inspired by creative LEGO play ideas and challenges. LEGO Minifigure Mayhem is packed with colourful images that will encourage even reluctant readers to read more about their favourite LEGO characters, and beyond. ©2019 The LEGO Group.
Viv French is a wonderful storyteller and her new tale of a family theatre company struggling to put on a show in the provinces is a delight from start to finish. Times are hard for the Pringles, but Pa Pringle, Mr Micawber style, is certain ‘something will come up’ and decides to take the family via train to Uncaster to dazzle its residents with his Lear. Meanwhile, in Uncaster the recently widowed Lady Poskett has money troubles too, a mountain of debts to pay off. When indefatigable scullery maid Edie suggests they take in lodgers the two storylines combine. Both sets of protagonists face more challenges in the shape of unscrupulous fellow theatricals Little Baby Bubbles and his manager mother, and Olio Sleevery crooked landlord, but when the curtains come down the good have ended happily. It’s a bravura performance – irresistible characters, a plot full of drama and a wonderful sense of community and companionship. Encore, encore!
Colour in some very special rabbits in this gorgeous colouring book inspired by the animation of Richard Adams' Watership Down. First published in 1972, the classic animal adventure story has been made into an animated television mini series by the BBC and Netflix. This charming colouring book version of the story, illustrated with black line images and decorations drawn from the animation, and with captions from the script, will provide hours of delight for fans of the story, as well as for those who enjoy beautiful colouring books. Published in Macmillan's hugely successful colouring book format, this epic tale of a band of intrepid rabbits led by Hazel and Fiver, has a firm place in the hearts of millions of people, and this book, with its engaging images and delightful designs, Watership Down: The Colouring Book makes a wonderful keepsake for all fans of the programme.
Women in Sport celebrates the success of the tough, bold and fearless women who paved the way for today's athletes. The sportswomen featured include well-known figures like tennis player Serena Williams and broadcaster Clare Balding, as well as lesser-known pioneers like Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, and Keiko Fukuda, the highest-ranked female judoka in history. From the creator of the bestselling Women in Science, this richly illustrated book highlights the achievements and stories of fifty notable sportswomen from the 1800s to today, including trailblazers, Olympians and record-breakers in more than forty sports. It also contains infographics on topics such as muscle anatomy, pay and media statistics for female athletes, and influential women's teams.
Any child who loves dogs will enjoy Shoo Rayner’s adventure story. Walker can’t have a dog because of his mum’s allergies, so he sets up as a dog walker. It’s the perfect solution, and while he’s out walking his new best friend, spaniel Stella, he realises that he can talk to dogs, and they can talk to him. This proves very useful especially when Walker discovers local bully, landowner Arlington Wherewithal is up to something quite nasty. With nods to 101 Dalmatians – there’s a jolly recreation of the starlight barking – this is a very satisfying story, a nicely rounded adventure with some great characters, human and canine. Let’s hope there’s more to come from Walker and his dog friends.
Fang-tastic for newly confident readers, these gorgeously illustrated stories are full of excitement, and little vampire Amelia is as cheerful, resourceful and generous heroine as you could want. In this adventure she and her friends are heading off for a week away with the rangers. They’re expecting outdoor games and activities, but end up teeny-tiny thanks to a curse, a curse they can only lift by mending a broken heart. They do of course, and make lots of new friends along the way, including a regal bee and kind-hearted mermaid. With a fabulous set of characters, these stories are always lots of fun, a quirky mix of the everyday – feelings and friendships – with other-worldly, slightly ghoulish goings-on. Laura Ellen Anderson has lots of fun with the plots and language, and these are deservedly popular. Readers who enjoy Amelia’s escapades will also enjoy A Moon Girl Stole My Friend by Rebecca Patterson.
This colourful, attractive write-in book will encourage readers of all ages (even adults) to connect with their inner-inventors and start thinking about gadgets, machines or ideas that could change the world. It makes the point that all inventions rise out of a desire to improve things or help people – a good place to start – and prompts us to look at things around us differently, to be curious and to stifle any critical voices that tell us our ideas are silly or impractical. It’s full of examples of inventions created by children and the whole thing is refreshing, infectious and lots of fun. Let’s face it too, the future of our world relies on the imagination, ingenuity and creativity of the next generation so books like this are really important.
