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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.
In a nutshell: charming story of boy who can talk and joke with the animals | Lucky Vince – not only is his dad a zoo keeper but Vince has inherited the family trait and can talk to the animals. They can talk to him too of course, and sing, and what an eccentric but lovable bunch they are. In this adventure Vince recruits their help to track down stolen jewellery – the reward is a massive Swiss Roll, so wouldn’t you? Sophie Thompson’s narrative style is charming – she frequently breaks off to address the reader direct, and as though we are just the kind of people she really likes. She has a lovely turn of phrase – ‘There was a rittle-rittle-rootle and a frithy-frith-fatootle in the hedge’ - while the animals’ songs, interspersed throughout the story, are enormous fun. Illustrations by Rebecca Ashdown make this as good to look at as it’s fun to read aloud. Readers will also enjoy Harriet Whitehorn’s Violet stories, and The Bolds by Julian Clary and David Roberts. ~ Andrea Reece
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | Julia Eccleshare's Debut of the Month, February 2016 When Vince turns eight years old he discovers he has the most amazing secret. Although he has always hated animals, which is embarrassing because his father is a zoo keeper, Vince suddenly discovers that he can talk to them. And hear what they say back! After getting some fish fingers for a penguin, Vince finds himself with a long list of food requests from all the other animals. And he is enjoying the best birthday of his whole life! ~ Julia Eccleshare
Owl decides to wake up during the day and sleep at night. A very odd thing for an owl to do. But he discovers the world of colour and he’s in awe. A really lovely and original picture book. Shortlisted for the Best Pre-School Award, Early Year Awards 2009
December 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: you’ll believe a mouse can be a hero! | There are fast-moving, grab-you-by-the-eyeballs-first-page-in reads, then there’s James Patterson! Boy, does this man know how to tell a story in a way that hooks kids and keeps them glued to the story to the end! His new hero Isaiah is a little mouse with a huge vocabulary and determination to match. Escaped from a laboratory, Isaiah is the only one of his 96 siblings to evade recapture, and even though he’s bright blue, he manages to stay on the run, eventually freeing his brothers and sisters. He narrates his story in breathless no-nonsense prose that lets readers know exactly what’s going on, and how he feels. It’s peppered with his funny comments, while each chapter begins with a wonderfully grandiloquent Isaiahism. Regular black and white illustrations increase the excitement even further. Give this mouse a home! ~ Andrea Reece
July 2017 Debut of the Month Wolfie is no ordinary wolf, he has a secret: Wolfie likes baking. Because everyone knows wolves are meant to be growly, fierce and mean, he keeps his baking a secret, or tries to. But when his new neighbours, a trio of pigs, spot what’s going on they let the world know. Wolfie thinks everyone will laugh at him, or worse, but instead he becomes something of a celebrity, and everyone wants more of his recipes. Sweetly told, and full of good things, this is a gentle story about daring to accept who you are, and has a lovely positive message for all. Wolfie’s scone recipe is pretty yummy too! ~ Andrea Reece
December 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2019 | Winner of the 2018 Caldecott Medal | A stunning near wordless picture book which will inspire the story teller in all of its readers. While Matthew Cordell draws on some themes familiar from the traditional Red Riding Hood story he has created a quite different and hugely heart-warming drama about trust and friendship. Dressed in a bright red coat a little girl sets off to walk home from school. Snow is beginning to fall. At the same time, a pack of wolfs, including a young wolf cub, set out into the same falling snow. The snow turns into a blizzard and soon both the little girl and the wolf cub are lost. How can either of them survive? Luckily, they come together so that bth can get home safely.
Winston and the Marmalade Cat is the first in a brand-new series from award-winning author Megan Rix! Full of adventure, fascinating history and super-cute animals, this series is perfect for 6-8 year old readers and fans of Dick King-Smith and Michael Morpurgo.
The most loveable of Bears returns with brand-new stories from some of the most beloved children's authors writing today: Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Kate Saunders and Jeanne Willis - each will transport you back into the Hundred Acre Wood for more adventures with Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and the rest of the gang. This selection of short stories are perfect bedtime reading for ages six and up. With decorations by Mark Burgess, in the style of the cherished illustrations by E.H. Shepard. This book will delight fans old and new.
Welcome to Stardust Stables - the stunt horseriding school where only daredevil riders need apply!Alisa struggles to deal with her co-rider Sophie, who seems hell-bent on ruining everything for her. This is the second in the series which has already taken 9-12 year olds in the US by storm. To view the first title in the series, A Star is Born, click here.
September 2016 Book of the Month Isaac the hedgehog made his debut in The Very Helpful Hedgehog which was much liked at Lovereading4kids. He’s back in a new adventure just right for this time of year, the pages saturated in the golds, reds and browns of autumn. Though winter is drawing in, Isaac isn’t ready for bed and as his friends make their preparations for cold days, he plays instead with the North Wind. It’s a lovely story steeped in the countryside and the natural world while allowing for flights of the imagination. Isaac is a very appealing character and children will run to copy him playing with the leaves and sky-gazing while the wind blows. ~ Andrea Reece
All kinds of animals feature in these ten sparkling stories from all over Africa, by an award-winning author and illustrator. Find out what happens to Lion when he challenges Elephant and discovers who is the real king of the savannah; laugh along with Tortoise as he bewitches the animals in Leopard's work-party with his irresistible music; find out why Hippo has no hair, how Elephant got his trunk, and why Cockerel crows. Then read about the woman who had a mouse-child! The stories are drawn from the rich folklore of Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and are perfectly matched by Piet Grobler's wonderful illustrations.
A terrific animal adventure that really pulls at the heart strings but is ultimately uplifting and shows how animals can and do provide wonderful love and support to people if they’re allowed to. Thrown out of the car by his city-dwellings owners in the depths of the countryside White Chin must grow up fast if he’s going to survive. His abandonment is seen by a little girl called Kirstie but White Chin is too frightened to go to her, now at least. White Chin’s adventures in the wild are told by the cat himself, his scary adventures, his narrow escapes, his return to domestic life with the little girl who showers love upon him but that’s when it all began to go wrong.
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