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We are in a unique situation never experienced before but the Publishers have stepped up and have released certain books for children to enjoy for free. If you're looking for suitable books for your 7 or 8 year old, here are some wonderful books that we love and you can now access for free. Enjoy!
Written to be read aloud, The Ickabog is a fairy tale, set in an imaginary land, and is a complete stand-alone story unrelated to the author’s other work. It will appeal to children between the ages of 7 and 9 but can be enjoyed by the whole family. The story will be translated into a number of other languages, and made available on the website shortly after the English language version appears.
A story of kindness during the 2020 Coronavirus crisis | This illustrated children story has been created during the first three/four months of the global outbreak of the Coronavirus Covid-19 in 2020. This is a very strange and difficult time; it is a period full of anxiety, of isolation, of distance between families and between friends; it is a moment in time of pain, of fear and worries in terms of emotions, health, finances as well as what the future might bring. But it also a moment where it is very important to try to keep hope and love at the centre of our thoughts and our days. This book is for everyone, everywhere in the world; it is a story of of kindness, hope and love.
With expert input from Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine | With consultant Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as the adviser on this book you can use it in confidence that the information is relevant and correct. The idea behind the book was the brainchild of the publisher Nosy Crow - to make something freely available to help children understand the current situation and to try to ease some of their concerns. No-one has received any fees for this book. Plus, using such a well-known illustrator as Axel Scheffler (recognised worldwide for the Gruffalo illustrations) makes the whole thing feel recognisable and familiar. The book takes us through explaining what a virus is and how you might catch it – and what happens if you do catch it. A fascinating fact gleaned on the way is that there are more different antibodies inside us now than the number of people in the world! Everything is explained in simple terms so that young children can understand the way antibodies react to virus incursions. The book goes on to explain why we need to take care, why a vaccine may take some considerable time to develop and why so many things are closed at the moment. It also tackles the issues of being at home all the time, lack of fun and activities – and how to share and how to talk to your grown up about worries. Talking about ways to help is a very useful way forward – and also being kind to those you live with. The book finishes on the very positive statement that ‘one day this strange time will be over – we did it together’ a vital message of hope. There are also sections of information for children as well as for the parents, guardians and carers. It was a brilliant idea to create this – and a very generous act to make it available free of charge – excellent call Nosy Crow!
Ben Miller cleverly mixes real science and observations of real life into a mind-expanding story, and gives it something of the feel of a fable too. Harrison is generally a good boy, but he does have trouble with his temper. He loses it spectacularly at another boy’s birthday and, to make a point, the party entertainer sends him home with – wait for it – a black hole. It’s useful for getting rid of things he doesn’t like, but when he accidentally loses things that matter, he needs science, determination and the help of his family to put things right. The science is real enough to make us think it could happen, and the storytelling more than good enough to make us wish it had. If The Boy Who Made the World Disappear sparks a desire for more science based adventure, look out for books by Christopher Edge and Ross Welford.
We humans take our domination of the planet for granted, but sometimes nature reminds us that this is an illusion. Tectonics rip open the earth, vast waves sweep away coastal towns, magma spews from volcanoes and hurricanes lay waste to entire countries. This book explores nature at its most destructive. Clear, coherent explanations break down the science behind phenomena including hurricanes, tornadoes, avalanches, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes, alongside fascinating facts about the biggest and the worst. Informative, accessible illustrations by Sophie Williams make this so much more than your standard geography book.
February 2019 Book of the Month | This is a delightful, newly-minted fairy tale (three sisters, a quest, a witch, a moral) and thoroughly satisfying. The Widdershins sisters – Fliss, Betty and Charlie – live with their granny on the island of Crowstone, a miserable, end of the line kind of place, all damp, and marsh and mist. It’s not somwehere you’d want to live but as the story unfolds, we discover that because of an age-old curse, the girls can never leave. When breaking the curse becomes a matter of life or death, the three girls will have to work together – despite their sometimes spiky relationships – and at least they have a pinch of magic to help. This is an ingenious and compelling story and like the age-old tales that are its inspiration, pitches love, generosity and forgiveness against human cruelty. Superb! There are some great fantasy adventures for young readers at the moment – look out too for The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle and The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson.