The Lollies 2018 - Winner of the Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13 year olds | The brand new hilarious and fully-illustrated instalment of the bestselling Tom Gates series! Having two sets of grandparents is turning out to be very good for me. The Wrinklies are keen on giving presents AND they're planning a family outing which is going to be EPIC! Even Delia wants to come. (I can always ignore her.)
In this fifth instalment in Soman Chainani's New York Times bestselling fantasy series, The School for Good and Evil, Sophie, Agatha, and their friends must find a way to overthrow the sinister evil that twists lies into the truth and seeks to rewrite their story. A false king has claimed the throne of Camelot, sentenced Tedros to death, and forced Sophie to be his queen. Only Agatha manages to escape. Now Agatha and the students at the School for Good and Evil must find a way to restore Tedros to his throne and save Camelot . . . before all of their fairy tales come to a lethal end.
A second mystery for thirteen-year-old Agatha Oddly - a bold, determined heroine, and the star of this stylish new detective series. Agatha Oddlow's set to become the youngest member of the Gatekeepers' Guild, but before that, she's got a mystery to solve! There's been a murder at the British Museum and, although the police are investigating, Agatha suspects that they're missing a wider plot going on below London - a plot involving a disused Tube station, a huge fireworks display, and five thousand tonnes of gold bullion...
Framed was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Prize 2007 'The Book I Couldn't Put Down.' and shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal | Framed has been chosen as a favourite book by our Guest Editors Philip Ardargh and Joanna Nadin. Philip Ardagh: Reviewing children's books for a national newspaper on a fairly regular basis means that I have to read a goodly number of books I might never otherwise have made the time to do. Stumbling upon books such as Framed is one of the perks of the job. I could tell you that it's about the redemptive power of art but I'm not absolutely sure how to spell 'redemptive' and, anyway, what it's really about is a boy and his dad... and families, and what makes them tick, stop ticking and then tick again. Frank Cottrell Boyce is a craftsman. I can't recommend this book highly enough. Joanna Nadin: Frank Cottrell Boyce writes boys with humour, irony and compassion. Although best known for Millions, it is his second novel, Framed, that I go back to time and time again: the laugh-out-loud funny and try-not-to-cry story of nine-year-old Dylan Hughes, man of the house, boss of the failing family business, and the only boy left in Manod.
Shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2008 and the Carnegie Medal 2008 | Comic and cosmic, this is a roller coaster adventure that takes Liam Digby up into space with a handful of other children and their parents. It’s an hilarious journey of discovery as Liam hurtles around the world finding out exactly what makes children and adults different.
Shortlisted in the UK Author Category in the National Book Awards 2018 | She’s back - Tracy Beaker, star of the dumping ground and daydreamer extraordinaire, and what a joy that is! She may be grown up and with a daughter of her own, Jess, but she’s still our Tracy: generous, quick to lose her temper but just as quick to apologise, always hoping for the best and coping with the worst. Life with Tracy is all highs and lows, and it’s wonderfully described by Jess – the new boyfriend who seems set to make Tracy’s dreams come true, the special relationship between mother and daughter, and their version of happy ever after. Funny, touching, true, the story will appeal to Tracy Beaker fans old and new.
