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Following up the excellent A Year Full of Stories, Angela McAllister has travelled the world again to collect together wonderful folktales, this time with an animal theme. There are tales of tigers, pandas and jackals, of buffalos, bears and coyotes, as well as cheetahs, warthogs and ostriches, all of them told in the direct, robust prose of the best storytellers. Great for reading on your own and just the right length for bedtime, each story will capture the reader’s or listener’s imagination, and quite often leave them with something to think about too. Aitch’s watercolour illustrations highlight the stories’ individuality, but give them a universal feel too and it’s as lovely to look at as it is to read. ~ Andrea Reece
Tonke Dragt’s The Letter for the King has been acknowledged as a classic of Dutch literature since its publication over fifty years ago, but it took until 2013 for it to find a British publisher. Pushkin Press took it on and published it to huge acclaim, the story of young squire Tiuri’s trials as he sets about carrying out the final wishes of a dying man captured the hearts of readers in the UK. Now comes the sequel, and some may think it even more thrilling than the original. Tiuri, now a knight, has another mission: he will go into the Wild Wood to search for one of the King’s knights who has gone missing. There are lots of rumours about the Wild Wood, about robbers, woodland spirits, Men in Green, but Tiuri’s adventures will be stranger still. Not many books are genuinely spellbinding, this one is. ~ Andrea Reece A Piece of Passion from Adam Freudenheim, Publisher of Pushkin Children’s Books I was thrilled and proud by the amazing response we had to the first book we published by Tonke Dragt, The Letter for the King. We have since had countless children and teachers writing to us, asking when the next book is coming out. Well – here it is at last. And what a book it is! I really believe The Secrets of the Wild Wood is even better than The Letter for the King. Tiuri is older, and the plot is darker, more complex – and even more gripping. But it still retains that grand atmosphere of mystery and suspense that drew so many children (and their parents) to the world of knights and squires, and to the dark secrets of the Wild Woods…
Deep in the woods, in a crooked house full of stairs, a young boy is kept prisoner by his uncle. He cannot meet other children, or have any friends. He holds the key to a secret. Meanwhile, in a quiet village, Frans the schoolteacher invents incredible stories of perilous deeds, shipwrecks, desert islands, and haunted castles to entertain his pupils, in which he is the hero. Then one stormy evening, a mysterious letter blows onto his doormat, summoning him to a meeting. Suddenly, Frans is on a real-life mission, one in which he will encounter magicians, secret passages, conspiracies, hidden treasure, a black cat with green eyes and a sealed parchment which predicts the future. He will learn the secret of the Seven Ways. He will find seven allies. And he will make a fearsome enemy. The adventure has begun...
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016. Shortlisted for the 2015 Guardian Children's Book prize. Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2014 | Witty, tender and full of insights into life love and politics, this is a brilliant book in its own right as well as a worthy tribute to E. Nesbit’s classic Five Children and It. The year is 1914. Anthea, Robert, Jane and Cyril, who has just enlisted, are now grown up, the Lamb is a schoolboy and even Edie, an addition to the family since the original, is old enough to meet the extraordinary and magical Psammead when he re-enters their life. All the children are longing for some new adventures but has the Psammead still got his magical powers? As befits the serious times, the Psammead plays an invaluable role in helping the family understand the First World War while also sorting out problems from his own past. Action-packed, funny and thoughtful this is a book to fall in love with.
