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Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month
Each month Julia Eccleshare, a leading authority in children's literature, chooses a small selection of her favourites from the month. They will be generally new releases but occasionally she may select a new edition of a firm favourite and we will list them here. All are highly recommended with Julia's seal of approval.
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, August 2015 Best-selling David Walliams and Tony Ross have teamed up for a great hippo space adventure. Sheila is a hippo with BIG ideas. Specifically, she is determined to be the first hippo on the Moon. But Hercules Waldorf-Franklin 111 is also determined to be the first hippo on the Moon. And he is a very rich hippo indeed. Who is going to win the great space-race that follows? Several hilarious space-antics later the winner is declared and spce travel will never seem quite the same again! ~ Julia Eccleshare
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, August 2015 Everyone wants a super power but trying to find out what yours is can be tricky! Zippo the Hippo wants to be special but being good at plodding and getting muddy doesn’t seem to be enough. Then Zippo tries flying. Flying would be a great super power! Unfortunately, Zippo can’t fly…but he can land spectacularly on account of his great big bottom! Not Zippo is a super hippo with a very special and unusual talent! ~ Julia Eccleshare
One of our Books of the Year 2015 - Julia Eccleshare's Book of the Month, July 2015 The classic stories of Alice and her journeys into Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are celebrating 150 years in print. These wonderfully imaginative stories have influenced children’s books ever since they were first published. In fact, it is often said that they were the origins of all the children’s literature that has followed as stories for children published before that were always moral tales. This handsome and long-lasting edition beautifully printed in a big type face which also includes Sir John Tenniel’s original illustrations in colour is a perfect way of introducing Alice and all the wonderful characters who feature in her adventures such as the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen and many more. In his eloquent introduction Philip Pullman expresses the view that the Alice stories have lasted so long ‘for the simple reason that they are full of delight’. These are stories that every child will enjoy getting to know because, as Philip Pullman says, “ They are as fresh and clever and funny today as they were a hundred and fifty years ago.” ~ Julia Eccleshare
Julia Eccleshare's Book of the Month, July 2015 Award-winning Oliver Jeffers’s endearingly simple Hueys are always asking interesting questions to help them find out more. This time they want to know more about opposites. Some opposites are easy. Everyone knows that Down is the opposite of Up, that the opposite of High is Low and that Cold is what you are when you are not Hot. In his simple and witty illustrations Oliver Jeffers makes all opposites fun and the starting joke is particularly pleasingly played out. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, July 2015 There’s magic afoot in this cleverly constructed story which interweaves two stories of girls growing up a century apart and yet becoming friends as they each come to terms with hopes and fears. Present-day Alice is sent to live with Nell, her previously unknown grandmother on November 11 when her brother is rushed into hospital to undergo life-saving heart surgery. Nell’s house is surrounded by dark woods which she is determined to cut down much to the dislike of her neighbours. Exploring the woods Alice meets Flo, a strangely dressed girl in a red coat. On 11 November one hundred years earlier, Flo is also waiting for the safe return of her brother. Armistice has been declared. Surely now he will come home from the war? Flo introduces Alice to the magic of the woodlands and to fairies who she believes live in it. Can Alice believe in the magic too and will it help her brother survive? Emma Carroll uses the idea of fairies and the magical opportunities they can bring creatively. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Julia Eccleshare's Book of the Month, July 2015 Brilliantly conceived, this hugely attractive picture book is also a sophisticated ‘chose your own adventure’. Floyd wants to go exploring down the valley behind the house where he lives. But his mum and his sister Ruby tell him that if he does he will SO scared that he ‘MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO GO TO SLEEP EVER AGAIN’. From that moment on, readers have to make a number of choices about just how brave they are! Whatever choice you make there is lots of excitement along the way in this witty adventure that makes reading words and pictures equally important. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Louie the dog has just had a bath - and he is NOT happy about it. He smells all wrong. Determined to get his Special Smell back, he goes on a hunt for it and meets lots of smelly things along the way - a fox, some interesting dustbins and a marvellously muddy puddle to roll in. Will he succeed in getting his smell back? And, more importantly, will he be able to keep it this time ...?
