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This is a wonderfully silly, wonderfully funny picture book from the absolute master of the genre, Tony Ross. Mr Wolf is a tricky character, more than a match for his neighbours, a flock of sheep who – ulp! – provide most of his meals. They are shockingly easy to trick though: apparently you can fool some of the people all of the time. Even so, Mr Wolf comes to the sort of end he deserves, and it’s entirely his own fault. Giggles guaranteed on every page, and as always Ross tells his tale with visual and verbal flourish.
Paul’s life changes in totally unexpected ways when he discovers a little ghost living in the keyhole of his front door. The two quickly become friends and no wonder, Zippel the ghost is irresistible – funny, mischievous and thoroughly well-meaning, if totally baffled by modern life (he’s particularly fascinated by the flush on the toilet). Together they have some excellent adventures, Zippel getting up to all sorts of tricks in an old castle and taking ingenious revenge on a couple of bullies who’ve been tormenting Paul. Full colour illustrations by Axel Scheffler perfectly capture the droll humour of the stories and this is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read this year. Buy a copy and don’t be surprised if you find readers checking out keyholes in the hope of finding their own Zippel.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2019 | October 2019 Book of the Month | There’s huge fun to be had in this gloriously interactive book which is a spur to imaginative play as well as a great introduction to familiar colours and shapes. A singing button, a tickle button and many more. All young readers will be delighted by the invitation to press each one. Once they have done so many possibilities open up as they head off into whatever invention they choose to imagine. Sally Nicholls uses her word carefully and with pleasing simplicity and Beth Woollvin’s illustrations add special details of their own.
With its tongue firmly in its cheek, this is a book to delight parent and child alike. The opening pages remind us of the credentials of the Goodnight Laboratory whose staff have designed this guide: follow their advice and you’re guaranteed to see off all monsters. This advice includes things parents will thoroughly endorse like keep a clean room because no mess equals nowhere for monsters to hide, as well as things to make children giggle, such as telling silly jokes will send monsters rolling away laughing. And everyone will approve of the final bit of advice which says that closing the book will create a monster-free zone. Monsters have never seemed so silly and this will send everyone to bed happy and laughing.
Generosity, unexpected kindness and warm welcomes are at the heart of this story, making it perfect Christmas reading. It’s closing time on Christmas Eve in a big department store and all the shoppers and staff have gone home leaving only Clawdia the cat – and a family of lively mice. They lead her a merry dance around the shop, stopping occasionally to point out scenes that make her rethink her ‘bah, humbug’ attitude to Christmas. A surprise ending sees Clawdia and the mice enjoying a proper Christmas day. The message is lovely and the hectic chases around Christmas displays are lots of fun. As good as any John Lewis ad!
November 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2019 | The delightful Meerkats are back for a new and special Christmas adventure. Everyone in the Meerkat family is excitedly getting ready for the perfect Christmas in their home in the Kalahari Desert. But Sunny is sure that something is missing. Well, many things! His Book on Christmas tells him that the perfect weather needs to be snow, the perfect presents have to be in a huge pile, the perfect dinner has to include well-boiled sprouts while the perfect music to accompany it all has to be Christmas carols. Donning his Christmas hat, Sunny sets off on an adventure to find somewhere more Christmassy. Visiting his friends around the world, Sunny finds that some have snow, some have presents, some have sprouts but all have something missing …
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.
*The BRAND NEW laugh-out-loud, fully illustrated bestselling Wimpy Kid book!* Big changes are in store for Greg Heffley and his family. They are making home improvements! But with unwelcome critters, toxic mould and the walls coming down, soon Greg discovers renovations aren't all they are cracked up to be. When the dust finally settles, will the Heffleys be able to stay . . . or will they need to get out of town? ABOUT DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: * 50% words, 50% cartoons, 100% hilarious! * Hilarious stories that all readers can't wait to get their hands on * Laughter guaranteed * 200 million copies sold worldwide Don't miss Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, to read Greg's best friend Rowley's side of the story!
