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In a nutshell: magical lands and a dangerous quest make for a classic fantasy adventure Claire wasn’t pleased to inherit the huge old house and its myriad contents owned by her great-aunt Diana, who mysteriously disappeared on a treasure-hunting trip. It’s a strange old place full of hidden rooms. Far from their friends, Claire and her big sister Sophie explore the house, until something magical happens: Sophie finds a ladder in a chimney and climbs up and into another world. When she disappears, Claire must find and rescue her sister. Arden, the world at the top of the chimney, is a strange and sometimes frightening place and Claire must find real reserves of courage. It’s a classic and well-constructed quest story, and readers can watch their hero grow as the story unfolds. ~ Andrea Reece Skilful world-building and plotting make this a good book to recommend to fans of Holly Black.
A cheeky chick, the Easter Bunny, Easter eggs, plus an emotional roller-coaster of a story involving celebrity, jealousy, trickery, penitence and a chocolatey happy ending – this story has it all! Authors Adam and Charlotte Guillain have come up with a wonderfully original story to explain why the Easter Bunny hides eggs for us to find, and recount it in fluent, lively rhyme: jealous of the attention he’s getting, Easter Bunny’s partner Chick hatches a plan to steal the limelight. It doesn’t go well, but happily creates a whole new tradition. Pippa Curnick’s illustrations are quite delicious, whether of Chick running through the moonlight, or a massive Easter egg-splosion, and this is particularly tasty reading. ~ Andrea Reece
February 2018 Debut of the Month Plenty of twitchy nosed, fluffy fun and adventures are in store as we are introduced to Stevie and the residents of Teacup House. Stevie has been living at the top of a tall, thin tower of flats for as long as she can remember. It's her home and she loves it; so when it’s time to move miles away to a cottage in the countryside she’s not very happy about it. Nanny Blue brings her a special going away present. It’s a beautiful teacup house complete with four toy rabbits who just happen to be the Twitch family. Gabriel, Bo, Silver and Fig Twitch. Disaster strikes just as they arrive at the new cottage when Daddy Twitch falls out of the bag unnoticed and is lost in the garden. Whilst Stevie searches for the missing rabbit the rest of the twitches come alive and it’s soon down to little Silver Twitch to find her missing daddy. Both Silver and Stevie must overcome their anxiety and fears of a new, strange place as they search for Gabriel and it's not long before magic begins to fill the air. This is a wonderfully colourful and beautifully illustrated chapter book that shows how even the scariest changes can soon bring wonderful adventures and exciting new beginnings. A gentle, delightful story to start what promises to be an exciting new series of adventures for these friendly bunnies. ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here.
February 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: well-written, enthralling magical adventure The age-old theme of good versus evil is given a lively reworking in Celine Kiernan’s new series. When her father is kidnapped by witches, her mother sets out with Mup, her brother and dog, plus the ghost of Aunty Boo to fetch him back. The world they enter is a dangerous one, ruled by a tyrannical queen using spies and informers – the raggedy witches – to enforce her cruel, arbitrary rules. There’s a shock for Mup who discovers the queen is actually her grandmother, and that she too has magic powers. The story bristles with excitement and adventure while allowing space for friendships to form, and for humour too (Mup’s baby brother is transformed into a puppy, much to his delight). Well-written, this is a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying story. Firmly in the tradition of classic tales of magic such as Narnia, and with hints of Tolkien and Susan Cooper too, readers would also enjoy Peter F. Hamilton’s The Queen of Dreams series. ~ Andrea Reece
Darkus and his friends continue their unforgettable adventure in this final instalment of the Beetle trilogy. Arch-villainess Lucretia Cutter has a secret Biome hidden in the Amazon rainforest: can Darkus and his friends, human and beetle alike, find it before it's too late? If they can't stop Lucretia, she will release her hoard of giant Frankenstein beetles, and the planet will never be the same again ...
February 2018 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2018 | A stunning book that is also an invaluable introduction to how to look at the world around us. Nicola Davies invites readers to look at the flowers, the birds, the insects, the fishes and more in habitats of all kinds around the world. She shows the value of individual groups and also the importance of the how all aspects of nature are interconnected. Emily Sutton’s beautiful illustrations bring the natural world sharply into focus making it both delightful and accessible. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for February 2018 Kevin by Rob Biddulph My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley Lots: The Diversity of Life by Nicola Davies A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal The Iron Man by Ted Hughes Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram No More Kissing by Emma Chichester Clark
March 2018 Debut of the Month A huge story is packed into this striking and thoroughly involving picture book. Erik is one of the youngest members of his wolf pack and definitely the most reckless. He thinks his family’s rules are silly and one day, when no-one’s looking, stomps off to be a real lone wolf. He climbs higher, wobbles further and skies faster – right into disaster. Stuck at the bottom of an icy crevasse, Erik wishes for his wolf pack. Fortunately for him, they arrive to save him but Sara Finan’s painterly illustrations show readers just how dangerous and scary the snow and ice are, as well as how much safer and happier Erik is back with his loving family. ~ Andrea Reece
Dave Pigeon and his best friend Skipper were living happily in the Human Lady's house, but now they're travelling in a box to Pawsville Vets ... maybe Dave will finally get his broken wing fixed. The pet shop is full of new friends... Jet the dog, Cricket Ball Face the hamster... and with friendship comes a bit of healthy competition, and what could be better that a race for a racing pigeon? But the only animal who thinks Dave is capable of going up against the infamous Mickey Lightning is Dave himself.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2018 Celebrating thirty-five best-selling years, Whatever Next! is a classic story of a child’s imaginative adventure. It’s bath time for Baby Bear but he is determined to fit in a quick trip to the moon beforehand. Can he do it? Sure he can. Finding a space rocket under the stairs, a helmet in the kitchen and some boots by the door Baby Bear is soon off and away floating high in the sky, up through the stars and all the way to the moon. A gloriously imaginative story brought to life in Jill Murphy’s wonderful illustrations. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for January 2018 Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by by Mem Fox Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal Emmeline and the Plucky Pup by Megan Rix Whatever Next! by Jill Murphy The Girl Who Saw Lions by Berlie Doherty The Poesy Ring by Bob Graham
Prize winning illustrator Emily Gravett triumphs again in her witty story of how a lonely chameleon does what he does best in a desperate attempt to make a new friend. Changing colour comes naturally to the blue chameleon so he tries yellow and says hi to a banana, pink to greet a cockatoo, brown to say Howdy to a handsome cowboy boot… Nothing seems to work until the triumphant and delightful final spread when the chameleon finds another chameleon – just like him! ~ Julia Eccleshare
Apparently a celebration of dogs of all kind, this is also a book with a witty twist at the end. Gorgeous pictures of big dogs and small dogs, hairy dogs and bald dogs, stroppy dogs and soppy dogs delight in themselves but the best is kept to the end when the reader finds out exactly who the narrator is! Prize-winning illustrator Emily Gravett delights with Dogs, now happily available as a chunky board book. ~ Julia Eccleshare
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