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In a nutshell: exciting new adventure for the deservedly popular Emily Windsnap An idyllic holiday in the sun with her parents and best friends turns into a testing adventure for mer-girl Emily, and she finds herself caught up in an ancient prophecy. As ever, it makes for very exciting reading, Emily’s first-person narrative keeping things both immediate and completely recognisable for readers, even if she does swap her legs for a tail when she’s in water. What really sets this series apart though is what goes on beneath the surface, and the stories explore themes of tolerance, understanding and identity – all issues that are particularly important for the readership. There’s a big surprise at the end of this story, and an unexpected separation, but in true Emily Windsnap style, readers can be reassured that the bonds of friendship are as strong as ever. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: super-kid-friendly super-hero comic adventures with real heart Murph Cooper, aka Kid Normal, and his band of Super Zeroes are back in a new adventure that will delight their fans. Fresh from their successful defeat of the hideous wasp-man they’re ready for more excitement, and they get it. The new term has barely started when the Heroes’ Alliance call for Murph. Magpie, the roguest Rogue Hero of them all, has demanded Murph come to his top security prison cell. Why? And what’s the meaning of the mysterious poem he hands over? The Heroes’ Alliance think Magpie is just wasting everyone’s time, but the Super Zeroes decide to investigate – and it’s just as well… Packed with jokes that will have everyone cracking up, children and adults, this also delivers a proper adventure story while reminding readers that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Super! Kid normals will also enjoy the My Brother is a Superhero series and Shane Hegarty’s Darkmouth books. ~ Andrea Reece
A charming tale of adventure and exploration, which will inspire young readers to get crafting and storytelling. Brian the Lion loves space. He dreams of adventures on Mars and finds life on the plain (the lying around and the snoring) boring. So when the other lions buy him a DIY rocket kit he’s thrilled. He blasts off, landing on a moon near Saturn and makes friends with the gnomes who live there before flying back home to his family. The friendly characters and backdrops too are all created from painted paper plates, cardboard tubes and the like, stuff we all have in our homes, and the book will inspire children to make their own characters and tell their own stories. You’ll find instructions on author Tracey Radford’s website www.patchworkparent.blogspot.co.uk ~ Andrea Reece
In a Nutshell: Martian odyssey meets classic quest Ingeniously inventive, involving and wildly witty, this thrilling finale of the Lora Trilogy is sci-fi, but not as you know it… Having suffered and survived the perils of the inhospitable Martian prairie, Lora and Peter must find the Ancient Heart of Mars. But, as Toaster, Lora’s walking, talking sunbed, remarks, “Going to meet these so-called Ancient Ones might be the most hazardous adventure we have embarked on yet.” Toaster’s certainly right on that front, and he might also hold the key to saving them. This flamboyant fusion of science fiction and classic adventure contains more sparks and surprises than a box of fireworks. It’s a rousing epic underpinned by playfulness, and a drive to do the right thing in even the most difficult of circumstances. It’s also a genuine, 100%-certified crossover that will delight a vast spectrum of readers. ~ Joanne Owen
March 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: gothic fun and games with gorgeous cast of characters There’s a wonderfully eccentric Addams-family-esque cast of characters in Laura Ellen Anderson’s gorgeous new series, the special friendship between them giving these little stories real oomph. In this episode little vampire Amelia heads out of Nocturnia into the very different world of the Kingdom of Light. She’s accompanied by friends Florence the Yeti, Grimaldi and Squashy, her pet pumpkin, as well as Tangine – the plan is to find his missing mother, Fairyweather, who disappeared when Tangine was just a baby. An unfortunate altercation with a grumpy wishing well means that the grown up in the party is quickly transformed into a bee, so the little group are on their own. The stories are told with real style and humour; the illustrations, also by Laura Ellen Anderson, are equally delightful and this is a great new series. ~ Andrea Reece A series to recommend to fans of the Witch Wars or Isadora Moon books.
