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Tamsyn Murray’s Completely Cassidy books are tuned to the defining things about being a pre-teen girl: giggling with your friends; exasperating – and being exasperated by – your family; suffering waves of excruciating embarrassment (aka cringe-fests) about things no-one else will notice. It’s clear Murray understands her audience very well indeed and her writing is perfectly pitched for their pleasure. This adventure is set during the summer holidays, and features the family holiday in Cornwall, where Cassidy’s dad shows off his Elvis impersonations, and summer theatre school, where she discovers her own thespian talents. Cassidy will cringe, and do a bit of growing up too, and each are described with the lightest of touches. Completely Cassidy, totally enjoyable! ~ Andrea Reece Fans of Cassidy will also enjoy Cathy Cassidy’s Chocolate Box Girls books, and then Cathy Hopkins’s Mates, Dates series.
January 2014 Book of the Month An entertaining diary told in the authentic teenage voice which captures the mind set of humorist and risk-taker Ben Fletcher. Following a run-in with the authorities, Ben Fletcher is now obliged to ‘give something back to the community’ to make amends. Ben decides he can make the best contribution by joining the knitting class. It’s an unusual choice which could ruin Ben’s chances of being taken seriously by girls forever. But Ben turns out to have made a clever choice. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Boys Don't Knit a small number of members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'I found this story great and it is a brilliant mix of stupidity, genius and second-hand embarrassment' Charlotte Crisp Scroll down to read more ...
In this witty sequel to Boys Don’t Knit, knitting champion Ben is invited to the knitting convention in New York City. It should be the dream invitation of a lifetime but things do not all go according to plan and Ben even finds it hard to find the right person to go with. Knitting-boy Ben’s diary entries are as amusing as before as he records his life and the reactions of his friends to it. A Piece of Passion from Emily Thomas, Publisher The master of Mohair is back! Ben Fletcher, the loveable, funny and triumphant hero of Boys Don't Knit is back with more knitting. I consider Ben to be my honorary imaginary nephew, I'm that fond of him. Needless to say T.S Easton has brought him back to me - a little older, not that much wiser, possibly a better knitter - and a jet-setter too, as he flies to the Big Apple to take part in a National Knitting competition. Brooklyn mafia, magic tricks, long-distance romance - Ben takes it all in his stride! We don't really want Ben to grow up...we want him to stay just the way he is. A real boy, with just enough self-esteem but not too much, and lots of wool.
Join Dave Pigeon and his sidekick Skipper on their quest to defeat the most evil cat in town. There will be funny bits, scary bits and biscuity bits. It is perfect for 6+ readers to share with an adult as it has short speech bubbles running with the text for youngsters to read plus there are some brilliant laugh-out-loud black and white illustrations on every page by the superbly talented Sheena Dempsey.
In a nutshell: pigeontastic comedy capers with Dave and Skipper | Things are not looking good for pigeons Dave and Skipper. The Human Lady who feeds them has gone on holiday leaving them easy prey to the devious Reginald Grimster, a man with an irrational hatred of pigeons dating back to his schooldays (a pigeon pooed on him). Soon Skipper is a prisoner, along with lots of other pigeons, as Grimster gets ready to turn them into nuggets. Narrated by Dave, with frequent interjections by Skipper, this is totally nutty, totally original and a hoot from start to finish. With frequent illustrations, and pages of speech bubble dialogue it’s particular fun for gaining reading confidence. Don’t stop the pigeon! ~ Andrea Reece
Dave Pigeon and his best friend Skipper were living happily in the Human Lady's house, but now they're travelling in a box to Pawsville Vets ... maybe Dave will finally get his broken wing fixed. The pet shop is full of new friends... Jet the dog, Cricket Ball Face the hamster... and with friendship comes a bit of healthy competition, and what could be better that a race for a racing pigeon? But the only animal who thinks Dave is capable of going up against the infamous Mickey Lightning is Dave himself.