First published in 1873, and actually set in 1872, Jules Verne’s classic adventure still feels fresh and exciting and has lost none of its power to entertain and enthral. The story of Phileas Fogg and his valet Passepartout and their eastwards race around the globe and against the clock is full of incident, not to mention the romance of travel and the thrill of mankind’s efforts to conquer the world. With frequent full page colour illustrations, including a rather beautiful but useful map, this is a particularly handsome edition and the novel itself is made for serial – or bedtime – reading. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: brave rabbits continue their fight against a terrifying enemy The story of rabbit hero Podkin One-Ear continues in this exciting new adventure. The first book in The Five Realms series won the Blue Peter Book Award and readers will be pleased to hear that the second matches it for excitement, thrills and humour too. Early on in the proceedings, Podkin discovers another lost object, this time the Moonfyre brooch, which brings him extra special abilities. He’ll need them as he and his comrades battle on against the terrifying army of the Gorm. As told by the Bard (who readers now know to be Podkin’s little brother), the story grips from the first page, filled with action, detail and a good pinch of magic. Epic stuff, and proof that it’s the size of your heart that matters most, not how big you are. Illustrations by David Wyatt add to the excitement. ~ Andrea Reece
Kipling’s Jungle Book stories and poems remain some of the best-loved children’s literature, his stories of Mowgli, Bagheera, Baloo and Shere-Khan, and of Rikki-tikki and Toomai, retaining all their power to fascinate and intrigue young readers. Complete and unabridged, this version features lively colour illustrations throughout, certain to appeal to its audience. It also includes a short biography of Rudyard Kipling himself, just enough to introduce the man to modern children. ~ Andrea Reece
A high-speed chase through the backstreets of Lagos and an unexpected bomb explosion in the jungle - it's all in a day's work for soldier Sean Harker. This is the second book from Andy McNab drawing on his own experience as a troubled teenager who found purpose when he joined the army. Particularly known for his non-fiction, he is also a talented writer of thrillers and this series for the teen market will not disappoint.
In a nutshell: upstairs downstairs mystery with added magic Pattern, lady’s maid and the central character in this excellent new series, is a heroine in the Jane Eyre mould: quiet, invisible to the outside world, but brave, fierce, clever. She needs all those qualities too to protect her mistress, the young Duchess of Elffinberg; the duchess is threatened not just by a dragon outside the castle, but by some of those on the inside, who she should really be able to trust. The two girls become friends, and the stage is set for a terrific story of courage, friendship, courtly intrigue and magic. Detective series starring young women are very much in fashion and this will appeal to fans of Robin Stevens’s Murder Most Unladylike books, but readers should also look out Stephanie Burgis’s The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart, another spritely and inventive story of magic and intrigue. ~ Andrea Reece
Frances Lincoln is proud to reintroduce the inaugural Greenaway award-winning Black Ships Before Troy. Rosemary Sutcliff brings Homer's epic poem The Iliad to life. A stunningly illustrated edition of Homer’s classic adventure story which has been vibrantly retold by the late Rosemary Sutcliff who adds her own story-telling magic to Homer’s original. The stories which led to the Greek’s siege of Troy, which include The Golden Apple, The Death of Achilles, The Wooden Horse and The Fall of Troy among many others, seamlessly weave the worlds of gods and men into one strand. Alan Lee’s illustrations evoke the heroism of the human Greek warriors – and their cruelty – while also bringing the shadowy gods convincingly to life. ~ Julia Eccleshare
In a nutshell: want action, adventure and storytelling flair? The name’s Bond. The discovery of a lost communication from his father sent just before his tragic death some years earlier, sends the young James Bond off on a dangerous, possibly deadly trip to Moscow and the heart of the old Soviet Union. Once again Steve Cole gives Bond fans (of any age) the action-packed adventure they love, along with the glamorous, sharply described settings that are so important to the books, and he adds more than a touch of sharp humour too. Once again, it works brilliantly. Cole understands exactly what makes Bond Bond, and he seems to have real sympathy for his character and his obsessive fascination with danger. Great stuff ~ Andrea Reece
May 2017 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: deftly told mystery and coming of age story. In Julie Beaufort-Stuart Elizabeth Wein has created a charming, original character, with a distinctive and irresistible voice. We meet her here as a teenager returned from boarding school to spend a last summer on her grandfather’s Scottish estate. The old man has died and the estate is being sold to cover his debts. Things quickly take a dark turn when Julie is knocked unconscious while out alone, and it’s also revealed that a scholar cataloguing the estate valuables has vanished. The blame falls on a family of Travellers. Set in 1938, the story is one of prejudice and class division as well as a coming-of-age story, and mystery. Wein is a very good writer, deftly weaving all the different strands together and creating a vivid portrait of the time and the setting as well as of her central character.~ Andrea Reece Julie also appears in the equally riveting Code Name Verity, and The Pearl Thief is a kind of prequel.