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As cat-owners everywhere know, all cats are equipped with super-powers and Gwynneth Rees’s series stars a band of feline heroes who use their powers to fight villains (a kind of moggie MI6). In this episode, new recruits Tagg and Sugarfoot have to infiltrate the infamous Hit Cats to stop a prison break. Can they do it, and could they really end up fish-sliced if they get caught? Rees keeps things fun, but suitably tense too and it’s another satisfying adventure in a very enjoyable series. Illustrations by Becka Moor add to the fun. If you like the Super Cats series, look out for Dermot O’Leary’s Toto the Ninja Cat books too.
January 2020 Debut of the Month | Nizrana Farook sets her story on the island of Serendib, now known as Sri Lanka, and transports readers to a vivid, larger-than-life world where young people can be bold, true and have some extraordinary adventures. Twelve-year old Chaya is a thief with a heart of gold, stealing from the king’s palace to help those in her village. She makes a mistake when she takes jewels from the queen’s bedroom though, triggering a series of events that leads to Chaya and two friends, villager Neel and merchant’s daughter Nour, fleeing into the rainforest on the king’s elephant. There are brushes with death, but great camaraderie too and it all ends with a much-needed righting of wrongs. Great stuff! Readers swept up in Chaya’s story – and who couldn’t be? – will also enjoy Costa Book Award winner Asha and the Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan.
There are lots of sleepy animals to wake up in this bouncy, energetic picture book. Lift the flaps, then hop with the little bunnies, cheep with the chicks, baa with the lambs and mew with the kittens. An interactive book, full of non-stop fun, based on the popular nursery rhyme 'Sleeping Bunnies'. This is full of the joys of spring and the perfect gift all year round. From the illustrator of the bestselling We're Going on an Egg Hunt.
The brilliantly funny fifth book in the SAM WU series, starring the bravest scaredy-cat in the world! Perfect for reluctant readers and fans of Tom Fletcher, Pamela Butchart and Humza Arshad's Badman. There's hardly anything that Sam Wu is afraid of. Unless you count ghosts, sharks, the dark and maybe even spiders. But definitely NOT zombies. Except for actual real ones maybe. So when Sam's arch nemesis, Ralph Zinkerman the Third announces that he has zombie werewolves living in his basement, for the first time ever, Sam really isn't sure if he wants to be the one to save the day. Ralph has always been pretty mean to him and, well, just one little nibble from the zombie werewolves wouldn't hurt that much, would it? Common childhood fears dealt with in a hilarious, sensitive and accessible way.
Absolutely fabulous lemurs fly through the air across bold, brightly coloured pages in this exuberant picture book! The littlest lemur worries that he’s not actually good at jumping, but his family remind him of all his talents – which allows for hilarious pictures of him playing the recorder upside down and throwing custard pies – and he’s encouraged to complete an amazing jump. It’s a very funny and reassuring story carried brilliantly through Zehra Hick’s stylish and lively illustrations. Apparently she created them using bamboo, and there’s certainly a wild and jubilant abandon to it all that will transmit to readers. Delightful! ~ Andrea Reece
May 2018 Debut of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2018 | A wonderfully warm-hearted animal adventure based on Zeb Soanes observation of a local urban fox. Waking up hungry one evening, Gaspard sets out to find something to eat. Luckily, he quickly makes two new friends - Peter a rather cool cat and Finty a frisky dog who has dug a way out of his garden so that he can roam the streets without an owner. Helped by his new friends Gaspard secures himself a delicious meal and returns happy and FULL. The three friends and their adventure and the urban landscape of the setting are all perfectly captured in James Mayhew’s illustrations.