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, June 2015 Award-winning author/illustrator Michael Foreman brilliantly releases everyone’s favourite characters from a story and turns them into a powerful new army which can stop the building of a new superstore and so save a very special bookshop. Led by Origami Girl, Puss in Boots, Alice and the White Rabbit, the Tin Man and Toad of Toad Hall storm the Houses of Parliament to persuade them to stop plans. When that doesn’t work, Origami Girl calls up reinforcements and soon Robin Hood, Long John Silver, Elmer the Patchwork Elephant and the Little Princess are squaring up to the bulldozers and diggers on the building site. Can the Origami army win? Michael Foreman celebrates the power of favourite characters to win over hearts and minds! ~ Julia Eccleshare ......................................................... Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for June 2015 It's a Groovy World, Alfredo by Sean Taylor The Little Bookshop and the Origami Army by Michael Foreman Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes The King's Shadow by Philip Womack
Julia Eccleshare's Book of the Month, June 2015 Can’t dance? Ever felt you are just not one of the cool team? Then you’ll love Alfredo! Marty tells Alfredo the frog that the world is groovy, that the world is dancing and that anyone can do. Alfredo learns how to do the cool boogie style and the speedy heebie-jeebies but just when he’s got the groovy moves straight he starts to JUMP! Alfredo is just SO embarrassed but soon everyone is copying Alfredo’s moves. A great story about how an outsider becomes an unexpected star. ~ Julia Eccleshare .......................................................... Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for June 2015 It's a Groovy World, Alfredo by Sean Taylor The Little Bookshop and the Origami Army by Michael Foreman Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes The King's Shadow by Philip Womack
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, June 2015 Best-selling Shirley Hughes brings alive how it felt to be growing up in Liverpool during the Second World War. In a gripping and touching story which draws on her own memories of growing up at that time, Shirley Hughes sets a vivid scene of blackouts, rationing – especially of nylons which was a great hardship for the girls and all against the permanently lurking dread that something terrible is about to happen. But she also brings alive her much life was the same in terms of friendships and adventures as Joan and her best friend Doreen enjoy going to school, seeing off the class bully and going to the cinema. ~ Julia Eccleshare .......................................................... Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for June 2015 It's a Groovy World, Alfredo by Sean Taylor The Little Bookshop and the Origami Army by Michael Foreman Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes The King's Shadow by Philip Womack
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month May 2015 Young New York born US serviceman Harry Friedman signs up for the United States Army Air Force determined to fight for justice for fellow Jews. Still only 17 he is soon a member of the crew of a terrifying B-17 bomber. From the first moment he arrives at the UK base in August 1943, it is clear that the missions he will be on are deadly dangerous. And so they are. When Harry’s plane is shot down he is saved by those working in the French Resistance. Paul Dowswell brings the courage, the fear and above all the camaraderie of the young service personal engaged in the deadly missions of dropping bombs on Germany vividly to life. ~ Julia Eccleshare ***Find out more about the research and inspiration behind Bomber here. .................................................. Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for May 2015 - Spotty Lottie and Me by Richard Byrne Bomber by Paul Dowswell The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge What the Jackdaw Saw by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt Poppy in the Field by Mary Hooper Soon by Timothy Knapman
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, May 2015 Patrick Benson’s superb illustrations bring to life this touching adventure for a baby elephant. Early one morning the little elephant Raju sets off with his mother. On their way they see off a snappy crocodile and then both a slithering snake and a prowling tiger Raju gets tired and longs to be going home. But Raju’s mummy has a plan… When Raju sees what it is he knows it was all worth while! ~ Julia Eccleshare .................................................................... Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for May 2015 - Spotty Lottie and Me by Richard Byrne Bomber by Paul Dowswell The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge What the Jackdaw Saw by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt Poppy in the Field by Mary Hooper Soon by Timothy Knapman
Julia Eccleshare has spent her working life to date within children’s books as a critic, an editor, an author and a commentator. Apart from her current role with Lovereading4kids as Editor-at-Large and as one of our editorial expert reviewers, she is the children’s editor of the Guardian and Head of Policy at the Public Lending Right.
She has co-edited and is the author of a number of books including the Rough Guide to Teenage Literature, the fascinating and insightful Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children’s Writers, which is a celebration of a century of children’s literature, as well as Treasure Islands: the Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Books. She also spent some considerable time as a children’s fiction editor in UK publishing.
She has been a selector to the Children’s Books of the Year, a guide to the best books published annually, a member of the advisory board of a children’s book club and for some while was children’s books editor of The Bookseller. In addition, she regularly appears as a judge or Chair of judges on some of the major children’s book prizes.
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