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There's a spooky book for everyone in our special Halloween selection!
In a nutshell: absolutely fabulous mix of magical fun and fashion Hold on to your hats, it’s Witchoween in Sinksville, when everyone gets out their best party frocks and parties! As part of the celebrations Tiga has been asked to make a documentary about Sinksville’s most famous witches. Her friend Fluffanora has appointed herself Head of Wardrobe, but Tiga can’t help wondering why Peggy is so insistent that she and Fran are the directors … Sibeal Pounder’s stories fizz with fun and energy, and her characters grow more appealing with each book. Liberally sprinkled with Laura Ellen Anderson’s stylish black and white illustrations the books look gorgeous too and this one is filled with suggestions for ways readers can stage some Sinksville celebrations of their own. ~ Andrea Reece One for fans of The Worst Witch, Harriet Whitehorn’s Violet stories and the Royal Babysitters series by Clementine Beauvais.
In a nutshell: one of our funniest writers works her magic From the creator of the much-loved Pongwiffy books comes a new series that mixes magic, friendship and comedy together, with an extra helping of charm. Young Elsie Pickles helps out in her family shop, in the dull little town of Smallbridge on the river Dribble. When the local witch arrives to advertise for a house sitter Elsie jumps at the chance and begins a week minding a magical tower and looking after the witch’s talking raven Corbett. As Elsie settles in and gets to know the witch’s other friends and neighbours, she can’t help trying a little magic herself. Elsie, Corbett and their friends are wonderful characters and this is a lovely read; full of fun and adventure, comedy and excitement, it will keep children smiling from beginning to end. ~ Andrea Reece
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2018 | Kaye Umansky, the creator of the much-loved Pongwiffy stories follows up Witch for a Week with a new adventure about Magenta Sharp, a rather muddled local witch, and Elsie Pickles, the little girl she gets to help her. In this new adventure Elsie is invited back to the wandering tower that is Magenta’s home to help the witch to sort out the terrible chaos of her magic-selling business. Magenta has been ignoring the paperwork and she is now attracting so many complaints that she is threatened with the loss of her magical licence! Can Elsie save Magenta’s business? And can she also help her to keep an unruly genie under control while she is about it? as ever, Kaye Umansky’s magic is deliciously frothy and ridiculously good fun.
A wonderful boxed set of six of the spookiest Winnie and WIlbur stories and two special edition CDs. Includes the following Winnie and Wilbur titles: The Midnight Dragon, The Haunted House, The New Computer, The Amazing Pumpkin, The Big Bad Robot, Winnie the Witch. Lovereading comment to follow soon.
A very special, spooky story from Dr. Seuss - with glow-in-the-dark ink! As always Dr. Seuss is an absolute joy to read aloud and What Was I Scared of? is no exception. A night time encounter with some rather scary pants (with nobody inside them!) takes us running through the wood in an effort to escape them. As this is Dr. Seuss though it all comes to a happy ending with a lesson learnt that the things we are scared of are more often then not rather less scary than we thought. This specil edition also has a rather wonderful glow in the dark finale that will have your little ones rushing to turn out the lights. ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here.
