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We have filled this section with books that are perfect for that important gift. Classics, beautifully illustrated, special collector's editions and gorgeous hardbacks....perfect for marking a special day or celebration.
Illustrator Katie Scott returns to the Welcome to the Museum series with exquisite, detailed images of some of the most fascinating living organisms on this planet - fungi. From the fungi we see on supermarket shelves to fungi like penicillium that have shaped human history, this is the definitive introduction to what fungi are and just how vital they are to the world's ecosystem. Created in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
From one of the nation's favourite storytellers comes this beautifully presented and poetic celebration of our Queen. Inspired by our longest serving monarch, Morpurgo shares how he wanted to celebrate her "constant and reassuring presence in a rapidly changing and unsettling world". Created to tie in with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June 2022 and accompanied by Michael Foreman's beautiful watercolour illustrations, this book follows Elizabeth's story and brings her incredible reign to life for readers big and small. A perfect gift book and commemoration of the Jubilee, this will be a treasured keepsake for years to come and a great addition to any bookshelf.
May 2022 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | Ending with a call to readers to change the world, this handsomely illustrated book tells the story of the first Greek gods. We see it all from the viewpoint of Gaia, the goddess who created the world as a beautiful, peaceful place only to watch in anguish as her husband and then her children squabble, fight and even infect the mortals with their greed and jealousy. The stories are full of drama - Cronos swallowing his children, the gods of Olympus battling giants - and the book also describes the creation of the Furies and the Fates, giving us a different view of them. Told via a striking graphic novel format, it’s a visual treat while the direct, straight to reader text is very engaging. Much more than an introduction to early Greek myths, it will make readers see the world and their role in it differently.
50 Goddesses, Spirits, Saints and Other Female Figures Who Have Shaped Belief | Using photographs of objects from the British Museum collections beside bold, bright, clear illustrations of the female characters, the stories and animals often associated with them. This is most definitely a book to dip into repeatedly. Each double page spread looks at a specific person, their legends, the stories that have altered over time and their often-multiple names. The book is arranged into five different sections covering Ruling and Guiding figures, New Life figures, War and Death figures, Love and Wisdom figures and Animal and Nature figures. The whole of the history of beliefs seem to be covered from Africa to Wales, Aztec to Maori, Far Eastern to Norse to name but a few! The Introduction shares thoughts on the way the word Goddess has changed its meaning over the years and Dr Ramirez shares a very useful Glossary of unusual terms as well as indexing individual goddesses – always a huge benefit that unfortunately some authors and publishers fail to appreciate. A beautiful book I can imagine being included in many topic boxes and school libraries.
One day a very colourful object fell from the sky – and all the insects are filled with awe and wonder as to what it might be, and how it came to be there. All of the different insects have their own ideas of what it could be – and readers will get their own ideas too! Is it an egg? Is it a flower? Could it have grown? But it is spider who realises there is an opportunity to make a profit from it – and it is he who sets up a viewing system with queues and payment (in leaves) for all the other insects. As the wonder and queues grew, spider put up the prices and started hurrying the others along! Spider became very wealthy – but all the other insects lost interest and no longer came to see the marvel from the sky. Then disaster struck – and a bigger creature took the marvel and spider was all alone, with nothing… What a delightful, innovative picture book. Mostly drawn in greyscale in sumptuous detail with splashes of colour that standout from the pages and create a wonderful contrast to the surrounding shades. There is so much to see in every picture – and this will be a wonderful book for children to predict outcomes and see the moral of the tale, which is so lightly told. The glorious full colour spread towards the end of the book has so much to see and point out! I think this will be a family and class favourite for many years to come!