1892, New Mexico. A wolfpack roams the Currumpaw Valley, preying on the cattle and evading capture by the exasperated local ranchmen. Due to his knowledge of wolf behaviour, a British naturalist by the name of Ernest Thompson Seton is employed to hunt down their notorious pack leader, king Lobo…
Beautifully written, The Unnamed Beast is a story of courage, friendship, strength and hope. When a fire breaks out, and starts to destroy the Wood, the unnamed beast is upset to see his beloved home on fire, but when he finds out from a Badger, that it's a dragon, he thinks it's his fault, and he is responsible for the destruction, after being told this isn't so, and so he decided to confront the Dragon and put a stop to it, as he starts on his journey, he meets other creatures of the wood, and friendships to start to form. I found this book had a touch of Roald Dahl, Dr Seuss and Julia Donaldson. Throughout, the story was enriched with illustrations and I think that The Unnamed Beast could easily become a children's classic. The story was told beautifully with the use of rhyme and I can see that it will have the readers smiling and children laughing as they follow the unnamed beast on his journey. Angela Rhodes, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
April 2014 Debut of the Month - Winner of The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition 2013 Set some 17000 years ago where tribes fought tribes and rubbed shoulders with sabre-tooth cats and mammoths, there was danger at every turn, yet this is a terrifically compelling adventure story starring a 13 year old boy called Wild Horse and a girl from another tribe who doesn't want to be found. Wild Horse wants to prove hiself to his tribe and he sees this as his chance to show off his skill and bravery. Fighting with spear, tooth and claw to survive, can he live to tell the tale? Fans of Michelle Paver's Chronicles of Ancient Darkness which began with Wolf Brother, will devour Wendy Constance's brilliant and award-winning debut novel, almost in a sitting. On announcing The Times/Chicken House competition winner, The Times said Wendy E. Constance, this year's winner, still can't quite believe her triumph. "I keep pinching myself," she laughs. "I've gone from 'ordinary Wendy' to extraordinary Wendy' overnight."The Times/Chicken House prize for an unpublished new children's author is unique in that each year it picks raw talent from about 1,000 submissions, and then works with the five shortlisted authors. It has a stellar track record. Sophia Bennett's 2009 winner Threads is being developed as a series by Nickleodeon; Janet Foxley's Muncle Trogg is going to be a film from Sony Pictures Animation; last years winner, Fletcher Moss, has had The Poison Boy sold pre-publication to the US, Germany and Holland. All six previous winners have seen their work transformed. Now Constance, and her novel Brave, will have their chance. You can download the entire article here - please note the book title was changed to Brave from the original name, Like a Brother. In addition to our Lovereading4kids expert opinion for Brave a small number of our 'Kids Reader Review Panel' were lucky enough to be invited to read and review this title. Here's a taster....'you will be transported back in time to a world of mammoths, sabretooths and nomadic tribes! A gripping plot with two fantastic main characters.' Sabrina Tadjerout. Scroll down to read more ... A Piece of Passion from Barry Cunningham, Publisher, Chicken House Wendy Constance brilliantly rips us back in time to a world of the super-tough, where young and old alike survive or get eaten by something very scary. Here, sabretooth cats rub hairy shoulders with mammoths – but actually, in the end, a bit of kindness goes much further than our brave-hearted boy and skilful girl can ever have imagined. And I’m going to try that recipe for snake kebabs myself . . .
In a nutshell: satisfying and exciting story of a dog’s life | This short novel tells the story of golden retriever Bailey, from his days as a puppy up to maturity. When he runs away from his first home he’s lucky to be rescued from a hot locked car by a woman who gives him to her son, Ethan. Before long Ethan and Bailey are as close as only child and dog can be and we come to know both of them really well, though Ethan’s behaviour will always make more sense to human readers than it does to Bailey. A rivalry with another young man leads to a violent and shocking conclusion when Bailey’s love for his owner proves life-saving twice over. Like all the best animal stories this dog’s eye view of the world is completely convincing and will enthral readers. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: satisfying and exciting story of a rescue dog’s life | In this short novel, children get a dog’s eye view of the world as the story is narrated by rescue dog Ellie, from first days as a puppy through her special training to her career finding missing people - those who have got lost, one who has been kidnapped, and most dramatically one she saves after an earthquake. It makes for a fascinating story and Ellie’s voice is completely convincing: we understand, though she doesn’t, why her first owner Jakob cries at his wife’s grave; she makes us feel her contempt for cats! An excellent animal story this will thoroughly appeal to readers of classics such as The Incredible Journey as well as more recent stories such as Shadow by Michael Morpurgo. ~ Andrea Reece
A heart-warming story perfect for early readers about a lost kitten searching for somewhere to call home. There are lots of Early Reader titles to choose from that are great for sharing with your youngsters and for kids just starting out on the reading journey to read alone. Check out the extracts on the site as some of the titles are slightly more advanced than others - for example the Francesca Simon animal story titles set at Potters Barn are great to get started on whereas the Sally Gardner, Georgie Adams and Vivian French titles have a bit more text to each page. Each and every one of them though has full colour illustrations on every page.
Pony mad Katy is growing in confidence and ambition. Despite changes at Barton Farm and losing both her best-friend and her knowledgeable aunt, Katy is determined to train her pony Trifle to be a champion. It’s a much harder task than she bargains for. Can Katy succeeed? As ever, deep passion and knowledge infuse this gripping story which vividly creates the pony world. Adopt an Exmoor Pony: Want the chance to adopt an Exmoor pony at the Exmoor Pony Centre for one year? All you have to do is email email@example.com with the subject heading 'Exmoor Pony' and one lucky winner will win a year's pony sponsorship. Closing date for entry is 1st September 2012.
How Katy discovers a newborn Exmoor foal on her birthday and persuades her family that she can look after it launches a tender and convincing story of one girl’s passion for ponies. Victoria Eveleigh gives enough details of pony care and training to make the story essential reading for all those who are pony-mad and enough delightful general background about friends, family and farming to make it an enjoyable story for all. Adopt an Exmoor Pony: Want the chance to adopt an Exmoor pony at the Exmoor Pony Centre for one year? All you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading 'Exmoor Pony' and one lucky winner will win a year's pony sponsorship. Closing date for entry is 1st September 2012.
All the magic of owning a pony is brilliantly captured in this last delightful story about Katy and her Exmoor pony Trifle. Together, Katy and her pony overcome challenges and achieve great success before Trifle comes up with a very great surprise for Katy! Full of excitement, this story is also packed full of important details for all pony mad readers.
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