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There are life lessons galore for young readers of this hugely appealing picture book. Little dragon Fergal is a bit anxious about going off to summer camp – he’s never been before – and when he arrives, he’s so determined to make his mark that he doesn’t notice he’s being a bit selfish and upsetting the other little dragons. Fortunately, the camp leader can sort things out and give Fergal some useful advice: he needn’t be best at everything, he just needs to relax and be himself and everything else will follow. It’s an important message for all young children and it’s fun to learn it with Fergal and his little friends, as colourful and companionable a group as you could hope to meet. Look out for the first Fergal story too, Fergal is Fuming, which is just as good at prompting conversations about feelings and behaviour.
Roger Paxton is an ordinary kind of boy and a very reluctant hero – which is unfortunate as he’s tasked with saving the world from a massive goblin invasion. At least he’s got a good team on his side, including the marvellous and utterly fearless dwarf captain Mossbelly Macfearsome. This is a wonderfully raucous bit of fantasy adventure full of thrilling scenes, some irresistible characters, and very entertaining details (I love the fact that the goblins smell of burnt toast and fart into bottles to make their drinks fizzy). The story is set at Hallowe’en and this would make a terrific October read, but it would be fun to share at any time of the year. You could go on from this to Terry Pratchett, it’s that much fun.
Book Band: Purple Ideal for ages 6+ | Short, but action-packed, Chitra Soundar’s story has all the ingredients to make a tasty, satisfying story. There’s a magic lamp, seven wishes and a genie, and it all culminates with a delicious birthday cake. Manju and her cat Cumin are puzzling about what to give Manju’s mum for her birthday when they discover a magic lamp. A genie grants them seven wishes – surely they can conjure up the perfect present now, but it proves harder than they think and takes all seven wishes to get a gift that’s just right. In the new Bloomsbury Young Readers series this is a fun, accessible story perfect for children just getting ready to read on their own. A Tips for Grown Ups section and suggestions of fun further activities are helpful, an added bonus.
Uncle Gobb is back for a third utterly ridiculous, absolutely hilarious and totally originally told adventure. Michael Rosen and Neal Layton use a brilliant integration of words and pictures to tell this meandering and many-layered story which engages readers with the complexity and creativity of storytelling.
Book Band: White Ideal for ages 6+ | A plump and playful, loyal and loving, lovely little long dog called Sausage is the hero of this entertaining story, which will really appeal to children just ready to start reading for themselves. Sausage is planning his birthday party, but the family’s two cats Fitz and Spatz, are determined to spoil it. Short, action-filled chapters, carefully selected vocabulary, attractive illustrations and the funny story make this a perfect book for beginner readers. In Bloomsbury’s new Young Readers series there are also useful prompts for adults on the best way to share the story plus ideas for follow up activities.
Best-selling Australian author/ illustrator Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton have created a fantastical treehouse which will tickle the imagination of all readers. It’s a house with everything – and if there is something it lacks, it can easily be created! The guys are full of crazy and inventive ideas some of which have very unexpected and disastrous results. When Andy and Terry aren’t having fun in their tree house doing terrible things like turning their neighbour’s cat into a canary they are meant to be writing a book! The jokes about the book being created within a book are good.
One of our Books of the Year 2015 The World’s Best Treehouse just got BETTER! Crazy, inventive, imaginative and mischievous Aussie writing duo, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton tickled many a kid with their hilarious creation of The 13-Storey Tree House, where anything is possible. Terry and Andy have so much fun in their ideal treehouse, they never get any work done. Well now they're doomed, because they’ve just added 13 more storeys. Get your climbing shoes on and come on up to The 26-Storey Treehouse! Perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Brilliant World of Tom Gates and Barry Loser. Packed with hilarious cartoons and zany text, this book will leave readers in stitches and begging for more.
July 2012 Book of the Month. Best-selling Louise Rennison is as howlingly funny as ever as she sticks with a drama theme in this hilarious follow-up to Withering Tights. Tallulah Casey is back for a second summer at Dother Hall, the holiday theatre school in Yorkshire. The acting is fun but it’s the snogging, boy-fest, madcap adventures that really lure Tallulah back – and reel the readers in too.
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?
The second in the hugely successful Meg Cabot series featuring Mia, a very normal 14 year old Manhatten school girl, who is suddenly pitched into being Princess Mia of the priniciplity of Genovia with everything at her finger tips - except perhaps the love of her life. Her diaries over a five year period have been enjoyed by millions of children worldwide and now with the culmination of the series, we felt it was time to bring them all together to ensure that a new generation doesn’t miss out on them. There are 10 titles culminating in the final Princess Diaries, Ten out of Ten, which features Princess Mia, aged 18 and all have been reissued with fresh, new covers to celebrate 15 years since first publication (A Royal Disaster was formerly titled Take Two).
