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Marnie Blue is shocked when lots of plastic rubbish starts to appear in Mermaid Lagoon. It's causing all sorts of problems and even harming the underwater animals. Marnie and her friends decide enough is enough and they must have a big green clean-up. But just where is all the plastic coming from? With the help of the local Brinies group, a new dolphin pal and a human friend, the mermaids come up with a plan to rid the lagoon of plastic junk for good.
September 2021 Debut of the Month | Vibrant world-building, hilarious horror happenings, and splendidly quirky characters - Alex Foulkes’ debut, Rules for Vampires (the first in a series), has plenty for adventure-loving 9+ year-olds to sink their teeth into, a devour-in-one-bloodthirsty-sitting story that’s made even more engaging by Sara Ogilvie’s cleverly comic illustrations. “Slow as creeping nuns, stealthy as a stalking cat, the girl slunk closer to the door.” Thus we’re introduced to Leo on the eve of her one hundred and eleventh birthnight, as she must embark on her first solo mission as a vampire - The Hunt of the Waxing Moon, no less. Trouble is, following Vampiric Laws and negotiating that ghoulish line between the Living and the Undead sure ain’t no stroll in the cemetery, and all this while feeling the pressure to live up to the high and spiky expectations of the Great and Terrible Sieglinde. The writing is slick as blood, with smart turns of phrase that Lemony Snicket aficionados will adore, and cracking whip-smart dialogue that drives the story at bat-out-of-hell pace. Oh, and it’s divinely packed with a cast of top quality, quirky characters readers will want to get under the skin of (though not literally, of course…)
Book Band: Brown- (Ideal for ages 7+) | This is a lovely retelling of a famous myth. It tells the story of Icarus and his father who are prisoners on the island of Crete. Although it is set in Ancient Greece, the relationship and obvious love of the father and son shine through in quite a modern way. Both characters have their frustrations over their plight, yet they are both sensitive to the feelings of the other. It is a good adventure story where the two characters deal with setbacks in their quest for freedom – their attempts at boat building and their construction of the birds’ wings. Unlike many books for young children there is a sad ending which somehow makes it more poignant. There are lots of things to discuss in this book with some useful questions in the ‘quiz time’ at the back. I think the book would also benefit from a simple map to show where Crete is and also a guide to how to pronounce the characters names. Daedalus and Pasiphae are challenging for the adult too! A super book and a great introduction into Greek Mythology
The world we live in is truly amazing, and across its continents, oceans and skies are all kinds of fabulous places and astounding sights. Almost 100 of them are described in the bright, information-filled pages of this book. Natural wonders featured include the Namib Desert, Mount Thor and the Sundarbans mangrove forest as well as Black Holes, ball lightening and hurricanes. They’re all brought to life through photographs, key facts and figures, attractively presented, and all graded for awesomeness. So too are the human creations listed, which include the Colosseum, the Millau Viaduct and Voyager 1. Perfect for dipping into and full of information they’ll rush to share, this will fascinate kids, and should inspire them too. ~ Andrea Reece
December 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: beasts, magical beasts, in words and pictures | This very handsome book, wonderfully illustrated by some of the top artists of today, is a must-have for anyone fascinated by the magical creatures that appear in so many favourite children’s stories. It features a host of exotic beasts, from giants and centaurs to harpies, werewolves and the basilisk, each one gloriously illustrated in full colour over double pages. Award-winners Helen Ward and Gary Blythe make merpeople and unicorns truly magical, while David Wyatt’s dragon – in a stunning gatefold – is a masterpiece of fiery menace. The text that accompanies each image tells legends and stories about the creatures, and includes quotes from authors such as Dante and Homer. Part information-book, part story collection, it’s a book to treasure. ~ Andrea Reece
This enchanting reinvention of a Natural History of Fairies written by botanist Professor Elsie Arbour in the 1920s glows with timeless charm and the magic of nature. What’s more, author Emily Hawkins’s message about protecting fairies’ natural habitats has important real-world resonance, such as this: “human actions are putting fairies’ habitats at risk. When forests and woodland are cut down to make space for farmland…then fairies’ homes are destroyed.” Fairy enthusiasts will delight in the detail of the softly-radiant illustrations that present fairy anatomy and life cycles in the manner of natural history books, replete with labels and descriptions. Throughout, the book is suffused with a thrilling feeling that fairies might be found - if you know what you’re looking for, and where to look. The section on language and secret scripts will undoubtedly inspire young readers to write their own fairy codes, while coverage of a huge range of habitats - from meadows, gardens and woodlands, to mountains, marine environments and jungles - gives a satisfying global feel. Alongside providing fairy-lovers with much fodder for exploration, this coverage of habitats, and information on the likes of leaves, plants and animals, might also spark a wider love of nature. Sumptuously presented, with a silk bookmark, and gold edging and cover foil supplementing Jessica Roux’s illustrations, this book’s style is every bit as charming as its content, which makes it a gift to treasure.
Following up the excellent A Year Full of Stories, Angela McAllister has travelled the world again to collect together wonderful folktales, this time with an animal theme. There are tales of tigers, pandas and jackals, of buffalos, bears and coyotes, as well as cheetahs, warthogs and ostriches, all of them told in the direct, robust prose of the best storytellers. Great for reading on your own and just the right length for bedtime, each story will capture the reader’s or listener’s imagination, and quite often leave them with something to think about too. Aitch’s watercolour illustrations highlight the stories’ individuality, but give them a universal feel too and it’s as lovely to look at as it is to read.
