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How far would you go to save your annoying big bug sister? When Jenny accidentally uses Petty Potts's S.W.I.T.C.H spray on herself, Josh and Danny know that there is only one thing for it. They'll have to change themselves into crane flies to save their sister. However risky ... About the series: Boy or insect? Twins Josh and Danny survive a series of thrilling adventures after they have been transformed into bug life by the crazy scientist Petty Potts who injects them with a most unusual serum. How insect-loving Josh and insect-hating Danny survive the dangers of the bugs’ world in a series of adventures as spiders, grasshoppers, flies and ants makes thrilling reading as well as a great introduction into how insects may feel. To check out the S.W.I.T.C.H. series website, click here.
Petty's been kidnapped! Josh and Danny have already broken into her secret lab looking for her, and now they're going to brave all her anti-intruder traps and break into her house. There's no sign of Petty, but there is a very interesting little box ...containing the best SWITCH spray ever. Unable to resist the temptation, the twins head to the park to try out alligator SWITCH spray. But before they make it to the river, they're roped into being in the audience of a touring chat show, with some VERY interesting guests ...
March 2020 Debut of the Month | Newton is excited: he’s just read a sign that tells him dogs have nine lives. That’s carte blanche for Newton to do all his favourite things and be much more daring. Without a second thought he’s off to explore the nature reserve and do some incredibly risky things. He’s pursued by his friend, a much more sensible cat, who realises - as we do - that Newton has been misled. The adventure that follows is full of wonderfully reckless behaviour and narrow escapes for Newton, all the more delightful because he is totally oblivious to the danger he’s in. Newton’s joy is infectious and it’s impossible to read this without smiling at his enthusiasm. Alice McKinley depicts Newton as a plump puppy, with constantly wagging tail and beautifully expressive ears, and he’s set to become a favourite with readers young and old.
In a Nutshell: Pirates | Mad Inventions | Humour | Cup-cakes With illustrations from none other than Ben Cort of Aliens Love Underpants fame and a story by Amy Sparkes that is as funny as the illustrations themselves, you are in for a treat. Pirate Blunderbeard is a rubbish pirate and friends and family are constantly telling him so. Even worse he's now being threatened with explusion from PARPS (the Pirates Against Rubbish Piracy Society) and being dumped on a desert island never to return. The only answer is to win the annual Pirate of the Year Award (POTY), yet however hard Barnacles Blunderbeard tries to be a good pirate even with his talent for inventing things, he fails to succeed in every pirate skill - canon ball firing, plank balancing and rope climbing to name just three. His best friend Daggers the parrot even deserts him and the villainous Pirate Pete gives him a chicken called Boris the Basher instead. No one has ever won POTY with a chicken but can Barnacles Blunderbeard with his new found friend become a good pirate after all and win the award? Fans of Pirates of the Caribbean will be in heaven here.
For laugh-out-loud adventures young readers can’t go wrong with the Pirate Blunderbeard books; each episode offers a barrelful of zany action, delivered at top speed. Young Blunderbeard is excited to learn that award-winning actor and director Jolly Roger is coming to Crossbones Island to film his new movie, and that he’s auditioning for actors too. Could this be the opportunity Blunderbeard and his chicken Boris have been waiting for? Of course, things start to go awry quicker than you can say “May the rotten-sea-cabbage-eating Stinker Shark never pass wind in your direction” with Boris causing chaos and Blunderbeard banished to The Rather Big Rock Where We Put Naughty People We Are Really Fed Up With. It all ends happily though with Boris and Blunderbeard in the spotlight. Great fun, and Ben Cort’s lively illustrations make this as satisfying to look at as it is to read.
Intelligent, funny and engaging rhymes along with bright and bold illustrations bring these poems for younger children alive.Andréa Prior says of her writing ‘I love the musicality of rhyme and my ideas come from anywhere and everywhere; people I love, people I don’t, friends I talk to, stories they tell, countries I visit, things I see, things I do, phrases I hear, dreams I dream.’ A Parcel of Pigs is perfect for reading out loud, the poems are written for those parents and children who love reading together. All of them also have helpful points you can use to discuss the poem in more detail. Why not discover more today by reading an opening extract of her book?