What a treat it is for a Rosemary Sutcliff treasure to be newly presented to the world, and in a beautiful package that befits the story’s historic charms and thrills, with charming chapter heading illustrations by Isabel Greenberg, and an introduction by Lara Maiklem, the acclaimed author of Mudlarking. This Manderley Press edition of The Armourer’s House will make a glorious gift for fans of historic fiction who relish intrigue and atmosphere, and comes highly recommended for readers who love Eva Ibbotson’s writing, and contemporary writers like Celia Rees and Katherine Rundell. First published in 1951, The Armourer’s House is set in London during the reign of Henry VIII, and rich in the engaging period detail Sutcliff is renowned for. When her grandmother dies, Tamsyn leaves her Devonshire seaside town and ship merchant Uncle Martin to live with Uncle Gideon in his armourer’s house on the Thames. Having a wife and large family, Gideon is deemed a more suitable guardian, but Tamsyn “did not want to be brought up properly, she only wanted to be happy”. She also longs to “have adventure and sail the seas of the world” — how on earth will she manage so far from the sea? Though something of a fish out of water in London’s chaos, Tamsyn’s imagination and heart are captured by the river traffic that passes Dolphin House, with her new excitement engagingly evoked alongside details of life in Tudor London — the Royal Dockyard, Billingsgate fish market, the autumnal “pink-flushed sky” behind Westminster, King Henry VIII himself travelling in the Royal Barge with Queen Anne Boleyn. Tellingly, Tamsyn “liked the Queen best, observing how her eyes were “terribly unhappy”. Then, on magic-charged Midsummer’s Eve, a Wise Woman presages that Tamsyn will find her “heart’s desire”, enhancing the novel’s aura of enchantment, and leading to a delightful denouement. Heartily satisfying for 9+ year-olds who love historic fiction, this also comes recommended as wonderful book to read together — no one is too old for the joys of reading aloud and being read to, and this ideal for exactly that.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery's timeless tale, reissued in a beautiful clothbound edition designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith. Antoine de Saint-Exupery first published The Little Prince in 1943, only a year before his plane vanished over the Mediterranean during a reconnaissance mission. Nearly eighty years later, this fable of love and loneliness has lost none of its power. The narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert, frantically trying to repair his wrecked plane. His efforts are interrupted one day by the apparition of a little prince, who asks him to draw a sheep. In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don't dare disobey, the narrator recalls. Absurd as it seemed, a thousand miles from all inhabited regions and in danger of death, I took a scrap of paper and a pen out of my pocket. And so begins their dialogue, which stretches the narrator's imagination in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2022 | A captivating, powerful and luminous story from a bestselling, award-winning author about a mother, a daughter, and the great Greenland shark. With mesmerising black and yellow illustrations and presented as a deluxe hardback with tracing paper inserts, this is a perfect gift for 9+ fans of David Almond and Frances Hardinge.
Exhilaratingly informative, compellingly personal, and outright inspirational (thanks to its practical “try this” activities and “over to you” calls to action), De Nichols’ Art of Protest is a must-read compendium for a new generation of change-makers. Exploring the history and transformative impact of protest art through the compelling lens of the author’s own activism experiences, this book about making a difference sure does things differently itself. Clearly framed in the context of why art matters to social movements, readers are presented with an overview of the history of protest art (from the anti-WWI activism of early-twentieth-century Dadaists, through the women’s suffrage movement, to current BLM actions), before embarking on a dazzling visual journey through key facets of design. We learn about symbolism, typography, the power and meanings of colours, and the role of tech, including memes, social media filters, and videos. With a feature on young contemporary climate activists, and tonnes of easy-to-follow suggestions for how to make your own change in the world, the book’s aims are perfectly précised by its final page: “Start making. Start creating the change that’s needed for a better world”.
December 2021 Debut of the Month | Anyone familiar with the works of the book’s author Nick Cave will know this question is one explored extensively in his song-writing, mostly through characters responding to some form of turmoil. In The Little Thing this is also the case as we follow a tiny being who is frustrated and even distressed by the process of trying to understand what it is. Cave’s drawings are simple and vibrant alongside dialogue from those trying to help on this journey of self-discovery. In the end what is discovered is that it’s OK to simply accept yourself for what you are, even if exactly what that is remains a mystery! What is more important is who you are, how that feels, and what a wonderful thing it is to find kindred spirits and simply be. This is a lovely and intelligent book to share with your own little things that is sure to reassure, spark discussion and encourage acceptance and inclusion, written by a man who wouldn’t know how it felt to ‘fit in’. The Little Thing will be available exclusively via Cave Things, Nick Cave’s online shop : cavethings.com/products/the-little-thing
Celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the stunning, classic story of an unforgettable friendship with a glorious colour gift edition, fully illustrated by Christian Birmingham. All my life I'll think of you, I promise I will. I won't ever forget you. Bertie rescues an orphaned white lion cub from the African veld. They are inseparable until Bertie is sent to boarding school far away in England and the lion is sold to a circus. Bertie swears that one day they will see one another again, but it is the butterfly lion which ensures that their friendship will never be forgotten. From master storyteller Michael Morpurgo, this extraordinary tale of friendship, loyalty and overcoming adversity has spoken to readers the world over since it was first published twenty-five years ago. This stunning colour gift book, with new illustrations from Christian Birmingham, will be treasured by a new generation of children.
This picture book tells the tale of a prince and a kidnapped princess, of a cheeky bird catcher, a warring king and queen, and of a magic flute. It is of course the story of perhaps the most famous opera of all, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and not only does the book cleverly condense the action into picture book form, but it allows readers to experience snatches of the music too. There are buttons on each page which, when pressed, play excerpts of the score, performed by orchestra and singers. There’s a short biography of Mozart on the final page to spark more interest in him and his music, a glossary and more information on the music, and what to listen out for. The illustrations are lively and full of detail, and this is a thoroughly charming first introduction to opera.
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