Winner of the 2004 CILIP Carnegie Medal | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2019 | When a bag stuffed full of money falls out of a train and into their camp, Damian and Anthony are suddenly rich. Very, very rich, to be precise. But, there is a problem. They only have a few days in which to spend the money. When the Euro arrives, it’ll be worthless. A thrilling story about the real value of money but Millions is more than an adventure as the boys have recently lost their mother and their search for happiness is tinged with the sadness that, however much money they have, they’ll never be able bring her back
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 | Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award | With all the invention, originality and insight that is typical of his writing for children, Frank Cottrell Boyce takes the sad story of Laika, the first living creature to orbit Earth, and uses it as inspiration for a story about the importance of home. As ever, it’s both brilliantly funny and extraordinarily moving. Prez is living with a temporary foster family when he opens the door to Sputnik. Prez sees an alien – in a kilt – everyone else sees a dog. Over the course of the summer Prez and Sputnik have some amazing adventures and break a lot of laws, including some of the laws of physics, but in the process they save the world, and reunite Prez with his grandfather. As wild as a cartoon strip, this wonderful story pinpoints all the best things about life on Earth. No-one writes like Frank Cottrell Boyce, and readers who enjoy this will also love his books Cosmic and The Astounding Broccoli Boy. Jamie Thomson’s Dark Lord books are also very funny, and just as good on human nature as is My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons.
'If you can imagine it, it exists ... somewhere.' The new spellbinding fantasy adventure from the bestselling, award-winning author of The Last Wild trilogy. 1945. They have survived the Blitz, but when Simon, Patricia, Evelyn and Larry step through a mysterious library door, it is the beginning of their most dangerous adventure yet. They discover the magical world of Folio, where an enchanted kingdom of fairy knights, bears and tree gods is under threat from a sinister robot army. The many stories of the Library are locked in eternal war, and the children's only hope is to find their creator - a magician who has been lost for centuries. What they find will change not just their own lives, but the fate of the world, for ever ... An ode to the world of Narnia, The Lost Magician is a classic in the making from one of the UK's most talented children's authors.
March 2019 Book of the Month | Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | Guy Bass comes out all guns blazing in his latest comic adventure which features some typically wonderful characters – I particularly like Tad Tipsy the bartender and Precious Little the gold prospector. Centre stage is sheriff’s daughter Laura Norder and her arch enemy Duncan Disorderly, motto ‘No rules!’. In a spontaneous gesture he comes to regret, Laura’s dad makes her sheriff, but absolute power is no good for anyone and Laura’s obsession with imposing strict rules quickly makes her very unpopular with the townspeople of Butts Canyon. It’s very funny indeed, but there are lessons for us all and a sly bit of political satire too. Yee haw!
We all want our kids to be happy, but media stories about rising levels of anxiety amongst young people are everywhere; it’s worrying. This book therefore should prove really useful to many. It looks and is very accessible, and is full of practical tips and activities that will help young people feel more content, confident and in control. The authors explain that happiness comes from making yourself happy, and teaches you how to achieve that, through exercises and simple challenges. It also emphasises the positive effects of making others happy, or of contributing to a better world. The tone is friendly throughout and there are lots of charts to complete, plus frequent notes explaining why the activities work. Easy and fun to use, it places the happiness ball firmly in readers’ hands.
Anthony Horowitz’s announcement that he was writing a new Alex Rider book was one of the best bits of literary news of the last year. Now the book is here, and Never Say Die sees Alex Rider at his daring best. After the shocking climax to Scorpia Rising Alex is living in San Francisco with his friend Sabina’s family. When he receives a cryptic email implying his guardian Jack Starbright may still be alive Alex is on a plane to Cairo in no time following up the lead. The adventure brings him back up against his enemies the Grimaldis, and Mrs Jones of MI6 reappears too. To describe the action as fast-paced is an understatement but there’s always time for sardonic humour. The fight scenes of course are superb. For adrenaline-filled, addictive adventure, Alex Rider is unbeatable, and it’s great to have him back. There are nine other Alex Rider books, all excellent, and readers should also look at Steve Cole’s Young Bond books.
Fact and fiction make equally good choices as part of a growing reading repertoire.
Whether it’s taking off on a high fantasy where new worlds open up endless possibilities or giving serious consideration of important ecological issues in a light hearted perspective, reading at this stage grows opinions and ideas.
Click here to read some helpful tips from top childrens' publisher Egmont.
You could also check out our latest highlights such as 'new voices', which showcases some of the brightest new talent from Walker Books, or our 'prizewinners' section where we can help you and your child discover authors currently in contention for and/or winners of the most prestigious awards.
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.