Celebrate twenty-five years of this much loved classic with this special anniversary edition. Julia Donaldson writes...A Squash and a Squeeze started its life as a song on BBC Children’s Television.The song was subsequently used on “Playdays” and included on a BBC album, sung by Floella Benjamin and Derek Griffiths. Unknown to me, a future editor of children’s books heard this recording when her children were small and she couldn’t get it out of her head. Thirteen years later she succeeded in tracking me down via the BBC. When she phoned to ask my permission to publish an illustrated version of my words I immediately agreed – while attempting to sound as if this sort of thing happened to me every day. I loved Axel’s pictures straight away. Axel Scheffler writes...A Squash and a Squeeze was only my second picture book. I recently learnt that before me, two other illustrators were asked to do the pictures, but perhaps they were too busy because they turned it down. If this is true, I have to be grateful to them, because this book started my long-term collaboration with Julia.
July 2015 Debut of the Month Arthur Bean seems pretty sure of himself, in no doubt that he’s a brilliant writer with a life of prizes, fame and adulation ahead of him. At least that’s the image he projects in his written correspondence with teachers and schoolmates. The letters he sends to his imagined penfriend RJ (actually his Reading Journal) tell a very different story and reveal a lot more about what Arthur, who has recently lost his mother, is really feeling. His life, including attempts to win a story-writing competition, run-ins with teachers who don’t quite appreciate his take on homework assignments, crush on fellow writer Kennedy and surprise friendship with sworn enemy Robbie Zack, is all described through notes and emails from and to Arthur. They tell an appealing, original story and make for highly entertaining reading, funny and poignant too. ~ Andrea Reece
July 2013 Book of the Month The Winnie the Witch young fiction is perfect for children moving on from picture books and beginning to read by themselves or for sharing together with your child. These funny, lively stories with the trademark Winnie illustrations from Korky Paul will keep the reader engaged. These twelve stories have previously been published separately but this special new edition combines favourites such as Winnie Says Cheese and Whizz-Bang Winnie. A small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to read and review Mini Winnie which is the first Winnie Young Fiction title. Here's a taster....'Each page of the book is crammed full of really cool jokes and Korky Paul’s illustrations are great, making me chuckle away for hours. It’s a fantastic book and I can’t wait to get hold of more of the series to see what Winnie gets up to.'.... Click here to read all the reviews.
In a Nutshell: Humour | Adventure | Superpowers Laugh your socks off with this brilliantly funny fantasy adventure from a debut author whose passions are writing and running. Alex Sparrow has always wanted to have a super-power and to be a super-agent; then in year 6 something really extraordinary happens to him. Together with a rather clever goldfish called Bob and Alex's new best friend Jess who just happens to have a super-power too they must make use of their unique strengths to find who is behind a villainous plot and save the day. Full of farts, jokes and superhero references this is a perfect read for fun-loving kids with ambitions to go far. Readers will also enjoy Matt Brown’s Compton Valance series, or Jo Franklin’s Help! I’m a Genius.
A week in the life of Eric Doomsday contains more chaos than most 7 year old boys could possibly achieve..but what fun! After a disastrous magic show which descended into a food fight Eric really needs to improve his reputation at school or he'll never be invited to another party again. Cue the school Talent Show and Eric sees the perfect opportunity to win back some credibility. Unfortunately for Eric the judges turn out to be aliens, here on a voyage to inspect and destroy UUURRTH. And unfortunately for the aliens Eric has a few tricks up his sleeve. This is a great early reader, with short chapters, lively artwork and the jokes keep on coming. Bonkers and brilliantly entertaining.
March 2015 Book of the Month Welcome back Harriet Manners, self-confessed geek and the only supermodel in the world who repeats the entire periodic table when stressed. For those not in the know, this is the fourth book about Harriet, who now has a huge following amongst teens, and no wonder: the stories of her attempts to fit in and win friends at school, in between the occasional glamorous but hectic modelling shoot, are touching, true, and always very funny. In this episode she’s starting at sixth form and determined to reinvent herself. It’s not easy though, and best friend Nat, now studying elsewhere, isn’t there to help. Harriet is missing her boyfriend Nick too and regretting finishing with him. To cap it all, she’s suddenly the face of a huge advertising campaign for a new perfume, Luminate. As ever, the focus is on what matters to readers of the books, rather than readers of Vogue, and beneath the shiny surface is a heart of solid gold. Andrea Reece We asked a number of our readers to review the first in the series, Geek Girl.....here's a taster....'After reading Geek Girl, I felt proud to be who I am because the book shows that you don't have to be like anyone else, you can just be yourself' Read more reviews here...
September 2015 Book of the Month Welcome back Harriet Manners, self-confessed geek and the only supermodel in the world who repeats the entire periodic table when stressed. For those not in the know, this is the fourth book about Harriet, who now has a huge following amongst teens, and no wonder: the stories of her attempts to fit in and win friends at school, in between the occasional glamorous but hectic modelling shoot, are touching, true, and always very funny. In this episode she’s starting at sixth form and determined to reinvent herself. It’s not easy though, and best friend Nat, now studying elsewhere, isn’t there to help. Harriet is missing her boyfriend Nick too and regretting finishing with him. To cap it all, she’s suddenly the face of a huge advertising campaign for a new perfume, Luminate. As ever, the focus is on what matters to readers of the books, rather than readers of Vogue, and beneath the shiny surface is a heart of solid gold. Andrea Reece We asked a number of our readers to review the first in the series, Geek Girl.....here's a taster....'After reading Geek Girl, I felt proud to be who I am because the book shows that you don't have to be like anyone else, you can just be yourself' Read more reviews here...