Sisters Imogen and Isabel Greenberg make brilliant use of the comic book/graphic novel format to tell stories of Athena, probably the most appealing of all the Greek goddesses, weaving different myths into one coherent adventure. It starts as Athena springs from Zeus's head fully armed and 'ready to do battle in the world'; next is the story of her relationship with Athens and, more crucially, rivalry with Poseidon, then interventions in human lives with Perseus and Arachne (the latter a good learning experience for the goddess), before the lead up to the Trojan war and finally the wanderings of Odysseus. The stories are unbeatable and text and illustrations do them full justice. A terrific introduction to the world of Greek mythology and a great bit of storytelling.
'Beyond the Forest Floor: Forest Tales' by Joanne McFall is a collection of 13 short stories inspired by nature, folklore and Celtic mythology. The dark and troubling tales are illustrated by Ruth O'Kelly with monochrome line drawings, which add to the brooding atmosphere, so reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm. Like all fairy stories, they are timeless and designed to appeal to all ages. Also true to tradition, the characters, both human and animal, embark on journeys which transform them, as they discover they possess qualities, strengths and powers to carry out whatever is required of them whilst the forest remains the same and eternal. This is a very evocative and immersive set of stories, slightly disturbing but rewarding. I particularly liked 'Other Moon', which has all the elements of a good fairy tale...a prince, a castle, a wolf, a woodcutter, a magic seed, a wish granted but also the unexpected appearance of an angel, who shows the prince how to prove himself by helping the poor. A very interesting read.
A handsome production of two fabulous ‘ology’ titles together in one slip case. A look behind the scenes of a world of unusual and unexpected monsters in Monsterology is combined with a rare insight into the scary and magical world of dragons in Dragonology. Both have the trade mark flow of fascinating snippets of information presented in a variety of interesting and unusual ways.
Billy Chan and his friends are not having a very relaxing summer. Their friend, Dylan, has been kidnapped by the evil Dragon of Death and it's up to them to travel through time, back to the dangerous Dragon Realm, in order to save him. Luckily they have their own dragons on side, but they'll need to collect eight magical pearls if they're to amass enough power to destroy the Dragon of Death and her followers for good. So begins an epic quest that will take them to the depths of the Frozen Wasteland and the imperial palaces of Ancient China. But can good triumph evil...?
Dragonology was the start of the worldwide Ology phenomenon and has spawned many a book both about dragons but also pirates, Egypt, wizards, mythology and now monsters. Why not take a look at other dragonology titles such as Dragon's Eye, Tracking and Taming Dragons, Working with Dragons, Field Guide To Dragons? Also available in the 'Ology' series are Pirateology, Monsterology, Wizardology, Egyptology and Mythology.
From the creators of the worldwide bestseller Dragonology comes the essential resource for all fans of dragons. There’s a lifetime of knowledge within the pages of this book from the past-master of dragons. There’s a guide to species of dragons, the biological make-up of dragons as well as their habits and habitats and much more besides. This edition is beautifully illustrated and sumptuously designed to ensure hours and hours of entertainment. A message from the Publisher:In recent years we have been fortunate enough to become custodian of the life’s work of a certain Dr. Ernest Drake, Victorian dragonologist extraordinaire, and has republished many volumes for today’s readers to great acclaim. This compendium appears to have been first published for a limited audience in 1912, and contains a summation of Drake’s many years of research into live dragons. Whilst every effort has been made to reproduce the book in its original form, it must be noted, albeit with considerable regret, that the publisher has been unable to find any dragons still in existence and therefore cannot verify the many interesting facts about them contained herein.
It is midnight in Crackledawn – a midnight full of magic. Sea dragons stir in the depths of the ocean, silver whales surface beneath the moon and sand goblins line the shores. Everyone is waiting for the phoenix, the guardian of the kingdom’s magic, to rise up from the forests of Everdark.But there is no sign of the phoenix tonight. Something else surges up out of Everdark instead: a harpy bent on stealing Crackledawn’s magic.It is up to an eleven-year-old girl called Smudge and an eccentric monkey called Bartholomew to set sail beyond the legendary Northswirl and stop the harpy before it’s too late.So, grab your compass and roll down your sail – the first adventure in THE UNMAPPED CHRONICLES is about to begin...
Larabelle Fox is an orphan, a tosher who searches the sewers for any ‘treasure’ she can find, in the sewer system under Kings Haven. She is ranged against rival toshing gangs who want to rob her, as well as the powerful King’s Witch who wants to revive the Evernight in a bid to gain total power for herself. Unbeknownst to Lara she has found exactly what the King’s Witch and her awesomely scary djinn Shadow Jack are looking for – a box, long lost in the sewers. Can Lara discover what she can do with the box and its contents before the world succumbs to the evil of the Evernight? This is a wild magical delight of a story. The bad guys are wickedly bad and seemingly undefeatable, whilst Lara and her friend Joe Littlefoot seem small and powerless. But they have quick wits and goodness on their side, as well as the witches, though it will mainly be down to Lara that a defence is put up to the Evernight.This is the sort of book that will create a buzz of enjoyment, the fantasy world is well built, believable, cinematic and child friendly. The magic is fun, the friendship believable, the story is refreshing, and the feisty heroine is a delight to follow. I shall look forward to more books in this series.
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