This is one of those books that does exactly what it says on the tin: it’s full of recipes for dishes that really will freak out your friends, from ‘cat poo in the litter tray’ to ‘severed fingers’. Disgusting as these dishes sound and look however, they’ll taste very good; they’re all made out of regular, tasty ingredients just cleverly arranged to look like something revolting. Hidden among the recipes however are notes on some of the (to us anyway) bizarre or gruesome foods that are eaten in different parts of the world, e.g. witchetty grubs, fruit bats, fish eyeballs and duck embryos (in the shell). Part cookbook, part information book, this happily puts the yuk into cookery. ~ Andrea Reece
One of our 2018 Books of the Year | On the surface, this is a story about a girl who discovers she's a witch, in a world where that is a highly dangerous thing to be. But it's contemporary life that really fascinates Melvin Burgess and this is as much a story of growing up and independence as it is a story of dark magic. It also contains a thoroughly disturbing dissection of coercion and control as central character Bea is manipulated into doing things that cause irrevocable harm to herself and others. The book opens with Bea and her family returning home after a day out. Crossing the moors they run into The Hunt, violent supernatural creatures tracking and attacking other witches. Bea is able to stop them, powerfully summoning help but revealing her supernatural ability at the same time. With the awakening of her witch nature, the world becomes a different place, more beautiful but more frightening as she is surrounded by visions that only she can see. Befriended by other witches she is given a terrible choice: safety and freedom with them means she must leave her own human family for ever. Under pressure from her parents she decides to give up her new powers for a 'normal' life, but is snatched away at the last minute by the wild boy she is beginning to love - is it a rescue, or an abduction? It's typical of Burgess that the book raises so many questions about temptation and individual choice, freedom and responsibility; typical too that the consequences of Bea's decisions are shown to be so painful, and permanent. Powerful, uncompromising reading.
Usborne’s touchy-feely books are perfect for babies and very young children. The illustrations are bright and attractive, just busy enough to catch the eye, with lots of things to point out and name. Each page features a touchy-feely patch too – the little witch’s boots are shiny, her hat is fuzzy and her cat is fluffy. These tactile, strokable patches are not just an added treat but a means to develop sensory awareness alongside the language skills being learned. As ever the characters are smiley and hugely appealing. ~ Andrea Reece
October 2017 Debut of the Month In a nutshell: love, loss and a skeleton in the garden Stanly is surprised but intrigued to discover a finger bone apparently growing in his garden. It could win him the Young Discoverer science prize and thereby bring his father home in which case it’s to be welcomed. As the finger grows into a skeleton though, Stanly is not so sure. His little sister Miren really takes to ‘Princy’ as she calls the skeleton and it’s able to cheer her up even with she is seriously ill and in pain. Stanly worries the skeleton is there to take Miren away. This debut novel is accomplished and original. Despite the surreal storyline it’s a story of real emotions, and Stanly’s worries are always gripping and credible. An examination of love and loss, with an ambient sense of myth or faith, this will appeal to fans of David Almond’s modern classic Skellig. ~ Andrea Reece
Always look a gift-horse in the mouth could be the message of this highly entertaining, very funny new book from master of the madcap adventure Barry Hutchinson. Lisa-Marie and her step-brother Vernon are out shopping for a present for Dad when they wander into the local Create-a-Ted store, tempted - Vernon in particular - by the sign in the window offering 'free' Hallowe'en bears. No sooner have they left with one teddy bear witch, one teddy bear vampire, and one teddy bear Elvis (for Dad) than the trouble starts. The bears come to life and - Bearvis excepted - they are anything but cuddly. Can Lisa-Marie and Vernon stop squabbling long enough to save their parents and their town from the marauding teddies? It manages to be both silly and exciting and, I'm glad to say, sets things up nicely for further adventures.
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | In a nutshell: dicing with the dead has never been so thrilling Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co series about a company of teenage psychics attempting to keep the streets of a nearly-but-not contemporary London clear of malevolent spirits is thrilling stuff. Each episode offers a first-class helping of brilliantly-written, edge-of the-seat ghostly adventure packed with intrigue, humour and even a touch of romance. The Empty Grave brings the series to its conclusion and does so in style, with the fiercest test yet for our young heroes, and some uncomfortably close brushes with death. Readers who haven’t discovered this series yet are to be envied, they have such a treat in store! ~ Andrea Reece
The term Halloween, and its older spelling Hallowe'en, is shortened from All-hallow-even, as it is the evening before "All Hallows' Day" (also known as "All Saints' Day"). Halloween was also sometimes called All Saints' Eve.
The holiday was a day of religious festivities in various northern European pagan traditions, until it was appropriated by Christian missionaries and given a Christian interpretation.
So to celebrate general spookiness and horror we have a selection of books that will hopefully fright and delight in equal measure children of all ages as well as grown-ups who have never quite grown up or don’t like to think they have!
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