March 2018 Debut of the Month | In a Nutshell: Thrilling fantasy and West African folklore An exceptional fantastical debut that weaves dark magic, powerful female protagonists and West African folklore into a richly rewarding novel, the first in what promises to be a truly epic trilogy if this opening installment is anything to go by. There was a time when Orisha was alive with magic but, under the command of a new king, those with magical gifts are now targets, and the fabulously rebellious, outspoken Zélie has been orphaned. Her heritage is of the Reaper Clan. Her mother was able to summon souls, and now Zélie, who has retained her magic, seeks justice for her mother’s death. Fuelled by thoughts of “the way her corpse hung from that tree” and “the king who took her away”, she’s determined to rise, and nothing will stop her. And so Zélie must seize control of her powers and venture forth to fight the crown prince. Throughout, the world-building and evocation of clan magic is astoundingly detailed, conjured with a vibrant visual sensibility, and Zélie is a one-of-a-kind young woman whose journey exhilarates, astounds and inspires. ~ Joanne Owen A message from the author: Dear Reader, There are so many things I want to say to you, but the most important is simple: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Children of Blood and Bone is the book of my heart in every way, shape, and form. It holds the magic and adventure that have made me an avid lover of fantasy and storytelling my whole life. It has thediverse cast I have always wanted to see in my favorite stories, but never got to. But above everything else, this story has my heart because it’s given me something to hold onto during very dark chapters in my life. This book was written during a time where I kept turning on the news and seeing stories of unarmed black men and children being shot by the police. I felt afraid and angry and paralyzed and helpless, but this book was the one thing that helped me feel like I could do something about it. I told myself that if just one person could read it and have their hearts or minds changed, then I would’ve done something meaningful against a problem that often feels so much bigger than myself. And now this book exists and you are reading it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. There are so many things I hope for this story, but I there want to end this letter with all the things I hope it gives you. I hope Children of Blood and Bone brings you an epic fantasy adventure like nothing you’ve ever experienced. I hope you see a glimpse into my Nigerian heritage and the beautiful cultures and people Africa holds. I hope this story makes you want to pick up a staff and ride on the back of a giant lionnaire. I hope if you’ve never seen yourself as the hero of a story, this book hanges that. I hope this novel makes you think and feel. I hope it propels you to help those who suffer the fate of the maji in the world around us.But most of all, I hope this book is only the beginning of our adventures together. Sending my love and appreciation, Tomi.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2018 Award-winning Elizabeth Laird’s touching story about Finn, a misfit boy who is bullied at school, finding peace when he suddenly slips into the sea and finds that he can swim with the dolphins brilliantly captures the problem of how an outsider can find a place where they truly belong. But it is also a powerful story about the terrible threat to the sea and all the creatures that live in it from the casual discarding of plastic waste. When Finn realises that his friends are at risk from all the waste he does everything he can to save them. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for March 2018 The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue King Coo by Adam Stower Splish, Splash, Ducky! by Lucy Cousins We Are Not Frogs! (Little Gems) by Michael Morpurgo The Sorry Tale of Fox and Bear by Margrete Lamond Song of the Dolphin Boy by Elizabeth Laird What Do People Do All Day? (50th anniversary edition) by Richard Scarry Bird House by Libby Walden Bug Hotel by Libby Walden Alone Together by Clayton Junior The Lost Penguin by Claire Freedman
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 | In a Nutshell: Circus girl searches for roots amidst real-world cruelties A dazzlingly powerful kaleidoscope of magic realism, folklore and the brutalities of people-trafficking in which a fourteen-year-old circus girl seeks to uncover her identity. As a baby, Sante was washed up with a chest containing a bamboo flute and a leopard skin drum, and welcomed into Mama Rose’s travelling circus. Fourteen years later, still haunted by dreams of the sinking ship, and of those who furnished her with special objects to see her through life, Sante recognises two people from her dreams during a performance. “It's her all right. She plays just like Mamadou used to”, one of them remarks. But how do these people know her? Why does she dream of them? And who is Mamadou? Reluctant at first, Mama Rose reveals that Sante’s trunk also contained other treasures, including a note from her mother. With the strangers set on claiming Sante’s riches, she and snake charmer Cobra decide to discover the truth for themselves. Throughout, Sante’s story sings with the hauntingly potent voice of the human spirit as it combines timely, poignant truths about refugees with timeless storytelling. This really is a triumphant, thought-provoking treasure trove of a novel. ~ Joanne Owen The Branford Boase Judges said : ‘packed with memorable scenes and an extraordinarily vivid sense of place’; ‘language and story are equally interesting’; ‘things don’t come more original than this’.