September 2018 Book of the Month | Exciting news for all Harry Potter fans, Bloomsbury has published a paperback edition of the number one bestselling Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by by the awesomely talented Kate Greenaway Medal winner, Jim Kay. Prepare to be spellbound by Jim Kay's dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and much loved characters. This is where the adventure begins, as Harry Potter discovers that he is no ordinary boy but a wizard of great reknown, as well as expected at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Moreover, at Hogwarts, he encounters "He Who Must Not Be Named", a master of magic whose ambition is more dark and terrifying than Harry can possibly imagine.
March 2018 Book of the Month | Any young reader who enjoys funny, surprising, brilliantly inventive stories should check into The Nothing to See Here Hotel IMMEDIATELY. They’ll be welcomed by Frankie Banister, son of the owners and great-great-great-grandson of troll legend Regurgita Glump, who still lives on the hotel’s top floor. Frankie does a great job introducing the hotel and its bizarre assortment of magical guests and staff, including chef Nancy, the giant Orkney Brittle-Back spider, and Ooof the ogre doorman. The story takes off with the arrival of goblin prince Grogbah and his enormous entourage. He’s a very difficult guest, and is Granny right when she decides he’s up to something sneakerish? The plot zips along like the best-oiled luggage trolley and Butler and Lenton make readers feel completely at home in the extraordinary world they’ve created. A 5* reading experience and the first in a new series to boot. Children of 7 to 9 are being really well-served by authors at the moment, and those who enjoy this book will also love the Amelia Fang series and Kaye Umansky’s Witch for a Week.
July 2017 Debut of the Month | Imagine what it would be like if you were you, an ordinary kid, but by complete accident you enrolled in a school where everyone had an amazing superpower. That’s exactly what happens to Murph Cooper, and the resulting story is very funny indeed. This is the first children’s book by radio stars Greg James and Chris Smith, and it’s a zany mix of slapstick, colourful characters and superhero jokes. Beneath all of that too it slips in an important message about how ordinary can be special too. This is a great summer holidays read and if you’re looking for a book for bedtime it’s great fun to read aloud. Kid normals will also enjoy these books in the same vein: My Brother is a Superhero, Othergirl by Nicole Burstein and Shane Hegarty’s Darkmouth series.
Mabel Lucie Attwell was one of the best-loved children’s illustrators of the last century and her warm, gentle illustrations for Alice in Wonderland will have the same effect on readers today as when they were first published in 1911. Alice is a pretty little girl with untidy red hair and inquisitive look. Colour plates and line drawings are both full of life and expression, and there’s none of the sentimentality that characterises Attwell’s work for younger children. This is a very handsome edition and will make a lovely Christmas gift. ~ Andrea ReeceBoth this edition of Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan and Wendy are introduced by Webster Wickham, great-grandson of Mabel Lucie Attwell.
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | March 2016 Book of the Month The Bolds are back, cause for celebration! Written by Julian Clary and illustrated with élan by the incomparable David Roberts, this is a book that will have children in stitches. For those that don’t know, the Bolds are a family of hyenas living happily in Teddington disguised as humans. Word of their lifestyle has spread through the animal world and in this episode, a series of unhappy creatures turn up at their door looking for help. These include a crocodile named Sheila, Roger a ram, two flighty ex-racehorses, and a poodle with dreams of singing super-stardom! Ever optimistic and warm-hearted, the Bolds welcome them in and start teaching their guests how to be human. It’s ludicrous, charming and very, very funny, with a subtle underlying message about live-and-let-living. As delightful as their first adventures, and that’s really saying something. ~ Andrea Reece
Getting lost in a book is one of the great delights of childhood.
All children aspire to read chapter books in order to experience the full range of characters and situations. But some help is also appreciated hence the particular role of novels with pictures.
Click here to read some helpful tips from top childrens' publisher Egmont.
You could also check out our latest highlights such as our 'prizewinners' section where we can help you and your child discover authors currently in contention for and/or winners of the most prestigious awards. Or some wonderful graphic novel adaptations of literary classics from 'Classical Comics' and finally, a brilliant range of titles that are sure to get even the most reluctant reader wanting to read more. Just take a look at 'Ology World'.
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