November 2019 Debut of the Month | At once amusing and affectionate, this early Middle Grade novel combines real-world alienation with actual aliens! Harriet feels terribly out of sorts when she moves in with Gran while her dad works away, but before she’s even had chance to say goodbye to him, she learns that her hearing aid enables her to understand alien languages, such as that spoken by the Sock Muncha she finds beneath her new bed. What’s more, Harriet discovers that Gran is part of a secret intergalactic organisation that’s working to protect Planet Earth from an invasion of Sock Munchas. Harriet runs into conflict when she’s taken on as Gran’s apprentice: how can she possibly banish her new alien friend, given that he was bullied by other Sock Muncha’s and isn’t at all like them? Alongside the action-packed alien adventure, there’s much sensitivity around making friends and making everyone feel welcome. For example, Harriet’s unquestioning acceptance of new friend Robin’s non-binary identity, which she describes as “kind of awesome.” What a sweetly empowering debut this is from a hearing aid-wearing comedian, actor and Ambassador for Action on Hearing Loss and the British Tinnitus Association.
Naomi Howarth’s beautifully expressive pictures have seen her twice nominated for the Kate Greenaway medal and shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize and she is renowned for bringing the wonders of the natural world to life for young readers. In this picture book, which would be a perfect resource for Cold Places topics, we first meet Magnus the Ringed Seal woken from his slumbers by a loud rumbling noise. What could it be? Neither he nor any of his friends- the Arctic Hare, the Snowy Owl, the Arctic Fox and the Polar Bear can identify the source of the noise. It’s not the wind nor the ice breaking or trees creaking. But when they reach the sea, wise Walrus has an idea. Magnus is told to dive for juicy pink shrimps, and he brings back a feast for them all to share. Suddenly they realise the noise has stopped and it was Magnus’s hungry stomach all along. In a delightful denouement, when they all try to sleep, another loud noise wakes them and this time it is Magnus’s snores! The animals are realistically depicted in their glorious Arctic settings but are simultaneously real characters that children can engage with. The end papers have key facts about all the animals featured. This is an enjoyable repetitive tale and a lovely introduction to the animals of a threatened habitat.
A new Timmy Failure book is always a cause for celebration and this is another glorious mix of humour, surrealism, incompetent detection – and chickens. Timmy is on holiday in Florida with his mum and her new husband. With Total the polar bear hiding out in Cuba he needs a new sidekick – step up Emilio Empanada, willing if nervous unpaid intern. Together they cause the kind of chaos and confusion that is Timmy’s natural state, while adopting a chicken along the way, and it’s wonderfully funny. The description of a surprise meeting with his father for Timmy tugs at the heartstrings as well as finding the funny bone. Stephan Pastis’s cartoon illustrations are a joy in themselves and this is clever, original, inspired fun.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | Shortlisted for the Laugh Out Loud Book Awards 2020 | A deliciously dotty fantasy in which almost anything becomes believable. Max longs for a pet but even in his wildest dreams he had never thought that the pet might be a flying pony. But, one stormy night and with a loud Doof!, Kevin turns up on Max’s balcony. Kevin is a flying horse who can also talk. He has few demands except that he needs a constant supply of biscuits – especially custard creams. Soon Max and Kevin are an unstoppable duo putting right all the things that are going wrong in a town surrounded by storm water and besieged by naughty sea-monkeys. It’s all pell-mell action and madcap fun.
Bring the Bolds into your home for some festive fun and frolics! Julian Clary’s stories of the Bolds, a family of hyenas who live in Teddington disguised as humans, are full of fun, mischief and charm, and so is this Bolds-themed Christmas activity book. Packed with David Roberts’ fabulous illustrations it’s gorgeous to look at and the different activities featured are certain to keep everyone smiling too. Naturally the jokes are of a particularly high standard – Mr Bold’s job is to write cracker jokes after all – but there are some good riddles too as well as puzzles and, best of all, lots of chances to draw or write about the Bolds. Lots of fun and a perfect Christmas gift.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2019 | Full of Meg Rosoff’s delightful wit and evident affection for dogs, the is a great return for McTavish the big-hearted rescue dog who is already well-known for the good care he takes of all those around him. This time it is Betty who needs help. When Pa Peachey gets a new job the whole family is upheaved. Everyone is excited about it except for Betty. Not only has she got to move house but she also to say goodbye to her old friends and go to a new school. Betty does not want to be the new girl: she is terrified. Luckily, McTavish thinks of the best possible way to turn her arrival at a new school into a triumph rather than a catastrophe.
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...