March 2018 Book of the Month Molly Mischief is irrepressible! She loves making mischief but in this lively, funny new story indulges in some day-dreaming, imagining all the good deeds she would do if she had super-powers. Superhero Molly is as unruly and rowdy as everyday Molly, and children will laugh to see her hoiking a cow away from a tornado by its tail, and scooping up an old lady crossing the road. Eventually Molly decides super-hero life is too much like hard work and goes back to being her ordinary self, retaining just one superpower – the power to be super-mischievous! Children love characters like Molly who allow them to experience real naughtiness and there’s lots for them to enjoy in this story. ~ Andrea Reece A Piece of Passion from the Publisher, Neil Dunnicliffe: "I am delighted to welcome Adam Hargreaves and Molly Mischief to the Pavilion Children’s Books list. To be the publisher of Adam’s first children’s book since the phenomenally successful Mr Men series is a real privilege. Molly is a sparky, fun character with lots of stories to tell, and I’m sure that she will become a modern mischievous classic." Download a Molly Mischief activity pack and poster..and find out more about the book here!
In a nutshell: comic mishaps and triumphs of a schoolboy detective A sign in his local library catches the eye of schoolboy detective Damian Drooth: it offers a weekend at Disneyland Paris for the winners of a ‘mega quiz’. Damian rounds up his gang and sets them to work, first of all to raise the £10 entrance fee, and then to swot up in readiness. He’s understandably furious when the quiz turns out to be a scam, but quickly cheers up at the prospect of tracking down the conman. With echoes of Horrid Henry and Just William, Damian is a terrific character, determined, confident, and totally unfazed by adult disapproval. This series will have children and adults alike chuckling and is perfect for newly independent readers. ~ Andrea Reece
March 2018 Debut of the Month | In a nutshell: thrilling, original adventure story Brightstorm is everything a proper children’s adventure story should be: it’s exciting, funny and surprising, and stars two young people who show real courage, loyalty and resilience. Twins Maudie and Arthur Brightstorm are left alone in the world when their explorer father dies on a daring expedition to the unchartered territory South Polaris. Worse news follows when he is accused of breaking the explorer’s code. Not only is he disgraced, but his property is forfeit leaving the children destitute. The twins are determined to clear his name and run away to join the crew of the sky-ship Aurora, also setting off for South Polaris. Under Captain Harriet Culpepper, they’ll explore strange lands, meet some extraordinary people, and learn more about themselves, as well as their father. A terrific read, this is one to recommend to fans of Abi Elphinstone and Katherine Rundell. ~ Andrea Reece Readers who enjoy Brightstorm should read Sinead O’Hart’s The Eye of the North too.
Max is used to spending time alone - it's difficult to make friends in a big, chaotic school when you're deaf. He prefers to give his attention to the little things in life... like making awesome, detailed replica models. Then Mr Darrow, the school caretaker and fellow modeller, goes missing. Max must follow his parting instruction: 'Go to my room. You'll know what to do.' There on the floor he finds a pile of sand ... and in the sand is Mr Darrow's latest creation... a tiny boy, no bigger than a raisin, Luke, Prince of the Blues. And behind the tiny boy... millions of others - a thriving, bustling, sprawling civilization!
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