April 2016 Debut of the Month Stewart and Ashley are about as different as it’s possible to be. He’s super smart, happy to use words like ‘plethora’ in everyday conversation, but socially a little inept. She’s queen of the popular set at school, can spot a Desigual outfit from five hundred yards, but thinks melodramatic is two different words. Neither is very good at gauging other peoples’ feelings, and the culture clash when they become step-siblings is deafening. Things are complicated further when Jared, the school hunk/bully, enters their lives. This is all sorts of things: a wonderful comedy of manners; a study of some serious emotional issues, including bereavement; and a heart-warming illustration of how it’s possible to make bad things good, by working together. Ashley and Stewart are irresistible characters and this is set to become one of the most popular books of the year. ~ Andrea Reece
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | In a nutshell: sad | funny| touching | Susin Nielsen has won many fans for her poignant, character-driven stories of young people in difficult situations. Ambrose, the eponymous word nerd, is just such a central character: he’s isolated and lonely – shocked by the sudden death of his father his mother is anxious and over-protective – socially awkward too. His life changes when he strikes up a kind of friendship a neighbour, without telling his mum because Cosmo is a former drug addict with a prison record. This in turn leads to more friends as the two join a local Scrabble club, and a happy outcome for each. Readers will totally believe in this friendship, and root for Ambrose and Cosmo. A feel-good story filled with memorable characters, and one that sneaks all sorts of truths about life past its readers too. Readers who enjoy Word Nerd will also like A Seven Letter Word by Kim Slater, which also uses Scrabble as a hook for a moving story about struggling young people, while Stacey Matson writes satisfying, heart-warming stories about kids overcoming problems. ~ Andrea Reece
January 2020 Book of the Month | With a concept based entirely upon the universal truth that as soon as somebody tells you not to think of something, you immediately do so and the quite philosophic concept of visualisation of language heard or read, this book will have young( and old) readers in stitches. Stamped with a No Silliness Allowed warning on the front cover, we can anticipate plenty of silliness ahead despite the firm instructions from the very serious scientist introducing the amazing book that has the power to show a picture of the reader’s thoughts. Sadly, it all goes wrong for him as soon as he uses pink elephants as an example of what not to think about and quickly escalates as he thinks of more terrible scenarios involving elephants, mice, panties and their bottoms. The explosive finale causes him to order the reader to put the book down and “Don’t even think about” picking it up again…..This is bound to be instantly disobeyed in every home and classroom! The zany illustrative style is perfectly suited to this story and the clever use of the only white space being within the speech bubbles immediately emphasises the instructional and increasingly shouty nature of the scientist’s words. Both great fun and a creative inspiration, this is a must have purchase!
A book of poetry and rhymes with a bus twist.Together with a few tickets full of jokes to capture the imagination of young readers and get them to giggle along on the bus journey. Daisy Daydream the nursery Rhyme bus now has a few nursery rhymes of her own. Children's picture book. 40 pages with colour illustrations. A book of poems, rhymes and jokes all with a bus theme. The book is suitable for children of pre-school and primary age and would be ideal to support a topic on transport. The book links with other books about Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus and Daisy Daydream the Nursery Rhyme bus. (Real life buses now with stories of their own).
Another hilarious helping of bonkers supermarket superhero adventure, and possibly the best yet in this brilliant picture book series. Evil Pea is up to his usual tricks and when he manages to freeze Supertato things look bad: putting Operation Freezification into action he transforms the supermarket into a winter wonderland – to the surprise delight of the veggies! But Supertato is able to free himself, with the help of some chilis, and soon the supermarket shelves are turned. Great fun, wonderful to read and very cleverly illustrated and designed, Evil Pea Rules deserves a place in every shopping basket this Christmas.
Here’s another laugh-out-loud adventure story starring everyone’s favourite caped potato superhero. It’s carnival time in the supermarket and all the veggies are lending a hand except – you guessed it – Evil Pea. He’s determined to suck all the fun and the colour from the carnival – literally, with his dastardly Colour-Suck-A-Thon-5000 machine. Can Supertato save the day? You betcha! Adventures don’t come dafter or more colourful and this is premium entertainment for all the family.
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