April 2018 Debut of the Month | In a nutshell: in his own words, quirky, super-readable saga of a ten-year-old ‘detective’ Ten-year-old Rory is pretty satisfied with his life. He lives happily with his mum and brother, and has friends, best being Wilkins Welkin, his next-door neighbour’s sausage dog. But there are two big problems in his life: no-one ever tells him anything, and his dad disappeared when Rory was three. To find out why, he decides to become a detective – despite the derision of his big brother. In a timely bit of luck, new neighbour Cassidy Callaghan – aka ‘The Cat’ – offers to help. The two, of course, get into all sorts of trouble, and to the surprise of everyone, unearth some real villains in the process. Words and illustrations are both very funny and surprisingly touching. This will sit happily next to the Wimpy Kids, Dork Diaries and Barry Losers, but for its idiosyncratic and convincing voice and real sense of family dynamics, is probably closest to Lauren Child’s Clarice Bean books. A great new series for young readers. ~ Andrea Reece
Hot on the heels of the first Rory Branagan adventure comes this new story and The Dog Squad is every bit as sharp and quirky, and possibly even funnier. Dogs in Rory’s neighbourhood are going missing and he’s determined to track down the thieves, especially when his beloved Wilkins Welkin is snatched. Confined to his bedroom, his foot in a surgical boot, Rory can only watch as his associate Cassidy sneaks into the chief suspect’s house. It’s all a bit Rear Window in fact, but with the added joys of a comic dog fight, the intervention of Mrs Welkins and her slipper, and Rory’s big brother’s nascent moustache. Meanwhile Rory’s efforts to find out why his father left them continue and two new clues are revealed. This parallel plotline adds an extra layer and touch of genuine poignancy while Ralph Lazar’s illustrations match the text in wit and idiosyncrasy.
This inventive Wimpy Kid-esque book for 8+ year-olds (more graphic novel/comic than conventional novel) brims with high-stakes dilemmas, high-octane action, and a whole lot of humour. To set the scene, iLK is a Glubwark from planet Glub and his scary dad has invaded Earth. The book takes the form of iLK recounting the attack and its unexpected aftermath in his journal. From the off iLK is an amusing narrator, such as when his dad instructs him to land on earth to “help with the invasion” and he winds up realising that “I didn’t do a very good job, so now my job is to stay out the way. I’m very good at that.” This kind of wry humour and the accompanying doodle-style illustrations provide lots of laughs throughout. iLK is much happier caring for his collection of plants than getting involved in the invasion, but when his dad deems planet Earth useless, it falls to iLK to take on his father’s “Emperor of the World” role. There’s much tension as iLK steps-up to his new position but, little by little, he accepts it, first installing his HQ at Machu Picchu, then learning about the Amazonian rainforest. iLK is really getting into the idea of helping Earth survive and thrive when his dad drops a bombshell about why they really came here. Funny, engaging and with strong messages about making right choices and saving the planet, this is spot-on for eight to ten year-olds, and comes especially recommended for reluctant readers. Joanne Owen, LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
For absurd, anarchic, keep-them-reading comedy adventures, kids can’t do better than climb into Andy and Terry’s world. If you haven’t discovered this series, it stars Andy and Terry and their amazing custom-built treehouse, any child’s dream (adult-free) adventure-playground. Whatever they fancy, they build so the treehouse includes a watermelon smashing machine, a life size snakes and ladders game with real snakes and real ladders, even a Ninja Snail Training Academy. Andy and Terry are the real Andy and Terry, constantly harassed by their publisher Mr Big Nose to deliver their next book. In this adventure, he’s been kidnapped so the authors set off to rescue him. The story is wonderfully nutty and inventive, Denton’s cartoons adding to the craziness, and hugely entertaining. Adults – there’s a very good hungry caterpillar joke too on page 208. For more irresistible, funny, highly illustrated reads for the under tens, try the Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon; Jim Smith’s Barry Loser books; the Timmy Failure series by Stephan Pastis; and Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: surreal, kid-pleasing comic adventures set in an ever-growing treehouse | Andy and Terry’s treehouse keeps growing, to the delight of its army of devoted readers. It’s now 78 storeys high (new additions include an ALL-BALL sports stadium where you can play every ball sport in the world at the same time), and it’s about to be the subject of a movie. In fact the making of the movie is the subject of the story, and as you might expect things don’t run smoothly - Andy is upset when his role is given not to him but to Mel Gibbon, a gibbon! Oscars should go to both Andy and Terry for creating another tour de force of wacky invention and non-stop action, a mix of verbal and visual jokes that will once again have their readers rolling in the aisles. For more irresistible, funny, highly illustrated reads for the under tens, try the Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon; Jim Smith’s Barry Loser books; the Timmy Failure series by Stephan Pastis; and Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series. ~ Andrea Reece
Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton return with another surreal, inventive and comic tale about their adventures in their ever-expanding treehouse which, for anyone who doesn’t know, encompasses everything from a human pinball machine to a chocolate waterfall. Left in charge of their publisher Mr Big Nose’s grand-children, the duo are soon whirled into adventure and literally: saving the Big Nose littlies from the treehouse’s giant whirlpool, they are sucked 20 000 leagues under the sea. Fortunately, Andy has his submarine sandwich with him, which not only looks like a submarine, it functions like one too. It’s no wonder that these books are so enormously popular with children; they’re full of inspired silliness, humour that draws on kids’ wildest dreams, and the gap between the child and the adult worldview. 91 storeys of fun! For more irresistible, funny, highly illustrated reads for the under tens, try the Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon; Jim Smith’s Barry Loser books; the Timmy Failure series by Stephan Pastis; and Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series.
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