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Are you a fan of Fantasy and Magic? Check out all our Fantasy / Magical book selections, read reviews, download extracts and you can order the book too!
Young readers will very much enjoy Holly Webb’s typically touching new story, in which a mischievous cat works magic across the generations. Bel is staying with her grandma in her new home, an old house converted into flats for the elderly. Sneaking out early to enjoy an unexpected snowfall, she befriends a cheeky white cat but is surprised when she meets his owner, a young girl the same age as herself, but very different. In fact Bel has travelled back in time and because of her magical meeting with Snow and Charlotte, a young girl’s life is saved. Filled with warmth and love and with a neat balance between jeopardy and security, this is rounded off in the most satisfying way possible. A snowy treat!
October 2018 Book of the Month | | The dazzlingly brilliant Chris Riddell brings his magical illustration talents to J.K. Rowling's gloriously inventive The Tales of Beedle the Bard in a fully illustrated colour edition of this essential classic for Harry Potter fans. Full of magic and trickery, these classic tales both entertain and instruct, and remain as captivating to young wizards today as they were when Beedle first put quill to parchment in the fifteenth century. A world of magical adventure awaits! Visit Bloomsbury's Harry Potter website for magical downloads, games, videos, and more Harry Potter fun!
June 2019 Debut of the Month | Shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2019 | Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Childrens Book Prize 2019 | There was once a little boy who was afraid of the dark. There's nothing unusual about that. Most children are afraid of the dark at one time of another. But this little boy was a Prince, and he decided that when he became King, he would do something about the dark. He would ban it. When the King bans the dark completely, installing an artificial sun, and enforcing anti-dark laws, it seems like a good idea. The citizens don't need to worry about any of the scary things that might live in the dark. But what happens when nobody can sleep, and the citizens revolt? Will the King face his fears and turn the lights off? The King Who Banned the Dark is a beautiful and thought-provoking story about how we need the dark in order to enjoy the light.
Lively and cannily told, this rollicking adventure mixes sci-fi, fantasy and ancient mythology. Aidan and his mum have a secret, a very unusual one: she is part dragon, able to breathe fire and with sharp, scaly claws for fingers. They’ve managed to keep this hidden, but just after Aidan has started school after years of home-schooling, someone finds out and Mum is kidnapped. With the help of his new friend Charlotte, Aidan sets out to rescue her. It turns out Mum is in real danger, along with some other unusual prisoners… The mix of ordinary life and fantasy is very well handled, and the narrative – mostly handled by Aidan but with interjections from Charlotte, and a mysterious third voice – will keep everyone on tenterhooks.
Best-selling Goth Girl is back for an action-packed new adventure in this stunningly produced volume by former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell which has the additional delight of a mini-book, Fable of a Faun, tucked into it. Lord Goth is turning Ghastly-Gorm Hall into the venue for Gothstock, a sensational music festival that will match his home. Naturally, Ada Goth is thrilled at the thought but will it all go to plan? In both words and pictures Chris Riddell creates an amazing cast of characters and the most original escapades in which they are all entangled.
The No.1 Bestselling Series Enter a land of wizards, warriors, mythical creatures and powerful magic in an exciting fantasy adventure from the author of How To Train Your Dragon. Witches are creating havoc in the Wildwoods and danger lurks behind every tree trunk. Wish is in possession of a powerful, Magic Spelling Book. Xar has a dangerous Witchstain on his hand. Wish and Xar are separated by the highest wall imaginable. But time is running out ... It was unlikely that these heroes should meet in the first place. Is it possible they are destined to meet TWICE? 'The detail of Cowell's world is a delight ...This one will run and run' The Observer Discover the magic of Cressida Cowell.
October 2018 Debut of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2018 | | Tilly loves stories and has firm favourites among their characters. She can so easily imagine conversations with Anne from Anne of Green Gables or Alice from Wonderland. But she never expects to actually meet them! When Tilly finds that she has entered the story herself – and particularly when she takes her friend Oskar with her too – she knows that something very strange indeed is happening. Can a trip to the wonderful Underlibrary sited deep in the British Library itself illuminate just what is happening to Tilly and how her beloved grandparents are involved too? Anna James weaves a richly invented story with great skill and makes every passionate reader’s greatest dream of being able to hang out with their favourite characters come true.
September 2018 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2018 | A deliciously dotty fantasy in which almost anything becomes believable. Max longs for a pet but even in his wildest dreams he had never thought that the pet might be a flying pony. But, one stormy night and with a loud Doof!, Kevin turns up on Max’s balcony. Kevin is a flying horse who can also talk. He has few demands except that he needs a constant supply of biscuits – especially custard creams. Soon Max and Kevin are an unstoppable duo putting right all the things that are going wrong in a town surrounded by storm water and besieged by naughty sea-monkeys. It’s all pell-mell action and madcap fun. Julia Eccleshare's Picks for September: The Legend of Kevin: A Roly-Poly Flying Pony Adventure by Philip Reeve The Girl, the Bear and the Magic Shoes by Julia Donaldson Happy: A Children's Book of Mindfulness by Nicola Edwards Jelly Boots, Smelly Boots by Michael Rosen You've Got a Friend by Judi Curtin Tilly and the Bookwanderers (Pages & Co., Book 1) by Anna James Wish for a Witch by Kaye Umansky Poems to Live Your Life By by Chris Riddell Once Upon a Wild Wood by Chris Riddell
It’s over forty years since publication of Jill Murphy’s first Worst Witch story but you’d never know it from reading the books; certainly this new story is as fresh and sparky as anything around and magical reading for youngsters. Neatly observed friendships and classroom rivalries plus Mildred’s accidental mishaps are the basis of the stories, all cleverly mixed up of course with magic. Mildred’s broomstick handling improved considerably when she found little dog Star, with him perched behind her she’s much better at flying and when his real owners arrive to claim him, she is heartbroken. But, as headmistress Miss Cackle points out, Mildred has an extraordinary knack for sorting things out – can she find a way to keep Star, and frustrate arch enemy Ethel in the process? The plot zooms along as smoothly as a broomstick at top speed, realism, fantasy and humour in perfect balance. It’s an absolute treat for young readers, spellbinding early reading.
October 2018 Debut of the Month | | Karolina is a living doll who’s been transported from the Land of the Dolls on a “kind wind” following a cruel war with the rats. She wakes “in her new world with a glass heart”, in the workshop of a dollmaker in Krakow, Poland. When Karolina speaks to him, the Dollmaker is certain that he’s lost his mind. He made her, after all, “and I can’t make something that comes to life,” he reasons. But Karolina explains that “gardeners do it all the time with flowers”. Through shimmering, lyrical language, and Karolina’s consummate compassion, we are witness to a transformation in the crotchety widower Dollmaker. He begins to smile, to make friends, to feel light and hope. And then, when darkness descends on their city in the form of the Nazis, together they must use their newfound magic to save their friends, no matter what. The author does not shirk from relating the brutal realities of the Jewish experience in Nazi-occupied Poland, yet the overriding message is one of hope and love, and the wondrousness of acts of kindness. This is a sublimely big-souled book, with an exquisite ambiance of timelessness.
Cinderella, Rumpelstilstskin, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk: these stories are in our DNA, says Michael Morpurgo in his introduction to this gorgeous new collection. They are told by some of our best authors for children and each story is illustrated in full colour with pictures that match its mood (Ian Beck’s illustrations for The Pied Piper of Hamelin, retold by Adele Geras, are particularly rich). Morpurgo himself has chosen to tell the story of Jack and Beanstalk and, typically, it’s a first person narrative, Jack addressing the reader directly, keeping us breathlessly attentive from the opening line to the happy every after. An excellent collection to share with children.
In the second of the Badlands adventures, J.R. Wallis creates another tense, exciting story, underpinned by thoughtful questions about courage, free will and the temptations of power. Our three central characters, Ed/Jones, Ruby and Thomas Gabriel all have complicated relationships with the magic that is crucial to the strange world they inhabit: Ed wants to be rid of it completely; Ruby wants recognition that girls can be magicians; while Thomas Gabriel is desperate – dangerously so – to acquire magical skills. It seems that all their problems could be solved in one go, but there are challenges to overcome first, that bring them up against some really frightening creatures. The magical world described is original and convincing, drawing much from old Anglo-Saxon legends in fact, and there’s more than enough action to keep the pages turning. The moral dilemmas faced by the characters feel equally real, and add to the satisfaction of the story. One to recommend to fans of Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co series.
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